Time to turn the snark up to eleven, people. Four years in the making, industry icon - or at least iconic in millennial terms - Matt Charney sits down with the boys for a chat about his latest role at SmartRecruiters, his take on the hottest HR tech vendors at the moment, and his distaste for most-things-SHRM. Resistance is futile. Turn it up!
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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.
Oh yeah. Matt Charney, Unchained, everybody. You listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. I'm your cohost Joel Cheeseman joined as always by Chad Sowash. And today we are so lucky to finally have Matt Charney, industry icon as a guest on the show. He's got a new job, which we'll get to in a second, but Matt, four years in the making you're finally on the show. What are your thoughts? And for those who don't know you, what should they know about you?
Welcome to 1950s radio. Go ahead.
Thank you. Thank you. I would actually put it in the forties when they were serializing everything, cause they actually a TV now. Right? Okay. So my name is Matt Charney. The last name is Charney if you are in recruiting, you should be able to Google and find out a bunch of information about me, but I am a long time listener, first time caller is it were. But I have been working in this space for a long time. I have blogged snarkily, maybe a little bit too much for over 10 years now. And my major areas of interest are
Joel (1m 34s):
What's the cease and desist letter count up to now?
Matt (1m 36s):
Oh My goodness. Are we including LinkedIn?
Joel (1m 38s):
Chad (1m 39s):
Matt (1m 40s):
Hundreds and hundreds.
Chad (1m 44s):
There you go.
Matt (1m 47s):
I have, I've kept a lot of product councils, very busy in my time, which is cool because one of the things that I'm really, really like passionate about is making sure that good recruiters have good products and don't buy things like eharmony. So
Chad (2m 1s):
The eharmony for jobs or the Tinder for jobs, which we've evolved into.
Joel (2m 7s):
Soon to be Bumble for jobs. I think the, are we Bumble for jobs now?
Chad (2m 12s):
How about Grindr?
Joel (2m 13s):
Grinder for jobs
Matt (2m 16s):
Grinder for jobs is what you're no longer allowed to do in the entertainment industry.
Joel (2m 21s):
So Matt, you got a new job, man. Tell us about it.
Matt (2m 24s):
I do. So I have the very official sounding title of Director of Product and Industry Marketing for Smart Recruiters.
Joel (2m 35s):
That is sexy as hell.
Matt (2m 37s):
Chad (2m 38s):
I like that. I'll put that on a t-shirt.
Matt (2m 41s):
Make it an appearance. No, so, and if you want it on a t-shirt, I'm sure I can make that happen. So essentially, you know what I've done for, God longer than I care to admit, so let's say at least 10 years now is covering the industry from all different sides, whether that is from working with startups to help, you know, accelerate their revenue and valuation, to working with big professional services organization, to define text backs, to overseeing partnerships and also covering news and other stuff. So I really, for a really long time resisted giving up my product neutrality, which is why I joined Allegiance, right?
Matt (3m 24s):
Because they don't have necessarily a whole lot of skin or at the time, in the product game. But I realized in being vendor agnostic that certain vendors kicked a lot more ass than the others. And so one company that I've been working with largely throughout my entire career is Smart Recruiters. And I think I first tried to get a job there when I was still at Recruiting Daily. And they were like, no, no, our customers are going to leave en mass? So, you know, it's been a company evolve for a long time. I'm really, you know, from a product perspective, nothing in an HR tech is really that sexy, right? But when it comes down to it, it's about people and mentality. And I think that the combination of challenger brand status, so a willingness to shake things up, the fact that, you know, they have really been a pretty big advocate from both the grassroots and, you know, cutting checks perspective for a lot of the different events and programs.
Matt (4m 21s):
And then also the trust that they gave in me both as an, you know, as somebody who's done some project work for them. And then just, you know, on the scene, for example, while I was getting yelled at, by my old employers, for things that I tweeted, Smart Recruiters gave me their Twitter access says, come do a live tweet, our, user conference under your account, or Hey, would you like to be on a diversity panel with our new chief diversity officer and three of our biggest customers. So I think that their willingness to let me play in boundaries, the most companies would probably find to be antithetical to their go to market strategy was definitely really attractive.
Matt (5m 1s):
And I think at this point they're a big enough company where I'm not going to have to be doing everything, but at the same time, early stage enough where I can definitely make an impact on both the products and how that product is shaped by the market.
Chad (5m 19s):
Are you doing much writing these days?
Matt (5m 21s):
I am. And you're not going to see, you're not going to see a lot of it quite yet, but I am starting to build the pipeline again. So I have 102 posts that are sitting, waiting to be published. And the question is where.
Chad (5m 37s):
How do you do 102 posts and not, they don't turn stale on you?
Matt (5m 42s):
No evergreen contents the, you know, I actually think ...
Joel (5m 45s):
He wrote them 8 years ago.
Matt (5m 47s):
Joel (5m 49s):
That seems to be boring though, because it's so broad. If you can't like zone in on something that's happening right now. So you don't, you don't see that timeliness important.
Matt (5m 58s):
Like, so what's the oddest topics. Like if you're going to tell me, probably you'll add to this list. Candidate experience, the gift that keeps on giving except to candidate, right? Like nothing has changed DNI, a big imperative. Let's talk about that to the exclusivity.
Chad (6m 16s):
Now it's DEI. So now all your D and I say, you're going to have to go back and do a fucking, a word switch.
Matt (6m 23s):
It's actually DEIB plus. Now that's a good point. Yeah. You know, either way, that's a find and replace tips
Joel (6m 30s):
How to get the most out of your job description,
Matt (6m 33s):
Functionally, that conversation, the solutions and the things that people are covering haven't changed. I benefit somewhat from both the status of this industry. And fortunately, since Joel Cheeseman stopped putting out written content, from being in a position where most of it's quite stale, so it becomes more tone and style than substance. Although really a lot of what I write about that never gets attached to the industry is aligned towards consumer technology trends. And so people think I'm brilliant. Then when five years later, you know, it enters into the HR, the HR scene.
Joel (7m 9s):
So the bar is pretty low.
Matt (7m 11s):
The bar, the bar is pretty low and generally outsourced yeah.
Chad (7m 14s):
Being in an industry that moves at a snail's pace, I understand where you're coming from. Yes.
Matt (7m 19s):
Yeah, exactly. You know, I think as long as Taleo still has a overwhelming amount of market where I can continue to find, rip and replace old stuff,
Joel (7m 30s):
You were great at Rec Fest in London last year, every everyone, including Chad and myself, was talking about innovation and new, new, shiny objects. I go to your session. And it's all about how awesome Career Builder and Dice and Craigslist still are. I'm thinking Dammit. He's right. Like people are still stuck in that time.
Matt (7m 53s):
Your feedback from that session, if I recall was, I don't think job postings are an accurately indicator of where the economy is going. So ha ha ha.
Joel (8m 3s):
Take that Cheeseman. I don't think that was my feedback as I remember.
Chad (8m 7s):
Yeah. Cause that seems way too smart to be Cheeseman.
Joel (8m 9s):
I'd had a few drinks by that point. So, talking about events and that was actually, I mean, shit that's that's well, over a year ago we have a, an event that's supposed to be coming up this year. LRP is doing, you know, a live event in Vegas. Was it September, August or something like that? Are people going to go back to events this year? Are they going to have, or will they have budget to do so? I think, I think the vendors will they're hungry. They're thirsty.wwww
Matt (8m 39s):
Yeah. They want to sit behind that trade show booth and scan badges. Right? So I, to answer that question, I long if, you know, looked at from a marketing perspective, what the ROI of these trade shows is from a vendor perspective. And I'm not sure that even prior to COVID a huge business case could be made for the impact that it makes versus the dollar amount of resources that go into it. Now I was never going to bite the hand that fed me because I got to travel all around the world and not really work and speak to big audiences. And that was really fun. But you know, when you look at sort of really any agenda, I I'm guilty of being this.
Matt (9m 23s):
You have a lot of the same people talking about a lot of the same stuff. It may or may not align with the audience, but when you look at it from like, what's, what's the purpose, okay. It's sometimes can be good for brand awareness and category creation, which is a big, fancy way of saying owning share voice. But when you talk about the major spend there, which is like a trade show or an expo or sponsored content or whatever, you're basically talking about like at a splay at which could not be less productive if you look at it than anything else. So if I'm in a booth, I'm waiting for people to maybe walk by, maybe show interest and then maybe qualify them enough to scan their badge.
Matt (10m 4s):
And to me, what is the purpose of spending that money when I can do the exact same thing, but targeted and digitally. So I really have long questioned why people go to trade shows? And the answer that I came to is it's not the content itself, it's the ability to - one get out of the office- something I think we all desperately need right now. So maybe there will be a little bit of an early ramp up there, but more importantly it's the stuff that happens as you guys know around the individual sessions, the interactions you have in the hallway, the people you meet when you're outside having smoke breaks or cocktails or whatever, and it's really building on relationships, you wouldn't have had otherwise.
Matt (10m 45s):
So until that goes back at scale, I don't see the events are going to ramp up anytime soon. You're and I, you know, I'm sure you're seeing this too, a bigger shift from these broad kind of global everyone come events to much more localized events. And I do think that that actually is what we're going to start seeing a lot more of. Highly targeted, smaller, smaller attendance and content, that's much more focused on that audience and building a network as opposed to selling a messenger product.
Chad (11m 20s):
Have you seen Miami here lately? The streets full of crazy people and yeah, I think you're a hundred percent wrong. I think as soon as we get a chance to get the fuck out, people are going to say, yes, I need a reason to go to Vegas or I need a reason to go here. Yeah. We'l will there be more hybridization happening with local and also online? Yeah, I think there will be, but I, dude, I think that we are so ready as human beings to go to Miami and just get freaking crazy. It's it's gonna happen. It's going to happen.
Matt (11m 54s):
But yeah, absolutely. At the very end, you know, as I alluded to at the very first part of it, I think that, you know, my question is how sustainable is that when your resources are strapped, professional developments being cut and you're trying to justify days off work when that's being heavily scrutinized. Right. So I think that, yes, you're probably right. Timeline-wise, there's a lot of economic questions and what still needs to be answered.
Chad (12m 22s):
Joel calls it, the roaring twenties are coming.
Joel (12m 24s):
It isn't, I'm not the only one I'd love to take credit for that. But no, I did not go with that. I mean, I agree that I think the vendors have money, you know, budgets to spend, they're going to go back. I think the people like us who are quote unquote thought leaders or influencers, we'll definitely go back. The question is the attendees, you know, they're going to reevaluate did we really get anything out of that? That we can't get off that we can't get from a virtual virtual conference or even video library or education somewhere. And I think they're going to ask hard questions as to whether or not they should keep doing it. Local ones are obviously easier from a budgetary standpoint. I don't, I just don't know. You know, I know Recruiting Daily has been trying for a while to do local stuff.
Joel (13m 5s):
I know John Sumser tried, you know, local stuff for awhile and they all, they all seem to fade away. So I don't know the, you know, the viability of that business model versus the, we have a huge conference twice a year that everybody comes to Vegas or San Diego or wherever. I think it's hard to scale locally.
Matt (13m 23s):
It is. But, you know, seeing some, probably our next conversation, SHRM they're local. They're local chapters have always done a really good job of organizing that. I think your distinction is, is it an event company that's producing it to make money? Or is it something like a local user group for a specific software? Those are very, very different strategies in my opinion. And let's face it like LRP is always going to bring in like a bunch of attendees because the attendees are vendors looking for partnerships. Yeah.
Chad (13m 54s):
Let's talk about tech real quick and adoption, because again, we do move at a snail's pace in this environment, but yet you went to a tech vendor, number one. Number two, I think scalability and adoption have increased dramatically just in the last shit, nine to 12 months around the pandemic. Do you think that continuing at the same pace, do you think it was adopted any fast? What's the outlook?
Matt (14m 22s):
So if we're talking about like recruitment technology, I think that you've had a lot of companies being able to take a step back away from a prior to release site called it's quiet, defined. So, oh crap. We have this RFP check a box build for that. And really more looking at capability gaps, being much more strategic about partnerships because you have this whole subset of companies that are like, oh, we integrate with this and this and this. And it's like, if they have an open API and a developer center, so you don't really integrate with them, but cool you get to splash a logo up there. But what I think has really accelerated has been more towards things like collaborative hiring, structured scorecards, virtual interviews, and just consolidating the hiring process as much as possible so that not only is it virtually enabled, but more importantly, the total cost of ownership is being driven down.
Matt (15m 18s):
So what you're seeing is, and this is one of the reasons I joined a tech company, frankly, where I did in the value chain. You're seeing really good numbers and growth around platforms. And then you're seeing a huge amount of failures and a consolidation or devaluation, if you look at debt financing, among the point solution vendors who oftentimes will either be built into a company's roadmap and then there's no need for that native solution, or just companies are saying, Hey, you know, we're cutting down on the amount of spend that we have externally, so we're going to go for the core capabilities as opposed to the flash. And I think nowhere will you see that more in like a recruitment marketing, which is essentially gone from a inbound sourcing function to a PR function for a lot of organizations that have flat or decreasing headcount.
Chad (16m 9s):
So where do you see a company like HireVue, which is just a large ass point solution and they have a shit ton of funding, where do you see them going other than toward becoming an applicant tracking system.
Joel (16m 19s):
Or LEO purchases.
Matt (16m 21s):
Wow. You had to go with HireVue, didn't you? Okay. So first off I would have to go find some golden plates and then transcribe them based off what the angel Moroni told me to do. Second off, I would have to figure out the difference between AI powered, facial intelligence recognition and acting. Right?
Chad (16m 43s):
But they're not doing the facial stuff anymore, are they? So all that tech is down the fucking drain.
Matt (16m 48s):
Yeah. Yes. And why aren't they doing it? Because they did not lose an employment rights lawsuit. They lost a civil rights lawsuit for that product. So you can have all the cash in the world and they do thanks to the elders of Zion, not my Zion but the other one. You have a company that is, as far as I can tell, had complete run of the market by being one of the earliest enterprise video interviewing, you know, solutions out there. And you have a company that seems to me to be largely trying to find a direction, take all that back. And it tells me this, well, video interviewing is not a category where you should have been invested in the first place.
Matt (17m 32s):
And as we saw when everyone was had to overnight move to like, oh shoot, we have zoom, oh, we have Microsoft team. We have the it's like, okay, well, there are a lot of cheaper low price options out there. Is this something we could do ourselves or something we need? So while they can continue to redefine themselves, their core capabilities, I think have always been this aligns with the market. And you're certainly seen that pivot as again, companies start to look at consumer grade technologies and say, Hey, why the hell not?
Chad (18m 2s):
So they're fucked is what I'm hearing? Okay.
Matt (18m 4s):
No, no. They're not, they get their own planet once they die. So.
Joel (18m 10s):
Wow. Wow. So you're talking about technology and the world is opening back up. Where, are you seeing in terms of head count for recruiting teams as we start to hire more, are they going to bring more human beings on or are they going to use more technology and bypass the humans?
Matt (18m 28s):
I don't think it's actually an either or so what my data shows, and this is limited to the access that I have, namely surveys. We've seen about one third of recruiters in the United States lose their job over the past year. I don't think that is unexpected. Given what we saw like 2008, 2009, what we did see then is like every company is like, oh, hiring is picking back up, crap, we have to hire a bunch of recruiters and sources of marketers. So what I think you've actually seen over the past couple of years, call me out if you think I'm wrong is that companies have been investing fairly heavily in things like recruitment process automation, not AI, but you know, RPA, consolidated tech stacks, and sort of ways to take back office processes and really remove that from the overall workflow.
Matt (19m 18s):
So I think you were kind of left with two groups. One of these groups has already sort of implemented a lot of the corps tech or have a good system that that's really configured for them so they're not spending all day dis-positioning resumes, manually posting job descriptions and all that stuff. And those people, I think actually have job security and haven't lost their jobs, those are, these are the two thirds. So when you have people who've implemented a lot of either automation solutions or built processes that are real efficient and effective. What they've have largely done is been able to pivot to things that are generally out of recruiting's scope since head counts went flat or down. And that's things like internal mobility, up-skilling, hypo identification, and a lot of cases, obviously DNI is coming into this.
Matt (20m 4s):
And so you're really starting to see a blending of what used to be more traditional HCM with TA, but with the angle of being a much more strategic. I think that the word, the tech likes uses trusted advisor, as opposed to somebody sitting a centralized service, you know, slating candidates and manually some of the hiring managers
Joel (20m 25s):
As opposed to distrusted advisors.
Matt (20m 28s):
Well, there are quite a lot of those they generally work for a third party staffing firms. And then the people who were order-takers or who, you know, were spending, gosh knows how much to send templated LinkedIn messages, like, I came across your profile, I think you'd be great for CyberCoders position. They weren't going to be long for this world, whether or not a pandemic happened. And so what you're seeing is sort of a natural flush out between those who do, and those who process requisitions.
Joel (21m 2s):
Darwinism basically is what you're saying,
Matt (21m 4s):
Survival of the fittest, but with Androids, right?
Nexxt PROMO (21m 14s):
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 (21m 58s):
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 hiring.nexxt.com. Remember that's next with the double X, not the triple X hiring.nexxt.com
Chad (22m 35s):
You would actually, I think you tweeted out something about our buddy, Johnny Taylor, over at SHRM joining iCIMS.
Matt (22m 44s):
Mr. Johhny Taylor.
Chad (22m 46s):
That's an interesting marriage. Shall we say? What do you think iCIMS was looking for through that type of was a board position?
Matt (22m 57s):
Yeah, he's a member of the new member of the board of directors.
Chad (22m 60s):
Matt (23m 0s):
Good question. So obviously I think that this is a company that is very traditional and east coast. I don't, you guys have been to their headquarters in Bell Labs where cell phones were invented, but no longer work. I'm sure. You know, I'm sure that you took a beautiful trolley tour of Red Bank, New Jersey, and you know, they're owned by private equity. So I see this as being very much aligned towards making an upmarket play so that they can say, oh, we're not a startup anymore. We're enterprise ready. And not only that we'll see how the conflict of interests work, but Johnny C.
Matt (23m 44s):
Taylor brings two things, one a giant organization of people who generally don't buy recruiting technology in the first place. So I'm unclear of that alignment. They rubber stamp it, but more importantly, I think for them, he brings quite a few political connections that the three people on this call might not love, but like it or not, he is the go-to HR and jobs expert for such fine people, as you know, the Republican National Committee and USA Today.
Chad (24m 18s):
Yeah. So we can expect like a Trump visit to Bell Labs sometime soon. Is that what I'm hearing?
Matt (24m 23s):
Yeah. Or, you know, another recruiting conference at Mar-a-Lago, which I think could happen at some point.
Joel (24m 29s):
Or near Miami where the party is everybody, are you, are you bullish or bearish on SHRM ? I'm a little concerned.
Matt (24m 36s):
I don't know why SHRM still exists. Other than the fact that most of their membership hasn't died yet.
Joel (24m 41s):
They're local conferences, according to you.
Matt (24m 43s):
They're local conferences are, again, those are volunteer run. They're not affiliated with the national organization. And they kind of, you know, have a little bit of autonomy for how they run. When I look up to the national organization, they are set up as a nonprofit, which is, which is really funny if you look at how much their board of directors get paid and about how much revenue they clear in an average year. But they're set up as a lobbying organization, they do a scam job of that. And if you ever ask them for they'll have a portal that says, okay, here's what's going on on their website as able to members. But if you ask, well, what's your stance on this? Or what are you telling members as an example around, you know, increase in minimum wage, they say almost unilaterally, SHRM does not have an opinion on this and we advise our members to do nothing.
Matt (25m 32s):
So what you have is the shell of a lobbying body with pretty decent beltway access, but at the same time, trying to serve a really disparate amount of members. And so I honestly think that SHRM is going to basically become irrelevant sooner rather than later, because as you know, there's a whole new generation that has been coming up and a lot of challengers, both on the conference side, as well as the, you know, professional organization side that have been a little bit more relevant. And so I see SHRM continuing to have all of the Karens gathered to get real drunk and watch Toby Keith, or Hall and Oates, which is one of the better, better conferences I went to which is also a little on the nose, probably with the manager stuff.
Matt (26m 24s):
But I think you, you know, you have to go back to the Hank Jackson days when, when SHRM chose a CFO, as opposed to someone in HR to really understand what they're about. And that is about making as much money as possible to reinvest in their various entities. Obviously it's a non-profit, and essentially have vertical control over our industry. I wish more people realized that they also set HR curriculums and schools that offer HR degrees build to their competencies.
Joel (26m 57s):
It's the funell baby.
Matt (26m 59s):
If we're talking about monopolies, it is a monopolistic way for them to essentially codify HR and build a dependency. The question is, is it the best thing for the profession? And if you've ever been to a SHRM event in the last three years, you know, they're still talking about getting a seat at the table. And that tells me that, that seat has already disappeared.
Chad (27m 21s):
That seat doesn't exist because they come up with stupid metrics that nobody can fucking understand. Overall, though, we're just talking about like the SHRM of the world. Certifications have been almost like their life's blood, the individual membership certifications. Do you see that going away? I can't imagine that most people in HR have an HR degree in the first place. So it does that. Yeah, there is a pipeline there is that really that big of a pipeline.
Matt (27m 48s):
There are HR VPS and certainly a lot do, because, you know, if you look at SHRM young professionals, the organization I was involved in when I was eligible and essentially, yeah. You know, you have quite a lot of those programs and a bunch of very unimaginative, let's say 18 to 25 year olds. Like, what do you want to do when you grow up? Oh, be a human resources business partner. Well, it was at that point in time, like you're not going to change all that much, but you know, I think that when it comes to certifications, they've already made their move, which was them and HRC and I shared a building at HRC. I had a very thorough and a long-lasting certification program in which they were certifying SHRM , which by the way, I think is important to have as a third party entity to credential your own professional organization.
Matt (28m 38s):
Obviously they essentially said, Hey, screw you, we're offering our new certification. And it's not even a traditional certification. It is, is competency based. And if you look at the competencies, it's things like business communication, right? So my thought is, if you're a competent person, you probably don't need SHRM . And if you're relying on SHRM to tell you what competencies are, God help you.
Joel (29m 4s):
In 2005, Jerry Crispin told me I should join SHRM because I marketed a product at the time and I still do, but to HR and I never joined and I don't think it impacted my business in any way whatsoever. And my guess is he's probably not telling people now that they need to join SHRM as a participant in the community.
Matt (29m 25s):
No, no, but he will definitely make an appearance at every SHRM conference. He can procure a bottle of red wine.
Joel (29m 31s):
Love, Jerry. Love Jerry. So I want to pivot to tech for a second. You mentioned marketplaces, and we talk about that a lot on the show of how every ATS wants to be the one, the one ATS to them all, what's your take on marketplaces? Who's doing it right? Who's who's doing it wrong? why is Bullhorn still charging to be in their marketplace? Like what, what's your, what's your take on that? Especially now that you're on the inside.
Matt (29m 54s):
So, you know, one of the big attractions for me and then here's me selling my product, I actually would think Smart Recruiter has done a phenomenal job on marketplace because they've, that was a big motivation for me joining, to be honest with you, because I play with so many different vendors and have for so long Smart Recruiters, obviously they have over 600 marketplace integrators and they're really generally companies that I like. So, and they do a lot of co-marketing with them as well, which I think is important. So I think that, that plus the open API that we have so people can build on the instance that that was a big attractor for me. They also, you know, let me judge it at bunch of their startup competitions.
Matt (30m 37s):
So the fact that they're actually fostering innovation in house and helping some of these companies grow is pretty, I think exciting for me as, is the factor on a global scale. Why is Bullhorn doing anything? You'd have to ask Art Pappas, kudos to them for staying relevant to this conversation. But you know, I think that the company is otherwise you were doing core marketplaces, right? And this is why I say, look at consumer technology. Look at companies like Amazon, Salesforce, Microsoft, the companies that have the most ability to integrate with the most amount of products within their core workflows are going to win. I don't know if ultimately that's going to be an HR solution, which generally sends to us either a software or platform level or more likely an infrastructure level, which is going to then kick it more towards a consumer and enterprise tech.
Joel (31m 31s):
So I'm glad you brought up Amazon, who's been under a lot of criticism lately for, you know, seeing what sells in the marketplace and then making their own private label products.
Matt (31m 41s):
Yeah, the LinkedIn approach.
Joel (31m 42s):
Do you think the platforms are smart enough to like, make those decisions about, okay, who should we buy? What should we build? Or is it just at this point? We just need a platform because everyone else has one?
Matt (31m 53s):
I think that really depends on the sophistication of the platform and capability gaps. I don't think there are a whole lot of cases I can think of where Corp dev is necessarily at the steering wheel when it comes to the M and A. Just because you're talking largely about VC backed companies and or PE. And so, you know, in the case of a Jobvite, you know, you have K one coming in, slapping together, four different technologies and saying, here's the platform. So I don't know how many companies are positioned to essentially say here's our M and A strategy, here's our work chest and let's start doing due diligence.
Matt (32m 34s):
The one company right now that I think there is an exception to that, is our good friends at Recruits.
Chad (32m 42s):
Ok, so talking about Recruit and Indeed it seems, seems like Indeed's throwing a lot of shit at the wall, which, I mean, you've got a lot of money, you got a lot of money, so, okay, go at it. But it doesn't seem like they are doing business like Indeed does business in that being a Trojan horse version. What do you think? What have you seen and what do you think is interesting, from what they're doing or is there anything at all?
Matt (33m 9s):
So what's really interesting to me actually, is this, Recruit is such a big conglomerate. They actually control about 98% of all HR or recruiting transactions in the Japanese market, which is like the third world, the third largest world economy. In fact, they had a insider trading scandal, which took down an entire Japanese administration. So they're basically like the accuser of this industry, right? Like that scene in kill bill, where everyone's fighting with knives, that's their Corp dev team. Right. But when you, when you look at a breakdown of like Indeed's revenue versus Recruits, they make up a significant, significant part of it without violating an NBA or being overly speculative.
Matt (33m 58s):
I think indeed as an, a whole lot of trouble because of the fact that they don't in my mind have a great answer for what happens when Google shuts them out of their ecosystem. They're very heavily reliant on, you know, on cookies beaconing, and then you know, that system. So once that goes away, I am very, very curious to know what their product is. I can tell you that in addition to their like third iteration of the staffing business, they are spending more money than probably Conde Nast right now on creating content.
Joel (34m 38s):
Do you're saying you didn't like their Super Bowl ad?
Matt (34m 43s):
It was perfect for them. So it was their brand promise. It was like mediocre, forgettable, and, you know, maybe effective, but you know, happy to measure it.
Joel (34m 54s):
I felt good for about eight seconds. I felt warm and fuzzy for about eight seconds.
Matt (34m 58s):
Yeah, you know, and I think it's really funny because I don't know that anyone has ever gotten deal alert and like, yes, I have a job! Because I don't think the product actually does that. But yeah, no, I think that's a good symbol of a company that is spending to figure out what works, as opposed to doubling down on some core capabilities that they're going to need to figure out in order to overcome for the 80 to 90% of their traffic. That <inaudible> into Google, who's about to shut them.
Joel (35m 29s):
What should they do with Glassdoor?
Matt (35m 33s):
What should they do? Well, they're integrating them a little bit more than they have in the past. Only because Glassdoor, as it turns out, employer reviews weren't generating a huge amount of traffic for them. And it ended up not fulfilling the holes in search or core product capabilities, but I think they're looking for, and additionally, you have a lot of alternate like, more niche alternatives to Glassdoor, like in her site is an example. I could probably name, name a few more if I had my computer open. Right.
Joel (36m 4s):
Matt (36m 5s):
And then, you know, so I think that all reviews of being alike, their generalized approach has proven a, not to work. Two, there's a huge amount of distrust on the buyer side. That that's a legacy issue. And I don't know that it's been fully engineered into their product for whatever reason. So I can't necessarily go in and buy amalgamated package of these two things. I'm buying a separate Glassdoor and a separate D contract, or at least the last time, six months ago I tried to do so. So I think that they have a very active Corp dev team right now asking who do we buy to try to fix this problem very quickly, like MacGyver it.
Matt (36m 45s):
And then you have a product team saying, oh,
Chad (36m 48s):
But what about Facebook and Google? Do you think they're going to get this jobs thing right at all? Or are they just going to keep fucking around with it? And just, it's going to continue to sputter and Indeed's going to stay where they're at.
Matt (36m 59s):
Well, so Facebook, I do not see getting into the job game, because they can't target, right. They've already lost that federal lawsuit. So they can't target job seekers as a specific category if they're advertising.
Chad (37m 16s):
Not well, they can target.
Matt (37m 17s):
No, they legally cannot target.
Chad (37m 20s):
Well, the current product which you can do is you can actually pick it's like it's, it's like setting up a pretty much a job search agent, right? So it's, it's the old version in Facebook. So you can pick stupid. It's horrible. Just put it that way, but it's still there.
Matt (37m 36s):
And so it's open graph, but God knows where that happened. And that was really awesome. But I think Facebook largely when you look at their jobs to have that capabilities, I'm going to guess not being that connected, that their approach is going to be just disintermediating job applications for, you know, fractional sense on a quick, because what they're doing is they're just largely redirecting using connectors to corporate career sites. And I think that'll continue. I don't see them probably ever hosting jobs that aren't just kind of like one-off gigs that would fit more in the marketplace. I do see them indexing a lot of job listings, but other than Facebook native apply capabilities, which is just Facebook connect, which is getting shut down all over the place.
Matt (38m 20s):
I don't see them making a huge move into that space. Watch me be proven wrong by a big announcement in two weeks. Google is really interesting. So obviously, you know, Google hire came and it went and Google jobs, similarly was sun-setted as a revenue source. But if you type in any sort of variation in jobs at Google, you're still getting the exact same product, which tells me that they're building a giant dataset to essentially own all of their onsite job advertising, because why else would you be collecting this data and dis-intermediating it? If that is no longer a product you plan on selling.
Matt (39m 0s):
And you've already said that you are making a switch, so you can't target individual users. I think that Google is going to end up winning this battle because guess what? Once all of their data points are in there. And once they switched their algorithms to prevent a tracking and D duplication, which puts Indeed at a great deal of trouble, that's going to be the only source that is indexing all of these different job sites. I think they have a little ways to go in terms of building their, you know, building their, the way that they integrate with like corporate applicant tracking systems in order to display jobs.
Matt (39m 44s):
So I think they have maybe half of all the available jobs on the internet right now, but I can tell you with certainty that they are working aggressively to fill in those gaps, particularly when it comes to integrating with direct employers.
Joel (40m 0s):
Interesting. So I'm going to throw in LinkedIn here. We talked about them this past week about being more of an aggregator. Obviously we're seeing companies like Seek Out being better people search engines and collecting more interesting data and also being quite a bit more cost effective, like where, where does LinkedIn fit in this? And if you, if you ran the company, what would you do differently?
Matt (40m 22s):
If I ran LinkedIn, I would be on an island somewhere with Reid Hoffman, sipping daiquiris, or collecting my Microsoft stock. So here's, it's interesting because I just see LinkedIn as being a targeted ad product. So they built this brilliant sort of publisher business where, you know, oh my God, I have 715,000 people who viewed this post. That's like, that's statistically, can't be true. I think people have gotten into the habit of publishing all of this content on LinkedIn. So, you know, it used to be like, I'd have a personal WordPress site. I contribute to another media site. Now everyone's just posting original content on LinkedIn that targeted ads based can be sold around.
Matt (41m 6s):
So Microsoft is when I say Microsoft, LinkedIn is essentially empowering their community to validate themselves professionally, by giving them free content they can target advertising. Which is not a bad move. Because when you look at, you know, this is going to shock you, but the top 10 most visited websites in the world, four or five of them are owned by Microsoft. So once you kind of triangulate all those that you have a really powerful ad network that could potentially emerge as a competitor to Google.
Joel (41m 34s):
You've been well-known as a social media, I don't know, contributor over the years. Right?
Matt (41m 40s):
I would say troll.
Joel (41m 43s):
On the social media side, either from a, a user of social media or a recruitment tool that, that excites you, if anything,
Matt (41m 51s):
Well, if I was the Chinese government, my answer would be much different.
Chad (41m 54s):
Light dance bitch.
Matt (41m 56s):
Yeah, exactly. Or a clubhouse for having the exact same problems. Yeah. And then Snapchat is, the funny fallacy there is, oh, my data disappears as soon as post does, which is why they're worth billions of dollars. Here's the TLDR. If you look at source of hire statistics, I've always, and most of these largely actually include LinkedIn as outside of the recruiter product, which on a fairly effective. Social media in the 12 years, we've been saying, this is going to be the next great thing for recruiting has never, ever been more than three and a half percent of all hires.
Matt (42m 34s):
So what's the network that's out there, that, it doesn't matter to me because I just don't think that unless it is an individualized one-on-one communication between like a recruiter and talent, which is Twitter is still a great platform for that, particularly for recruiting tech. It doesn't matter because if I have a choice between like, you know, watching somebody, skateboard to Mick Fleetwood Dreams while drinkin' a cranberry juice, or I have a choice to see somebody talk about how YouTube can be a million dollar earner at my recruiting firm, like I'm not gonna watch that content. And it doesn't historically convert very well at all.