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Risk vs. Reward

Joveo's founder and CEO Kshitij Jain (aka KJ) turns the tables asking some profound questions on Chad & Cheese.

  • Craigslist's "Take The Pain" strategy that worked

  • Mountains of data and we're still making stupid decisions 

  • Why are Talent Acquisition professionals not moving fast enough? 

  • The future is hyper push targeting

and so much more... 

Brought to you by Chad and Cheese - HR's Most Dangerous Podcast. Subscribe at  


KJ (0s):

Why are we not moving fast enough into that world where things will be much better for everyone?

Chad (5s):

There's a risk versus reward issue in talent acquisition. They're not willing to take the risk because...

Intro (13s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HRS 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 (42s):

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. So I'm curious sometime around 2006 or seven Craig's list cut themselves off or their content from Indeed. Did you have any thoughts at the time when they did that? And I assume that Craigslist wasn't mentioned much at <onster. If they weren't talking about aggregator Other competitors like LinkedIn.

KJ (1m 15s):

So that was a time Craigslist. It's actually cut most of the people off and they were very clear. We want no mass postings. In fact, they got a job posting API access to pretty much overnight to everybody. They want the experience to be, if I really want to hire someone, I will take the pain, go online, fill up the job. We'll sit there because all the, all the job boards can have like a millions of jobs, right. Or a hundred or thousands of jobs. And so I guess that was the reason. And second is there is a very little quality control on the job ad content, right?

KJ (1m 46s):

There's so much spam. Like people are alerting people to click to a job, but really in reality, it was either a Legion or it was more like, Hey, pay me this much before you get back. So it was kind of scam. So I believe that that was the motive behind Craigslist doing what they did. And I think given the kind of technology we have, we have tried to solve the Craigslist problem. You guys got me started on something that is close to me is, is companies are sitting on the mountains of quality data and, and they don't use the intelligence from that data to optimize the sourcing funnels.

KJ (2m 20s):

And it's like, you go through the cycle, but you don't take out part of the cycle to improve the next cycle. That you're. Why do you think that is the case? Why, why kind of scratch my head sometimes that this whole world of machine learning and see data and intelligence that you build in right offers so much of money. You spend a million dollars, you got like a million applications or whatever, right. A hundred thousand applications. And you don't use that knowledge of ... I've seen cases where the same job posted in two different locations on the same job board has totally different results.

Chad (2m 54s):

I think the biggest issue that talent acquisition has today in, in everybody in is that ... We gather so much data and behaviors and outcomes and information, and we don't use it. That the thing that we have to get away from is continuing to spend money to acquire the same candidate, five, six, 10, times over. We shouldn't be just posting jobs for the hell of it. We should be like you'd said, matching against the data in the database that we have now.

Chad (3m 29s):

And perspectively, let's say for instance, programmatically targeting those individuals and inviting them to apply or reapply for a job. Again, talent acquisition, not incredibly fast on the adoption curve, but there's no question. I agree. We have, we have mountains of data. We should be using that to be able to at least advise us or recommend candidates so that we can make the decision to get better quicker hires.

Joel (3m 56s):

I was just going to add that, you know, Chad and I are big fans of, of marketing and recruiting, getting more and more together. And I think that, you know, products like Joveo and Programmatic, I mean, that started in marketing, right? Like getting the most out of your advertising. And so how do you take that data and build the best marketing case for your recruiting? And I think that is, that's kind of where we're going. And we'll eventually probably talk about in this interview of how technology and marketing and recruiting are coming together to fix that sort of problem. That's been haunting recruiting for so long.

KJ (4m 29s):

Exactly. And you don't have and as Chad was saying that the future is putting an ad in front of the person. You know, that's the other thing I keep on thinking that bothers me personally. And I guess it does to you as well, because you're all saying the same thing that the industry has existed from the day Monster board was launched full model. You pull a person into a job from a job site. What is a push model? The consumer one has gone to a push model, you know, who to reach out to who's the best guy for the job to be hired. Just put that job in front of that person and save him so much of an agony of having to look at hundred jobs, getting confused, not knowing which one to apply or not.

KJ (5m 7s):

And you know, seven out of 10 jobs people apply to in a company within a company, they apply to a wrong job. They will not get hired, but there is a job in the same company, they have a higher likelihood of getting hired, right? Like I get a solid one problem in the right way, put the right ad in front of person. You already know three, do simple look like audience for like a lookalike audience and just find those people and put some money behind it. Do AB testing on that. I'm sorry, you guys, but I think that kind of occupies my mind a lot of times. Why are we not moving fast enough into that world?

KJ (5m 39s):

Where things will be much better for everyone.

Chad (5m 41s):

Yeah. Yeah. I think it's, there's, there's a risk versus reward issue in talent acquisition. They're not willing to take the risk because that could perspectively. They feel mean their job and their, what they're not doing unfortunately, is tying what we do in talent to the actual business bottom line. The organization does not run without talent. It does not run with, without HR. We are the epicenter of why every company on planet earth does what they do.

Chad (6m 15s):

Period. We have to be able to tie that to business analytics and being able to impact the bottom line either negatively or positively. And as we're talking about the candidate experience, how many of those candidates are customers? And we've negatively impacted them with their, our brand. Not only would they never work for us, cause they hate us, but they're not going to buy our stuff. Right. If we can make that into a narrative, the CEO will definitely want to hear that the CFO, the CRO, the people who are making these, these decisions.

Chad (6m 50s):

So overall I believe a hundred percent that we need to start figuring out that we need to take risks and we need to do that. R and D we just, we just actually got off an interview with the individual, Jen Terry Thorpe, who, who ran a town acquisition for AT&. Now that brand knows what the fuck they're doing. They spend money and they, and they do R and D and they get it. But most brands won't take risks. Like they will, we need to work like a business and stop being afraid of our own shadow.

Chad (7m 25s):

That's our biggest issue.

KJ (7m 26s):

You know, I'm glad that you mentioned Jen Terry here, right? Because you know, I, I remember meeting, they were one of the first customers in mobile and, and what was amazing is she was a risktaker. She sets up a certain amount of a budget of site to put money on startups as a bat to see if they work out or not. She would understand what fits the idea. What is the future for us at this company? She did all that. She acted like a VC. If I were to call it this way, does this company has the right goods. Right talent. Right team by technology, can they deliver the promise? And if they did, she'll be at the forefront of it.

KJ (7m 57s):

And I think they have gone so far ahead in the sophisticated use of whole Programmatic and how that is done. And, and, and I was like, I guess that has to be propagated a lot. And she's, she's a sharpest mind, I guess in the talent acquisition maybe, you know, among the, definitely among the top 10 that I see out there.

Joel (8m 16s):

That's why she's on our show. What percentage of companies would you put in that AT&T bucket of innovation and risk

KJ (8m 24s):

In the entire industry. I'm sorry guys. I would say single digits maybe. Yeah,

Joel (8m 28s):

Yeah. Us too. Probably.

Chad (8m 30s):

Yeah. And it's interesting. I mean, AT& T has a lot of cash. There's no question ever. And everybody wants to point to that. There are a huge brand. They have a lot of cash, but if you take a look at the amount of individuals who are being hired, and we actually had this discussion on stage with Intel in Yeti, Yeti looked at Intel and said, you guys hire so many people, you must have so much money. And the real fact is per hire. They have Less money than a company like Yeti. So overall it's about what your focus is, again, the risk versus reward.

KJ (9m 4s):

Yeah. And I think it's very interesting, right? If you, if you see this ecosystem Chad and then this is something, I, again, another question for you guys is 80% of the dollars. So maybe I'm actually a little less goes into media and that spend gets spent every year and only a quarter or less is actually going into the tech part of it. Whereas you get the same results. You can actually have only 50% of the media spend happening. And you know, I've had a customer and I will not take the name here, but they were seeing about just the drop title as wrong.

KJ (9m 38s):

And through technology, we understood that this is not the right title for this job. And we changed it, lick something as simple as that, you don't have to be a rocket scientist and talk about air able to do that. What about friend, if you have a driver job, but product that was a good to come to it. If you want a piece of delivery, let's call it pizza, delivery driver and completely two different audiences.

Joel (9m 58s):

Common sense. Isn't that common? Isn't it.

KJ (9m 60s):

And, and the, the cost per apply went down by whooping 75%. And the relevant supply went like mighty force! Right out, like completely relevant off of that. So

Joel (10m 12s):

This sort of brings us into the tech and the idea to start Joe VO and get into programmatic. So you're at, you're at Indeed. How did this idea come to you? I know you're an idea guy. So what was it about this idea that really sparked you to, to move forward and do it talk about the Genesis of Joveo and, and getting into Programmatic?

KJ (10m 29s):

Sure. I've again, like kind of, you've been talking about this. I have always believed there is nothing like a bad quality applicant and that it hurts me to say, this is bad quality. This is good quality because guys, we're talking about people, your number one,

Joel (10m 42s):


KJ (10m 43s):

All of these are right job, everyone in the world, you just have not put that right job in front of that person. So I kept on asking myself, and I know that every job board, every technology company in our space kind of looking for right job the right person. But if you look at it this way, right? If you look at, for push angle, right, Chad, you were saying about that job for everyone. So we started out think, Hey, this is the month of the company. Can we put a right job in front of the person? And that was the name of Joveo came in. It's not exact acronym, but a job for everyone is where I guess Joveo got formed. That was the, at the heart of it.

KJ (11m 13s):

That's what it is. We're in this to get to the point of that through data, through learning, through constant learning, through constant learning loops, I would call. Based on high data, improve sourcing and back and forth to be able to know that this is the one right job to be put in front of person. You know, one of our customers, we actually showed a recommendation of jobs they should apply to that company. Commendation just recommendation. These are jobs, you are highly likely, you're getting a higher, you know, what is the click to apply conversion rate 85%, just that just making a person feel like you have a better likelihood of getting hired here.

KJ (11m 48s):

This is where my belief gets even more strengthened, right? That Craigslist, you know, less job applications, but more hires. And this is what drove me that, you know, and I, and the way I put it across this is my problem is that I'm solving, trying to solve for. And I think all of us should at least gear for it. If not try to solve it. I don't, I don't want a lot of people trying to solve it by the way. So

Joel (12m 9s):

I wonder why?

KJ (12m 13s):

If you put the right job in front of person, the person will actually get hired and the person gets hired. His life is better. He may find a better job because maybe it's not a good fit in certain job. His manager is not good, is not happy with the salary or the location or, or, or whatever that is, right? That ecosystem. And if you do that, you actually impact humankind. You impact the happiness index of this world, right? If, if we can deliver 1 billion jobs to people, we'll never be the laptop company. We'll never be Microsoft. We are the Intel inside you. We don't want to be a brand out there.

KJ (12m 43s):

We don't have desire. I don't think. We got to do one thing and one thing. Right, right. But my, my philosophy and I think our vision and the entire team is unified on that is once we get to that, we make impact on human lives because they will get a better job. Their families will be happier just overall. It's going to bring goodness to the world. And that's kind of where this whole philosophy of Joveo is. And something that, that I'm in it to just prove out this concept, to make sure that it works.

Joel (13m 7s):

You're going to make Chad crying a little bit. He's getting choked up right now. I can tell now that was just drinking bourbon. That wasn't all that bad.

KJ (13m 15s):

And, and, you know, like we took a very bold effort, right? At the time of colon. COVID, everybody's saying, Hey, I, I got to save my dollars. I wouldn't make money. All of that stuff. He said, you know what? We're going to help people get the jobs or get the employees who need essential workers during the Covid time. And again, just being Intel inside, we know that we would have delivered more than 60,000 hires in the ecosystem. And that for me, is looking back and saying maybe perhaps, perhaps we are doing something right. APPLAUSE

Chad (13m 47s):

Look for more episodes of voices, this Chad and Cheese podcast series devoted to stories and opinions of industry leaders, subscribe on iTunes, Google podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. So you don't miss a single show for more visit


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