March 17, 2021

Recruiting Technology is Not Solving Real Problems


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Highlights

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“This Monster site is going to put the recruiting industry out of business!”

-Hot take from 1995 that didn’t age well

Recruiting technology will soon be a $10 billion dollar industry. Applicant tracking systems, recruitment marketing platforms, automation outreach software…there’s an endless list of next-gen tech with VC backing that promises to make hiring as easy as a few clicks.

Yet the talent acquisition is still painful for most organizations. Most companies struggle to hire. Poor candidate experience and disjointed interview processes are often the norm. So why is all this money spent on improved recruiting tech consistently missing the mark?

Nate Guggia and James Hornick do a deep dive into the state of recruiting tech.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Transcript

Welcome to the employer content show. Part of the talent insights series brought to you by Hirewell and  Careerwell.

Well, I’m your host, James hornick joining me is my cohost. Now from before you apply, which have to talk about, okay. Employer brand influencer. Oh man. So where’s the one you still mad right now? I just called you an influencer. I know. All right, moving on. All right. So before you apply, you want to, you know, tell it because you had a big day on LinkedIn today, you updated your, your job.

You’re the same company kinda. Yeah, the new, the new sister company or the new product. Yeah. So the short of it is, probably eight months ago. we had the idea we wanted to, to make the creative services work that we do a little bit more scalable. See if we could productize it as much as possible to make it.

Widely available just to a lot of people who need creative help, when it comes to employer branding, we put our heads together. We came up with what is now, before you apply. and it sits under the umbrella of job portraits. and what we do is we help teams create authentic video content at scale.

  and we guide the process and we lead it because that’s kind of what we do best. So, we create team profiles for teams that are hiring. We have some really tough questions. We turn those questions into video clips.  and it’s basically like a mini career site at the team level. when you, when you sent me the mock-up of the first like, example you had up, when your clients like, well, this makes too much sense, like who wouldn’t want to have this up, you know?

And it’s so simple too, so yeah, I’m a fan. So. Yeah. Although when when I went on the, what was the post you made? I think I went on it and there was a video introducing it. And it was it wasn’t you? It was some other guy I’m like, ah, they have Nate, Nate’s the face of it. Anyway. Wow.

All right. So what are we doing today? Today’s our is this number eight or number nine? I don’t even remember. plus we had, we’ve done a couple before this, so we’ll say roughly, we’ve done 10 mr. Roughly our 10th show roughly, this year. So, which has been cool. It’s been a lot of fun. and even though it’s only like the first week of December here due to.

Holidays and travel and different stuff like that. Going on. This is the last one we’re doing in 2020. So, we decided to open it up to the viewers. So we, you know, I love an old mailbag, so we did some Q and a, we asked some people for questions ahead of time. when we we’ll just sit here and kind of talk about whatever people wanted to hear about.

So. Yeah, we have a few here that I think what backfired here was that these, we got some deep questions. Like every single one of these could be like its own show. And we’re like, Oh man, this is not like we’re gonna be sideswiping some issues. And I hope we don’t go too insanely long here. or if we just get bored, I guess we can stop at any time.

But yeah. cool. So, this one, we actually got two questions that are very closely related. one was how to companies build their recruiting pipeline during the holidays. And we also got someone asking, what about like employer brand strategies during the holidays? What should be doing? I think people have a lot more free time, like right around now between now and January than usual things die down.

So everyone’s like, okay, what should we be doing to be more proactive about, so, okay. I’m gonna go first. You wanna go first? Yeah, let’s start with the pipeline side. All right. So as a preview, We had so much to say about this, that we’re actually gonna turn this in the blog post. I might actually do a further kind of podcast on it.

So, I really think in terms of pipeline, There’s like, I was really kind of thinking about this. There’s a lot of conversations you should be having with your own employees or not just with employees, but, your coworkers, the people you’ve helped hire hiring managers and even people who you really liked who you had interview that just didn’t get the job for whatever reason.

So first, I think it’s the best practice to if you’re an internal recruiter somewhere. you got to stay tight with everyone. You’ve brought on board. And I know that in a lot of organizations you might have high volume. It might not be possible. And this might be a little hard during the pandemic too, but I’ve known some internal recruiters where I would walk around with them in their office.

And they’re just saying hi to everybody. They’re like, everyone knows them. Right. And you want to always be kind of fostering those relationships and. there’s so much value you can get out of kind of staying tight with everyone who you’re bringing into the organization. I mean, first off, getting more referrals, you know, like making sure that they’re aware that one you’ve taken an interest in them.

It wasn’t your job to land them on board. , you want to be professional, you know, friends, but it makes it easier to get referrals. it makes it easier for you to communicate to them, Hey, this is what our hiring plans are for next year. Do you have anybody who knows about that? Do you know anybody who does this type of stuff, but it’s also an idea too.

And I think this is where it kind of has an employer brand also.  what do they like about the organization now that they’re here? Like that should be impacting your pitch? Like when you’re talking to the next batch of candidates for the next search or doing whatever, got the last person you placed on board, like, those are the things you want to highlight both in terms of what impressed them, but also in terms of.

Now that they’re here. What do they really think about the organization? Like, you always need to be kind of up upgrading and updating your, your pitch about your company. as well as it’s falling short now, I think that’s, that’s more of a hiring manager issue, you know what I mean? Like where things, but if you were overselling something, that’s also something you wanna know about.

If there was something that you were got, someone excited about the invertedly, it wasn’t quite what matched, or if there’s just in general, is there anything that you need to know that maybe, you know, whoever you were kind of brought on board? didn’t quite see eye to eye with same with like evaluating interview process, you know, is there anything we should be doing differently there?

I think it’s also good. Like if they really like it, ask them to do a review on Glassdoor or G2, wherever else. second thing pipe, like your candidate pipeline. You’re going to have a lot of people that you’re very close with that maybe you had one opening and you had five or eight candidates touch base with him.

You know what I mean? No reason not to reach back out to them. I think it’s a, it’s a great way to kind of, cause you might have a lot of the similar positions open up and they need to know that. Hey, just because we didn’t go with you this time, there shouldn’t be any hard feelings. same thing with hiring managers.

I think that asking hiring managers about their 20, 21 goals. Making sure they understand that you get their business objectives. you want to kind of make that’s the that’s where really things kind of break down from a hiring standpoint. A lot of times the companies is the recruiters and the hiring managers aren’t on the same page and they aren’t speaking the same language.

And the more you can do to empathize with the hiring manager to make sure they know that you get them, that you understand what they’re trying to accomplish. That’s going to, you can better identify skill gaps. If you’re trying to hire a, you know, something like a digital marketing manager and people in digital marketing, you know, they do lots of different things, but if you can understand what on that team might be lacking.

It might make you better able to vet kind of people you might be bringing in next, just in this example, you can circle back on those previous candidates. We just talked about people they were really close on. Are any of these candidates people we should be like talking to. And do you think you might have a slot for them this coming year?

also addressing all the impossible openings that have been lingering for six plus months. you gotta reevaluate at some point, you know what I mean?  Past that, , those are the main things. there’s a lot of general organizational work. I think you should be doing right now this time of year.

You know, inventory your job postings, updating job descriptions. You know what I mean? Because those things get really stale, really fast. And Jeff Smith, and I did a, another show on that complaining about that topic, which is the long one, you know, back to reevaluate your company pitch, making sure like you’re up, you’re talking about what’s happening now.

Not what you’re not rehashing what you did last year. and lastly, things about identifying gaps. So be honest with yourself, like, are you ghosting people? Is there a way you can better processize things in the coming year. Is there a way you can change things around? I think you should be, you know, connecting with your internal diversity leaders, getting on the same page with them, understanding their goals, because there are a lot of times maybe stakeholders in what you’re doing.

same thing with like identifying new sources. And this is a big thing for recruiters too. everyone gets stuck in there.  if you feel a lot of success with just LinkedIn, you’re going to keep going back to that, get a lot of success with whatever. there’s always, whether it’s like technology, whether it’s, maybe you should get involved more Slack groups, maybe she should involve more community groups.

Like there’s always better sources out there, that you might not be utilizing and just making sure like, Hey, what can I be integrating into my next year to build the pipeline? So I hit you with a lot right there. Wow. Yeah, I saw, I had a lot of thoughts on this one. Yes, you did. okay. So I was writing down ideas off of everything you were saying here.

okay. From a employer, branding perspective, auditing your candidate experience now going into the new year. I think like you’ve already alluded to this, but I really think anybody who’s leading who’s leading employer, branding needs to go. From a to Z on that whole experience. I was talking, I had this conversation yesterday with somebody who leads global branding, not employer brand, but for really large, like really well known company.

And he, he defined the way that he sees brand is that it is every single experience that every person who touches your company has, and it all represents the brand. And I think for EB, it’s like, go in. See what it’s like to find the company research, the company apply.  What part of it is like. Where’s the friction what’s not resonating and just make a list and start fixing that stuff.

because I really think I’ve said it a million times, but I think the experience is the brand. It really is. and start there because if that process is broken, you can do all the work you want to try to attract people. and it’s just going to be inconsistent. and it’s going to damage the brand.

So, so start there, I think, you talked about really internal relationships. I’m hearing more and more about this is on the positive. there hasn’t always been this relationship between marketing and corporate branding and employer branding. They’ve usually they they’ve often set right in silos.

Not really. Having the mutual respect that’s needed. And I’m starting to hear, I’m starting to have conversations with people from both sides now who are talking about the value that each of those functions brings to the overall organization. If somebody doesn’t have that going on right now, I think now’s a good time to start those conversations.

you know, either we’re either working on initiatives right now going into the new year or we have more time, but yeah, either way it makes sense. now’s the right time to have those conversations. And then, you know, something we talked about on, on a past episode is like building this content framework, this putting something in place that gives your employees the ability to be content creators, and just, you know, putting the process in place.

If you have time like that, I can’t stress this enough. If you actually have some time right now, auditing your candidate experience and building that framework. For you to turn your employees into content, creators are like probably two of the biggest things that you could do going in that will just make your life and work so much easier.

Yeah, I agree. I think it’s the for recruiters and talent acquisition people. it’s very much industry of. You’re forced into being reactive, you know? Yeah. We lost somebody. We gotta, like, you don’t always have much time to do the proactive things, but these things pay off in spades. So, yeah.

no, it’s good. We just spent now 13 minutes, just talking about that to the next question. All right. How do you best or up employee engagement?

Do you wanna start though? Sure. I was thinking, so I kind of I’d think of three things. So first off, the first two things are, they’re kind of similar. I’m a big believer in doing surveys, doing employee engagement surveys, three 60 surveys, something like that. And then taking action, like that’s the key thing.

And also the second part being, you need to have more one-to-one conversations with people, you know, people on your staff. Understanding how they’re doing what they’re enjoying and then taking action. I think a lot of companies will do they’ll talk to people and they’ll do surveys, but nothing ever happens.

And when that, when people realize that it’s all just lip service, like you can’t actually follow through on the feedback they’ve given you, that’s where things start to break down. So I think just by the fact that employees know that you’ve actually listened to them and you’ve actually taken action on it, I think that does a lot.

and then the other thing I think taking next level, And poorly run initiatives. Like for us, I’ve talked about this before. content is an employee run thing, so we don’t have a content team. I think we’re pretty good at content, but it’s all people who, it’s something we do extra something we do on the side.

Since we do that, we’re interested in, same with our, we have a diversity inclusion committee. We need to do a lot of charity work. So these are some things that we as an organization do. and I’m not saying this to kind of Pat ourselves on the back, but these are examples of things that we do that I think anybody can do.

Right. But the key is, is like letting employees actually be the leaders of all these different functions and letting them kind  of like come up with the ideas, connect with what should be done. and just, it’s a way of kind of going past this, the, ask them that what they want to see happen and taking action on it, but actually letting them take the action and taking the leadership role in those types of things.

When I’m thinking about employee engagement, like the first question I have is sorry about the plane. The first question I have is like, what’s the goal? like why do you want employee engagement? Do you want it for feedback? do you want to inspire employees to get the word out?

Like what are you looking to achieve? on the feedback?

  on the feedback front, I really think like if you’re looking, especially  if you’re leading employer branding and you’re looking for feedback on the brand, the best way to do that is like boots on the ground.

Like this is like hand to hand combat style where you actually have the conversations because again, outside of employer branding and talent acquisition, and like that function, a lot of people don’t understand what employee branding even is. And so surveys don’t work very well. If there isn’t like that foundational understanding of, of what this stuff even is, but employees I’ve learned like just in conducting my own focus groups for projects that we run and, and just like talking to other people, who’ve done it.

Employees are very open to giving feedback. And when you give them like the space and the ability to do that freely, you’re going to get some like, really great feedback from people. now if we’re talking about engaging employees to inspire them, to talk about the company, Let’s say it’s already assumed that you have a great culture and that it’s a great place to work.

outside of that, I think going back to what you were talking about about employees being content, creators, and just content in general, I’ve seen this firsthand where if you create something. And you share it internally. It gets people very excited about the work that you’re doing. it shows them what employer branding looks like.

it shows them why this stuff is important and it compels them to want to just like naturally be a part of it. just talking about like what we do with, before you apply at the tail end of a project, we do, what’s called the launch day and we do, we come in and we basically like. Hold the hand of the team, both the recruiting team and whatever team that we’re profiling.

And we take them through a series of steps that help to show them what the content looks like. Explain to them why it’s important, help them with like, this is how you share it out. This is how you tell people about it. And it just gets people excited about the work. You just have to . Be really, really good at marketing internally.

And if you can pull that off. employee engagement around employer branding kind of starts taking care of itself and you start creating this culture of like, everybody just wants to be a part of it. yeah,  I’ve seen that too, like companies where people are just proud of what they have, what they’ve built as an organization.

And then they realized that they’re part of that. You know what I mean? It’s because of them, you know what I mean? I think that there’s. Yeah. I don’t know. I guess I’m going to kind of rambling, but I can, I can totally see that happening. Yeah. I guess I started talking, I had nothing to add. No, it’s okay.

But I know that, this is a sticking point for employer brand leaders. they need feedback in order to do their work. And they also want to get employees engaged, but the approaches that they’re taking aren’t really met with like the best results or like the most enthusiasm.

Right. They’ll send out a survey, they’ll do whatever. And employees like their engagement numbers are very, very low. And I think it’s like, you really got to take it to this like manual approach where like, let’s start with focus groups, let’s get people understanding what this is. Let’s educate them on why employer brand is important and show them what it looks like.

And then go from there. Yeah. Makes sense. Yeah. All right. Here’s one. I know you, I don’t think you were so high on touching this one. How do you position employer brand after an internal crisis? Want me to give, I’ll give some context here. So,  one of our buddies actually had this one.

So there was   an organization that, the founder said some public racist remarks. That were just very damning. And I don’t want to make this specifically about that because there’s lots of different types of crisis’s rights. I was thinking like product crisis, like you’re Boeing and all of a sudden you’re like your planes are murdering people.

fraud, you know, there’s, Theranose, there’s tons of places that committed outright fraud. so what, how does employer brand kind of play into this? And, so everyone listening out there, Nate and I were kind of talking beforehand, employer brand is different than PR. So PR is function. I’m not a PR person either, which is why me answering this question is not, you know, I can be getting simply the wrong, but you know, your PR department has to take a stance.

It has to say something has to somehow put a bow on it. No matter what it is, that’s their little, their function. I think that, but employer brands, not that’s, that’s not really employer brands function at all. And I think we can talk about this as an, of the challenge of employer brand in terms of, you know, some companies want to create a great culture and then show it off.

Some companies just want to put a bow on a bunch of crap. And that’s two completely different situations in terms of like how companies look at employer brand, like do they generally want to create a great company first and then humble brag about it, which is, which is totally cool. Or do they, are they just trying to like, Look flashy, even though they’ve there, they’ve got some very serious things wrong with them.

So, I think you also have to look at, you know, are we talking about, is this, is this bad press or is it like something really wrong? You know,  the Fang stocks, you know, Google and the Google and phase, they’re always getting sued by somebody. You know what I mean?

Like, that’s not like it’s not even a story. You know what I mean? Is that something you really need to address, you know, employee brand wise, but I look at it this, so I’ll answer. Here’s how I’ll try to answer this question. if I were an internal employer, brand person at a company, So I’m not talking what the company should do, but  I’m a practitioner employer brand at an organization.

Number one, are you allowed to be on the inner circle of handling the crisis? Do you have a seat at that table or not to, is there a legit effort to do right by the employees and external stakeholders? Like, are they trying to fix this or are they trying to make a look or are they just trying to make it look that way?

So if the answer is no to either of those, just finding a new job, It’s as simple as that. if there’s a crisis and you’re the employer brand person, and you’re not being included on what this company is doing, and they had something really bad happen, like, what are you still doing there?

Like they clearly don’t actually value employer brand and you get to end the same thing for the other thing.  if you can tell that they’re just trying to put a spin on things without trying to correct the issue. Once again, like that’s not, you don’t want your name attached to that. You know what I mean?

there’s better companies out there to be working for. I think so. That’s how I would, I just don’t think like you can’t operate and do your job ethically as an employer brand practitioner in an environment like that, because like, again, crisis management is not your responsibility, you know what I mean?

That’s, that’s a PR thing. if you weren’t given a seat at the table, I there’s no point. Okay.  Anything to add? No, no, I’ll add something. I know I wanted to stay away from this one, but I’ll add, you’re right. There’s varying degrees of issues, I guess. I do think though it’s unavoidable.

I mean, you can’t, you can’t avoid talking about them, and getting out in front of it. With like some level of transparency goes a really long way. And, it’s kind of like, think about every baseball player who’s been busted or accused of doing steroids who denies it, that stigma sticks with them, but the ones who’ve come out and owned it.

We forgive them almost instantly. Like it’s like, Oh yeah, like he owned it. Like. Great, you know, whatever, and we move on. But yeah, and, and I think the same thing goes with companies where, and especially on the talent side, where  this is a combination of like external and an internal communications.

And it’s like, what level of transparency and ownership can we take? How far can we take that? With our, with our candidates, because they know this is like super public, they’re going to have questions. So how much can we like, just own this and be like, Hey, this is what happened. Here’s what we’re doing to fix it.

And here’s how we’re improving as an organization. we’re better because of it, you know? And then how do you translate whatever messaging you come up with internally? So that messaging is consistent. You know, and that’s really important. And if you can do that, if you can get that far, and that level of transparency of course is like a sliding scale.

I just think it goes a really, really long way with but just overall trust. Yeah. Perfect. I think between the two of us, like we knocked that one out of the park, so I dunno you were, I don’t know. You were so worried about you’re right. Okay. All right. Let’s move on to bigger issues still. How can you actually, cause we got this one, we got this one from both a recruiting standpoint and from a employer brand standpoint.

how can you address age-ism in your recruiting efforts, especially at startups. Yeah. and there’s also a, how do you prevent inadvertent age out? Inadvertent age-ism and employer brand. Yeah. I want to go after one first because I think, I feel like I’ve been talking too much here. Yeah. Inadvertent age, is it okay?

This is where,  startups especially, can be susceptible to this because startup culture is very young. and I think there, there might be a couple of reasons for this, one, you know, startups, even the ones who are well-funded can be cheap. Especially when it comes to talent and, they can pay younger people less than they could pay somebody who’s like more senior.

and I think that definitely factors into it. also the way that we work now and technology and how fast things move and all that can just, it just plays to a younger audience. at the same time, something that I’m extremely passionate about. And I think about a lot is like how, how these types of companies can just like widen access to other people, to get people especially like older people.

And when we’re talking older, I mean, I fall into that category. I’m 42 and like I’m old for startup culture. and how would somebody like me or somebody who’s 50 who’s. Might be highly skilled. We’re looking to pivot the career and start fresh and who’s willing to take a step back and all this kind of stuff, like how can they get in?

and I think that’s just like going back to something you said earlier about taking a really hard look and like an honest look at your hiring practices and what. Talent acquisition means to you and to your company. And we talk a lot about diversity. There, there is a lot of talk about diversity. I don’t think there’s enough talk about diversity of age.

And so I think it really just starts with like organizational self-awareness and being honest with yourself, like, Hey, maybe there’s some people that we’re not giving access to who could be really good fits and actually like balance out our culture a little bit more to bring in some like alternative perspectives, whether that might be even.

Political generational, whatever. I think it only makes companies better, but I do know that it exists. and I think companies just, it’s not, I don’t think it’s necessarily intentional. I just think they don’t pay enough attention to it. Yeah, I have a lot of thoughts on this one. So I would say that, if anybody’s really interested, I’ve been meaning to try to get her back on the show.

The first or second podcast I did was with Patty at simple rocks, and she wrote a book on ageism and we got in pretty granular detail and her book is great. I learned so much just from that, that podcast in particular, it sticks out more than any other I can think of. the first thing that I, I think addressing it, it’s recruiting issue versus a hiring issue.

So, it starts with hiring, right? I think the one thing, if I could really urge anybody to do is you have to wrap your head around the fact that culture fit is garbage. Hmm, because culture fit is code for personality and background and things that when you start defining it, you’re going to really tightly skew the population typically to, you know, you’re young up and comers from a certain school, a certain background and whatnot, when really what matters and what you should care about is values.

Does this person have integrity, this person, you, whatever you define your corporate values to be. And when you start, when you start making that the emphasis versus someone who looks and talks and whatever, I think people did this. I think people inadvertently made things very discriminatory based on a defined company culture for a long time, without realizing they were doing anything wrong.

And it’s not until you really kind of take a step back, you realize, so first it just realize that right. There’s a lot of misconceptions about, older employees that, classic recruiting and classic hiring was always that, you can never, I’m not saying this. I’m saying you shouldn’t think of this, but this is what the misconceptions were.

People who are people who are taking a step back in their career are a risk because if they’re going for a lower salary or lower title, they’re probably going to leave us was always one. You know, re misconceptions about like, you know, we want to hire younger employees because they’ll stay with us longer.

It’s proven that older employees have longer tenures of companies full stop. Younger employees are more likely to leave you. I mean,  there’s tons of illness. I think there’s,  me a better understanding too, that like older places have different desires. You know, they, like back to like the salary thing, there’s going to be a point in your career where you just, you killed it at some job and you got paid a ton.

It’s like, you’re not always going to get paid that much. Like it’s just always going to be a high point in your career. It’s not going to go up to the very end. Like there hits a point where, and people know this too. Like the, the employees know that like, wow, I really made a lot of money this year out a huge bonus.

Like, I’m not going to get this again, but that’s seen as a risk from employers because whatever reason, you know, and you also have to realize that like for, Recruiters for a long time. Like I would say early in my career, when I had talked to somebody to be like, you know, what do you, well, I just want to, I want a nice place to work where it’s a good culture and I believe in what I’m doing.

And it sounds like a very fluffy answer, but for a lot of people, it’s not like a lot of people literally, you know, especially people who are like older in their career, they’ve accomplished a ton. You know,  they’re not trying to like necessarily strive to the next level. They want a place where they can impart their knowledge on others, where they can help grow others, which is a different mindset.

You know what I mean? They want to work with good people who are doing good things and their answer is the way they answer questions may be different than a younger crowd. And, but we’re a lot of recruiters and a lot of people who are hiring, don’t like, you know, we’ve been taught that those are not the things we should be looking for because there’s this youth based bias.

So it’s things as simple as like benefits, you know, like that’s what really, our health care system is messed up. You know, like it’s, you have to work for somebody to have insurance, basically, you know, and you know, that’s, especially as people get older, like that’s one of the driving issues.

Like younger people probably don’t even think about that. Like, sure. I got insurance, great. Like older people were like, you need insurance, you know? And, I think that just having these things in mind and realizing that the way, the reasons you may have disqualified people previously in the past were BS.

and that there’s a lot of people of all ages that are very capable of doing whatever the task is that you need. And, you know, the answers they’re used to hearing from the younger audience, aren’t better. They’re just different. so, and just being more intentional, including understanding what those different profiles may be at different age ranges and including them in kind of the hiring profiles are looking for, if that makes sense.

It does. I have a question for you. Sure. So let’s say internal recruiting teams, especially in tech are probably going to skew young, right? They’re going to be younger.

  do you think there needs to be. A mix on recruiting teams as well in order to start accomplishing or like overcoming the age-ism thing. Like if you’re a 25 year old recruiter talking to somebody who’s 50 or even 45, like, is that generational gap an issue or is it not. I don’t think that’s the issue in terms of, I think where there’s a lot of value is that I would say people who have done recruiting longer, have a better grasp on a range of issues.

Like I have a better understanding of business challenges and how to talk about those with candidates than I did 15 years ago. Yeah. So I’m better able to vet on certain positions and better understand kind of the bigger picture just from having more, not because of older. But then I was because I have more experienced, I kind of better understand the business world.

I ended at one point in time.  I do think that there is tremendous value. if there’s one, thing that I think the recruiting industry tends to suck at. Okay. There’s probably a lot of things, like say the recruiting in a sense is okay. But if one thing I want to highlight for this specific point I’m making is that not enough recruiters have a business sense and a grasp on business deliverables of the companies of their company or what companies are recruiting for.

Like the amount of times I’ve talked to an internal recruiter and I say, well, tell me about what your comp like. What are you looking to accomplish? You know, and I tried to dig, okay, what’s your company doing? Like, what’s this person, like, how’s this gonna impact the bottom line? And they can’t answer that, you know?

it happens a lot. And I do think that, that comes with experience. Yeah.  I think in terms of employer brand to the other thing, so slightly different is, if you’re trying to make. I was just kind of thinking and tell me if I’m wrong here, there’s your employer, content creation.

And then there’s your distribution. So from a creation standpoint, I guess one thing is making sure all the different populations of people have a voice in that organization. And then secondly, I guess this more applies to social, if you’re. get trying to get the word out on social media about what you’re doing, you know me about your employer brand, making sure you’re intentional about making different people at different backgrounds are involved in that.

It’s not just all your young cause I see that as a big issue in that who’s going to most probably most likely going to be the most active on social media is your younger crowd. So you might need to do a little extra legwork to get your older crowd bought into the fact that they should be, whether it’s LinkedIn or wherever else.

You know what I mean? Talking about what you’re doing. Yeah, you’re making me think of like the power of, of just like a simple profile on an employee. profiling somebody  who’s an employee, not in leadership. Who’s outside of like the normal generation, you know, that makes up like your general, like organizational.

Population or whatever, you know, but I’m thinking like, like showing that, you know, it’s like, it’s very important to show like diversity. And I think like that is an element, like I mentioned earlier that is missed. but like seeing a profile on like a 52 year old software engineer at a really cool tech company naturally connects all those dots and goes like, Whoa.

Okay. Yeah. That’s neat. Yeah, no, that’s excellent point. That actually brings us into the next question too. Kind of, I think this is the person who had this, wasn’t the question they asked, this was more of a rant. and someone. So I had, I had to turn this into a question so we can actually answer it.

is employer brand effective when it doesn’t match the culture? Hmm. I know that this person was a little frustrated that they were talking to a company that’s a pretty high profile. I’m not going to S yeah. Okay. They’re not in Chicago. I don’t work with them. You don’t work with them. So just in case anybody out there was one of her talking about, but there’s a, the company is pretty high profile and social media that, has a lot of people talking on LinkedIn.

Right? So they have this big image that they are. Very effective employee focused and whatnot. but this person had a very different, experience. believe she tried interviewing there and got ghosted on by pretty much everybody. So, the perception was, if it’s a false front, you know, the reason why it kind of ties into the last topics.

I remember it’s, it’s also a lot of younger people, which is kind of person kind of pointed out. So she also fellowship. Yeah. Yeah. So, is there. What kind of downsides, you know what I mean, in terms of, is it, is employer brand actually affect if you’re really involved in social and you’re building up this image, is it actually effective employer brand?

What downsides are there? Yeah. So, okay. The biggest takeaway I got from that was it was direct feedback from an experience about a brand. And how often that action that happens and how much of an impact it has. so optically the company that we’re talking about has become kind of this like darling on LinkedIn and, it wasn’t just her.

It was like, she mentioned that, she knows at least several people who’ve kind of had the same experience with the company. that’s. I think the back-channel conversation carries so much weight that it can be damaging, you know? and so, I mentioned this at the very beginning about the experience being the brand.

And, and I think like, to be honest, there’s probably some companies who could just create the most kick ass candidate experience, start to finish and get by on that. I mean, they, might be able to, without doing any fancy employer branding, without creating videos, without creating all this kind of stuff, like they might be able to just take really good care of people and the word of mouth.

About those experiences just spreads naturally. It spreads within communities, whether that’s engineering communities or sales communities, or what our marketing communities, and it does, and people talk, but then this other thing can happen too, which you and I both experienced when we had looked for feedback for the show, it was just like, boom, hit names dropped.

This was the experience and, I don’t know you’re right on that point.  I can name a few companies off the top of my head that are just, I know they’ll, I’ll never be able to work with them because they’re just so good. Like everything about their product, their service, the people, their process, like, like they’re just so impressive and the way they treat employees, the way they treat clients and the way they treat the interview process.

That it’s just word of mouth seamlessness. You know what I mean? That they just have an easy time hiring, you know? And it’s it’s cause they have all that figured out. But yeah, I think, I mean, that’s my concern about like social LinkedIn is like, I, I think, you know, we got to start having a fraud watch, you know, like there’s, there’s going to be, if your social presence is BS, like it’s going to come out, you know, There’s me short tenures.

You’re gonna notice people kind of turning either organization, most likely. you’re going to see bad reviews. You’re going to see bad word of mouth. You’re gonna start seeing a lot of snarky comments on their posts over time because people are gonna start figuring it out. So, you know, I think, I think there’s no way to shortcut it.

If you’re not starting with the experience, like you said, like the truth is going to come out and people are gonna find out. Got it. So a lot of people will start becoming consultants.

Yup. Yeah. And then when the consulting gigs don’t work out, then you just come advisers. Cause that’s yeah. Yeah. I know.  from like a very tactical. perspective. If we’re talking about just like creating the, the incredible experience, if you can just create content that talks about the experience and like what it actually looks like that stuff’s gold and it can live forever.

And so evergreen, like you just talk about like, here’s our hiring practices. Here’s how we, you know, like whatever, here’s how we onboard. Here’s how we do it, where you just like, you just document what you’re already doing that people love.  so what’s your company’s before you apply, I’m going to make a company called when you apply.

So we’re going to talk about that. We’re going to, we’re going to have videos based on the middle of the process of how the interview process works. Oh, it’d be booking com. You mean the handoff? Yeah, it’d be per it’s just, it’s the next point. And then the the, the, the, the third site will be when we onboard, like how the onboarding, he actually goes and whatnot.

Yeah. It’s brilliant. It is our, we had one more. We have one more, one more question. Yeah. So, whereas this, this is going along, but whenever it’s our last one of the year, we’re putting like three into one here. What do you do when you work for an employer? Who says they want once authentic employees and then box them in short answers, get out.

But I said the same thing. I have my notes here. I’m like, Oh really? Yeah. Well, I mean, it’s it’s not going to change. I mean, it’s like, Yeah, it’s just not going to change.  there’s too much fear there. there’s too much fear in what unboxing would look like. I wasn’t sure the context of what they said here.

So  my first instinct was finding a new job, but maybe that’s a little rash. Like I was, if we’re talking about, they want to authentic employees in terms of, they want employee generated content. They want people to be real and be themselves and all that kind of stuff, which I’m a fan of it.

I’d take it with a grain of salt that it’s, it’s still terrifying for a lot of companies. You know what I mean? They make want that. But as we’ve talked about before, Like, they still had that fear of, Oh, wait, we’re going to really let everyone say what. So I think that it’s a process. So as companies start allowing their employees to engage more, as long as you can see that process is happening and they’re starting to let you do more and more that’s one thing.

Versus if you know, it was complete BS from the start, right? Like they, they full stop, like don’t care about their employees. And it was just a big kind of a con which case that, that, that case I’m holding firm on. You should just leave. So, And, you know, this isn’t just something that happens at like in older industries or like older companies.

This happens at young companies too. I’ve heard about that as well. You know, it’s like easy to think about like very traditional industries where there’s a lot of like compliance and regulation stuff like banking and things like that, you know, like there’s probably like some, some legal, some policies in place that haven’t been looked at in a while that keep employees, but kind of held back, but even with like younger companies or, or more like progressive like tech companies too.

but you know, I, I think like I’ll just look at you, as an example, that, you know, the reason. You guys are so open to this is because you do it yourselves. And there’s a real lack of that. Whether it’s at like a founder level or senior leadership level or whatever of like people just like actively doing it themselves, because once you actively do it yourself, then you obviously enable other people to do it.

That’s easier said than done. That’s a really big ask of course, like as companies get bigger, but at the same time, you understand it, you have an appreciation for it and your employees are completely unboxed and I can’t help. But think that that’s the result of you being upright. The big, the bigger challenge I have is getting them out of that.

We took the box away. Just get out of the box, go do it. Yeah. That’s the hard part.  I guess I’m curious, like, is there, , we’ve definitely gotten, we’ve been able to hire a few people just because they, they want to be able to do some of this stuff. You know what I mean? So, which has been cool.

and yeah, go ahead. I interrupted your thought as I interrupt my own thought. I think I was trailing off anyway. Or were you gonna say, well, you and I, and. Some other people, we live in kind of an echo chamber where we think that all employees want to be doing this stuff. And they really don’t.

I think I would actually probably argue that most employees have no interest in doing a whatsoever. you know, they, they use social personally. They don’t really want to talk about their work life and. Whatever, you know. so we’re talking about like a smaller population of employees who are actually like really inspired to do this, which means they’re probably more like creatively inclined and things like that.

And I think like, if you look at it, like, I think there is like a lack of perspective around what this stuff would actually look like. You know, if you’re like, if you’re a company and you, and you say, okay, Run with it. I don’t think you’re going to have hundreds or thousands of employees suddenly being like social media influencers.

Right? I mean, this, this ties back to what we were saying at the beginning of employee engagement, though. Like if you, you have to give your employees something to be excited about to begin with, which is why you have to let them run your run core initiative, you know? So if it comes down to whether it’s, you know, like I said, we, we like our charity work is run by our employees.

Our DEI committee is run by like it’s all. And I think there’s a lot. I actually would love to hear what other companies are doing in space, because if there’s more things we could be, other things we could be initiating, I want to do it. but yeah, it’s, you’re right though. Like it’s, but if you’re not, if you don’t have tangible things, which get them excited out of bed, besides just doing the job, then it’s gonna be impossible.

Yeah, last thing. And then we’ll end. I mean, this, what we’re talking about is what happened with that guy at, was it Sherman Williams paint company? Yeah. I mean, that was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. So those of you haven’t, if you haven’t heard this. So there was a guy at Sherwin Williams. usually a college student who’s was younger.

I think. he was on Tik TOK and he was making videos about paint, mixing. And it was like  mesmerizing. So you’re watching it and he’s, you know, those colors swirl together. And he would do this, like not during the job hours, like off hours or something like that. And, he was doing a paint that he bought, they fired him.

He was getting like millions of views, bring all this like attention to Sherwin Williams. And they said he didn’t represent their values. He shouldn’t, he didn’t have permission to be doing this stuff. Some other paint company. Hired him right away. I don’t know if you saw that, but it was amazing, like the most tone, deaf boxing I’ve ever seen.

Like this guy, this is like your best marketer you’ve ever had in the history of your company doing it on his own dime and his own spirits. And you got rid of him for it. Yeah. Anyway, anyways. All right. All right. It’s been a fun year. My friend, I know you and I will probably still talk over messenger every day here still, but it’s everyone out there, you know, we won’t, we’ll have a show again in January.

We’ll probably we’ll have some, do you have any other questions while we’re always looking for new topics to go into a couple of these might be able to do a deeper dive on still. but yeah, any, any last words for for 2020 for everyone? Gosh, you know? No, I just, I think about like, you know, enjoy the holidays.

I know like this year, this year has been the year, you know? And it feels a little weird of course, but, I don’t know. I just hope everybody gets to like relax in their own way. it’s been a tough one. So that’s it. Yeah. The sun will come out tomorrow. My friend. Almost did a song and dance number there.

Yeah. Anyways, that is a wrap for the employer content show for 2020. you wanna hear more of what Nick and I have to say, you can subscribe to the Hirewell channel on YouTube, where we have a playlist of all of our episodes and the talent insights podcast, which is available on Apple podcast, Google podcast, Amazon and Spotify.

Nate. Thanks again. Thanks buddy. Everyone out there. We’ll see you soon. Bye. 


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