Storytelling about Adzuna with Andrew Hunter
Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 97. This week we have storytelling about Adzuna with Andrew Hunter. During this episode, Andrew and I talk about how practitioners make the business case or the use case for purchasing Adzuna.
Andrew is an expert in all things job search and data. His passion for helping candidates find their way into the job market with the best possible resources and data really comes through during the podcast.
Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think.
Show length: 30 minutes
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Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup. Thank you for listening to the Use Case Podcast.
Today we have Andrew on from Adzuna. And we’re going to be talking all about his firm, and it’s going to be a really fun show. It’s gonna go really fast. So let’s just jump right into it.
Andrew, would you do me a favor and the audience a favor and introduce both yourself and your company Adzuna?
Sure. So, pleasure to be on. And my name is Andrew Hunter. I’m the co-founder of Adzuna.
Adzuna is a search engine for jobs. Our aim is to list every available vacancy in our engine across 16 different countries around the world. We’re headquartered in London, but we also have offices in the US, in India, in South Africa, and in Sydney.
And I guess there are lots of job search engines out there. What makes us different is we are supreme data nerds. We focus heavily on statistics for both advertiser and job seeker. And we wake up in the morning, and we try to do a better job of matching candidate to job. And that’s what gets us out of bed and what we really care about.
Oh, I love that. So what was the— I say the impetus or what— What got you and your team together? What got you inspired to build this?
So myself and Doug, my co-founder, met working at Gumtree.com, which is Craigslist of the UK. It’s the largest classified site in the country. And we ran that, and we were very successfully building vertical search for property, cars and jobs. And we came together, actually, after watching our beloved fallen Football Club get into the Europa League final that was in Hamburg. We traveled out together. We lost two-to-one to Rome, to Atletico Madrid.
But what we did do is we bonded over business after committed free beers. And we thought, you know what? We’ve been working for lots of successful internet companies in the local search space. We feel that we can make it better. And specifically, we think we can make job search better.
That was back in 2011. It’s been 10 hard years, but fine years, growing the site to what it is. And we now find ourselves in a place where we have 8 million registered users, tens of millions of people finding jobs on our platform around the world every month. And we feel like we’ve built a great product that’s going to really help people get into work in what are quite difficult situations at the moment.
So let’s talk the benefits to the candidates first. What— And we’ll just start with the basics, right? So what’s their benefit? Like, and you said that there’s a couple other things that are in the market, but what’s the benefit to them immediately?
So I think there are three different things specifically for the candidate that really stand out as having everything in one place. Absolutely. That’s important. And I should say that up front, but those are table stakes for being a job search engine.
I think where we have an unfair advantage is that we’ve been operating across multiple countries for a decade, we’ve been collecting data for our jobseekers to help them make better decisions over that period of time. So we can tell you what Walmart’s hiring behavior is in Chicago this year versus last year. We know what a bartender gets paid in Oakland versus Sacramento. That level of granular detail for the job seeker over a period of time is very helpful. And that’s really part of our mission is to arm our job seekers and help them make better career decisions.
I think when you also have huge amounts of data about the job seeker experience, and you know when people have got jobs or have been successful with their applications, you can feed that back into the technology you build. As I mentioned at the top of the show, we obsess over matching candidate to job and being a data driven organization. That’s what sets our platform apart from other search engines. We built clever tools and technology to make that process easier for the job seeker.
I guess our jewel in the crown from a product perspective for the job seeker is a tool called Value My Resume, where you can upload your resume or your LinkedIn profile, and we’ll tell you how much you should be earning in today’s job market. Not only what we do that, we’ll tell you if you have any spelling mistakes in your resume. And we’ll try our best to take that information that we can see and match you to the most intelligent career using machine learning.
I love that. So I love giving candidates insight into comp and benefits and, just, here’s what you should value yourself as, because candidates oftentimes, as you well know, they might not have a real sense of worth; they might not know what they’re worth in the marketplace at that particular moment. And obviously, that’s changing, you know, day to day, hour by hour, region by region, etc.
Are candidates asking you—and again, you tell me what they’re asking—but what comes to mind immediately is things about D&I or mobility and internal or otherwise, and/or remote or work from home. And those are just three things that kind of came top to mind to me. But what are they asking? What are candidates— What do they care about today?
So I think the three things you mentioned are absolutely spot on, that those are top of mind for the job seeker in 2021 globally. One particular thing that stands out to me is candidates across the world are currently trying to understand the skills they have, and how they might apply to jobs that they hadn’t initially thought would be suitable for them, whether those are in different sectors or it’s a different job title.
And Andrew, are you thinking transferable skills?
Transferable skills, and these could be soft or hard skills.
And, you know, if I’d asked you to put yourself in the shoes of a United Airlines Flight Attendant, and the and the difficulty and the challenges that someone like that working in the travel industry has been through over the last 12 to 14 months. If I worked in travel or hospitality right now, I’d be asking pretty serious questions about the future of my industry, and when it might come back. Some are speculating that might be another two or three years before it returns to its former glory, possibly longer. So you have these sets of workers, millions of them around the world thinking, “Okay, I’ve acquired these skills that may be in customer service or logistics. How do that map to other industries? What other jobs should I be applying for to get that job security going forward?”
So we’re building technology at the moment and tools to help people like that example that I just gave, as well as others, and to be able to really zoom in on the companies and the sectors hiring and paying well in today’s job market.
Love that. Now let’s flip this to the recruiters and hiring managers.
What— You know, job descriptions and job ads have been horrible for forever. We’ll just start there. What are they? What are you seeing from them as they use Adzuna? How does it help them?
So your average recruiter or talent acquisition specialist or company owner is really more than ever looking for bang, bang for their buck from the recruitment cash right now. And I think we’re seeing this transition, and we’ve been seeing it for the last few years, perhaps slower in Europe than we have been in the US, but it’s coming this programmatic revolution. And I’ve heard many of your other speakers on the show, talking about programmatic advertising.
We’re able to give advertisers access to a very large audience of candidates across the world. In the US alone, we have over 5 million visits per month to our platform, people searching for work. And that’s pretty critical right now because what we’re seeing in the US job market, as well as in the UK, is a surplus of vacancies and pre pandemic levels of hiring, but not a huge amount of activity on the job seeker side. And that’s, for a bunch of different reasons, you know, stimulus checks, fear of getting sick, which is which is understandable. And, and just a general imbalance in the industry.
So what we’re trying to give our advertisers is efficient and cost-effective access to those candidates and be able to spend in a programmatic way to get the right people in front of their vacancies. Gone are the days in the US of pay 500 bucks and hope that you get candidates. In Europe and beyond, that’s still very much thing, so there’s an education piece for our audience that advertisers. Say, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can spend in a much more intelligent and efficient way.
So one of this is, for the hiring manager or the recruiter, we’ll deal with the recruiter and talent acquisition specialists, they’re trying to figure out budget. Like okay, you just, they just got a rec from somebody internally, and it’s for a software engineer. And again, it can be remote, but software engineer.
They’ve got to figure out okay, I’m going to do advertising. I’m going to try and get candidate flow for this position. How do I figure out budget? And then where do I, you know, how do I how do I get the volume that I want, you know. And then I would assume that some of that is probably layered in with not just volume, but quality.
So walk the audience through those discussions that you could probably have on a daily basis. Especially for those that have never built a budget, you know, they’ve they they’ve hired but they’ve never necessarily used advertising the way that you are using advertising, which is very sophisticated. You know, it’s highly targeted, they might have done LinkedIn ads or some something like that. But they’ve never done something this sophisticated.
How do you walk them through that budget volume quality discussion?
Yeah, love that question. And I think I should be clear on who our advertisers are to begin with. So we split our advertisers into a few different buckets. We sell traffic and applications to job boards. And then we also work with pretty much all of the programmatic agencies across the world, and through them, we get access to many of the S&P 500, as well as the FTSE 250, the large corporations around the world. And then we have direct customers coming straight to us.
So we have different pockets of advertisers, all with different sophistications of how recruitment marketing works. The conversation changes based on the different level of who you’re speaking to. But ultimately, what our technology allows advertisers to do is we take away a lot of that hard thinking and head scratching around how they apportion their budget. And we can give them quite detailed guidance on instructions and how they should be bidding within our engine, what would be competitive, and how many candidates they should expect at a role-by-role level.
And I think that’s really important for the for the hiring manager in in this day and age is to have that level of granularity and control for each of their individual roles so that they can be quite specific about what they want. I want 25 applications for this job of this level, of this quality level. And we can give them guidance on how they should apportion their budget to get the most out of that cash.
We’re extremely cognizant of the fact that times are tight, so being able to deliver exceptional levels of quality, as well as the volume that recruiters will require is super important at the right price. And that’s where we think we set ourselves apart.
So I love this.
With the number of applicants, so again, we’re going to just go ahead and say the number of quality applicants keep it simple for folks. If they don’t know, I’m just going to assume that they don’t, but if they don’t know, do you give them a recommendation based on, and again, I’m assuming that there’s machine learning and some AI on the back end where the system is kind of constantly learning from itself?
Do you give them guidance on okay, here’s, you, for this type of position, you should really have 500 quality candidates come through the front end that then go through your gauntlet of assessments and screening and all the other stuff that you have going through? But this is what you really should have on the front end. Do y’all, is that is it something where that’s important for you to communicate to them? Or do you feel like they already have a pretty good idea of what they should have?
Yeah, good question. So often, the customer or the hiring manager in that instance knows best. It’s likely that they’ve probably recruited a similar role before. They’ll have a decent sense of how many people they need to see to have a good healthy pipeline. So we tend to take their guidance on the number of applications, or often they’ll feed that into their programmatic agency.
When it comes to fulfilling those applications. Back in the day, shortly after mine and Doug’s football match experience when we were in the heyday of the business, that was all done manually back in [inaudible].
We would decide, okay, we’ve got a big partner network. We should promote the jobs here, here and here. Let’s see what happens. When you’ve got a decade’s worth of intelligence around what works and what doesn’t, that’s really, really powerful information.
And I should speak to our data science team because we really do feel like we have one of the best data science teams in the world when it comes to building proprietary matching technology. And that’s essentially what we’ve built.
So we have machine learning and AI working in the background that that takes all of those opportunities we’ve taken advantage of and mistakes we’ve made in the past, and we’ve built software to match those candidates to jobs and vice versa. So that all goes into machine based on the customer’s requirements, their budgets and what they think success looks like. And thankfully, we have a hypothesis that works very well based on that.
We can even place ads, you know, in a lot of different places. I think one of the things that’s really interesting for recruiters and hiring managers is that you also know what’s working at that particular moment. You know, if we were hiring that, again, software engineer, we might have, we might have dropped some ads on, you know, GitHub or Stack Overflow, or some type of really niche, you know, software related site. Well, that might have worked a month ago.
But, you know, some of the, I think some of the value of Adzuna, is that you get you know, you know what’s working, like, moment by moment.
Do you do you, first of all, as a driver for your customers, is that important to them? Because one of the things you mentioned is, okay, if they’ve recruited for this position before, they probably have an idea of what works and what volume and things like that.
But, you know, one of the things I’m seeing, at least as my research is that things are changing so fast, that what worked, you know, six months ago, or hell, pre pandemic, if you want to go that far, you know, doesn’t work now. Like, you have to you have to be in the know in almost in real time. So speak to that if you don’t mind.
Sure. So I think it’s a good point. And I and I believe one of the main reasons that customers choose to advertise their jobs on Adzuna is because of that ability to have our finger on the pulse of these real time changes in the job market.
And you’re right. You know, we’ve never seen anything like this last 12 to 18 months, I’ve been studying, I’ve been studying the labor markets around the world, for the last 15 years. And I genuinely have not seen anything like this. We’ve gone from a market nine months ago, where the headlines in the news were 2000 people applied for waiter job in London. We’ve gone from that and swung all the way to the other side of the pendulum to seeing all these businesses massively staff constrained and hiring constrained because no one is applying for the jobs.
That that macro insight is very interesting. It’s one of the reasons why Adzuna works with the British government on leading indicator labor market data. It’s because we can call it on the day down to the minute what is happening in the market. But equally, as you drill down into individual sectors, there’s so many different nuances and things happening at the moment.
So yes, it’s great to have our core platform as well as our partnership network of over 1000 websites to see what is happening day by day in the job market. And that definitely influences how we place ads and how we fulfill advertising campaigns. And so it’s really exciting to have that breadth of information and knowledge in real time.
I think like many others who operate at scale, it’s what you do with that information that becomes the most powerful thing. We could just be sitting on a goldmine of data and not build any products on top of it, but I think allowing advertisers, as well as job seekers, access to that information in a digestible way helps them make much better decisions.
Love this. So recruitment marketing tends to be on the front end. So sourcing, recruitment marketing, you know, some type of the ATS. Someone’s made an application or applied to a job, etc., and then they go into some type of other formal process.
Y’all play, you know, specifically, you play in the employer brand and recruitment marketing space simultaneously. And you’re driving traffic quality traffic to these jobs so that people then apply. When you’re interacting with your, you know, your talent acquisition teams and the people that buy.
Well, two questions. One is, do you find yourself more dealing with recruitment marketers and people that understand marketing and understand kind of, even, omni channel advertising and things like that? Or do you find yourself more with the kind of traditional, you know, talent acquisition, recruiters, maybe people that have done this or not done this?
Like, who’s the buyer, right now? And again, you probably have a lot of different types of buyers, but who’s, who’s the majority buyer of Adzuna? Right now?
Great question. And it’s, and it’s so different depending on the market that you’re in. As I mentioned before, Adzuna is in the US, as well as the UK. We’re in South Africa, India and Brazil. And there’s varying levels of sophistication when it comes to being able to talk the language of an internet marketer. So, if you’re speaking to one of our job board customers, or large staffing agency customers in the US, they’ll be getting into the granular detail of cost per click, understanding the analytics behind what’s working and what’s not working.
And I love having those conversations because I’m an internet marketing nerd myself. Because you move into the value chain, and as you get closer to the corporate recruitment teams, there’s less emphasis on the numeric insights you can provide and more of an emphasis on, help me understand, in layman’s terms, how your technology works and how it can fill my role as fast as possible. And it’s easy to have both conversations. I love the nerdy analytical conversations.
But equally, being able to succinctly describe your product and how it can be impactful is really important, and we try to do that as best as we can around the world. Often the proof is just in the pudding. You give people the trial, you let them test the product, and hopefully you deliver exceptional results.
So we’re talking in a numerate and analytical internet marketing way to the job boards and the staffing agencies who can employ recruitment marketing specialists. And as you get closer to the end, corporates, particularly in Europe, and you’re just trying to fulfill campaigns and the conversations there are less detailed.
So you mentioned staffing, and so, of course, it got me to think about how staffing folks use this, as well. I mean, corporate, I totally understand, especially, you know, when you have a brand you can push, right? So if it’s Procter and Gamble or Mercedes Benz, you know, there’s a whole lot of driving people that they can see a lot of the benefits of that.
How are y’all working right now, and maybe even it’s an evolution, how do you work with the RPOs that are, you know, hiring for 1000 different clients? And so they’re trying to drive a lot of different types of traffic. How do you how do you work with staffing firms and RPOs?
I think we have a lot of staffing companies and RPOs on our books and spending money with us. And what’s important for them is that they understand our sweet spots when it comes to candidates. I think the risk of when you’re on a job search engine and you’re indexing every available ad is you try and become all things to all men.
Believe that you might be able to deliver hundreds of Chief Financial Officer applications, as well as 1000s of warehouse workers and logistics. And while we would love to have that the case, we know that our sweet spot is warehouse delivery, transportation, logistics, catering, hospitality, retail. That’s where we operate best. And that’s how many of the staffing agencies are using us at scale.
So I think being up front, and just understanding where you’re strong and where you need to grow as a business is super important for these guys to understand, because that manages their expectations. And I think, you know, being able to be as hands on as possible. We’re only a business of 100 people around the world and we maintain a lot of the entrepreneurial spirit that I think is so important when you’re trying to grow a company. And we pride ourselves on our customer service and our ability to move really fast.
There are lots of big, big companies operating in the recruitment space, as you well know, who can’t be as agile as us. So we think that sets us apart when it comes to delivering great results and delighting our customers. It’s just, we’re on it 24 7, and we really want to make a difference in the space.
So metrics that you care about, you and your co-founder, co-founder. What are y’all looking at? What’s success for the business, you know, from your perspective on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
It’s a good question. And, you know, I was asked this question by a friend who doesn’t work in the recruiting space at the weekend, so maybe I’ll, for the benefit of your listeners, I’ll give a similar response to that.
So there are metrics that we follow around the number of people visiting the website, the number of applications that we refer to our customers, and the revenue we generate as a business and profit. Those are important pillars, and we want to grow those as fast as we can, but in the right way. That’s a given. What’s possibly even more important to me to me is that we’re building fantastic products for our advertisers and our job seekers that they really, really like and want to tell their friends about. There’s a lot of the same in this space, and there isn’t a huge amount of loyalty.
So if we can give people exceptional experiences that get people jobs and make them happy, that’s super important. It’s going to sound cheesy, but we want to make our mothers proud. You know, we didn’t get into this industry, and we didn’t get started this company in order to, you know, just be an arbitrage business or whatever else. We want to build something that really makes our friends and family proud of us, and no better time to do that than right now when there’s lots of people out of work and we can re-enter the job market.
And I think you know, success to us, we’re 10 years into our journey, but really it does feel like we’re only just starting. We want to scale as fast as possible and make this a global solution. 16 markets is fantastic. But there’s still job seekers who are being wildly underserved by the existing products, particularly in emerging markets around the world. We want to take our solution, fully global and find people work around the world.
So I think if we can do that, if we can tick the metrics growth, when it comes to traffic revenue, profit, applications. If we can build great products, if we can make our parents proud, then then we’re on to a winner, and work is going to be fun, and we’ll and we’ll make a difference.
Love that. So you mentioned a loyalty, and I want to explore that for just a second. Why? Why is there loyalty baked into what we do?
Because there is not enough product advocacy within job seeking. Because it’s a private search experience. Not everyone wants to talk about the fact that they’re looking for a job. And I would say those conversations aren’t happening necessarily at scale.
From an advertiser perspective, there should be loyalty. Yeah, and you should see employers, RPOs, programmatic agencies, using the same providers that they’re getting an exceptional service and amazing results. So we see it more on the advertiser side.
Job seeker, too many options, crowded space, and a private search experience doesn’t really lend itself to loyalty of product. And it’s and it’s a market where you’re dipping in and out every four to five years, probably. Some things changed when you we in job [inaudible] look.
Yeah. Just like what we talked about. It’s, for them, there’s real no incentive to then say, oh, by the way, Adzuna was fantastic. You’d like to think there they would do that, especially if it was a fantastic experience. But if not, I can see that as well. What’s the two last real quick questions. What’s the URL for Adzuna?
So both job seekers and advertisers if they go to www.adzuna.com, that’s A-D-Z-U-N-A.com. It’s a free service to use for job seekers, and our rates are very competitive for advertisers, so we’d encourage your audience to check us out.
So last question, before we go is, it’s the end of 2022, what’s success for Adzuna?
So I think it’s been 12 months for most businesses. If I look at where we were this time last year, when things were really starting to kick off around the world from a COVID perspective, I would take where we are right now. We’ve done a decent job of coming out of the pandemic and taking advantage of the upswing in the job markets around the world, and business is good.
So I think we want to continue riding that wave onto success and really innovating in our core markets. We want to be the job search product of choice in the US, the UK, France, Germany, and Netherlands, and we’re making really, really positive end roads to be doing that. And we want to plant seeds around the world and do our bit to support job seekers in those emerging markets.
So if we can find ourselves at the back end of next year with healthy and strong US growth, as well as in other core markets, and if we’ve been able to release the products that we’re building in the background that right now that we’re extremely proud of, then that’s success for me.
Lovely. Andrew, thank you so much for carving out some time for the audience, and I really love what you’re doing, and I love how you’re doing it. So congratulations and continued success. And thanks for coming on the podcast.
Thanks, William. It’s been a pleasure.
100%. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case Podcast. Until next time.
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.