Jane Veader | Nagaraj Nadendla
Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 262. Today we’ll be talking to Jane and Nagaraj from Oracle about their new talent acquisition solution, Oracle Recruiting Booster.
Oracle Recruiting Booster can help HR and talent acquisition teams improve engagement with candidates, build communities of top talent, accelerate the hiring process and personalize the recruiting experience for every candidate.
Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think. Thanks, William.
Show length: 25 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: 00:26 Ladies and gentlemen, it’s William Tincup, and you are listening to The Use Case Podcast. Today we have Nagaraj and Jane on from Oracle, where we’re going to talk about Oracle Recruiting Booster. And I can’t wait to talk about the use case, the business case for what they’re doing with the recruiting booster. So let’s do some introductions. Nagaraj, would you do us the favor? Introduce yourself first, then Jane, introduce yourself.
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 00:53 It’s great to meet you, William, and to be on this show. This is Nagaraj Nadendla. I’m responsible for Oracle Recruiting Cloud, and now Oracle Recruiting Booster that we’ll talk about today.
William Tincup: 01:05 Fantastic.
Jane Veader: 01:07 Yeah.
William Tincup: 01:07 And Jane?
Jane Veader: 01:07 Hi William. Welcome, and excited to be here myself. So I’m a principal product strategist for Oracle Recruiting. I’ve been working in Nagaraj’s org for about six years now, seeing the development of all of our recruiting strategies. So really excited to talk about how this is culminated into what we are here to talk about today.
William Tincup: 01:27 Well, in our session at HR Tech, we did a briefing and it was one of my favorite briefings. Because you know, there’s so much energy placed around point solutions. And there’s so much. A lot of the things that are picked up in our space, and there isn’t as much. And in fact, Jane, I told you this, that you all need to beat your chests a little bit more, and actually tell people about your product. And here we are. So why don’t we start with, what is Oracle Recruiting Booster? And we’ll just follow. Nagaraj, won’t you lead us in? And then Jane, you fill in the gaps.
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 02:05 Sure. So Oracle Recruiting Booster is a way for our customers to think about how do we transform our talent acquisition team into more strategic… Transforming them into handling the transactions and the day to day mundane recruiting activities to more strategic functions, like sourcing, skills, development, evaluation, along those lines. And the underlying thing is all about productivity, both for the organization, talent acquisition teams.
02:46 And equally important is a single experience, or a unified experience that a candidate would have. Whether they’re an intern coming from a university and interacting with the brand, all the way through talent that’s seasoned. Whether it’s through hiring events, or through career site, or through a referral. The experience is consistent and it’s focused on self-service consumer grade experience for them.
William Tincup: 03:18 Oh, I like that.
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 03:19 Yeah. This is really about making our customers teams and the talent acquisition teams highly productive. But focused more on strategic initiatives, and yet having that single brand experience they can deliver to their candidates.
William Tincup: 03:36 I love that. Jane.
Jane Veader: 03:38 Yeah.
William Tincup: 03:39 What else you got?
Jane Veader: 03:40 Yeah. So much that we do within Oracle, Oracle Recruiting is really designed to remove the seams from the process. The seams are where things get dropped, where experiences differ, where you have to maybe move data from one place to another. And that was really a big driving force for us behind Oracle Recruiting’s genesis in the first place. And so now, moving into the functions that we’re going to be able to support in Recruiting Booster, it’s so awesome to see how we’re continuing to build on what we’ve already developed in making, what Nagaraj said, making these experiences much more cohesive for candidates who might be going to a bunch of different portals to do a bunch of different things, but with the same employer, with the same people behind the scenes.
04:31 And so we want the technology to really support that relationship that you’re building with your talent. And not just with your externals, and trying to, pick me, get attention from people who are busy outside. But also through the attention that you drive towards your employees and that employee experience. And that’s something that we’ve been able to uniquely have a perspective and an angle on, because we’re all part of the same platform. And we get to still do these cool, flashy things that are typically the domain of best-of-breed solutions. But we get to do it in this very consistent and cohesive way that, what we’re trying to do ultimately leads to more efficiency, a better way to be strategic about talent acquisition in your organization.
William Tincup: 05:16 Well, I love this. Because a lot of, as you all well know, because you’ve done a ton of research here, a lot of recruiting professionals, talent acquisition professionals struggle with strategy over tactics, over index, maybe on some of the tactical stuff, and don’t have as much time to then be able to do some of the strategic work. They’re not trying to avoid it, they just don’t have time to do it when you’re carrying 50 REQS and things like that. So I love the ability to, actually, you’re elevating the profession in a way of allowing them in a way to use technology for some of that lower value task, and focus more on some of the higher value thought leadership, strategics type stuff. Do I have that right, Nagaraj?
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 06:03 That’s exactly right. Historically we used to say, talent strategy follows business strategy. And in this day and age when skills are scarce, certain skills are scarce, you almost have to think about, how do I develop that? It’s almost like a pipeline development. So as you exactly said, there needs to be time to do these strategic things, or to satisfy the initiatives or the skills required for the organization. That means more has to go into facilitating the transactions in a more scalable way. And self-serve a way for the candidates, and for hiring managers and recruiters, so that TA teams have the breather to do more strategic things.
William Tincup: 06:53 I love that. Jane, anything to add there?
Jane Veader: 06:56 Yeah. And it’s not really fair to put all of the retention things that an organization might be going through on TA. I see a lot of TA organizations really strapped. And like what you said, when you’re managing 50 requisitions at a time, and you’re trying to source candidates for all of these different positions, you don’t have the time to really think about, how’s my activity contributing to the health of the organization, to the ability to actually achieve business objectives and have the people in place to do that? And so that’s what we want to offer as a way to have the business process reflect this transformation of the value of TA in an organization. I think we’re at a point now in the market where CEOs, COOs are seeing talent acquisition as a burning priority for them. And the only way you can really get that out of the hot seat, is to keep feeding it into a more holistic talent retention process.
William Tincup: 07:57 I love that. And I’ll tell you, I love that you all are talking about candidate experience. Because I’ve seen some ATSs that, again, let’s say you’re applying to a large Fortune 100 company, and you fall in love with a job. You apply, you set up a profile, and then you apply and then you find another job on a careers page. You’re like, “Oh my goodness, I like this job too.” And then they make you sign up and create another profile, which is not the best of candidate experiences. But I love the fact that you all are talking about candidate experience. And it’s obviously on the top of your minds, because you’ve built Oracle recruiting around a wonderful candidate, a wonderful recruiter hiring manager experience, but also a wonderful candidate experience as well.
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 08:51 Absolutely agree. And this is top of mind for our customers as well. Whether they sign up for an event, whether they sign up for a job, or whether they sign up to be notified of opportunities in the future. That experience has to be, we’ve made it consistent, and our customer’s expectation is to be consistent. And for the candidate too. Everything is self-service. Think about the power of that. Your coordination activities, they apply the fact that there’s a single self-service capability where you can see all the jobs you’ve applied, the talent pools you’re part of, or you’ve interested in, the alerts you are interested in receiving to any other scheduling interview. Everything is just self-contained through that experience.
William Tincup: 09:50 I love that. Go ahead Jane.
Jane Veader: 09:52 I really want to draw the distinction to what this would be. Because I know we want to talk about what we do, obviously. But what would this look like if you didn’t have this? If were going to an event vendor, if you had different pieces of this in different places, your candidate experience that you’re talking about could have a hiring event registration. So you’ve got a profile there. You could have a talent community sign up, that you have to have your profile there. It could have your application that you submit. Now that’s your second profile. And guess what? Later in your journey, say you got hired, now I have to create an internal candidate profile to apply for a job as I play my next career move. So these are all of the different ways that there’s friction added to that candidate experience, and really barriers to entry.
10:38 And not to mention the data management aspect of it too. As a candidate, I have to remember all these different passwords. As an employer, I have to be able to retain data, and apply privacy standards across all of these different platforms. And so these are exactly the things that, they create a candidate experience that is much more streamlined, everything in the same place. We, of course, never require passwords to do anything that we do as with candidates. And then it also stems from that data governance. That is also really important with how you’re interacting with people outside of your organization. So I think there’s a lot of different prongs to how this is impacted when you do have a lot of different solutions that you’re trying to bring together to create this candidate experience. Going back to my initial comment, we’re trying to remove those seams, to keep it very, very cohesive.
William Tincup: 11:38 I like that. And I like the frictionless. Both of you have used that phrase, is you’re trying to reduce the friction and make it more of a glide, make it just easier for candidates. Which again will help with more applicants. Because the easier it is, then less the abandonment, if you will. Both of you all have mentioned skills. And you all did some great work, I think it was last year, around dynamic skills and skills building, and people having an insight into what skills they have, and what skills they need, et cetera. How do you all see this as an extension? Or I shouldn’t assume that. Do you see these things tied together in some way? And Nagaraj, I’ll start with you.
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 12:18 Yeah, we do think about skills as a currency. It’s an exchange mechanism. The exchange for future talent. How do you develop? You know what you have? How do you develop? How do you harness? How do you seek? So what do I have? What do I don’t have? How do I grow what I have into something, part of what I need in the future? That taxonomy, with dynamic skills we’re enabling that for customers. And in this process as candidates interact, as you identify candidates, being able to slice and dice candidates by skills and targeted campaigns to get them to interact with you, to get to know you as an organization is one aspect.
13:09 But the other aspect is, throughout the process, being able to educate candidates on, here’s the skills we’re looking for, through requisitions or opportunities. And the candidate’s saying, “Here’s my profile. Tell me what I have.” Or, “Here’s what I have.” Then being able to match them through these skills. It becomes the glue that binds all the transactions, the interactions and the processes so that customers can think about much more easily, or determine much more easily, what do I have? As we think about our business in the future, what do I need? And where do I acquire the talent or the skills that I don’t have? So it’s an integral part of this.
William Tincup: 13:55 I love it. Jane.
Jane Veader: 13:58 The way that I’ve often described it, is that the person record, regardless of what state that person’s in, if they’re a prospect, or a candidate, or an employee, or a former employee, that person record is the hub that all of these things spoke off of. And skills is one descriptor of that person, of what they bring to the table. And as Nagaraj said, it’s so critical to be able to understand those skills, but also put them into words that are meaningful to your candidate, to your company, and have that taxonomy really match up. I think that’s where we have a lot of clutter really, in the world of skills, and a lot of things that are less verifiable. And so one of the things that we offer, as you mentioned, through our dynamic skills offering, but it works in conjunction with everything we do in recruiting, is trying to normalize the skills that come in from candidates by recommending skills for them.
14:54 And that’s based off of their profile, based off of skills that are needed and recommended for that requisition. So that way they’re not only putting their best foot forward when they’re getting into a hiring process, but they’re also using the same words that the company uses, and the same way that they describe those skills. And in that way you’re just creating better quality data throughout the whole process so that you can really have more of that verifiable skills experience, and more of a standardized way to assess that about the talent in your organization. And of course we do that on the employee side as well. But really, this is something that we uniquely bring to recruiting. Because that data travels along that employee journey as part of just that person record as they go through their life cycle.
William Tincup: 15:42 I love that. I love that. And again, I think Nagaraj used the word, taxonomy. It’s getting all those different languages, and getting everyone to speak the same way. I love that, because there’s clarity and data there. But also, I just think it makes things easier along the way. So maybe a dumb question. But do you all see either Recruiting Booster now or in the future helping to drive internal mobility?
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 16:11 Yes, both now and into the future. So the skills discussion we just had is just a continuum, as Jane talked about. So you interact with a candidate, you discover their skills, they apply, they get considered, they get selected, they become an employee. Then skills development, the evolution of their skills continues. They can participate in gigs to harden existing skills so they can develop new skills. They can go through learning and development. And then that might lead to their own career mobility and internal mobility opportunities within the organization. So it’s a continuum for us. That taxonomy is what drives, and the capabilities we’ve built. So again, all of the Booster capabilities are about acceleration and boosting the capabilities in a way that truly frees up the talent acquisition teams to be able to do more strategic things.
William Tincup: 17:18 Yeah, you used the word productivity earlier, which I circled. Because it’s ultimately, in using the product, they’re more productive. It’s a better experience for everyone involved. And then they can focus on more strategic things. Jane, I didn’t mean to cut you off. Did you have something to add to the internal mobility part?
Jane Veader: 17:37 No, and I really appreciate you asking this question from this angle too. Because to Nagaraj’s point, you’re not going to get away from this need to attract new talent into the organization. Obviously that’s so critical. And you need to have the tools to be able to do that and have that process run very smoothly, and on rails as much as you can. And then the other component to that is of course, that frees up time to be able to apply more of a strategic lens to, what am I really doing here with talent acquisition? But also going beyond just the scope of Booster. Because it does weave directly into all of these amazing internal mobility tools that we have, with Oracle recruiting as part of HCM. Because we can do things like campaign to our internal audiences with the same kind of drive, and employment newsletters, and things like that, that are interesting to your externals.
18:37 You can turn that just as easily into internals. You can target people based on a skill, whether they’re internal or external, because you just want to grow that set across your different talent communities. And we can do that. Because employees are just one type of person that you can campaign to. They’re automatically considered candidates, and part of your talent, because it’s all part of the same platform. So we do have the ability to turn a lot of these things that were typically the domain of that very external facing candidate engagement, and be able to turn that into internal candidate engagement as well. And a lot of that’s using the tools that have already existed in Oracle recruiting. And so Booster obviously goes further, more in that external facing space, but things like that tend to feed back into this perpetual engagement cycle just across the different audiences that you might have.
William Tincup: 19:30 So Oracle plays at a different level. Everyone listening to this will understand this. You all obviously did a ton of research, talked to your customers, et cetera. Of what you can talk about, what was that process like, to figure out how to solve the algebra of what they need, as opposed to what you want to build? Sometimes when you get into a product, you have a laundry list of things that you want to build. And then you find out that practitioners maybe don’t want some of those things. So how did you all reconcile that? Nagaraj?
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 20:06 Oh, it’s an age old problem.
William Tincup: 20:11 How much time do you have?
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 20:12 Yeah, exactly. Maybe all evening it will take. All afternoon, rather. It’s a fine balance. There is an amount of feedback we hear. There are customers that are really forward thinking, doing cutting edge, or thinking about the long game in many ways. And they have really interesting ideas. And as with any industry, there are fast followers and then there are innovators. So we have a spectrum of customers. And through many interactions, one-on-one, one to many, through advisory boards, we get feedback about what’s top of mind and harnessing that. It’s more art than science per se. But we balance that with what we want do, what the competitive landscape is, and how do we want to be differentiated. And ultimately we want to make our customers successful with the differentiated experiences they can deliver to not only internal audiences, but more importantly the candidates as well. So I can’t go into too much detail, but nevertheless, we do active listening through our customer interactions.
William Tincup: 21:35 Oh, I love it. Jane.
Jane Veader: 21:36 Yeah. And so as part of my role in the org, I work on a lot of those customer feedback programs, advisory boards, just our general user groups and idea labs. And I get to see a lot of the feedback. And what’s been really interesting to me, as our journey with our customers, because really a lot of this is geared around close partnerships with our customers and listening to that feedback. But it’s been a push and pull really on both of our sides. They help us influence the roadmap. We release a feature, and we get the feedback on it. And we can continually improve based on that feedback. But also because of the way that we’re architecting some of these features and some of these things, to Nagaraj’s point, drive the business outcome. This also has shaped our customers to be more effective with how they organize their HR departments, or organize how their TA function works.
22:34 I can’t share the customer name, but there was one that I was working with. It’s probably five or so years ago now, one of our first customers, where we all got together in a room for a scoping session for their implementation. And this was the first time that a lot of their TA folks were even meeting the talent management side. And this is something that we’re bringing together because of the completeness of the suite. And because of the completeness of functionality that we’re seeing this partnership as all good partnerships do, change both of the parties that are involved. And change all of the parties that are involved as we evolve forward together. So that’s a really rah-rah happy partnership type of answer. But at the same time, it reflects the reality of listening to your customers and having your customers continually be able to innovate in their own businesses because of what we’re able to deliver. It’s been really cool to be on the frontline, and seeing that feedback come back in real time.
William Tincup: 23:28 Well Jane, I can tell you just in talking to practitioners, the desire, is to actually have a partner, and to have true collaboration. Because you all are sitting on top of X number of implementations. So you’ve seen a lot of different things. They only know their world. And as much as they want to innovate, they might not know that there’s certain things that are out there. So they want, out of their partners, that’s what they want, is someone that’s collaborative. So I actually like the rah-rah stuff. Because I know the practitioner’s desire is to have more of a partner. To not think of people as vendors, to think of people more as partners and collaborators. That’s the desire that I see. Last question I have is, whenever you release something new like this, you have something brand new. It’s shiny. You’ve been working on it for a longer time than you care to admit. So it’s been there. Now, how do you get your customers that have Oracle HCM, they’ve got even Recruiting. Now how do you get them excited about booster?
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 24:40 Well, through conversations like this. That aside though, it’s an important part of it, talking to influencers and getting the word out. But we also, through various forums, this is an outcome of many interactions with customers. So we continue to talk to them. I’ll shamelessly plug. We have a customer, Connect. It’s a great social platform that our customers can engage with each other. We engage actively with them. Jane actually does that quite routinely.
William Tincup: 25:16 Oh, that’s cool.
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 25:17 Yeah, so they learn from each other. They actually answer each other’s questions. We participate. We’re sort of an observer on the platform. But we engage with them too. We share upcoming updates. And so there’s a lot of engagement. So that’s a great way for us to communicate. But through our sales interactions, our customer success teams, and us and the product team going directly and engaging with, and doing webinars and various touchpoints like that. So we communicate through a variety of means. No stone is left unturned. Let me put it that way.
William Tincup: 25:57 What I love about this is, a lot of vendors in our space, they don’t connect their customers. And some of it’s obvious. But some of it’s just, I’ve never really fully understood why. Because I like the way that you all have done it. It’s like, they can answer each other, they can help each other innovate. They can do all kinds of real fun things together. So Jane, is there anything that you had in terms of getting Booster top of mind for all the customers?
Jane Veader: 26:26 I was just going to say, we’re doing all of this press. But we also have a huge swell of demand from our customers in general. As soon as we start getting into some of these conversations, it’s been like a light bulb moment of, oh yeah. We absolutely have needed this. And we’re so glad we don’t have to go out to RFP and evaluate five different vendors for it. We’re just getting it as part of our suite. That conversation has been just a no brainer for so many of the people that we work with, and so many different organizations that are already thinking about how do I make my recruiting process better? They want this functionality. They want this added to their environment. And they’re excited when we tell them, hey, we’ve got this coming out. So we’ve seen a lot of really organic just word of mouth up to this point. But as Nagaraj said, we’ve got a whole slew of things that we’re planning to get the word out there, to get this material out in the marketplace, and really deliver on some of these expectations. Really excited to get out there.
William Tincup: 27:32 The wonderful part now is as you get it out there, now the questions become, okay, we want it. How fast can we get it? Can we get it tomorrow? Can you turn it all on? Which is a great problem to have, of course. Nagaraj, Jane, thank you so much for carving out time. I know you all are crazy busy. But thank you all for carving out time for us.
Jane Veader: 27:52 Yeah, thank you so much.
Nagaraj Nadendl…: 27:54 Thank you.
William Tincup: 27:55 Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to The Use Case Podcast. Until next time.
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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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