On today’s episode of the RecruitingDaily Podcast, William Tincup talks to Ahryun from GoodTime about the state of hiring.
Some Conversation Highlights:
Listening time: 28 minutes
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Speaker 1: 00:00 This is Recruiting Daily’s recruiting live podcast, where we look at the strategies behind the world’s best talent acquisition teams. We talk recruiting, sourcing, and talent acquisition. Each week, we take one overcomplicated topic, and break it down so that your three year old can understand it. Make sense? Are you ready to take your game to the next level? You’re at the right spot. You’re now entering the mind of a hustler. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup: 00:34 Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you are listening to the Recruiting Daily podcast. Today we have Ahryun on from Good Time and we’ll be talking about… our topic today is the state of hiring, which I’m sure everyone would like to know where we are. And I can’t wait to kind of get Ahryun’s take on what she thinks, where we are, and what are some of the things that are happening to us with hiring. So, Ahryun, would you do us a favor and introduce yourself and Good Time??
Ahryun Moon: 01:03 Yeah, definitely. I’m Ahryun Moon, one of the co-founders CEO of Good Time. Good Time is what we call candidate relationship intelligence. Nowadays, the job market after COVID has become insanely competitive. And we’ve seen a few really important macro trends, as well as micro trends, after speaking with a lot of VPs of talent, talent leaders. And we realize that the most important thing, when it comes to hiring nowadays, is to really shorten and make… shorten the time to hire, and make your hiring process extremely efficient. And at the same time, actually forge really strong relationships with your candidates. And I would love to kind of share more about why those things are really important. And Good Time Hire is what is all about shortening time to hire, and also bringing amazing candidate relationship. And that’s extra value that we deliver to our amazing customers. Thank you for having me, William.
William Tincup: 02:08 Oh, a hundred percent. So let’s deal with the efficiency first. Some would call that speed. How do you see that reflected in the market today? Like, is it response times? Is it setting up meetings? Like, what does speed look like for the candidate?
Ahryun Moon: 02:27 Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, even before COVID it was definitely candidate’s market, where candidates has a lot more bargaining power, nowadays even more so. From our data, we actually found out that candidates usually have about four offers on the table by the time they’re done with their job search, and their job search ends within about three weeks, or less than three weeks. It used to be months, now less than three weeks, so that speed is extremely important. The reason why, is if you cannot keep up with that kind of pace, then you actually don’t even have a chance to put your offer on the table by the time the candidate is ready to make on a decision on the offer that they want to take. And that’s why speed is extremely important. And I think that is really reflected in the survey that we’ve done with about 600 or so talent leaders recently. Making their hiring process efficient, and shortened time to hire, is one of the most important things that they said they’re working on this year.
William Tincup: 03:36 What were… Or what are, as it were. That’s past tense. What are some of the roadblocks to making that [inaudible 00:03:39] as fast as the candidate wants to go?
Ahryun Moon: 03:42 Yeah, absolutely. So, one of the things is, I don’t know if you remember before COVID, the interview process used to involve so many people, 20, 30 different people. The last interview, I don’t know if you remember. It’s definitely remnant of the past, but the candidate would come in for the final interview and meet with, like, 15 people. And that would take up the entire day. Now, the trend that we are actually seeing, is the interview process itself is actually becoming more simple. So instead of 20 people meeting the candidate, they can make an offer by having five to six interviewers meeting with candidates. I think the process itself is getting more simpler. And also another big roadblock when it comes to making the hiring process more streamlined is the number of interviewers. If you don’t have enough trained interviewer, that have enough of schedules open for them to interview these candidates easily, the interview process can be prolonged. And so we’re seeing a lot of our customers really focusing on interviewer training, really widening the interviewer pool also.
William Tincup: 04:58 So with interview training, most of those are hiring managers. Are you taking… The training that they’re going through, is it, basically, it’s standardized questions? What are they being trained on in terms of… I mean, I know it’s not their full time job, so there’s that. but what are they being, essentially, trained on?
Ahryun Moon: 05:21 Yeah, definitely. So obviously [inaudible 00:05:24] don’t have the interviews. Those usually, they go through some kind of classes and so on. But then specific interviews that they must actually vet candidates on particular skill sets and so on, we see our customers actually putting new interviewers through the interview training process where they’re actually shadowing really good interviewers, learning from them. And then also have them reverse shadow you, so that you can actually be vetted as really good interviewers or, qualified interviewers. So really those… being able to have competent skill sets, in terms of being able to interview candidates, and vet those candidates on those skill sets is the second step.
Ahryun Moon: 06:09 And then the third step that we’ve seen is, really the best way for candidates to learn about what it’s like to work at your organization, is through the mouth of your interviewers. If they actually hear, directly from interviewers, on the employer’s stance on DEIB, work life flexibility, culture, mission and values, and so on, it’s a lot more powerful than getting a one pager from your recruiting team or seeing it on your website. It’s beyond just lip service if you directly hear from your interviewers. So really training your interviewers on those kind of like… almost like an elevator pitch, how to pitch the company, how to pitch company’s value and missions, company’s stance on different aspects. So that’s kind a third step, but extremely important when it comes to interview training.
William Tincup: 07:03 Yeah, it’s nice because it’s selling the job. I think we’ve grown up in an era where we’ve been candidate rich, so we didn’t have to… maybe we didn’t feel like we had to sell the job or sell the company as much, and obviously that’s changed. You mentioned a couple topics that candidates are really interested in, but let’s go back through those and make sure we unpack that. What are the questions, and what are the topics that candidates really care about these days?
Ahryun Moon: 07:31 Definitely. Things like DEIB obviously is top of mind for a lot of talent leaders, and candidates really care about them also. What candidates now care more about is, is it just a lip service, or is the company actually committing to some kind of number? Can they openly share where they stand now and where they want to be? And so on. I think candidates care a lot about diversity, inclusion, belonging and so on. Another thing is kind of an obvious one about work life flexibility. I don’t call it work life balance. I call it work life flexibility. It’s not that candidates are looking for a cushy job. They’re actually looking for a place where they can really expand their skillset, do their best work, but in their own time. Not from eight to five or in within a specific time range. Because nowadays, if you’re working hybrid or remotely, you’re taking care of your kids in the morning, and then going back to work, and then make some lunch for your kids, and then you’re back to work. And then at late at night, you are working on some project for work and so on. So that work life integration has become so important to people. So that flexibility that companies are willing to provide to the employees, they really want to know where the company stands on that.
William Tincup: 09:05 So, I was going to ask you about remote. Are you getting more questions now about… or people that just don’t want to go to a return to office, and they want that flexibility? Because I’ve heard kind of both sides, really… polarity that you hear in America, right? So I’ve heard people, they’re just like, “Everyone’s going to go back to the office.” And I’ve had friends really argue this case. Like, all the tech companies are just going to… They’re going to force everybody to go back to the office. I’m like, “Yeah, that’s crazy.” And you’re the opposite. It’s going to be remote forever. Okay, well… All right, so what are you hearing, and what’s the data telling you as it relates to remote?
Ahryun Moon: 09:44 I have to say, it’s really interesting what’s happening. Definitely there are… Companies can want different things, obviously. Some companies have really figured out remote and hybrid working environment, some companies really want their employees to come back to the office full time, and so on. But even from people perspective, it’s really kind of split between people who actually want the flexibility of working from home, and people who actually want to have some options of going back to work, going back to the office. Because you are kind of missing that face to face time, that camaraderie that’s easier to build if you’re, you know, rubbing shoulder to shoulder with your employees, with your cohorts, and so on. So it’s definitely a split. So I don’t know if there’s a clear future where everyone is going remote or everyone is going back to the office.
Ahryun Moon: 10:43 However, one really interesting data point that I want to point out from the survey that we’ve done, is that actually retaining top talent is less of a concern for companies that are more of an in office working structure, than companies that are more remote. Which is very, very interesting to me because I thought it would be the opposite, where remote companies would have easier time retaining people, but it’s actually the opposite. Actually I wanted to… And it kind boggled my mind in terms of where that’s coming from. My hypothesis is that remote companies have employees that are working remote, and they probably have a lot more job options. There are a lot more remote companies out there, which means you can actually apply for any company anywhere in the world, and therefore, retaining top talent is probably harder. But actually I want to pick your brain. You’ve seen the entire recruiting trend over the last few decades, and have you… In terms of that data point on remote companies having harder time retaining employees, where do you think that’s coming from?
William Tincup: 12:08 Well, I think the folks that want to work remote have a lot of options. So I don’t think it’s the remote as a function is what’s in the way of retention. I think it’s just… Let’s say you’re a Java developer and you want to work remote. You’ve got a lot of opportunities, and you’re going to have a lot of opportunities in front of you that are going to be remote based. So it isn’t the… It’s what I’ve seen at least. It isn’t that it’s remote that we’re having a hard time keeping people that are remote. I think the people that are remote know that they can do the job from anywhere, and they have now kind of unlocked-
Ahryun Moon: 12:47 More options.
William Tincup: 12:49 Yeah, they’ve unlocked this kind of, “I can work from anywhere, which means… I’ll move to Bali and live there, and I can have… Whatever job I can have I’ll work there.”
William Tincup: 13:01 So I think it’s the retention isn’t related to remote, as much as it is the amount of opportunities that person has. I mean, as you said… Well, within three weeks, four offers. That’s just crazy to me. Which is great. It gets us back to why people need to be efficient and speed up this process. And I’ve heard something similar with software engineers, that if they ask… Basically they ask, “What’s your hiring process like?” If you get past a fourth interview, they’re like, “Yeah, we’re done.” They’re just… “Cool.” I mean, I’m sure it’s cool, but obviously you’re not built for speed. There’s a judgment being made, in a way, that I find to find really fascinating, that if you’re not built for speed, then why would I want to join this slow team?
Ahryun Moon: 13:55 Mm. True.
William Tincup: 13:55 Which is really, really interesting. To me, at least. You know, you mentioned… [inaudible 00:14:01]. We focused a lot on speed and efficiency, but you had mentioned something just as important, which was quality relationships.
Ahryun Moon: 14:08 Right.
William Tincup: 14:10 How do the hiring managers, and interviewers, and recruiters, how do they… What do they do to foster those quality relationships?
Ahryun Moon: 14:18 Yeah, definitely. So, how we approach it is that, first off, you want to have the right interviewers in every single interview, that are competent to ask the right questions. They know how to have intelligent conversations with candidates and candidates… Oftentimes, actually… We do a lot of candidate interviews, and oftentimes what I hear is, “If I feel like I cannot learn from this interviewer, if I feel like I’m smarter than this interviewer, then I feel like I’m going to work in a team where I will not be able to learn from anyone.”
Ahryun Moon: 14:52 So it’s just really fascinating that interviewers are the base of the company. They represent what the working environment will be like, what the team camaraderie will be like, what the kind of overall competency of the team will be like. And candidates are really vetting employee on a lot of different aspects, including what it’s like to be working with this team when they join. So, really having that right interviewers, that are really able to, and well equipped to have that intelligent conversation with candidates is really important.
Ahryun Moon: 15:33 And also, another thing is, even though you may have the skillset to interview, you may not know how to conduct the interviews the right way. Just because you are an amazing senior engineer, doesn’t mean you can actually interview correctly. So interviewer training is really important. So that trained interviewers, and number of trained interviewers, is going to be one of the key aspects that will unblock slow hiring process, and really speed up and boost the efficiency of hiring.
Ahryun Moon: 16:06 And another thing is, also, interviewer training just on the skill sets, it’s really important, but really kind of taking a step beyond that, and training interviewers on how to pitch the company the right way. And the candidates actually getting consistent messaging from multiple interviewers, it’s extremely powerful. It builds better relationship with candidates. So things that candidates care about, like topics that they care about, like diversity inclusion, transparency, company’s stance on some social good, political matters, and so on. Not only do we want to put that in writing, and put it on the website somewhere, but if we can actually train our interviewers to pitch that, and create consistent messaging within each interview, I think that would be extremely powerful.
Ahryun Moon: 17:02 And obviously, other things like being able to get back to the candidates fast, so that candidates actually feel like they’re a VIP, company cares about them, therefore they’re moving fast on them, and so on, that really builds stronger relationship also.
Ahryun Moon: 17:20 And lastly, getting candidate feedback. So, really understanding candidate emotion, and their pulse, and their feedback throughout the entire interview process. And as much as possible, personalized the interview process for them also builds really strong relationships with them.
William Tincup: 17:39 You know, I’ve thought this thought, but I think this is the first time someone’s expressed it so elegantly. I think you’re right. I think that the judgment that’s being made about the interviewer is something that’s always been there. We just never have really kind of talked about it, but it’s always been there. And now it’s… they’re judging quietly. They’re judging the… If you have a junior person interviewing a senior person, it isn’t quite a waste of their time, of course. They can still kind of get some of the answers out of you and et cetera. But I could see that almost, if I were a senior talent, I could see it almost being an affront. Like, “You’re wasting my time. You’re not… I’m not learning anything from you, you’re just learning something from me.” Which is not a two way street.
Ahryun Moon: 18:36 Right. Oh yeah, exactly. I’ve even heard one of the candidates that applied for one of the best employer brands out there. She said, “I interviewed, I’m a senior engineer, and I was really disappointed in the quality of interviewers.” She dropped out. So it’s such a real thing.
William Tincup: 18:58 That’s interesting. So out of the three weeks and four offers, who’s winning? And not necessarily the brands and stuff like that, but the people tactically that are making the right moves, who’s winning out of those people that put the four offers together?
Ahryun Moon: 19:17 Yeah, absolutely. I think… Well, first of all, you should be one of those four offers. So, if you are not fast enough to put your offer on the table, then you-
William Tincup: 19:29 You’re definitely not winning.
Ahryun Moon: 19:30 You’re definitely not winning. Yeah. And then, out of the offers, obviously there are things that candidates definitely care about, like compensation, benefits and so on. But beyond that, if you can compete on that, and you have competitive benefits, and compensation perks and so on, then beyond that, really, the employers that have forged really strong relationships with candidates. And actually, not to brag about Good Time, to be honest, but actually a lot of our new hires tell us that, “Hey, I had, like, three or four offers on the table. I picked Good Time because you guys moved the fastest. I felt like I was the VIP. You guys cared so much about me to where you wanted to move so fast.”
Ahryun Moon: 20:18 So really that efficient hiring process… It’s really fascinating because actually I thought if you make your time to hire so short, to where you’re moving candidates through the hiring process too quickly, I felt like that would feel transactional to candidates. What’s really eye opening for me, the candidate felt the opposite. They thought, “The employers that are moving me through the hiring process so quickly, it’s because they care about me. They care about my time. They see me as the most important candidate, therefore they’re moving me through the process so quickly.” Which really eye opening, but that speed matters so much. And usually those companies win the candidates.
William Tincup: 21:06 It’s funny, because I was going to ask you that. Can you move too quickly? Because I know people who are listening to this would ask, “Well, if you move too quickly, are they offended if you’re trying to move them through the process too quickly?” But I think you can pace yourself with the candidate. And I think that’s probably part of the issue, is that were being outpaced by candidates. If we pace ourselves with the candidates, like, “Hey, we want to move as fast as you want to move.”
Ahryun Moon: 21:33 Exactly. I mean, so we actually did a video interview with the partner director that was recently hired at Databricks, which is one of our customers. His name is Seth Waterman. He mentioned that he had three or four offers also, and he is an executive. And Databricks moved the fastest for him. And he felt like a VIP. And therefore, he picked Databricks’ offer, versus others. I don’t know if… I do think that there is some balance to how fast you want to move. Like, you don’t want a senior engineer, or an executive coming in, meeting one person, and then the same day you get an offer. That doesn’t seem genuine. You do need to balance it out, but that speed really matters a lot to candidates nowadays.
William Tincup: 22:20 So, if you could give people advice on the training of their interviewers, what’s the one thing that you would tell them to do?
Ahryun Moon: 22:31 Yeah, that’s a great question. So, definitely two things. One is making sure that your interviewers have a really well crafted set of interview questions, that are not repeated from the last interviews that the candidate has gone through. Because candidates quickly notice if the interviewers are asking the same question over and over. Yeah, so really well crafted, intelligent interview questions that are not repeated. And then really training interviewers on how to ask those interviews. And really that shadow and reverse shadow sessions are really, really impactful. And also, I think something that I think a lot of companies kind of overlook, is asking questions is one thing, making a hire or not hire decision off of the answers is another training, which is probably as important or even more important. So how do we evaluate the answers that the candidate gives you? There has to be training there, because otherwise everyone will ask the same questions, and then come to completely conclusions, if you don’t get trained on that.
Ahryun Moon: 23:47 And then the second thing that I wanted to mention is really how to pitch your company. How do you pitch your company? Do you know where the company stands on the mission, values, transparency, or client flexibility? Do you know the company’s policy? Can you confidently pitch that with a lot of excitement to the candidates? Because the candidates will feed off of the interviewer’s excitement. I would say those two are my 2 cents.
William Tincup: 24:17 I love that. And the pitch… What I love about that, is everyone’s pitching from the same playbook. So, they’re getting kind of a consistent, authentic pitch across the board. Whomever they talk to, if it’s source, or recruiter, hiring manager, team, et cetera, wherever they’re in the process, they’re getting the same pitch. Or similar, if not the same, so that they feel like, “Okay, this is actually the company I’m joining.” Ahryun, this has been wonderful. Thank you so much for carving out time for us.
Ahryun Moon: 24:48 Thank you for having me.
William Tincup: 24:49 Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the Recruiting Daily podcast. Until next time.
Speaker 1: 24:55 You’ve been listening to the Recruiting Live podcast by Recruiting Daily. Check out the latest industry podcasts, webinars, articles, and news at…
William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.