Storytelling about Talenya with Gal Almog
Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 93. This week we have storytelling about Talenya with Gal Almog. During this episode, Gal and I talk about how practitioners make the business case or the use case for purchasing Talenya‘s diversity sourcing solution.
Gal is an expert in the recruitment industry and his passion to help companies source diverse talent really comes through during the podcast.
Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think.
Show length: 25 minutes
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Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you are listening to the Use Case Podcast. Today we have Gal on from Talenya and we’re going to talk about his firm and the use case for it. So let’s just start right, as we always do with introductions, Gal, would you introduce both yourself, but also introduce your firm?
Yes, thank you. Thank you, William, for having me. It’s a pleasure. And I’ll start by telling you about myself, I’m Israeli, as you may be able to hear from my accent. And I’m a long-term entrepreneur, I would say a serial entrepreneur. And in the last 20 years, my focus has been on recruitment technologies. I watch one of the interviews you made the other day with a person from a company called PandoLogic. I founded PandoLogic. So I created programmatic advertising for recruitment.
And I take great pride in looking at an industry and coming up with technologies that change the way recruiters work. The way candidates find jobs and things like that. And I started Talenya with the goal of changing and disrupting the way companies source talent. Obviously, everyone is using LinkedIn, there are other tools. But I felt that it wasn’t as efficient and effective as it could be, especially given the fact that today we have AI and machine learning to do many, many things that recruiters are used to doing manually.
And I found that recruitment was maybe the last standing industry where people sit by computers, enter keywords, and then sift through profiles and then call them. I found that was kind of silly, and I wanted to change that. And along the way, I also discovered that it’s not only inefficient but also highly discriminatory. Now we’ve developed technology to allow companies to source talent, and in particular diverse talent.
Well, and I’ll tell you, in the States, it’s become pretty much, I programmed an event in June it’s a TA D&I event. And what’s interesting about it is that I talked to probably 300 different D&I people. And, you know, there are folks that do diversity sourcing, University recruiting. But what I found when I was talking to all these leaders is that really everyone. Whether you’re a technical sourcer at Amazon, and your jobs to bring in engineers, you’re, you’re also responsible for D&I. And one, which I found fascinating, because I kind of thought it was just like, segmented off by a special group of people. And I learned that nope, everyone is responsible. Which, which I think is really great. It plays to your strengths, you know, to be able to source and find talent, and then to be able to make sure that you’re doing so in a non-biased way. So I love that.
Yes, and I feel that a lot of companies have good intentions, right, not the right tools. So oftentimes, they pay lip service to diversity but are unable to know, you know, what’s the availability of diverse talent for any particular jobs, and they don’t have the tools, the weapons and the ammunition to actually increase the pool of diverse talent. So they can end up hiring and filling those diversity slates.
It’s funny because one of the speakers is speaking about a plus two strategy. That when you as a sourcer, as a recruiter, when you hand over a slate of candidates, you make sure that two of those candidates or of the batch that you’re handing over two of five is D&I and so you basically increase your odds by just making sure what you get, you know, increase, you know, that slate.
Which is to your point, if you do that you gotta you got to be able to find that talent and then engage that talent, you know, vet the talent, etc. So, where where are you finding right now with the product, I mean, sourcing’s way out on the front end. And so, you know, obviously it happens before the CRM and a lot of programmatic and some of these other things. Where are you finding the most traction with your customers right now? Is it in adding to some of the other things that they do already with sourcing? Or is it kind of displacing some of the ways that they source currently?
So, you know, the question is, how do they find diverse talent today? They do have a slate, they have goals and this and that, but you know, they go to LinkedIn, what can they do? Look for pictures? No, African Americans tend to put 26% less pictures. And people without pictures don’t get contacted by recruiters. Why the solution, they can filter, perhaps by diversity, but that doesn’t increase the chances of hiring diverse talent.
If you have 4% African American in your pipeline, you know, the chances of you hiring diverse talent is very small. So we took a different approach. And we built a very powerful sourcing solution first. And then on top of it, we built diversity-specific tools. And we increase the percentage and the participation of diverse talent in your pool, without giving them any preferential treatment. So the chances for you hiring a diverse talent grow by, you know, hundreds of percents.
I love—A, I love all this—because you be you built the sourcing platform first. To make sure that you can source talent, and then you put a layer or filter on top of it. And you’ll continue to do so. You’ll continue to do other things there to where people can find and even nuance things. So I love that. Let me ask a little bit about the solution in terms of, you know, if someone’s never sourced.
So if they, you know, just new to the industry or new to the job? Is this a solution that they can get into and start to use? Or do you already have kind of a training regimen, certification, or something like that, that kind of gets them up to where they can use the application? And get as much value out of it? Or is it something where you really, you know, some tools that are out there on the market, they assume that you know how to source.
And so they can go deeper, they can do a lot of other things, but they kind of already they stay they make the assumption that you know how to source? What’s your kind of philosophy on that?
Great question. So sourcing is difficult, because pretty much everyone is using keyword search, and to master that, you know, it’s a trial and error, you add a keyword, you delete a keyword. And at the end, if you didn’t put all the right keywords, you would find talent that has the keywords that you put in but not the right talent. So we changed it.
And to your question, you don’t really need to be proficient with keyword search. Because we don’t use keyword search. We simply allow you to upload the job, we understand the job description, we then show you a list of candidates which are graded according to how qualified they are for the job, and how likely they are to be interested in the new job. Which is also an AI. And then we ask you to rate candidates: thumbs up and thumbs down.
We learn from your ratings and your selections. And we refine your search accordingly continuously. So anyone can use that I use it myself to hire the people in my company, including very high level. And I will never go back to using LinkedIn. And this is even before the diversity part. And then to engage with candidates you click on a button and a campaign will go out and reach out to them on your behalf.
And the next time you meet them is when they’re ready to be interviewed. So the foundation of our diversity sourcing solution is built on the notion that AI can do a much better job and help you create the search than you doing it manually with keyword search. And I believe that we’re currently the only company that does that.
Well, I love that. I, let me ask. Because you kind of mentioned it. But let’s do—are you getting questions now from TAs and recruiters and even sourcers around analytics and metrics? Because I’m thinking about sourcing operations as a kind of a center of excellence. And I’m wondering, as you’re using, as companies use different tools to do different things. Are they paying attention to analytics? Are they paying attention to metrics? So I just, before I assume too much, what are you seeing from your customers?
So I know from my career that HR loves Reports and Analytics, and this and that, because the CEO would always come and say, “hey, why are we spending so much money there?” How can we measure your ROI, and it’s difficult. So we put an emphasis on dashboards and reports. Because without that, you don’t have transparency, and you don’t have accountability.
So we report to the leaders of the talent acquisition, what has been going on as far as diversity sourcing on a job-specific basis on a record or specific basis. On a company-wide basis, they can specify goals, they can see where in the funnel they have bottlenecks. They can address those bottlenecks. We even show them how to source and retain candidates within their own company.
And most importantly, we also give them data about the pool. Because one of the biggest fallacies is that, hey, you know, we try to source candidates, diverse candidate, but they’re not enough in the market. Which is just a result of a lack of information. But we tell them, this is your market pool. This is how many people. You know who are above 70% match score.
This is how many women you have. This is how many Hispanic and Black, and women and so forth. So you know, you have a pool. If you don’t have a pool, then we give you a tool to say, okay, maybe your search is not optimized for diversity. So we’ll run hundreds of different variations of your search and recommend small changes to your search. And tell you about how much diversity is going to grow. So we give you all these tools to help you achieve your diversity hiring goals. And it’s all about technology.
I love that. So one of the things you mentioned earlier is you start with the rec or the job description. You know, historically, job descriptions and job ads, as you well know, have not been perfect. So how does that, how does that? How do you reconcile being able to do a great? To be able to do a great search and search for candidates? If the recruiter or hiring manager is giving you garbage?
Yes, that’s a great question. Because they, the job description is just one part. Search, and just to look at your job requirements, what’s important, and what’s less important, what would be an advantage. But then the main part is to show you a list of candidates and ask you thumbs up or thumbs down. In this way, you know, doesn’t really matter whether you wrote a good job description or not.
We’ve learned from your selection, and we improve your search, honing in on the candidate you like and excluding or pushing down candidates that you dislike, okay. And also, it’s very important to know that we tap into a very large pool of data much beyond LinkedIn, we have close to a billion profiles in our database, and they all get refreshed every time you do a search.
So not only that, you tap into the world’s largest talent pool. You don’t need to use keywords, and then we optimize your search for diversity. And if this is your goal, there’s no better tool.
So the source of hire has been, you know, a discussion for many, many, many years, probably as long as sourcing has been around. But really, it comes down to what’s what works, right. So when people are trying to figure out what works, I’m assuming that the solution kind of gives them some insight into what’s, you know, this also kind of gets back to your experience in programmatic.
People want to know what’s, what’s working and what’s not working. How does this solution kind of help him or give him some insight into what works?
So, when we start working with a client, typically, you know, we do a couple of weeks of PLC and we agree on goals and KPIs. Okay, for example, you know, we want to increase by 30%, the number of women we have in our slate. Or by, you know, 50%, the number of tech people that we have. And we want to increase the engagement, their response.
So we set goals. And then we focus on meeting those goals. Of course, there’s best practice. We would spend, you know, an hour with each recruiter, making sure that they understand how to use our software. And there’s always the game of, you know, I want to, you know, a purple squirrel, but the market reality is different. So let’s look at what’s the market reality is telling us on Talenya.
Let’s do the necessary tweaks with the hiring manager to make sure that we tap into a reasonable database. And it’s all about meeting goals. And we consistently, you know, meet goals. And we’re in a very fortunate situation, William, because we probably couldn’t have picked a better time in history to sell a diversity sourcing solution.
100 percent. Right time, right strategy. But also, it’s, you know, all these things in society have kind of pushed us to this precipice of now corporations are actually not just talking about it. Which you and I have dealt with, for a long time. They’re actually doing stuff about it, which, thank God. You know, we’re only 100 years late.
Let me ask you a quick question about integrations with other TA tech. So because you know about all the different TA tech solutions that are out there. Where do y’all need to be integrated into kind of the workflow and other technologies?
Great question. So we’re top of the funnel. Okay, we are integrated with the ATS. That’s key. And that’s important because it allows us to pull all the jobs automatically, and parse them and get them ready for ratings. That’s number one.
Number two, we, you know, when we source and a lot of the sourcing is done, you know, through to algorithm, we can check with the IDs, whether the candidate is already in the system in the process, and dedupe those candidates if needed.
Then if you know, we also have an engagement bot that would reach out to the candidates on your behalf, and send you a ton of time. We provide contact information, telephone, email, LinkedIn, social network, so you can engage with the candidate. But we also automate and optimize the engagement, if they respond with yes I’m interested, we push them into the ATS. So they can follow up with them, to where they’re used to work, which is the ATS.
Which also down the road will help them figure out where that source of hire came from. So by connecting to the ATS, directly and having that integration. Then they’ll know, not only will it work, but they’ll be able to track all the way back to where that came from. Which is really important for a lot of organizations.
That’s a good point.
So okay, so the demo ‘aha’ moment. So when folks do the demo, what do you generally find is that moment, they’ve looked at, I won’t name any of the folks that that are competitors or contiguous. But y’all specifically, when they look at your demo, what’s that? That moment? They pause and like, Okay, we’ve got to buy this. Or, you know, they, they ask more questions, you can just tell they’re more engaged. What is that moment for you?
So, first of all, you know, we do a demo on every sales call because the product sells itself. And if you are, and will typically give us one of the jobs that. We demo on one of the jobs, I think the aha moment is two points. One is when you see a complete sourcing machine that doesn’t require you to put a single keyword and you can see, this is a whole new experience regardless of diversity. Okay.
And then the second aha moment is when you use our diversity AI, and you had 3%, Black, African American candidates, and you click on a button and within seconds, it shows you how to get to 35%. Okay, and it doesn’t require giving any preferential treatment to those candidates. It simply recommends minor changes that you wouldn’t know unless you use an AI.
And then that makes the whole difference between 3% capabilities or potential, and 35 is sometimes you know, hundreds of 1000s of a percent increase. And that’s like, you know, that’s too good to be true.
So, the buying questions that should be asked. Because you’ve been on this side many, many, many times. What would you like to hear more from practitioners? What types of questions would you love if you know, if you can wave a wand? And, and really help sourcers, recruiters, global heads, TA, hiring managers, etc after they demo the software? They’ve seen what you can do? What would you love to be asked?
We’re always asked, you know, can you prove this to us, and we say, we’re not offering, you know, take a free week, try the software and get back to me. We don’t believe, you know for a strategic product. We offer something that the company is committed to, not just talent acquisition, that it is justified to just let people play with the system for weeks.
So we do offer a very, very in-depth POC, for a couple of recruiters, we’ll get on the system to get trained, where we set specific KPIs. And we meet them. And we prove to you when you go back to your managers that that is justified, as far as budget. So what I’m really interested myself to hear is that the company does have a commitment to diversity.
Because it’s change management in the sense that while everyone is using LinkedIn, or use Hiretual or Seekout, or whatever they use, which are, you know, in my opinion, traditional tools that are not specific for diversity. But if they are committed to diversity, willing to do this properly. Then, you know, this is music to my ears. And you know, we’re very, very happy to work with a lot of companies who made diversity a key goal for themselves.
Yeah, it’s a, it’s, it’s a starter, right? So if they care, and you can kind of tell, not just the language of caring, but you can start to see some of the actions. You know, they’re, you can see that they’re moving into intentionality. And you can just see it, right. So those folks are gonna be more receptive to it because now they need tools and applications to help them then go reach goals. So I get that.
It’s almost kind of like, it’s a great way to fare it out whether or not they’re serious or not. And if they’re not serious, you know, then then you know it’d be better that they do something different. But spend the money somewhere else.
If they are serious, then you can help them get serious. And I love that. Two questions left for me. One is that you know, not getting into the dollars and cents part of your financial model. But the, more the financial philosophy, it’s SaaS, is it? Is it per sourcer? Is it unlimited? Like, what kind of model that you use?
It’s a SaaS model, and it’s usually an annual commitment, you know, following a POC, the price will depend on, you know, the number of recruiters you have, and will include a variety of additional services. Which we mentioned that we also have a solution that is completely automated, it doesn’t require a recruiter to be on our system.
We can pull the job straight from the ATS, create a search for diverse candidates and push back the applicants into the ATS. We have customers who do that just to increase the pipeline of diverse talent for all of the jobs, and we show incredible results. And that’s priced on a per job basis.
And you can buy, you know, and get quantity discounts. So yes, you know, we typically work with larger companies who say diversity as one of their main goals and our solution is very, very affordable.
I love that. Last question for me is, let’s go a year out maybe 18 months out. Success for you looks like what?
Successful, William, would be that you know, you’re asking, you know, fortune 5000 companies about diversity sourcing and the name Talenya will come up.
I love that and very succinct. Thank you so much, Gal. I absolutely appreciate you carving out time for us, carving out time for the audience. This was wonderful. And just appreciate you.
Thank you, William. A pleasure. My pleasure. And thank you for having me.
And thanks to everyone listening to 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.