Storytelling about Jobvite with Pete Lamson

Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 85. This week we have storytelling about Jobvite with Pete Lamson. During this episode, Pete and I talk about how practitioners make the business case or the use case for purchasing Jobvite.

Pete talks about the exciting news that Jobvite has joined forces with JazzHR and with NXTThing RPO, and how the three together will be a path through hiring in a very transparent way through technology solutions.

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

Thanks, William

Show length: 25 minutes


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William 0:27
Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you’re listening to the Use Case Podcast. Today we have Pete on from Jobvite. And we’re gonna be talking about a bunch of things. But really his story and about Jobvite and about, you know, what you should do when you’re considering buying software and in particular buying Jobvite. So, Pete, do us a favor and introduce both yourself and a cursory overview of Jobvite.

Pete 0:54
Sure. So, William, thanks for having me. Great to be here. And, and so I’m Pete Lamson, I’m a CEO of Jobvite sort of in the aggregate. But our exciting recent news is that we are, the aggregate that we’re referring to is that Jobvite just a few weeks ago, has joined forces with JazzHR and with NXTThing RPO. And the strategy behind this and how we think it really benefits the markets we serve is this gives us both a combination of technology and recruiting services that we believe are very unique and unmatched in the marketplace.

JazzHR, for those of you who are familiar with the company is laser-focused on technology-based Recruiting Solutions for small businesses, which we define as companies with sub 500 employees. And it can be purchased for as little as $39 a month. So it’s really built not only the product functionality but the price point for small business users.

Moving kind of up to larger companies, we offer now Jobvite as well as JazzHR, which is targeted for slightly larger companies and is a very robust, comprehensive end to end not only technology-based recruiting solution or applicant tracking system, but also offers things like recruitment marketing, employee referral programs, and so forth. So really a much more robust solution and built for that mid-market to enterprise space.

And then equally exciting, we are combining our two technology solutions in JazzHR and Jobvite with NXTThing RPO, which provides recruitment services, or outsourced recruiting for businesses that need kind of arms and legs. They need human beings to help them recruit.

So the strategy here, bringing these three organizations together is for small businesses with techniques, we’ve got JazzHR, mid-market, and enterprise we’ve got Jobvite, and we support both small business and our larger customer base, with really industry-leading Recruiting Solutions. So we are early days of this, but excited for where we go from here. All three brands will remain intact, we’re not going to become one kind of giant behemoth brand.

Because we are I think, where we think we’re uniquely positioned each of our three brands for the markets we serve. But together, we’re certainly stronger. So that’s, hopefully, that’s a helpful little thumbnail sketch of how we got here.

William 3:36
Yeah, oh, it is. One of the things that that I loved years ago, Taleo did this, is they had a down market, it was an SMB kind of solution. I think it was TB, and then they had Taleo Enterprise. And they had they did a wonderful job of converting, you know, as companies grow and needed more functionality and more things, then they could easily transition from one to the other.

So I love, you know companies that come in through Jobvite that maybe don’t need all the robustness, right? The perfect client for Jazz. And the same thing. Usually, you start off with a company that’s everything’s perfect for Jazz, and then all of a sudden, you know, they’re hiring 1000, you know, people a quarter, and they just need different functionality, and you can convert them that way.

Pete 4:30
That’s right.

William 4:30
Okay. I want to get your take on that because people, practitioners buy software and they buy services, but they’ve, you know usually it’s kind of like, they don’t buy them together. They, one group or one, you know, there’s a person that runs their TA tech stack, and then someone that runs staffing. How are you and you’ll be interacting with both no doubt.

So how’s your vision for seeing the sale, of selling both those together like bundling? Because you can unbundle I know that you’ll unbundle easily, and they can buy just Jobvite or just Jazz or just the RPO. Okay, I know that but for practitioners that are listening, what’s kind of your early-stage vision for how they, how you’re going to how you want to bundle?

Pete 5:22
Right. Well, you know, kind of the timing is not why we did this. Hopefully, we’re it’s kind of bigger than the recent headlines. But if you can’t turn on a business news television station or open a newspaper right now and not read about how not only is recruiting difficult, but it’s so difficult that there are stories out that it may be impeding overall economic growth. There just simply aren’t, the businesses are having such a hard time finding candidates and, and I think it’s more pronounced right now than perhaps it’s been in my recent memory.

But this isn’t a new story, when pre-COVID you know, you know, when the in the heady days of late 2019, and frankly, even January and February 2020, this was a challenge with the economy doing very well and businesses needing to find good candidates in whatever is the most effective way to do it. And our vision is that certain technology is a piece of this and all the benefits technology offers and efficiencies and affordable price points to not only find the right candidates but then path them through the recruiting process.

But that’s not a complete and comprehensive substitute for services. So so the vision was, you know, as we talked about earlier, bring these two together in terms of where this goes from a product Agent productization perspective, I think you’ll see things in the future from us. Like shared CRM is where your, you’ve got your technology solution, working in conjunction with your RPO recruiters who are reaching out to different candidates in there. And candidates that flow through from, from our from next thing our recruitment services solution will be done.

But we’ll be a path through hiring in a very transparent way, through our technology solutions, whether it’s JazzHR or Jobvite, so you’ve got a much more cohesive, the left-hand knows what the right hand is doing, in all cases. So comprehensive solution that we’re bringing to market again, both for small businesses and for mid-market and enterprise.

This isn’t gonna happen overnight, our transaction is just a few weeks old, so it’s gonna take us some time to put all this together. But that’s ultimately where we headed is it’s a more robust, comprehensive solution. But having said that, and as you pointed out, William, we’re gonna put customer choice first. And so if there are customers who prefer to only use recruitment solutions, our RPO services are only preferred to use the applicant tracking system and our, or our recruitment marketing, or others, technology-based solutions that we offer. Of course, there’ll be able to do that as well.

William 8:21
I love that. Alright, let’s go because of your most recent experience with JazzHR, two questions, one is kind of your favorite buying questions from practitioners. Like what do you love to hear when you’re talking to practitioners. What are the types of questions that you just love to hear from practitioners?

Pete 8:46
Yeah, I think that the ones from JazzHR, which yeah, and this would be a very sort of different answer for a Jobvite or JazzHR. Still, the majority of the market that JazzHR services, which are again, companies with sub 500 employees are recruiting using homegrown solutions that are based on some subset of the tools that you’d find in G Suite or Microsoft Office, right.

So they’re using homegrown solutions that are Excel-based, that are word doc based, and their email inbox management-based. And typically, these are, well, that sounds a little sort of kludgy, it’s actually remarkable how well businesses can get these to function and solve their needs. And our job is always to convince them that there is a better math mousetrap out there that’s also very affordable. And, and so when we hear that we’re talking to a prospective customer who has never used an applicant tracking system before and is using their homegrown solution. There’s some education required.

We have to kind of show them the benefits of how JazzHR functions, but it’s one thing for them to be told or shown it’s another when they can actually experience it themselves. And one of my kind of favorite comments that we get regularly and candidly, I’m sure our competitors in the small business space do as well, is six or so months after someone’s been using JazzHR, we get a comment, like, “How did I not know this was a thing 10 years ago.”

And, and that sort of just ‘light dawns on marble head moment’ where the benefits of the technology are just showing up in their recruiting results. They’re spending about 50% less time on recruiting tasks that they have to complete for every single hire, and they’re getting better candidates through the process faster. It’s a better candidate experience as a result, which helps their employer brand.

So it’s, when we see a prospective customer who’s never used an applicant tracking system before, that’s probably my favorite question. Because we really get to candidly kind of show off. And again, I’m sure the same is true of our competitors, but you get to show them how much technology can really benefit their results, and that it’s not intimidating, that it’s easy to use.

And that it was just a little bit of getting up the upper learning curve with time invested, not much, and they can see an immediate results improvement. So that’s probably my favorite thing.

William 11:31
Love it. The questions that you vote, you know, again, we’ll focus on Jazz as it’s your most recent experience, about integrations, you know, about workflow and about where this fits, and what are the things that they, you know, video interviewing, or assessments or background checks or whatever? Like, what’s your take? When question when even if they don’t ask you the questions, you know, but maybe they’re unaware that some of these things should be tied together, etc. So, how do you walk? You know, again, how do you walk people through integrations with Jazz?

Pete 12:09
Yeah well, and it’s funny, you bring up a really important point, because it’s our job to answer the questions that perhaps are not even occurring to them. Right, but should, right and integrations are a piece of that. And you find out, you know, as part of our discovery process, when we talk to customers, Hey, what are you using for assessments? Or what company are using? Or what platform? Or what are you doing for background checks? What are you using for, for video interviewing, if anything, and, and our, our belief here is that customer choice should come first.

So JazzHR is not a closed system. We’ll integrate with anybody and everybody so that, and we’ve been doing this now for long enough that we have hundreds of different HR-related technology solutions integrated into JazzHR. So if you’ve got a particular background check provider that that that you prefer to work with, odds are that they are in our ecosystem and that you can use that background check provider, and the result of those background checks will flow straight into JazzHR applicant tracking system.

Same thing with assessments, and the same thing with video, interviewing, and so forth, just to name a few of these. So I think that showing prospective customers and, frankly, current customers, that the breadth of really the power of the applicant tracking system, when it’s integrated with all of their HR tools, including payroll, by the way, as part of the onboarding process, just how much time it can really save them.

And they can use an applicant tracking system like JazzHR without having to change providers, and we’re happy to make suggestions if they’re looking for solutions. We’ve got partners that we work with every single day that take great care of our customers. But if they’ve got someone that they prefer to use, as their kind of vendor of choice for whatever the HR technology may be. Odds are you’re going to find them in a marketplace. And if they’re not, we’re always open to adding more.

William 14:15
I love that. So let’s ring the bell. You just you know, Jazz just sold a company with 500 employees. What is that onboarding implementation training? What is that? What is it? What should it look like? What should they expect in those things?

Pete 14:34
I’m sure I’m, are you referring to JazzHR’s employee?

William 14:36
Yeah, yeah. When you, when Jazz sells a new client and again, like a 500 person firm, let’s say.

Pete 14:44
Got it. Oh I see.

William 14:45
What should they come to expect?

Pete 14:47
Got it. So our subject JazzHR solution is very easy to adopt and understand. So in many cases, we have customers who use free that we offer a free trial. So they’ve already understood a decent part of how to use our system just during the free trial, kind of kicking the tires process. But we provide all of our new customers with free onboarding to JazzHR. Which is three hours of onboarding, more than enough time to learn our systems. No additional charge, it’s included in the price point.

Typically there, it’s not a sit down for three consecutive hours and get a tutorial for 180 minutes on how to use JazzHR. You can get up and running a lot faster than that. So what we recommend is to schedule an hour, we’ll take you through it. Schedule another hour for a week later, after you’ve used it for a little bit. And if need be, you can do that third hour a week after that.

So it’s concentrating after you’ve had the opportunity to use the system. So that’s what we do. We also candidly aren’t super firm about that three hours. If someone calls us back with additional questions after that, and they want to spend a little more time we’re going to take care of them. And so onboarding is included in the purchase price for JazzHR.

William 16:15
So when, and you’ve obviously dealt with this for a while, the business case for switching. So again, the proprietary, you know, getting them out of Excel, there’s a case for that. But let’s say they’ve gotten, I won’t name any of your competitors, but let’s just say they’ve got a competitor. How do you coach them through the switch? How do you coach him through, you know, moving from one solution to another?

Pete 16:44
Sure. So. If they are with one of our competitors today, and they’re moving to JazzHR. Again, so they’re probably going to have some rudimentary, very rudimentary fundamental familiarity with how to use an applicant tracking system, right, you would think. You know hopefully, JazzHR is a little bit more intuitive. But we would, again, provide that same level of onboarding.

We also will offer a data migration so we can bring all of their data, all of their existing candidates, and so forth into JazzHR, and ensure that those are all kind of plugged in and accessible in a way that’s going to be intuitive and easy for that recruiter or HR manager or hiring manager. Whoever’s in using our systems, to be up and running very quickly and not miss a beat in their recruiting. So it’s, again, it’s more onboarding, and it’s and it’s a data migration into JazzHR.

William 17:39
I like that, well, I love everything you just said there but love the idea, first of all, their knowledge is going to be a little bit different. Because they’ve been working, you know, it’s different if you’ve worked in an ATS versus, you know, in a non-ATS environment, but also just the data migration. It’s like, you don’t have to lose anything. If you’ve got a candidate. Yeah, you’re not starting over, you might, this might be a good time to kind of rethink your processes. As you lay down new technology, but you’re not going to lose any data, which I love.

You’ve used the phrase ease of use a couple of times. And I assume that you mean that from the recruiter’s, sourcers, hiring managers, that side of the technology, can you speak to the candidate side of ease of use?

Pete 18:25
Right, so we provide all of our customers with a career page. So if I’m Acme Inc, JazzHR is going to provide me with an Acme Inc branded career page that I integrate into my website. Very easy to do and we’ll give you you know, the colors that match your brand and the font and so forth. And then when a candidate has come to Acme Inc’s website looking to be, at an engineering role, hypothetically. They’re applying on the customer’s website, but all of that candidate information that is captured in that application, which might be you know, some basic contact information, probably a resume. There may be some basic screening questions you want to ask candidates when they apply.

That flows right into JazzHR. So all of that information is at the recruiter’s fingertips and then should they want to communicate with that candidate in which they’re going to want to do so either in the positive or negative manner if it’s not the right fit for the role? JazzHR makes it very easy to send templated emails out either on an individual basis or even a bulk basis that are personalized to each candidate so all candidates have a personalized experience.

But written in the customer’s or the hiring manager’s words. So it’s going to sound like it comes from them which of course it does, they’re writing it. But it allows that that that hiring manager to with great ease review as many candidates as they choose to. You can even review candidates just based on how they’ve, how candidates have answered screening questions. And then say, Okay, I received 100 applicants for this particular role, I want to interview these, or do a phone screen of these 20. These 80 I want to keep in my database in my CRM, but I want to send a very thoughtful nice, you are perhaps not a great fit, thanks but no thanks note out to them.

You write that note one time, it gets merged with all their contact information and goes out whenever they choose to send it. So every candidate does hear from you, in your words, personalized to the candidate, and they don’t have that, the candidate doesn’t have that horrible experience of I submitted an application, I never heard anything.

Which is that’s just a killer for an employee brand. And then you can do the same thing on the positive sides, of 20 candidates that you want to interview with, you can send you can write one, you know, thanks so much we’d love to chat with you note it goes out personalized to them. Candidates can self-schedule, initial either phone or video or in-person interviews with the hiring manager by accessing their calendar.

The recruiters avoid the scheduling rodeo, which is always a challenge with trying to meet with candidates. Candidates that they want to meet with get access to your calendar, if you choose to give it to them, you don’t have to do this. So it’s just a lot of the mundane busywork, that kind of the time spent in that is massively reduced by using an applicant tracking system. It’s a better candidate experience because they’re going to hear it in a professional manner. Quickly. It’s a better recruiter experience is faster, and you get to the right candidates that you want to hire faster.

William 21:49
Right. Yeah. And what’s great about it is, again, there’s some automation that helps with that. But also candidates can drive, you know, they can actually be a part of it. A participant rather than a recipient to some of these things. Two final questions. One is not Jobvite in particular, we’ll just kind of focus on JazzHR, the mixture of hourly versus corporate, like where do y’all, where do y’all thrive right now?

Pete 22:17
Yeah, so the majority of our work is in a more corporate or white-collar kind of job, where you would submit a resume and have an interview, as opposed to an application. And a, you know, whether you’re applying for a job. So it’s typically focused more on professional-type environments.

William 22:39
Right. Okay, good. Last thing and this is I just want you to use your imagination. Imagine a world, we’re post-COVID. What would be your advice for talent acquisition leaders?

Pete 22:53
I think that that the flight to digital started pre-COVID. It certainly accelerated when we are all working remotely. But this isn’t going to slow down anyone. We’re all back in offices. And I think adopting technology, finding the right solutions for your own business. And there’s a lot of choices out there. Understand what’s important to you, at a price point that you can afford.

But moving on from homegrown systems, that even though they may be effective, and they’ve gotten you to where you are, and you’ve used them for 10 or 15 years. You’re going to be at a competitive disadvantage. With other employers that are looking for the same top candidates that you are—if you’re not using technology to help not only with the actual applicant tracking component or, or you kind of understand the other solutions we may offer. But even as simple as candidate sourcing, right, there are ways now you can, you can reach candidates through myriad different ways. through technology. If you’re only relying on kind of manual solutions, solely that you’re going to be at a disadvantage. So so I would embrace the flight to digital.

William 24:10
I love that. It mimics a piece of something that I love is, we need to get faster to match the speed of candidates. And it felt like December ’19 or early January ’20 we weren’t as fast as candidates. And you know, COVID kind of messed a little of that up. But I think we’ve got to get back to, we’ve got to be fast, we got to get faster, which means that there are all kinds of efficiencies that just have to be baked in.

Pete 24:38
That’s right. So I couldn’t agree more.

William 24:40
I love it. Brother, I could talk to you for hours. So we’re just got to give you a couple of months on the job you know, A, and then B, have you back on and then we can talk a little bit more about the combined solutions that you have and also how you have been separate. So thank you so much for your time, my friend.

Pete 25:01
Thank you. I look forward to coming back again.

William 25:03
Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case Podcast. Until next time.

The Use Case Podcast

William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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