Clicks Versus Hires

The Chad & Cheese #GotQuestions and we're hoping Kshitij Jain (aka KJ) Founder and CEO of programmatic jobs platform Joveo has answers... Or maybe just spicy opinion :) 

  • Why does Mobile Apply still suck? 

  • Is Indeed really that far ahead? 

  • Who is afraid of Google for Jobs?

  • and why are we even talking "Clicks vs. Hires"? 

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

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Morgan:

Voices. We hear them every day. Some voices like mine are smooth and confident. While on the other hand, The Chad and Cheese Podcast is like listening to a Nickelback Album, you'd rather stab yourself in the ears with an ice pick. Anyway, you're now listening to Voices, a podcast series from Chad and Cheese that features the most important and influential voices within the recruitment industry. Try not to fuck it up boys.

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:

Welcome back, we're continuing the conversation with a veteran of the recruitment tech industry, Kshitij Jain. (aka KJ), Founder and CEO of Programmatic Platform Joveo. Enjoy. Let's transition real quick to MoBolt. I mean where did MoBolt come from in the first place number one and how did you start to gain steam and traction?

KJ:

There's always a story there, there had been a story. So when I was on my international jonts and messing around with the heads of talent acquisition. And my job would always be to talk beyond the business, what's going on? What are you guys doing? And I have so many interesting instances but one thing I saw that mobile adoption worldwide was so much faster than it is in the U.S. Because there was a generation leap happening, people who never owned a phone was jumping to a smartphone. They never had a phone, they never had a landline that you've never seen the world, people never had a desktop and we're getting a tablet right away. So they didn't really lose out in the technology innovation they just leave that one. And when I was looking at numbers of mobile when people are doing e-commerce on job boards, the numbers were literally doubling every quarter.

KJ:

I'm not saying like 10%, 20% improvement, doubling every quarter, 1%, 2%, 4%, 8%. And I think for that reason U.S. in this case was a lot more behind and knowing this massive tsunami is coming. So you can see it as a tsunami if it's going to devalue, if you're going to see it as a married, nice ride of wave that you want to ride. I saw that as a vape and I felt there was an opportunity and I saw that in our business. The people who has an intent to apply about a 100 of those people who have intend to apply only maybe five or finishing the apply. I said, "Why is that the case?" And it is the message of application form. I remember one hospital that was hiring a lot of nurses had 450 plus questions.

Chad:

My God.

KJ:

Nurses only do mobile. Would you ever answer, unless of course somebody puts a gun on your head, would you ever answer 450 questions? So the idea is let's create, apply process that's-

Joel:

These are the days of when 3G was fast.

KJ:

Super fast. My God, that is so slow. And so we asked ourselves, "Can this be fast enough like a bolt of lightning?" As fast as that, can we really make it in one minute, two minutes or three minutes or whatever that looked like. Can we reduce it? So we thought mobile was Mo and Bolt was that's fast and we created, and behold we had interesting thing, right? That Olympics happened that time, Mo Farah won the Olympics Marathon Gold and Hussein Bolt of course, everybody knows. And there was a whole acronym that went as MoBolt, At that point of time everybody was hitting our website. So we just got so lucky that everybody was looking at us without spending a dollar in marketing.

Chad:

That's awesome.

Joel:

So I'm curious, I would argue that we still haven't really figured out the mobile apply process, would you agree, disagree with that and why?

KJ:

I would agree to that wholeheartedly because there's always versions of the product, the version one is just to replicate supply and make it simpler on a mobile device. But number two is now with all that knowledge insight, how can you on a real time optimize apply process? And all that you do by.... Have not changed, you still have to complete an apply for a recruiter to actually process an application. And all those quick applies don't really ever put completed applications, it's a partial application. So now the owners is back on recruiter as if the poor recruiter is not already burdened to death, now you put more on him and say, "Now I give you only incomplete applications, pick up the phone, talk to the guy, the candidate. And if the person interested go fill out the application." Still there's a lot of dissonance I totally agree with you, Joel. I think the problem is yet to be solved in a seamless, elegant, graceful fashion and I don't think one such exists out there. And so the keyword is elegant.

Joel:

Are chatbots close? Some people think that chatbots might be the answer, what are your thoughts?

KJ:

They could be. So there are two parts to this equation, right? One is experience and second is tech, right? If you have to integrate with every single ATSC using their APIs, it's not scalable. You can do to one company, two companies, 10 companies, right? So there has to be a universal standard in the industry and why should there not be, right? But everybody can feed off that. But chatbot is from an experience standpoint is awesome, right? You can deal with a person like you and I are talking right now instead of a one way conversation to a blank form, which is awesome. But I think even the chatbot is not able to get the whole application process, then what good is that, right? Because it's not going to serve any purpose.

KJ:

And that also therefore begs another question, if you can't solve this problem, you don't know the deep down data of the applicant to actually know if the applicant is the right match or not. On what basis of just a simple click can you say that this person is going to be the highest likelihood of being hired? So the problem has to be solved if you have to really connect the dots between click and hire.

Chad:

Got you. So you were the very first acquisition of what we now call the evil empire, how'd that feel?

KJ:

Well, I think it was a great outcome for a short journey that we were in. And I loved working with the product and tech team at Indeed, they were really the best I've ever seen working anywhere in the world and I've interacted with a lot of tech companies, by the way. The vision on the product and the tech side, everything was as at indeed perfect at that part of time. So I think Indeed DNS product and tech powerhouse and they continue to build upon their strengths. So I would say that experience taught me a lot of stuff in terms of how to continue to stay focused on tech, which is where the core of MoBolt was.

KJ:

And there's a lot of adaptation that you got to do as you grow a company, like a wise man ones said, "It's one thing to manage a company of 10 people versus managing a company of 50 people. And then when you get past a 100 it's a different ball game and you sometimes have to reinvent yourselves." And I went through the same process and I think that's what I learned at Indeed. So I feel about that acquisition of Indeed as something that would have this technology could be used at a scale that we could have as a company.

Chad:

Got you. So as we talked about Monster and how they really took turn from a tech company into a brick and mortar company. It's almost like the same feeling that we're seeing from Indeed, where they're more sales driven, and we're not really seeing the technical innovation from them that we are from other areas across the world, across the globe. Are you seeing the same type of thing or are you seeing different types of innovations that maybe we're just not seeing on our side?

KJ:

There's two types of innovations, one that shows and one that gets built up. And the massive team that exists out there, even at LinkedIn for that matter, you can argue, what are these engineers doing? What does that army of product managers doing? They're building a lot of innovation within their product and of course they are doing new products too. And Indeed has perhaps launched about 15, I'm not wrong in the last 12 months alone about four to five that I have known off. So and I think Indeed is right now taking the right step of saying, "Hey, we've got to be everyone. We got to really be the end to end solution provider." At the end of the day if you look at this industry at a very philosophical level and you start looking at outside.

KJ:

Google was the first company in the world they own the ad business, they own the supply, they own the source, they are the Uber source. But what they did not do is delivery part of it. If You want to look at a product, find a product, research that product, everything is on Google. But when you're to buy it, Amazon came way after Google did and see what they did. They did the fulfillment and see how valuable Amazon is. So there has to be an opportunity and someone has to think like that in an industry that, can I be the Amazon of this industry? The true future is if you can predict what hires will happen and give that company or an employer the confidence that I will deliver that many hire not as predictability but may be able to bet on that and say, "All right, I'll do business on that basis."

Joel:

So Chad and I talked quite a bit about Google For Jobs and we think that a lot of the reactionary solutions are closing down of things that Indeed is a direct correlation to Google For Jobs def basically becoming what Indeed is on Google. In addition to taking away Indeed secret sauce of getting organic traffic from Google. Is that your take as well and what sort of your overall sense of what Google is going to mean to the employment space going forward?

KJ:

I think Google For Jobs is trying to democratize the visibility of jobs to everyone out there and they of course have owned algorithm to rank and everything. So in that case, yes, the visibility goes down from Indeed but I think if I was Indeed I would just step back and say, "I'm already a big brand, I get my own people coming to me as a destination site." Destination sites has a huge amount of entry barriers. That's destination script real mote. Like Joel you talked about in the death match about the mote and that is a mote. So it would perhaps impact but at this stage it would not deter if I was Indeed, it is not going to keep me up at night is what I would say. And Google For Jobs is great because now enterprises can claim their rightful visibility. If they are removed for jobs optimized, then they will get that traffic and everybody else will get less of that, because that's how Google has built that regarded the actually.

Chad:

I was in the room when I was actually working for a Ron sod source, right. Had a big group in, had a contingent of Indeed executives in the room actually pitching us because obviously we were a huge account for them. One of the things that they had said was, "We're going to be more search optimized than you are, you can't beat us number one. Number two, we're going to buy more ads and more keywords than you will and we'll outbid you, so don't even try." So that being said, you're saying that they don't care about some of these things and they don't lose sleep, I can't see how that's true. I mean, from their standpoint they were riding high because they owned organic and they had so much money coming in they were outbidding everybody. It didn't matter how big your brand was, Pepsi we're going to outbid you for you, right. So from my standpoint I understand where you're coming from but if I was Indeed personally that would... I mean, that's a huge part of my stream that leads to revenue.

KJ:

No, you're totally right, they can outbid, right. Of course you're talking about what LinkedIn and Indeed and anybody who gets to that size, right. Tons of billions of dollars of annual revenues can perhaps outbid anybody with the recruiting departments of even the best companies in the world is maybe double digit millions. Where it becomes really interesting is if your career site is indexable by Google, then you will get the lion's share of the organic clicks. After that, it's a fair play for everybody, like whoso outbids each of the right, that's the whole marketplace that Google has from ad words standpoint and even Facebook for that matter. So, which is where things are a lot more democratized as I say, and I said, right up having become a very solid destination, I think they're getting a lot of that organic directly. People don't have to go find indeed through Google.

KJ:

They already know that if I need to look at a Pepsi job, I've got to go to Indeed and look for a job at Pepsi. And when I asked my nephews and nieces, even in India, right. I know my friends were in different countries they say, "Hey, my kids don't go to the company's website to find a job, they actually go to Indeed." That's the power of the brand, right? At the end of the day if you'll ask me and I'll ask you a question, why does a job seeker click on 100 clicks or 200 clicks for that matter to get one job? When I go to a job board, why does no job board in the world tell me, "This job you have 80% chance of getting hired." Or, "50% chance, apply for the job." Why does everybody want me to click on 100 jobs, right?

Chad:

That's how they're getting paid on the click side now. It's all how much action can you get on the clicks as opposed to targeting. And I think overall we're moving toward targeting, we're not doing it fast enough. And obviously tonic position is not synonymous with adoption. From my standpoint we're looking for companies like the Joveos of the world and programmatic to be able to help the targeting so that we're not clicking a 100 times as a candidate to find what we're looking for. We're being delivered the right type of job.

KJ:

Precisely. And we have this whole deep rooted belief and vision that it's three, two and one. Three clicks should result into two relevant applies, should result into one higher, let's get that predictability in place.

Joel:

I like that.

KJ:

I'll go further on where I think the industry is got a dissonance. I feel that there's a noise, back in the day old days, right? When you were heading sales for most of our region. You remember when our customers will buy [tuition 00:14:30] as postings and we would not promise anything. But when you went for renewing the contract they'll say, "God, I spent a $100,000 on you guys but I only hired 10." At the end of the day no matter how you sell, you're judged on hires and that's something that has not changed.

KJ:

So you may think that you're orchestrating a cheaper CPC but if your CPH not there... Actually believe it or not, I actually went through a client's dashboard, they spent $27,000 on one publisher, got one higher. But if they had done the CPC evaluation, they would have seen that this was maybe one of the best publishers out there, unless they had this visibility over cost per hire. And that's where I'm coming from is to your point, right? Which is the one job board, which has remained among the top three in the world and the U.S. since 1997, it's only one Craigslist, right?

Joel:

I knew it.

Chad:

Million dollar company with 50 employees, they're the smartest of all of us.

Joel:

Talking about Craigslist. They basically just launched a native app for Android and the iPhone. And I'm curious from your perspective both today and your time at MoBolt. Steve Jobs famously once said something along the lines of, "Google is screwed because when people want to know restaurant information, they'll click on their Yelp app and find out information there, they won't go to Google as much." I'm assuming you disagree with that or maybe you do agree with it and if so, why did it take so long for Craigslist to have an app on native applications. What do you see on Joveo in terms of where applications are coming from on native versus web apps on mobile?

KJ:

I will be very honest, I think that's a step in the right direction. And maybe I have a bias for Steve Jobs but I think he was right. In your life if you are doing something repetitively 10 times, 20 times you would rather have an app for that. But if you want to do something only once, but two times, would he actually download an app? You would not, unless you're forced to of course, right? So now why do you go to Craigslist? Is it something that you always on Craigslist looking for something to buy or something to sell or looking for a job? If you're doing that, you would want to have an app, so I personally again, I don't have data to back, but given the number of people who get employed through Craigslist, I assume that they're going on Craigslist a lot more than just one time.

KJ:

And if that is a case, having an app makes the experience a lot more seamless. Again, coming back to the early days I saw some data, Craigslist's on tracking side cost per click was sometimes as bad as $5 a click, whereas everybody else was about a dollar or less. But the cost per hire was at par with the best, they were the best source to hire. And I kept on asking myself, "Why do these stocking companies are spending on tech, what is wrong with them?" A $75 job posting in California in San Francisco. How many truck guys are you going to get? You may be getting one application maybe, you may not even see an application and still the money gets spent, is because when you get that application, the user is not seeing hundreds of jobs.

KJ:

You're not being pushed hundreds of jobs. You just stumble upon a job and you find a job and you apply to that. And coming back to the same argument that Craigslist native app is going to make that experience a lot more seamless. And if they can add on functionality of notifications and say, "Guys there's a great job matching for you." If they can do that, they can just explore, right? $800 million in our business nowadays is nothing. They get about six to $800 million if I'm not wrong through the job ads or maybe I'm wrong. But I think that was the number I remember last, I think that can become double quickly.

Chad:

Look for more episodes of voices, this Chad and Cheese Podcast series devoted the stories and opinions of industry leaders. Subscribe on iTunes, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss a single show. For more visit chadcheese.com.

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