Storytelling about JobSync with Alex Murphy
Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 101. This week we have storytelling about JobSync with Alex Murphy. During this episode, Alex and I talk about how practitioners make the business case or the use case for purchasing JobSync.
Alex is an expert in all things online recruitment and eCommerce. His passion for creating a better recruiting platform that fully utilizes time and resources really comes through during the podcast.
Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think.
Show length: 39 minutes
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Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you’re listening to the Use Case Podcast. Today, we have a friend of mine, Alex Murphy from JobSync, and we’re gonna be talking all about JobSync. So, Alex, do us a favor, introduce yourself. And introduce those that don’t know JobSync. Introduce JobSync.
Well, first off, thanks for having me. It’s awesome to be on and get to tell a little bit about what we’re doing and why we exist. When my name is Alex Murphy, like, like William said, and I’ve been in the space, predominantly on the sourcing side, as a job board operator, going back 20 plus years, was a co-founder of Java.com, later was involved with a company called Beyond, which is now next, primarily focused on user acquisition and left there in 2016, and started a couple of different businesses, one of which was focused on managing job flow and doing indexing, scraping, and so forth.
And in 2019, we started JobSync as a joint venture with another company that was a consulting client of mine actually, called Rethink data. And we brought these two businesses together to help essentially focus first and foremost, on creating greater efficiency at the top of the hiring funnel. So in particular, solving problems around moving applicant information from the job board experience, like Indeed or on Facebook, for candidates to have it so they could apply on Indeed or on Facebook, and have their application submitted into a company’s applicant tracking system in full in less than one second, making a much better candidate experience much better recruiter experience, generating great outcomes for companies.
So that’s what we got, that’s how we kind of got started.
So well. Yes, and, and we’re gonna dig into all kinds of fun stuff. So I used to have this bit when I do a lot of speaking, especially the HR is a is I do this bit where I’d say, Listen, I can get everybody in this room, following him around and start sucking on your thumbs. And all I got to say one word, implementation. And it was a funny bit, that’s all it was a comedic, you know, bit, but you know, you guys are because technology is advanced to such a place.
Modern technology at least as advanced as such a place. You’ve, you’re not, you’re not making implementations per se easier. But you’re really fixing the data integration part. And making it easier for people to connect things that they’ve wanted to connect for years. So sourcing with recruitment, marketing. Are, are their programmatic advertising with their ATS, with their onboarding, solution, etc?
Like you’re connecting the tools that they’ve wanted connected forever, for the history of ever, and you’re making it easier for them to connect those. It was disparate. It was desperate or disparate, they’re kind of the same. Anyhow, those technologies that they’ve always wanted to connect, is. That’s how I kind of talked to people at JobSync, how it has a better way of saying that, or what did I get wrong when I said that?
No, I think that, I mean, you said so many things that are spot on. And what’s interesting about where we are is when they like I said, we started with this goal of improving the recruitment advertising process, recruit, improving return on ad spend, and so forth. And what we’ve found out and we just happened to be in the right place at the right time, I think more than anything else is there’s this much bigger problem, which isn’t so much about implementation.
It’s more like after implementation of each and every one of the various systems that companies use in the recruiting process. What they find out is that data is locked up in those individual systems. And, and the efficiency that was that a company thought of the people inside the company thought that they were going to get quickly, I won’t say goes away, because there certainly are massive benefits from all of these various systems, like you just mentioned, a handful of them, you could go on to talk about assessments and engagement tools and CRM tools and analytics form, tools and so forth.
There are amazing efficiencies and value coming out of these systems. But it’s muted. And the reason it’s muted is because ultimately, in order for their systems to really maximize the value creation for the buyer, the data needs to move back and forth. And so the simple way to describe what we do today is we create automated workflows and interoperability between the various systems that you use in talent acquisition.
So that’s a that’s like a couple of big words with too many syllables for me and my education, for sure. But like, the cool idea here is, you know, nobody, nobody gets into recruiting with the desire of basically becoming an Excel jockey, right, downloading data from one system, merging it together with a bunch of data from other systems, and then uploading it into yet another system. And that’s what we solve for, right, we help move that data from one system very fluidly into another. And we build out these use cases or build out these workflows that are specific to each company, and we create the configurations and then we automate and turn it on. And we’ve got really cool solutions going out there.
So you know, imagine, a job posting is up on XYZ site, Indeed, Facebook, zip, recruiter, whatever, and a candidate applies. And the applicant’s information is immediately pushed into the ETS, all of the screening questions are answered. And then if these screening questions had the right set of answers, and the information is scored properly, well, then we push, push a different message out to the candidate out via text message or email. Or if they’re really, really hot, we push it over to a texting platform, and then a recruiter can talk to them live. And that that happens, literally within three seconds. So and that’s amazing in terms of a different candidate experience.
Right. One of the things that, you know, as you, as you brought in, brought us into the data is locked up in these systems, it got me to think about some of the insight is locked up in those systems. So if you’re, again, any of these systems are great by themselves. So pick an ATS, doesn’t really matter. Inside the inside the four walls of that ATS, you’ll have some analytics, and you’ll have some insight, and you have a ton of data. But if that’s connected, again to the other things that are important. You’re also going to now your analytics and your insight grow across these systems that don’t talk necessarily with one another.
How, how have you seen so now let’s pivot for just a second. How have you seen folks and we let’s not get into like a specific customer? But people that are connecting in ways that you think are really innovative, some of your customers, they’re connecting these systems together, so that they can get, again, not just that data, but they can get those true insights.
So, two things. One is on the inside side, you can actually see, you know, when you’re, you can actually see what the actual outcomes are as opposed to guesses.
So, you know, the best example in the world is where did you hear about us? Did you hear about us on Indeed, or zip recruiter or a job fair, or an employer referral, right, and they’re your four options on your drop-down as a candidate. Maybe it was Google, maybe somebody shared something on Facebook. Maybe there’s, you know, they did a drive-by on a next-year plan. If you don’t have the right information from a tracking and attribution perspective, you know, you could be making the wrong decision because you’re acting on the wrong data.
So that’s the first thing is that you know, when an applicant applies on Facebook with one of our customers and we push it in, the customer knows the definitively that this person took the action to apply while they were on Facebook. Right. So that’s, that’s huge because it’s amazing how polluted the self-identity data is. You know, broadly speaking, it’s a sign of recruiting problem, that’s just an attribution problem in all forms of marketing, and sales.
The other piece is the insight around speed. So, it’s common for a candidate that applies to a job to not hear back from the company, for days or weeks. Marketers figured out quite a while ago, that in order to actually close a sale, they needed to get back to that prospective customer immediately, right? Like that there’s this very limited window of opportunity, where that prospective customer is interested in speaking with somebody. And recruiters have not figured that out in the in the grandest of ways yet, that’s actually changing fairly fast.
And what I mean by fast like in terms of speed, speed of response is like having a basic set of screening questions, not 45 minutes worth a basic set that you can immediately score, go or no go meaning do you advance this person down the funnel to the next stage where you want to do a phone screen, or not based upon a very, very finite number of things. If you can make that evaluation, and then get the message and make an interview scheduling request, and have that plugged into a scheduling system, the number of people that schedule interviews go up remarkably. And that I think is the most interesting insight that we’ve seen so far, is how important speed is.
Well, that resonates with me, because I think in 2019, maybe even early 20, the candidates were faster than we were. And by the time we get through are all of the decisions and the things that we wanted to do. By the time we got back to them, they’d already made it, they’d already made a job decision. And, and so that was real.
Like I talked to TA leaders and it was like, we you know, we everything has to speed up every every decision, the assessments, the screening, everything communication every week. We have to look at speed, because we’re losing great candidates because we’re just not as fast just getting back with them. And then COVID hit. And so then there was this perception that okay, now you’re now in an, you know, not in a candidate-driven market or an employer-driven market. And so I think people let off the gas.
And I’m, you know, I’m worried because you’re, you’re now in a candidate-driven market again. And, and their speed is, they’re still fast, they’re gonna make decisions. And if you know, either, either as a talent acquisition leader, and team, either you recognize that and figure out, okay, all of our processes or workflow, our technology, the way that it all works together, it’s got to be based on, you know, price quality and speed, speed being very important, because if we can’t, if we can’t hit them with speed, and we can’t at least match their speed, we’re gonna lose great quality candidates. So that resonates with me.
Yeah, and I was just gonna say you said it there at the end price, quality, speed. And, you know, the fact of the matter is, is that with every tranche of delay, right? If you’re, you know, let’s say, if you’re currently baselined, at like a three-day response, right, and you extend that out to five days, you can emit, you can have an immediate an expectation of an immediate drop in the quality of the candidates that are making it to your slate, right? Because, as you noted earlier, right, by the time you finally get back to them, they’ve already moved on. They’re less likely to respond to your inquiries, your responses, or your outreach for phone screen scheduling, right?
Conversely, you know, the highest quality candidates have the highest level of expectations, and if you do things that are representing yourself as doing things that are cutting edge, or, you know, following best practices, they recognize that and that becomes gravitational, right? It’s not just a function of they’re available, it’s also that they’re available and also more interested in you.
Because you’re doing it better than other people.
Positively already predisposed, because of their experience, you know, we do, we’ve talked around candidate experience a number of different ways, by connecting these technologies in a more elegant way, in a more elegant fashion, you’re getting, you’re gonna have more insight. We talked about that. You’ll be able to really understand what’s going on. But it’s also gonna be you know, the other side of that is that they’re going to have a better experience. Yeah, you’ll be able to respond faster, which is fantastic. Let’s fix that for sure.
But if we can also do that, at the same time, whilst creating a great experience and engaging experience for them, you know, why wouldn’t we? Why wouldn’t we do that? Look? Yeah, let me pivot and ask. Oh, go ahead.
One thing. I just want to jump one more, drop one more thing on top of it, which is, a lot of what we’re talking about there is candidate experience, but there’s the balancing act on the other side, is that it’s actually having an even more remarkable impact on recruiter experience.
Because the fact of the matter is, is that you know, recruiters are holding more open recs now than they were, you know, a year ago, right. And months ago, pre-pandemic, you know, we just had an in-depth meeting with a great client of ours, the average recruiter in their organization is holding 30 open recs right now.
That’s 30 hiring managers. That’s, you know if you think about just the slate of. So when I say slate, I’m you know, just to level set, I’m saying like, the final five that you want to make your selection from. So if you’re fine, if you have a final five on 30, open recs that’s 150 candidates at play, you can’t even keep in touch with them. Right, let alone like the other.
600, 3000, and more candidates that you had apply that didn’t make it that you don’t want to have talked negatively about you, right? I mean.
So think of all the negative things that could go wrong here. You’re, you’re creating a bad experience for the people you’re gonna say no to. So you know, you’re gonna say no, the, they didn’t make the people call them silver medalists, which I think is a really offensive term. You’re gonna say, you’re gonna say no to them for this particular role at this particular time. So you’re creating a bad experience for them, the 150, that you are going to try and create an award winning experience for them, you don’t have enough time in the day to really manage 15 of those, 10% of those. So now you’re going to create a bad experience, or not, let’s say, let’s not say a bad experience. Not an optimal experience.
But it’s just a matter of time, right? There’s, there’s a time management framework called OHIO, right? Only handle at once, right. And in when you’re when your systems aren’t interconnected, it means that you have to pull from one.
Pull it down into some other holding place, upload to another, and what’s the inevitable outcome of that you never welcome is that you don’t do it because you don’t have enough time. And so you try to manage it in Excel, where you try to manage your inbox. And then the data isn’t there. Or we get back to the point of insights, it’s like, if you don’t have the data and interconnected, in fact, what you, like the insights. The real thing about insights is that you now have insights when it’s connected. Because before you just had gaps in the data, and, and, and a loss of time, and then stress, and then immediately the recruiter falls into a place of being underwater.
So we have even dealt with the hiring manager experience and what they deal with on the technology side and workflow side and price, quality and speed for them. But let me ask you a couple of questions about JobSync. One is, is demoing. So when you and your team demo JobSync, what is the thing that you’ve come away with the last couple of months where is the bit, this is the bit that sticks the most? Is it a particular slide? Is it a? Is it a piece of functionality? Is it, is there a place in which you kind of get the conversation and are like, okay, I get it?
Yeah, so there are three. I guess it’s not a bit. So I apologize for grabbing more than one.
What the first I’ll say at the start of the conversation is this concept around taking the application in its entirety, and instead of that application having to happen on an ATS, having it happen on the job site. The candidate is there, that’s where they are, they already have a profile, we kind of think about this and call it Amazonification. Right? Everybody understands, if you go to Amazon, and you do a search for some widget, that there are lots of sellers with their products listed on Amazon, that you can then buy from Amazon checkout with your Amazon account. And that’s going to then be sent to you. It might be sent by Amazon directly, but more than half the products sold on Amazon are actually not fulfilled by Amazon, they’re fulfilled by other sellers.
I often in a demo will say, hold up my bottle of Kirkland ibuprofen that I bought from Amazon and sold by Costco, you know, it’s fulfilled by Costco. Right? So Costco uses Amazon to sell. So this experience is real life for candidates. And we can take the entire application, not just like a lead, right, not just a one, click apply where it’s like name, you know, phone and resume, but really legitimately all of your individual screening questions for each individual job posting. When we show that in real life, there’s like an aha moment. Like, oh, you aren’t kidding. That is something you actually can do. When we say yes. And then we saw the data show up in the ATS, and they go, wow, how long does that take is that like, once a day that you upload them? And I’m like, it’s a second.
Hmm, that’d be real-time.
Yeah, it’s like one second, right? Like, you hit submit, and the data flows straight through and into the applicant tracking system, just as if they had applied on the career site. So that’s, that’s kind of the big one.
The second, the second piece being that as part of that it’s being the ATS. And then the third thing I wanted to just say, you said slide, we have this kind of cool slide, and then a corresponding use case, we’ll say, which illustrates the fact that there are dozens of different kinds of systems, not dozens of systems. Dozens of different kinds of systems companies use, right? You have all the various job sites and programmatic, like you said, and assessments and different core anchor systems, we have like a CRM, and an ATS and your HRS, and onboarding tools and tax credit programs and text platforms, messaging platforms, and so on.
And we can, you know, when you see that kind of big jumbled mess, that looks like a subway map, you know, with lines going everywhere, it’s it is a point of realization. And then we say, okay, now we want to automate the data flow. And so we give a simple example of a person submits their application on the cell phone, it comes over to us, we push it to the ATS. We push it to the text platform, there’s a conversation that happens on the text platform, and we get the data out of the text platform, and we update the ATS.
So immediately upon completing the testing, it can update the ATS and then progress the candidate further down the funnel. All of that happening in a very fluid way, where the recruiter doesn’t have to move the data. The recruiter can just recruit. Right? And, you know, that’s that’s when the company is going to reap the greatest rewards is whenever recruiters aren’t having to move data, let the systems move data, and let the recruiters recruit.
And let them, give them their time back, so that they can actually manage those those relationships in a more elegant and, and refined way. And also.
Nucleus, Nucleus Research did a study of our clients last year and found that we save the average recruiter 10 hours of the week. So a quarter of their week is given back by turning on JobSync.
Oh my God, that’s that’s and we aren’t even dealing with the candidate side of that. Because you’ve done this buying, you’ve been in the kind of HR rec tech space for a while, I want to ask you about buying questions from practitioners. And in particular, what to use a framework of stop, start, continue. So advice that you would give you know, global heads of TA. You’re sitting down with a bunch of the gals and guys, and you’re just saying, okay, you know, it’s not like you buy technology every single day of your life. You got other things going on.
What advice or what coaching do you, would you would you give to them in terms of, you know, questions that they should be asking? You, you know, this is, yeah, if you’re not doing this, you should do this. Stop, start, continue.
So, first I want to see like, how do we how do we get to try on the shoes here, right? Like if the shoes don’t fit, then then it’s not a good thing. If the technology isn’t a fit, I want to understand how can we how can we get in and understand and try? The second big thing is, how is this going to, either, and. So I’m going to answer the question kind of in an interesting way, or take a different angle on it, which is, how do you judge your return on investment? Right? This is a system that should be reaping every reward for you. So where, where am I going to get my measured ROI?
And, you know, there’s, there’s one aspect around cost savings. There’s definitively an ROI in saving money. But better than cost savings is actually enablement. Right? I work with another company, and I’ve done some advisory work with them. And the CEO of the company would frame it very deliberately, right? Like, if we sell this, if we sell our software to a company and they believe that they’re going to get 10% more revenue, rather than a 10% cost savings, then the 10, they’re much more likely to buy because of a 10% revenue increase. That has a much larger impact obviously than 10% cost savings.
So in TA, what we do is we bring the people from that are not currently part of the company into the company, that become the primary asset of the company. Right? If you rewind 50 years ago, the majority of the assets held by publicly traded companies are tangible assets, plants, inventory, etc.
Now, today, net 90% ish of the assets held by publicly traded companies are intangible assets. And the largest category of those are the people inside the companies. So recruitment literally is responsible for the cultivation and introduction of the most important asset class within a company.
And so ROI should be framed in that respect. We need to find the better, we need to find the best people as fast as possible. Because if we put the best people in position faster, we get compounding dividends on that speed forever.
If you can hire somebody in 30 days, rather than 60 days, you’re a month ahead forever. And ever catches up. It’s like compound interest in the stock market.
Right? It’s, it’s, it’s interesting because you can explain that to a lot of people when you talk about sales positions. And in sales positions, they remain open, you know, for longer periods of time. It’s like, you’re never going to get those sales back. And people get that like it. They kind of get that intellectually. They kind of, they can, it clicks with them. It’s like, you know, that person.
Again, you went from 60 days, I was an open rec, you can pull that down to 22 days. That’s 42 days back to you that that’s that, again, you that it stays with you forever. So, I’ve done that. I’ve used this, because I’ve had to have that particular conversation with folks before, and I’ve used salespeople. Because once you explain it from a sales context, they’re like okay, I get that. But, and that’s true of every position. I mean, it’s coding, you know, you can really extend that into almost any role. But, but I love that.
Is there, is there something that that now would say irritates you? Is there something, because like, so it’s something that’s, I’ve always, you know, struggled with with HR, NTAs, is the speed in which they want to get to price. You know, like, like, here we are we just met we just had coffee great, how much? You know, and typically what I’ve done speaking and webinars, whatnot, it’s like, you know, price, you’re going to get the price like then the contracts are going to be signed. You know, procurement’s not going to get involved. You know, if, you know CFO is not gonna give you a budget, all that other stuff. You’re gonna get to the price. You don’t have to rush to get the price.
Is there anything like that? Now, that’s just my irritant. That’s the flying moment. But what, is there anything like that’s for you, that just would, if you could just wave a wand, you would love for people to stop asking or behaviors that you’d like for people to stop doing when it relates to buying HR recruiting technology.
You know, I have, no, actually, I, I’ll say that you know, 10 years ago or so, there was a point in time when I was buying lots and lots and lots of job advertising and was buying the most, most advertising on Indeed more than anybody else. Tremendous amount on Google. Huge acquisition budget, right, in this space. Since I’ve, I’ve had my, I’ve had my time as the buyer with a really large checkbook behind it, as I’ve been in the position I think a lot of buyers of TA software are in.
So I think I have more appreciation probably for each of these. That, I’ll make a couple of comments about things that I think that are interesting, and then and then I’ll say a generalized improvement that I would like to see, but I don’t really find it irritating.
The first thing on price; I get it. It’s a gating function, right? If you’re charging $80,000 for this thing that, you know, I have no idea. Are you charging 8000 or $80,000 a year? And if you’re gonna say 80, then it’s not worth us having the conversation. And oh, by the way, Mr. Salesperson, I’m also doing you a favor, because instead of you chasing me as a potential target, like it’s always going to be a no because we don’t have that much money for this type of thing, period.
Right? No matter what, no matter what, no matter who you get involved. It’s just all. Yeah.
It’s just always going to be no. And this is, by the way, much more common for like, SMB mid-market types than in enterprise, right? Because enterprise, they are enterprise for a reason, right? They are a large company, you know, big, big shift. And so, you know, price is much more fungible.
On the SMB side, there is like literally a limit at which point the the operators will ever go to for a single solution, because they can’t get.
They can’t have concentration on a single system, so to speak. I think it’s, I think that the pricing in our space is interesting, because the, you know, the model, like what you’re selling, how you actually solve for the problem, these things don’t change a whole lot. But there are great varieties of like services, like their AI chatbots, and then there’s programmatic, and then there’s dog distribution, and then there’s resume parsing, right? They, they’re vastly different things. One would say they’re not competitors, but at the same time, they are because they’re all pulling from the same wallet.
To help solve for the same thing, which is to help you find the best possible candidate in the fastest period of time, right? With the least amount of effort for the team.
If you can do all those things, then you’ve got a chance to get cash out of my pocket. And so systems that are not solving the problem the same way may not be competitive, but they are competing for the same dollar. And so consequently, the models, though, you know, aren’t wildly different. But what’s interesting to me is how consistent most companies in the space are, in particular for enterprise. $30,000 implementation fee $50,000 a year, 100, $150,000 a year. And oh, by the way, we’ll give you a 5% discount if you give it a couple year discount, a couple year commitment. Right?
And it doesn’t matter if you’re, if you’re selling this widget or that widget, it’s like everybody has the same pricing model.
And we went out a very different way because of my time as a buyer. And so we just don’t. You know, if somebody wants to start with price, I’m kind of excited about it. Right? Because like we are, you know, you can spend a lot of money on our service. Don’t get me wrong. Because if we’ve connected dozens of systems for you, we’re like, obviously, you got lots of data moving from here to there. But in terms of trying it on, right, you’re talking about a month-to-month commitment. You don’t have to sign any long-term contracts. So $1,000 to implement. Right? So it’s really easy to get started.
And so we don’t, we consequently don’t butt up against, I’ll say generalized annoyances. If there was one.
It’s not, it’s not really the TA person’s fault. In fact, I’m, I’m an advocate for it, which is security.
Like it is an afterthought all too often. There are companies that use systems like, for example, if you use Workday, you have made the decision as a company to indoctrinate yourselves in things like security.
And so Workday customers are really good about it. But there are a lot of customers that don’t treat it with, with the level of, of anxiety that they should.
That’s right, that’s right. Privacy and security kind of the two, two sides of the same coin, right? It’s, it’s, it’s in Europe, with GDPR, you have a little bit more of an awareness.
But even that took some time.
So the funny thing about GDPR is, like one of the core tenants is the right to be forgotten, right? Which means, hey, I applied to your company, I want you to delete all the data about me. So it wasn’t, for like, at least a year after GDPR became the governing law that people started to realize that meant you can’t take applications into your email inboxes. Because if you do, you have no way to purge it, right?
John Doe job seeker sends in a note to HR and says, delete my data. And the person’s information has been sent to five interviewers, and you repeat that across all of the candidates. It’s just like, all of a sudden was like, whoa, oh, we’re totally in violation of GDPR. Because at its core, you’re supposed to put privacy by design in place inside of your organization, which fundamentally means the right to be forgotten.
And it’s just like, that’s, that’s a really good example. GDPR is a really good example of people not taking this stuff as seriously as they should. And, and that’s changing. And I appreciate that. I think that’s, that’s a good thing.
So what I love about that is, it’s a great place to end. It’s, you know, you know, connecting the data, getting faster, making it a better experience for recruiters for hiring managers, for candidates.
We talked a lot about all that stuff, you know, but we circled all the way back to something that we, there’s yet another reason about the, you know, to think about data. It’s not just giving people back their time and having and creating a better experience, it’s thinking about that data, privacy and security and making sure that we do a great ethical and moral job with the data that we have. Like we’ve talked about it on a couple other, and in a couple other ways, which has really been really important, but I think that’s a great place to to end.
Brother, I know you’re busy. I appreciate you coming on. And I just love everything that JobSync does, so I wish you continued success, of course.
Thanks so much. Thanks for having me.
Absolutely. And listen, for everyone, thank you for 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.