Storytelling about Adway with Sara Dalsfelt

Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 91. This week we have storytelling about Adway with Sara Dalsfelt. During this episode, Sara and I talk about how practitioners make the business case or the use case for purchasing Adway.

Sara is an expert in all things recruitment marketing. Her passion for nudging and nurturing passive candidates really comes through during the podcast.

Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think.

Thanks, William

GEM Recruiting AI

Show length: 25 minutes


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William 0:27
Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you’re listening to the Use Case Podcast. Today we have Sarah on from Adway. And we’re gonna learn a lot about her firm. She and I have done a LinkedIn live before, and it was fantastic. I would, if you’re not already following her on social, you should. So we’ll get all of her coordinates towards the end of the show. But Sarah, thank you so much for being on the show and introduce both yourself and introduce Adway.

Sara 0:55
Yeah, definitely. It’s been so long since we did the live. I think we did it in like November.

William 1:00
That’s right.

Sara 1:00
So I’m very keen to be spending some time with you again, William. And as you mentioned, my name is Sara Dalsfelt. I’m a senior advisor in digital talent acquisition. And I was actually one of the first to join Adway, which last year grew by 400%, I think. And so for my role, like with an eye on the latest trends and topics in recruitment, I hold live streams and webinars where I invite some of the world’s foremost experts in recruitment to challenge mine and Adway’s global network in talent acquisition. And I have almost 20,000 HR managers, TA managers, and recruiters in my network and this has resulted in a global community that is interested in the future of talent acquisition, which is so much fun.

William 1:49
I love that. And, Adway, to sum up, what Adway does for your, for your customers, what would you, How would you position Adway?

Sara 1:58
I’d say it like this, so we are a talent acquisition and recruitment marketing software, yet a kind of recruitment marketing software that is able to attract and convert candidates from customer service support for a call center down to higher-level professionals at some of the top global organizations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers. So 10 years ago, we started our own recruitment agency. And we’ve done thousands of interviews ourselves with candidates and helped over 5,000 candidates find a job.

And over these 10 years, I’ve learned, and we’ve learned quite a bit and made a lot of mistakes. We found that this process is not scalable, and it’s profound to mistakes. So around three years ago, we built an internal software that’s able to not just scale our own operations, but be used by other recruitment agencies and larger employers that we brought on board.

So all in all, just to put it in perspective, we helped hire 2,000 to 3,000 people every month, with customers like the largest banks and telecom companies in Scandinavia, UK, and Europe. And we go for all the major social media accounts, but what we’re really, really proud of, is that we’re able to increase the quality of those candidates. So it’s not just a game of numbers, not just quantity, we’re able to find, analyze, and convert the best people for that job, passive and active candidates.

William 3:27
And so where does the recruitment marketing kind of in the, when you think of talent acquisition from sourcing, onboarding. Recruitment marketing is, can be a lot of different things. So once you give us an idea of where it plays for people in their workflow?

Sara 3:45
Yeah, so it’s top funnel basically. And for us, we partner with global employers to help them reach their hiring goals through next-generation AI-powered recruitment marketing technology. And all this while enhancing their employer brand. And eliminating bias, like in less time and at a lower cost. So being a part of a team that likes to learn, share, engage, and lead in the TA industry has basically fueled this success. So since inception, in 2017, we had acquired like, plus 150 clients.

William 4:19
And with the marketing that’s being done, obviously, obviously, you mentioned some of its being social. But you also mentioned at the very beginning, this Digital Trends, talent to talent acquisition, so that could be a lot of things, email, advertising, all kinds of different things. was some of that assumes content. And I want to ask you. You know, have a question about that. Like we’re trying to recruit candidates, call center candidates are a great example. What do we need to put in front of them to then get them to take the action that we want them to take?

Sara 4:53
Yeah, so I like to walk you through the story, but basically, it’s about candidate seduction and I love this concept because it’s not about shouting out that you have a job, right? You have to nudge and nurture passive talents over time. It could be three months, six months, 12 months. But if it’s top talent, it’s worth it. So could I like just walk you through kind of the basics?

William 5:19
Oh, 100%. Yes, please.

Sara 5:22
So just to give you guys a painted picture of this, historically, everyone advertised your vacancies on job boards, right. And today, it’s a war of talent. And the best candidates are, as we mentioned, probably hired by your talent competitors. They’re most likely not hanging around on a job board. So, therefore, employers must invest in the passive candidate market.

And just to give you a perspective, over 4 billion people use social media worldwide. The average time a person spends on social media a day is over two hours and 30 minutes. So if someone signed up at 16, and live to the age of 70, they would spend almost six years of their lives there. So since the majority of us now realize that candidates spend a lot of time in their life on social media, this is where the modern employer can focus their recruitment marketing efforts. Which is the solution to get out and reach them. And so getting the ads out on all the job boards, that’s easy.

The mistake many TA departments make, is that they think social media ads are just as easy to handle. All the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and for instance, Google ads have completely different formats and demands. So most of us now have tried like, I guess you’ve tried it too, William, to do a manual social media campaign, like job campaigns to be around where your candidates spend all their time. Or probably you use your marketing department or a marketing agency. And that’s great.

But if you want to succeed with larger volumes, you need to do this fully automated. And the center of it all is in the ATS, because most job publications go through there. So you need to manage to connect all the feeds from the ATS to every desired channel in social media. And if you do this, you will reach operational security among your talent competitors. But it’s not just about getting the ad sell. There’s a lot of strategy and mythology around LinkedIn, your AVP, employer branding, storytelling and the candidates seduction, and doing this programmatically over time. So distribution creation, and then optimization, fully automated.

William 7:53
So quick question on the optimization part. So I get the part on job ads. So especially programmatic. When people think about programmatic ad buying, they start with the assumption of we don’t know what’s going to work, we’ll put some budget aside. And we’ll go see if it’s LinkedIn or if it’s Indeed or wherever we get both the quality and quantity traffic. With social, I would assume that you start with kind of the same assumption.

We don’t know if these folks are on TikTok, or Instagram or Facebook, or whatever. You start with the assumption of, Hey, you know what, but we don’t know. Or maybe you do know. And so I want to ask you kind of how do you I mean, I can get optimization once, you know, because once you know, correct, you know, okay, we can optimize it. Yes, we know. But if we don’t know and look, say a client when they first started, like, I don’t know, if our candidates are on LinkedIn, or if they’re on Twitter?

Sara 8:55
And most of us don’t. We assume to go for, you know, our gut feeling like I use Facebook anymore, but no, look at the stats. So let me just back up. So when you solved all the feeds from the ATSs, and sold all the ads in all their different formats, right? Videos, gifs images, it’s critical to make sure you reach the right individuals.

So who should you reach, engage, convert? How would you know how you, like you mentioned how your target group is, perhaps diversity and inclusion could be a goal here or increase your efforts in reaching more minority groups. So the target group construction is complex. And it is important that you optimize it in software to get it right. Partly by working with communication, like kind of how an eCommerce would work.

And we can, for instance, make an example with the travel industry. The travel industry is an expert in building concepts around behaviors and attributes. So similar to recruitment, you should think of your career page as the hub. Here you can analyze the candidate behaviors. And it’s important to distinguish behaviors and look at attributes. Such as what school they studied at years of experience, what they consume in social media, what pages they follow. So for instance, a programmer may engage a lot in GitHub or Stack Overflow, for example, right.

Facebook has over 50,000 data points on each individual. Collecting this cannot be done manually, it needs to be done programmatically with the help of some software, you cannot access all these data points in basic manager manually, it’s very limited. So here’s how you know who you would like to reach. By looking at behaviors and attributes, you can build a persona and archetypes that eCommerce and travel agencies are experts at. They know exactly who is interested in what.

So when these archetypes are made, the software knows what works for you as a company and what does not work. So once you have these awesome ads and target audiences, you can start looking at look-alike candidates to expand your audience based on those who are already looking at your jobs. So if you would like more women in tech, for instance, a trick would be to install this type of software and then ask everyone in your organization to contact all their female developers and teach the software what’s important immediately. All activities you do linked to recruitment will give you a greater result through their software.

William 11:38
I love this. When you say personas, sometimes people are going to understand exactly what you mean by that. But sometimes, that’s the demographic and psychographic data. Give us an example of a persona, just in general.

Sara 11:53
Yeah. And in general, just to put it in perspective, like the full cycle of software like mentioned that you first publish your new vacancy in your ATS. Immediately, the software gets notified. And the social media job ads are created in the exact right format for each channel using videos GIFs and images and stands out in the newsfeed based on your corporate ID and employer brand. Every ad is containing your EVP and branding to real itself, the company and the ads are one click away to your career page where we advise you of course to optimize your application process. Or we can use an ad on Adway apply to apply already in the Suomi ad using gamification.

William 12:32
Is there tracking, I would assume there is? Is there tracking on the career page as to where they’ve come from? And some of the things that they’ve clicked? So you start getting an idea of what’s working?

Sara 12:43
Correct? Correct. So on the career page, we analyze the visitors like who’s clicking on what job in what city for how long. Are they coming back multiple times, for instance. So now I’m going to describe to you the personas part. So from the behaviors, the solution analyzed the attributes to enable to create a really niche audience combining these two techniques. So this is taken into consideration when we build segmented talent pools, which is a trademark of ours.

So now you have the unique persona and archetype of every job category of yours. And based on these personas and archetypes we then go back to the audience network and order talent pool extensions, using lookalike audiences. So based on the highest converting candidates, and their screening question answers, for instance, which we can take into consideration, we find these lookalike audiences in social media and feed it back to the algorithm and our programmatic buying to reach them.

We test and measure everything, meaning we always bid on these audiences together with their retargeting from the career page, which has the original traffic from all your sourcing and headhunting activities, and all your other recruitment activities. And from here, they are presented like your candidates are presented with relevant job ads and programmatic employer branding. And the loop is self-improving from start. So that’s why our customers get better and better results all the time and get a kind of steep increase of their talent inflow.

William 14:23
And so let’s take Mercedes Benz is just an example. So let’s say they’ve got 100 jobs open right now. And is each one of those jobs kind of a bespoke kind of campaign? You look at each one of them once again, you got all kinds of different jobs or per Mercedes, but would you look at each one of those? You mentioned, making sure that the EVP is baked into kind of all communications, which is great, but I’m wondering, Even after that do, does certain types of candidates do they need something else from you?

Sara 14:59
Correct. So each vacancy is one, like, unique job campaign. But just as you mentioned, you can’t just shout about job, you have to build kind of a candidate journey. So just to give you a perspective, what we work with. So, for instance, day one, these targeted candidates and look like audiences are presented with the job ad, for instance, and that’s, you know, it’s 98% sell and like 2% demands on social media, because you want to have them click into your career page.

But from that job ad, you know, this passive candidate who is already employed by your competitor needs more information. So from that, you have to have kind of a sense, like programmatic and based on data, to know which content is useful to share, when. So the flow would be like, day one, the job ad day two, it’s happening, so much new cool stuff on Mercedes Benz, like day three, or one week after, we have so much cool, you know, stock selection.

William 15:25
And that’s the seduction part, you’re doing drip campaigns or content to them to kind of lure them. And we’re using words, lure and seduction in good ways, not bad ways, but we’re basically

Sara 16:19
Nurture, and nudge. And this is this really takes time. So we’re able to, to build this kind of job categories and talent pools over time from your career page and save them at least for six months. Because, again, it’s not the first job ad. It’s not one job campaign, right? You have to sell and be relevant and stand for something and share value, and, you know, challenge them over time.

William 16:47
So what do people get wrong about, outside of tracking, what do people get wrong about career pages? In general, when you all come in and kind of do your analysis of what’s been done? Like, what do you how do you? How do you undo some of the mistakes that they make?

Sara 17:03
Yeah, so if I asked you a question, how many of the visitors to, like on a career page do you think actually apply for a job?

William 17:14
Uh, 25%?

Sara 17:16
Like, the average is like 2%. Globally. That says a lot about a career page.

William 17:25
If they’re there, so these are people that have actually

Sara 17:27
Yeah, you paid for them.

William 17:29

Sara 17:30
And you’re wasting them. You’re throwing out fishnets, but you’re not picking up the fish.

William 17:35

Sara 17:36
Yeah, it’s insane. So there’s a lot you know, you can do to optimize your application process, but also the career page, you can use sticky footers, you know, the Apply button, following them everywhere. You can divide the application process into many pieces, or just two. First of all, we just need your email address and your LinkedIn page, nothing more. See you, I’ll reach you with push notifications, for instance.

And then, of course, like highlight what’s important on the career page. You’re not putting on all these demands? And you’re not asking them to register for an account? Like, that’s right. Yeah, you know, a stone age. So there’s a lot you can do, but we’ll we will usually see is that you have you’ve somewhat inherited like an old ATS, right? It’s quite usual. And, and from there, it could be in kind of a business system.

So you have to grow with the ATS coming with it. And from that, you can, it’s easy, as I mentioned, to use, like one of our features, like Adway Apply to build kind of a shield over the original application process to enable gamification already in the ad, but also, nevertheless, get all the information into the ATS. But the candidate has a lovely experience. It hasn’t, you know, it doesn’t have to go through all this, you know, 90 question and postal codes and create an account and all that.

William 19:02
Well, what I love about this is you’re reducing friction, right?

Sara 19:05

William 19:06
So one of the things is you’re saying

Sara 19:07
Just like eCommerce.

William 19:08
Yeah, we don’t, exactly. We don’t need your credit card. We don’t need all this other stuff. No, we want to know some basic things about you so that we serve up the appropriate content that makes, you know, that makes the most sense.

Sara 19:21
It is really about getting them in from there, you can do a lot and you can sort them out. You can assess you can test, it’s you know, it’s really about getting them in and lower the threshold is how modern employers work.

William 19:34
So questions that you love from practitioners. So they’ve never worked with Adway, they, it’s a foreign concept to them, all of a sudden you’re on a call with him or somebody on your team’s on a call with them. What do you love to hear? And what are the questions that they should be asking you?

Sara 19:51
Yes, so for. For starters, I’ve never met a recruiter who loves to hunt down people. Spamming InMails, calling madly, like being a sales rep from 2001. I’ve never met them. I meet people who love to meet people, right? They want to, you know, do inclusive hiring, they want to meet people, they want to see if it’s a cultural add to the company, and so forth.

So my first advice would be, how can you free yourself up from cold sourcing basically. Shouldn’t, you should not be cold sourcing the same old candidates in the same old funnel. So for instance, an ideal customer would be those who have like 100 plus vacancies a year global. With really complex roles to fill and want to reach all the passive and active candidates.

In a dream world, I’d like to meet a global team manager, including the global employer, branding manager and head of people and culture, who knows what issues are important to work with. And today, larger company usually works with a media agency and this will quickly become too expensive for all your vacancies to get out on social media, and, you know, succeed with building these talent pools. So no, I would I would really like someone who knows how to, you know, work with time management and use.

Like the ones who figured out where does tech and automation benefit us the most and actually take away like the negative parts, like unconscious bias of being a human? And where should we insert the human inputs? So the ones who started to map out their hiring process that the TA funnel basically, have quickly realized that you should have your hands off as soon as possible. So the first 20% of your TA funnel and the process here basically stands for 80% of your, like, inclusive strategy.

William 21:54
I love that. So two questions left. One is, as you you know, at this stage, when you demo the software, or when you show people Adway. Yeah, what do they, I call it the aha moment. But what are they drawn to the most when you show them the platform?

Sara 22:12
Well, for the first meeting, it’s always like an aha I love this, kind of meeting. And I’m not saying this in a braggy way. I’m saying this, like, What a relief. Like there’s a way to get all my vacancies out on every sort for social media channels. And the channels are chosen after where your most desired candidates actually spend their time. So you don’t have to worry, you’ll enable an inclusive hiring process, like on behavioral targeting, you’re not filtering or targeting anyone against age, ethnicity, or gender, you’re being totally inclusive.

And from now on, everything is automated, like all your EVP every employer branding, communication, all the job ads, so you can actually spend time and of course, you should automate assessment and screening too if you’re really smart. But now you can spend time further down in the funnel meeting these people and like, when you’re at the end, you will have 5, 10 candidates. And if you feel the super need of using your gut feeling, there’s when you can do it. I’m not,

William 23:18
You have time at that point.

Sara 23:20
You’ve assessed them and you hired them inclusively, and with you know, based on science and facts. And now if you must, you can choose with your gut feeling.

William 23:30
You know, what I love about that is it gives recruiters and hiring managers back some of their time, right. So this is just a more efficient way of doing things. I love the candidate seduction part of this because I used to call recruiting the romance phase of the relationship. So it gels with me.

Sara 23:51
So no need to spend time finding the right candidates. If you have done all this correctly, you get better hires, better performance, less failed hires, and you can like work with what you actually love. Meeting the people doing the culture add and all that is wonderful

William 24:07
Onboarding, spending time making sure people are set up correctly.

Sara 24:11
In these times, like, you know, yes, with remote hiring, spend your time there.

William 24:15
Yeah set them up for success. Okay, so coordinates for you and for Adway. Because I know people are gonna want to both find you on LinkedIn, but also, they’re gonna want to know more about Adway as well. So once you give us some of the coordinates,

Sara 24:34
Yeah of course, like we like to share our knowledge and we put a lot of effort into offering our clients and contacts and partners the latest in TA on our site. So and and of course, on LinkedIn where my name is Sara Dalsfelt. You know, I’m the purple kind of blonde girl popping in in your newsfeed every day. I like to share you know, really and be in the limelight of talent acquisition so you can always find us on LinkedIn or on our site

William 25:03
Awesome. Sara, thank you so much I could talk to you all day and we will talk all day if we don’t turn the video or turn the recording off. But thank you so much for coming on to the Use Case Podcast. I so much appreciate you.

Sara 25:17
Thank you I appreciate you, in the space of TA, William.

William 25:20
Well, thank you very much and thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case Podcast. Until next time.

Sara 25:25
Until next time!

The Use Case Podcast

William Tincup

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.


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