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Upgraded Robot-Proof Recruiter

Aside from being a proud Gen X’er and sharing a birthday with Chad (same year and everything), she is a well-loved global keynote speaker, and host of The Hiring Partner Perspective (Unedited) podcast. We chatted with her when the 1st Edition of the book came out, pre-pandemic, but the 2nd edition is just as appetizing. In it, Katrina teaches companies how to recruit without an existing online presence, and she covers the unexpected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on recruiting in detail. Oh yeah, and there are plenty of new case studies to discuss. Enjoy.


INTRO (1s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to punch the recruiting industry, right where it hurts! Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Joel (22s):

Oh yeah. What's up everybody. It's your favorite meatheads? AKA, the Chad and Cheese podcast on your cohost Joel Cheesman joined as always

Chad (32s):


Joel (32s):

The Bill to my Ted Chad Sowwash and today, top selling author we welcome Katrina Collier. She wrote a book called the The Robot-Proof Recruiter: A Survival Guide for Recruitment and Sourcing Professionals. She's based in London, that's UK, not Ontario or Kentucky. She has a well-loved global keynote speaker, that's her LinkedIn profile not just me saying she's well loved, and the host of the Hiring Partner Perspective podcast. And she's also a proud gen X-er and Gemini I might add.

Chad (1m 2s):

And my twin she's my twin.

Katrina (1m 3s):

That's right.

Chad (1m 4s):

You forgot that. Yeah.

Joel (1m 5s):

She's your Southern hemisphere female twin. May 27th, 1971.

Katrina (1m 10s):

Technically, I think I'm a few hours older.

Chad (1m 14s):

Just a few hours.

Katrina (1m 14s):

Yeah. You just get that date away.

Joel (1m 17s):

You're both older than me, so fuck off.

Chad (1m 20s):

But we both are dead sexy.

Joel (1m 23s):

You are dead sexy.

Katrina (1m 24s):


Chad (1m 24s):

That's all that matters.

Joel (1m 25s):

Katrina. It's been a minute.

Katrina (1m 27s):

I need to update my bio. You left some stuff out.

Chad (1m 30s):

What'd we miss?

Joel (1m 31s):

Please add some more shit.

Katrina (1m 32s):

The main stuff I do. I run design thinking workshops with companies to help them sort out their recruitment processes and candidate experience. And I've just launched the collective. In fact, the first one was just the, you know, just gone by, ah, which is a coaching and mentoring space for recruiters, because I've just felt like there's just too much stress and burnout in that space.

Joel (1m 51s):

And all this is under Katrina Collier Limited, right?

Katrina (1m 55s):

Yeah. Just

Joel (1m 57s):

Could say CEO of Katrina Collier Limited, but that seems like that doesn't really paint the whole picture.

Katrina (2m 4s):

Seems a bit dull. Doesn't it?

Joel (2m 6s):


Katrina (2m 6s):

I'm CEO of my company. Me.

Joel (2m 7s):

If I said head of TA at Microsoft, you know, I wouldn't need to say anything else, but you're much more complex than that.

Katrina (2m 13s):

I am complicated.

Chad (2m 14s):

She is pretty fucking complicated.

Joel (2m 17s):

I said complex, not complicated. Don't put words in my mouth, Katrina. That's Chad's job.

Katrina (2m 23s):

I think it's the joy of working for yourself. You can be like, oh, well I'm over here doing this. But then I also do this, and I also do this and

Joel (2m 29s):

I think I speak for all of us when I say we couldn't go back.

Katrina (2m 33s):


Joel (2m 33s):

We're fortunate that we don't have to, but.

Katrina (2m 36s):

I'm not sure how many companies have noticed how many genx have left the workforce for that reason.

Joel (2m 41s):

No one gives a shit about us. Like know no one.

Katrina (2m 45s):

When the boomers retire, they've got the leaders.

Joel (2m 48s):

Then it will just be Millennials will take over.

Chad (2m 50s):


Joel (2m 50s):

We'll be in, we'll be in Portugal and wherever you guys are hanging out watching.

Katrina (2m 54s):

Yeah. I'm pretty excited that Chad's sorting me for Portugal. Like yeah,

Chad (3m 0s):

Of course.

Katrina (3m 1s):

You know.

Chad (3m 1s):

I've got to, yes. It's family. It's family. So, okay, let's jump into this book thing that you did. So what prompted a second edition of the Robot Proof Recruiter? When did the first one come out first off?

Katrina (3m 13s):

So the first one came out on the 3rd of August. Almost of my dad's date of birth, cause it came out and his 90th birthday 2019.

Chad (3m 22s):

Before the pandemic.

Katrina (3m 23s):

So of course, yeah, three years ago. Yeah. So the pandemic changed a lot. Of course. So I was concerned I was reading bits of it going. That's actually really funny. The bit about flexible working. I think that it was only a small bit, but it was sort of making me laugh. But the only reason that Kogan Page the editor would have come back to me and ask me is if people oh, is because people bought the book. So I cannot thank everybody enough. All of the readers for getting behind it and buying so many copies.

Joel (3m 54s):

I'll do that for you Katrina.

Katrina (3m 55s):

Thank you.

Chad (3m 55s):

And you even saw, I mean, you, you saw the book in like airports all over the fucking world. Right?

Katrina (4m 6s):

I saw it via somebody else in one airport. Kogan Page do not put recruitment books in the airport, which actually I do find a little bit irritating but they don't set it. But I've been sent photographs of it on six continents, which is like a little bit mind blowing cause when you write a book, they don't tell you this stuff. Like they don't tell you what it's like when Keen, for example, this company called Keen bought a hundred copies and I walked into a room and there they were on all the chairs ready for the attendees at this event. They don't tell you what that feels like. And the fact is I donated my royalties to Hope for Justice charity. So every purchase, thank you.

Katrina (4m 46s):

My head is exploding here with all this clapping, every purchase makes so.

Joel (4m 51s):

That was a nice guy

Katrina (4m 53s):

For anybody who doesn't understand that Australian women don't like, Joel. I don't understand, but I speak for all 25 million Australian citizens.

Chad (5m 2s):

I would probably broaden that up more than Australia. But go ahead. Go ahead.

Katrina (5m 7s):

Anyway, I think some of the reason I was able to like talk about the book so much was because I donated my royalties. And then of course people got behind it and seeing, I think what I really love it is when I see a head of talent or director of buy it for the entire team and then you really feel like you're creating some amazing impact. But yeah, so backfire came. So the first thing I thought was I need somebody to write the foreword and I thought I'm going to go my most favorite podcast stuff to write the forward, without realizing how much that would sort of make him think I was joking.

Chad (5m 42s):

Yeah, yeah, no, no. I thought you were joking when you actually came to me like yeah, I had a podcaster writing a forward. Yeah. No.

Katrina (5m 49s):

Well, I was thinking, you know, a little bit about HR Tech. That's why I was saying

Chad (5m 53s):

A little bit, a little bit, which is probably what threw you off with my forward because I really didn't focus on the tech as much as it is the story. And to be quite Frank when it comes to not just tech today, but again, the landscape was, we talk about COVID, as three gen X-ers here. We remember before the internet actually came and then our first experiences with the internet, with technology and then the changes, the obstacles, those types of things.

Katrina (6m 22s):


Chad (6m 22s):

Yeah. Many of the recruiters today, they don't even realize the obstacles that were even created prior that exists today and why they do, so after reading the book in the first place, I think it was great just to kind of throw things back and to try to help people to understand and then this is how evolution happens.

Katrina (6m 39s):

Well, and it is funny because originally the title of the Robot Proof Recruiter came from my sheer frustration that HR tech vendors were saying, oh, we can replace recruiters. It's like, okay, yeah dream on. But when addition two came out, I was then having an argument about the word transparency. So I've written the noise and transparency created by the internet, makes it harder to recruit the right people. And that's all I ever talk about, is this we're lucky, we remember what it was like before we know how to communicate without the noise. And certainly the transparency is the fact that you can see all of those reviews. You can see all of those jobs. And we remember what it was like when you couldn't.

Joel (7m 14s):

I miss my pre-internet brain. I don't know about you guys. I can't focus for shit.

Katrina (7m 18s):

I can't watch TV without staring at my phone. And it's like, what on earth are you doing?

Chad (7m 24s):

You put it upstairs on the charger. That is my way of doing it. It's okay. You put it in the other room with the charger.

Katrina (7m 31s):

I've moved house. I don't have an upstairs. It's very, oh actually, I do, but it's not mine.

Chad (7m 36s):

So if somebody read the first edition, why would they pick up the second?

Katrina (7m 44s):

Its had a pandemic overhaul and obviously has a brilliant forward written by The Chad.

Joel (7m 49s):

The guy who says writing is dead, wrote your forward.

Chad (7m 53s):

Of course I did.

Katrina (7m 54s):

It's about 25, 30% different. So of course the theme is the same, but I have given an update, all the tech, I know all the tech is working cause it was amazing how much disappeared there are new examples and case studies. Some of the things that have come out that weren't around, but believe it or not just three years ago, things like pronouns. So that's included in there. One thing I found really interesting was how much more audacious people have become full stop. So there are more reviews than I've ever seen before. And I, you know, I know a lot of people out there think they don't count, but I still think they deter people from wanting to work at your company. But there's an example in there from someone who was working at a job board that pretty well, everyone in the world knows about and they were homophobic and he has written two articles right there on LinkedIn for the world to say about it.

Katrina (8m 41s):

And it's like that audacity to do that.

Joel (8m 44s):

Are you going to name names or dance around this? Like what are you doing?

Katrina (8m 48s):

I'm going to dance around it.

Joel (8m 48s):

This is the Chad and Cheese podcast Katrina.

Katrina (8m 51s):

Yeah. I'm going to dance around it. No, you obviously need to purchase a copy, which is being released in the US on the 30th. Then you can read about it, but it was more about the fact that people are quite happy to do that. And they're not concerned about the knock-on impact to their careers. And I think that's hugely different to when we, as genXers started out where it was, you know, got a job for life, never changed jobs without another one, Barbara, but we could not go to the internet and look for another job. We couldn't just see that there were so many, you know, recruiter jobs, podcasts, we couldn't a podcast. What's a podcast? Didn't exist.

Joel (9m 26s):

I'm a little confused, which is not uncommon on this show Katrina. But you went into saying like COVID has changed recruiting and I get the pronouns, but I don't get the other part of it. The Did you trail off on that or can we get back to the how COVID changed?

Katrina (9m 44s):

Probably. I probably trailed off. Anything's possible. Remember, it's late in the day here in the UK, more than.

Chad (9m 53s):

She's had a few drinks.

Joel (9m 54s):

She's had 4 pints.

Katrina (9m 56s):

I have not had a few drinks. Lowering the respect of things that I talked about, now just don't matter. You know, it was like, you have to go and convince your leadership that flexible working is the way forward because that's what candidates wanting. Now it's like, yeah, that doesn't really count. It's more like don't try and pull people back into the office rather than going convince them. We know it works. We've seen it work. We've seen all the knowledge workers have to work from home and done just fine. So there's more around that rather than what was in there before.

Joel (10m 26s):

So technology is important in that world.

Katrina (10m 29s):


Joel (10m 29s):

In the promo of the book, it says that you'll teach how to recruit without an online presence. And you go on about that and what you meant like no social media online presence? No LinkedIn, like what are you talking about?

Katrina (10m 41s):

It's in that respect, it kind of works both ways. You can either have too much and you've got a really bad reputation or you don't have any and people are like, oh gosh, who are you? You know, you're a startup. You haven't got any presence you're competing against the big boys. So it's

Joel (10m 55s):

A company, not the person.

Katrina (10m 57s):

Yes. I talk about both to be fair. Chapter two is all about like looking worthy of someone's time. So that's very much about the individual and actually I go into the hiring managers as well. And you knon, I feel like there's this problem where there's so much focus on the sourcing and the messaging to that person and not enough on, okay, you've got my attention. And I look at you and go, I don't want to talk to Joel Cheeseman. He doesn't look approachable to me. There's no information on his profile. There's no rich media. There's nothing about the company. Who is this person? Like I don't trust them. And it's about the fact that people will do that. People with skills that are in demand will take the time if they're interested to look at you. And so it's about bit that, and then it's the company side.

Katrina (11m 39s):

Like, just look, if you can have an employer, branding person and spend a lot of money, that's fantastic. But if you're a small company, you can't do that, but you can share blogs and podcasts and videos. And just some something to give people an insight into who you are as a company and who you are as the individual, trying to get their attention.

Joel (12m 3s):

Have to have something. Not just nothing.

Katrina (12m 4s):


Chad (12m 5s):

So do you think transparency is a much larger discussion today than it was pre COVID?

Katrina (12m 9s):

I just feel that a lot of the people who hadn't got on the internet, cause they didn't have to and then suddenly they had to, like, you've now got to use technology to work, became more confident using it and therefore became more confident if you will complaining about a bad experience they've had. And that has created more information on the internet. So more transparency, more stuff for people to see. I feel that's what I feel happened. I certainly noticed that the reviews increased dramatically in 2020. I mean, obviously there are a lot of disgruntled people out there or a lot more, there was a lot more willingness to just go and say it how it is. But, I don't just mean on the sites we think about this also like Recruiting Hell Reddit, which I give full credit to Steve Levy for pointing that one out at me is hilarious and also heartbreaking at the same time.

Katrina (12m 60s):

So people will go to sites like that and vent and they'll name companies quite happily.

Chad (13m 3s):

It's not new and that's the thing. I just think that people are just more comfortable and that it's not a faux pas anymore.

Katrina (13m 10s):

Yeah. There's no fear. There's no, 'oh gosh, if I do this, I'll never get another job. It's going to follow me around.' There's none of that anymore.

Chad (13m 21s):

TikTok people, you know, flaming their employer on TikTok.

Katrina (13m 24s):


Joel (13m 25s):

Is anonymity dead.

Katrina (13m 25s):

Oh, that's a big question.

Joel (13m 30s):

Maybe just for certain generations. Cause I feel like young people really don't give a shit.

Katrina (13m 34s):

It's sad really.

Joel (13m 34s):

Is it? I don't know. It's kind of empowering.

Katrina (13m 35s):

I mean we were talking about before we came on about sort of, you know, my childhood and had damaging that wasn't I was pretty messed up in my twenties and thirties. I'd hate to think about being on the internet. I'm really glad that my fucked up years.

Joel (13m 49s):

That's really interesting.

Katrina (13m 49s):

Oh, am I allowed to swear on this thing? But anyway, I'm glad they're not there as a record. That's what I was meaning by it sad. I feel, you know, when I have been coaching recruiters, I'm forever saying, you know, if you want to use an Instagram, for example, like share your photos of yourself and your dog photos and fine, but please protect your children. Don't have a private account.

Joel (14m 9s):

But if we had all grown up with social media and we all just like, oh yeah, that was 30 years ago or whatever. Like what if we all came up with it, would it be as big a deal 20, 30 years from now?

Chad (14m 22s):


Katrina (14m 23s):

If you've got a name like mine where you Google it and it's like, there's very few Katrina Colliers in the world. It's going to follow me around if I'm suddenly on TikTok doing something I shouldn't.

Chad (14m 37s):

Yeah. But, I think there's this feeling of kind of numbness to some extent and to think that you do something in your twenties and it's gonna follow you around and when you're 50, you just can't get that job. Or you're 40 or 30 you can't get that job. I don't know. I think it all comes down to the need and a lot of people are just gonna overlook that kind of shit because it's like, what if they can do the job and they can knock it out. I don't give a shit what they do on TikTok.

Joel (15m 9s):

Just don't become prime minister.

Katrina (15m 11s):


Chad (15m 11s):

She should dance all day.

Katrina (15m 12s):

I guess you're also expecting HR and hiring managers and recruiters even to not be biased. You're also talking in our little bubble if we don't work in a company that we wouldn't care. Like we'd actually probably be like, I want to actually have the prime minister as my best mate. You know, we're very different. We're much more liberal and open-minded, but unfortunately I see it. There's a particular HR group on Facebook I just absolutely adore when I just need, fill the need to remember why I do what I do. And you see the stuff in there, the reasons that they'll want to rule someone out and you're just like really? Really have you not just had a conversation with them and found out what it was about?

Chad (15m 49s):

Can we get that stick out of your ass for a minute?

Joel (15m 52s):

That's no fun.

Katrina (15m 54s):

I mean, if, if there are any job seekers listening, I just, yeah. Just try and keep it a little under wraps.

Joel (16m 0s):

Can I come back to the book? Can I come back to the book?

Katrina (16m 3s):

This is all in the book because recruiter behavior is another reason that people get put off from working at your firm. You know, they'll look at your public profile, your LinkedIn profile, whatever, and then they will go and look at it. If they're interested and they're inquisitive, they will look at Facebooks and Instagrams and the likes. So what are you sharing that, you know, shows that you're ranting about politics or you bigoted or racist or whatever it might be. There is a need to pull it under wraps. So I do talk about that. Cause I unfortunately were being looked at.

Joel (16m 31s):

Have some updated case studies in the book. Can you give us one that kind of stood out to you that is relevant now more than it was back then?

Katrina (16m 42s):

There's a study by end/ghosting or in ghosting that 86% of people that don't hear back, get a bit down or depressed. And it was more fascinating to me when I saw this girl had posted on LinkedIn a spreadsheet and she put all of her applications and she'd written ghosted every time she hadn't heard back. And that shocked me because I felt ghosted was when you didn't hear that from an interview. And it was like, wow, okay. So for her she was ghosted 36 times and oh actually she wasn't, she was 34. What was really interesting in my humble opinion was seeing where she had actually interviewed and she got an offer and it was like, gosh, the other 34 were a bit mad, but it was interesting, the perception. And that was one of the cases I was quite like case studies, probably a stretch examples, I was quite proud to put in there to just get people to wake up a little bit.

Katrina (17m 27s):

And they were like, yeah, actually I want to hear back from my application. And as you guys know, there are tools and technology out there you can use to let people know.

Chad (17m 39s):

Well, and the job seekers learn ghosting from somewhere. They learned it from us. They learned it from the fucking employers.

Joel (17m 50s):

Katrina just found out ghosting goes both ways, that just shows you how myopic recruiters are.

Katrina (17m 55s):

That is not what I was saying.

Joel (17m 55s):

Oh, self-centered and egotistical recruiters.

Katrina (17m 56s):

The reason that candidates ghost is because recruiters have ghosted. Full stop end of story , I'm done. Anytime anyone has an argument with me on that. How dare they? What do you expect for decades we've been ghosting them?

Chad (18m 10s):

Okay. For all the people that are listening out there, they have plenty of books because everybody wrote a goddamn book during COVID. They have plenty of books to choose from. Why choose version two. Edition two the Robot Proof Recruiter?

Katrina (18m 24s):

Obviously the aforementioned where I donated the royalties and forward. So there's no risk, but because it's a really gritty manual, like some people say to me, you're going to do an audio, which I am, but you need the book because you're going to write on this book. There's a lot of books out there that are high level strategy. This is not that book. This is gritty. You're going to open and go, oh my gosh, I can go and do that right now. I can go and change that right now, it's going to make my recruitment better. And the other thing is there are now more than 74 contributors, there must be like 90. I need to add it up. Lots of different industry and community thought in this book because I didn't want people to go and when did you last recruit Collier? Because it has been a minute.

Katrina (19m 4s):

So I backed up all my thinking with real-world examples from a real wealth of recruiters that are sitting, you know, doing your job. So it's rich. That's why. I'm incredibly proud of it. I mean, just so many reasons. And most of it is it's that community book.

Joel (19m 20s):

Katrina Collier everybody. She's the author of the Robot Proof Recruiter. Katrina I know you got a lot going on. Can you funnel down one location that our listeners can find out more about you by the book, etc?

Katrina (19m 43s):


Joel (19m 44s):


Chad (19m 44s):

Oh, there you go. It's Not a .io or anything.

Katrina (19m 49s):

That's for those tech startuUps.

Joel (19m 50s):

Chad, it's been fun. I love memory lane.

Chad and Cheese (19m 53s):

We out.

OUTRO (20m 37s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.There's some weird we out.


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