WTF is RXO?

November 26, 2019

Technology disruption. We hear it a lot, but what does it really mean in the world of work? Pontoon's Tim Meehan seems to have it all figured out, as he nicely lays out in the presentations he does around the globe. Enter Chad & Cheese who say, "We'll be the judge of that."

 

All the buzzwords are here: AI, blockchain, automation ... and even (lord, help us) TikTok! If you like looking around corners, this one's for you.

 

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Announcer:        Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR's 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.

 

Joel:                       Welcome to the Most Nervous Guest We've Ever Had episode of the Chad and Cheese podcast. Welcoming special guest, Tim Meehan from Poon Tang solutions. I got that wrong, didn't I?

 

Tim:                       Pontoon Solutions.

 

Chad:                    I think that's a rap song, isn't it?

 

Tim:                       You guys are a dangerous podcast.

 

Chad:                    So Tim Meehan, VP Global Head Emerging Technologies at Pontoon Solutions.

 

Tim:                       Thank you. Yeah.

 

Chad:                    What does that mean? And for our listeners out there who don't know who Tim Meehan is, tell us a little bit about Tim Meehan, and what do you do there at Pontoon Solutions?

 

Tim:                       Come on guys, get it right.

 

Joel:                       Getting to know you...

 

Tim:                       So I look after our stack of emerging technologies for Pontoon Worldwide, and for those who don't know, we're an outsourcing company that provides both full-time and contingent labor recruitment, outsourcing services. 2000 employees, we're in 110 countries, heck of a lot of clients, and my job is to bring the stack of tools that we spend a lot of time talking about into the client solution set. So basically, I don't touch our ATS or CRM or even VMS. My job is to bring the tools that make the experience working with those crappy platforms much better.

 

Joel:                       And you're a Pisces who enjoys walks on the beach, but we won't get into that right now. Tim, so Chad threw me this, I don't know, infographic/visual representation of a speech you gave recently, and it's quite a mess. It's a regurgitation of, I don't know, Hanna-Barbera on crack. Wow, even Chad laughed at that one. So you focus a lot on generations in this imagery. So talk to me about that. Are the generations different? Are they the same? Does it matter? Is it all a bunch of bullshit? What's your take?

 

Tim:                       That was an amazing session. We were in the room with half a dozen of our major banking clients from around the world.

 

Joel:                       Wow, big room, half a dozen, wow. You're pretty influential, Tim.

 

Tim:                       Yeah, there we go. Well, the rest of them didn't come when they heard I was coming. So I had a session where I talked about what might be coming in the future, and how it potentially could impact our ability to succeed. And I actually have four tenets of, I'll guess I'll call them either mega trends or disruptive trends. And certainly generational is one of them, but I'd like to start with the first one, which is the space we talk about, which is the stack we work in, and the fact that experience is the new driver.

 

Tim:                       There is definitely the tool set today to bring a talent acquisition experience, be it contingent or full-time recruitment, that is very disruptive. Amazing. I think we're talking about that a little later. And if companies don't have their head on and don't realize that this is real, they won't even make it through the first of these critical disruptive steps, and the first is the stack.

 

Tim:                       So, to our listeners out there, if you're not having serious discussion around updating your VMS platform, integrating in chat bots, talking about programmatic advertising, and looking at new career site technology, machine learning magic... If you're kind of like, "Well, we'll get to that," you're already late. So we've got that big factor, and there are some companies, and I'm blessed in Pontoon, we've got a lot of high-tech clients. These are real innovative organizations that we're able to explore that with them.

 

Joel:                       So, just real quick, who are the bigger a-holes, Gen Z or millennials?

 

Tim:                       Well, as a father of millennials, I wouldn't say it's them, and grandfather of Zs... I don't know guys. They're not. I'm sorry, you're not going to get me to bite on that one. Maybe I'll say I'm the a-hole.

 

Chad:                    Xers are the assholes, there we go.

 

Joel:                       Gen X. They are assholes.

 

Tim:                       That's true, X is... Well, they're the missed generation. So, who knows?

 

Joel:                       All right, on to the tenets. I'm sorry about that.

 

Tim:                       Yeah. So the next one is generational. And you know, ad nauseam, we all know Zs are the new entrants to the marketplace.

 

Joel:                       A-holes.

 

Tim:                       But what we have to understand is, you could have a candidate that comes into the interview, 18, 19 years old, that's got three or four blogs running. Maybe they even do their own little side podcasting in some funky thing, and they have a million Twitter followers. And then they run smack dab into your crappy apply process that takes them a half an hour, asks them for stuff they don't have, and then they never hear back.

 

Tim:                       And then it's on their Twitter feed, and it's being retweeted, and all of a sudden, there's like 15 million people you don't even know are aware of your process, and it's making it up to the C-suite. And by the way, maybe your applicant flow just crashed. So there's some scary stuff that's going to happen as this next generation of the millennials, we tend... Some people would describe them as the dependent generation. They're not tech savvy, they're just dependent on tech. The Zs, god forgive me, I call them the unable generation. They're unable to understand the tech that my generation built.

 

Chad:                    Like wifi. They don't even understand how that wifi thing in the corner works.

 

Tim:                       Yeah, I mean it's like 1.3 billion babies have been born since FaceTime came out. So you've got to, you've got 1.3 billion kids that don't understand that the idea of a video discussion is normal. It's innovative.

 

Joel:                       It's a miracle.

 

Tim:                       It's a miracle. So you get these Zs who are used to like placing an order on Pizza Hut and watching the "when will it come?" Instant feedback, and they've got huge followers. They're going to come crashing in. And the companies that are adapting the stacks are going to capture more of them than the companies that aren't. And I'll even say there are certain industries that are at greatest risk, and it's directly correlated to the companies that, they'll lock down their infrastructure, which I'll talk about in a minute.

 

Chad:                    So on the talent acquisition side, though, they haven't given a shit about experience for 20 years. Why do they care now, and what makes you think that you can get them to adopt anything with regard to experience? Because they're so honed in on their routine for the past 20 years, which again sucks.

 

Tim:                       You know, that's a great tee up because the story that I tell is not a Pontoon story. There's not a lick of Pontoon sales slick in there. It is all about the trends, and if I could do nothing but get us, as the voices of the tech, and some of our worthy competitors to start discussing these things as a group, then I think, ultimately, the challenge is getting to the C-suite. Because they don't even recognize how at risk they are. And I don't think many of our HR colleagues have the tools to be able to tell the story like we can.

 

Chad:                    Where's the risk though? So you're talking about the risk at the C-suite. That is the big key. What is the risk, and what is the reward, which is what they're going to care about the most?

 

Tim:                       Let me do the third, and then we'll talk about the fourth, and it all comes together, so if you don't mind... So the third-

 

Joel:                       Slow your roll, Sowash.

 

Chad:                    Damn it.

 

Tim:                       Yeah. So the third disruptor is blockchain. And please don't ask me anything detailed about blockchain. I'm not an IT guy, but I can see... Yeah, that's not me. I can see disruption coming. Imagine a world where in the future, you and I, we all own our background check, our drug screen, and all our employment information, and we can manage it ourselves just like we do our banking account. I can't go in and change my bank balance, but I can sure go in and look at it, and there will be tech coming out that will enable us to control our data privacy and all of our information. And the providers of that certification of this service will be able to have contracts with large employers and small. And basically, if I'm an employer, I can say, "Oh, you're certified by ABC blockchain company. I can hire, you can start tomorrow."

 

Tim:                       So start thinking about now I've got this tech that can have a great experience. I have Zs that are going to run to that tech because it's the experience they expect, and now I've got this blockchain thing coming in that can allow instant hiring, and you're going to see the early innovators in talent acquisition, both contingent and full-time, gravitate to these models where I can go out, I can identify, I can take you through my process in a day or two or five and onboard you. And I'm filling jobs in a day, when the old guys are still thinking about 60, 70-day cycle times.

 

Tim:                       All those three things combined, and you're going to have that classic innovation roadmap where some company's at the front end, seeing this amazing experience where I'm bringing in people quickly, and I'm onboarding them quickly.

 

Tim:                       And by the way, they may even be making decisions at the backend about the employment model, not the front. The total talent concept arrives. Maybe I'm going to be a contractor. Maybe I'm a statement of work provider. Maybe I'm a full-time employee. That actually could maybe be made at the end by the blockchain company.

 

Tim:                       All of those things are happening. The losers are knowing they're losing. That's what's going to happen. "I don't understand why my applicant flow and all my ratios suck. What's going on?" And then the C suite is going, "I don't understand." And you know what HR is going to say? "I couldn't get data privacy and data security and our infrastructure group to approve me open up our ecosystem. So I wasn't able to introduce all this amazing tech, because you're too concerned about breaches and security, and you didn't hear the message that I wasn't able to connect to the talent when it mattered. And I couldn't get the funding that I needed to be able to change how we did business. And as a result, gradually, my system died, and now I've got a big problem, and what do we do?"

 

Tim:                       And I fear that in some industries that are really locking down their infrastructure, for instance, say, big manufacturing companies that are running their ATS on the same system that they build their cars on, the same underlying... Locking that crap down, right?

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Tim:                       Those guys won't realize until it's too late. Financial industries, potentially. So you got to... It could be... There was a saying about the war for talent, "Oh, talent won!" This is more like the war for attention. I don't want to wait until I'm showing you three or four or five years of trends or failure before I say, "Well, ultimately, the issue was something that we were aware of 10 years ago, and we just weren't quite able to articulate JavaScript and pixels and cookies and APIs and how they all interfeed, and I didn't have the people on my team to be able to explain that this isn't really a risk."

 

Tim:                       So that's what I'm seeing. I think it's an interesting time in our industry, and that was my disruption story.

 

Joel:                       Cats and dogs living together.

 

Chad:                    You see a system collapse. That's what it sounds like. For things to change inside an organization, the system is going to have to collapse for the C-suite to actually take notice.

 

Tim:                       I hope not. I think that's... So those of you who are listening in talent acquisition, or in procurement, if you're managing contingent labor programs, how closely aligned are you to the individuals in your data security, data privacy, and IFT infrastructure? Can you sit in the room with them and have a conversation about the core vendors you need, and what the APIs are required or what an XML feed might be, and how this would all integrate? Can you have that conversation? If you can't, that's the challenge, because some of the clients I'm talking to? Man, they get it big time, and it's really kind of cool, and there are-

 

Joel:                       From my perspective, this seems ripe for the gig economy. Am I wrong here? It sounds like the world that you see unfolding is, "Companies suck. I'm going to get on this platform for work. I'm going to work when I want to work, for whom I want to work, get paid what I'm worth." And that's the future. Like are people even going to work full-time for companies?

 

Tim:                       I have to believe that's always going to be the case. There's always going to be a freelance element to the marketplace. That's just classic economic theory. It makes sense to have flexibility and scalability and specialization and whatnot. But at the same time, companies need stability in their workforce.

 

Joel:                       Okay, so let's take a thousand Gen Zs. Let's fast-forward 10 years. How many of them are giggers? How many of them are full-time employees?

 

Tim:                       Well, you probably read the same stuff I do. If you believe it, they're saying what, 40% today is gig? I don't read as much on that trend. So that may be an older statistic, but it's probably going to go up.

 

Joel:                       And you've also got the side hustle, right? Like you've got my full-time gig and my side hustle.

 

Tim:                       Joel, the thing that's relevant here is if I'm a company and I have the ability to go out and recruit talent of any workforce category, be it full-time or gig or statement of work... And my tech can do that, and by the way, this thing we're talking about later, in one country, it's contractors, in another country, it's an employee. Identical tech. If I have the ability to do that, and I can onboard you instantly, the whole concept of gig might start to change. I don't know. It might be more fluid and less compartmentalized that... I mean, we're all in a gig, for gosh sake. Especially in America, right? There's no like-

 

Joel:                       Working with Chad, I'm in hell. That's a different topic...

 

Chad:                    That's a different kind of gig. That's fine. Back to the risk versus reward statement, what I'm hearing is... Hopefully, we don't get to a system collapse, although talent acquisition and HR really haven't been able to articulate a business reasoning on how it will impact the organization's bottom line, at the end of the day. Because that's what the C-suite's really caring about. Is that what I'm hearing?

 

Tim:                       Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, and just imagine. You don't want to be the CEO who wakes up in the morning and finds out you've had a breach of a half a billion people in your system, right? That's career-limiting type of stuff. It's bad. And so that stuff tend... And the people who are responsible for shutting the breaches down have the rear. The challenge is we need the rear too to say, "Yeah, but if you'll give me the investments, the resources, I won't increase risk, but I will better prepare us for the future."

 

Chad:                    So what's the difference between experience and process? We're talking about whether it's RPO, RXO, whatever acronym we throw together. Experience is part of the process. So above and beyond the process, what does experience actually bring that's different to this conversation?

 

Tim:                       Wow. Okay. So now you guys are going to really get me into one of my philosophicals here. I think experience is probably the world's oldest crowd-sourcing technology. Because if you think about it, you know, I make a case that technology does not disrupt, experience disrupts. I don't give a crap what your tool does. It's how it impacts me.

 

Tim:                       So each one of us, every day, goes through our life experiencing things, and we make in our own individual decisions, at that moment of time, a decision about, "Was the time I invested" - because it's all fixed, for all of us - "worth the experience you returned?" And what's funny is when you have disruptors, they tend to, somehow or other... The hundreds of millions of us who have that experience individually decide this is good and we adopt. And if enough of us have that experience, it disrupts. Ultimately, experience is a feeling. It's emotive. I'm not trying to bring tech. I'm trying to connect with people. And each one of those little steps along the way make them say, "This time I've invested was worth it."

 

Joel:                       It's commercial time.

 

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Chad:                    It's show time.

 

Joel:                       Tim, I want to go back to blockchain for a second.

 

Tim:                       Oh no.

 

Joel:                       It looks like your contention is that privacy and the fear of that being stolen or shared without consent is going to be the driver of blockchain. Am I hearing that correctly?

 

Tim:                       Well, no. I think what you're going to see is the portability of our private information. That... Right now, our PII is housed in all of these different places, like all the different doctors you go to, and every one of them got their own little thing, and each one of those companies then owns all the risk of protecting your PII. So I think if you start to see some companies coming out and saying, "Well, I can take all of that information, and it's part of the service we provide, and just give it to us," then that the provider doesn't have to own it. The blockchain company owns it.

 

Joel:                       So I get protecting health. I get protecting money. But isn't your professional CV resume something that people want publicized? Do you think privacy in this space really matters? Especially to younger people?

 

Tim:                       The PII I'm referring to is the stuff that relates to your banking information, your employment experience, your wages, background check, drug screens, all the stuff. I'm very focused on what is the onboarding experience for that person who I took X number of hours or days or weeks to find. How long does it take you to bring them through all those hurdles of, "Go to the background check company, now go to the drug screen, and I need three references, and I need to know what your work history was, and what your salary was. Well, if I have all of that in some system with probably a lot of other stuff that you can't see, then it's going to make that experience a lot quicker. And the companies that I'm seeing-

 

Joel:                       Portability of that data.

 

Tim:                       Yeah. And the companies that I'm hearing about, it's interesting. What they're doing is they're trying to approach the world's largest employers. And basically, if you could get the hundred biggest employers in the world to do this, and some of their models are, "Give me your data for free," then you could drive adoption that way. That could be something really interesting.

 

Joel:                       So an example could be like, "Hey, I've already passed a background check, or here's my background check in the blockchain. I don't have to go through that process."

 

Tim:                       Right.

 

Joel:                       And it gets me hired more quickly.

 

Tim:                       Yeah.

 

Joel:                       One example.

 

Tim:                       And I can tell you, like in the staffing industry, that if somebody's a temp working for Staffing Company A, and they go through the exact identical process, and then four months later they're working for another agency, that second agency is just covering a cost that they don't need to if they just had access to the information from the first agency. And then it could flip the next time. So it really is... On a grand scale, if you can drive the adoption across large employers, then you all start benefiting from the share-ability of that information.

 

Chad:                    Validation in a ledger system. I'm going to get away from blockchain, back to experience real quick. And I know blockchain is a part of this experience because, again, if you have a validated profile and/or background in a ledger system, then everything just squeaks through because you have all the checks, the boxes checked. But when you start talking about experience and providing an exceptional experience, that means different things to different people. Some companies believe they have an exceptional experience right now, which is a 20-minute application on their website. How do you define exceptional experience, and how do you guys currently get people to that experience today?

 

Chad:                    Because talking about it's one thing. Visionary bullshit is all something entirely different. The actual feet on the ground, the execution of that means something. What is that? What does that mean?

 

Tim:                       Yeah. So, first, although we're all in the recruitment industry, talent acquisition industry, I would suggest that the experience would not be, should not be the same for all of the people and all of the companies that have a hiring need. But ultimately, it's measured by the value of the person who goes through it. So can we create an experience like our recruiterless RXO, that delivers the value to that candidate for the work that they're going to do?

 

Tim:                       And maybe that's not the right model for a different kind of hiring environment that isn't 20,000 hires in five weeks and your job is going to last three months or something. If I'm going to hire high-end automotive design engineers, maybe I need a different kind of experience for that candidate. So it may be a little slower. I might put a human in the middle to create the human touch, and then drive automation around that human so that my recruiter, who is building the relationship with the hiring manager and with the candidate, is completely engaged with them and having discussions.

 

Tim:                       It's very human-feeling. The candidate will be like, "This is great. I mean, I'm getting text messages from my recruiter, giving me status updates. It was so easy to do the interview. Oh, my God, my mom got sick. I had to reschedule. I just got in there and logged in and was able to reschedule the interview with the hiring manager, and they sent him a note, saying no problem," and "Hey, later on, just before they're going to offer me a job, they sent me this awesome video that told me all about the benefits of the company, and I didn't realize that it's not just salary. This company's amazing. I get this and this and this beyond. Oh, I didn't realize that."

 

Tim:                       So, it's a two-way interface. Three-way, actually, if you think about the hiring manager in the equation. And you want to drive it, I think, based upon supply/demand of talent maybe as a big factor, and maybe hiring volume is a key driver for how you modify the experience. You have to do some trade-offs too. Everybody'd like to have maybe a super high-touch experience, but for some types of roles you've got to streamline them pretty high.

 

Chad:                    We'll dig deeper into that, especially when it comes to experience. Because there's consistency, there's scalability, there are all those different pieces, and technology is supposed to be making things so much easier for us. But if you have to customize every stack, if you have to customize every interaction, none of that shit's scalable.

 

Tim:                       I don't know if this is exactly what you're thinking, but one of the points I make in my disruption story is about the rise of talent acquisition as a service, and that it is infinitely impossible to build customized experiences for every possible company, and the integrations, and all crap. So I think what you're going to start to see is companies come into the marketplace saying, "Here's my stack, and you can..." As an outsourcer, I'll use this to deliver the experience to you, or if you just want to lease it and you do it yourself, yeah, that might work too.

 

Chad:                    So here's the question. You guys and your RPO, you guys are all about efficiencies. You're all about ensuring that... Because this is a business, so that's the difference between talent acquisition. It's their job, but for RPO, for staffing, mainly, especially for RPO, it's a business. So you have to focus on efficiencies. That's the thing. Are you working with the current stacks or are you building a stack and saying, "Okay, this is what we're coming in with. This is what we're offering from an RXO/RPO standpoint." Is that going to be a standardized model that you see happening for the entire industry?

 

Tim:                       Well, it certainly will start at the vendor level. I mean, obviously we're not collaborating between companies, but yeah, I think you're going to start to see these. I can tell you that the recruiterless RXO solution is, it'll be a product, and we've got another one that's in the queue that will be a product. And so we will give our clients the option of, "Sure, we can come in and consult or outsource what you have." That's a painful process sometimes, but necessary, given certain constraints, or in other cases, here you go. This is world-class, outside your ecosystem. Remove the data, privacy, security concerns. We manage it all.

 

Joel:                       For a lot of people, including me, RXO is a fairly new thing.

 

Tim:                       Yes.

 

Joel:                       Can you define it for me? And are we ready for a world of recruiterlessness? I guess that's not a word, but I just made one up.

 

Tim:                       Yeah.

 

Chad:                    Nice.

 

Tim:                       So recruitment experience outsourcing, coined by our SVP of marketing, Jonny Stokoe. And I think what we're trying to say is it's not just process. I've been in RPO for over 10 years now, and it was always, "your mess for less." Right?

 

Chad:                    Yes. Yes.

 

Tim:                       And ultimately what you find out is the whole... It was more than just the Visio of how this thing was supposed to flow that was the problem. And so what we have to focus on is who is interacting with this process, and how can we optimize it so their experience, if we ever really do define it, is better?

 

Tim:                       And so I think we're putting our focus on, "Yeah, I understand. You want me to go out and find people and take it all the way through onboarding." That's the process, and you've given me my Visio. Now let me show you how I can bring in tools that will change the experience, maybe make it faster or friendlier or more engaging for the candidates so I can drive better metrics or ratios. And ultimately, that's what comes down to. There's ultimately a business case here for all of this. This is not just, "throw a new coat of paint on an old process." When you do it right, you're actually driving some very fundamental structural way of how you're recruiting talent in the marketplace. Very different.

 

Joel:                       And is part of that the marketing side of it as well? Or is it just the hiring process, and then interviewing, and going through applying? What exactly does all that encompass?

 

Tim:                       So stepping into the recruiterless world. No, I don't think we'll ever be a recruiterless world. My passion is around making the recruiting experience as a recruiter in that industry - and I was born on a desk - delightful. And the things that I hated were unanswered phone calls, people not returning me back, no show interviews, no feedback from the hiring manager, filling out forms, completing documents.

 

Tim:                       And the things I loved was meeting somebody who I felt passionate about. Like, "Oh, my gosh, I would just love to see you go to work at this client of mine." And then almost doing the mini-marriage was so satisfying. I would go home at night and my kids didn't say I was a recruiter. They would say, "My daddy helps people find jobs."

 

Tim:                       But it mattered. It was important work, and I think sometimes we've lost sight of the fact that we're trying to put people to work. And so the recruiterless piece, I think what we've delivered, designed is a better experience. Guys, I know it's not perfect, and we've already got a roadmap for amazing things going into next year, but we've designed a model that, really, the recruiters that are supporting this - they're actually coordinators - love it. Because they're basically optimizing the program, making sure they're completely engaged, and making sure candidates are moving through the process, behind the scenes. No holdup, followups, text messaging, all that kind of stuff.

 

Chad:                    Right. Here's the hardest piece, and I think the hardest part of the question is adoption. How do you get an old stodgy crew who really hasn't really given a shit about experience for 20 years to adopt? How do you get them to adopt what you're selling right now? Because it is necessary, I agree. It does impact the bottom line. CEOs will care, but again, we haven't articulated that on the talent acquisition side of the house. How are you going to be able to drive adoption?

 

Tim:                       First, I will say the thing that has been amazing since we launched that program - and we still haven't even told your audience about it, though, since we launched the program September 16 - the number of inquiries coming from across the world to our sales resources is phenomenal. And I've actually had to spend some time saying, "Look, this is not the right solution for everything. I know it sounds amazing, but it's..." Because everybody wants to hire somebody yesterday, and when we talk about the cycle times, they're like, "Oh, I want that, though." Come on, guys. This is... The use case is very specific.

 

Tim:                       So I actually do think if you build something that catches the marketplace's attention and communicate it, you can kind of create use cases, and I'm probably lifting the boats of some of my competitors, who are probably getting phone calls going, "Hey, can you do that?"

 

Tim:                       So I think if we all can just take some risk and, I will say, the great thing about working for this huge, mega $26 billion company - and I'm inside one of their brands in Pontoon - we've got a CEO, a lady named Corinne Van Ripoche, who is a disruptor. And when we ultimately sat down with that client and said, "This is what we want to design," there were risks. A lot of this stuff was all theory. And she just said, "We're going to do this. I'll take the risk. We need to be the first. We're going to go." And it wasn't like just "yes," but you've got to have leadership in our industry and our companies willing to take the risk.

 

Joel:                       I'm going to let you out on this, Tim. One of the things you said early on intrigued me, in that the example of the youth who had a million followers and basically dissing you to that universe of a million followers... And you talk about, in your presentation, about youth culture influences. So we're talking... From TikTok, which Chad and I love to talk about, to Instagram, Snapchat, et cetera. And it struck me that we currently don't have any sort of ranking for commentary about companies. So, Glassdoor, for example... Every comment is created equal. You don't know who's leaving it or how credible any of that is. Take me into a world where that matters. What does that look like? Does blockchain somehow give us more credibility in what we say about things, in the world of the future?

 

Tim:                       I'm not smart enough to know if there's that 360 loop that'll ever be out there. Would it be great if there was a Yelp for... That we all trusted and was real. I know we say it's Glassdoor, but we know they're a business model too, right? So they're a job board.

 

Joel:                       Remember the site Klout, that took all your social stuff and your followers and who they were? And that obviously didn't work out, but it seems like that would be an interesting take on employment.

 

Tim:                       So my reaction is this. It's always one or two incidences that disrupt. The first company that had the big data breach, the first company that had funds stolen. And everybody becomes aware. It's going to be that first company that has something really bad happen because their talent acquisition process isn't adapted, and a group of people actually start re-tweeting. And then there's a tension to it. I don't think it's going to take some fancy app or a benchmarking system. I think what's going to get people's attention is horrible press.

 

Chad:                    So what are you guys building at Pontoon? So you've kind of teased about this. What are you guys building? We know why, because we just spent half an hour talking about it.

 

Tim:                       Yeah. Well, the first thing we brought out was our recruiterless RXO solution. So what that is is that's a program supporting a high-tech client, hiring in two countries in Europe, UK and Germany, two languages, awful lot of hires in an extremely short period of time. Stack consisted of an Avature backbone with a hiring manager, portal, and CRM.

 

Tim:                       We built a career site using TalentBrew technology, multi-lingual. We put job video on it. So most of the jobs that are going out, or many of the jobs that are going out have a video embedded in them to drive SEO and improve conversion. We're using one of the big programmatic vendors to distribute the jobs, and this is really important because you're talking about hundreds of cities with small hiring volumes, and so you have to have this machine learning logic that will know exactly where to promote your job and how much to spend.

 

Tim:                       And in fact it so outperformed that at one point we turned it off. Which are like stop spend. We can't keep up with the applicant flow. We had a bot apply. A bot has its own logic in it, so it's doing the logic to say they meet the qualifications or not, integrated into a digital interview. So candidates complete their interview and yes, contrary to all the grief I got, it does work in Germany. Okay. All right.

 

Tim:                       And the funny thing is, this kind of role... Lot of Europeans, not Germans, Eastern Europeans, but Europeans in Germany do this work. Not a problem. We've had some funny ones where we do look at him and go, "What is this dude thinking?" But for the most part, it works great. Awesome conversion rates. It goes back into Avature, where the hiring managers can make their decisions, and all driven by Power BI analytics. So real-time, literally real-time data on all of the metrics.

 

Tim:                       And what's cool about it is there are no recruiters. There are coordinators and a program leader, but what they're doing is they're living primarily in the programmatic, and then in our BI to look at the ratios. And we know how many clicks does it take to get a view, how many views to get a visit, how many visits to get an apply, how many applies to get an interview, interview to... Every one of those ratios was benchmarked out in advance. We knew we needed for the model to make the math work for us and the client, and that's performing, actually outperforming. So it's got tweaks. I've still got glitchy stuff coming up all the time, but we've already started the roadmap out some... Maybe two more countries potentially coming into scope.

 

Tim:                       So we've got that one. That was the use case for kind of high volume, high hiring, good supply of talent. All right, I'm boring you. Sorry, guys. And then the next one... There we go, crickets, fine.

 

Tim:                       The next one is the opposite. So we're working right now on something I affectionately call Hannah. That's just the internal name, but it is a recruiter-centric model where we'll fully enable that recruiter to do their job while providing all the automation around them so that they can do it in an excellent sort of way. And that's the primary focus right now.

 

Joel:                       Tim, thanks for joining us today. For those who want to know more about you and/or Pontoon, where would they go?

 

Tim:                       Oh, you can find me, Tim Meehan on LinkedIn, or you can go to pontoonsolutions.com.

 

Chad:                    We out.

 

Joel:                       We out.

 

Ema:                      Hi, I'm Ema. Thanks for listening to my dad, the Chad, and his buddy Cheese. This has been the Chad and Cheese podcast. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google play, or wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss a single show. Be sure to check out our sponsors, because their money goes to my college fund. For more visit chadcheese.com.

 

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