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Let's be honest. Your career site probably sucks. But there's little data out there to show you exactly HOW MUCH it sucks. That's why we wanted to have a chat with Bas van de Haterd, an independent consultant and entrepreneur based in The Netherlands, while we hangout at UNLEASH in Paris recently. For the last 10 years Bas has run a major piece of research that audits the career sites of the largest 500 Dutch employers and he has a huge amount of data to share, including how to audit a career site, what social media sites perform best and how to best build an employer brand. If you have a career website - and you know you do - then this interview is a must-listen.
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Chad and Cheese Podcast - Intro (0s):
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/opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.
Joel Cheesman (22s):
Oh, yeah. What's up, everybody? We are at Unleashed World Day 2 called the Hangover Editions of the Chad and Cheese Podcast. I'm your co-host, Joel Cheesman, joined as always, Chad Sowash. And we are here with Bas van de Haterd.
Chad Sowash (38s):
Yeah. We got PilotFish here too. We got Max Armbruster. We got Alex Murphy.
Joel Cheeseman (42s):
We got an audience. Live audience. Two people. Yeah. Live audience. Walking by where like, "Where's the coffee?" Bas, how are you finding the show so far? Welcome. Welcome to the Chad and Cheese Podcast.
Bas van de Haterd (55s):
Thank you for having me back again and this time in Live.
Joel Cheeseman (59s):
Guess who's back, back again. Bas is back. Tell a friend. So you're finding the conference amenable to you on day two?
Bas van de Haterd (1m 8s):
Yes, it is what Unleash always is. Just amazing. Meeting up people who are doing great stuff in the industry. Seeing some new startups, which I hadn't heard of, which are popping up in different places of Europe.
Chad Sowash (1m 21s):
Fucking everywhere, dude. They're everywhere, right?
Bas van de Haterd (1m 24s):
Yeah. What I love is--
Joel Cheeseman (1m 25s):
Give us one or two that we should keep our eyes on.
Chad Sowash (1m 28s):
Now you're putting him on the spot. It's too early for that.
Bas van de Haterd (1m 31s):
Yeah. I had one cup of coffee in your asking me to recollect what I--
Chad Sowash (1m 36s):
That's what it happens.
Joel Cheeseman (1m 36s):
We'll edit that question out.
Chad Sowash (1m 38s):
Guess what, no, we won't.
Joel Cheeseman (1m 39s):
No, we won't, okay. All right. You are here. We wanted to bring you by. You've done some really interesting research lately on career sites and why don't you tell us about that, some of the major findings and we'll get into it.
Bas van de Haterd (1m 51s):
Well, I've been doing this research for 16 years in a row now.
Chad Sowash (1m 56s):
Bas van de Haterd (1m 57s):
Chad Sowash (1m 58s):
Bas van de Haterd (1m 58s):
I am getting old, yeah. A couple of years and I've got your hairdo, mates.
Joel Cheesman (2m 2s):
Chad Sowash (2m 2s):
You got a good head for a bald head. You'll be fine.
Bas van de Haterd (2m 5s):
No, and I've been doing this for 16 years and I actually started out as a joke once and we just wanted to do the actual research on the candidate experience, the actual digital candidate experience. What are career sites delivering? We actually applied at every damn organization and we see. Are we being ghosted? How fast do they respond? What's the quality of response? How long does it take to respond?
Joel Cheesman (2m 27s):
How many companies did you apply to?
Bas van de Haterd (2m 31s):
Just over 500.
Joel Cheesman (2m 32s):
Wow, that's extensive.
Chad Sowash (2m 33s):
Bas van de Haterd (2m 33s):
Yeah. I got seven students working for me during the summer.
Chad Sowash (2m 36s):
And this is just in the Netherlands, right?
Bas van de Haterd (2m 40s):
Just in the Netherlands. The 500 biggest employers of the Netherlands. All the major government agencies, all the major companies, everyone.
Joel Cheesman (2m 48s):
Still relevant to most companies in anywhere in the world.
Chad Sowash (2m 50s):
Yeah. But I mean, they've got-- I think when we dipped into the research, we'll see that, you know, things are different in the Netherlands.
Joel Cheesman (2m 57s):
Some uniqueness. Okay.
Chad Sowash (2m 57s):
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Bas van de Haterd (2m 58s):
One of the things we've actually seen happening because of this research and because of the publications of the research and all the employer branding agencies read my research and as they say, we love and fear you, and you've actually seen the improvement go up literally the first time. The best site was like a B-minus or C-plus.
Joel Cheesman (3m 18s):
So do you grade or let each company know how they scored?
Bas van de Haterd (3m 22s):
Joel Cheesman (3m 22s):
You just give them an aggregate number?
Bas van de Haterd (3m 24s):
We give aggregate numbers on what's the market doing and we nominate five because the thing is, if I would put out like a list of the top 50 person who would be 50 would be very disappointed because they're down at the bottom of the list and they're still in the top 10 percent.
Chad Sowash (3m 38s):
I know, but still they wanna be better though, right? I mean it's the only way that you get better is with a cohort of winners.
Bas van de Haterd (3m 44s):
Yeah. And that's actually what is happening now because we have a winner. This year, VodafoneZiggo won the award. Last year, CoolBlue, which is basically the Dutch Amazon, won the award. The Dutch railways won it twice. But what I've now actually hearing from the agencies is that RFP say we wanna be nominated for this award.
Joel Cheesman (4m 2s):
Couldn't you just do it as like top 10 percent as opposed to one through 50? So I have a little badge that says I'm in the top 10 percent of career centers.
Chad Sowash (4m 10s):
Six and one-half doesn't know the other.
Bas van de Haterd (4m 11s):
Yeah. No, we--
Joel Cheesman (4m 12s):
Just saying, if people are mad at 50, like just tell everyone they're in the top 10 percent.
Chad Sowash (4m 17s):
We need to get them mad though. That's the thing.
Bas van de Haterd (4m 20s):
We are giving them the absolute best. So the 5, 6, 7 bests are getting nominated. That's a badge of honor. Everybody loves being nominated for the awards these days. And then I always get contacted like, all right, what do we need to improve to be actually a contender next year? Stuff like that.
Chad Sowash (4m 40s):
Bas van de Haterd (4m 40s):
So we've been researching and literally, the research is more than a hundred data points on the candidate experience.
Chad Sowash (4m 44s):
Let's talk about those data points. Not a hundred of them, but let's talk about some of the big data points, especially when it comes around, for me, time to actually apply because in the US you saw the App CAS research, 92 percent of individuals do not finish. They don't complete the application process. I think that's gonna be different in the Netherlands. Am I wrong?
Bas van de Haterd (5m 4s):
Yeah, probably. I gotta tell you, I'm not sure about the App CAS Research because I think the way they measured it was a bit different. But I wanna start with you by actually getting people to apply in the first place. So we know, for example, I know from the data from my consulting clients that on average the experienced hire comes back to your side about 2.7 times depending on how experienced you are. Yet when you come back to Amazon, they will tell you, you didn't finish buying this product last time. 2.7 percent of the corporate career sites have a previous jobs. So if you're looking at what can we learn from e-commerce, there's a lot to gain. Another thing, if you're looking at e-commerce, right?
Bas van de Haterd (5m 46s):
Let's look at the data on how are jobs formatted. When have you bought a product from Amazon based on the guide how to use it? Just text. I mean there's pictures in there. Well, 17 percent has only text but is acceptable and 41 percent of all job vacancies, all job descriptions on the side are only text and read like a booklet.
Chad Sowash (6m 9s):
So how many times have you bought something on Amazon you didn't know the price for? What about salary, Right? That's what we do every day to these people. We're like, hey, apply.
Bas van de Haterd (6m 21s):
48 percent mention the salary in job description, which is great.
Joel Cheesman (6m 23s):
Is it Dutch law that they have to have the salary? This is all voluntary.
Bas van de Haterd (6m 28s):
It's all voluntary.
Chad Sowash (6m 28s):
Sounds high. I mean, which is--
Joel Cheesman (6m 31s):
It sounds good, yeah.
Bas van de Haterd (6m 32s):
Yeah. And actually every time I ask people how many do you think it is? Everybody's surprised. This was in 2019 when I did the last research pre-pandemic, it was 40 percent.
Joel Cheesman (6m 42s):
Bas van de Haterd (6m 43s):
It's always been a lot higher than you expected in the Netherlands. On the other hand, only 90 percent mentioned the location where it's based, which is kind of an important thing.
Chad Sowash (6m 51s):
Not even remote, right? And that's a location, right?
Bas van de Haterd (6m 54s):
Remote is a location. Just mention where the hell I'm working. That's okay. Only 77 percent mentioned the hours they expect me to work.
Chad Sowash (7m 3s):
Bas van de Haterd (7m 3s):
And only 40 percent mention the number of days we get off. Now that's pretty standardized.
Chad Sowash (7m 8s):
Does it say full-time, part-time?
Bas van de Haterd (7m 10s):
Full-time is accepted as being hours. Part-time, I wanna know how many hours part-time. I mean, is that two days, three days, four days? Or is it negotiable? That's fine. I mean if you tell me it's part-time negotiable, but don't tell me nothing.
Chad Sowash (7m 25s):
Joel Cheesman (7m 25s):
Chad Sowash (7m 25s):
Only 30.9 percent mentioned something like a company car, which is very normal for many jobs in Netherlands, or you get a reimbursement for your travel expenses. So there's still a lot to win there. Another one I think you guys would love, only 4.8 percent of Dutch corporate career size has a registered to apply button. What--? How--? What percentage?
Bas van de Haterd (7m 47s):
Chad Sowash (7m 47s):
Not even 5 percent. And I guaran-fucking-tee you, you do this in the US, it's like 90 percent you have to register to apply.
Bas van de Haterd (7m 56s):
Yeah. We actually, we were at 10 percent and it dropped during the pandemic to 5 percent. One of the things I actually hear from a lot of companies is like, yeah, we can never win your award with the register to apply. So we got rid of it. That's actually what I hear from the market. That's the primary reason. Many companies actually start investing in a good candidate experience because they wanna be proud.
Joel Cheesman (8m 16s):
So just to be clear on this, you're saying they don't have to go through the hoops of registering in order to apply to a job?
Bas van de Haterd (8m 23s):
They say, "My name is Joel Cheesman. Here's my resume." Hit send.
Joel Cheesman (8m 26s):
Okay. It's like buying as a guest. You don't have to register to buy my product.
Bas van de Haterd (8m 30s):
Yes, exactly. And sometimes on the backend, they will say here's your password, but that's not a terrible experience. All right. Another one. Cover letters. How many do you still think have a mandatory? I mean, it's the most useless thing we've ever invented, right?
Joel Cheesman (8m 46s):
15 percent I would guess.
Chad Sowash (8m 47s):
15 percent? I would say again 5 percent. It sounds like--
Joel Cheesman (8m 53s):
Oh, low, huh?
Bas van de Haterd (8m 53s):
Forty-five percent still have a mandatory cover letter.
Chad Sowash (8m 54s):
Bas van de Haterd (8m 54s):
Chad Sowash (8m 55s):
Bas van de Haterd (8m 55s):
Chad Sowash (8m 56s):
I was all excited. I thought that the Netherlands had this shit figured out.
Bas van de Haterd (8m 60s):
No, 45 percent.
Chad Sowash (9m 0s):
Out of all of these numbers, because you-- This is really in-depth research. What was the one that surprised you the most?
Bas van de Haterd (9m 9s):
We are ghosted almost 26 percent of the time which is the second-highest number I've seen in those 16 years.
Joel Cheesman (9m 17s):
So define ghosting in your research.
Bas van de Haterd (9m 19s):
We applied and we never heard anything again. Or we applied, we got a mandatory, a standardized, "We received your application, but we had never rejected it."
Chad Sowash (9m 29s):
The black hole, yes.
Bas van de Haterd (9m 31s):
We just apply with an alias on, you know, a student applying at a CFO job, basically.
Chad Sowash (9m 35s):
Bas van de Haterd (9m 36s):
It's because we wanna get--
Joel Cheesman (9m 38s):
No chance of being hired>
Bas van de Haterd (9m 39s):
No chance in hell. Interestingly enough, we have been invited to an interview a few times with the most prep resume with spelling errors, etc.
Joel Cheesman (9m 47s):
What would you attribute that to?
Bas van de Haterd (9m 49s):
Sometimes it's people figuring out that it's actually one of my researchers. I've heard that. And they think they score bonus points on that. But that might be one or two. And the others is just-- What I've actually heard from people because I've debated this with a few, they said, "Listen, the person was absolute crap for the job they applied to, but, hey, it seems like a really good graduate. So we just wanted to talk to this person about the graduate program we had." And instead of being the nice person and saying, listen, it's not gonna be that job, would you be interested?
Chad Sowash (10m 17s):
In something else, yeah.
Bas van de Haterd (10m 18s):
They just invite them and tell them at the interview, "By the way, this interview is not about the job you applied for."
Joel Cheesman (10m 23s):
Real question real quick. You had some social media numbers. I know our audience loves TikTok data. What did you find about social media?
Bas van de Haterd (10m 34s):
Yeah, social media. So the companies, 91 percent are active on Facebook, 79 percent on Instagram, and 15.5 percent on TikTok. But if you're talking TikTok, only 18 percent has any job content on there. The rest was average of which, by the way, most of that was the normal account also sharing job content. Instagram, over 50 percent of the companies only shared corporate content. But the rest also did--
Chad Sowash (10m 60s):
Are you looking to take this worldwide? That's my question because the Netherlands-- This is good for the Netherlands, but everybody needs to have more transparency on how this is going.
Bas van de Haterd (11m 9s):
It's just been licensed in Australia, so Australia's gonna be end of the year.
Chad Sowash (11m 13s):
I need a big market, Bas. I need the United States to do this shit.
Bas van de Haterd (11m 17s):
Get somebody to license my shit and I am there.
Joel Cheesman (11m 20s):
And if a listener wants to do that, contact you more. Where would you send?
Bas van de Haterd (11m 24s):
I would send them to my LinkedIn page. And you can also hear a lot from my visions on the Talent Savvy podcast.
Chad Sowash (11m 29s):
There it is. Go to the podcast.
Joel Cheesman (11m 33s):
Bas van de Haterd. I said that right hopefully.
Chad Sowash (11m 38s):
Joel Cheesman (11m 38s):
Chad and Cheese Podcast - Outro (11m 38s):
Thank you for listening to, what's it called Podcast, the Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology but most of all they talk about nothing. Just a lot of shoutouts of people you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue nacho, Pepper Jjack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Anyhow, be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts that way you won't miss an episode.
Chad and Cheese Podcast - Outro (12m 24s):
And while you're at it, visit www.chadcheese.com. Just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. It's so weird. We out.