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Death Match: Get Optimal

Welcome to Death Match, Europe 2020, OPTIMAL PITCH

This Chad and Cheese Death Match episode features Daniel Fellows, founder at Optimal. Unlike most Death Matches, this one took place online (thanks COVID-19!).

But never fear! The home bars were open which meant the pints were full and the Chad and Cheese snark was flying. Pontoon Solutions provided third judge Craig Rhodes ... and warning: that dude is a pit bull.

Enjoy this exclusive TAtech presentation, powered by Pontoon Solutions.


Chad: Welcome to Death Match Europe digital edition. This Chad and Cheese Death Match start-up contest episode features Dan Fellows, founder at Optimal. Digital Death Match took place during TAtech Europe Digital on April 28th, with a virtual room full of drunken TAtech practitioners. Well, maybe not drunken, just Joel and me. Judges Chad and Cheese were joined by Craig Rhodes of Pontoon Solutions. You might ask yourself, who is going to be the Death Match grand champ? Who is going to walk away with the Death Match chain of champions? Well, you got to listen to find out. Enjoy, right after this word from our sponsor.

Joel: Hey Chad.

Chad: What's up?

Joel: Dude, all the cool kids are talking about RXO and I just have one simple question.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: What the hell is RXO?

Chad: Typical Cheese, maybe if you'd stop dogging on millennials for two seconds, you'd learn something.

Joel: All right. Stop busting my chops and break it down.

Chad: Okay, RXO stands for Recruitment eXperience Outsourcing.

Joel: Ah, so not rotten xenophobic overlord.

Chad: Uh, no. And nobody does RXO like our buddies over at Pontoon Solutions.

Joel: Poontang Solutions.

Chad: Okay. Stop being a 13 year old for a second. Pontoon Solutions transforms the overall candidate experience and recruiter experience with cutting edge technology and optimize processes. Pontoon Solutions doesn't just lift and shift operations, they architect better ones. Your brand and people deserve to be priority one. Your talent deserves more than just being a part of the process. They deserve a great experience.

Joel: I like it. But what kind of companies need RXO?

Chad: Well, if you're a hiring company who spends way too much on recruitment agencies and maybe have weak talent pipelines or you just have a non-existent or bad employer brand. And employers need to do more than transform their current recruitment processes, they need consistent and tech driven experiences. Those companies, pretty much just about all companies out there because they suck at it, they need RXO.

Joel: Nice. And with people on the ground in over 32 countries and six delivery centers.

Chad: Damn.

Joel: Pontoon Solutions strikes the perfect balance of global and local support. Dude, I'm down with RXO. Where can I find out more?

Chad: Hit them up at and transform your talent acquisition strategy now.

Joel: Roger that,

Chad: Okay.

Intro: Hide your kids, lock the doors, you're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls, it's time for The Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Chad: We're live. Hello everybody, the TAtech stalkers, welcome to Death Match. We're here today with Daniel Fellows from Get Optimal. Quick Death Match intro for all of you newbies. Death Match is a competition that pits four innovative early stage companies against one another. Four enter, only one leaves anointed as Death Match Grand Champion, with the ability to wear what Joel has around his neck.

Joel: Yeah, baby.

Chad: That's right kids. That's the Death Match chain of champions. Let's go ahead, introduce the judges. First and foremost, we have guest judge Craig Rhodes from Pontoon Solutions.

Joel: Craig.

Chad: Craig's the guy who researches recruitment tech for a living. Daniel, you're going to want to watch out for this dude. We have judge Cheese, that's the big gun with the chain thing. Judge Chad, and we are the co-hosts and badass podcasters of The Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Joel:, baby.

Chad: If you're not listening, I don't know what your problem is, Here's how Death Match works. Daniel is going to have two minutes to pitch Get Optimal. At the end of two minutes, you're going to hear. Then Craig, Joel, and myself will hit Daniel with a rapid fire Q&A to finish up the 15 minutes stint. Daniel, be concise or you'll get penalized. Start dancing and you'll get the bullshit button, so don't do that.

Joel: Can we pin down real quick?

Chad: I think Dan's already pinned. I hope he is.

Joel: I'm saying you.

Chad: I know, but that's

Joel: Okay. There we go. Because Dan and his hair need to be the highlight of this interview.

Chad: That's exactly right. If you haven't seen, Dan show off real quick, he's already showing off. He has the branding in the back and he has the awesome Chad and Cheese t-shirt.

Joel: Yeah, what a suck-up. Goddamn.

Chad: That I believe one of his kids made. I think his kids, I mean they're quarantined.

Joel: The brats have no shame to suck-up to a couple of Americans, Jesus.

Chad: Right. Daniel, do you have any questions before you start the pitch?

Daniel: No, but I know where the three of you live. So that's what I'm going to say.

Chad: And luckily with that haircut you're not very scary. Two minutes start.

Joel: Ouch. Starting now.

Daniel: Hi, I'm Dan Fellows, the founder and CEO of Get Optimal, the on demand job ad optimization platform. From my time as marketing director at Indeed and now with Optimal, I'm solving a problem I know a great deal about. We all know that job ads is basic common sense, but the thing with common sense, it's not very common. 30 years later, we're still collectively doing the same thing with the job ads. The challenge with badly written job ads is the right candidates can't find them online. But somehow the wrong candidates always apply for your roles. With millions of new active job seekers entering the candidate driven market. Now more than ever, you need to automate and optimize your job ads. Think SEO for job ads. It'll start with Optimal and your humble job ad. This is what we do, we're a single point solution that does one single thing in your workflow.

Daniel: Optimal provides an on demand job advert optimization platform where you can receive up to a 30% increase in your job ads performance, leading to rise in inclusive applications and a greater quality of candidates. Of course we optimize for grammar, spelling and gender bias [inaudible 00:07:02.27] platforms we all know about already in the market place. The point of difference is we optimize for how candidates search and every job ads returned optimized for search and SEO. Search Consultancy got about a 60% increased quality of candidates they have come into their business since they started working with Optimal. They've also saved about 600 hours in recruiting and having to optimize job ads. We've seen a 23% increase in filling applications across our UK, US, Australia clients since we introduced. Optimal built an enterprise level technology platform, VONQ, Joveo, Idibu, Recruitics, they don't have an AI lead ad optimization platform, that's why they're working with Optimal. It takes 50 minutes to be onboarded. There's no training or no IT security integration needed. Working with Optimal is about more of what you love doing, not writing job ads. We'd be humbled and honored to get your vote today. So pop over to Get Optimal and say hi.

Joel: Nice pitch.

Chad: Very nice.

Joel: Kept it tight.

Chad: Very nice.

Joel: Get him Craig.

Chad: Get him Craig.

Craig: Okay, I'll start off easy for you to begin with. Whenever I am talking around technology to my stakeholders, the first question they ask me is, "Oh, how much is it going to cost me?" But we don't work like that, we work in value. I have to tell them the value a product's going to bring. So really quickly, 20 seconds, I'm in front of a stakeholder now telling him about Optimal. You need to tell me what value you bring as quickly as you can.

Daniel: Sure. We bring a high quality of candidates, Craig, because we know how candidates are searching for jobs. Reduce your cost to hire, reduce your time to hire. Most importantly we save the recruiters doing the part of the job that they absolutely hate, writing job ads. All of those are measurable and you get your ROI back within one month of working with Optimal.

Joel: Daniel, we talk, so listeners of the show will know Dan that we talk a lot about Google for Jobs. When you're talking SEO, are we talking Google for Jobs optimization or are we talking sort of the general main Google search organic results? Or are we talking about both?

Daniel: We're talking about both, absolutely, 36% of all searches on Google are for jobs. Why wouldn't you optimize the greatest asset, the greatest piece of collateral that you have, which is your job advert including Google, Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook, the way the algorithms work, where we're kind of experts on that. They're not going to prioritize your job ad if it's not highly optimized for candidates search, because if you're searching for Nike trainers and you get Reebok adverts, you're not going to go back, are you? Absolutely the same ad job seeker search. They want the job, the location, salary all within [inaudible 00:09:42.28] eight seconds return to them. So optimizing your job ads will absolutely work across traditional search engines, but also across job boards that have the algorithm elements.

Joel: So talk me through, maybe you mentioned it, but you talked really fast and you talk with an accent, so I'm a little bit slow. Is this an automated process? Is it a consulting process? Is it a manual thing? Is it a combination? I mean, if I just throw in a job description, do you highlight where I need to correct things? Do you automatically change the job description? Talk to me about that.

Daniel: Sorry, I talk fast and I get excited, which my wife can testify to. We built a publishing platform, so within two minutes you can upload your job ad to Optimal. You then press optimize. That goes off into the AI powered machine. We're part AI, part human intervention. That advert is then optimized for SEO, for search and for gender bias within four hours. That's then returned to your Optimal platform. And also the moment we're emailing attachments as well. It's part machine, part man and woman will move more to the machine solution as we learn, but clearly as we know that costs billions of pounds to do.

Joel: We know from Google for Jobs that things like salary information is important, location and some of these exact sort of meta characteristics. You can't require companies to upload a job and have that data, can you? And if they don't, doesn't that impact the optimization component?

Daniel: Not at all. There's two ways to do upload the job ad, with Optimal we used a lot of creators to help us build this because we had to be simple, to be quick, had to be frictionless. You can upload the job title, the location, salary and the job type and press optimize. If you're within Craig's business, you can then copy and paste the actual full description in there. Either way is fine or either with some of our larger clients, they will bulk load up 50 to 100, 200 adverts at any one time. That will go into the system equally. And then we'll optimize for how candidates search for jobs. Unlike some of our larger competitors, you don't have to do anything. We optimize all of that for you and return you the fully optimized job ad. I'm probably the only person in the world that's excited about job ads.

Craig: I've been on your website, I've researched about it, and I'll talk on the automation. What is it you actually automate? Because for me, an automated process involves ATS, VMS, career site. It's a stock all working together. When I read automate, what I want to hear back is I pass you a job, you do your magic and that job appears on my career site.

Daniel: Yeah, that's a brilliant question, Craig. We've been going since September, 2019. I'm sure you guys know, you're successful guys. It costs money to fund a start-up, [inaudible 00:12:28.01] with nothing, we're up to 23 at the moment. What we do with partners like Joveo, with like Idibu, with Recruitics that I mentioned earlier. We're looking at that automation piece. We're joining the ecosystem around recruitment. Craig you raise a job maybe internally, you then go to any one of your ATS solutions and within there, maybe as [inaudible 00:12:49.24] is doing at the moment, within there the button is Optimal. You're then going to optimize your job ad before you publish it out across your one, 200, 2,000 different sites. The automation piece is coming, what we had to do we've done quite successfully is made sure we've tested, we've learned a better rate of our product. We know it works, we know it delivers significant value. We're solving a problem within pretty much every business and staff in the world.

Daniel: Now is the exciting time. We thought Brexit was bad but obviously COVID-19 is coming in as well. We'll survive this touch with, and yeah, we'll be looking to integrate with some pretty awesome companies that share our passion for the solving problems of people for giving you a solution that does that end to end solution. And it's interesting, a lot of these brilliant companies we are working with, not one of them has got the content optimization piece nailed..

Chad: We're talking about a partnership with Joveo. Can you explain how you actually partner with Joveo, because obviously they get the jobs then they're going to have to optimize the jobs and you're going to have to pass it back through. Or is that all integrated into one steady stream so that they're getting a feed of jobs, they're hitting you with the stream. How does that actually work? Because as Craig had talked about, there are several levels of integration. Most of the levels of integration that are out there are total bullshit. The ones that are actually a part of the system where I don't have to jump from this tab to that tab to this tab and it just flows through, that is a stack integration. Are you currently with Joveo really in a stack integration?

Daniel: No, we're not. We don't have a stack integration yet because this takes time. But I suppose if you think of it as a shopping cart, you're adding the different sites that you want your job ads to be published out to. One of those options is to add Optimal in terms of that shopping cart. You press, you go to the buyout, the checkout and you purchase ultimately the job ad credits. The other way is thinking about it with programmatic platforms, which works for our benefit. There's always a lag. There's always a delay from when the jobs are being loaded or the jobs are being pulled into that specific platform, to when they're building out the media campaigns, buying the media as well, to when they actually publish that job advert. That lag works in our advantage. So you can think of it as a triangle, comes into Vonk, into a Joveo, into Recruitics. Then it hits Optimal, then go straight back into the platform, any one of those four platforms. They then publish those job ads now knowing that they're going to get a much higher quality of candidates. They're going to save media and also they can pass those savings back to their clients or their clients can continue to invest.

Chad: And the recruiter has to do nothing through this process?

Daniel: No, absolutely. There's different ways to buy credits as well. My CTO Warren Hobden, he's a great technology guy. We see problems and we see the way that technology can help solve them. So the roadmap, the vision is absolutely where we are and we're pretty much on that roadmap.

Chad: Really quick. You mentioned one of your competitors, and I mean the big competitor that we all know that's out there is Textio. What's the difference between you and Textio at this point? Because obviously everybody

Joel: Jobiak as well. I'd say Jobiak in there.

Chad: Yeah. So what's the difference between you and Jobiak or Textio?

Daniel: It's a great question too. What's the difference between us and Textio? I think quite simply we optimize how candidates search for jobs. Of course we optimize for grammar, spelling and gender bias, but we optimize the job adverts. If you're integrating a Grammarly, a Textio into your business, you still have to have the user, the recruiter or the business owner still creating the writing in the job ad. They're just prompting them to take away that word, add that word as well. The data and insights, and again, I've got great experience working in Indeed. The data and insights we utilize how candidates search for jobs. We take care of that end to end optimization piece. We don't just insert as a piece of software into your browser. We take that full end to end job advert optimization piece away from you.

Joel: I'm always interested in start-ups and how their past experience was a catalyst for their current company. Obviously your experience at Indeed had some impact on starting this company. You saw a need, you wanted to fill it. Talk about that process, how Indeed prepared you for this. What are you taking from Indeed, if anything. Were they missing the boat on some of this stuff?

Daniel: Yeah, I think. I've been lucky to work with some folks at Microsoft, I worked at Vodafone, I worked in the start-up, which when I was at there we were six of us, we then sold to [inaudible 00:17:33.12] in Canada for 420 million. That gave me a real taste for the sort of start of culture. But I realized I've always had pretty shy ideas to be honest. But I think working at Indeed really showed me how 99% of job ads are neglected. They're just the afterthought, they're not prioritized in the business. And having access to a lot of meetings with some great people and presenting the data, presenting the insights, which Indeed is the market leader. And I'm sure you've had that in your own career, you get to a point of frustration where actually you can't influence what you want to influence. So you've got a choice, you either continue what you're doing and get frustrated or you step away and you take on the learnings of the past 10 and 15 years and actually go and try to do something with it.

Joel: Is it fair to say that your job postings are also optimized for Indeed search as well as Google?

Daniel: Yeah. I think Indeed aside, what's the key two aspects, Craig, of a search engine? Its relevancy and its content. This has been 15, 16 years ago, we're putting clients [inaudible 00:18:33.27]. It's not ultimately changed. What candidates want is the job advert, which most reflects their interests, their passion, their pay, their location. We're optimizing

Craig: I can tell you what clients want in this area, Daniel. And that's language capability. So how many languages do you work in?

Daniel: We work in three types of English grade, American English, British English, and Australian English. Actually Kiwi English as well, that's quite specific. Again, of course if we had a bigger team we'd be rolling out to different markets. But we look at the market opportunity in UK. We look at what we've already achieved in US and Australia. But absolutely we've got partners that have got a lot of clients in that region. I've got a lot of good friends and contacts there from my days at Indeed. Absolutely, we'll be opening up to different markets. But the French and German market are very, very specific. They're very different with our candidates search for jobs and also the trend of people changing jobs is very, very low. Again, the business is just really looking at opportunities in these English speaking markets.

Craig: It's a big problem for us at the moment getting that optimization that vendors like yourself do, but being stuck in English when we're a global company. Just interested then, do you not offer the SEO part of your technology in other languages or is it, so not gender biasing them, just getting the SEO out of that? Or is it just a complete, you only work in English?

Daniel: Yeah, it's a full end to end service at the moment. There's new opportunities on the horizon that I can't sort of talk about and confirm yet. But yeah, once Warren and the team have really optimized and stabilized the tool which they have, then clearly we're looking at CV writing. We're not doing that today. But clearly the technology is very much able to enter into that sort of market as well, as well as doing additional languages. But today we've got a single focus and that's optimizing every single job ad for SEO search and gender neutrality that comes into optimal.

Joel: Daniel, I'm going to let you out on this, breakdown your revenue model and your pricing.

Daniel: The revenue model is subscription. Every client starts on a three month subscription, we then convert 98% so far of clients on to 12 month contracts. The more you optimize, the less you spend, relatively straightforward in terms of the model. We knew we can adapt to what clients need, big and small.

Chad: Excellent.

Joel: That's it.

Chad: Thanks Daniel Fellows from Get Optimal everyone. Thanks so much Daniel. We appreciate it and we can see behind you. But if somebody wants to get in touch with you to talk about get optimal, where would they go?

Daniel: Yeah, just above my really long hair,

Joel: And with that Daniel, we out.

Chad: We out.

Daniel: Thank you guys. Take care.

Chester: Thank you for listening to podcast with Chad and Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting, they talk about technology, but most of all they talk about nothing. Anyhoo, be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or wherever you listen to your podcasts. We out

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