Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 253. Today we’ll be talking to Sam from Dalia about the use case or business case for why his customers choose Dalia.
Dalia captures job seekers who visit your career site but don’t apply and brings them back through automated email & text job alerts.
Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think. Thanks, William
Show length: 24 minutes
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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. 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: 00:24 Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you are listening to the Use Case podcast today. We have Sam on from Dahlia and we are going to be talking about the business case or the use case for why and how his prospects and customers choose Dalia. So let’s just jump right into it. Sam, would you do us a favor and introduce yourself and Dalia?
Sam: 00:47 Yeah, I’d love to and thanks for having me on William.
William Tincup: 00:50 Absolutely.
Sam: 00:50 So yeah, the quick background on me. I’ve been in the recruitment tech space since 2008. I got my start working at Indeed when it was a small startup, spent a bunch of time there, about eight years. And then I went on to The Muse, employer branding platform, for a couple of years, and then got started on my own thing, which turned out to be some consulting right after I left The Muse. And then I got started on Dalia about three years ago, and I’ve been working on that since. And so the high level on Dalia is we are really optimizing the experiences job seeker space when they land on companies’ career sites. So ultimately, we dramatically improve the conversion rate for employers by just simplifying the most common painful experiences job seekers run into when looking for jobs.
William Tincup: 01:42 Oh, that’s wonderful. So let’s get to, let’s dig into that. So people go to, somehow, some way, either through organic traffic or through programmatic or whatever, they get to a career page. What’s some of the common mistakes that are made in the conversion from the career page into whatever’s next?
Sam: 02:08 It’s a good question. The most common thing we see is that there’s really only one option for job seekers most often, and that is to apply to the job and you think, okay, that makes a ton of sense. They’re here to look for jobs they want to apply. But what we see is, for our customers, the majority of people who visit a company’s career site won’t even click the apply button, they’ll just leave the site and do something else.
02:31 Now, sometimes there’s an option to sign up for a job alert or join a talent network or to chat through a chat bot, and those are all really good strategies to help you get some sort of other connection with that job seeker. But the most common thing is that there’s really just one option. And that’s a really hard option, especially with applicant tracking systems that require that you’ve got to create an account with a password, you’ve got to upload a resume file, especially for mobile. There’s a lot of friction in that singular option. So I think that’s the biggest mistake that we see, is there’s just not enough ways to easily connect with the company.
William Tincup: 03:08 Yeah, I absolutely, a hundred percent agree. You’re the expert, you know this much deeper than I do, but that’s the things that I see in career pages, is we don’t think of candidates as shoppers. And when they come to our career page, they’re shopping. And again, if we’re just forcing them down one thing, “Here’s a list of jobs, click, and then go into this,” can be an arduous process, lots of friction. And then there’s, if we use e-commerce terms, there’s a bunch of cart abandonment stuff that happens where someone gets into the process and just says, no, and then they just bail. So where does Dalia…Where do y’all come in? Where’s the fit for where you help with that process?
Sam: 03:59 So we can be everything from an employer’s full front-end career sites, we can power the whole job search, job lending pages, and the full job application process, that’s a full package with Dalia. We are really what we call the job seeker facing front end experience.
William Tincup: 04:16 Oh cool.
Sam: 04:17 And so we’re just kicking that off with a few customers now, but most of our customers, we sit on top of what they already have. So if they don’t want to replace their career site, they’re happy with what they’ve got, we can sit right on top. And so where Dalia comes in, is when a job seeker visits a company’s career site and they don’t take any action, they don’t click the apply button. They don’t engage with the chat bot. They don’t sign up for a talent network. They go to leave the site. Dalia has engagement forms that pop up in front of job seekers who are exiting the site.
04:49 It’s like the next intent form, very similar to online shopping. So, you go to a company’s… If you’re shopping online, the very first thing they try to do is get your email address and they do that because they’ve been able to prove that they’re much more likely to have you come back and buy something if you’re in their email marketing program. And so we’ve proven the exact same thing with Dalia. Job seekers are way more likely to apply to a job if we have them registered in our email alert program. So that’s the other side of Dalia.
05:21 First of all, we make it really simple for job seekers who aren’t ready to apply to quickly sign up, but then we have really robust, fully automated email alerts that run over email and SMS. And so the great thing about this and what makes it different from a lot of other solutions in the market, is it requires literally no work from recruiting teams, no work to set up. It just runs fully automated. And so we have this remarketing machine that just reminds these job seekers of your open jobs, brings them back to apply when the time is right. And we are also starting to do some work to simplify the actual application process, but we just keep it as simple as we possibly can.
William Tincup: 06:02 I love that. My take on career sites and, at least the observation is, years ago when websites were built, it wasn’t even the recruiting team. It wasn’t even HR. It was just a thing that we just kind of put off. So it kind of proprietary or just, it wasn’t necessarily an HR tech or tech play. Then there was a movement where CRMs kind of jumped in there and built career sites. Where are we now, when you look at the market and you see how career sites come and basically the ones that are the best in the world, how are they doing it today?
Sam: 06:50 I think the big change is the shift towards a mobile-optimized experience because that’s where most job seekers are. And we really focus on employers who are hiring very high volume. Usually it’s frontline workers, hourly workers, desk list workers, you could say, and these job seekers are really exclusively looking for jobs on their phones. So the best career sites today have evolved in a way where they’re hyper optimized for a mobile experience. That means it’s really simple. There’s very few options. It’s really directing for you as a job seeker. It makes it, they just make it really easy for you to find jobs and then apply to those jobs or engage with the company. And so chat is a really good tool for this. A lot of new career site platforms have chat as a product where you can simply add chat onto it.
07:46 And so chat has helped a great deal. In fact, a bunch of our customers use chat services to help get some conversion and some connection with job seekers. So I think that’s something that’s been really powerful, but the automation and keeping job seekers engaged with really relevant, timely alerts. I think that’s the missing piece from most career site platforms today. And that’s something that we’re working really hard to make available to everybody. But it’s like if I connect with you and give you my information, how are you going to reach back out to me? And I think what you may have seen with these CRM products in the past is that many employers will use the product, buy the product and they’ll go through a setup, but they don’t really leverage the CRM to send content out to the jobs who’ve signed up. So the experience for a job seeker will be that they’ll connect, they’ll sign up, but they won’t really get anything from that employer. So the best solutions really need to fully automate all that, so the employer doesn’t have to do something to drive results.
William Tincup: 08:54 First of all, I love this conversation. We’re just kind of nibbling around the edges. You mentioned friction. And when I was thinking about that as a frictionless environment for the audience, if your site isn’t, say hyper mobile optimized, then simple things like when you’re on your laptop and you ask people to upload a resume, well, they just browse, find a file and find their resume and they upload it. Parses goes in your ATS, whatever. But when you’re on your phone, not as easy to do those things.
Sam: 09:31 How do you even get the file? Right?
William Tincup: 09:34 So what are other… First of all, to create that frictionless environment, because I think you know this better than I do, but I think when people run into friction, they just bail. It’s just too easy though. There’s a little X in the right hand corner. It’s just too easy to-
Sam: 09:53 And the data shows they bail too. For a lot of our customers, where they have account creation in step one, where you have to create an account with a password to even start the apply process, most people drop off at that step. That’s where they lose most people. And they’re all mobile.
William Tincup: 10:09 Say that again, so the audience gets it.
Sam: 10:12 Sure. So if you have an application process where the first step is to create an account with a password, most of the people who reach that point are going to drop out. We see roughly 75% of people drop out at that step. So just removing the account creation step with a password will dramatically improve conversion rates, but that’s often just a standard part of the process, depending on what ATS you have. And sometimes you cannot remove that as the step. That is a huge game that employers could have. And then the resume, like you mentioned, if you require a resume to be uploaded, it could really hurt your conversion rate, especially on mobile, especially for job seekers who might not have a resume readily available from their phone or have a resume at all. A lot of the job seekers looking for these types of roles that our companies are hiring for, don’t have resumes.
William Tincup: 11:10 That’s a barrier in and of itself. You’re asking for a resume. It’s like, “Yeah, you want me to go and spend time building this thing? No.” Click.
Sam: 11:20 And we have seen a good shift towards that. More and more employers are dropping that as a requirement, which has been really positive.
William Tincup: 11:27 Especially with the folks that you serve again, an hourly deathless workforce. It’s just one of those deals you’re trying to reduce any friction, whatever friction is there, you just, it’s almost like a relentless pursuit of reducing friction. And so again, if you’re asking for them to create an account and there are some ATSs, I don’t name names, but there are some ATSs where if you want to apply to, let’s say a job at GE, and then all of a sudden you’re find another job at GE that you love, you have to actually create another account. So now you have to create an account per job. And I’m like, are we just trying to make it difficult?
Sam: 12:12 Yeah, sometimes it feels like that. Once you look at some of these processes, is it set up intentionally to be difficult? So I think it’s just gotten here over many years of adjustments and piling on with technology. And there’s a lot of really, let’s say, old school ATS platforms that are still pretty prolific. They’re still out there.
William Tincup: 12:34 Oh yeah, yeah.
Sam: 12:34 And-
William Tincup: 12:37 Brassring and Taleo Enterprise, two global ATSs, they’re still used by a lot of companies. And I don’t know if people know that, because it’s so easy to think of iSIMS or Greenhouse or SmartRecruiters, or some of the kind newer ATSs, or Breezy or some of the newer ones, but man, Taleo and Brassring still have a huge market share.
Sam: 13:05 They do. And they have a lot of other functionality and dive props that are great. But the recruitment module usually is an afterthought. It’s not really their core process. So it’s no surprise that they don’t spend time optimizing the job seeker’s experience. So employers don’t need to worry too much because there are solutions that can fix it for them. And we’re one of those. So if you have an ATS that has a really difficult application process, you can layer a technology on top of that to really simplify it and streamline it. And so we’re doing that now all through SMS, which is really exciting.
13:42 So if you have Taleo Enterprise, let’s just say, and there’s an account creation step and a really difficult process, we can transform that whole process into a really simple, easy SMS conversation where we ask literally the questions from your application process over SMS. But we remove all the most difficult points, friction, like creating an account, and let you just apply to a job via text message by answering a few questions. And all the data goes right into the ATS. And it’s very seamless for the job seeker. And so conversion rates spike, they go up dramatically, but nothing has to change on the ATS. The customer doesn’t have to do anything. They don’t have to remove those steps from the ATS. We’re one of the technologies that can really just streamline that as a workaround.
William Tincup: 14:30 Oh, I love that. I love it because, again, you’ve taken a change out. Everyone’s worried about, I need another tool, this, that, and the other. It’s like, no, this just makes a better experience. It’s a better candidate experience, a better shopping experience, if you will. And last thing I wanted to ask on this side of the podcast is integrations. Is it as simple as ATSs or what do we need to, in terms of the stack of technology, what does Dalia need to be integrated with?
Sam: 15:03 Yeah. Integration is such a painful word, in my opinion.
William Tincup: 15:09 It is.
Sam: 15:10 It’s turned out to be a real blocker in this industry for a lot of technology. And so we made sure from the very beginning to make sure Dalia was not dependent on any integrations with third party, including ATSs. And so we’ve invested a lot of time in the technology to make this happen. But what I just talked about with Taleo or any ATS, we can optimize an application process without the need for any integration with an ATS. So no API access, we can do it all around that. We use RPA technology and it’s probably too boring for me to get into that, but we don’t need an API.
15:51 Now, we can and have worked with APIs in the past, and if that’s a preferred method for the customer, we can easily do that. But again, we’re really just trying to keep things very simple for employers. And what we know is that many of our customers, in order to use other products, they’ve had to set up some sort of API connection with their ATS. There’s often a cost to them to do that. It takes a lot of time. So it can turn into a many months-long project to get a new vendor live that they really want. So we said, that’s ridiculous. Why would we go even go through that pass? Let’s just develop technology that lets us go live very quickly without the customer needing to do anything at all.
William Tincup: 16:29 Well, it’s also part of your core values in the sense of telling people the application process should be easy. So let’s make it easy. Mobile first. Let’s just take all the friction out. Let’s make it easy. You’ve also applied that to your own, to the company as well, to where it’s like, yeah, you know what? I’m not going to go into the island of misfit toys thing with integrations and implementations and all that other stuff. It just needs to be easy. And I know that resonates with practitioners because I used to be implementations. If you wanted them to cry, you could just say implementation and they’d cry. But now you say integration and it’s the same thing. Let’s turn to the other side of Dalia. I wanted to ask you three questions. One is what’s your favorite part of the demo?
Sam: 17:25 Yeah, my favorite?
William Tincup: 17:25 Yeah, your favorite part?
Sam: 17:27 My favorite part of the demo…
William Tincup: 17:29 It’s like asking you, what’s your favorite child? Just kidding.
Sam: 17:35 I think it’s in the early part of the conversation with every company, we talk through data that comes from Appcast. So we love Appcast because they put out this recruitment benchmark report that really highlights a lot of the friction points in job search. So they show job application conversion rates, across different industries, different job types. And that’s really powerful data. And a lot of employers aren’t aware of this. And so we really spend the first part of our demo highlighting this data. And a lot of employers don’t have access to this conversion rate data from their own ATS. They don’t know what their conversion rate is from career site visit to application.
18:16 So that data really is obscured, and highlighting it for them and seeing how that resonates is really powerful. So I like that, that really gets them hooked and interested in the rest of the conversation. And then we also really personalize the demo itself. So when we show the Dalia product, we always show it for the company we’re talking to. So we literally mock it up how it looks.
William Tincup: 18:39 Oh, cool.
Sam: 18:40 We see what it will actually be in real life. And so it’s like, generally we get a really good reaction. “We can have that. It’ll look just like that.” Yeah, definitely.
William Tincup: 18:49 Yeah, it’s not hypothetical at that point. That’s what I love about that, is it’s not like, okay, this is what it will. At a point it’s like, no, this is your brand. This is what it looks like. I also think it’s fascinating because this is a bit from years ago where I would ask recruiters to apply to jobs using their own, on their own job site. And it’s just the amount of recruiters that have never done that. And that’s not even executives and stuff like that. Just recruiter you post a job for front end developer. Now go apply to it and it’s torture and it’s been torture, but it’s now what I love about this, and especially in the demo, it’s like, it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be that way. If you want to keep doing it that way, that’s fine, but it doesn’t need to be that way. We can change that. Make it better, create a better experience for your candidates, I.e. Your customers, et cetera. Questions that practitioners should ask of you or Dalia in the buying process? What should they be asking you?
Sam: 20:01 Well, what we love the most with the customer engagement that we have is talking about ROI and data. And so we love getting questions about measurement. How do we measure the results of this? How do you suggest we measure the ROI here? If we can get into that conversation quickly, we know we’re going to have a great relationship with that customer ’cause we’re very data oriented, very results oriented. So I think it’s always good. And we can also help with that, if a customer doesn’t have a good sense of how to measure ROI for our product or for other products, so that’s a conversation we always love to have. Love getting those questions. And usually it comes down to how many hires can I attribute back to Dalia and how much money did I spend? Is it a strong ROI? So we really try to get to that ultimate deliverable. We’re going to help you make more hires, and here’s how you can measure it all the way through. That’s a question I love to get. I can’t think of any others I love more than that.
William Tincup: 21:05 Good, good. Last thing is success stories and you don’t have to name names or brands or anything like that, but just, you’ve started this for a reason and all of a sudden people will use it and then they do fantastic things and you’re like, wow! Think about that. That’s cool. What are some of your favorite customer stories? Again, you don’t have to name names. I like the story part of it.
Sam: 21:32 We have a large staff in business working with us and in the last 12 months we’ve been able to basically triple the candidate flow coming from Dalia because they’re really interested in working with us on doing new things. So we’ve been able to optimize the forms on our site to make it really simple for people to quickly sign up and we’ve done a ton of work around job matching. And one of the most common issues we see with frontline hiring is a huge disconnect between what people search for and the way the job titles are presented to the customer.
William Tincup: 22:11 Oh, interesting.
Sam: 22:12 It’s a big disconnect and it can be minor things like misspellings, right? There’s a really high percentage of job seekers who’re searching on their phones and they just misspell a job title, like warehouse. It’s commonly misspelled, and if you misspell that word for most ATSs, you’re not going to get a result.
22:28 So if you sign up for an alert, you’re just not going to get anything. So we make sure we handle a lot of that. So for this particular customer, we spent a ton of time looking at what people are actually looking for. The words that they were using, compare that with their job titles, used a ton of data and really developed all these expansions. So we got more and more matches happening and that’s because this customer was just really into it. They were basically like, “You know, you guys have free rein to do whatever you need to do to make this the best experience possible.” And so that was a really powerful customer to have because we were able to roll that out for our other customers as well. So I think being able to increase conversion rates across the board, not just from sign up, but bring people back to apply to jobs is a huge deal. So I don’t know, that was an amazing experience. So we want to do more of that.
William Tincup: 23:24 We need… First of all, drops mic, walks off stage. Whenever a customer can help you innovate like that, and then you can then take that innovation and go out to the rest of your customers and prospects and say, “Hey, listen, is this something that we’ve learned from customer X? This is something we should be thinking about with you as well.” I love that because it’s like the unforeseen, can’t know what you don’t know. And all of a sudden, a customer points something out and says, “Hey, can we do this?” You’re like, “Yeah. Yeah, we can, and should!” And that’s a great point. Sam, this has been wonderful. I’ve been following Dalia for a long time and I love what you’re doing and I just appreciate your time and wisdom.
Sam: 24:08 Yeah. Thanks William. I appreciate you having me on.
William Tincup: 24:10 Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case podcast until next time.
Announcer: 24:14 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.
The Use Case Podcast
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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