Many Quebec based companies surprisingly don’t have an ATS, which is usually step one for HaloTalent when they help organizations innovate. Intuitive ATS platforms seem to meet the goals and needs of their clients the best, but can we take what works for Quebec and apply that globally?

Our two guests today are Stefany Bertrand (Digital Recruiting Strategist) and Veronique Turgeon (President) of Halotalent! They spoke with Shally Steckerl about the support role they provide organizations in the technology field. Many companies are overwhelmed by the myriad of choices out there for applicant tracking systems, sourcing platforms, and the likes.  Why bother trying and failing when you could just take the sage advice of industry experts?

When it comes to an intuitive ATS platform worth using, Stefany argues for one with a superior user experience. If the application isn’t easy to use or even translatable to French, its very difficult for them to recommend it to their clients.

Quotes from our guests about intuitive ATS platforms

Veronique Turgeon:

“Most of our clients need to start with an ATS. In Quebec City, we’ve noticed that too many people don’t have any technology to do recruitment. They all work in Excel. So, the starting point is to implement an ATS.”

Stefany Bertrand:

“It’s important for us to try and find some really intuitive and user friendly ATS tools for our client’s recruiting. There’s a lot of big enterprises that are really more rigid and they’re locked in to their old ways. That’s why we’re trying to really innovate in that field and try and go and find some intuitive tools.”

For all other sourcing school podcast episodes, check out here!

This HR Tech 2022 series is sponsored and made possible by our friends at Gem

Stefany Bertrand and Veronique Turgeon

Introduction (00:04):
School is in session. This is RecruitingDaily Sourcing School podcast. We’re recording from HR Tech in Vegas. Thanks to our friends and partners at Gem. Sharpen your pencils and get your sourcing pants on, because we have the scoop on sourcing news, recruiting tech, and all the hot topics that you need to learn about. Here’s your professor, Ryan Leary with special guests Shally Steckerl and Mike “Batman” Cohen.

Shally Steckerl (00:30):
All right. All right. Very special welcome from RecruitingDaily here to our friends from Quebec, from Halotalent. This is Shally here with you today, and we have two representatives from Halotalent that are talking about technology in, how do you say? Recruitment.

Véronique Turgeon (00:51):
[foreign language 00:00:52]

Shally Steckerl (00:54):
Ah, I failed. [foreign language 00:00:55].

Véronique Turgeon (00:55):
You were so close, though.

Shally Steckerl (00:57):
Yeah. Yeah. It’s not bad. So introduce yourselves. What do you guys do? First of all, what’s your name and what do you do for Halotalent?

Véronique Turgeon (01:06):
Yeah, so my name is Véronique Turgeon and I’m the president of Halotalent. What we do, basically we help our clients with their recruiting needs. So we are specialized in technologies for recruiting, and with our expertise we can recommend the best tool they need to make sure that they make good hiring and fast.

Shally Steckerl (01:27):
Ah. So Halotalent is an advisory firm?

Véronique Turgeon (01:30):
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Shally Steckerl (01:33):

Stefany Bertrand (01:34):
So I’m Stefany Bertrand. I’m a software advisor, mostly in recruiting technology and we do a bit of HR text as well that are complimentary to the recruiting. But mostly in recruiting area.

Shally Steckerl (01:49):
Interesting. And sounds very French name.

Stefany Bertrand (01:52):

Shally Steckerl (01:53):
The Bertrand.

Stefany Bertrand (01:53):

Shally Steckerl (01:55):
It’s a very French name, no?

Stefany Bertrand (01:57):
Bertrand? Yes, yes, yes, it is. Yeah.

Shally Steckerl (01:57):
Yeah, it’s a very traditional surname now. Is it how you say it? Yeah.

Stefany Bertrand (02:01):

Shally Steckerl (02:02):
So recruiting technology is your specialization.

Stefany Bertrand (02:05):

Shally Steckerl (02:06):
Now, you probably can’t talk about your clients, but would you happen to have a client that puts on shows in Las Vegas?

Stefany Bertrand (02:13):
We might be able to find some of them interesting to that idea, but-

Shally Steckerl (02:17):
Cirque du Soleil?

Stefany Bertrand (02:20):

Shally Steckerl (02:20):
They’re your client? Or you can’t say? Yeah, they were a client of mine some time ago for recruitment. So, what type of technology are you getting requests for most frequently and is it just in Quebec, French-speaking Canada, or is it national or international that you work?

Véronique Turgeon (02:41):
Well, right now we’re mostly working in Quebec City in the province. For sure, we’re open to extend and maybe at some point be in the U.S. But yeah, it’s mostly in Quebec City and most of our clients need to start with an ATS. So in Quebec City, notice that too many people doesn’t have any technology to do the recruitment. They work on Excel. So the start is really to implement an ATS.

Shally Steckerl (03:08):
Wow. They don’t have one. It’s not that they’re switching.

Véronique Turgeon (03:11):

Shally Steckerl (03:12):
They don’t have an ATS right now. Exactly.

Véronique Turgeon (03:15):
You would be amazed to see how big a company doesn’t have anything. They do like hundred of hirings a month and they don’t have tech.

Shally Steckerl (03:25):
Wow. I’m amazed just hearing that.

Véronique Turgeon (03:28):
I know.

Shally Steckerl (03:28):
I’m amazed that anybody doesn’t have an ATS right now. It might be because the laws are different, but here if you don’t have one, you’re pretty much forced to provide an applicant flow log that’s manual, which is a lot of work. Is there similar rules in Canada where you have to provide a record of every applicant reasons, why they were-

Véronique Turgeon (03:52):
No, at least we don’t have that. We can make it really quick. We don’t have any regulation regarding the application process.

Shally Steckerl (03:58):
Oh, okay.

Véronique Turgeon (04:00):
So at least we have that, but because of that, this is maybe why, one of the reason why employers doesn’t have ATS.

Shally Steckerl (04:07):
That makes sense. Yeah.

Stefany Bertrand (04:09):
That’s why it’s important for us to try and find some really intuitive and user friendly ATS and tools and recruiting. Because there’s a lot of big enterprises that are really more rigid and they’re in their tool. So that’s why we’re trying to really go and innovate in that field and try and go and get some intuitive tools.

Shally Steckerl (04:32):
What would you say is one of the biggest failures or gaps in ATS systems that prevent you from recommending them to your clients? May I guess?

Véronique Turgeon (04:44):
Yeah, what do you mean by gaps?

Shally Steckerl (04:47):
So you would not select that ATS because it’s missing something that your clients need or ask for.

Véronique Turgeon (04:55):
That’s a easy question for us. So what is the most important thing for us is the user experience and user interface. So all the design. If the platform is not intuitive, it’s not beautiful and fun to manage and work with, it won’t be a platform we will recommend. This is the first step. So this is why the platform that we recommend or sometime maybe new ones, we tried to really bring that into experience into companies.

Shally Steckerl (05:29):
Got it. I was wondering if multilingual requirements come into play because I think you have regulations that you have to have both languages, right? In applications?

Stefany Bertrand (05:43):
Yes, exactly. We need platforms that have the French language mostly, because it’s a regulation in Quebec. So sometimes there’s some platforms that don’t have that.

Shally Steckerl (05:53):
Don’t support French.

Stefany Bertrand (05:54):
So we cannot recommend them to our clients.

Véronique Turgeon (05:58):
This is a big struggle for us because we see amazing tech, amazing software, but then when we ask about the language, we don’t have it in French, so we cannot recommend. This is why sometime we are wishing to have clients in U.S., then we can have fun and recommend platform that we just cannot in Quebec.

Shally Steckerl (06:16):
Besides language, is there another issue, like payment structures?

Stefany Bertrand (06:22):
Well, yes. So we’re mostly in the recruiting. But, yes, when we were doing a little bit more of HR technologies, that was a problem with the payrolls tools and everything, because we have specific regulations in Quebec and they were not adapting. That’s why there was only a couple ones that we could recommend.

Véronique Turgeon (06:45):
Also I would say that, I don’t know why, but in Quebec City, companies are really afraid to have software that the data are hosted out of Canada. And that’s another big issue, because in Europe they have big regulation and it’s pretty safe. The data when they’re hosted there. So we need to bring our clients to be more open-minded to that. But when we worked with governments, for example, it’s like it’s a rule. They just cannot have the data posted out of Canada. So again we are like less options.

Shally Steckerl (07:16):

Véronique Turgeon (07:17):
Yeah, restricted. Exactly.

Shally Steckerl (07:19):
How about with CRMs? Do you work with that or is that not a very mature space in Quebec?

Véronique Turgeon (07:24):

Stefany Bertrand (07:25):
Well, a lot of people and organizations do have CRMs, but we don’t really do that at Halotalent.

Shally Steckerl (07:35):
Got you. Besides the ATS, what other technology are you investigating for your clients?

Stefany Bertrand (07:43):
Sourcing technologies. Tools that really help to go out there because there’s a lot of… We’re missing some employees. I think it’s everywhere like that, but especially in Quebec and Canada, the market is really, really made for employees right now.

Véronique Turgeon (08:02):

Stefany Bertrand (08:03):
We are really trying to give tools to organizations to recruit and go sourcing.

Véronique Turgeon (08:13):
And any other little additional tools, like video interviews too, or onboarding tools that can automate the workflow. We try also to put as much AI as possible to have good insight on the interview. So we have different tools that we recommend to our client depending of their needs.

Shally Steckerl (08:37):

Véronique Turgeon (08:38):
Assessment tools. Again, the French is a little challenge here. But yeah, assessment tool as well.

Stefany Bertrand (08:46):
The scheduling and everything.

Shally Steckerl (08:47):
A couple of companies, there’s a couple of companies that have assessments that are multilingual. I think Vervoe might have multilingual assessments, you might want to check them out.

Stefany Bertrand (09:05):
And we just saw one earlier as well, that we just found out. And they’re actually based in the Montreal.

Véronique Turgeon (09:14):
Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. That was it.

Shally Steckerl (09:18):
That works. Funny anecdote. So the reason I’m somewhat familiar with your part of the world is my wife is originally from Maine, and the city where she grew up is north of Quebec.

Véronique Turgeon (09:30):

Shally Steckerl (09:31):
In the United States.

Véronique Turgeon (09:32):

Shally Steckerl (09:33):
And I never knew that, I always thought the United States is south of Canada, but in Maine there’s a very large portion that goes all the way up to Newfoundland and the city that she grew up in is actually further up in latitude from Quebec, which is just amazing. But, beautiful country. So I’m familiar with, there’s some affinity for the people across the border, which is close to where you guys are from. I was going to ask you a question about technology. Are you surprised at all at the variety of technology that you’ve seen here in the trade show or were you expecting?

Véronique Turgeon (10:21):
Yeah, they are a lot. It’s really overwhelming. And this is why at some point we took the decision that we were going to focus only on the recruiting. Because only with that area we have enough options and if we really want to make sure we understand all the different tools available, we need to be really specialized. It’s really overwhelming and I cannot imagine how complicated that could be for a HR professional to start from scratch and try to best find the best tool for them.

Shally Steckerl (10:53):
I mean, for recruiting alone there’s an overwhelming amount of technologies now. It hasn’t always been that way. But even 25 years ago when I started, you still needed to make a decision on which technology to choose. Even back then, just fewer choices. And that’s just inside of recruiting. Above recruiting, conceptually, you have the entire talent space, which includes the recruiting, but also what happens after somebody is recruited. Onboarding-

Véronique Turgeon (11:24):
Yeah, the employee cycle.

Shally Steckerl (11:25):
Exactly. And then above that, conceptually, you have essentially the whole talent space that includes Human Resources and HR technology is all of that. It’s talent management, it’s learning, it’s assessments, the full life cycle. So it’s very confusing. I think you’re in a good business, very confusing to help customers decide what they need is important. Because they know what they need and they just… How do you figure out from the marketing documents, how do you figure out what really works and what doesn’t? They all say they have AI. They all say they have machine learning. They all say they’ll be your solution for every problem, but they don’t even know what your problems are before they tell you that. Right?

Véronique Turgeon (12:10):
Yeah. And that’s such a risk. Sometimes vendors, they don’t really tell completely the truth. I mean, they are not lying, but they say, “Oh yeah, we have AI.” But they play a little bit with words. In our case, we try most of the platform that we recommend. So we have some recruiting services. That allows us to really try the tools that we recommend. So this is like our lab, if I can say.

Shally Steckerl (12:41):
Question for you. In your view of technology, what should we automate and what shouldn’t we automate?

Véronique Turgeon (12:53):
Good question.

Shally Steckerl (12:56):
We can automate practically, not everything, but a lot. Sometimes maybe you shouldn’t, so maybe the better question is what shouldn’t we automate?

Véronique Turgeon (13:05):
Yeah, I think that would be easier to answer. And I think that this answer will evolve with time. Because before, I would have say you don’t automate the email you sent to approach a potential candidate, like a lead. But right now with the AI, the AI is almost better than a human to customize the approach in the email. So my answer is evolving with time.

Shally Steckerl (13:33):
So, right now, what should we not be automating?

Véronique Turgeon (13:37):
Okay, so right now. What do we not?

Shally Steckerl (13:40):
What do we not want to? Yeah, maybe your clients are saying we want to automate and you’re advising them, “No, you don’t want to automate.” There’s technology that it can assist but not automate, or you should not automate because of a risk of some kind.

Stefany Bertrand (13:55):
Well I think what difference us, personally, at Halotalents, because we don’t send… Our approach to candidates is really personalized. A lot of companies will send emails to approach candidates and it’s really general and we have that feedback a lot, because we go and we really customize all our… Okay, what did we like in your resume personally? So we really like that you worked this kind of skill that you seem to have from your experience and everything. We really go from every candidate that we approach in sourcing and we really get that feedback from them, that they really, really do appreciate that we’re the only ones that take the time to customize it.

Shally Steckerl (14:44):
The personalization.

Stefany Bertrand (14:45):
All around these messages, and there’s a lot of automation that we do, but this part we really care about customizing. What do we like about you?

Véronique Turgeon (14:55):
Yeah, exactly. So we need to be careful with the bulk email. If you do bulk email, make sure you have placeholders that you can customize for each person that you approach.

Shally Steckerl (15:04):
Right, so that you’re not basically using a generic-

Stefany Bertrand (15:07):
Not the whole email. We have an email that we use, but then there’s placeholders that we go and customize.

Véronique Turgeon (15:15):
And if you have AI that give you insight about candidates and interviews, you always need a human that’s going to analyze those insight and information. The final decision is taken by a human and this is why the recruiter role has been changed with time. We’re more like almost data analyst.

Stefany Bertrand (15:33):
And all the analysts do up the job descriptions. So to really go in detail about the job description and everything, I think that’s important as well.

Véronique Turgeon (15:45):
Yeah, the job description, you have to do it by yourself.

Shally Steckerl (15:52):
Okay. that’s good advice. Yeah, I like that. I think that applies anywhere, not just in Quebec and not just in Canada, but really everywhere. It’s good advice. We like to close the podcast every time by asking you this question, and I know you wish you had been prepared for it, but the point is that we don’t prepare you for it. The question that we like to wrap things up with is, what is the one thing that you would like people to know right now about recruiting technology?

Stefany Bertrand (16:25):
I think I just want… To your point, there is a lot of new technologies that are developing and they’re really, really intuitive. They’re really user friendly. They have a lot of features as well. And they’re not known right now, but they are really, really good. And we see a lot of big companies, big ATS, big tools, big technologies that are always the same that we see in all the conferences that we were at. It was always the same five tools or whatever. And we really want those companies to be known as well.

Véronique Turgeon (16:59):
Yeah, exactly. We were getting a little bit frustrated. There are so many good new tools.

Shally Steckerl (17:05):
So in other words, your advice is, don’t just go for the brand name that you recognize, maybe spend a little bit of time-

Véronique Turgeon (17:13):

Stefany Bertrand (17:13):

Shally Steckerl (17:14):
…Inquiring about, because there may be a solution that’s a better fit.

Véronique Turgeon (17:17):

Shally Steckerl (17:18):
Since there’s so many options.

Véronique Turgeon (17:22):
And so much more intuitive.

Stefany Bertrand (17:22):
Exactly. They have so many features, but are they the features that you need?

Shally Steckerl (17:27):
That you need, that your company… Yeah, that’s right. Okay. That’s really good. Actually, we haven’t heard that one before. Well, thank you for being on the podcast. Thank you so much.

Véronique Turgeon (17:36):
You’re welcome. Thank you.

Stefany Bertrand (17:36):
Thank you.

Véronique Turgeon (17:37):
That was fun.

Outro (17:41):
Oh man, that means it’s over.

Outro (17:44):
You’ve been listening to the Sourcing School podcast live at HR Tech in Vegas, sponsored by our friends at Jack. For all other HR, recruiting, and sourcing news check out

Sourcing School Podcast

Ryan Leary

Ryan Leary helps create the processes, ideas and innovation that drives RecruitingDaily. He’s our in-house expert for anything related to sourcing, tools or technology. A lead generation and brand buzz building machine, he has built superior funnel systems for some of the industries top HR Tech and Recruitment brands. He is a veteran to the online community and a partner here at RecruitingDaily.

Michael Cohen

Mike “Batman” Cohen is the Founder of Wayne Technologies, a Sourcing-on-Demand and Recruitment Training Organization. Wayne Technologies On-Demand Sourcing is a revolutionary approach that provides the most actionable data available, is based on deliverables – not time, and is based on access to more recruitment tooling than any organization worldwide.

Shally Steckerl

One of the pioneers of the sourcing discipline, Shally is the Founder and former President of The Sourcing Institute, where he has helped numerous F500 and mid-market organizations train and develop their talent sourcing capabilities for nearly 20 years. When it comes to innovative approaches to candidate search, Shally literally wrote the book. He is the author of the industry-standard textbook “The Talent Sourcing and Recruitment Handbook” as well as “The Sourcing Method: Tactics to Find Unfindable Talent.”


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