Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 216. Today we have Dave Barthel from HiringSolved to discuss the use case or business case for choosing HiringSolved.
HiringSolved was built to help organizations make placements out of their earned data by being able to focus on candidates that have engaged with their organization. They help organizations utilize that earned data, making it searchable to help companies redeploy talent within their organizations, and drive efficiency through the recruiting process.
Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think.
Show length: 31 minutes
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Dave Barthel joined HiringSolved in 2019, after more than 25 years of working for the Allegis family of companies. There, Barthel was the top producing sales leader—starting as a technical recruiter and quickly growing his role to become the Managing Director of Global Business Development for AGS.
At HiringSolved, Barthel serves as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing—overseeing the sales, marketing, and customer success functions to ensure the success of HiringSolved’s users through smart automation.Follow
Music: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. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup: Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you’re listening to The Use Case podcast. Today, I have Dave on from HiringSolved, and we’re talking about the use case, the business case, for HiringSolved. So, Dave, will you do us a favor and introduce both yourself and HiringSolved?
Dave Barthel: Sure. Thanks, William. Really appreciate the time and looking forward to the discussion. My name is Dave Barthel. I lead the sales and marketing organization at HiringSolved. I joined in January 2020 after being a HiringSolved customer and seeing what it did for us. HiringSolved was really built to help organizations make placements out of their earned data by being able to focus on that data of candidates that have actually engaged with that brand, engaged with that organization. We feel that being able to fish within your own pond is always better than fishing in the pond with everybody else. And what we do is really help organizations do exactly that, utilize that earned data, help that data become searchable, help companies redeploy talent within their organizations, and just drive efficiency through the recruiting process.
William Tincup: I love this phrase, “To earn data.” I’ve heard it a couple times, but I love this phrase, because this is essentially… This is data you already have. So if it’s trapped in your HRS or if it’s trapped in your CRM or your ATS or Bullhorn or wherever it’s trapped, this is stuff that you already have, correct?
Dave Barthel: That’s exactly it. I’ve been in the recruiting staffing business for 25 years before joining HiringSolved and somewhere things changed, where everybody ran out to the job boards-
William Tincup: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dave Barthel: To fill rules and they stopped putting that focus on that earned data. And we think there’s gold there. We know there’s gold there. Our customers know there’s gold there. And the frustration they have is ATSs are built for compliance.
William Tincup: Right.
Dave Barthel: CRMs are built for marketing, and there wasn’t necessarily something built for recruiting. So we’re a layered solution that takes that great data, organizes it, normalizes it, enriches it, and then lets your recruiters actually focus on it so that they can go find those candidates.
William Tincup: So you just hit a bunch of things there at the very end. So this, making it searchable, so just let’s deal with that part. And then I want to get into the enrichment part as well, so making that data easier for them to then find those candidates that might have applied two years ago. So the folks that are listening… You know, this is a candidate that was interested. They applied to our job. For whatever reason, they didn’t get that job. We still like them, but they just didn’t make the cut for that particular job. We have their data sitting in the ATS. And then HiringSolved then, I guess, acts as an overlay or… Yeah, explain the process so that I don’t butcher it for us.
Dave Barthel: Yeah, absolutely. The nice thing is it’s pretty… It’s a very seamless process. It’s very easy and we get to do all the heavy lifting. So the first thing we do is we get your candidate data, right? So that’s everything that’s in a candidate’s profile, their CV, their resume, and importantly, also the recruiter’s notes on those candidates, because that’s where some of the most critical information resides. We normalize all that data. We de-duplicate all that data, because we have to make it that data put into a searchable format for our platform to work.
William Tincup: For sure, yeah. So when you say normalize it… Just again for the audience, normalize, for those that don’t spend a lot of time in databases or Excel or things like that, is making sure that all the data, the columns, the rows, everything’s filled out. It’s structured in a certain way, right?
Dave Barthel: That’s exactly right.
William Tincup: Okay.
Dave Barthel: That’s exactly right.
William Tincup: Okay.
Dave Barthel: And a lot of times, specific to the staffing industry, you’ve got multiple recruiter touchpoints with candidates.
William Tincup: Mm.
Dave Barthel: So being able to build out a profile based on all those touchpoints and answer some of the questions that maybe… Recruiters are great at reaching out to people, they’re not necessarily the best at data entry. So being able to-
William Tincup: Understatement of the year.
Dave Barthel: Get answers to those questions for them is helpful.
William Tincup: And you know what, neither are salespeople, ironically.
Dave Barthel: True.
William Tincup: How did it happen? I don’t know, coincidence. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. They refine and enrich. Now, refine is my word, enrich was your word. This is, I think, going to be really interesting for folks who… So, once we’ve normalized it, we’ve created standards. There’s kind of a data mark that everyone now, we use it, and HiringSolved, you’ve got a framework for this. So you take the data, you import it in, and then you find out where, okay, what do we need to actually fill in and structure in a different way? So things for the audience, things like, in your data, you might have first name and in the next column, last name, and then another person, it might be first name, last name in one column. It might be an initial, first initial, or no last name and just first names.
It’s crazy when you look at the different ways that people treat data. And so in a new organization, that could be from recruiter to recruiter, that that data could be that jinky. Jinky is a great word. My kids use it all the time. Data could be that jinky and what you’re trying to do and what you do expertly is then pull all that together and then kind of make it structured. So you’ve got to structure, you put it in there, and then you enrich, using your words. You enrich that by then filling in the blanks and then updating that as well.
Dave Barthel: That’s a hundred percent accurate. And again, if I go to a recruiter’s notes… Let’s just say we have a Java developer, just for instance, and they’re looking for a certain type of role or maybe they lack experience for a job that one of the recruiters spoke to them about, but perfect for a job another recruiter spoke to them about. Being able to go into those notes and understand that candidate profile a little bit better than just what’s on their CV is where a lot of that comes from.
William Tincup: So, where-
Dave Barthel: So it-
William Tincup: Y’all’s solution obviously, it goes all the way. You can do global companies, you can do small businesses, you can do corporate, you can do staffing. Where is this the most… Because you’ve been in the industry for a while, where is this the kind of the most pressing of where we can get the most value with HiringSolved right now?
Dave Barthel: Sure. It’s a great question. And you’re right, we’re really applicable across the board.
William Tincup: Right.
Dave Barthel: You know, we have a lot of corporate organizations, big enterprise companies, global companies that are customers of ours, but I came from the staffing background, as I said. And you know, when I came over, we were really the only… My company was the only staffing company that HiringSolved was working with and we saw so much value in the platform. We really did make a shift more towards staffing, because at the end of the day, a staffing company’s product is growth and revenue.
William Tincup: Right.
Dave Barthel: And to do that, they need to make placements. So we tie into a staffing company’s biggest problem and also their biggest opportunity. It’s a very quick win for staffing companies to be able to say, “Hey, we’re talking to hundreds of thousands or millions of candidates on an annual basis. How do we make sense of this, and how do we drive more placements, more efficiency for our recruiters, and give them the right slate of candidates to reach out to?” And so we’ve really put a pretty significant target on staffing, because they’re seeing so much ROI out of our platform.
William Tincup: And then, again, you can be applied anywhere. So if somebody knocks on the front door from Nike, done, not a problem.
Dave Barthel: That’s right.
William Tincup: You can do that, but there’s just so much Harvard Business Review Blue Ocean for staffing firms, and they need it. They need things that make them more competitive. They’re faster. The margins are thinner in staffing, so they need a competitive edge. How do you get started? So let’s say we have a demo. We’re going to get into demos and stuff like that, but you have a demo with a staffing firm and a regional staffing firm, and they’re like, “Yep, done.” What do we need to do? Walk us through what happens next.
Dave Barthel: Yeah. The process really isn’t… It’s not onerous. And again, we get to do all the heavy lifting for our customers. So the first thing that we’re going to do is API into their ATS and pull all that data, and then we’re going to go through the normalization process that we just spoke about. We’re going to give them a data quality evaluation report that basically says, “Here are the trends that we’re seeing in your data. Your recruiters are great for asking for name, location, resume, email addresses, whatever it happens to be. And here’s a couple areas where those attributes aren’t necessarily showing up.” So there’s a good teaching opportunity for those recruiters. From there, we stand up their instance, we get their recruiters trained on the platform. It does not take long. We are not an airplane cockpit from a platform standpoint. It’s actually very easy for recruiters to get stood up on the platform and trained on the platform.
It’s very intuitive, kind of like a Google-like experience, if you will. And then we’ve got a great customer success organization that really helps drive those recruiters to our platform, ensures adoption, because, again, recruiters are very competitive people by nature. And you know, when we can show them a path to that better slate of candidates with better information on those candidates, they’re going to go after it, and that’s what we were seeing. And again, one of the reasons why we really pivoted towards staffing, because recruiters have fallen in love with the platform, because they’re seeing success in the platform pretty much right out of the box.
William Tincup: Love that. So let’s go into the demo, so the technology side, so that people… Again, it’s not like if we were great at it, then there’d be no need to have HiringSolved. So there’s obviously a problem and some of it’s just understanding how data operates and behaves and should look and things like that. So when you’re showing folks and your sales team’s showing folks HiringSolved, let’s take a look at what you like to show them, like your favorite bit. And then what do you think that their eyes like, “Oh my goodness, why haven’t we done this? Why didn’t we do this last Tuesday? How fast can we get this stood up?” You know, that type of stuff.
Dave Barthel: Yeah, absolutely. So the first thing that we tend to show our customers is an example of that data quality evaluation, because data’s all over the place. And when we go through that enrichment process, we’re giving them a score before the enrichment and then after the enrichment, and they’re seeing that score generally increase zero to 100. Most customers are somewhere in the 20 to 30% of having all that data involved. And then we see that jump to 60 to 70% as far as the completeness of the data, because we’re pulling all that information from those notes, so that’s really the first thing we show them. The second thing we show them is our search capability. So we can do boolean searches. Again, it’s very much like a Google experience where you type in Java, it’s going to say Java developer and keywords, Java developer, and titles, senior Java developer, full stack developer. It’s going to offer suggestions to help narrow down that search.
The other way companies or recruiters can search is actually by just dragging a job description into a box, and we’re going to absorb that job description and then bring back the candidates that best fit that job description in under a second. That’s a pretty big aha moment for staffing companies, because staffing companies, especially in today’s market, they have more recs than they have candidates. And by being able to prioritize those recs, they’re becoming more efficient, understanding that, “Hey, we have a really good opportunity to fill this rec,” or “Nope, we probably need an external strategy. We need to go to the job boards, because we don’t have the candidate density to actually get it done.” So they really like that.
And then the third area that they really like is our talent redeployment module. So basically what that is, William, is, it’s a snapshot of how many contractors or people do I have coming off a contract? How do I redeploy those people? What roles do we have where we can match them with their next opportunity? And then there’s some financial dashboarding there saying, “How much revenue do I have at risk on a day in, day out basis? What does that look like? What does my gross profit look like? How is it going to trail off?” And it’s really giving not only the recruiters an opportunity to look at their business on a day in, day out basis, but it gives leadership an opportunity to say, “Okay, this is what we’ve got at risk. These are the steps and actions we need to take to continue to grow the business.” And we’re seeing companies really appreciate that and get a lot of value out of that.
William Tincup: Your story with HiringSolved is what I want to unpack just a little bit, because I just think it’s wonderful when you’re a customer and then over a series of time, you’re like, “Well, I want to be on that side. I want to do that. You know, I want to go and help other staffing firms learn what I learned.” How did that play out for you?
Dave Barthel: Yeah. I mean, I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. As much as I enjoyed all my years in staffing in RPO and MSP, seeing what we were able to do to be more competitive in the marketplace with HiringSolved was kind of a secret weapon, and how many recruiters we needed on a project, the placements that they were making. And then the other thing that I would add is, it really helped our junior recruiters to get up to speed and get their time to productivity much, much faster. So to say I was a believer in the product is a bit of an understatement, but at the end of the day, Sean Burton, our founder, and I had had a conversation, and after a really, really long time with one company that I certainly enjoyed and appreciative of, it was just a great opportunity to say, “Let’s go try something different.” And it’s kind of a perfect second career. So going on two and a half years now and really, really enjoying where we’re taking the business.
William Tincup: I love it. HiringSolved has such a wonderful story, for those that are listening. Wonderful technology play, early to market, boom, lights out, fantastic. Allegis Global Solutions then acquires either a whole or a part, et cetera. And then they deploy it on their clients, with their clients, and stuff like that, so it was just wonderful. And then I believe it’s been spun back out, which is what happens with a lot of RPO and staffing firms. This kind of happens frequently, because they’re not technology companies, they’re professional services companies. And so y’all have had a wonderful kind of story on how you took a technology company market, went inside to a, what, $16 billion staffing RPO company-
Dave Barthel: Right.
William Tincup: And then now you’ve got the company out again and now you’re going to go and do it again. It’s like you’re getting the band back together, and now we’re going to go and take over the world again. We’re going to show this… So it’s just a wonderful… I love stories like that. And I think the audience just… It’s just a great, great, great, great story. Buying questions for staff at firms. So you’ve been on this side, so questions that you might have asked a long time ago when you first saw HiringSolved, but let’s deal with some of the newbies. If they’ve never seen or used a tool as impactful as HiringSolved, what are the questions that they should be asking of HiringSolved?
Dave Barthel: Yeah, it’s a great question, William. You know, the first thing I would say is, depending on who you’re talking to, I think it’s a great opportunity to actually ask your recruiters a question before you jump on with us. And it’s, what is our confidence in being able to search our ATS? Are we getting placements out of, again, that earned data? The general answer we get is no. They know they have the gold, they just don’t know how to mine it.
William Tincup: Right.
Dave Barthel: And it’s really kind of the sole reason why we exist. But from a buying question standpoint, the things that I would focus on is, you only have so many recruiter hours available in a day, right? And generally you’re working pro bono to make placements, so you’re investing before you’re ever going to see a return, so what’s the fastest path to revenue? And it is that earned data. It’s that candidate that maybe was a silver medalist three months ago, or that candidate that’s coming off a contract that you just don’t have visibility into. We help in all those areas. And I think those are good questions to ask. ATSs are wonderful, they’re necessary. We’re very fortunate to have so many good ATS partners, but they’re not built for recruiting. The one thing about HiringSolved that, as a customer, that I really put a lot of value in is, it was built by recruiters for recruiters. ATSs can be very frustrating from a search standpoint and we eliminate that frustration and we help them get actionable much, much faster.
William Tincup: I love that. So take us into some of the kind of innovation stories or some of the customer success stories that you’ve recently had with folks, not naming names, of course.
Dave Barthel: Yeah.
William Tincup: Just in general, like some of the things that you’ve seen in the way that it’s impacted their business.
Dave Barthel: Yeah. I’ll give you a couple exam… Nope. Did I lose you?
William Tincup: Nope, you’re good.
Dave Barthel: Okay, sorry. I’ll give you a couple examples. We have one customer that did a quarter over quarter comparison between HiringSolved… Pre-HiringSolved and after HiringSolved, they increased their placements by 14%, which annualized out to an additional six million in revenue for them in the first quarter. Another one of our staffing customers, they had a recruiter that was five months in as a recruiter and won their MVP award and attributed it to HiringSolved. Because again, they all want to do the right things, but if they can’t search that ATS data, then they’re just fishing out of the same pond as everybody else, all of their competitors. And by being able to fish out of their own pond, they’re seeing success.
William Tincup: I love that. I love that. Give us another one, if you can.
Dave Barthel: Yeah. So there’s a legendary staffing customer that we’re actually going to be doing a webinar with here shortly. They’re two weeks in as a HiringSolved customer and they place very, very high-end people, and they knew they had a problem, they just didn’t know how to address it. And two weeks in, they had made three placements with us, which basically paid for the tool for them.
William Tincup: My goodness.
Dave Barthel: Yeah.
William Tincup: So one of the questions that I know the audience is going to wonder is… We talked about ATSs and kind of some of the backend office staffing solutions that are there, and they’re kind of built for other reasons. I know when people listen to this, they’re going to ask themselves, “Well, is mine different? Is mine better than… Is mine as bad as what Dave’s saying, et cetera?” What’s been your kind of your general approach when you look at the solutions that are available for staffing firms, that run kind of the back end? I guess Bullhorn would be the most dominant, bunch of other players as well. Are they all as bad, or is there just one that’s just worse than others?
Dave Barthel: Yeah. It’s a really good question, William. So we’ve been fortunate enough to have pretty much every ATS VR partner.
William Tincup: Right.
Dave Barthel: You know, you mentioned Bullhorn, they’ve got the lion’s share of staffing business. They’ve got about 11,000 customers today. We’re very proud that we just went into Bullhorn’s marketplace and we were the fastest ever to do it. And it’s because they know that they want their customers to be happy, right? They’re stickier when they know that their customers are seeing value out of the data that they capture. So for us, we take much more of a partnership approach. Some are better than others. Some are easier to integrate with than others, but for us, it’s more about, how can we help your recruiters on a day to day basis fight the fight and make placements? And again, ATSs are built for compliance, right? They’re just not built for recruiting. So that layer that says, “Okay, we’ve got this great compliance engine and we’ve got all this great candidate data.” We add HiringSolved to that tech stack and now we’re driving placements from that great data. It’s kind of a win-win. So we see our ATSs as partners and treat them as such, and I think that’s a two-way street. They treat us as a partner as well, because we’re helping make their customers happier.
William Tincup: I love it. Yes. A hundred percent. [Inaudible 00:22:38] more time spent in Bullhorn, the less apt they are to move off of Bullhorn.
Dave Barthel: That’s right.
William Tincup: Yeah. It’s in their best interest. So I should have asked you this question earlier, but the data… And when we say enriched, you said enriched earlier, do we enrich that periodically? Do we go back and kind of double check and kind of… Is it something that’s a one and done, we get them kind of into that phase and, “Okay, your data’s enriched, done,” or is it something that needs to be done quarterly, monthly, daily, whatever?
Dave Barthel: Yeah, that’s a great question. So it is a one and done when we get started, but it’s continually being enriched as new candidates enter the system.
William Tincup: Mm.
Dave Barthel: We’re doing that on a day in, day out basis for our customers. So we do the heavy lifting up front and then it’s a maintenance operation for us.
William Tincup: And so it’s just… It’s enriching on the back end and they don’t really have to do anything about it. It’s just-
Dave Barthel: That’s a hundred percent accurate.
William Tincup: Danny Glover just applied and his information is now… And it can be enriched at that point. I love that. I love that.
Dave Barthel: Yeah.
William Tincup: So what are the objections? I’m hearing this and, of course I know your story, but I’m hearing this, and it’s like, why would a staffing owner or a leader… What are the objections you get?
Dave Barthel: Yeah. We honestly don’t get that many objections, but the ones that kind of come consistently are exhaustion from different technologies, which I certainly understand. We get objections around budget, just like everybody that sells everything, and then it’s one of focus, right? So I don’t want… Especially in today’s market, they don’t want to take their eye off the ball. They’re all so busy and they’re all growing, where they don’t want to take a second to say, “Okay, we’re going to learn something new now.” Now once they actually see it and they understand how easy it is and they understand how quickly they can get up to speed on our platform and make placements out of our platform, that objection tends to go away, but it’s generally one of the first ones that we’ve got to talk through with them.
William Tincup: Love it. Well, this has been wonderful. And Dave, thank you so much. I know you’re busy and I just appreciate your time and I appreciate you explaining. And I love, absolutely love, what y’all do. So just thank you.
Dave Barthel: Hey, William, thank you very much. Really appreciative of the opportunity to talk to you today and look forward to connecting again very soon.
William Tincup: Absolutely. 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.