On today’s episode of the RecruitingDaily Podcast, William Tincup speaks to Leah from JobSync about the 2022 Definitive Guide to Tripling or Quadrupling Quality Candidate Volume.
Some Conversation Highlights:
How is that being respond by the folks in TA, the folks that are sourcers, recruiters, et cetera?
I’m sure given what we all know about the current state of affairs in the recruitment marketplace, everybody loves this idea of more. More quality. But I like to think about the world as sort of two separate levers. You have a quality lever and you have a candidate volume lever. What happens a lot of times with companies is they pull one of the two levers at the sacrifice of the other one. Goal here is to figure out how you pull both of them at the same time. How do you both increase the quality while you increase the volume? The guide really takes you through sort of separating those two and then bringing them together.
So where is that candidate volume trigger? Well, the biggest trigger for volume for companies is being able to use these easy applies right now. Our friends at Indeed, for example, will reward companies who use the easy apply with mobile traffic, which is about 70% of their traffic. If you don’t use easy apply, you are regulated to the desktop traffic, which is about 30% of their traffic. So you’re competing in a different world if you are able to get into those easy applies. Now you have candidate volume.
Tune in for the full conversation.
Listening time: 23 minutes
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Music: 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: Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you are listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Today, we have Leah on from JobSync. Our discussion today is a 2022 Definitive Guide to Tripling or Quadrupling Quality Candidate Volume. Emphasis, heavy emphasis, is on quality. So I can’t wait to talk to Leah. She’s a returning guest, and we’ll just jump right into it. Leah, would you please introduce yourself and JobSync?
Leah Daniels: I would love to. It’s nice to be back and chatting with you. My name is Leah Daniels, and I’m the Chief Commercial Officer over at JobSync. JobSync is a, we call it a talent acquisition automation platform, which is a very long set of words that basically means we help all of the different technologies you already use work better by automating a bunch of things.
Leah Daniels: The big thing that we’ve been working on with a number of companies is helping them integrate into the quick and easy applies of Indeed and ZipRecruiter, Talent.com, [inaudible 00:01:07], all of these job boards that have a lot of access to candidates, but not an easy way for you to get ahold of that volume. So we’ve been doing a bunch of work around that and how to take those candidates and get them directly into the ATS with screening questions already answered. That’s who we are.
William Tincup: I love that. So with this report, which is available through Jobsync, you can just go to the website and look through it. The way I explain Jobsync to folks is the glue that holds everything together and makes things better. So it’s one of those types of things. But with this particular research, “The Definitive Guide to Tripling and Quadrupling Quality Candidate Volume,” let’s just start with the basics. Turning on the faucet. Okay. Now you’re turning on the faucet almost to a fire hose level, but it’s with quality candidates. How is that being respond by the folks in TA, the folks that are sourcers, recruiters, et cetera?
Leah Daniels: Well, I’m sure given what we all know about the current state of affairs in the recruitment marketplace, everybody loves this idea of more. More quality. But I like to think about the world as sort of two separate levers. You have a quality lever and you have a volume lever. What happens a lot of times with companies is they pull one of the two levers at the sacrifice of the other one. Goal here is to figure out how you pull both of them at the same time. How do you both increase the quality while you increase the volume? The guide really takes you through sort of separating those two and then bringing them together.
Leah Daniels: So where is that volume trigger? Well, the biggest trigger for volume for companies is being able to use these easy applies right now. Our friends at Indeed, for example, will reward companies who use the easy apply with mobile traffic, which is about 70% of their traffic. If you don’t use easy apply, you are regulated to the desktop traffic, which is about 30% of their traffic. So you’re competing in a different world if you are able to get into those easy applies. Now you have volume.
Leah Daniels: But as you probably know, and everyone on this call knows, is that the easy apply volume isn’t qualified. It’s just a person who’s breathing, who looks at your job and hit the button. Really that key to quality is taking your ATS questions, whatever you might ask, be it two questions, be it your full EEOC questions, be 39 qualifying questions around which shift you can work and which facility you want to work at, getting those into that easy apply process and then getting those candidates back into the recruiter’s workflow. That is a magical combination because now we’re talking about sometimes upwards of 5X the number of candidates, always at least twice, but almost 5X with some companies’ candidates coming off the same budget, but no longer sending candidates to that apply on company site where they are met with the ATS and what we call ATS fatigue.
Leah Daniels: We really want to get that part of the process out of the mix and get people into a process where they’re really able to apply for your job, get all the qualifying questions and get those people in front of recruiters as fast as possible.
William Tincup: Everybody would do this different and every position’s probably different, but with the questions, is there a way to guide them towards the things that they actually want if they don’t already have those qualifying questions? Let’s say they don’t have knockout questions or they don’t have the ATS questions that we’d like or structured interview questions that we would like for them to answer. Is there a way to give them some guidance on here’s how you should think about easy apply?
Leah Daniels: That’s a great question. If you don’t know where to start, start with the open faucet. Always start with volume. It’s always easier to then add in those layers than it is to talk people internally about letting go. So I always say start with volume, figure out how to get that fire hose going, and then start to ratchet it back. I would say for some companies it’s really simple. Are you over 18? Are you legally authorized to work in the United States? Whatever those sort of minimal qualifiers are, and that might be all you need. But you might also ask really important questions like, do you have transportation to this position? Or do you have or will you have licensure for this type of job by your hire date? So having those understandings of things that are must-haves that will help you screen out the absolute unqualified group is a good way to get started.
William Tincup: I know you’ve studied the candidate experience extensively. Easy apply is just a much more efficient and effective way, but it’s also a better experience for everybody quite frankly. For recruiters, yes, check. But also for candidates. They look at a job, they’re like, “Okay, this looks really easy.” If they’ve got to click on a thing and then go into a place, then they’ve got to fill out all this crazy stuff, you’ve now just made it more difficult, which one could argue, “Well, if they really want the job, that’s a good thing.” I’m going to go the other direction and go, “Well, actually you really just want to make things easier for them because they might be on their mobile phone, and they don’t have access to some of those things that you want.” So take us into kind of the relationship that you see between easy apply and candidate experience.
Leah Daniels: Yeah. Let’s just unpeel something you started to walk down, and I’m just going to help you get there a little further, which is that candidate experience when they leave a job board, doesn’t matter which one, and they land on your corporate site and they’re confronted with probably nine clicks typically to get to the create an account page of your Workday, of your Taleo, of your UKG, of your SuccessFactors … It doesn’t matter. Create an account. Fun fact, your mobile phone, which has definitely saved your previous passwords for other Workday instances, other SuccessFactors instances, et cetera, are going to try to help you by filling that information into your account creation, except that it will be wrong. One of the things that’s happening right now is that abandonment rate of candidates when they’re confronted with a login screen for yet another ATS is very high.
Leah Daniels: This has nothing to do with how much do they want your job or are they qualified. This has everything to do with just simple mobile frustration when they are confronted with an application process that isn’t favorable to them. The easy apply experience once they log in with Indeed or Zip or whoever it is, it’s a one login situation. They don’t have to remember all these different logins to keep track of it. They don’t have to try to create another one and figure out if they need eight letters or 12 letters or two capitalizations or three special characters or whatever the rules might be.
Leah Daniels: It really does make it easier on the candidate. The average application, I think I read the other day, has 59 clicks from the time they see a job on a job board to completing that application, but nine before they can even start. That’s just a waste. It’s a waste of time, it’s a waste of energy, and candidates don’t like it. They shouldn’t have to do that, and there’s no reason to do it. We’ve actually solved this problem. The market has solved this problem. So leaning into the solution, I think is in everybody’s favor.
William Tincup: What’s one of the things that the E-commerce people that listen to this, they’re going to be thinking about abandonment rate and carts and things like that. It’s like somebody’s interested. They get to a certain point, and now we’ve made things difficult. Again, all ATSs aren’t built the same. So some of them are going to be a bit easier, but there’s still going to be all of these steps. If we could make those steps less arduous than-
Leah Daniels: But if you-
William Tincup: Go ahead,
Leah Daniels: If you remember, for those of us who are of a certain age, our friends at Amazon used to have this third party marketplace where you would search on Amazon, you’d find a product you want, it’s a third party, you click on it and you wouldn’t add it to your cart and you wouldn’t use the Amazon buying experience. You would actually be redirected to a new site to do that acquisition. Remember this?
William Tincup: Yep.
Leah Daniels: What happened? Well, people were less likely to finish those purchases because there was so much friction involved. Now you put it into your cart. Amazon handles all the transaction. You put your 10 different things in your cart, which might be from four different resellers plus some from Amazon directly, you hit the button and away you go. This is more akin to that.
Leah Daniels: It’s not about that they don’t want your job just like it wasn’t that they didn’t want that product. It’s just that they didn’t want to put the effort in that they feel like is unnecessary or too frustrating or is too hard to do on that mobile device. We’re really just trying to get rid of a lot of that unnecessary friction. I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with some good friction. Good questions, good screening, that’s good friction, but this is just unnecessary friction. So let’s just get rid of it. Let’s make it easier.
William Tincup: So let’s go back to volume and pre-show we kind of talked a little bit about volume in the kind of the sense of okay, teams, their ability to kind of consume volume. At the beginning you said, “If nothing else, let’s open up the faucet and let’s get you volume. Then you can then kind of dial that back to figure out what you can actually consume.” How do y’all help folks calibrate that?
Leah Daniels: Well, it’s interesting. One of the questions that we talk to companies about all the time is, if we double your volume or triple your volume or quadruple your volume tomorrow, it would be something simple as tomorrow because our friends at Indeed and our friends that don’t scale back and help you ramp, you turn it on, it’s on … How do you handle that? Do you have manual processes in the middle where we should think about automating and creating automation triggers that allow for you to, for example, I don’t know, text message a person as soon as they apply and they hit your minimum qualification and say, “Hey, we love you. You’re great. Here’s the next step. Click on this link. Schedule an interview, schedule a phone screen,” whatever it might be.
Leah Daniels: I just did a report with a company called PivotCX, which is a text messaging company. 59.8% of people will respond within 14 minutes of that text. It’s staggering how fast you can move someone from an application with minimum qualifications into an interview or a phone screen with the right automation, the right technology to support you. We work with another company where they have a manual process that helps identify where each person is at and then email the application to storefront managers. We built a big routing system, helped them do that so you don’t have to have those people doing these manual processes. Help companies be able to manage through that volume. Volume first, quality second, process third. Just sort of walk through those three steps with everyone so that you can ensure that you have all the proper pieces in place in your business to actually do something good with those candidates that are coming through.
William Tincup: That’s perfect. So quality, as we’ve talked about, especially in the guide, does quality kind of … What I’m thinking about is when volume comes in, they start with an idea of what quality looks like. Do you see that they change their kind of minds as to what quality looks like or what should it be as they get more volume? The reason I’m asking the question is maybe they don’t know what they don’t know. So they start with a premise of, “Okay, this is what a quality candidate looks,” and then they get volume and they’re like, “Okay. Yep. We were wrong. Quality looks like this over here.” First of all, do you see if am I right or wrong, or do you see that at all?
Leah Daniels: Well, I think you almost have to separate this into a tale of two worlds. You have your recruitment engines who are looking for high volume, similar position. They’ve hired 1,000 of these people in the last three months, and they’re going to hire another 1,000 of them in the next three months. For them, they’re pretty tight in terms of what they understand to be quality and what the numbers need to look like. How many people do we need to apply in order to get through the funnel and get them seeded into to the job? I think that that is a wildly different experience than if you’re talking about hiring manager driven definitions of quality in which part of the recruiter’s job is to manage the manager and how do we find quality in there when that’s a moving target?
Leah Daniels: So I think one of the things that we’ve learned is that folks who’ve got a really tight process, this is just about changing the numbers to make sure everything works for their throughput. When you start working with these companies who have individual requirements based on individual either hiring managers or recruiting leads, that’s different. That’s where you really have to start getting them to think more, oftentimes more about not the definition of quality, but what do you do with it when it shows up. What we found, and there’s some stuff in the guide about this, is that a lot of times, the hiring managers aren’t professional recruiters. We know this and they don’t always think about the world the right way.
Leah Daniels: I have this great stat that men will apply for jobs that they’re 60% qualified and women are often 90 to 100% qualified before they apply. Well, that has lots of legs to it. There’s lots of things to consider in there when you’re talking about quality because it means if you change your job description, you are going to get less quality for your male applicants, but maybe more quality for your female applicants. So what does that mean to the business and how do you manage through that and make sure that you are looking at the process in a way that gets you to your end goal, which is getting these hires into your business?
William Tincup: Yeah. For people that are using this as sourcing, they’re trying to get a … Most of the great sourcers are trying to get a diverse slate of candidates. So they’re trying to actually represent the population and give that to the hiring manager or the recruiter, et cetera. Let’s go back to the guide because you mentioned it. With the time that we have left, what other nuggets are in the guide for folks?
Leah Daniels: So I think one of the sort of hidden statements in there for lack of a better way to say it is I get to the end of this guide and we talk about squeezing nickles. The reason we put this in is one of the things that I’ve noticed in my, I won’t tell you how many years of doing this, is that there’s lots of advice out on the market on how to get more candidates. Oftentimes it means two things: a lot of work for your recruiters and incremental. You’re into this incrementality of more candidates. So maybe you convert your candidate rate from 5% to 5.2%.
Leah Daniels: One of the reasons we wrote this guide was because I was starting to think about how much Stockholm Syndrome exists in the market. All of our recruiters that we work with have sort of accepted the fact that they need to get 100 clicks to get four applicants. That’s not true. We’ve convinced them as a market that they could go from 100 clicks to 4.2 applicants or 4.5 applicants. They’re going to do that by rewriting all of their titles, changing everything they do in their descriptions. They’re going to kill half their questions, they’re going to respond within one millisecond of somebody applying. There’s just a lot of work on the recruiter side, individual recruiters, to get those nickles out of the process.
Leah Daniels: We really want to focus on big swings. How do you automate things so that you’re not having to put all of this work on the recruiter’s desk? Instead, this is being done behind the scenes without having the recruiters do the heavy lifting of figuring out how to get more applicants. They’re going to have to the heavy lifting of managing through them, but we can take away that part where you no longer have to rewrite all your titles, or you have to now add 16 benefits in on individual bullets in order to make sure that they get highlighted enough that candidates will read it and so forth.
William Tincup: It’s got to be a relief for recruiters to read something like this and think, “Okay, you can get a better outcome and you don’t have to work as hard.” That’s just got to be a relief on some intellectual level. Everybody tells me the job’s getting harder. People are quitting, all of this stuff. “My job’s technically getting harder and oh by the way, you want me to work harder. Okay. Great. Sounds great.” So-
Leah Daniels: And work harder doing things I don’t like doing. It’s not even the talking to the people part that I do like doing.
William Tincup: That’s right. You’ve got me doing a bunch of stuff that I don’t like doing. We could go through the laundry list of how wrong all of these things are, but it’s got to be rewarding to put out research, put out things out in front of an audience and say, “Hey, listen. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you want it to be that way, sure, keep doing the same stuff. No change. But it doesn’t have to be that way.” So you’re painting kind of a new world. I was talking to somebody earlier and they were talking about containers, the historic containers, the old containers won’t help you with the new way of work. You have to create new containers. That’s just a wonderful way of thinking about things. So tell us a little bit, where can they get the report?
Leah Daniels: Oh, you can get it right on our website. It’s at jobsync.io, and I will make sure it’s on the homepage if it’s not there already. But we are really excited about making sure folks can get access to it and take away the nuggets that they can use immediately. But the big thing in here is how do you look strategically at your recruiting and change the outcomes dramatically without having to triple and quadruple your budget? I didn’t say that in the title, probably should have, but this all presumes you haven’t changed the budget. This is all working within your existing financial framework.
William Tincup: Well, that’s important to say because yes, you could double, triple, quadruple. You just double, triple, quadruple your spend. It’s like, no, that’s not the point.
Leah Daniels: It’s a one-page report.
William Tincup: Yeah. That is a one-page report.
Leah Daniels: Spend more.
William Tincup: Just spend more money. Yeah. Thanks.
Leah Daniels: The worst part is when you get into these things and you do double or triple your spend, you don’t get double or triple the outcome.
William Tincup: Diminished returns.
Leah Daniels: This implementality piece that happen where you actually have to spend four times as much to get twice as much. That’s the reality of how bidding models all end up working in the market, so that’s not a great answer. So spend four times as much to get twice as many is not an answer any CFO wants to hear. But really automate your way to more is the goal.
William Tincup: It’s soul crushing to hear that. For a recruiter, it’s like, I want you to spend four times and you’re going to get double. It’s like, “What? Now that doesn’t make sense.” It’s like, “Yeah. It doesn’t make sense.” It’s okay-
Leah Daniels: I’m sorry.
William Tincup: It’s kind of the point. Leah, as always, this has been fantastic. Thank you so much A, for creating a guide and getting people to think about how to really leverage easy apply and just appreciate your work.
Leah Daniels: Oh, thanks for having us and having me.
William Tincup: Absolutely. Thanks for everyone listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Until next time.
William Tincup: Well, there you go.
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.