The guest so nice, we had to have him on twice. Listeners will remember a red-hot interview Chad & Cheese did in 2020 with IKEA's Rick Carsley, and luckily for everyone, he's back on the podcast. Now with Freedom Mortgage, Rick heads up TA and, as usual, he doesn't pull any punches on recruiting tech he likes and doesn't like. It's a must-listen for anyone shopping around for the latest industry tools.
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INTRO (1m 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 (1m 20s):
Oh yeah. What's up everybody? This is your favorite podcast. I am Joel Cheeseman joined as always by my co-host Chad Sowash.
Chad (1m 29s):
Joel (1m 29s):
And Holy crap, you guys, we have Rick Astley on the show today. Can you fucking believe it? Rick Astley!
Chad (1m 36s):
No Rick Astley turned us down. We actually got Rick. Rick Carsley. Yeah. Remember Rick from Ikea.
Joel (1m 45s):
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. The meatballs, Hey Rick!
Chad (1m 50s):
No, Ma the meatloaf Rick, Rick actually is now Talent Acquisition at Freedom Mortgage. Rick dude. Welcome to the show. Give us a little intro. We were just at Ikea. When did you make this move? W
Joel (2m 5s):
What's been going on in the last year that we, that we spoke? Did anything happen in the world? What's going on?
Chad (2m 10s):
How's Philly? That's what I want to know. Is Philly still there?
Joel (2m 14s):
We're so here, we're definitely still here. We got hit with Midwest style snow over the last three days. I was talking to my mom just about shoveling four or five times. And she's like, you're too old for that. You need to get a snowblower. I'm like I'm 40. I think 40 is still shoveling age?
Chad (2m 35s):
Yes, I agree.
Joel (2m 37s):
But yeah, I left Ikea in June for various reasons. Some of the stuff I talked to y'all about last time, you know, visitation in retail had always kind of been an issue in March when the government cracked down on what was essential versus non-essential business.
Rick (2m 57s):
I think if you looked in the dictionary for non-essential, like Ikea's emblem, it is right there. You know? So initially like they furloughed essentially everybody, almost everyone that worked at the store is outside of management. And that occurred like April. And so we went from being a recruiting organization to essentially like a furlough organization. Because when you think about that process, you're creating letters, you're, you know, setting up agreements and then we started to call all those people back.
Joel (3m 27s):
That sounds fun.
Rick (3m 28s):
Oh, it was a blast.
Chad (3m 29s):
That sounds like just fucking horrible. But my question is how, how are those meatballs not essential? I mean, I don't get it. Can I get those delivered to my door for God's sakes? Can Ikea do that? Did Ikea actually use Task Rabbit to start delivery services?
Joel (3m 46s):
Pretty sure they shut, they shut down all the cafeterias didn't they? Jesus. No more food at Ikea dude.
Rick (3m 53s):
Yeah. I don't know if they have opened those back up just yet. I assume, I assume they have not. One of the benefits to working at Ikea when, you guys all visited, it was $2 to eat lunch. That lunch was basically featured a whole lot of sodium again, weight gain. But I think that is the one thing we don't talk enough about quarantine is the quality of my lunches has just increased by about a hundred percent.
Chad (4m 21s):
As in quantity. Are you talking about, what do you mean actual quality?
Joel (4m 26s):
Are you dissin' the Ikea food?
Chad (4m 28s):
What are you getting the Wiz on the, on the Philly cheese steak now? I mean, I don't understand. Tell me,
Rick (4m 33s):
I just mean like cooking from home, firing up the grill, throwing some chicken kebabs on for lunch rather than like eating taco bell in your car. You know?
Chad (4m 46s):
Joel's eating salads nowadays.
Joel (4m 48s):
What's wrong with Taco Bell? Jesus.
Rick (4m 52s):
I think everything is wrong with Taco Bell. I think it's consumerism at its worst.
Chad (4m 57s):
Oh, so now you're at Freedom Mortgage, which I would assume is an entirely different set of obstacles. Even when Ikea was up and running and they were hiring, this has gotta be in an incredibly difficult.
Joel (5m 9s):
There's a lot of refinancing going on. I'm guessing the mortgage business is pretty busy these days.
Rick (5m 14s):
It's absolutely insane. You know, I grew up in the mortgage industry. That's how I learned like what recruiting was, which was just completely random. I don't know if I ever told this story right after undergrad, I was a loan officer, like dial for dollars call center. And there was a flyer, it was bright orange and it said $500 referral for any loan officers that we hire. And so I went out, I joined my alumni association. I would go to like happy hours around Chicago and brag about how much money I made as a loan officer. Cause you're clueless at that age. And like in 45 days I hired about 18 loan officers.
Rick (5m 57s):
And that caught the eye of another company who hired me to run their like huge, huge branch that they were building. And the way I got into this show that we call recruiting was the owner was like, Hey, you don't just how your loan officers here, you have to hire all the other jobs. And my only question was I'm like, so those jobs have base salaries, right? He's like, well, yeah. And I'm like, well that's easy. Yeah. I can do that.
Chad (6m 24s):
No, that's like cheating. Right. You're starting with a leg up already.
Rick (6m 30s):
Yeah. So then like 16 years later, this is, this is how I pay my mortgage now. But the industry just, you know, blew up. Financial services and essential retail have been like the two things and warehouses that have kept, you know, the, the economy moving kind of since March. And when you have record low interest rates, when you have rising home prices and Freedom kind of based on our size, we had to hire and how you're quickly. We hired like 6,300 - 6,500 coworkers last year and the kind of skilled positions in the mortgage industry underwriting kind of, kind of being a huge one, the overall salary of a job like that, you know, a year ago, underwriter was say, two years of experience was on the market for say 70 to $75,000.
Rick (7m 24s):
That same job. Now that base salary is around a hundred and you have quarterly bonuses. You know, that you're all in number like a virtual now, is that a remote job? Oh yeah. Freedom had always really been remote. So that was kind of our leg up previously. But now that everybody is remote, there's like 10 to like 12 to 15, really big players in our industry. And it is a constant battle of us kind of outbidding each other, a candidate for underwriting. If they throw the flag up on LinkedIn that they're looking or tossed to their resume on, Indeed, they're gonna get hit up by like 10 companies in a matter of days.
Rick (8m 8s):
And then your staffing partners, which is huge in financial services, there there's no industry that gets dominated by staffing like financial services does just because of the volume and the constant ebb and flow. They just drive the price up further and further.
Joel (8m 23s):
Sounds like you guys were sort of familiar with interviewing through technology, whether that be video or some other means, would that be correct? And if you're doing that in some companies that are sort of new to doing that, what are some tools that you find sort of invaluable? What may be changed for you with video and I guess longterm wise, it's going to stay that way for you?
Rick (8m 45s):
I mean, last time I talked to y'all, I was just singing the praises of HireVue, which seems to be a reoccurring theme since I stole that idea from the Hilton back in 2011. And it's funny, the person that runs Ikea now is from the same lineage, but it's completely different. You know, like when you think about just where candidates come from, Ikea could spend $1 on any pay-per-click site and they're going to get 2 million impressions and thousands of thousands of applications a month and that's brand, yeah. That's not the same in financial services, regardless of who you work for. And in our business, the bigger you are, the worst reputation you have, like no one wants to go work for Quicken.
Rick (9m 31s):
So, you know, in my old world of Ikea, you had so many applicants. It was like, well, how do we not take the recruiter's time? And that was just, I'm going to send you that, HireVue, you're going to do it yourself and I'm going to gauge your participation in our process. And then from there, I'm going to make you take a video game assessment. So I can tell the business why I'm making the hiring decision based on math versus you. That just doesn't work in our business. But you know, the financial services industry, there's times where it's beset with the same amount of fraud that you have in your normal C to C game, if you're hiring like international for .net developers or whatever, and IT. So you're doing Zoom video interviews for recruiting, you're still taking them through an assessment, but that assessment is very skills specific for that exact job.
Rick (10m 20s):
So, you know, I really don't have a video based solution outside of Zoom right now. I've been playing with LinkedIn's new ad-on. Did you all see that, with the two behavioral based interview questions that you can add in there? Like when you post the advert directly on their site, have you guys played with that at all?
Chad (10m 43s):
Haven't played with it, how was it working? So,
Rick (10m 45s):
So, you know, the problem with LinkedIn, I don't, that would take like four hours for me to answer my own statement right there. But so, you know, you post your advert and maybe one to 2% of those applications are anywhere near relevant, your job. So what you can do is as part of your application, you can set up two video based questions, but you only have like 25 to 30 questions to actually choose from. So what it's been good for is kind of lower level positions where you're able, like my whole big thing was always evaluate people and not paper because especially coming from retail, those people aren't resume writers.
Rick (11m 28s):
Like resumes continue to get worse and worse and worse. So it's like let's give candidates the ability to push themselves up from the pack and show that they are willing to do the gig and that they want to do the gig. And if you're remote and remote, full-time, you're going to have to interact on video with your manager, with your peers, with your customers. And it was free as part LinkedIn. And now that I no longer have the Ikea budget, free is very good. So it's still, you know, like it's that same old adage, you know, a hundred people apply. If you reach out to all a hundred, you know, knock out 35% that aren't gonna respond because we've made applying so easy.
Rick (12m 12s):
And then just keep going down that funnel. So participation for the pilot, you know, I probably get maybe 18 to 20% of the people actually fill out the video part of it. You know what I've seen both LinkedIn do. And Indeed recently for the first time in forever is one improve their interface and two give away things for free all the years I've been doing this. Like if LinkedIn even thinks of a new project, you see it on the invoice before you've ever even opened up the site?
Chad (12m 46s):
Don't you think that's based around competition now though. And not to mention if LinkedIn doesn't go to video before your applicant tracking system automatically integrates acquires and then integrates interviewing and video. I mean, they're fucked. So I mean, they have to beat them to the punch don't they?
Rick (13m 1s):
They do. It's a cool idea, you know, and I really like it. The one thing is, and I don't know if it was really that hard to program, but only giving me like 30 questions that I can actually ask.
Chad (13m 15s):
Rick (13m 16s):
You know, like, you know, it might as well be like, Hey, tell me about your biggest hero or do you know all these fluff questions? You know, there's stuff where like, you know, where do you want to be in five years?
Joel (13m 28s):
And three people you'd like to have dinner with dead or alive?
Rick (13m 32s):
It's so similar to that. But what, where we've been using it is just to one, when you have a market that you're just not going to find good people in. And when I say good, I just mean have done the, a very similar job before at a competitor. So when you're going to go off of people that don't fit the script from A to B, then you need something to get in front of the hiring manager. The one cool thing is when you have a big LinkedIn contract, you know, the old hiring manager seats that were just never used. And it was really just like, Oh, I'm sharing profiles, but you'd always have your executive recruiters do that nonsense. Like, Oh, I shared twenty-five profiles with a hiring manager.
Rick (14m 14s):
He wants to talk to three. You're like, cool. Does he know that that website has a one participant, 1% participation rate outside of recruitment. And we're never going to talk to those people anyway, but I hope he looked at those profiles. So with this, at least you can create a project. You can make the hiring manager part of that project and they can actually view the video, so it added a little bit onto that. Thinking of LinkedIn too. Did you guys see the new resume builder function, that's like plugged into Microsoft word? Yeah, I thought that was just kind of a cool add on it sets up for a world of plagiarism in regards resumes that already existed. And now we just made it one click away.
Rick (14m 57s):
But you know, there's a lot of neat stuff that like the two big guys did during the throes of the pandemic or the beginning of it. Anyway.
Chad (15m 7s):
It's a good way to push the rest under some dirt, right? So I mean, video interviewing in itself, I think every core system should have that integrated and why they, they haven't acquired and or develop their own has makes no sense to me whatsoever, especially during this last year? But you mentioned Candidate ID and obviously, you know, we know Adam and the crew over there pretty well. What are you guys doing with them? And what actually leads you into a discussion? What was the problem?
Rick (15m 40s):
For years the old two big players in a recruiting CB and Monster. You paid to build these talent networks and they were never touched and depending on your ATS, and we just have some, some issues with our ATS because it's a legacy system supported by a data warehouse.
Joel (15m 58s):
Wait you have issues with your ATS? That's weird.
Rick (16m 1s):
I know. Right? But so, you know, I've always loved Adam's system because I dug the fact that he didn't call it a CRM. He gave the CRM away for free and what they can do in combination with their sourcing product and their talent pipeline software is just super, super cool. So like, if you were going to just buy licensed database style lists, whether it's looking for like loan officers or whether you're looking for underwriters, that stuff comes with like 35 to 40% of actual, you know, relevant information, like real email addresses, real phone numbers. And just cause I've known Adam for awhile, I was able to get through a lot of that fluff.
Rick (16m 45s):
And so it's like, Hey, I need 10,000 - 12,000 names of people that do this job. And I want to put them in your system. I want to text them. I want to email them. And I just want to see, can we find candidates before they hit that market that I was telling you about earlier, that is going to be at a price point that we're just not going to live in. It's not like we can't afford to pay underwriters at top of market or any of these jobs at top of market, the ebb and flow of a business like ours, doesn't have a good history for people that get comped at the top of market. So, you know, Adam has assembled a nice little team, you know, and it's been a product that I feel like, you know, there's really only one kind of solution like Candidate ID that's priced that how Candidate ID is that you can run five to 10 campaigns and just keep them going.
Rick (17m 41s):
Because there's companies that do stuff very similar, like RCI, for instance, but they're going to charge you three to four grand for every 30 days of just sourcing you names. And that's just not worth it,. Where you can get Candidate ID to do, you know, five to 10 of those jobs for around the same price point. Now, granted, it's not going to be as granular and it's not going to be as hands-on, but it's the whole point, like go through my database, see what's real and what's not, let's clear out what's not.
Joel (18m 10s):
So we obviously love when we get people you know, able to do the job on the, on a regular basis. What are some other tools that are sort of invaluable to you? And I'm interested what tools may be were effective at Ikea and are totally useless at Freedom Mortgage. You mentioned HireVue.
Rick (18m 28s):
I used for texting at Ikea just because it was hard to get approval for texting and that's just a lot with the way that Ikea looks at data. We used Call-Em-All, which is really just one of those that they used to use it in the store to tell people that it was snowing. And I moved that over to texting here at Freedom. I use Canvas for my texting and where that's neat is it's an annual contract that doesn't really like every other texting provider. It's like, okay, 2 cents a message, 3 cents a message, 5 cents a message. That's like a rolling invoice that every month you got to sing for your supper, you know, be like, Oh, I'm sorry I text so much.
Rick (19m 8s):
When you have just like the overall suite that's a lot better over here I was using Intello for a little while. That's kinda, I feel like an in-between from like a buy list. You know, CareerBuilder's Talent Discovery product is very similar where you're like, Hey, can you find me relevant contact information for people that are trying not to be found? But again, that's a product where it's neat in concept, like our friends at ZipRecruiter, but then when you go to use it, if it never really works, you're like, well, why am I paying y'all? You know, I did a demo with Hinterview. Have you guys been hit up with that nonstop campaign of, we'll give you a free month of video.
Chad (19m 50s):
I've seen interview, but I've, haven't been hit up by their campaigns now.
Rick (19m 55s):
Yeah. I think she's going to kill me just like when the ZipRecruiter guy called me multiple times about why I got him in trouble last time, you know, it's, it's just another kind of video software, but, you know, yeah. It's neat to have a free month of any product, but when it's a product that works best when it's integrated with your entire other world, like this is just an obstacle.
Joel (20m 21s):
Is, are using canvas and coordination with Jobvite or is it an integrated into a difference?
Rick (20m 27s):
So I don't utilize Jobvite we had solely a Canvas contract now, like I just got a cut off a call yesterday to figure out like, who is our rep? You know? Cause our contract goes up in a couple of months, I'm gonna integrate Canvas just with Candidate ID. Okay. At Ikea, we never suffered from resumes. Here you need experience for 70 to 80% of our jobs. So we really need to work on how do we get your information and pluck you cause you're not looking for work. Whereas Ikea, if you can walk into the store, you are technically qualified to work the job.
Joel (21m 7s):
So I'm curious, we talk a lot about on the show in terms of engagement and you know, keeping employees engaged in the company. And it sounds like as retention is a huge challenge for you, how do you balance engagement in a work from home environment to keep these employees, you know, feeling like they belong in the company and or is it just a money question with mortgages? How are you guys handling that issue of retention?
Rick (21m 35s):
That's that's tough. It really is. And we've really seen a lot of our managers kind of step up to try to really get, you know, more time with their teams, just on a random social aspect. You know, Zoom fatigue is real. And you know, the amount of times that I spend six to seven hours myself on Zoom calls every single day. So it's really hard to then work after that. You know, like it's just like, that's not, that's not really my job just to have conversations. I actually, sadly that is exactly my job. What Freedom does, that's neat as a company is, you know, like we'll have you know, our monthly meeting or quarterly meetings and they'll send you like GrubHub cards, you know, where it's like, Hey, we're having a lunch and learn buy yourself lunch.
Rick (22m 28s):
Every time there's a holiday, you get kind of a little gift just, just to kind of get that, you know, something additional like something you normally would have seen if you were at one of our offices. And then like with my own team, you know, I have multiple 30 minute touch bases. I hate that word. I was trying to think of something else to say, but you'll have like your meetings. And a lot of times, like you don't even really want to discuss work, like it sneaks in because that's what you guys all have in common. But you're like, I just want you to have some sort of social outlet because the isolation to all of this is real.
Rick (23m 8s):
Like your people that, you know, don't have a family that live alone. Like I can only imagine, you know, the kind of pain that they have to go through just to wake up every day. And as a wife who is a recruiter, all herself, like I swear the Microsoft sound should say something much different because every time you hear that little dah, dah, dah, you, you're not feeling positive about that situation.
Chad (23m 34s):
Yeah. You have the Pavlov's dog of fact where it just scares the shit out of you instead of making you more hungry.
Rick (23m 42s):
Well, it's like I was in the kitchen and like, you hear that noise and my first thought, cause my phone's in my pocket. I'm like, please be her computer and not mine, please be her computer and not mine. The other thing that we've really done a good job with at Freedom is we promoted almost 2000 coworkers last year.
Chad (24m 1s):
You guys are focusing on internal mobility, which we don't see a lot happening in our industry and that's sad. So, but you guys are, is that what I'm hearing?
Rick (24m 11s):
Definitely. Just because you know, with as quickly as we grew, you know, you kind of threw away rules where like, Oh no, you have to be in your job for two years before you can be up for promotion or posts out. But when you're growing as quickly as we are, that's not possible. So if you hire a cohort of 20 processors and they come in and you have those two or three, just, you know, high performers, after six months, we'll we now need a processing lead. So you two have been the best performing, go ahead. And then you keep bringing people in. And then the people that are doing the right things that are doing the work, good quality, those people are rewarded.
Rick (24m 51s):
So we've done a really, really good job at doing that. And employee referrals are massively important here. Our CEO back when all of this started and you know, you know, so many people, you know, sadly lost, their job. He started to different friends and family, you know, events. Where it was not, we're going to lower back some of our requirements and we are going to get your friends and family back to work. And then we had enough opportunities that were, I don't want to call them entry level, but very close to it. Or if you had some skills that were similar, we could put you through a proper two to four week training to get you going, get your remote.
Rick (25m 32s):
We were able to bring a whole lot, you know, of our coworkers, friends, and family back, you know, supporting the economy.
Joel (25m 38s):
Are you using any technology for referrals?
Rick (25m 41s):
We are not, we are not. Much to my chagrin we had to put on a virtual friends and family event late fall. And like I used Chromeifi for the scheduling because the guy who created was given a car free for a little while, did you know, like just awesome evergreen recs and our ATS, and then did a lot of manual work to kind of just keep the process going. That was another thing that really blew up, every job fair provider bought the executive suite to Zoom and became a virtual career host.
Chad (26m 19s):
Rick (26m 20s):
And some of those joints wanted seven to like ten grand to run a virtual event. Those prices just went nuts. And I think you've seen a ton of kind of your university recruiting models, which has been a waste of time since like forever. Now try to get you to go to their virtual events.
Chad (26m 44s):
Now, do you think that this has all happened, that these in-person career fairs are going to finally fucking die? The box sandwich, you know, box the launch career fairs that are being put on when they can be done so much more effectively and efficiently online? Do you think they're going to die or do you think they're going to be revived?
Rick (27m 6s):
I pray that they die. I've worked a lot of these fairs back in the day. And I think back to like my time in like Jersey, you know, when you get into like that Newark area or that Patterson area, and you're hosted up at a Ramada Inn/ you know, the people that walked in there and had like written resumes, you know, the only reason why I'd want some of a certain aspect of that to keep going is to level the playing field a little bit. To make sure that if someone doesn't have a good wifi connection in their house, they have the ability to go out and seek work. That is the only part of that, that I really kind of believed in.
Rick (27m 46s):
But, you know, I'm a massive germaphobe, so not shaking anyone's hand for the rest of my life is really the biggest positive of the pandemic for me. And it's funny, you know, when all of this started and people are like, Oh, I bet you're freaking out because of this. And I'm like, no, now you just know what it's like to live like me. I've been keeping hand sanitizer in my pocket since I was 14. You know, this is, this is normal. I hope everyone's still has to wear face masks. I feel more comfortable being in the grocery store than I ever have.
Chad (28m 18s):
When we finally get back into the office. And I know you guys are probably going to be staying, staying pretty heavily remote, but you do have offices. I think you even have one here North of Indianapolis, will you be mandating shots?
Rick (28m 32s):
I can't even comment on that. I don't have that answer. I've seen a couple of companies kind of make those kind of announcements, but those companies are on huge, huge scales. Didn't Amazon say that they're giving people 50 bucks or something really nominal, if they agree to get the vaccination? You know, maybe they give him a bathroom break or something? I don't, I don't see, you know, like if our CEO decides to make that decision, you know, but I'm not really sure about that.
Chad (29m 9s):
I mean, on the HR side, and I know not talent acquisition separate from HR, but on the HR side, it's a lot of it has to do with risk mitigation. And this is a huge risk, obviously. So being able to, there's a lot of education that needs to happen, but overall, if you want to come in to work, you know, you want to provide a safe environment. So this is, I mean, this is a discussion that it's really interesting to me, that talent acquisition and HR is not pushing to the C-suite to make decisions now because it's going to be happening soon.
Rick (29m 44s):
I think the vaccination overall is really going to be a very interesting study into, you know, societal norms. If you just talk about it and have a random conversation with your neighbor and they give like a very strong opinion, one way or another, whether they're going to, or going to not get it, it's something as off putting now is if you talk about your political affiliation and it shouldn't be something that's political, it should be something that follows, you know, science. How do you guys feel when as soon as you can get the shot in the arm, are you, are you apt to take it?
Chad (30m 19s):
Oh, hell yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Joel (30m 21s):
I'm on the waitlist!
Chad (30m 23s):
I haven't been on a plane in a fucking year. I want to get on a plane and I want anybody who's sitting next to me, perspectively on that plane, I want to know that they've had the fucking shot too.
Rick (30m 36s):
I'm the exact same way. And it's funny, like, were you guys, did you guys use to get flu shots?
Chad (30m 43s):
I was in the Army forever? You didn't have a choice. So you got that shit stuck in your arm.
Rick (30m 49s):
Yeah. My, my old man, he was a Chicago cop and he was in the Navy. And so he gets his vaccination on Saturday through the VA. So I'm actually signed up March 11th to get mine cause I kind of qualify. So it's, it's just one of those things that you, you know, you can't help my seven year old daughter's right next to me. Do you want to talk on the pod for a bit?
Chad (31m 17s):
It's a family show guys.
Rick (31m 18s):
That's the future of recruiting right there. You know, it's hard to not, you know, do the math in your head for, you know what, we're getting 1.2, 1.3 people, 1.2 or 1.3 million people a day, are getting the shot. Yeah. So like when you do the math, there's what 340 million people in the United States knock out the people that are under 16. So like you're probably like 280, 290,000,000. So we haven't gotten, at least it really hasn't been highly kind of reported is that group of probably 30% of the US that's just going to refuse the shot. Like when you start getting into rural America. I know we've seen little reports about, you know, nurses that didn't want to take it or first responders that didn't want to take it.
Rick (32m 4s):
So this next, you know, three to four months is going to be really interesting. And like every time you think you're out of the woodworks or something, then you'll read like, Oh no, six, the next six to 14 weeks are truly going to be the darkest time.
Joel (32m 17s):
All right, Rick, I'm going to let you out on this one. You mentioned earlier, I think off the show offline that branding is sort of a big issue with, with your business. And you can, you can choose to name the company that you talked about or not, but it sounds like employment branding is somewhat important and companies have brands in the mortgage industry. And I'm curious, we'll talk about that. And then also talk about how has it changed in COVID? Will it change for the future? Talk about employment branding and your business.
Rick (32m 50s):
I mean, it's, I think the last time we chatted, I was talking about how difficult it is to create a kind of humanistic brand inside of financial services, because it's easier in retail cause people think of Ikea and it's like unique or cool into like, Oh, I bet that would be a cool company worked for, just like the same way you think of any large company. And if you've ever worked for them, it tends not to be the case. You know? So Brandon Lynn is a guy who I knew from before Freedom Mortgage, he's my VP of employee branding over here. And so what we've been trying to do is kind of figure out the voice that you really want to show that the outward market and you know, something that, you know, actually is going to either attract customers or attract candidates.
Rick (33m 40s):
The thing about a mortgage company is it's hard as a consumer to not think that they're a dime a dozen, just because every time you get a piece of mail, anytime you accidentally click on something that says interest rates are low, you're just completely slammed by all of these companies. And it, the mortgage industry is like the, you know, biggest small industry in the States just because it's everybody knows everybody. So if you hire one person from or you're underwriting someone, chances are your manager works for you now, or like, it just kind of never ends. So where we've been able to get really creative is Freedom has this program called first flyer, which takes undergrads.
Rick (34m 25s):
They have to be a year out of school and then puts them into kind of a historically, really hard to fill position for us. We just had one for IT. We had one for marketing, one for underwriting. And so that is the group that you really get to be the most creative with. Because you're not thinking about like, Oh, how does my LinkedIn post get impressions and likes because your kids graduate from college, don't care about that. You're like, how do I make my posts inventive? How do I make it cool? How do I make, is it like the Costco video that I texted you a couple of weeks back, Chad. Like, you know, give me an honest interpretation of what it's like to work at that company.
Rick (35m 10s):
And I don't know if you got to see that Joel, but you know that guy, you know, and I guarantee you corporate didn't approve that at all cause no corporation would. In like fifty seconds that guy gave seven reasons to come work at Costco. It was the pay rate. It's when you would get overtime, when you would get time and a half. He even brought up like the same $150 that everyone gets to go to the eye doctor, which everybody knows that that's, you know, you're going to get money to get glasses or contacts every year. But when you have someone that actually works at a company, say it, it actually just comes across as even more genuine. Because it's like, that's their client base.
Rick (35m 52s):
So I'd love to see more like that. And I was super angry that I didn't think of that idea because that was really cool.
Chad (35m 59s):
Doesn't mean you can't do it though. It doesn't mean you can't. He's laid out a great format. Now you just sit there with a beer and a Philly cheese steak in start your TikTok.
Rick (36m 10s):
When you have that huge population that retailers do and Target is, you know, a brand that walks on water in retail, they do this crazy thing where they pay people fairly. You know, there's so much opportunity when your job really is relevant to anyone. When anybody that probably doesn't have a felony can come work for you. You can really like appeal to mass audiences. What you're going to see us do this year is really try to flirt with creating better video content to share. My social aggregator is Everyone Social and so that hooks up into your Twitter, that hooks up into your Facebook and also your LinkedIn.
Rick (36m 54s):
But I am tired of seeing static job posts. Like that is like the absolute worst content that you see on those feeds. Like there's this job that you may know someone who did this once, but you probably forgot that it was your career. Like it please.
Chad (37m 10s):
You heard it first here, kids Tik TOK is the way to go. Rick. I got to say, man, I appreciate you taking the time today to actually plug in those, those headphones first and foremost.
Joel (37m 22s):