Mark Feffer: Welcome to PeopleTech, the podcast of the HCM Technology Report. I’m Mark Feffer.
This edition of PeopleTech is brought to you by JobSync, an integration platform that helps build hiring workflow solutions. They reduce friction during the hiring process, resulting in more applications in your ATS, a shorter time to hire, and a better ROI. Learn more at www.JobSync.io.
I’m talking today with Alex Murphy, JobSync’s CEO. Alex’s it’s great to see you.
Let’s step back and talk about the industry right now, meaning the whole job market really. What are some of the biggest hiring challenges that you think are facing employers today?
Alex Murphy: Well, hiring challenges, there are a number of different ways to cut it. I think that the market is not a bell curve right now. The market as a whole is kind of like bar bell. There’s a big segment of the market, where there is no hiring taking place and there’s another big segment of the market where there’s an extraordinary amount of hiring taking place. That dynamic is difficult to manage because of all the current macro conditions around, start with the pandemic, lead into the economic impact of slowing things down, pausing the economy in the spring, and then the ripple effect that that’s had through the year.
The follow-on effect of that, is that there’s just a lot of fear in the job seeker world. Fear means people don’t move. So you have this odd circumstance where a million plus people are entering into the unemployment roles week after week, after week with very high unemployment, coupled with a lack of job search activity. That dynamic is unusual for past economic slowdowns. So companies are having to figure out how to do more with less. How to engage and find candidates just at the very, very top of the funnel and how to engage with them going through that funnel and how to stay in touch and connected with them. To how to build confidence to actually, continue through the application process and to interviews.
So I think in a summary statement, the market is full of fear and anxiety, and that slows everything down and it creates its own of friction. Consequently, companies need to figure out ways to remove friction and ways to engage with their candidate pipeline, if you will, in a way that helps facilitate that relationship building to the degree which that it can.
Mark: Now, what does all that mean for the job search process? I mean, you talk about there’s more people in the labor market, employees are having to do more with less, doesn’t that create more of a complicated process for them, or more challenging process?
Alex: On the candidate side?
Mark: Both sides.
Alex: So, well, I’ll start with the candidate side. I think that there are a couple of different things. We run a round table every week and a couple of weeks ago, we talked about the job scams that are out there. So, candidates have to be on the lookout for people misrepresenting and misusing job postings as methods to engage and scam people, so that’s a heightened thing. On top of that, not in the scam category, but maybe in the not as great for the candidate side, are people that are just using job postings to build a pipeline of prospective candidates that they might reach out to someday.
So candidates are wasting their time on some job openings or job postings that aren’t going to facilitate helping them get to that application. Then, once they do find a company that they want to apply to, frequently the TA team was thinned out in the spring. So now they’re trying to hire lots of people. If the company, let’s say, is in one of those categories where they were, let’s say offline for a couple of months, and now they’re coming back. So maybe they had to furlough a bunch of employees. So now the recruiting and HR team is doing double duty to bring back those furloughed employees and also recruit new people, while having fewer people to do it.
So now the candidate is submitting their application, they’re not hearing back as fast. There’s a longer process on the recruiter side. They’re obviously under a lot of stress. So that’s just a cocktail of not awesomeness all the way around.
Then on the recruiter side with the TA team, they are often thinned out. So I was chatting in a parallel industry, in the mortgage industry, the mortgage industry thought that everything was over in March and then who knew the federal reserve would step in and start supporting buying mortgages so now the mortgage business is booming. I think that recruiting is kind of like that too. I hear on the street that the big job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter and so forth are having their best months ever in August and September. You would never think that, that was never the case coming out of recessions in the past. It took years for job boards to catch up as far as having a great business model.
So it’s this anxiety, stress, couple everything else that’s happening in a macro environment, fewer people to help you along the way, higher expectations. It just makes it more difficult for the recruiter. Again, comes back to having really great structure and really great processes will be the thing that wins the day for them.
Mark: Can automation help with that? I mean, if they have to streamline their processes and … can you talk about that for a bit?
Alex: Sure. Automation is a required component of your process today if you want to really get ahead. Probably even better way to put it, if you just want to stay above water, but I don’t think it’s automation in, I’ll say, in the revolutionary change the world ways, rather just automation in some of the simple things. So using the automation in your ATS for doing things like communicating with candidates as they advance through the hiring stages so that you can communicate with them that they’re there, that they’ve been evaluated, that they’re being advanced, or if they are no longer under consideration, communicate with them using some automated form of messaging, be it from email, or SMS, or whatever your flavor is, if you will.
Automation around some of the scheduling in particular, the phone scheduling and things like … Here’s a simple one, that everybody should hopefully be doing at this point but I think it’s really one of the greatest examples. Using a service like Calendly to plug in your calendar, so you can send a link and say, “Schedule a time that’s convenient for you.” That is automation. It’s taking your calendar and making it visible to this prospective candidate that then they can then plug in when they want to chat and you don’t have to get involved with, “Well, I’m free on Tuesday at 1:00 and 3:00 and Thursday at 4:30,” and then you go back and forth nine times. Cut all of that messaging out and just let them plug in and set the time.
Those little simple things are big wins. I like the saying that culture eats strategy, and there’s a book called Loonshots, guy wrote it, Safi Bahcall, says structure eats culture. So if you set that structure up properly where you’re using some of these simple automation tools, that will make you get much further, much faster.
Mark: Now they also, I think, improve the experience of the candidate, which in turn means more candidates get the word about your company and that it’s a good place to apply. So is that important? I mean, if this automation leads to an increased application rate, is that icing on the cake or is that a means to an end? How should people look at that?
Alex: This gets at the core of what we do as a business around facilitating the connection between the job sites the companies use and the hiring systems that companies use to extract the application, pull it out of the ATS and take it up to where the candidate is. So by way of example, instead of having the candidate find your job on Indeed, or on Facebook, or on ZipRecruiter, or Monster, or wherever, and then leave the job site where they have a profile and their resume and everything else, and have to go to your ATS, which is the 25th ATS that they’ve been on in the last two weeks, to fill out all the same kind of profile information and navigate their way through what is commonly a bit of a difficult process, have that application take place up on the job site.
We call that a native application experience, where they can answer all the screening questions, all the compliance questions, like the EEO questions and diversity questions, upload their resume and do so all within the platform that they’re on. It’s kind of like the Amazon experience that we all have. If you go search for bag of Starbucks coffee on Amazon, there are 50 different sellers that are providing that bag of Starbucks coffee, including Amazon that you could buy it from, but you have one cart, you have one search experience and you can check out pretty seamlessly using your existing Amazon account. Well, the same thing is true in job searching, whether you’re on Facebook, Monster, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, or any of them, you can reuse your profile if you have a native application experience in your job postings embedded in that job. And that’s what we help facilitate with complicated enterprise ATSs.
So that experience, that Amazonification experience of applying for a job on the job site is exactly what the candidate is expecting, because that’s exactly what they’re experiencing with other industries, be it commerce, or travel, or real estate, or anywhere, they expect to have this one simple platform experience and to be able to go through end to end and not have to leave.
That results in a whole bunch of benefits, to not just the candidates, a materially better candidate experience, but to the company, it means that your dollars are much more effective. It means that your jobs are seen by more people on these job sites. It means that you have higher conversion rates. So if a hundred people view the job on the job site and 20 of them convert into applicants, versus 20 of them leaving the job site, and then 5% of those converting, you get anywhere from like five to eight, 10 times more applicants per job posting in essence, per dollar spent, which is a huge value to the company.
Mark: Now, I know that one of your clients just won an ROI award. Can you tell me about that and how does this all tie in?
Alex: So the name of the company is Headway. They’re an RPO using Indeed, and the research company is called Nucleus Research. Nucleus did a lot of deep diving into what Headway’s workflow look like, what their processes look like, what their outcomes were before and after using JobSync. What they found was that they were able to get a blend of more reach, so they got three times more applicants, at a much lower cost per applicant. Then that resulted in time savings by the recruiters and ultimately, Headway and others then see a faster time to hire.
When they were measuring the ROI, they really looked at cost savings but the extension of that is when you are getting a faster time to slate of candidates, if you will. So you get N number of candidates, you really want to get down to the final list that you want to evaluate. We would call that the slate of candidates, the common way to put it. Getting to that slate as fast as possible allows you to then make the hiring decision and have the person start as soon as possible.
When you compress the time to hire down, that pays dividends on a compound basis into the future, because that person’s always there a week longer than they would have been otherwise. So that pays out over time with the hiring company for months, and literally can do so for years.
Mark: Great. Well, Alex, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Alex: Thanks Mark.
Mark: I’ve been talking with Alex Murphy, the CEO of JobSync. JobSync’s the sponsor of this edition of PeopleTech. To learn more about how its platform streamlines hiring workflows, saves time, and money, visit www.jobsync.io.
And to keep up with HR technology, visit the HCM Technology Report every day. We’re the most trusted source of news in the HR tech industry. Find us at www-dot-hcm-technology-report-dot-com. I’m Mark Feffer.