Prince of Programmatic

He's the Prince of Programmatic. Well,.. A Prince... Rob Prince.

On this episode, we dive into programmatic and all things UK with our good buddy Rob Prince, VP of sales at TalentNexus. Coming out of COVID, employers are hungrier than ever to leverage the latest in job distribution tech to fill these hard-to-fill positions and a ton of other topics and opinions around IndeedIQ, Broadbean, Sir Richard Collins, Pando IQ, chatbots, Madeline Laurano's programmatic research, Stepstone buying Appcast, a little VONQ, and where does LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter and Google for Jobs stand in the UK?

While the US is usually 5 years ahead of the Europeans, Rob is always good at making us feel behind the times. He'll probably do the same for you, if you'd only listen to this NEXXT exclusive.


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INTRO (1s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman 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. .

Joel (21s):

Oh yeah. Cheerio and pip pip. What's up everybody. This is Joel Cheeseman of the Chad and Cheese podcast as always. I'm joined by my favorite person in the world Chad Sowash and today we are super excited to welcome Rob Prince back to the show. Rob is VP of Sales now at Talent Nexus. Rob dropped some English sexy on our ass.

Rob (48s):

Always a pleasure chaps, thanks for having me.

Joel (53s):

Oh, the pleasure is all ours.

Chad (55s):

A little bit more background for, for our listeners who don't know Rob, and if you don't know, Rob, you should know, Rob. Rob gives a little more background on you. Just the sexy parts. Go ahead. Walks in the beach.

Joel (1m 7s):

Sexy people

Rob (1m 10s):

So the sexist part is the recruitment advertising part.

Chad (1m 14s):

So where's the buzzer?

Rob (1m 20s):

Yeah. Yeah. So I'm VP sales at Talent Nexus. So we're a programmatic recruitment advertising agency. So we, when did we last see each other? Like two, is approaching two years ago now, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. So we've done the whole of COVID since you were over here, when you checked out the European recruitment marketing scene. So yeah, catch me up since then, I guess. I mean, what's happened everything that related to COVID has happened. So that's, that's all done a full circle and we're now in a completely different kind of market. And programmatic is finally getting somewhere in the UK, which is lovely.

Chad (1m 59s):

Well talk about that. The, the adoption in the UK, I mean, here in the U S adoption is slow, no matter what HR talent acquisition, it doesn't matter. But what we have seen is all of these companies now who desperately need talent in their front doors or working remote or whatever the hell, they can't find them. So instead of just going to Indeed like idiots and spending a shit ton of cash, they're not finding enough there. So, they're remembering that somebody knocked on their door to talk about programmatic and they're starting to do it. So we're seeing, I mean, some, some big spikes in adoption for programmatic on this side of the pond.

Chad (2m 40s):

What are you seeing in England, UK, Europe overall?

Rob (2m 43s):

Yeah, definitely a big uptick. So we, I mean, for context, we've had the busiest month in May that we've kind of ever had, that's partly because programmatic is getting adopted more and it is partly because just suddenly pretty much every industry is open for business now here. So a lot of companies are hiring again, where they weren't before. So a combination of those two things means that, there's just a lot of money flying around in advertising at the moment.

Chad (3m 10s):

That you can't spend?

Rob (3m 11s):

Which you can't spend. I mean, because competition is way up candidate availability is way down. Yeah. I mean, to get, to give you an idea, I spoke to a care organization the other morning, and in the afternoon I spoke to a hospitality organization and both of them were convinced that the other sector was stealing all their candidates. And So I think what's happening is there's just less candidates available at the moment. It's yeah, it's mad. I mean, there's suddenly a real lack of candidates, which I think, I mean, I think recruitment and HR people might get that, but a lot of senior management, the impression I'm getting is genuinely baffled that there aren't candidates queuing out the door for jobs.

Chad (3m 47s):

Yeah. There's always gotta be a bad guy though. Right? It's like the guy across the street, the government, somebody screwing me. Right? But it has nothing to do with the perspective wages or this shitty job that they don't want to come back to or anything like that. Right?

Rob (4m 1s):

Yeah and it's also like, there's a very social aspects, I think. Because now no, so here we've got like pubs are open again, you can go to the gym, you can go on holiday within the UK, at least, whereas before people were in lockdown and still looking, because frankly there wasn't a huge amount else that they could do. Like on people's personal list of priorities, making a life-changing decision, like moving job is probably quite low down for the first time in awhile. So yeah. Combine that with the economic factor that the programmatic bit of it, the way that job boards are now structured. Yeah. We're in for a weird few months, that's for sure.

Joel (4m 35s):

On the, on the Talent Nexus side of things, for those who don't know sort of what is your guys' focus and it has that changed at all? And then I'd like to know the sort of the breakdown for me is you have like your knowledge-based workers and then you have your sort of essential, hourly seasonal folks and wondering what your perception is on your previous comments, on how those two groups are separate if at all?

Rob (4m 57s):

Sure. So, so in terms of Talent Nexus is focus. Long-term, it's the same as every programmatic agency, which is we want to do world-class programmatic advertising for recruiters, that we want to kind of set the standard in what's possible. For us, realistically in Europe, one of the biggest priorities is blending duration based advertising and performance-based advertising. There's a massive split at the moment. I don't know if it's exactly the same in the US certainly in Europe, you kind of have to manage your job board credits and your performance media completely separately. What we're working on at the moment is bringing those two things together, so you can accurately measure a 30 day posting on Total Jobs versus a 50 pounds spend on Indeed.

Rob (5m 40s):

For example, in the short term, kind of forget about all of that and, think that our goal is basically making programmatic as accessible to as many people as possible to fix what is a very, very direct hiring Indeed at the moment. So we're focusing a lot on people who are using Indeed for the first time or a certainly like rapidly increasing their spending on Indeed, because as we know, but a lot of recruiters don't, if the way Indeed is built as a performance platform, it's kind of built for your average organization, which works in most cases, but pretty much always means that you're missing out on kind of 40 to 50% of performance.

Rob (6m 20s):

Because when you use an off the shelf version of performance, it's built for the average user, right? And no organization actually is the average user. So guiding people through that, making sure that they're not wasting budget, make sure they're getting the best possible ROI is really important at the moment where people have got really punchy hiring goals. The last thing they can be doing is kind of wasting money and using inefficient methods to get candidates.

Chad (6m 45s):

Yeah. So when you talk about Indeed real quick now, do you have to use an entirely separate platform with Indeed IQ to be able to manage that, which makes it more of a pain in the ass for clients, or is everything, can you do that out of a single platform today?

Rob (7m 1s):

Yeah. That's a great question. There's basically three levels that you can use at the moment. You could, you can basically apply the correct principles to the way that Indeed is natively set up. So by that, I mean actually using campaigns, splitting out your budget manually, making sure that, you know, whether it's by location or seniority or job type you're breaking your roles out and managing your budget. That'd be like part A. Some organizations find that using, like the Indeed IQ version, can add a layer of, it's not so much functionality as accessibility. Like it visualizes the data in a nicer way, gives you just sort of prettier reports.

Rob (7m 43s):

And then if he wants to truly optimize a campaign. So if you want to do what we do, which is get an extra kind of 40-50% of improvement from a campaign, that's where you want to put your feed of jobs through someone like us, and then send it on to Indeed, because there's a layer of functionality that indigenous doesn't support yet, that would be, you know, breaking performance down by a job by job basis. So like really, really granular splitting out budgets, splitting out objectives, knowing that you might want, say 10 applications for your junior exec role, but you might want five applications for your senior engineer role, but knowing that there can be much more expensive, much more, you know, much harder to find or whatever. So, yeah, there's a few levels.

Rob (8m 23s):

The trick is picking the one that's right, and actually matches what you're trying to achieve. So there's no point going super complex if actually there's, you know, an easy 30% of savings to be made just by doing the basics. Right.

Joel (8m 33s):

So, Indeed acquired Click IQ from your neck of the woods, correct?

Rob (8m 37s):


Joel (8m 37s):

In order to create Indeed IQ curious, what in your neck of the woods, what was the impression of Click IQ? Were they a superior product? Has the transition over to Indeed been kind of a cluster fuck? Or has it been smooth? What's your take from where you sit?

Chad (8m 51s):

And shout out to Richard Collins.

Joel (8m 53s):

Sir Richard, in his Maserati listening now.

Rob (8m 58s):

You say my neck of the woods, he lives literally sort of two or three minutes down the road from my brother. So we're, really incubating recruitment marketing talent in our neck of the woods. So what was the impression? So there's definitely a lot of skepticism around like Indeed buying Click IQ. What, one of the things that Click IQ used to push was that, where Indeed doesn't perform, we've got access to all these other channels, right? So regardless of exactly what split they were giving you, the sales message was there are these other channels available. Now once Indeed owns that platform, I think it's fair enough that like some eyebrows were raised over to exactly how that would work?

Rob (9m 42s):

So that's the first bit, I guess, it hasn't been received fantastically in that sense, because I think if people were using Click IQ because they wanted third party intervention, then they've lost that because it's now first party intervention. That said, I know loads of organizations that bought Click IQ and have stuck with Indeed IQ. I also know plenty of organizations that we've started managing since being on Indeed IQ, because as I said, like, they're just different things. Click IQ and Indeed IQ are like out the box functional ways to kind of boost your reporting, add some pretty basic, but effective rules and sort of methodologies to your advertising.

Rob (10m 22s):

That's not quite the same as like a fully managed programmatic agency. And I say that you've mystically, they're massively different. Like they couldn't be further apart.

Joel (10m 31s):

I'm hearing, there might be some conflict of interests that were thought of when a Click IQ was consumed by Indeed. Is that fair to say?

Chad (10m 38s):

Well, and then it's also steps down with Outcast. I mean, there's gotta be those conversations, right?

Joel (10m 45s):

How do these programmatic solutions remain neutral or can they?

Rob (10m 49s):

I can't speak for other programmatic agencies. I mean, the way we do it, is we remain completely transparent. So it's not about, we can't change the way the industry works as one organization yet. Right. We can't say, oh, well actually we think that the way commissions should be paid as X, Y, and Z, because we just get frozen out. So instead what we do is we just remain completely transparent throughout the whole process. So our clients know, for example, that the reason our service feels quite cheap is because we also get a kickback for every pound that we put through Indeed. But that's also traveled the other performance marketing job boards. Right. Right. So where if you are Indeed, then it becomes a bit more complicated, right?

Rob (11m 33s):

Because you need to convince your clients that this better functionality where you can also advertise on other job boards is probably right to the bottom of the priority list. It is the way it is. Right? As you say, with StepStone and Outcast, everyone knew, I mean, StepStone knew there were, there were no secrets. Right. Everyone knew that that would impact impartiality. I think we even spoke that that happened, I think, was it the day before the last time I was on the podcast? That was when you were in London?

Chad (12m 1s):

Yeah. It happened. I actually, I think it happened the day that we sat down at the pub because I actually saw Richard at Recfest shook his hand. And I'm like, when are you going to get acquired? And he just kind of smiled at me. And then the next day it was like, yeah, I couldn't tell you dude, but yeah, here's the press release.

Rob (12m 22s):

Yeah. So that was the big secret that no one wanted to tell you?

Chad (12m 26s):

Yeah. Yeah.

Joel (12m 27s):

So also in the news we had last week or a couple weeks ago, pandoLogic announcing the acquisition of Wade and Wendy, which is a chat bot. So pandoLogic being a programmatic solution, buying a chat bot. Does that make sense to you or are you able to put those pieces together? Cause I'm having a hard time doing it.

Rob (12m 43s):

Yeah, I have absolutely no idea why they did that. So we run some research kind of throughout COVID to track what employers and what staffing firms were prioritizing and looking at which we called imaginatively, we called the pulse survey cause were trying to keep our finger on the pulse. So we, and from that, there was a few bits that came out around like in-house recruiters, massively prioritizing candidate experience, that was like their top priority. And now if you take a finding like that and work backwards, then I could say, well, maybe if you want to grow the appeal of programmatic, there may be stop bolting on things which improve candidate experience.

Rob (13m 25s):

Right. And one of those things would be if you were taking applications and then screening them or improving the quality via some kind of chat bot tech, then maybe that means you're all front of the pack. Maybe.

Chad (13m 37s):

Yeah. The problem was with that happened, that actually started to happen a couple of years ago and Indeed put the brakes on it. And anybody who started to do that on the front end to filter out, they cut them off. Because when SmashFly they cut SmashFly off from gathering data, Uncommon was doing it from a matching standpoint. So it's like, that was something organizations wanted to do. Right. But it was cut off. I wonder if Pandos going to try to try to jump the innovation shark here? Yeah.

Rob (14m 7s):

Yeah. I mean, my, my pushback in the first place would be, in my experience, It's pretty rare that people have got programmatics so right that they need to start worrying about ad-ons. I mean, the, the amount of organizations that are trying to put a lot of money into job ads, having not written job descriptions properly, like there's, it's kind of been my issue with it, like chat bot growth generally I can see why it's relevant flight your footsie one, one fifties. And you know, that was a combination of footsie, one hundreds and fifty-two 50 doesn't matter big organizations. I can see why it'd be relevant for your biggest organization who are already putting millions into the candidate experience.

Rob (14m 48s):

But for your average recruiter, certainly Europe and I wonder if it's the same in the US to a certain extent, I would just put like tagging chatbots onto programmatic so low down on the list of things to worry about. I was surprised when I heard on your guys' pod, that, that had happened.

Nexxt PROMO (15m 12s):

We'll get back to the interview in a minute. But first we have a question for Andy Katz, COO of Nexxt Andy, if a company wants to actually come to Nexxt and utilize your database and target texting candidates, I mean, how does that actually work? Right? So we have the software to provided two different ways. If an employer has their own database of opted in text messages, whether it's through their ATS, we can text on their behalf or we have over eight and a half million users that have opted into our text messaging at this point. So we can use our own database. We could dissect it by obviously by geography, by function, any which way some in sometimes we'll even parse the resumes of the opted in people to target certifications.

Nexxt PROMO (15m 56s):

So we really can dive really deep if they want to hone in on, you know, just give me the best hundred candidates that I want to text message with and have a conversation back and forth with versus going and saying, I need 30,000 retail people across the country, and that's more a yes/no text messaging back and apply. For more information, go to Remember that's next with the double X, not the triple X

Chad (16m 33s):

So let's spin a real quick over to Madeli