April 11, 2023

What Can Recruiting Tech Learn From Marketing Tech?


Episode Highlights

Two Reasons Why Recruiting Tech is Overlooked


Where Has Marketing Gone That Recruiting Should Go Next?


How Do We Get Recruiting Funnels Down To Manageable Levels?


Not Everything Is In The LinkedIn Profile


Bad Recruiting Tech Drives Bad Metrics


Ghosting Is an Automation Problem


There's Not Enough Tech Savvy Recruiters


What Makes People Fall Out Of The Recruiting Funnel?


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Want a sneak preview of what slick new technology recruiters will start using?

Just look at what cool sales and marketing tech came out 10 years ago!

That’s what it feels like anyway. But why? Do software companies not see the opportunity? Not understand the space? Or do the end users (yeah, us recruiters) not know how to take advantage of what’s out there?

Sam Kuehnle, the VP of Marketing at Loxo, joins James Hornick on a special edition of the Talent Insights Podcast, “Why Is Recruiting Tech So Far Behind Sales & Marketing?

Episode Transcript

Alright everyone welcome to the Talent Insights podcast brought to you by Hirewell. For those of you out there who love hearing me complain about how bad the world of recruitment tech is, you’re in for a treat today. We have a special guest from the real marketing world, not just the fake recruiting one, where the technology isn’t just completely overlooked.

A gentleman who recently took the Vice President marketing position at Loxo, a talent intelligence and recruiting platform. Everyone, please welcome Sam Kuehnle. Nice to be here cracking up ,at the real world of marketing. Y’all have a fun world. I don’t know what you’re talking about. But yeah, keeping those conversations about, it’s like yeah, I feel like we’re always behind. So it’ll be interesting to

to keep learning and seeing that. Yeah. I like to sometimes start episodes with a title for, you know, but situations like this, I don’t know where this conversation’s going to go. But we could loosely call it like, “Why recruiting software is 10 years behind and still sucks” or something like that

could be the title of today’s show. I don’t know. Yeah, we’ve got some room to go. We can almost see the future with where the sales and marketing tech has been. Why don’t you give everyone a quick, just do your own quick intro just so everyone has some context in kind of who you are, what your background is, and I can kind of- and it might make more sense in kind of why we’re talking about what we’re going to talk about today.

Yeah. Yeah. So in marketing I’ve been in B2B marketing for over 10 years, have been massive in-house company, then went over to an agency and then went back in-house, but to a startup. So I’ve seen the full gamut. And with each of those very different tech stacks nested within. So that’s something that’s always fun is just like how complex products do you need?

Does the fancy, shiny, most expensive products make things easier? Spoiler alert, no, usually makes it way more difficult. But yeah, I’ve seen the full range of companies big to small. But more importantly and why I’m actually really excited to be joining this recruiting space is there are so many parallels between the psychology of marketing and getting someone to buy a product

as there are with recruiting and attracting someone to a role or an organization and how to get them from someone who has no idea who your company is, what the role’s about or why they should be excited to like being a place where people might want to work, and then going through the whole motion of like how do you even start to fill your pipeline or to attract those right people to your company?

So yeah, that’s what’s led me to Loxo and why I’m most excited is I think that they’re at the cutting edge of changing this whole paradigm of how recruiting has been done for years and years and years and getting more to how should recruiting be done in the future, moving forward. And not just how it should be done, but giving you the tech, but also the how part. It’s really easy to say get a tool, it’ll solve your problems.

It doesn’t do that. But more like how do you use a tool? How do you think about it? And actually this is going to be something I want to get into with you, but does your tool dictate your strategy? Or do you have a strategy and then you get the tools to support that? Yeah. No, this is going to be good.

Let me lay a little bit of groundwork too but from my perspective because I think there’s kind of two things in play here. One is that like recruitment tech just gets the least amount of love, period, because more money in dollars innovation get pumped into sales and marketing tech.

So we can say on its face, it should be the same thing. But sales and marketing tech is like, we’re talking about HubSpot and Salesforce in the what is the MarTech? 5,000, 6,000, whatever it is. There’s so many tools out there. That idiotic graph grows bigger and bigger every year of companies that just like try to find the next thing

that’s going to change things kind of in sales and marketing because it can be applicable to any company hypothetically. Whereas recruitment is one, there’s internal recruitment tools and external. Like I work at an external firm, so I use an agency like type core ATS system. Then there’s internal tools, but these aren’t revenue drivers in the eyes of people.

Hiring is not a- people don’t think of hiring as something that adds like top line revenue or brings in revenue, which is why it gets kind of overlooked. But secondly, I think it’s also, and I don’t know if we’ll even have time to get into this today, is people think recruiting is way easier than it is.

They don’t realize how much there is to the problem, so they don’t think they have to spend that much money on it. Meanwhile, all they really have to do is just look at what sales and marketing did five, 10 years ago and start doing that from a technology standpoint and you’re already step ahead, anyways.

Let me go off on a slight rant because this will be where I’m getting caught up on everything, right. So we’re a Bullhorn shop. Hopefully they don’t shut our accounts down after this. We’ve been with them for like 15 years. They’re the biggest player in the ATS space, and yes they’re a competitor to your organization.

Side tangent- it’s incredibly hard to migrate. I’m sure you’ll say the technology’s easy but like every process and system you have, it’s just anytime you’re migrating a CRM or an ATS or whatever, it’s a pain. Anyways. So it’s easier to just complain about it. We recently, from a external marketing standpoint, so not like our recruitment system, but actually just for our own sales funnel, marketing systems started using HubSpot.

So we got it a year back but we were redoing our website, which was just done. So now is when we’re actually getting into the guts of actually doing things with it, right? And it’s technically Bullhorn’s- it should have, it’s a CRM system also and it also has kind of the client external side facing. But my mind is blown about just the amount of features that HubSpot has

that’s completely, I don’t want to say free, but just included in the platform. The most simplest things that if you’re coming from the sales and marketing world, this stuff is like so basic to you, just in terms of like workflow automations and things like that. No, I don’t mean automated email reminders, but just ways of like organizing your data and telling the people in your organization to take a next step and creating lists so nothing falls behind the wayside and whatever.

None of this exists in the ATS world. And if it does, it’s really basic or they want to charge you an arm or leg for it. So yeah. So that’s what frustrates me is that when I started using HubSpot and finding out like how it’s light years beyond what we currently have using the biggest ATS provider in the world,

it was a bummer and it just made me hate recruitment tech even more. Yeah. And I mean, part of that comes down to just the company strategy. I’ve been at a place where you grow your market share by acquisition, and so that’s acquiring competitors or you know, with Bullhorn. Like those pieces that are native to HubSpot, these HubSpots, like we want to build the best product to empower marketers, sales reps, whoever.

Bullhorn, it’s like well, we’re really good at ATS but we’re not good at reporting, so let’s go buy a competitor who can do that. And then you bolt that on and then it’s well we kind of have a bridge or something to get the data over. But they never really develop it and then more often than not, you see a lot of companies that buy those acquisitions, makes their board happy because they see our TAM zeroing and everything else, but they never properly integrate it or they don’t make it compatible with the product.

So then it has to be this kind of like well, we’ll kind of integrate it, but you’re going to have to pay for that feature because it’s not something that’s native so to speak, to the platform. So that’s a part of it also where it’s- yeah. It’s still the same platform to me though, as the consumer and whatever.

So yeah. I digress. That’s where I want to start talking about this more is when I realized this stuff’s actually out there and it should be like attainable, but it’s not for- and the thing is I say this like taking a dump on Bullhorn, there’s still like, compared to internal ATS systems, they’re still way ahead of the game,

you know? There’s a lot of like legacy players on the internal side, they just don’t have any of this stuff, which make this even bigger pain point for internal recruitment teams, so. Yeah. There’s a reason so many people use them. They have a great core product. There’s no doubt about that.

But yeah, as you grow and evolve with the times, that’s where it’s like keeping up with what you as a recruiter need in order to do your job successfully. Why don’t we talk about, or if you want to lead into this, you had some points kind of prepared about like the shift in marketing over the last few years.

I guess where has marketing gone that recruitment probably needs to go next? Or kind of where do you see that in your eyes? Yeah. So forgive me, I’m only a few months into this industry, so I’m probably going to say things that people are just like nodding their heads out and like, “You’re an idiot. Stop talking”

or they’re going to be like, “Yes!” We’ll find out. But when I think about marketing over the past handful of years, some of the biggest challenges and things that have come out was the old way was basically you do this spray and pray messaging. You’re just throwing a whole bunch of stuff out there, see what lands in the market.

Ultimately it’s because you were going after lead quantity versus quality. You know, you’ve got funnels and everything. So it’s like if we get a thousand leads and we get 0.1% to convert, we’ll get this amount of business. So the emphasis was always quantity versus quality. Mm-hmm. And you were really focused on converting people who were at that final stage that we’re already looking.

So say you were going to look for a new ATS, it was we were going after people like best ATS software. You weren’t trying to educate the market on what you should be looking for in an ATS software, how to best utilize it or anything else. So there’s an over-emphasis there.

My least favorite was pricing has almost always been withheld until you talk to sales. And that’s just a remnant of the old age where it’s the company has the power versus the buyer. And now it’s like that was one of the first things I did when I got to Loxo. I was like “Why isn’t our pricing on our website?

Let’s get on top of that.” Yeah. So that was a big sticking point. But yeah, just like all that has basically resulted in poor fit prospects going to sales. So you have this big sales marketing clash and you’re always wondering why marketing’s like, “Hey, we hit our goals. We have a million MQLs” but sales pipelines’ short.

So it’s like that’s a signal that there’s a disconnect with the company. And long story short, where marketing has come since then. So it’s like people are now realizing that the messaging that attracts and lands well with their ICP is what’s going to help drive trust, brand awareness and everything else.

So that creates more demand for your company. So instead of going, what’s the best ATS software, they’re just like, oh yeah, Loxo. They just come straight to the website when they’re ready to buy because we’re treating them as we recognize you’re in a three year contract with Bullhorn or whoever else, or you have to wait till your new budget cycle comes around, or you’re in the middle of hiring five new people and you don’t want to migrate your ATS.

Or like you said, migration itself is a huge pain. So giving more of the power to the buyer in that regard. And then it’s amazing what happens when you do that instead of forcing people through a funnel. Sales isn’t happy about it. You see poor win rates. You have a funnel that’s a little smaller at the top, but they’re way more qualified.

So instead of needing a thousand leads to get your 10 opportunities, you only need a hundred leads to get your 15 opportunities because they actually want to talk to you. So yeah. A lot of that is what I saw in marketing. And then when I look at the recruiting side, and I promise I’ll stop talking right after this to get your thoughts, but it’s the same kind of thing.

Like you have these post and pray job postings to boards, you have an emphasis on large candidate pools instead of the candidate quality within it. You’re often usually only starting conversations with candidates who are actively seeking new roles instead of outbounding. How do you generate that interest and build that up for the people for a future role that you might be going after in six months?

Yeah. I remember my least favorite, and it’s similar to pricing withheld, compensation and company names being withheld from recruiters. That’s the one biggest thing that gets under my skin. I remember getting so many emails, DMs, “Hey, we’ve got a great role for you at a Series C company that just got funding.”

And like, who is it? What’s the pay? Like if you- I’m not looking right now, you can’t withhold that information from me because those are two of the biggest things that I’m sure you could talk for hours on, but it’s like a lot of that is very eerily similar to what marketing went through. And it’s like I can almost foresee where do we think some of this recruiting psychology is going to go moving forward.

So yeah. I promised I’d stop talking after that because I really want to hear your thoughts. Yeah, no worries. I would say the two things that stuck out about that is- I’ll come back to the salary thing in a second. But the first thing, whether we’re talking inbound or outbound, is just the amount of untargeted ads or untargeted messaging, because I think that-

I was talking today, I’ve probably thrown this out a few times is when I first got into recruiting a long time ago, people at that point in time thought I was crazy. because “Monster’s going to put you out of business because you know, they can just post their own jobs.

What do they need recruiters for?” And they don’t realize that, okay, but it takes absolutely no effort for anyone to apply to any job whether they fit or not. So it just became another tool that people have to use to like find stuff. But it still takes a human element of going through and kind of refining things, whether it’s an internal recruiter or external recruiter to figure out, okay, who do we actually want to screen and take that recruiting funnel kind of down to a manageable level.

I don’t think that’s really what- what will be interesting is if the technology or process or mindset changed where instead of, because that also works the same on the outbound. I think everyone’s big complaint with recruiting when they’re receiving recruiting messages is they’re getting contacted about stuff that doesn’t fit them.

And to them, they’re like, this recruiter didn’t read my details. Of course they didn’t. Like they sent this message out to a hundred other people. They’re casting a wide net. That’s the whole, the outbound funnel system, you know what I mean? And how to flip that on its head where you’re more easily able to get,

you know, if you’re trying to go from 100 to 30 to 10 or whatever it is, like how do you actually get it down to a smaller amount that you’re going on the outbound side? Or on the inbound side, how do you get like your ads or whatever you’re doing to get more targeted there? And there’s ways of doing it from an individual standpoint.

The better recruiters I know have gotten better at more targeted outbound, but I do think that the best practices aren’t there. And I do think that we can point our fingers at LinkedIn and everyone else that making it so easy to like the easy apply button on the inbound side and then the outbound side, like the blast all InMail, you know, hasn’t- but at the same time too, is it also an indictment of sourcing tech?

If you can do a search and LinkedIn gives you a thousand results, how about you just give me 50 results that are actually good? You know, that are actually on the money for what I’m looking for as opposed to this giant list that I have to like blast all and just hope someone gets back on.


So I think that sales is ahead of that because I don’t think the best outbound people now are doing just blast all to everyone. I’m sure people are going to listen and say, I’m still getting hit up with spam. But I do think that just by best practices have kind of veered towards making things more targeted nowadays on the outbound side and the sales realm, and then that’s where recruiting needs to catch up.

I can take a breath if you have a comment there. I saw you writing something down. Yeah. So one thing, and I think this is one of the reasons why marketing and sales started a shift, like with that philosophy I was talking about earlier, the quantity to quality. There was a huge adjustment to going from anyone who could possibly buy, like your total addressable market to your ideal customer profile, who realistically could buy.

So it’s not targeting the whole company anymore, but who are the buyers? Who are the influencers? Who would be the users of it? And so I used to target millions of people because every company, every employee within it. So what I’m wondering from a recruiting standpoint is, when you are pulling those lists in LinkedIn or whatever to source those candidates, are we being too broad with what we’re typing in?

I’m looking for a digital marketer, it’s like okay, well do you want someone with B2B experience? Do you want someone with B2C? Do you want someone who’s done e-commerce? Do you want someone who has like X, Y, Z experience? Are they a web developer? Are they a paid social expert? So is it being better able to use things like bullion to really refine that so that you’re not getting the thousand people, but now you’re getting the 50

who really should be actually on your like long or short list. So here’s the tough part is that it also depends what you’re recruiting on and we can talk about, because I know we plan on having a kind of a conversation about like recruiting funnels and whatnot. There are some skill sets that are a little more keyword focused.

Anything tech focused, you know, typically, but you have to remember that a lot of times LinkedIn profiles are not exhaustive the way that someone’s resume might be. And when you’re recruiting people who are more functionally minded, so like marketers or really anyone who’s not like strictly kind of in tech, a lot of it, when you’re the hiring manager and you’re the recruiter, you’re usually trying to target on problems they’ve solved or businesses challenges they’ve addressed.

Which these are the things that often aren’t on the resume. Like there might be some keywords about the technology they work with or the standard marketing buzzwords. But in terms of like, it’s the more granular components that you’re trying to get into that identify a good candidate that Bullion might not even pick up.

It’s the kind of things you actually have to have a conversation with someone to flush out, which is why there’s kind of an inherent challenge there. Depending on what it is, I’m not- there’s a lot of other searches that aren’t kind of quite that complex. But yeah, just throwing that out there as a counter point.

Yeah, no, it’s a great point. That’s probably why you said like recruiting’s not as easy as most people think, because that’s where it’s like that gut instinct of, oh, I saw this person worked at this type of company, so they probably experienced this thing that’s not showing up on their profile, but they know how to scale company from five to 50 million or they worked at a small hospital or large hospital, so they probably have better trauma ability if you’re going after someone in the healthcare industry.

So, yeah. No, I like that point that you brought up there where it’s like, how do you kind of look beyond some of the listable short items? Yeah. Yeah. Let’s talk about, one of the things I want to get into that we just talked about ahead of time I thought was really interesting was dictating strategy and success.

Are you dictating it or are you letting the technology you use dictate it? Because this was a really interesting point because I’ve heard plenty of marketers talk about this in like the demand gen world, but I didn’t realize that maybe this is why some of the dumb questions I get from people like in recruiting, like, why are you focusing on this still?

Maybe it’s the technology they’re using, it’s telling them to. I don’t even know, so. But please continue and make those points and then kick us off here on this one. Yeah, I’ll make marketing be the bad guy so that it not all seems like we’re just bashing HR tech. Yeah. So I’ve used way too many

marketing tech platforms, because as you say that, that graph keeps getting bigger and bigger. I mean, you can just, it’s whack-a-mole at this point with like go pick a tool and they’re going to be able to solve all your problems with their incredible ROI. But one thing we started to notice more and more of is you see people get really excited about tools.

“This is going to save us. This is going to help us hit our goals and everything else.” And what I find it is that results would look really, really good in the platform, like unbelievable. You get on the call with your success manager, like “You all are killing it. You’re doing great. Look at all these MQLs you drove” or “Look at all these impressions you generated.”

And then you’re sitting in your company’s quarterly business review and you’re just like, “We missed our revenue target. We’re not even close to our pipeline numbers. What’s going on?” And so you’ve got over here saying, this is really good. You’re doing great. And then you’re like, reality is our company is not as good as we should be.

So there’s a disconnect there. Yeah. And what I started to find is you see these new metrics popping up left and right. In marketing, you’ve got AQLs, MQLs, PQLs, SQLs. I mean they literally come up with a new one every day. And what I started to realize is that they are coming up with their own metrics that are intended to show you if you’re seeing success with their platform because that’s how they justify you renewing and you continuing to pay for all this stuff.

So of course they’re going to choose things intentionally that make it- those are the things that make it easy. Those are the things that are easy for them to measure. So that’s why when they convince you those are the things are important. The stuff that’s hard to measure are the things that might actually make a difference in what you’re trying to accomplish,

but. Exactly. So that’s why I started to think more and more about it. I was just like, all right well, If the platform isn’t really solving it and I’ve been using them as my strategy, we need to use this thing. I’m like well, maybe we need to really rethink this and say what’s our strategy that we know is going to work?

How do we want to approach the market? And then we’ll pick the tech that we use to do the execution and support it. I still get on calls all the time with LinkedIn on the ad side and others, and they’re like, “You should use this type of campaign strategy. You should look at these metrics and goals.”

I’m like I appreciate it. Thank you. I’m going to focus on the metrics that I want to and orient it and the way that is driving the business results, because that’s what I care about. You’re still going to get your ad dollars from me, don’t worry, but I’m going to do it a little bit different than your best practices because those are what’s going to get you the most money, but not me.

So yeah. That’s where you- I just say use some critical thinking for a little bit and it took me 10 years to get to that point. So hopefully I’m able to spare some recruiters here some years in that learning. I mean, the one that pops up, the most commonly one we’ll get asked about is what our time to fill is.

And it’s on its face, it seems like it’s an important metric. How long does it take you to fill a position? And that’s one that literally every internal ATS can track and measure because it’s when did you open the job and when are you closing it out? So then you can make your average time to fill. Now here’s the thing, is

what part of that process is on me, I guess? Right. So what goes into the recruitment process is, okay, it takes a while to find the candidates, vet the candidates, get them prepped, send them out to the hiring manager, and the hiring manager has to screen them or hiring manager has to determine if they want to talk to, maybe they do a screening.

Then they have to set up interviews and they set another round of interviews. They have to do the debriefs. Much of this, like the entire time to fill process like the overwhelming majority of it is interview process, not how long it took you to find somebody. But it ends up being a question that’s asked towards every recruiter as if it’s their issue in terms of how long it took them to find a candidate for the entire process to close out.

So that’s why it’s- and I always kind of explain this and the thing is, I’ve had this conversation a million times. The answer is always, well, you know, and we’ll have the candidates you need in one to two weeks. How long is your, what’s your time to fill currently? How long does it currently take you to fill this?

And what’s your interview process? And everyone a hundred percent of the time gets it like, oh, it’s a good point. That’s why it’s longer is because it takes us three months to interview people. That’s why it’s three months plus however so many days. But it’s still burned in everyone’s brain that like that’s like the core metric that they need to be kind of measured by.

But it’s really a metric that’s about their interview process not about their recruitment and sourcing process, which is where they want to kind of put the onus on where the fix needs to be. Yeah. Because I mean, if you’re bringing in a phenomenal candidate or a terrible candidate, they’re going to go through the same interview process and that’s internally based on how long does it take you to schedule that and everything else

versus like time to impact for that individual or anything else. But yeah, that doesn’t make sense when you think about it from how do you find the right people to handing it off to- that’s kind of on you at that point. Yeah. What else do you want to talk about? Want to talk about ghosting?

Let’s talk about ghosting. I know you feel strongly about this, so I’m going to let you start with this one and then I’ll chime in. So the thing is, it’s actually like my most hated topics. I think it’s like- if you want to post something on social media that’s been beaten to death, but you know it’s going to get everyone riled up

so everyone’s going to give you a lot of engagement on it, ghosting. There you go. Simple one. Everyone’s been ghosted before. Everybody ghosts. Everyone knows what it’s like to not hear back from somebody. I want back up just for a second on this though just to lay the groundwork again, back to how we kind of started the conversation.

So when I mentioned we started using HubSpot for our external facing sales and marketing, not for our internal recruitment processes. Just to give you an example, some of the basic stuff we’re looking to do right now, right? So client pulse surveys. So touch base emails on the client side,

notifications of account managers just to find out how we’re doing, get some feedback. Candidate review automations, making sure we’re actually like asking candidates, how did you enjoy working with us? And those types of things. Getting that type of stuff set up. Good stuff to know. Lead scoring and sales opportunity automation.

So I’m- this is what I’m actually most excited about is like tracking who’s coming to our website and where, how much time they’re spending, what things they’re checking out, like what can we determine are actually buying triggers and stuff like that. Which I have to say is just as applicable on the recruitment side.

When someone, hypothetically if you were to know who is coming to check out your bene- who in your funnel is coming to your benefits page? Or who in your funnel is actually coming up reading your frequently asked questions and stuff like that or the videos you have on your website, would be good stuff to know if you could know it.

Dashboards that give you reports of all that type of stuff. So here’s a list of the people, blah, blah, blah. I mentioned all this because in regards to ghosting, this is a hundred percent an automation problem. Now, sometimes we say automation, like people think auto rejection emails. But I want to describe some of those things we’re doing with HubSpot because like automation really like, BDR AE externally facing, like they’re not ghosting on their prospects.

This is never, it’s not like a problem where suddenly the people they’re trying to get in touch with to sell, like they just kind of forget about them one day. Like they’ve got too many workflows and reminders and triggers. So like that stuff should literally never happen. I mean the sales side, it’s the same job except they have

five to 100 times the volume because every position they’re trying to fill, they’re trying to reach out to this many people. So they have an infinitely larger subset of people they’re trying to continually go after. Yet they don’t have the same sort of technology backing them up, making it so like the things as simple to solve as ghosting, because that’s the biggest problem for ghosting from a recruitment standpoint is

some recruiters might have literally a thousand people that they have kind of in their funnel they’re staying in touch with. You can’t remember to stay in touch with a thousand people. You have to have proper technology letting you know, “Hey, here’s a group of people you haven’t talked to in two weeks, or one week or 30 days” to do a follow up or something like that.

And using current sales and marketing technology HubSpot, Salesforce, easy to fix. Most ATS systems not a chance. That’s wild. Well, I’m not plugging Loxo but like, that’s one of the easiest things to do within our platform. But to your point of it, is it- so when you’re saying ghosting and everything else, is it that the recruiters are just, they don’t have the time because they’re having to follow up individually one-on-one with each of these people to say like, how’s it going?

What’s going on? Or is it the ability, like I guess is it a manual issue or is it a time or what? It’s a manual issue. So you have to realize, so Loxo, you guys are pretty cutting edge and more recent. So I guess we have to put things in two perspectives. One, you’re a newer platform that’s been developed in a little more modernly and you’re also an external facing platform. So it’s a little more sales focused, right?

So it has a little bit more of that mindset kind of baked into it versus internal recruitment platforms. And some of those have been around forever and they have tremendous market share, but they were never created with like a whole sales mentality. You know, because you guys are an ATS and a CRM.

Versus like a lot of internal systems, they’re just an ATS. They’re not built to have that kind of two-sided- because whenever you’re building, even though like you might be thinking okay this is important from a sales standpoint, you’re building into kind of both sides of the equation.

Whereas a lot of these other like more legacy internal ATS systems, aren’t built like that, you know? They don’t have, they didn’t see the need to kind of create some of these things. Yeah. So I mean, it becomes an out of sight, out of mind problem really quick when you don’t have like workflow automation, technology there to support it.

Yeah. So I think it’s twofold. So one, you say some of them are just dated, old, they haven’t put a lot of effort into it, and also they’re an ATS. That’s not necessarily what they need to do. I know this is something that Matt, our CEO, keeps telling the me time and again, is the traditional ATS is a remnant of, you know how it used to be when you just post on job boards and wait for people to come to you.

They want to talk. It’s real easy to stay in touch with them because it’s the people who are applying for your job. Whereas in today’s day, like especially when you’re external, it’s you have to go and attract these people and develop the relationships and you have to start and own those communication lines.

So that’s where it’s like the ATS, CRM. It’s almost they have to be combined if you want to be successful in the type of endeavor that you’re taking on there. So yeah. How do you then bridge that gap and how can you make it so okay, well now do you know you need to be sending those, so it’s, do you have a thousand sticky notes on your computer?

Like send Jim an email. Send Jenny an email. Send Joanie an email. Yeah. And do it every day. Or what can we learn from tools like HubSpot where you have a super simple workflow? So in our ATS for example, we have like long list, short list, reached out. If you drag someone over from short list to reach out, it’s set

so it’s automatically, it’s going to pull the contact information. Then you can add them to any campaign outreach sequence that you can use some templates, you can create, and it does it all for you so you don’t have to remember. And then if they reply, then it pulls it out for you. So it’s like, those are the types of things where you learn that from HubSpot and everything else. It’s nothing crazy, but it’s helping you do what you need in today’s world, not the years of 10, 20 years past where everyone was coming inbound to you.

And let me, as you say that, I can already hear someone watching this video going to take a dump all over me saying, well, so-and-so platform can do that. So that’s not an excuse. All right, so let me address that one also. The other issue with recruitment technology, and this is not really, I don’t if it’s really recruitment technology issue or just the prioritization, the low prioritization that recruitment gets. You need someone to actually admin this stuff, to set this stuff up,

is the other side of it. I don’t- even a great platform, right? So like the best, we’re talking about HubSpot, but if it’s sixth sense or or anything else out there, you need someone who actually knows what they’re doing and that’s their job. And I think that’s the other issue too, is like most internal recruitment departments are small, even external agencies.

Most do not have an actual recruitment ops who is a techno functional geek that enjoys actually creating this stuff so it actually supports. Because otherwise you’re talking about, you know, if you’re a company full of recruiters or a recruitment department that doesn’t have an actual person assigned to them that this is their job to kind of run recruitment ops,

you’re asking a bunch of people who aren’t technology savvy to kind of figure this stuff out on their own and it’s never going to happen. So I don’t know if, I don’t even know if that’s rec- that’s not even a technology issue. That’s just a lack of understanding of how you need someone. Maybe it is. Maybe at some level the technology should be so seamless that like literally anyone can run it.

But even the best tech, even the best marketing technology isn’t at that level yet, right. Tell me if I’m wrong. Yeah. Every product has a complexity, how easy or difficult is the user experience of it. Yeah. The whole, excuse me, concept of like marketing ops, rev ops, sales ops, that’s a newer title. When you think about it,

10 years ago, those didn’t exist. Yeah. And they came about because the platforms got so complicated that it’s no longer the one marketer. Like I used to be able to jump into HubSpot and do everything and now there’s so much different stuff going on. We’re about to start using HubSpot and I’m like, I need a consultant to set this up properly, do all my integrations, because it becomes complicated quick.

So from a recruitment tech standpoint, you’re spot on where it’s, you’re going to have your early adopters, the people who innately get it. But do you want them to be training up the whole team on that if- because these more often than not are probably some of your best recruiters too. They know how to use the platforms to their advantage and that’s why they do well, is they’re able to do five times the amount in the platform because they figured it out is what might take someone else

one, they might be able to get one person for every five that they get. And so now it’s like, well, do you want them writing the playbook for internal use and training everyone up? Or do you want to say like, you go nuts, you’re doing well, we’ll have to figure it out. But then, yeah. You have to bring on a training asset or what do you do?

So yeah. That’s kind of the conundrum, I guess. And you’re spot on there too at the rev ops is like one of the hottest things right now in terms of hiring and recruiting. Everyone’s adopting rev ops, everyone wants to hire for rev ops, you know, which means recruiting ops will get there in like 10 years. You know, just on theme with the show.

Exactly. So yeah. As much as I want to say our product, any product is the easiest to use it’s like- And this is one nice thing I will say about the shift to like this product led motion that you’re seeing a lot of places where it’s just like you get to just hop into the product. You don’t have to talk to sales. If you want to upgrade, that’s when you usually start to get a contract.

But it forces companies to make it so it is, you activate the product, you adopt the product’s usage. Because before it was, you have somebody who raises their hand and you have them go talk to sales. So that’s kinda like your qualified opportunity. When they come in through the product, they aren’t talking to your sales team, but you have to get them to that weed out moment

where are they going to use the product? Is it helpful for them or are they going to bounce and not turn into anything for you? So a lot of that comes down to what training do you have baked into your product or what kind of guiding help do you have within there? So for us, we have this free motion and there’s little videos and snippets like, click here, do this, try this, set up your first campaign doing that.

And then we’ve got articles. But that’s where it’s how, on the company, how helpful can you be to do that? Because like you say, if you don’t have a recruiting ops person or we’re 10 years out from that, that’s on us to help train everyone. Yeah. No, I get it. What else you want to talk about today?

We had a bunch of notes here, which we’re kind of scattering all around. I would say the two biggest, the two biggest areas are probably better sourcing tech. Because I think that’s the thing is you can enter a search and it gives you a thousand results back.

How do you get that cut down to a more manageable number in a way that like is actually the most relevant people? I’m actually curious, will chat GPT and all these, will they be able to do that or will they be able to help with that? Like better than to say a Bullion search can, is one. And two, I think it comes back to the workflow automations and triggers.

Are kind of the two things that if they were easier and better to use for everyone, those would be two pretty significant time savers. But it’s one, how possible is the first one? And two, how easy is it to implement at scale across the industry for the second one? Yeah. That’d be my take. Yeah. No, it’s an interesting one.

And I swear I can’t get on LinkedIn anymore without seeing like top 10 GT or GPT whatever prompts. Yeah. And like all chat GPT. So we’re on our fourth generation of AI and I’m kind of not disappointed, there’s this whole like, I feel like we’re getting a little bit bogged down in the AI wave.

But one thing that I think can help is I’m just, I’m not even going to call it AI. I’m just going to call it machine learning because it’s basically you’re training your own platform itself. So say you do start your Bullion, you have 5,000 candidates within there. We’re just going to keep going with like, it’s called a CFO title

you’re trying to place. So you put in your criteria. I want someone who’s got accounting skills. They’ve been a VP of finance or CFO elsewhere. And so you’ve got your 5,000 people or so. So now I’ve got this list that you start going through and you train it by having like, yes, no, maybe.

And so as you’re scrolling through these candidates on the initial screen and you’re seeing like who they are, where they live, companies they’ve worked for, previous roles and skills. So nothing crazy, but enough to see on a quick snippet. So much that would be pulled from LinkedIn. So you start, yes,

no, maybe’ing everyone. Can it start to learn based on who you’re putting no, yes, maybe, to mostly the yes and no’s because it makes it binary for it. But if you put no’s for a bunch of people that it starts to connect the dots on the back end. Well, all these no’s were people who lived in Alaska. Okay, well maybe

we need someone who’s located in mainland states. Or all these no people didn’t have this specific skillset, forecasting. Again, making something up. All the yes people we’ve noticed worked at a company that was publicly traded or was a hundred million in revenue or something. So that’s why I’m thinking like, how can you train it to pick it up on those types of things where it’s not like- it’s AI but it’s not really. It’s more just

what are the circles that are overlapping more and more. So it starts to be more in that middle part versus the outline. The issue is there’s so many variables that it would be really easy for it in my mind to falsely attribute why you’re giving it the thumbs up or thumbs down.

I almost wonder if you could use like natural language processing or again, like chat whatever to like thumbs down, here’s why. And it could actually, in natural language, without having to pick an exact dropdown say, okay, you said something similar for these five, not the exact same words, but being able to correlate that. It might cut to the point a little bit quicker.

Yeah. Just a thought. That’d be fascinating. Yeah. It’s almost- we’re just making stuff up at this point in the podcast. Reason for review . Oh no, my product team is going to hate me after this because I’m going to come out “Guys, you need to think about this”. But no, it’s- I mean, so in marketing here, I’ll give you another example.

So we are big fans and this is something that back to my last company’s days, we would always have our customer say on the forum when someone reaches out, ask “How did you hear about us?” And this is where they’re going to specifically say like, “Oh, I saw your LinkedIn ad. I heard your CEO talk in this podcast.

I had a peer or colleague tell me about it.” So what if we take something similar for the HR space and when you’re saying yes or no to those people, you have to say that kind of response. And then what it does is, I mean tools like HubSpot, you have a quick worth of buckets, these responses. So you can say it’s like it’s geo oriented or skill related.

So that could be. I mean, it’s not that you don’t need GPT for something like that. Not to say that we’re anti technologists at this point, but there are ways that we could get to that that’s not so crazy to think about. Yeah. No, that’s interesting. What else do you want to wrap about? I know you and I both have some time constraints here/ where we? Yeah.

It’s 2:43. So one that I think would be interesting. So I recently moved over Loxo a couple months ago. And so I was at the point in my career where we are starting our family and so I had always known around this time I was like, I’m going to want to go back in house and I have a very specific criteria list, so to speak, of companies that I want to go work for from here.

So in my head it was like what type of company, do I want start up, enterprise, large, small? Do I want to go somewhere that’s VC funded or bootstrapped? What type of role do I want? Is there a career path ahead of me? And so one thing that was interesting for me is you have this pool of people who are looking or passively looking.

You have recruiters who are trying to find these harder to place roles. We work with a lot of exec search agencies who are trying to source people but there’s this missing overlap where it’s like, how do you connect

those types of people? Because I guarantee there were probably recruiters that were trying to fill positions like the ones that I was looking for. And I’ve only got in my head like five companies that I know of, but there’s probably thousands of companies that I could have worked for that met that criteria.

So yeah. I know that one’s kind of like out of left field, but curious to get your thoughts on that. Well, when you get- next time you get spammed by a recruiter when you’re not looking, just make sure to respond and maybe talk with them because it might help out down the line. I’m joking, but it’s serious though.

There’s a lot of times where there’s people who I’ve placed and people in my company placed that it’s just because they have stayed in touch forever, you know. And they hit them- they’re always able to stay. They’re always there at that right time when they’re finally open to looking again because they’re dropping them a line every six months because it’s someone they’ve enjoyed talking to in the past and working with.

And it is kind of a relationship building thing, you know? And I think there is value in- I mean, if you’re a marketer having relationships with three or four solid marketing recruiters who could potentially help you out at some point in the future. That way you kind of have those kind of feelers and stuff out there.

So, yeah. That’s more of a job seeking and it pays to have relationships no matter what kind of in your career and realizing that. But it depends what your niche is, you know? Yeah. You don’t have to talk to every recruiter.

I think that there’s, I’ve known plenty of people that they only, I’m sure they get hit. Like I know plenty of technology people that probably have gotten hit up by hundreds of recruiters in their career, but they only stayed in touch with a couple. So it’s really what it comes down to.

Yeah, that’s true. So, all right. Devil’s advocate. I’ll be nicer to recruiters moving forward, especially now that I have to. But the other part is do you think that there’s a part of people that think these recruiters were hired by this company to place a very specific role. They’re not thinking that the recruiter will also be placing hundreds of other roles in the future for different companies, different types of things.

So it’s like, do you also think about in the feedback, “Hey, I’m recruiting for VP of marketing at Apple, but I’m also going to be recruiting for any marketing role in the future. So if this isn’t right, let me know, but I’m happy to work with you to think about if there’s an opportunity in the future. Let me know and I can help you find that.”

I mean, that’s recruiting 101, honestly. Any recruiter who’s good should be saying that and should be getting that back. I think that’s the thing though. Any recruiter who’s good, you would be amazed how many- No, you’re right. No, I wouldn’t be amazed. I wouldn’t be surprised at least bit at all, to be honest with you.

But, I I think that- let’s put it this way. I think that recruiters sometimes, they’ll say that in a cheesy way. “Hey, I have this position, but I got like 20 others that they’re just the same, so let’s just chat.” And everyone’s like, all right. So your initial pitch didn’t, wasn’t that compelling.

But you have a bunch of other stuff, like, I heard this all before. But if you- most recruiters, like they have their niche and if they- like my colleague Bill, who’s one of our partners here. He runs our HR recruiting practice. He recruits high level HR. He recruits CHROs, heads of talent, and he talks with

people at that level know that he’s someone they should get to know just because you don’t see CHRO positions that often. It’s not like they’re, you know? But he’s the person they’re going to want to know when those things open up. So he always has a kind of good relationships and people kind of want to get to know him just because he’s the kind of person who’s going to have those roles in the future and they get it, you know?

It’s the same for you work in marketing or anyone else who’s kind of out there and recruiters should make it known what their niche is and what their focus is and that these are the types of roles I will have an ongoing basis. I think the problem is that they shoehorn that message into a very transactional delivery.

So Bill has a very natural approach and also is very realistic of people saying, “Look, I may only find a handful of these positions a year kind of at this level, at this highest level. But if you want to kind of stay in touch, I can let you know when they come up.” As opposed to the approach of saying, “Oh, I work on this stuff all the time.

Yeah, I’m the guy who’s always got VP of marketing positions and I got five others.” Everyone knows it’s bullshit, right? So it just kind of comes down to your demeanor and how you set expectations and letting people know. I think the other thing too is you have to let people know,

“Yes, we do focus on this. This is one of the things I work on. The volume isn’t high. You’re not going to hear from me constantly. But if you want to chat sometime when we do see things like this come up, I can let you know.” I think people are more receptive of that. because they know that’s a real, that’s a real thing to say.

That’s more realistic and in line. And people aren’t upset when they don’t hear from you for three or six months because they know it’s just they don’t expect you and they shouldn’t expect you to be able to solve their job search problem. But as long as you’re just setting expectations properly and following up when appropriate.

Works wonders. Wow. Wow. We just like broke it down to the most simplest thing possible. Anyway. We like to complicate things in marketing and in the recruiting world. Yeah. All right, last thing then I’ll let us drop because I’m a huge marketing data nerd. So I love looking at like marketing funnels for B2B companies and saying basically what’s working, what isn’t, and what can we do to fix it?

So for example, we were talking earlier about leads. See, a very basic funnel is you have leads. And then of those leads, a certain number are qualified. Of those that are qualified, they turn into opportunities for sales and of those that get to sales, you close one or loose. When I think about the recruiting funnel, I see something kind of similar.

You’ve got kind of the different levels and everything that they go from, from just picking out who are people that could be candidates for this? How many people have I gotten in touch with? How many people are at least kind of interested in potentially pursuing it? And then how many did I place?

So in marketing, there are very distinct levers that you can pull between the phases to understand how do we increase this? So for example, say you have a hundred people who come to your company, saying I want to talk. But only 25 of those people ever get in front of, or talk to your sales reps. It’s like well, why are three out of four people not having that conversation when they said that they wanted to?

And so when you think about the actual journey, it’s more often than not, it’s you’re playing calendar tag to try to make it work or they gave you a bad email address or something else, so they never have that call. So you can insert simple tools like Calendly to say, pick the time that you want to chat with me.

And then it’s amazing what happens. People show up when they expect the call versus you trying to pinball them with emails to coordinate that. So on the recruiting side, I’m very curious to see, like as I start digging into the data, I’m sure you’ve probably seen this over time, but say you have a thousand potential candidates for a role. X number

you’ve gotten in touch with, however many more than make it to “I’m interested in this role.” Are there levers that we can start to identify? And this is where I say know your strategy and then get the tools to plug in to help with that. But like you have a low target number because you don’t have a good sourcing tool.

Do you not have good contact information? So when you have that list, you just can’t get to the people. What are some of those that you’ve seen or could be interesting to pull out? It’s an interesting question. And this might have to be, I might need to put some more thought into this and potentially a whole follow up kind of podcast.

Yeah. I think that if you’re looking at, let’s just make up some numbers. Like you’re doing a high level search, executive search, whatever, and you want to target a hundred people, you want to screen 30, you want shortlist 10, you want to very- or very shortlist and present five, then hire one, whatever.

So we’ll say a hundred, thirty, ten, five, one, whatever. I think that the two things are going to make people fall out of the funnels. One, they’re not qualified. And two, they weren’t interested in your pitch usually, you know? So it works on both ways. So it’s the kind of thing you do have to realize it’s a different, it’s a two-sided sales process as opposed to a lot of things in sales and marketing are a little more kind of a one-sided type of thing.

That’s not completely a poo poo sales and marketing. There is some solution selling, and you get one every client. , But messaging top level, it’s always what’s your message? Is it compelling? That’s always kind of like the trigger one. Trigger two is when you actually get them live. Again, is it compelling?

Does it make sense? But does it make sense for them in their career? It might make a lot of sense for some people, but might not make sense for other people. Another trigger is, do they have- I don’t want to say have what it takes. Do they have the skills necessary and do they actually fit what you’re trying to hire for? Then you have to worry about what else are they looking at? Do they have other things they’re looking at that they’re just more appealing? So there are a lot of things there. There are a lot of things that make people fall out of the funnel. It can get messy though in terms of like- if you look at level by level, strictly at where they’re on the funnel where they’re falling up, I think it’s going to be search by search.

So if you’re trying to look at your entire recruitment process across the organization, you would have to kind of break it down more granularly, because I think even if you’re recruiting for the same company, two different positions might have different things. One might- I’ve had some companies where one position’s extremely appealing to people, but something about some other position, maybe the pay wasn’t there, maybe it’s, you know, there’s different things about it that made one position easier to fill than the other.

But it’s an interesting question if you could use technology to, because I think to your point, you should have similar falloff rates across a consistent recruitment cycle. And if on one particular search it’s out of whack in one area, you might be able to at least diagnose like, okay, where is it? Why is it on the third screening area down the funnel on this one search of this one company?

Is it falling apart? At least then you would have some idea to know, okay, that’s what need to address. Yeah. Because it’s like I’ll run a loss analysis. Why are we losing deals? And so that could be something interesting for, you know, the a hundred people that you’re looking in that role you only ended up submitting five in the short list. But of those that you didn’t push through, are people falling out because of certain reasons

like I was never even able to get in touch with them. Is that something that you can control? Is it an information issue? Is it a process issue? So I say, just go to that, like that second order thinking, not to push products or anything on anyone, but just to say, Is there anything that we can do to improve this process

for some of the things that are outside of the, they’re just not looking right now or they’re not qualified? Yeah. Future conversation. Yeah, let’s sync up on this again. Anyways, we went a bit long today. So hopefully people are still listening. Anyways. Thanks everyone for tuning into the Talent Insights Podcast, part of the Talent Insights series, which is always available for replay on talentinsights.hirewell.com,

YouTube, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and Amazon. Sam Kuehnle, thanks again for stopping by, talking with us. Everyone out there, thanks again for tuning in. See you guys soon.


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