Programmatic Fire Sale

December 4, 2019

This episode features Jason Roberts a guy who knows recruitment, process, and technology. This podcast is jam-packed with topics like:

 

- It's a "Programmatic Fire Sale"
- I Frankensteined a tech stack
- Monster matching works?
- Hatin' on Indeed's Be Seen
- Everyone wants a chatbot! 
and much much more...

 

Big thanks to Sovren for making this podcasting exclusive magic possible. Enjoy! 

 

 

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

Disability Solutions is changing minds and changing lives through disability inclusion.

 

 

Sovren:                     Sovren is known for providing the world's best, and most accurate parsing products. And now, based on that technology comes Sovren's artificial intelligence matching, and scoring software. In fractions of a second, receive match results that provide candidate scored by fit to job, and just as importantly, the job's fit to the candidate. Make faster and better placements. Find out more about our suite of products today by visiting sovren.com. That's S-O-V-R-E-N.com. We provide technology that thinks, communicates, and collaborates like a human. Sovren, software so human you'll want to take it to dinner.

 

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 & Cheese podcast.

 

Chad:                    All right, guess where we're at?

 

Joel:                       Oh yeah.

 

Chad:                    Where are we at? Austin, dude. This is fucking awesome.

 

Joel:                       This is the quintessential, like Texas-

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Joel:                       Front porch-

 

Chad:                    Out on a balcony-

 

Joel:                       Really nice-

 

Chad:                    TA tech-

 

Joel:                       Weather-

 

Chad:                    Oh, shit.

 

Joel:                       Whatever kind of tree this is.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Joel:                       That's shading us. This is nice.

 

Chad:                    That's a Bur Oak.

 

Joel:                       Thank you.

 

Jason:                   That's a Bur Oak. Yes.

 

Chad:                    A Bur Oak.

 

Joel:                       Yes. Now I just need some sweet tea, and some key lime pie, I think.

 

Jason:                   Whoa. No. Pecan pie, thank you.

 

Chad:                    Pecan.

 

Joel:                       My bad. I had a Florida moment there.

 

Jason:                   You did.

 

Chad:                    That voice you hear is the voice of Jason Roberts. And, let me set this up real quick. So when we get an opportunity to actually get some of the cream of the crop on the show-

 

Joel:                       Cream of the crop. I don't think he's ever given anyone that label before.

 

Jason:                   I'll take it, 100 percent.

 

Chad:                    Adam and Quincy, and I mean those guys, Jason's of that same level.

 

Joel:                       He's on a one name basis. He's like Madonna and Prince of the industry.

 

Chad:                    In RPO for how many years?

 

Jason:                   Oh, gosh. Over a decade.

 

Chad:                    Over a decade in RPS. So RPO again, for the listeners out there, recruitment process outsourcing. This is the business of recruiting. These guys focus on margins. They focus on efficiencies. They focus on technology that in most cases, talent acquisition, they just don't have time for it, because they're dealing with 401ks and-

 

Joel:                       They're focused on the biz nasty, is what you're saying.

 

Jason:                   It's true.

 

Chad:                    So that being said, Jason, what do our listeners need to know about you other than all this wonderful setup?

 

Jason:                   I think that was pretty good, man. You made me sound pretty good.

 

Chad:                    What's your last name for those that aren't on a one name basis with you?

 

Jason:                   That's probably good. I'm just one name. That's all I need.

Chad:                    Cher, Madonna.

 

Joel:                       Jason and the argonauts.

 

Jason:                   Aren't there dudes?

 

Chad:                    Prince.

 

Jason:                   Prince. Yeah. I was going to say, there's got to be a guy.

 

Joel:                       Just, Jason.

 

Jason:                   So, I'm Jason Roberts, and that's right, I've worked in RPO for a long time. I don't work in RPO, right now. So, that's a new thing for me.

 

Chad:                    Okay. It gives you a time to breathe at this point though, right?

 

Jason:                   It does. You know what I've realized, I had to sort of do a little soul searching, and decide what my next chapter was going to be.

 

Joel:                       You should start a podcast.

 

Jason:                   I've got one. We just don't record very often. So, yeah. In fact, we've added that to our tagline. We've said, it's like the best in bots, and whatever he says. Then I just tack on, every once in a while, because we are not consistent at all. We just do it for fun. We don't do the business of podcasting like you boys.

 

Joel:                       The biz nasty.

 

Chad:                    The business.

 

Jason:                   The business.

 

Chad:                    So, give us some background when it comes to tech, because again, we talk about tech all the time, but behind the scenes we talk about stacks, and all that shit that's not used, and so on and so forth. Your whole focus was efficiencies, and making sure that you got everything out of the tech that you put together in RPO.

 

Jason:                   Yeah. So there's a problem in technology in that there's a litany of different techs out there. There's modularization is what I call it, right? So if you want the best in breed, you have to have 10, 15 different pieces of tech. And if those are going to be useful for anyone, they have to be sort of woven together through an integration, a sort of string of integrations, really, to create a stack that makes sense. And we're in an age right now ... I've been thinking a lot about this. We're in this sort of age of acceleration, right now. So, we were talking about the second machine age. I talked about that for about three years, now, and now I'm pretty convinced that we're at this point where technology is accelerating so fast that people can't keep up with it.

 

Chad:                    Oh, yeah. Moore's law, right?

 

Jason:                   Thank you. That's exactly what it is. But see, people don't think about Moore's law and the fact that there's a downstream effect of that, right? The processing power is ... I used to think about Moore's law meaning, oh, processing power doubles every two years. The last doubling was 18 months.

 

Chad:                    Yeah. Yeah.

 

Jason:                   So, I used to think about that, and I thought, oh, video games are going to be way better two years from now.

 

Chad:                    Exactly.

 

Jason:                   That was the whole purpose for me.

 

Chad:                    Latency. That was awesome.

 

Jason:                   That was my whole thought. And now if you think about it, the reason we're able to order a car on our phone is because the size of that processor has gotten so small that it just fits in your hand, right? So, technology has created new thing that we are having to adapt to, and that ... Uber is a good example of that, right?

 

Jason:                   So if you have ride share that you can call up, government is trying to adjust for that today, right? They're trying to figure out how do we legislate around this? What are the rules we need to have on these app based ride share deals that are out there? And, here's the problem. Maybe three or four years from now, they're going to be done figuring out what those rules are, and three or four years, Moore's law has already kicked in a couple of times. Guess what's here? Self-driving cars are good to go. Whatever they just legislated is now completely obsolete, because we don't have drivers anymore. And, I think you guys did a story on the California law that they ... the resolution they passed for gig workers, specifically hitting Uber, right?

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Joel:                       Will be obsolete, at some point.

 

Jason:                   Yes. There's no point. By the time laws get enacted across the board, those people will just be replaced by self-driving cars. And, what do you do then? There's a whole new set of laws.

 

Jason:                   So, technology's moving so fast that it's hard for our government systems, and in our world, in HR, it's hard for HR leaders to adapt quickly enough, and to understand what to do with it.

 

Joel:                       I think the litmus test will be, is it killing people? So e-cigarettes, killing people, legislation follows. So if it's not killing anybody, let's just let it ride.

 

Jason:                   Have you been looking at the watch, and the e-cigarette memes? Like, the-

 

Joel:                       No, but I can only imagine.

 

Jason:                   Oh, gosh.

 

Joel:                       I don't mean to make light of people dying. Like, that's crazy shit. But the point is like-

 

Chad:                    No, but that moves the needle.

 

Joel:                       Governments at some point, what moves them to action that's relevant to our lives, people dying is one of them.

 

Jason:                   That's one of those things. And, they can move faster when that happens.

 

Joel:                       When public opinion says, holy shit.

 

Jason:                   And with Uber, public opinion is, we freaking love this thing.

 

Joel:                       Unless, it's guns. That's a whole other podcast.

 

Chad:                    Yeah. And, people don't give a shit about that at all.

 

Jason:                   That's the meme that's out there.

 

Joel:                       Oh, really?

 

Jason:                   They'll put out, three people died from e-cigarettes. We're going to ban them. And then, the gun control goes right next to it. And, that's a hard discussion to have.

 

Joel:                       What of the founders would have thought about e-cigarettes wrote the constitution.

 

Jason:                   Moore's law, man. It was before their time.

 

Joel:                       So, what else in technology has you excited? I know that you just got back from SourceCon.

 

Jason:                   I did.

 

Joel:                       You talked about fully automated recruiting, which I think we've been talking about is the panacea of where this thing is going.

 

Joel:                       So, talk about that presentation. What else has you geeked on tech?

 

Jason:                   Yeah, I want to tell you about that. So, we built something at Randstad, right before I left, and it was ... I've got to say, I was pretty happy with the way that it came out. So, the idea is that we built a fully automated sourcer. So, we had a fully automated recruiter on the agency side, even if you're looking at that side. So the idea is, we have jobs come in. We match candidates in all of our databases, and there's a bunch of candidates in the databases, including Monster's, at the time, right?

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   So, we match all of those candidates. We send send matched candidates over to a bot. And, we used bot that ... I think it is sort of flying under the radar, but they've got a killer feature that makes the fully automated thing work.

 

Jason:                   And, the bot was Wade and Wendy that we used. The killer feature is, when they got the new job in, that they'd never seen before, they have a knowledge graph, and they build their own chat. But what people don't know about the bots is that, with most of them they work in high volume sort of roles where you're hiring a lot of the same thing, and the reason they've gone to those roles first is that, you have to spend some time building that chat every time. So for each role, there's effort involved in building the chat. When the machine can write its own chat, it doesn't matter what sort of job you get. So for white collar roles, like if you have a big multinational conglomerate with 80 percent uniqueness, month over month, in their jobs, chatbots aren't a great solution, the traditional ones, I say traditional, they've been around for three years.

 

Jason:                   Eli is a three year old company with what? 80 million in funding, at 300 million dollar evaluation.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   That's crazy.

 

Chad:                    That shit ton of cash.

 

Jason:                   That's crazy. So I mean, and they're great at what they do. They automate their piece of the process really well. But, when Wendy is one that is really good at that sort of white collar worker, where you have lots of unique jobs all the time. So we pumped it through this thing, and we were able to submit candidates to jobs pretty quickly. The stats that came out of on the back end is that it was about a quarter of the cost of having a human sourcer do the work in order to have the machine do the work.

 

Chad:                    So a quarter of the cost, and then also, are you taking out the actual head count cost of the person, or did you even take that out?

 

Jason:                   Not yet. Not yet. So we were just doing ... We did a comparison.

 

Chad:                    So, it was even less expensive?

 

Jason:                   What we did is we measured what a sourcer's target metrics are. Was. So, a good sourcer handles this many wrecks. They do this many submits per week. So, we had the sourcer targets. So not all sources are hitting those, but enough of them are, and then we measured that against what the actuals were that the machine produced, and the machine produced about four times as much. It's blazing fast. And, we started it out, playing with this on the MSP side, just to see what we could figure out. And, it was great. It did a good job.

 

Joel:                       So, let's break this down, real quick. So, you had an OpenRec, basically matched a database of resumes that included what Monster had in their database, and whatever private database you had. So, there was a matching component that matched whatever the job was to the candidates you had.

 

Jason:                   We used Monster's matching, which is ... It's what used to be Trovix. We use their stuff, and it's still good, still good.

 

Joel:                       While they pimp videos, Instagram for jobs, they have this awesome matching machine that they're not maybe leveraging as much as they could. But, that's maybe-

 

Jason:                   I'm not involved in those decisions. That's a different thing.

 

Joel:                       Yeah, let's stay on task here. So, you feed the resumes in the matching machine, the matches happen, an email goes out to all the matches saying, hey, we have this great opportunity. If you'd like to talk to us about it, click here. They click the link that takes them to a Wade and Wendy chat bot. They get chatted up. They basically apply through the chat. They get pre-screened. And if they fit, there's scheduling for an actual interview, from there?

 

Jason:                   If they're fit, we've treated it ... The way we built it was, we built it to work just like a sourcer, as if it were a sourcer. Everything I'm telling you is something I just delivered in a presentation at SourceCon. So, we treated it as a sourcer, so it actually sent ... In order for adoption to work, recruiters, we like recruiters to sort of feel like they're in their normal process. We set it up so that it would send an email with a writeup on the candidate, and attachment of the resume, and an attachment of the chat transcript. And basically said, hey, this is so and so, we think they're qualified for this job. Here's their resume. Here's my conversation. They're ready to go.

 

Joel:                       So it wasn't as granular as like, you fit what we need, let's schedule an interview. It went to a human, to then decide to whether, or not they should schedule something. But it certainly could get to a point, you think, where it does schedule, and-

 

Jason:                   That's actually easy. That's an easy next step. A lot of these tools use the same sort of API call for that with Cronofy. So, that's an easy step. But, we put it at the human side, because we can submit candidates directly to a recruiter, or the next step is we can submit them directly to a hiring manager if we want it to.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   What we found was that recruiters did the same thing they do with sourcers, right? So sourcers send you an email with a candidate, there's a certain percentage of recruiters that don't even actually open the email. The sourcer has to chase them down for it, so that adoption wasn't what we wanted it to be.

 

Jason:                   So, we made pivots along the way, and figured out new things. But I think the bottom line is, the technology there is there for matching. It works like it's supposed to. And actually, that technology is a little ... It's been around for awhile. I was going to say it's dated, but it still works. So, it's not dated. It's still works.

 

Chad:                    Oh, yeah. Over a decade.

 

Jason:                   Yeah. It's been-

 

Chad:                    It was bought by Monster.

 

Jason:                   I'm sure they've done something with it. I'm sure they've updated it in some way. I don't have visibility of that. But, that's good. And the bot based stuff is getting really good. Wade and Wendy is a pretty understated bot in the market. You don't hear a ton about them, but I think it might be-

 

Joel:                       Full disclosure. Randstad is an investor in Wade and Wendy, or they're part of their ... ?

 

Jason:                   Randstad is an investor from their innovation fund. Yeah. And, that's how I was introduced.

 

Chad:                    AllyO, as well.

 

Jason:                   AllyO, too. Yeah.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   I like both of those. I think they're both good.

 

Chad:                    Put some money on different horses.

 

Joel:                       Place some bets.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   Well, I think you need a different club for a different hole. Right? So, if you've got a ... What? I said, hole.

 

Chad:                    He said, hole.

 

Jason:                   So, for if you need like high volume, you want to automate deep into the process ...

 

Chad:                    Right.

 

Jason:                   Oh, man. I keep going.

 

Joel:                       Keep going, Jason.

 

Chad:                    He's taking the hole deep.

 

Joel:                       I am. That just happened. AllyO's the is one for that.

 

Chad:                    Okay. AllyO, taking the whole deep. That's the new slogan.

 

Jason:                   I think they should go with that. They should absolutely do that.

 

Joel:                       And the O at the end of their name fits perfectly for the visual on that, I think.

 

Chad:                    Yes. AllyO.

 

Jason:                   Man, I'm going to get a phone call from Ankit, when this is all said and done. He's going to ask what the hell's going on. Isn't Sahil here?

 

Chad:                    I don't know if he is, or not.

 

Jason:                   He's like on your Death Match.

 

Chad:                    First and foremost, you're welcome for all of the marketing help.

 

Jason:                   Thank you. Well actually you know what, say that to the AllyO guys. That's theirs. They can thank you.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   So my pick for sort of the non high volume, the white collar stuff is Wade and Wendy. That's where I go for that. And so ...

 

Joel:                       So, what else at SourceCon caught your eye?

 

Jason:                   Jim Stroud just never ceases to amaze.

 

Chad:                    I love that guy.

 

Jason:                   And, he comes up with weird stuff.

 

Chad:                    Yes.

 

Jason:                   And, here's the bottom line. I thought people were going to freak out, because I was showing this automated sourcer, and so I've made a point to point out some of the stuff that's out there. Maybe, we don't need automated sources all the time. Right? The automated sourcer actually didn't fill all the roles, and it had the same struggles that that human sourcers had, but it can't do things like be Jim Stroud. And, Jim Stroud had this thing that just ... It's not a technology thing, but it blew my mind. So simple. He had the Christmas card method of finding emails and phone numbers. You want to know what that is?

 

Joel:                       I do.

 

Chad:                    I want to hear this.

 

Announcer:        It's commercial time.

 

Sovren:                Sovren is known for providing the world's best and most accurate parsing products. And now, based on that technology come Sovren's artificial intelligence matching and scoring software. In fractions of a second, receive match results that provide candidate scored by fit to job, and just as importantly, the job's fit to the candidate. Make faster and better placements. Find out more about our suite of products today, by visiting Sovren.com that's S, O, V, R, E, N.com. We provide technology that thinks, communicates, and collaborates like a human. Sovren. Software so human, you'll want to take it to dinner.

 

Chad:                    It's show time.

 

Jason:                   If you're trying to do get phone numbers for an organization, you figure out what their email, sort of template is. You send emails to massive numbers of people in their organization on a major holiday. So, you send it on Christmas. And read all the auto responders back, where people put their phone number, and the who to contact, and all that stuff. Is that not genius?

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   It's super basic. It seems like it's a no brainer, but I didn't think of it. Jim Stroud.

 

Chad:                    Super basic. That's why you need guys like ... I mean, guys like Jim Stroud-

 

Joel:                       That's evil genius level.

 

Jason:                   Right?

 

Chad:                    -are not going away. It's the lazy asses who don't think like Jim Stroud, who are, not going to go away. I mean, this is process thing.

 

Joel:                       Yeah. I was going to say, how much longer can SourceCon happen where sourcers just go and learn about how they're going to be out of a job.

 

Chad:                    So, just be a bunch of robots talking, is that what you're saying?

 

Joel:                       But, SourceCon continues to just get bigger and bigger because of crazy shit like the Jim Stroud stuff.

 

Jason:                   Well, I think the people who go to SourceCon are the people who are going to survive that whole thing. Right? So, they're the ones that are doing the crazy stuff. They're not the ones who find every candidate on LinkedIn. They're the ones who are actually applying these crazy methodologies, and being creative. There was stuff like open source intelligence discussions. When I describe people at SourceCon, I use the analogy of the sort of the behind the scenes person on all the crazy TV shows like the nerd that's back there looking up the license plate of some crazy, some bad guy, or whatever. That's what an entire conference full of people SourceCon are.

 

Joel:                       Yeah.

 

Chad:                    Like a forensics kind of guy. Yeah.

 

Joel:                       It's the forensics scientists.

 

Jason:                   That's exactly what they're doing. They're doing like URL manipulation, and just insane things. Now, I hold on to all my identity stuff super tight. I don't love my Bluetooth roam. I don't do anything when there's a SourceCon guy around.

 

Chad:                    Oh. Hell, no. Yeah, because those guys ... I mean, that is an invitation to break into your shit, that SourceCon.

 

Jason:                   They are the hackiest bunch of people I've ever seen.

 

Chad:                    Yeah. It's like going to a hackathon. If you have your shit open, you're going to get hacked.

 

Jason:                   In fact, they have a hackathon at SourceCon.

 

Chad:                    Uh-huh (affirmative).

 

Jason:                   So, it was impressive. I saw a couple of technologies I'd never seen. Have you seen Oleo?

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Joel:                       Yeah.

 

Jason:                   How have I not seen Oleo? They were good. They're like a CRM for an event management type thing for campus. And there's another company I'd never seen before called, Resource. This was really clean. I loved what they did. So say you're on LinkedIn, you have a profile, and you want to get that profile into your ATS, you want to start a campaign.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   They boil it down to one click. So, they're a Chrome extension.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   You basically tell it, what's your sourcing for at the time You say, this is the campaign I'm going to send all my people to. You do that the first time you find somebody you want. As you're looking at people on whatever site you're on, if you see somebody you want, you click that button. It drops them in your ATS, and drops them into your campaign, sends them a message right away.

 

Chad:                    So, that's like ZAP Info ish, isn't it?

 

Jason:                   It is. I think it's the initial business case of the ZAP Info. ZAP Info evolved to be something really extraordinary.

 

Chad:                    Oh, yeah. Yeah.

 

Jason:                   I spent a bunch of time with Doug. He went to dinner with us one night, Doug Berg. And that guy-

 

Chad:                    He's a genius, man.

 

Jason:                   He is. He sees around the corners like nobody I've ever seen. And he has a way of distilling kind of what the actual problem is people are dealing with, that is shocking to me. So like his ... The current thing that ZAP is talking about, what they're working on is about two things, one, GDPR, and the other is OFCCP, so the regulation problems, right? So GDPR, what he's doing is, he's basically making it a single place to gather consent, and then to, once that consent is gathered, distribute that candidates information into the downstream system, so you're not gathering consent from multiple places.

 

Chad:                    Right.

 

Jason:                   That's a problem in GDPR, right?

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   So OCCP, this is brilliant. He's a Chrome extension. He's sitting on your ... The ZAP is sitting on your browser. It's tracking what you're doing, or it can track if you do that, what everyone's doing, why not use that for tracking internet applicant stuff. So, every search that you do, keeping a snapshot of the search string, all those things. Because-

 

Chad:                    That's big brother shit, right there.

 

Jason:                   Well, I guess-

 

Chad:                    It's necessary for an employer.

 

Jason:                   Right. In evil hands, I guess, it could be. But what that's doing is, you're supposed to be tracking every search that you do, everyone that that shows up in those searches, that's in order to be compliant with OFCCP internet applicant rules, I don't think I have to say full disclosure when Randstad invested everything, but they invested in ZAP.

 

Jason:                   I liked Doug before then. Let's just assume that Randstad invested in all things, and we'll leave it at that.

 

Joel:                       Okay.

 

Chad:                    You pretty much do.

 

Joel:                       So, who else can we jerk off this after?

 

Jason:                   Oh, I don't know, man.

 

Joel:                       Anyone at this show? (TAtech)

 

Chad:                    What, no. I don't want to jerk anything. What sucks? What have you seen that ... You've heard, and you've got ... I mean you're talking about things that actually work.

 

Joel:                       Here we go.

 

Chad:                    What about this shit that does not work?

 

Joel:                       Let's sling some a mud, man. Come on. Balanced reporting.

 

Chad:                    It says AI, because they thought, or whatever, right? Just, what doesn't work? What is bullshit? What's smoke and mirrors?

 

Jason:                   I'm a little grumpy Indeed Seen thing that they got going.

 

Joel:                       Oh, Be Seen?

 

Jason:                   Be Seen.

 

Chad:                    Let's get into this. So, Indeed. This is the new Indeed Prime, by the way.

 

Joel:                       It's not just the Be Known play that you sparked, right?

 

Jason:                   No, no, it's not Be Known. It's a different thing. Though, I like being known as a URL. It's not bad. It's not a bad thing.

 

Chad:                    Just a bad product.

 

Jason:                   No. So, Indeed's got this deal that you can be, you can subscribe. It's-

 

Joel:                       It's their prime product.

 

Jason:                   It's Hired, isn't it, Hired?

 

Joel:                       It's Prime. Hired is still a product.

 

Jason:                   No, but isn't it the same thing as Hired? Are they pre-qualifying this talent?

 

Joel:                       So, I read and chime in. I read Hired as straight up staffing. It's staffing done Indeed style, or whatever. I view Seen as a little bit of a hybrid of automation, and manual labor.

 

Jason:                   Yeah. I would be super curious to see how much manual is behind the scenes on that.

 

Joel:                       And, Seen is focused primarily on the tech stuff.

 

Chad:                    Is that not like the major differentiator? I think what they're trying to do is, they're trying to do staffing, and they're trying to do it in a very scalable fashion, which is one of the things that we were just talking about. So building an internal stack that allows a company to come to you for a specific type of individual, and then, it's staffing, but it's staffing subscription, versus ... But, I think that that is the Hired model, is it not?

 

Joel:                       To me, there's no doubt that it's a step into the staffing business.

 

Chad:                    Oh God, yeah.

 

Joel:                       I think there are some levels of automation, and they're not really transparent on the website, as far as what they're doing to get candidates, but I don't think it's straight up, we do the interviewing, and we do the ... Like, I don't think it's that deep of staffing. But, they definitely go through, comb through resumes, and profiles, and do I think a bit of the sourcing piece on that.

 

Jason:                   So, we do ... There's no doubt that the digital agency is something that's coming. Right? My little thing was an experiment, right? It was a hack together. Let's get this piece of technology from here, this piece of technology from here. Let's see if the technology is mature enough to.

 

Chad:                    Frankenstein this shit.

 

Jason:                   Yeah, that's exactly what it was.

 

Jason:                   It was a small band of bandits, no real budget. Literally, we didn't have a PNL, at all in this, which is abnormal in a staffing company. It was a total experiment. It worked, but it wasn't going to replace the business. In fact, we stood up that model as a competitor on some of, with some of our MSP accounts that allowed us to, to our own business. Right? And, it won some, but not much. And, we got a few offers, but not as much as I had hoped. I hoped it would make it rain, but it didn't do that. And, I think there's a series of pivots that have to happen. But, there are several of these digital agency models that are popping up.

 

Jason:                   I think this Be Seen thing is one. I think that there's a company called Talentnet that does things. There's a ... Hired is a digital agency. There's a significant effort being made that's eating away at the edges of traditional staffing business.

 

Chad:                    That's the future though, right? Because, it's scalable.

 

Jason:                   Something's going to work.

 

Chad:                    What's the biggest cost for any staffing organization, head count, right?

 

Jason:                   It's the people.

 

Chad:                    Yeah, head count. So, if you can take that big ass head count away, chop at the head count, and go more toward a digital platform focused type of an agency, then why the hell not?

 

Jason:                   Yeah. I don't think that's a wrong way to look at it. I think that none of them seem like they're there yet. Like, my little thing was interesting. It was something that we tried. It was a really fun discussion at SourceCon. It's not going to be replacing the staffing business anytime soon. I think eventually somebody's going to get ... is going to pivot enough, and figure out the right things, and tune it, and make something that will work, and starts really cutting in.

 

Chad:                    That doesn't happen overnight though, right?

 

Jason:                   No.

 

Chad:                    I mean, you can't expect that Seen, or Hired, or are any of these, even the product that you were having fun with for Frankenstein, right? You can't expect that to go ahead, and just take over. It has to be baby steps. And I think, I that's what we're seeing with Seen, with these different platforms. These are baby steps to actually starting to displace a lot of the head count that these staffing companies, and RPOs have.

 

Jason:                   Somebody's going to make a play. Somebody's going to make a play. It's going to be there one day. Here's the thing though, HR is super slow to adopt, so your staffing company is not going away anytime soon.

 

Jason:                   Now, your HR department is not going away anytime soon. Your sourcers aren't going to disappear. I think that were super slow. Though, what I'll say is, the bot based stuff, people love that stuff, man. That's taken off faster. Remember how long it took to get video interviewing off the ground, like for people...

 

Chad:                    Yeah. Is it really off the ground?

 

Jason:                   I don't know, man. I think it's got a value case.

 

Chad:                    I think there's a value case, but what do you think the market penetration is right now?

 

Joel:                       And, what's that opportunity worth?

 

Jason:                   I'm not sure. I'm not sure what it's worth, but I think there are places that it's been valuable for me, and for my business to use it. Here's where the rubber hits the road with video interviewing, and why people want it to work is the ROI of it.

 

Jason:                   If you look at the amount of money that you spend inside your process. So, what you said is right. The people are the most expensive piece of any staffing company's business. The place where the people spend the most time is actually in screening and interviewing. So if you want to make a case for ROI-

 

Chad:                    Right there.

 

Jason:                   The reason people chased video interviewing, and the reason why the chat bot stuff is so hot is because that's the biggest chunk of time that you could cut out of a recruiter's day, and go put them on something more useful, than doing that piece of work. So, I think there's a case for it. The ROI actually played out on the Montage side for us. We used Montage, and that played out really nicely, so much so that that we expanded our agreement really broadly past ...

 

Jason:                   In fact, we used it. I don't know if ... You were there during this time, I think.

 

Chad:                    I think so.

 

Jason:                   We used Montage, had good success with it, and ended up all of Randstad is using it, now. And ...

 

Chad:                    That's a big account.

 

Jason:                   And then, the investment fund came in, and invested. So like, all those things happened because we got value out of it. So, the thing is a real. The thing is a real deal, and I like what they're doing, too. They're pivoting in an interesting way. So that combination with assessment, right?

 

Chad:                    Right.

 

Jason:                   The shaker, not your shaker, but a different shaker.

 

Chad:                    International?

 

Jason:                   Yeah. Shaker merged with Montage to create sort of a digital interview assessment place. So, if you want to do your interviews, you go to one place. If you want to do bot based screening, they have a chat-based interview. You want to do asynchronous audio, like recorded calls, scheduled face to face interviews, or your formal assessments, all of that one place, that's pretty interesting.

 

Jason:                   I think that's a value case, and I think each of those guys is trying to pivot in a different way. So, Higher View was using AI in a way that I wasn't really thrilled with. I think the way that Montage is trying to look at it. And the beauty of buying a big, or merging with .. I guess it wasn't a straight purchase, it was a merger. The reason, the beauty of merging with an assessment company is, assessments have a ton of data science, and a ton of math in there, so what do you think a company like Montage, who's a tech driven company, is going to do with all that? They're going to come up with something interesting out of that. So, I like where that's going.

 

Joel:                       So, if there was a cage match with chat bots versus video, who comes out of the cage?

 

Jason:                   People want chat bots. Like, they're beating down the doors to get chat bots, right now. And-

 

Chad:                    Oh, yeah. They're sexy.

 

Jason:                   You see, look at where all the venture money is going, right now. It's all chat bots.

 

Chad:                    Programmatic, and chat bots.

 

Jason:                   Yeah. Programmatic just ... I don't know what happened to Programmatic, man. It died.

 

Joel:                       Programmatic died?

 

Jason:                   Man. So ...

 

Joel:                       There were just four acquisitions in like six weeks.

 

Jason:                   Look at the price point on those things. It was like a fricking fire sale on some of those deals.

 

Joel:                       Was that market forces, or was that sort of, short-sightedness? Like, what I've heard is ... I've heard that Foreman could have gotten a lot more if he have held out, or-

 

Jason:                   And, he set the market, and killed everybody else.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Joel:                       He was the A-Rod of the market. Right? He signed, and now,

Ramirez is going to sign, and now, it's sort of trickled down. And my own feeling is that, the ones that are remaining are going to hold out for the price to sort of come back. And, I wouldn't be surprised if a Pando, or a JobAdX, or one of them actually sell for more in a few years from now, than Appcast sold.

 

Jason:                   Well, I think they are holding out, actually. I know they're holding out. They said they are. You've also got things like Uncommon, which I liked. I thought on Uncommon was a pretty smart technology.

 

Chad:                    Yeah.

 

Jason:                   And, I liked the way ... I liked their approach of what they were doing, and the Programmatic was solid. They came from a marketing background, so they knew what they were doing in that space. And, they're in liquidation, right now. They couldn't sell at the fire sale prices.

 

Jason:                   I talked to them at one point, and I would have bought them if I could have. But, hell. I would've opened my own wallet if I had that kind of cash, and bought them. But ...

 

Joel:                       Well if you just wait around, who knows?

 

Jason:                   They're in liquidation, man. Somebody's buying up.

 

Joel:                       Somebody's buying that up? Okay.

 

Jason:                     Yeah. Somebody buying those assets.

 

Chad:                    If listeners want to find out more about you, they go to LinkedIn, look for Jason.

 

Joel:                       Look for that really unique name, Jason Roberts.

 

Chad:                    Jason Roberts.

 

Jason:                   Yeah, I know, right? That's tough.

 

Jason:                   So, there's a couple of places you can look. So, I have podcast recruiting.technology. You can go find it. That's the URL. recruiting.technology.

 

Chad:                    That's one hell of a top level domain. That dot technology.

 

Jason:                   Yeah. Whatever. It's easy to remember, though. You know how to find it. You can find me. And, you can find me there. And then, I'm spending my time now helping companies connect with technology, and technology connects with companies, that whole story I told about this being a market that sort of accelerated past understanding for a lot of people. I'm trying to help solve that problem. So, I have a little company there that ... where I'm helping with that called, Disruption Treehouse. So if you want to go to DisruptionTreehouse.com, you can see me there, you can email me, book times.

 

Joel:                       That sounds very childlike, and whimsical.

 

Jason:                   It's both whimsical, and super scary with the Disruption. It's a juxed position that you love.

 

Joel:                       And on that note, and that word, we out.

 

Chad:                    We out.

 

Tristen:                 Hi, I'm Tristen. Thanks for listening to my stepdad, the Chad, and his goofy frenchies. You've been listening to the Chad and Cheese Podcast. Make sure you subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts, so you don't miss out on all the knowledge dropping that's happening up in here.

 

Tristen:                 (whispers) They made me say that.

 

Tristen:                 The most important part is to check out our sponsors, because I need new track spikes. You know, the expensive, shiny, gold pair that are extra, because ... Well, I'm extra.

 

Tristen:                 For more, visit chadcheese.com.

 

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HR's Most Dangerous Podcast

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