Death Match: Adam Chambers w/ Applichat

Welcome to Death Match, North America 2020, which took place at TAtech on May 19. For all of you NOOBS who have never experienced Death Match - Death Match is a competition which pits 4 innovative, early-stage companies against one-another, only one can win and emerge with the coveted Death Match Chain of Champions.

This Chad and Cheese Death Match episode feautures Adam Chambers founder and CEO at Applichat. COVID-19 might've locked us all in our homes but never fear! The home bars are always stocked, pints were flowing and Chad and Cheese questions and slurring snark was flying. Luckily Joveo's CEO, KJ, stepped in to provide a smart and sensible judging voice to this TAtech event...

Enjoy while Adam picthes Applichat, then ducks, bobs, and weaves for the balance of his 15-minutes on the virtual Death Match stage. 


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Ashlie Collins: Hi, this is Ashlie Collins, Managing Director, UK, for Joveo, the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising. I want to talk to you about our efforts in helping get the world back to work. We want to help you find the high-quality candidates you need, both during and after this crisis, to get the workforce back to pre-crisis levels and expedite the economic recovery. This isn't about deploying people. It's about saving lives and families. We're offering our job advertising platform free of charge until the COVID-19 situation is under control. We're also offering additional candidate applications and traffic at zero cost. Join us in getting the world back to work, to learn more visit,

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.

Adam: Yes. Say, hi.

Chad: Arriba!

Joel: In three, two.

Adam: Almost 10 times more professionals go on Facebook and Instagram every single day than all the job boards combined. But Job boards are the least clicked out of any category across all the sites, because that sort of campaigns require time and re-impart of craft, per targeting needs the hordes of unqualified applicants and crucially 98% of Facebook's ad revenue comes from mobile clicks. So making people leave the platform for your non-optimized career site, turns, otherwise interested talent away to the next photo of Chad Sowash and his dressing guide in raising your cost per application. It's lost revenue and lost opportunities on the world's large pill of passive candidates. That's where Applichat comes in. We help solve the wastage and frustration of invoice teams not getting enough qualified applicants by sourcing, automatically prescreening and allocating candidates directly to recruiters, workflow by ATS or calendar. Candidates click our ads, you hire them. It's a three step process. Recruiters cannot create a desire for a job. We can only take the hopes, the dreams and desires, which already exists in candidates minds, that's our approach to writing job ads. We use candidate and competitor research to create the ads, put in the creative and launch them. People who click the ads are introduced to a messenger chatbot, which makes sure that unqualified people cannot apply. And they can also apply through conversation, and if qualified someone can make an application through Messenger, book an interview straight away, or be sent a prefilled application form. This all takes place on the same interface they're used to talking to their friends, girlfriends, husbands, wife, where love, longing desire and joy take place. So our best results have seen a 50% drop in cost per hire and a decrease in interviewing new show by 40% coupled with a 300% rise in application to hire it for name hosting, of 12 locations. So if you can't fill your roles or if you're getting hoards on call, like candidates failed, I'll be on LinkedIn, Adam Chambers, let's have a chat and we'll be able to help you solve your problems. That's Applichat.

Chad: Booyah. Good job. Alright, KJ, come back on board. You've got the first question, buddy.

KJ: So, I don't know if I understood right. Do you guys do Facebook advertising and then lead the person to a Facebook chat environment to get applications filled and put that in the ATS?

Adam: Yes, exactly.

KJ: And what are the conversion rates you have typically seen and which categories do you think it is very effective? Is it something that will work universally or is it only for certain categories?

Adam: So we think, the niches we target are hard to fill roles, but roles which also have a lot of candidates in the market. For example, we're targeting nursing in the USA at the moment. In the past, we've targeted very niche hard to fill roles and to be honest, they haven't worked too successfully, because of the targeting. We look for roles in which there's a shortage of the people who do them. So as I said, "Nurses, truck drivers, that sort of thing, where everyone's advertising on job boards and really our clients need to get away from that and use Facebook."

KJ: Yup. That sort of help.

Chad: So, right out of the gate. I heard job boards suck. So Applichat is solely on Facebook. Is that correct? Are you guys using other platforms right now?

Adam: Yeah, so we use Facebook and Instagram on the Facebook ad network and the Facebook ad network basically lets you advertise on applications, news sites and a lot of websites as well. And about a billion people are exposed to those ads each month. So it's four or five different platforms we advertise on.

Chad: Okay. So there's always been this split between work and home. Do you feel like that has gone away entirely, because what you're talking about is the emotion and the messenger that you always use with your girlfriend, with your wife, with your boyfriend whatever it is. So are you seeing all of that breakdown and you were just using one messenger and that messenger you're hoping is Facebook.

Adam: So I don't think it's broken down the difference between work and home, I've learned that people are willing to learn about jobs through social media. We actually recognize that difference and we recognize people aren't going to be ready to send their CV right away. And that's why we use the chatbot to bring them into the funnel and have an automated conversation with them. So I don't think so. And from what we have seen people are actually willing to do it and they're not being more closed than they would on a application form, they're actually being a bit more open

Joel: Adam much like a glorious castle from your Homeland in Ireland, the best have a solid moat. You can't get through it. Does your technology have a solid moat on it or can any Tom, Dick or Harry set something like this up, it's not unique, there's nothing proprietary about it? Talk about how unique what you do is, and how hard it is to replicate what you do.

Adam: Sure. So that was something that Chad shot me for it in my podcast interview. And I've been thinking about it quite a lot. We've brought in something where we essentially add on an automated follow-up system to the chatbot which we've created. It's true that anyone create a Facebook group, anyone create a chatbot. What we've done is we've brought in our automated follow-up, which follows up over email and texts over a 12-month period. Both of that onto our dedicated ad creating team and our chatbot creating team. We bring the three together and you'll struggle to find an agency or a team who have those three in place. I'm not saying it's impossible to copy us and I invite people to do it, but in that combination is very difficult to emulate that without working on it, as long as we have,

Chad: He listens.

Joel: What?

Adam: So when you speak, I listen.

Chad: Unlike Joel, KJ.

Adam: My mom told me to.

KJ: So, typically, Adam, with experience and data, we have seen that Facebook advertising, generally turns out we have another more expensive ones as compared to the job boards. And even though you provide an end-to-end solution of not just creating a play, but also an apply. My challenge is that talent acquisition professionals will judge you based on your cost per application or other things like that. How do you think you'll climb that mountain? Right? Because you're never going to come at par with the big job boards out there.

Adam: Yeah, exactly. And I did face that problem last week in a sales call, where they said, "Job boards were cheaper." How we're positioning the agency now, is we're going after certain niches of in recruitment, who aren't getting sufficient candidates from job boards and who we can target on Facebook. So that's why I've been talking about nurses, we're running a nursing company. And we got 20 nurses interested in the role and 40 of R's, qualified RNs. And that's pretty much unheard of in terms of job boards at the moment. So in terms of the cost comparison, if you're using a job board and you're getting five candidates, if you use us, if you can get 15 or 20, even though it may be more expensive, the value out of getting more candidates and filling more roles far outweighs the amount that you would spend, because you're not even getting those candidates from the job board.

Chad: So, are you still creating six ads per job in creating those stories?

Adam: Yeah. So though sort of changed that as we create as many as we need to hit a certain application number. So with the nursing company and I refer to, we just have to ads up, we're going to be launching a campaign in a couple of week, where we're going to be 20 or 30 videos, which are a targeting a very broad funnel. And really

Chad: Who creates those videos though? Who creates the content, overall?

Adam: ... Yeah. So in terms of the videos, we're working with another partner who can create them in their platform, and then whenever we're creating texts and images, then we create those.

Chad: Okay. So who sets up the campaigns, you and your team?

Adam: Yeah. So we set everything up. If we need to use another technology, we can employ that technology, but it's all done by us.

Chad: Okay. So how are you making that more scalable for the future so that you can take on more clients?

Adam: In terms of scalability, we are trying to target just one job at a time. So I keep referring back to the nurses. We are trying to take on a hospital, I need to see it in the USA, you need to hire more nurses, with that we can replicate our funnels and our campaigns. And we can get really good at it, I'd like to do that for truck drivers as well. Just do a State at a time. So that's how you scale it and that's how you get assistance to actually call [inaudible 00:11:20] rather than me having to sit in my throne and to give orders.

Joel: Every one lion has a throne, right? All right. So, the move to healthcare, was that a coronavirus inspired pivot or was that always the objective, or is that just where you're finding the most acceptance?

Adam: That was before coronavirus, but we're finding a lot of more success during the virus. I just sort of looked at the market and I wanted to see, where is economy driven market where people are struggling to hire? Where we target people on Facebook and where can I actually enjoy targeting? What's going to make me happy and make my employees happy and we chose healthcare.

Joel: Let's talk about employees for a second. Both, Chad and I have noticed because you apparently told them to go follow everyone that is a thought leader in recruitment. So we both noticed that you've been hiring folks. What is their role? What's your growth strategy going forward? Are you looking to raise money? Talk about that.

Adam: I've... Working with three people at the moment to, or for prospecting. The way I see it as I need to fill my funnel with 10, 20, 30 leads a week so can we grow and that's the focus. We can have a scalable offer such as this nursing funnel, where we can offer to the hospitals in each State. I've also got a white label, they will run the ads for us as well. Who's going to be employed under me in the future. So in terms of the growth strategy, I got nothing to seek from them, what I want to do is scale an offer to the same type of employer in say 30, 40, 50 different States. And then we'll grow organically through that. And in fact, I've actually wanted to take myself out of the business, so I spend 10 hours a week in it.

Chad: So you enjoy your throne, right? KJ.

Adam: Yeah.

Joel: So, you're not looking to raise money then if you're looking to have more me time?

Adam: No, I'm not looking to raise money, but if you've got some spare change Joel, it's always appreciated.

Joel: Chad makes all the money, dude, talk to him.

KJ: All right. A question that's pretty relevant in pretty much any HR tech provider is ATS integration. Now there are two types of categories of companies, right? I would say that one which have moved to a cost per lead basis where you have a landing page and others where you need to go into a complete application form on the atheist, to be actually be considered for the job in the first place. It could as well unless it's an ATS completely. Now that's where the problem is. What do you do about those categories? Right? So the cost per lead is still about five, 10% of market predominated by truck drivers and nurses. Go into that process and do it all over there. How are we going to address that? Right? You can't fill out an application and have a recruiter look at it unless it is a complete in ATS.

Adam: Yeah. So there's two ways that we can approach the ATS integration. Number one is to do an integration through the API. We've done that in the past and adults take a while to do it. The second part is we can create a form within some ATSs, which we can then pre-fill with information that people put into the messenger. So whenever they click apply, they go onto the forum, it's pretty filled with the messenger information and then they click it and it goes into the ATS. They're the two methods I think the latter is what's worked, but it's certainly a problem which I want to improve our response to going forward. It's, as you mentioned, is a big problem in the industry and that's what we're going to be focusing on as we grow as well. I'd like to hire someone who can actually do more of those API integrations.

KJ: That's right. And I'm just saying Adam, sometimes it's wise to know which battles to pick. And maybe all you need to do is integrate that data into the CRMs and not the ATS. Well that's going to be a long haul. I'm sorry.

Adam: Okay. Thanks.

Chad: So on the website in talking through this, Applichat is a recruitment advertising business. So it seems like you're taking a dump on the ad agencies front porch. Don't you believe that they could actually be your best advocates, not to mention the best opportunity for acquisition?

Adam: What are the agencies, are you talking about?

Chad: Recruitment ad agencies?

Adam: Could you give me an example of one?

Chad: Yeah. TMP Worldwide, Symphony Talent, Shaker Recruitment Marketing, all the ones that do this for a living in our space and not to mention, I'll just throw this out there real quick. TMP made, I think it was four acquisitions last year alone,

Adam: To be honest, acquisition wasn't something I thought of, whenever I conceptualize the business and we just wanted to provide value to them and whatnot.

Chad: What about revenue streams though? These guys could actually be channel partners to be able to drive revenue into your organization. That's one of the things, if you piss off big recruitment ad agencies, you might not get those hospitals because they actually... Again, Shaker, they focus on nursing in some areas. So you might not get into those companies or those organizations because you look like a competitor. Don't you risk that?

Adam: I don't think it's a risk. I think we're just doing our thing. I don't know how I would come up with a strategy where we can be not subservient.

KJ: And going to market strategy with the agencies might be a good idea.

Chad: Yes. I agree. And my second question is, you talk about the ghosting, I got to get this in. You talk about anti-ghosting. What is the anti-ghosting magic? Do you guys message afterwards? What is it?

Adam: Yeah. So as I mentioned, we can do Facebook Messenger follow-ups, email followups, texts, follow-ups, and we can extend that over a period of 12 months if needs be.

Chad: And that's it. Look for more episodes of Death Match, this Chad and Cheese Podcast series devoted to lifting up startups in the recruitment technology space, subscribe on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, or wherever you get your podcasts, so you don't miss a single show. For more visit,

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