On today’s episode of the RecruitingDaily Podcast, William Tincup speaks to Dan from Joveo about delivering hire outcomes.
Some Conversation Highlights:
Listening time: 29 minutes
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This is RecruitingDaily’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 RecruitingDaily Podcast. Today we have Dan on from Joveo, and our topic today is delivering hire outcomes, so we’re going to be talking all kinds about that. Can’t wait. Dan, would you introduce both yourself and Joveo?
Dan Sapir (00:51):
Sure, thanks for having me here.
William Tincup (00:54):
Dan Sapir (00:54):
Dan Sapir, I lead global business strategy here at Joveo. I’ve been in the job space for, geez, about a dozen years or so. I worked for Indeed and SimplyHired. I’ve been at Joveo for about two and a half years now. Joveo is a programmatic job distribution platform. Very fancy way of saying we take a client’s jobs into our system, figure out where is the best place to put them throughout the internet and continue to iterate on that through rules, automations, and data.
William Tincup (01:21):
Awesome, so we’re going to get into all of that stuff. So outcomes, delivering hire outcomes. Where do we want to start with outcomes? Is it candidate flow and quantity? Is it quality? Is it hires? Where would you like to start with outcomes?
Dan Sapir (01:38):
Geez. Well, we could start in any of those places. We think about the space right now as just very volatile, very interesting and more than all of that, just very confusing for your average person trying to find great candidates in this ecosystem. I think everyone’s bored to death talking about COVID and the impact it’s had on marketplace with Great Resignation and all this stuff. But the reality is that what worked literally yesterday doesn’t necessarily work today. And that’s what we’re finding day in and day out. And when we’re talking about delivering hire outcomes in this context, we’re talking about how you can use data and analytics and just frankly paying attention every single day. Through Joveo, it’s more automatic so to speak, but really paying attention every day to what’s going on to make sure you get the best outcomes with whatever you’re doing. That’s what we solve for.
William Tincup (02:46):
And again, what’s great about programmatic in general as a category is it helps the practitioner understand how much budget will create how much flow, and then where to put that to create that flow. So there’s a lot of this … You’ve grown up in this industry so you know the bid. You’re flying blind when you don’t have that data. It’s like, “Well, we used Indeed before. Yeah, okay and Indeed’s great.” But Indeed for that particular job might not get you the number but quantity or the quality of candidates that you want. And so I think that’s one of the things I love about this particular era of recruiting and recruiting technology, is it’s less post and pray and there’s a little bit more math, a little bit more data behind the decisions that are being made.
Dan Sapir (03:44):
For sure. And I spent years at Indeed and they were and continue to be a fantastic source. And that looks at no matter what area you’re looking at, whether it’s quantity or quality. The fact is that they do a fantastic job of matching the right job seekers to the right job. I think the challenge that we found in today’s marketplace is they know that they have a great matching algorithm, they have great everything and they know that can come at a premium. So when you’re dealing with, going back to the math of it all, click-to-apply rates and apply to hire rates that are really good from a talent acquisition perspective, but at the same time, that auction based marketplace has gotten more expensive. That’s the other piece of this math problem, which is how can I get the best ROI of whatever budget my finance team gave me?
So there’s always a finite amount of budget there. And where programmatic really helps is that diversification, knowing when it’s important to diversify and where to diversify too as well, ’cause let’s face it: There’s a few household names these days. There’s Indeed, ZipRecruiter. Arguably, there’s a handful of others. But your average talent acquisition professional has about a thousand different job sites pounded on their door saying, “Use us. Use us. We can deliver good candidate flow.” It’s really hard to figure out whose the right one and let alone how much candidate flow they can actually drive. Whereas, and Indeed can what seems like infinitely deliver candidates that are a good match, others have more limitations than that. So a lot of companies come to us to say, “I can’t figure it out. Who’s the best one? Who knows?” And because frankly the other piece there is of course, just because somebody’s great on one job as you mentioned before doesn’t mean they’re going to be the best source for the next job, and that could be any source.
And so people come to us and say, “Hey, here’s my jobs. You guys figure it out.” They love it for centralization but they also love it for, “Take a decision off my shoulders because I’m here to hire. I’m here to have a function that actually goes and talks to people, actually figures out are these the right candidates and actually figures out do we want to bring them on and give them an offer?” And so we are here to make their life simple in a time when things are more confusing and more competitive than ever.
William Tincup (06:15):
I want to get your take on this, the concept of the law of diminished returns. So is there a point in which the faucet needs to be turned off in terms of candidate flow and I guess every talent acquisition professional if true, then they’d have to figure that or maybe the technology figures that out. But just at one point is you’ve already gotten all the quality that you need to then make the decisions that you’re going to make?
Dan Sapir (06:42):
Sure, and there’s a few different levels of that. There’s for a particular position, so, “Hey I have this brand new position”, or maybe it’s an evergreen position. I’m a retail store and I always need a certain amount of candidate flow on that job. You’re going to get a certain amount of candidate flow for free. Let’s say we’re talking a retail store. People are going to walk up to your door and say, “I’d love to submit my resume”, to others that, “Hey, you’re on Indeed or somebody else’s organic section”, and you’re naturally going to get a certain amount of candidate flow. It’s important to understand what you’re actually going to get for free before you pay for anything as well. And if you pay really close attention to the math, over time you can figure out, well, every time I have a retail associate in a specific market open up as a position, I know that typically I need let’s say it’s a dozen applications to actually get to a hire. If you pay attention to the data, you can say, “Well, I actually never have to even sponsor this position in this particular market.”
In other markets you might see, “Well, maybe I need 50 applies and guess what? I’m getting one apply every three days organically. So very quickly I need to make sure I turn that job on.” So it’s important to get that fast start, but that’s a roundabout way to even get to your question, which is turning off the spigot. You’re exactly right. You only need a certain amount of applies to get to a hire, and the pattern holds pretty true over time that maybe it’s not exactly a dozen, but you know it’s going to be, “Hey, if normally it’s around a dozen, if I get 20, anything beyond that is wasted spend, wasted applies.” If you’re a consumer brand, that’s a job seeker that applied to something they were never going to get in the first place because it’s not really open anymore. So it’s really important to use that as well, which is also another thing programmatic can solve for, which is building some rules there.
“Hey, don’t even send this to anybody if my candidate flows naturally good. Fulfill it naturally. And if I’m not going to fulfill it naturally, okay great, get it out there, find those job seekers. But once I have enough job seekers that I’m 95% likely to definitely get a hire out of the applications that came in, turn that baby off. Stop spending on it, don’t spend a dime.” And that’s another thing that programmatic solves for which is rules-based automations that can start jobs when it makes sense, stop spending on them when they don’t make sense.
William Tincup (09:05):
Do we have some either machine learning or AI or just some intelligence on the backend of being able to recommend to them? ‘Cause one of the things that you mentioned is like, “Okay, I know I need 12 candidates to make a hire.” And I’m just going to make the assumption that a lot of TA folks don’t know their conversion metrics, which is probably wrong but let’s just start if they don’t.” So how do they know what those cutoffs should be?
Dan Sapir (09:38):
Yeah. And most people have applicant tracking systems where all you got to do is run the data historically in there. We can help solve for it. But honestly, everyone has a different apply process. Everyone has a hiring process. So I don’t like to go with generalities. If I’m working with warehouse workers, we have a certain client that they have around four to one applies to a hire, but they go through a really stringent process during that application process, which means by the time they actually get through it, all they need is the background check and then they’re done.
William Tincup (10:16):
It’s longer and more intense, so they weed a bunch of people out.
Dan Sapir (10:20):
Exactly. We have others that say, “Hey turn on easy apply every place.” And I heard it’s bad as 80 to one applies to hire in those scenarios for some low barrier jobs. But because somebody, they applied to 400 jobs through easy apply, their intent is incredibly low. You can’t even get them to respond to an email or phone call. So of that 80 applications, you actually talk to 10 people. Half of them are not even good for the job and then the other half are a fantastic fit and for one reason or another some fall out, so it can be really all over the place. It’s another place where for sure your data is there. And most applicant tracking systems can figure this out of the box. How many … You just pull a source report over the past couple months and say, “Okay, in general for this type of position, how many applies led to a hire?”
Now, if you have that and you can share it with us and in fact, in our world, we have traders, we have an analyst. We have a whole bunch of people that can look at your data for you. You hand us over the keys to that, we can figure it out for you. We don’t need you to figure out anything new that you haven’t been looking at. But if you give us the data, we can figure it out for you and then we can start building really smart rules and automations to make sure we’re working towards the right funnel for your unique case as a company.
William Tincup (11:32):
Oh that’s cool. And really, it’s getting back to the financial part of this: It’s maximizing the dollar. So we’re not wasting any dollars and we’re leveraging every single dollar spent, so I love that. I want to get your take on easy apply. Mixed emotions here. Easy apply from your perspective, it’s great for candidates. I can just hit the button and apply to a bunch of things. It seems to me it creates more noise than signal. It creates more stuff in the system, which might be great. We might find some hidden treasures there, but I’m looking at it from the corporate perspective and it’s like, “Okay, how do I manage all those candidates? How do I manage all the responses to those candidates? How do I manage all of those expectations, even in cases where they were never interested in the job?”
Dan Sapir (12:37):
So I have a lot of thoughts on easy apply. When I was at Indeed, I actually was in their alliances group for a large portion of my time there. And I actually worked on the rollout of Indeed Apply and all the ATS integrations and all that when it originally started. So I am obviously an advocate for easy apply because I care a lot about job seeker experience. And especially with how some of these applicant tracking systems are, even today just not that mobile friendly. And you look at certain systems and you look at click-to-apply rates of one, two, 3%. That’s insane. If that happened in marketing for conversion funnels, everyone would be fired. But in this space, it’s a little different where you have these systems that were built a long time ago that some have gotten better, but there’s a lot of friction there. And I think about job seeker experience and making it as easy to get through an apply process to show intent. That’s how you’re going to get the best people to actually apply to your jobs as far as I’m concerned.
Now, the other piece of that is you’re going to get more of the best people, but you’re also going to get more of the people that aren’t a great fit for that job as well. So then we start thinking about, “Okay, is that a good job seeker experience to get somebody into your ecosystem? But what do you do with them from there?” So you can’t just have them apply and have them go into a black hole, especially if you’re a consumer brand that these people … If you’re Walmart, I’m not picking on them ’cause they necessarily have a bad apply process, but they are who comes to mind. The people applying to a Walmart job are also the people shopping at Walmart. So if they happen to create a black hole scenario, people are upset about the apply process. That might hurt their spending patterns at your store, so that’s very important.
And so in that aspect you have something that gets them in the funnel simply, gets the right people to show their intent. But then you have to have an organization that’s able to deal with that heavy flow of candidates coming in. So whether it’s you have the right CRM or you just have a huge recruiting team, trucking for example is notorious for this. They make it as simple as possible for somebody to show, “Hey, I’m interested in becoming a CDL truck driver for you.” And as soon as you complete and hit the apply button, somebody’s calling you on the phone. You also have an email right away. And they have massive recruiting teams because they know if you don’t get them in the first 10 seconds, they’re going to some other trucking firm and driving for them.
A lot of corporate recruitment firms or organizations don’t operate like that. And so if you have easy apply, you have to just have an organization ready to handle, “Let me go reach out to these people very quickly.” I think that it can be very advantageous, but it can also be a little dangerous for your brand honestly if you’re not handling it appropriately once that person has showed their interest.
William Tincup (15:36):
What’s interesting about that is it puts the onus on the … Again, if you want easy apply, great, fantastic. You’ve got to be set up to then interact with it. And okay, so you’ve the turned the button on, fantastic, great. Now it’s on. And what are you going to do? ‘Cause if you’re not ready to then … You mentioned marketing a second, which was genius, leads expire. Leads, there’s an expiration like milk. They expire. So do candidates. And I love your trucking instance. It’s like I want to move everyone towards that, again, type of almost personalized experience, but it’s based on speed. It’s like somebody showed interest and it could be just a little bit of interest. Great, let’s go find out and do something about it. Do you see that model? Obviously, it’s successful in trucking. Do you see that model being more prolific in other industries?
Dan Sapir (16:47):
It varies. I think trucking has gotten down to a machine at this point for large organizations. I would say if you’re talking about any other industry outside of the gig economy, the Ubers and so on of the world, they’re great at thinking about it as a marketing funnel. I think other organizations, it’s very hit or miss. I would say it’s probably maybe five to 10% of companies within any other organization think about it in this matter, where it’s, “Hey, let’s give them a great user experience.” It’s almost like your client trying to close a deal. Plus, it’s a marketing funnel at the same time, where we can talk about them as leads, but these are real people looking for jobs. And you think about job seeker behavior, a lot of times when they’re looking for a job, it’s because they’re really annoyed with whatever they’re doing today.
But it’s not that they’re necessarily really annoyed with their overall job. It can literally be, “My boss just yelled at me, or I got bad feedback, or that deal didn’t close.” Anything that happened in that moment in time that was not positive in my current company. And then they say, “Oh man, I really need a new job.” Then they pick up their phone, they look at something, they look at a job or two, they apply to something. And if that’s the job seeker that’s pretty passive, but he or she is totally active in that second time, you really have a finite amount of time to really reach back out to that person, get them into your funnel and get them really excited about the opportunity they just applied to. So I always am a huge advocate for thinking about it as a marketing funnel as much as possible. And marketers think about removing the friction to get the deal done as much as possible. And that’s why I’m a huge fan of easy apply, frankly.
William Tincup (18:32):
Right. And they get into response time and things like that. It’s how fast can we respond to this person in a quality way? Let’s get back to the TA professionals that you interact with. What’s driving them? I think in 2019, there was a whole lot of language around quality of hire. And different leaders want different things, but are you having more conversations on quantity, quality? What are the conversations, because dealing with the outcomes, what are they asking for more of or more refinement around?
Dan Sapir (19:13):
Yeah, that’s an interesting question because you’re finding more and more people are getting offers, accepting them or even ghosting during the process or they’ve been hired and then they never show up, or they get there and then they say, “This isn’t for me”, and leave within 30 days. That really wasn’t something happening even two, three years ago. And so that’s a pretty interesting piece. And so you have two problems at the same time. People say I need more people because especially if it’s low barrier entry jobs, warehouse, retail, any of that stuff, the churn rates have gone up significantly as compared to how it used to be. So they’re looking for more quantity, but they’re also saying, “But I’d love to have people that stick around for a longer time as well”, which it’s hard to have a job site be held accountable for that, because frankly it’s job seeker behavior. And a lot of times, it’s how you treat your employees.
William Tincup (20:14):
Right. It’s retention based.
Dan Sapir (20:14):
A lot of times, it’s how you’re paying them. A lot of times, it’s what benefits come around with that. And technology can only go so far to solve some of these things.
William Tincup (20:25):
Yeah, it’s really fascinating because again, this is the split between HR and recruiting, at least historically, retention is HR’s problem. Recruiting and talent acquisition is where our job is to get them in, get the hiring manager, get everything done, onboarding done. If they don’t stay, that has nothing to do with us. We placed them, they’re there, we’re done. And I think some of that is, again, a little bit old and a little bit dated, the mindset. We’re seeing some of that stuff come together. What other data, because what’s great is you’re a data driven company, are you seeing that’s interesting to you and that will be interesting to everyone else just in the coming months, years?
Dan Sapir (21:16):
Oh boy. Job seeker behavior has changed a ton on job sites. So it’s an interesting market in that there are significantly more jobs open now than ever before. When I work for job sites, you typically have someplace around three and a half to four and a half million unique positions open at any given time. Better actually indexed on the internet, I think it’s typically more like six. But typically you’d see someplace in the four plus or minus 500 grand, 500,000. And these days, you’re seeing 11, 12, 13 million unique open positions. So if you think about that, there are what? Three X the amount of jobs out there hitting the internet for people to look for jobs. So whether it’s Indeed or Google or any other job site, there’s just so much more noise for you to stick out of to a job seeker. And so at the same time, you have job seekers who become pickier. So you see a lot more window shopping. People are more careful on what they actually move forward with.
So with that, you’ve seen … And this is obviously, there’s ebbs and flows of this. But generally, you’ve seen click-to-apply rates go down, so there’s more jobs and then there’s fewer job seekers taking their job search super serious. I guess serious is the wrong way. But when they interact with a job, they’re less likely to actually say, “Okay, this isn’t the fit for me. I’m going to apply to it.” And once they apply for it, the app-to-hire rates for a lot of companies have become softer than ever before as well. So you have this huge math problem that’s just become incredibly difficult to solve for. And so I think this goes back to the easy apply piece, but removing friction in every single spot of a hiring funnel is super important. And this isn’t a tech that we have, but you’ll see reminders via text to show up to your first shift, for example.
And once somebody actually shows up to their first shift, they’re way more likely to continue working on at most companies. But these are the types of things that the funnel have just become really difficult to deal with that a lot of companies are trying to figure out, not just from … And once again, this goes back to gluing together talent acquisition in HR and saying, “How do you get them to actually start? How do you get them to retain?” And just making sure that you do the right things for them once they actually show up, to make sure they continue showing up more than 30 days. I think that’s just an interesting problem that’s come up over the past two years or so that really didn’t exist in the same way before.
William Tincup (24:07):
So dumb question alert, and this will be the last thing: Does programmatic in what you’ve seen so far, programmatic, does it work better in hourly or professional or staffing? Where does it work best?
Dan Sapir (24:23):
Good question. It can add value to any place as long as … So remember, programmatic is making smarter decisions based on data. And so if you are a small business and you have one posting and once it’s filled, you don’t have another job, that’s not where programmatic’s going to shine because, “Hey, we’ve seen jobs that are like that. We can tell you here are the places that are probably going to do the best job. But we don’t know your funnel specifically. We don’t know your app-to-hire rates. We don’t know all of your information.” And honestly, if you only have a handful of jobs, you’re probably better off just working with an Indeed or a ZipRecruiter by itself and managing a relationship or two by itself. So where programmatic shines is any place that has a lot of hiring outcomes they’re trying to get to, they need to go get a lot of hires, and it’s a repeatable need over time as a category.
So that’s a long-winded way of saying all of those categories can work very well. We have clients that are in banking and professional services and VPs of engineering and all of that we help a ton with. We have staffing firms that rely on our technology day in and day out and have seen great results working with us versus their status quo before. And then we have a ton of hourly positions where you get a ton of data, they need a ton of hiring to happen, and the data really helps it shine through. So I think in all of those scenarios, it can add great efficiencies. It’s just if you’re looking for hard to fill positions, they’re always going to be hard to fill. There’s only so many people out there. But programmatic can give you the right job distribution and the right efficiencies and optimizations that you’re going to find them at a better hit rate so to speak, than you would without it.
So I might give you a 25% cost reduction on engineering jobs. I might give you a 25% cost reduction on hourly positions. I might give you a 25% cost reduction in scale on staffing. But your before and after, what that 25% was in staffing, you might have been getting applications at five bucks a pop and it went to four. On engineering, it could have been a more difficult apply process. It went from a hundred to 80. And then on the hourly one, maybe it’s $40 to 25 or 30. Obviously, the math didn’t make sense there. But my point is that you’re going to see efficiencies with programmatic because it’s better distribution, it’s a better way to find the right job seekers. There’s better optimizations going on than you’re going to get with individual job sites. But what the actual impact is it depends on what your before scenario looked like.
William Tincup (27:07):
I love it. Dan, this has been fantastic. Thank you so much for carving out time for us.
Dan Sapir (27:12):
Really appreciate the time. Thank you.
William Tincup (27:14):
Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the RecruitingDaily podcast. Until next time.
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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.