Alex Fourlis
President Broadbean

Alex is Broadbean's President. He brings 20+ years of experience in online job boards and recruitment technology. Alex is focused on delivering the next wave of innovation and intelligence in recruitment technology with Broadbean.

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Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 251. Today we’ll be talking to Alex from Broadbean about the use case or business case for why his customers choose  Broadbean.

Broadbean helps recruiters reach candidates in a fast, effective and efficient way; integrating partners and work together with complimentary tech businesses and job boards.

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

Show length: 26 minutes

Live Sourcing With your Hiring Manager Marvin Booker

 

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Announcer: 00:02 Welcome to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case podcast, a show dedicated to the storytelling that happens or should happen when practitioners purchase technology.

00:13 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: 00:26 Ladies and gentlemen, this William Tincup. And you’re listening to the Use Case podcast. Today, we have Alex on from Broadbean, who’ll be learning about the business case, the use case for wise prospects and customers choose Broadbean. So let’s just jump right into it. Alex, would you do us a favor and introduce both yourself and Broadbean.

Alex: 00:50 Right. I’m Alex. I’m for 20 years in this recruitment advertising business, both from the job board ecosystem previously. And the last three years with Broadbean. Broadbean is a global leader in job distribution. So we are helping more than 3000 clients across the world to post millions of jobs and collect millions of applicants every month, more than 6 million jobs every month get posted through our system to more than 7,000 job bots globally. So we have a really bird’s eye view on the global labor supply in the month and helping clients with much, integrate their recruitment systems, their ATS and CRMs with more than 7,000 global job boards. So to post the jobs and receive the applicants from them.

William Tincup: 01:42 I love this. And you’ve been there for three years?

Alex: 01:46 Yeah.

William Tincup: 01:48 What’d you do before BroadBean?

Alex: 01:50 So I was managing job boards for the last 10 years across Europe. So I started from Greece then Sweden, Spain, eventually in UK where I lived the last six years. And so I have a pretty good understanding of what the job board’s business is all about and how they feed the labor market. And very interestingly, my acquaintance with, this is a nice story, with Broadbean was a difficult one because as a job board, one of the toughest moments is when a client gets very well informed about the performance of the job ads and know exactly how many applications they got, the quality of their applications. And the way I met Broadbean, was when my clients were coming to me with their Broadbean recruitment advertising reports and telling me, this is the exact performance of your job bot, this is the comparison with all the other job bot we use, and this is where you need to improve. So I felt the power of the solution from the other side. And that’s what drew me when Broadbean approached me.

William Tincup: 02:59 So, one of the things that I love about multiple posting and job distribution sites is you can turn the funnel on. You can actually, if you’re looking for quality, there’s ways to do that. If you’re looking for quantity, there’s ways to do that, no judgment on either, but again, 7,000 job boards across the world, especially with COVID, you can get people remotely, especially if it’s listed in the job ad, what are you seeing right now in terms of, from your clients? What are they focused on as it relates to either quality, quantity, or remote work?

Alex: 03:38 Yeah, I’d say our clients tried to do three things. One is to save time from the recruiters because to put it very simply when the crisis came, we know what happened, a lot less investment in recruitment teams and capabilities. And when the time came for them to be hire, they were definitely not ready. And we saw a huge influx of demand and jobs. And one of the key reasons that clients are coming to us today is to pretty much automate the posting process, either through our standard posting solutions to rules posting, what we call other posting or programmatic advertising. They’re trying to get efficiency in how they get the jobs out as many applicants are. I would say that’s the first demand. The second, obviously, to get as many channels possible. As you said, we have remote candidates. We have a multitude of demand for new channels to advertise the jobs. Is also the demand for diversity and inclusion, which means that now they also have an appetite to post where a whole host of new channels that can drive those candidates.

04:54 And so they’re trying to automate as much as possible, use as many free sources, make sure they use all their social media channels as well as traditional job boards. So to cast in a wider net and the third, I would say key demand is improving the applicant flow because the reality is there are a lot more jobs and a lot less applicants out there. So interestingly, we work a lot lately, also the collection of the applicant from the job boards, integrating ATS and CRMs with job boards, through all the easy applying methodologies that sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, and all the global leaders put out there to make sure that the clients can collect those applicants a lot more efficiently than before. So I would say those are the three key efforts for recruiters today, like save time and make sure to cast a wider net and optimize the whole process so they don’t lose candidates to the void. And then that’s key demand as well.

William Tincup: 06:02 I love this. One of the questions I wanted to ask you is more or less about programmatic in the way that you see it from a Broadbean perspective. In some ways it can solve for how much you need to put budget wise to drive the traffic you want to drive. So when one level programmatic can solve for just understanding what the budget for that job and the traffic could and should be. And the other is where, where across those 7,000 job boards, where are you going to get your best traffic, et cetera.

06:37 Where do you see the inflection point of distribution? As we used to think of it, as multiposting, you just select the different monster or crew builder, et cetera, pick the ones you want and post done. But it seems like a lot of these systems are getting smarter where they’re coming back to us and saying, okay, you want a front end developer and here’s the requirements, et cetera. Here’s how much budget to drive the traffic you want. And here’s where we need to place that. Here’s what’s working today. Because you get your own front lines. You get to see this stuff in real time. What are you seeing from a programmatic, either from the customer’s perspective and what they want, or even some of the technology and the way that you kind of see some of these things fitting together?

Alex: 07:29 Yeah, I think what’s interesting is with the COVID crisis, we saw both the huge growth and opportunity programmatic advertising, but we also saw some of the limits and I think it’s becoming really obvious that we need to work on both sides of the equation. Obviously, there’s a lot more demand so that even the cost of programmatic went up significantly the last 18 months. And we also uncover the limits. If you don’t have a big universe ecosystem of performance based analyst, then you have a problem. And that’s what we are seeing with evolution of programmatic. The issues now really widening the number of jobs that can service those jobs. Especially if we look outside the United States, it’s very difficult to find enough traffic to only around recruitment advertising campaign based on programmatic performance model. So in order to be able to, I think, fully develop the programmatic market, we need to see more evolution from the side of publishers.

08:42 And that’s where we spend a lot of time trying to persuade and talk to publishers to accept these types of feeds and jobs. And at the same time where the programmatic providers, I think need to get a lot better, providing, budgeting data back to the clients, there’s obviously, as you said, the issue that now that clients realize that those budgets as well can skyrocket, and they not necessarily can get an accurate forecast in advance of how much they need to spend for each role they need to feed. So I think the technology needs to work on the machine learning, consuming all those mountains of data we are collecting about the performance of job boards and advertisement and be able to start really giving back to the clients solid predictions of how much they need to spend, where, and as I said, we also need to work on building the ecosystem because we are seeing the limits if the biggest job boards out there.

09:45 And as I said, especially outside US, a lot of them are still kind of refusing to accept programmatic fits. It’s becoming very difficult to find enough audience to really meet the goals of the recruitment campaigns that big companies have. So right now, what we are advising clients is to always keep a mix, be able to review the performance of their campaigns exactly the same way. And that’s one of the great things in Broadbean. You can review the performance based on a CPA goal of a duration campaign and a programmatic campaign, and compare and contrast, and decide where you want to put your budget. And I think that’s the reality. We cannot just suggest to clients an all or nothing solution, a hundred percent on your budget on job boards or a hundred percent of your budget on the programmatic campaign. There needs to be a mix. And based on the results, the actual results that mix will change over time.

William Tincup: 10:43 Right. So one of the things, dumb question alert, but do we also drive traffic or, because we drive obviously traffic to, if we’re placing on Indeed or CareerBuilder or again, accounting jobs in Vermont, whatever the job board is. Do they care about the analytics in terms of career sites and what they have back on their websites and job postings on their website? Or can we just give them the analytics on what’s working via the job sites?

Alex: 11:20 I think we need to agree that we all work on the same exact recruitment fund. The analytics have to get to the bottom of that, like we provide in the end of the day. And that’s why at Broadbean, we put so much attention of collecting the actual applications and not just tracking a pixel or a click. For two reasons. One is to really know the quality of the application because that’s what at the end of the day, the clients care about, not a number of clicks that they cannot [inaudible 00:11:52] the actual recruitment targets. So I think that’s really critical. And I think the systems and I’m talking like this will require obviously cooperation between ATSs, programmatic players exchanges, job distributors, and job boards to really connect that funnel and provide the full visibility. And I was really impressed due to an NDA I cannot uncover, but one of the biggest ATSs in the world came back a couple of weeks ago and said like, we are really willing to open that communication and share-

William Tincup: 12:36 Oh, that’s cool.

Alex: 12:37 … the applicant status with job boards, as long as we also kind of make sure that we have the exact data from the job board side of an applicant converting-

William Tincup: 12:50 Yeah. That’s fair. Yeah.

Alex: 12:50 … to the APS. And we are willing to share back who has been a good applicant, who has converted to an interview or offer or hire. And I think that’s pretty much the end goal.

William Tincup: 13:03 Yeah. Well, everybody wins there because the recruiter starts to understand source of hire, and where things are working, but they also start to the more that you deep in dig into the funnel, they get to understand not only just what worked okay, we got those candidates from Indeed. But those candidates from Indeed went further into our process, which is, one of it it’s solving for, okay, where did these [inaudible 00:13:28] candidates come from. Source it higher. Then the other is okay, which ones are performing better for that particular job at that particular company. And to be able to do that, you got to have insight. You got to have the ATS play ball.

Alex: 13:43 Exactly. And I think that’s our holy grail or our golden bin. I don’t know how to call it. But that’s where we went to come and provide that integration framework with maps to allow, as I said, the applicant to stay where he wants on the job board, to apply there using the, or apply methodologies. We collect this data, reformat it, pass it onto the ATS, get the status, pass it on to the job board. So everybody, as you said, wins, understands the true ROI of equipment spent and understands how to optimize the whole process. Because as you said, the job bots get that information. They are able to optimize the marketing as well, right.

William Tincup: 14:28 Everybody wins.

Alex: 14:29 [inaudible 00:14:29] to job seekers will change also dramatically. And I think that will make the whole system work. And we see it with a lack of applicants out there, there is demand for more efficiency in this whole process. We cannot just create a fake economy of applications and clicks that do not really convert. So I think that’s where we really need to focus on the coming [inaudible 00:14:57] to get that process really done to the team.

William Tincup: 15:00 You’ve mentioned Easy Apply and it’s called different things with LinkedIn and Indeed, and all the different players. But basically the idea is that as a candidate, I can easily apply to this, if not a hundred jobs just like this. So I’ve had kind of a love-hate relationship with Easy Apply. So talk me off the ledge because at least currently where I’m at emotionally with easy apply is that it’s great for the candidates because there’s a laziness factor to it. They can just click one button and it’s just all done, which of course is great experientially. But in my, I don’t know, limited perspective, it creates a ton of noise.

Alex: 15:51 And I think where I can convince you to come to our side is-

William Tincup: 15:56 Okay, I’m ready. I’m ready. I need this.

Alex: 16:01 I’m ready to preach now is if you really think about the information that changes or its kind of job application process is really, what’s today, all this big job boards kind of create this prescreening process and questionnaires. The key formation for a candidate remains the same. So we can use that from the [inaudible 00:16:24], but the important thing to really optimize and make seamless data change between a CRM and ATS is what all these other questions that recruit, they want to ask the candidates. Because if they don’t spend the time filling once more, their name, the email, skills and their education, they’ll have time to respond on why the agency [inaudible 00:16:47] they willing to work remotely, what’s their salary demand.

16:50 So all the other staff, do they have license to work in this particular profession or location, all these other questions. And I think that focus there is that if we make the initial collection of data very easy, then we can ask the candidate to spend more time to answer all those questions. And there are different frameworks. There is all this conversational AI tools that ask the same questions, take this data in together with the easy application or from LinkedIn, from Indeed, from wherever and pass it on to the ATS. We’re really accelerating the process. So I think, for me, it’s a great thing. And I think we need to-

William Tincup: 17:34 Well, you’ve combined it with something that makes a lot, actually makes it a hell of a lot of sense because basically you’re saying, okay, well the Easy Apply button. That’s not the enemy. The enemy is it unfiltered, being able to put something in there that I say knockout questions, but it’s really questions that recruiters want to know more, both on the positive and negative side, but they want questions answered. Now that gets to qualifications. So now it’s not just noise. What I’ve perceived as noise before, it’s qualified people.

Alex: 18:10 Exactly.

William Tincup: 18:11 Now that makes sense. It makes a hell of a lot of sense. So I think originally the way I had it in my head is that I could just go through and just click this button and just boom, I’m just trying to apply to a thousand jobs in an hour. Just keep clicking the button. But what I like about how you’ve modified that, modified my thinking, is that okay, yeah, you can do that, but it’s the better ones actually have questions after that, to where it is an easy apply. However, they still want to get some more qualification data on the person to then make sure that that person should even be passed through. That makes sense. That actually makes a lot of sense. Let me ask you just because time’s running out and I want be able to ask you two questions, on the buy side of Broadbean, when people, maybe they’ve never brought job distribution in the past, what questions should they be asking Broadbean? If they’ve never done this before, it’s all brand new, what should they be asking of you?

Alex: 19:17 Yeah, I think the first really important question is how do we integrate with our existing process? We don’t want to change behavior. We don’t the recruiters to move out of their zone, of their system where they need to work. So that’s why we spend all this effort over the years to integrate with more than a hundred CRMs and ATSs. So to get that optimal integration with our current ATS, CRM should be the first question. Do integrate how we can really nail this and get the best possible integration with the system that provides kind of full data visibility. And by data visibility, I mean the simplest form is so striking to make sure that they get all the data correct from where the applicants are coming, but also make sure that they are able to work in a workflow where they have visibility on the cost application, on the cost of a qualified application, how they give, they can get even further. As I said like signals into their reporting of their recruitment activity.

20:28 The second part is how we will help them on board. We know technology is not today so much about the technology tools. It’s about how do you really help the users really use the tools to benefit. So ask about training. We provide about onboarding process, about commitment for support and implementation. I think that’s the second big part of the integration. And third is to really share their goals. Do they need to save time? Do they need to save money? Both? Do they need better data? If we really understand what they’re aiming and we are working towards them, really making sure that they really get the value they want out of the technology and the tool that’s the best possible. And I think that’s where they need to focus on the RFP side. We spent a lot of time, the last, I would say quarters on things like RFPs and cybersecurity and all that stuff. I think all these are important, but the key three questions are the ones that I mentioned about.

William Tincup: 21:43 I love it. So your favorite part of the demo, whenever you get to show Broadbean to somebody for the first time, what’s your favorite part?

Alex: 21:54 Yeah, I’ll pick two. So one is-

William Tincup: 21:59 As you should.

Alex: 22:01 One is a very simple one too, which is the number of clicks that you need to really post a job, which is a very simple interface. First you choose the channels. We pull all the data from your ATS. You need to fill probably a couple more points of data if you want to have the really good representation on some important big channels for you. And then that’s it. Like the easiness of that one two, on the third click, the job is posted. It’s one of my favorite jobs and obviously nowadays, we have auto posting and programmatic, which you don’t even need to do the two clicks in most cases. And the second part is really the source report. Very simple fact that you can go and see now, I have all my different channels and sources, my social media, my job boards, my free boards, my compliance boards. And I can see who brings what in a very simple table and compare the performance of its channel. I think those two are for me, the highlights. If we get these two things done, then we are happy.

William Tincup: 23:10 Awesome. Alex, this has been absolutely outstanding. Thank you so much for your time. And thanks for talking to us a little bit about Broadbean.

Alex: 23:20 Thank you.

William Tincup: 23:21 Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case podcast, until next time.

Announcer: 23:26 You’ve been listening to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case podcast. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform and hit us up at recruitingdaily.com.

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Authors
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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