Storytelling about CareerArc With Anna Bersudsky

Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 154. This week we have storytelling about CareerArc with Anna Bersudsky. During this episode, Anna and I talk about how practitioners make the business case or the use case for purchasing CareerArc.

Anna is an expert in all things produce and project management. As a passionate leader, she has experience building and mentoring teams in the design and implementation of world-class B2B and B2C enterprise software in the education, HR and medical software industries. In addition, she is a subject matter expert and solution architect for data system integrations and enterprise implementations. Anna’s passion to help organizations maximize their return on employer branding really comes through during the podcast.

CareerArc is the only social media platform built for talent acquisition teams. The company helps TA leaders communicate their employer brand at scale over social media to find top talent. To date, they’ve helped thousands of organizations, including many of the Fortune 500, maximize their return on employer branding.

A few things we cover today: What are some examples of CareerArc best practices? Where is the CareerArc aha moment, and what attracts prospects? What has Anna seen in terms of re-imagining the job ad?

There’s more, of course! Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think.

Thanks, William

Show length: 24 minutes

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Anna Bersudsky
Chief Product Officer CareerArc

Passionate leader in product and project management with experience building and mentoring teams and designing and implementing world class B2B and B2C enterprise software in education, HR and medical software industries.

Subject matter expert and solution architect for data system integrations and enterprise implementations.

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Music:  00:02

Welcome to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case Podcast, a show dedicated to the storytelling that happens, or should happen when practitioners purchase technology. Each episode is designed to inspire new ways and ideas to make your business better as we speak with the brightest minds in recruitment and HR tech. That’s what we do.

Music:  00:22

Here’s your host, William Tincup.

William:  00:25

Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you’re listening to The Use Case Podcast. Today, we have Anna on from CareerArc, and we’re going to be talking about the business case, or use case, or cost-benefit analysis, however you want to frame it up for why customers or prospects ultimately buy and use CareerArc. And so we’re going to get right into it. Anna, would you introduce yourself and introduce CareerArc?

Anna:  00:51

Great. Well, William, first, thanks for having me on. I’m a big fan and I’m excited to be talking to you today. So my name is Anna Bersudsky. I’m the chief product officer here at CareerArc. I’ve been doing the startup game for about five years. I’ve been working in different industries across different startups going through different journeys, from acquisition, to fundraising, to building out teams and products. Prior to that, I spent five years working at Cornerstone OnDemand in Santa Monica. It was my first foray into HR technology, and I learned so much during that time. I was there during a very pivotal growth time where they went from 400 people to 2,000 and really made a mark in the HR tech space.

Anna:  01:46

And most recently, I’m here at CareerArc. And what we do is we are the only social recruiting platform that is purpose-built for talent acquisition. So we believe in social media as a way to feed the top of the funnel for talent acquisition. And we provide a platform for clients to build a social media strategy around audience building, authentic storytelling, as well as distribution of their jobs across a greater audience.

William:  02:26

I love that. And Anna, I’ve loved the CareerArc story, the origin story for a long time. So one of the things that we want to unpack for the audience is when we say social media, we can obviously define that by all the different places. What you’re really thinking about is building talent communities and using your LinkedIn careers page or your Facebook careers page or whatever as a mechanism to then put both all the career information that’s important, the DEI stuff that’s important to people, remote stuff that’s important to people, but also put jobs to actually put opportunities and get people to then go back to either the careers page or to apply however they want to. But let’s go ahead and break that down so that people really understand kind of, “Okay, your clients use this for… specifically, here’s how they use us in a most robust way. This is actually what they get.”

Anna:  03:35

Sure. So definitely, social media is a great mechanism to build out a corporate business page on either Facebook or LinkedIn. Another part of the strategy we recommend for clients is to build out their network and their reach through other avenues like ambassadors and recruiters. So we encourage our clients to connect other kinds of channels like their recruiter channels, LinkedIn personal accounts, Twitter channels, to really expand that audience reach and build a greater audience.

William:  04:12

Do you see kind of the best practices through some of your clients? Obviously, everyone’s going to use it a little bit differently. And so there’ll be kind of a lot of different answers here. Is it just jobs or do you find that they’re offering up and serving up other types of content and jobs?

Anna:  04:31

The most successful clients are not only distributing jobs on our platform. They’re also talking about their employer brand and evangelizing, amplifying their brands through compelling and engaging content related to their culture, their benefits, events, anything they want to talk about. Employee spotlights is also a very popular kind of posting our clients do to give their audience a little more insight into what it would be like to work at their company, which draws better quality, better motivated candidates, and helps reduce the cost to hire.

William:  05:11

Well, first of all, since you’ve been there a year-ish, we’ll just say, want to ask this question two ways. One is when you looked at the product, what were you fascinated by? And then as you’ve shown it to prospects and customers, what are they fascinated by? What’s the features, functionality, reports? What’s the thing… I call it in the demo the aha moment, but there’s multiple moments, of course, for something as robust as CareerArc. But when you went through this as a candidate, you went through this and at one point, you looked at the product, what was your aha moment and what do you think prospects, what do you think they’re really attracted to?

Anna:  05:57

Sure. That’s a great question. The biggest thing, the biggest journey in my discovery of CareerArc was more about surprise of the capabilities of what can be done. One of the things we did recently this year is we reimagined our platform. So even though we’re solving the same problems, we’re doing it in a better, more compelling, more intuitive way. So we just launched our REiMAGiNE platform actually this month. So it’s a very exciting time for us, but I think the biggest thing that struck me as I learned more about the product offering is the capabilities. One thing we do, which is really cool, is we call it magic posts. So it’s basically low friction social media. We consume jobs through an integration. We can take in all of your jobs and then build content, build social media posts from the content that our clients put in our platform. And we do that automatically. One of the most compelling features that our clients love is the fact that they can have a consistent, a compelling, a relevant branded footprint in social media without having to constantly do that manually themselves and build post themselves.

William:  07:23

That’s hard for folks. The fact that you do that, you pull it and through algorithms and other means, you then can post it for them. And maybe you can post it at the right times. One of those things that’s probably not talked about enough is hitting the audience at the right time with those types of posts. Just the ease that, again, this was… we’re trying to give the clients homework assignments, but now it’s just like, “No, you post job. We’ll take it and it’s automated. And then it runs until you tell it not to run.”

Anna:  08:02

Right. Exactly. Yeah. We not only post, we create. So we’re content curators, we’re content creators. And we are storytellers based off of the story the company wants to share. And we see when a company really leans into both the job distribution, as well as the storytelling about their employer brand, we see a lot of compelling stats like increases in job applications year over year, increase in hires, reduction in cost to hire. We’ve got some brands that have really great success stories around that.

William:  08:44

So two questions. Dumb question alert. With storytelling, is this more of a service that you have a layer and an agency where you help people through kind of understanding the story that they need to tell, or is it they have a story and we can automate that and it’s more of the technology that kind of drives that?

Anna:  09:11

So our core competency is the B2B SaaS platform. So it is the technology, but we have a lot of thought leadership on our team. So we can help with the story building. And a lot of our client success team helps a client figure that out because that’s part of it. When you have a tool and through our onboarding process, one of the things our onboarding team helps a client do is figure out the best way to tell this story.

William:  09:45

Thank you for answering that because I just want to make sure the audience gets the nuance. The other part is visual, things that are a bit more visual. I’ve been talking to a lot of candidates recently, and they see stuff on Instagram or they see stuff in let’s just say other social media outlets, not Facebook, not proper and not LinkedIn. And it’s not as heavy text related. It’s a little bit more visual. What have you seen from clients in terms of just re-imagining what the job ad looks like?

Anna:  10:29

We’re a bit data obsessed. And a lot of people are visual, right? So to be able to pair a story or some text with visuals is really important. One of the things that we found in social media, we think about engagement, right? And that’s how users interact with a post and how often relative to how often a post is seen. We find that engagement rates do increase when there’s an image or a video or some visual component to the posts that are going out. All of the posts that we distribute, whether it’s automated or curated by the client themselves, whatever they choose, typically have a visual component to it.

William:  11:19

I love that. I love that. I didn’t get you because of course I interrupted and took you down a different path, but I wanted to make sure I get back to the prospects’ aha moment of when they look at CareerArc maybe for the first time. What did they fall in love with?

Anna:  11:37

Sure. Well, we can look at some of our most compelling case studies, the client stories that we have. Ulta Beauty is a client of ours. And when they joined us, they were looking to solve for a few problems. They were expanding, right? So they needed to increase their hires. They’re in a very competitive market for talent. So they needed to attract quality talent that was aligned to their culture. And they had a lot of turnover. And by leaning into both the job distribution and the storytelling component of our platform, they saw the results. And ultimately, that’s the true aha moment with our platform, right? Because we get some skeptics sometimes depending on how advanced a client’s social media strategy is when they come to us. There’s a lot of skepticism, but the proof is in the results. So Ulta Beauty specifically saw a 70% year over year increase in their job ad applies. They reduced their cost to hire significantly. They exceeded their targets for their seasonal hires. And overall, the feedback that we got was that they attracted and acquired their qualified candidates that were a culture fit for what they were looking for. So that was really cool to hear from them.

William:  13:02

When you’ve been around the edges, it’s something that’s really interesting to me. And I don’t know if you all have done the research or not, but it’s the triangle of price, quality, and speed, and looking at social in the way that social can drive candidates in a way that non-social can’t. So we’ll just kind of bifurcate between non-social and social. Have you all looked at that in terms of… because you’re a data company, in terms of how price and quality and speed are impacted with social and how it’s different? Again, kind of a great strategy to have a little bit mixture of all of it. Fantastic, good, state didn’t cover. However, the difference in social and the difference in how people use CareerArc.

Anna:  13:51

Sure. That’s a really good question. It’s not so black and white because sometimes in social, there’s that ad component, right? When you’re doing more programmatic things, we focus more on organic content and not so much the ad content. So the data isn’t completely clear. We did a study recently, and one of the things that we found was that job boards are just not as effective anymore. They’re not drawing the quality candidates. The direct applies aren’t happening as much. And so social is an avenue to address that need. And we hear that a lot. I had a lot of conversations with industry leaders recently, and that’s a huge pain point for them.

William:  14:43

It’s interesting because you want to engage them where they are. And if they’re on LinkedIn for whatever reason or Facebook or wherever, again, I’m agnostic when it comes to the social platforms. If they’re on that platform and you can engage them there, then fantastic. But getting them to… I don’t know, getting them back to a job board, there’s an intentionality to a job board. You go to a job board for something. There’s a reason you’re there, but you could be in Facebook, see something and go, “Oh, that’s cool.” And then click onto it and then go on and go through your journey. What I loved about it is you’re meeting prospects and candidates where they are and where they want to consume content.

Anna:  15:31

Right, right. It’s the passive candidates that are the better candidates. Data has shown that that is true.

William:  15:38

Yeah. It’s a holy grail too because everyone wants more passive candidates. Active candidates are great. Again, if you have the skills, you have the skills, doesn’t really matter. But if you can hit folks and get passive folks that are inbound that are really, really super qualified, that’s wonderful. You mentioned the ambassador program. I want to make sure that the audience understands how you help them enable that. So let’s take company X, new company, brand new to the CareerArc family. How do you help them either if they’re hesitant or cynical or whatever? How do you get them over to the hump and go, “You have people inside that love you, who absolutely love you?” And some of that could be employees, could be partners, could be customers. You can enable a lot of different people, but ultimately, there’s folks that love you and they’d love to share content, jobs, and all this other stuff. So we need to enable them.

William:  16:42

So what’s been that process for you? And again, I know you’re not standing on 10 years of experience of working with clients on all of these things, but just if you can give the audience a little bit of some insight into, “Hey, listen, if you’ve never done this bit, that’s fine. Here’s how you get started.”

Anna:  17:03

Right. It’s really that education piece that’s so critical because a lot of our clients don’t know what’s possible. We start with the recruiter story because we know the tools available for recruiters, especially for large companies. We work with clients that have thousands of job openings. Right? We solve that problem really well. And so they have multiple recruiters that are doing a lot of different things and using a lot of different tools that aren’t cohesive. Right? There are a little bit of this, a little bit of that. This is very low friction.

Anna:  17:43

So one of the ways we share that is that there’s not a lot of work for a recruiter or any kind of ambassador of the brand or of the jobs in order to participate in that program because the campaigns are built and they just need to opt in and connect their accounts to get into the flow of that. That helps build their own audience and helps a company with their… if they have a strong referral program, that helps them get participation in that. And it helps meet the recruiter’s goals that they’re posting on a regular basis, but not only jobs, but the story of the company, which is also very compelling.

William:  18:29

Super compelling and important to candidates, becoming more important by the hour. Take us into onboarding new clients. Just high level, how, again, new family member to CareerArc, you bring them in and then how do you get them indoctrinated and into the platform and starting on their journey?

Anna:  18:54

Sure. That’s a great question. So the first step for us is always let’s get your jobs into the system. So we work closely with them to make sure that whatever their ATS process or tools that they’re using, we can connect that to CareerArc and get that integration going. And from there, that helps with that content curation. So that next step is what content do you have, right? And what can we load into the system? But if they don’t have a lot, we can seed content for them. We also, with our new platform, we have a creation studio which is very cool where you can pull in images from a stock image library, customize them, put really cool text on them, and really help build that story. So our onboarding team helps identify the story that the clients want to tell and the goals they want to achieve and help them build out that content library and curate it in a way so it can then be easily used for campaigns in the future.

William:  20:03

I love that. That’s fantastic. Okay. So you did mention at the beginning that this is something we do on the top of funnel. So we place this way out to drive traffic, get people to apply. Once they apply, they kind of go on about their business and do different things. Do you see either now, currently, or in the future a use case for internal mobility?

Anna:  20:26

It’s something we’ve been talking a lot about here at CareerArc to see what we can do with social media around that. I think the play there is around the employer brand and drawing that excitement internally around just working for the company and building that culture and communicating that because especially in a large company, sometimes the culture gets siloed. So when there’s content on social around the culture itself, internal employees do find that and are interested in exploring that. In terms of productizing that into a more internal-focused direction, we haven’t gotten that far yet, but it’s something we’re exploring for the future potentially.

William:  21:12

Fantastic. All right. Last question. Your favorite… because you’ve seen a lot of things and you were at Cornerstone at a really magical time, kind of when they had came out of just the LMS and then into more of a talent management. And so you’re there for a really fascinating time in their history. At this point so far, what’s your favorite customer innovation story? And again, without names. We don’t need to name names, but just something that you’ve looked and you’ve seen a customer use CareerArc and go, “Huh, that’s really cool, a great use of CareerArc?”

Anna:  21:56

That’s a great question. I’m just trying to think of interesting story. We do have some…

William:  22:02

Go with one from last week. I mean, that’s the hardest part of that question because you’re sitting on hundreds of stories. So go with the one that’s from last week.

Anna:  22:13

Yeah. The thing I love paying attention to as our sales are scaling up and we’re seeing all of these cool clients come in through the door is the why, right? The why they pick CareerArc. And the coolest ones I like are the ones where they’re mobilizing their ambassadors, right? So it’s not just about distributing their jobs on their existing channels. They’re building out their ambassador network and are really trying to extend their reach through different channels that empower their employees to talk about the company. Those are the best stories that I hear.

William:  22:57

I love that. Love that. Anna, thank you so much for your time today. It’s precious and I love the rebrand. I love everything that you all have done with CareerArc. You all are just on this hockey stick rocket ship that I just absolutely love. And I love the platform. So thank you for carving out time for me and the audience.

Anna:  23:19

Well, thank you. It was a pleasure talking to you today. Thank you for having me

William:  23:22

Absolutely. And thanks for everyone that listens to The Use Case Podcast. Until next time.

Music:  23:27

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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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