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Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we talk about embracing humanity in the workplace. I’m Susan White, a national HR consultant. With me is my co-host JoDee Curtis, owner of Purple Ink, an HR consulting firm, and author of “JoyPowered®” and “The JoyPowered® Family.”
In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about creative talent sourcing. How do you find great candidates for the openings in your company?
It’s a very hot topic now, right? Because it’s a very tight labor market all over the country. So I love this topic.
Oh, good. So with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting in November 2018 an unemployment rate of 3.7%, we’re all reading about our shrinking workforce. Our old tried and true methods of finding good job candidates just may not be enough.
That’s for sure.
So JoDee, let’s talk a little bit about where most HR professionals go to to find qualified applicants,
Right, well, let’s start with internal resources, right? We could do job postings, even just internally in your own organization, seems like such a simple thing. But yet, I think so many times recruiters or hiring managers don’t even think to look internally first.
You know, I think that’s right. And I have found with companies that I do some consulting with that they do have a job posting system, but the fact is, employees very rarely think to go out and look at it.
And so sometimes it takes a little bit more than just posting the job, maybe you need to be periodically highlighting certain jobs that come up or sending out just a quick note to don’t forget to go out there, we’ve got opportunities.
Right, and whatever communication methods your company might use most effectively, right? That could be an email, on Slack, it could be a poster up on the wall, whatever that means for you.
I agree. Now, I have seen some companies when they do a really serious internal focus, they’ll have, perhaps, a management nomination process or succession planning process already underway. So they’re starting to think about for replacements who might be the next likely successor, and then maybe we should do some development in the short run to get people ready for it.
Exactly. It could also be a management training program where employees go through the process to put them in a position to be eligible for some of the new positions.
I think that is so smart because to go out and hire, you know, a fully baked manager from another company can sometimes be really expensive. And you may have really good talent inside the organization who just needs to get some of that supervisory and leadership skill building that that you can do and actually have a nice program for people to come out of and take on those management roles for you.
Exactly. It might also be interns converting to full time positions. I personally have a lot of experience with this in the companies that I worked with. We hired many spring, summer, fall interns, and even at Purple Ink, we actually just made a full time offer to our own intern to come to work for us full time.
Congratulations to her. I also have seen temp to perm types of situations work out really well, where you’ve got people who, you know, because they worked for you for a while, maybe an assignment or as a consultant or a temporary, and they’re just really a good source, I think, to convert to full time.
So let’s switch gears to external sources.
So employee referral is one of those. We have a study that SilkRoad did of over 1,000 companies that had 14 million applications in 2016, and found an average of 30% of new hires came from employee referrals. I will say though, I’ve also read that, even though 30% is a large number, that I read another report recently that said that it’s the most underutilized source, that sometimes we forget to remind our employees that, that there’s a bonus available or that there’s an opportunity to refer people. Kind of going back to what you said earlier, sometimes internal people don’t even know there’s a position available.
Right. I mean, if they did, they’d refer someone they know who’s good at it.
I am surprised what – sometimes I’ll come across a client who has not put in an employee referral program, because one of the reasons they say is it’s all of our jobs to be recruiting all the time, I shouldn’t pay people for it. You know, the fact is, you don’t have to pay somebody.
You could have some other type of drawing or recognition or just…
…genuinely thank people who refer qualified candidates into the workplace.
Every time that I’ve looked at a study on this, there – you’ll just find a ton of data that tells you why hiring somebody who has been referred in is so much better. Usually because the person referred in feels like they, they owe it to whoever referred them to do a really good job. And the person doing the referring feels like, you know, it’s their reputation at risk. So between the referrer and the referee, everybody wants that to be a strong and good hire.
So another often used avenue is to go out and use an external recruiting firm, either a contingency firm, you know, someone you pay if you actually hire who they refer, or a retainer, where you pay people for the time spent on doing the search for you.
Right. One of my personal favorites is Purple Ink. That’s P-U-R-P-L-E I-N-K.
You’re a good promoter, JoDee, very good promoter. But there are times where I think having a recruiting firm does make sense. If, for example, you’re not really ready to go public that you have an opening, and so that you have the recruiting firm go out and do that legwork before you’re really ready on the inside to to announce it. And I think the second is when you have such a highly specialized role that maybe your expertise is not in that unique niche, to go out and find your recruiting firm, who every day are talking to people in that particular field. That, to me, makes good sense.
Right. I think that actually makes up the bulk of our recruiting clients, Susan, it’s, maybe it’s a healthcare company who has an internal recruiting team that is hiring or sourcing healthcare positions, but maybe they have a marketing position open or an accounting position or an HR position.
Which is not their core hiring experience, so that’s when they come to us. So those are good opportunities.
It could be a good investment of time.
Of course, posting on job sites like indeed.com. That’s the number one external source of hires. LinkedIn, we’ve many times used both Indeed and LinkedIn. ZipRecruiter is another one, or there’s a plethora of job boards out there. Many also might be specific to your particular industry. Again, if it’s a healthcare position, maybe there’s likely a healthcare job board out there where you can post.
Yeah, like IT has Dice.
Really good one.
Yeah. You can also post your positions through the professional organizations that are relevant to that particular opening. You know, for an accountant, maybe you do use the CPA society, maybe for a not for profit use The Chronicles of Philanthropy, or HR jobs through SHRM.
Right, right. Another opportunity is campus recruiting placement offices or university alumni associations. You know, campus recruiting is is not what it used to be, I think, 30 years ago where all your candidates were 22. You know, a lot – many very experienced people now are going back to school or getting a separate degree or getting different education. I also love the alumni association. Many times when you’re posting with a university career service, that’s accessible to all of their alumni who might have years of experience. So don’t throw out that as a place to post a position because you think you’re only going to get people with no experience.
And what’s beautiful about it, you get somebody who’s graduated with a particular degree, they’ve gone out there and, and gained a ton of experience, and your shot at getting them getting a mid-level or even a senior level person through an alumni association is pretty good.
There’s the Office of Workforce Development, or unemployment office, whatever it’s called in your particular state. They, you know, their job is to help people get jobs, and by doing so, it’s going to help their revenue base, right, of taxes, so they’re very motivated. So make sure that even if you’re not required to based on your Affirmative Action program, make sure that you’re posting your jobs with your local workforce development.
Mm hmm. That might also include community partners like Goodwill, Easterseals, here in the Indianapolis market, Bosma Enterprises. You know, just being very creative about thinking of different places you might be able to reach out to.
To a broader audience. I agree. And then, you know, think about do you want to purchase the recruiting license on LinkedIn so that you have the opportunity to mine data. Although I’ve seen a lot of very small firms, they don’t actually, you know, buy the professional recruiter, but they will use it to leverage their network. They will not only post jobs, but they’ll, you know, do searches for people in specific parts of the country with specific skills and have been able to make some good hires.
Yeah. Certainly, social media is, that’s one of the number one ways we recruit at Purple Ink for client candidates, by posting things on Facebook and Twitter. I think what is important about using social media is that you’re also reaching out to candidates who might not be seeking a position. They might not be actively seeking, but come across something in their social media feed and think, “That sounds interesting. I think I might check it out or apply or tell someone else about it who might be interested.”
That’s right. I’ve often heard that if you want to get a job filled, you put it on Facebook, because every mother out there has a kid who could use a new job. So, and don’t forget traditional media. There are many firms who successfully hire people through newspapers, radio, Pandora, other types of traditional methods.
Right. Right. I have to admit I’m still surprised there are job postings in the newspaper, but for many companies and the candidates…
…that’s way they work, so. It can also be reaching out to customers and vendors, other people, to say – that know your company or know your business and might be looking to help you out.
You know, when I was the HR person at a student loan company, we had an awful lot of student borrowers who… all over the country. And so we were also simultaneously trying to find people to work in our bank branches. So we used our billings to put a message in there, and we could target it by the area in which the person lived against the branch that we had. So we would promote our openings through to our customers that way. We thought creative, our borrowers could get jobs, they could pay us back, so it was going to be a win win. Right?
Right. Right. Excellent.
So JoDee, let’s talk a little bit about a new disruptor in the sourcing of candidates, geofencing. I would like to introduce Mike Seidel, co-founder of WorkHere, as well as Doug Applegate, Vice President of Client Success for WorkHere. It’s a technology firm who is a leader in geofencing, which is hyperlocal candidate delivery. WorkHere is headquartered in Indianapolis, but they have clients, really, throughout the globe. Mike, would you be willing to maybe tell our listeners a little bit about your background and how you got into this business?
Okay, so if you go back to… would have been right around 2010 or so, I had an ad agency here in Indianapolis, and we’re in the middle of a recession, and I left to go to work for this company here in Indianapolis that I’d heard two of the founders of monster.com worked there. One was a guy named Bill Warren, and the other guy was a guy named Rick Wehrle. Three years later, when I left DirectEmployers, and I left with Rick, and we knew that there was this huge market opportunity to really work on high volume employment for really large companies. And so that’s kind of how we started WorkHere. As we got into it, we figured out that location was really, really important, and we knew mobile was going to be important to us. But what we didn’t know when we started was just how important location would end up being in the whole thing. And really, just in the last year, we pivoted off of being kind of a Yelp for jobs kind of app to doing this hyperlocal geofenced recruitment marketing where we’re running ads all over the country for different employers, and they’re all ads that are in really tight geographic clusters where we’re able to reach people that really could go to work for these companies. And what we found out is just location was the critical thing. So that’s kind of, you know, my background is digital advertising. My other co-founder, Rick, was the guy that wrote monster.com’s job board back in the day. And then for whatever reason, we tend to attract really, really good talent. You know, Doug here came to us after a pretty strong career here in Central Indiana in the staffing industry. And our other co-founder who wasn’t able to come today, it’s a guy named Howard Bates, who started a company called Haverstick Consulting that was a Fortune 1000 company a few years back, and when he got out of that, some of the money from that got invested into WorkHere. So it’s, it’s an interesting group of people.
Well, I love the name WorkHere. It really explains what it is. We’re trying – you’re trying to find people who want to work where they live, and it makes all the sense.
Yeah. Doug, do you want to tell us more about your background as well?
Yeah, not as impressive as writing monster.com’s job board, but I’ll try. So the… a lot of my experience comes from staffing and recruiting, as Mike had mentioned, a variety of ways, healthcare and light industrial and executive searches. And through that background of having recruitment, sales, management, and leadership related experience over those last 15 years and had a fortune to meet Mike a couple years back and kept in contact, and lo and behold, here we are.
Yeah. I remember when I first heard about WorkHere from Keith Shepherd, and I just thought, well, and still think, but I can remember being so fascinated at the time, thinking “this is genius.” Like, why didn’t I think of this idea? But Mike, you mentioned the word location a few times. Tell our listeners exactly what you mean by that, the location, and how…
And geofencing, too, I think. I think it’s a term not everybody is familiar with.
Okay, that’s, that’s actually pretty normal, because it seems like every three, four years, we redefine what what all that means, right? So we’ll start with location. And the way we use that word is how far away is work from where somebody who could work for you lives. So if you look at that, it’s really commute distance, time to get to work. And if you’re in a big city, that’s a smaller distance. If you’re out in the country, that might be 30, 40 miles. But that distance and location and proximity is really important. Geofences are something that I think all of us, especially if what you do involves any kind of marketing at all, should really understand. A geofence is simply a shape we draw on a map, and we can do that with three meter precision. So I can draw a little box right around the studio that we’re recording in, and everybody who walks in and out with a mobile device, we can tag them and then we can advertise to them. And so if you look at what we’re doing at WorkHere, we’re using the ability to geofence and tag mobile devices to then do some recruitment marketing. And it gets really fun because there’s different tactics we can use. But a typical one is to go in and… I’m recruiting a plumber, so I’m going to go ahead and target all the plumbing companies in the area, and we’re going to tag, we’re going to just geofence the back parking lot, and tag all the plumbers’ mobile phones, then we’re going to advertise a better opportunity. So we do a lot of that kind of geofenced advertising. And it’s great right now, because most of your best candidates are not active job seekers. They’re people that are passive. They’re working in a job and they just don’t know that there’s a much better opportunity for them right around the corner and maybe closer to home.
I do think that’s fascinating. I’ve talked to so many people over the years who’ve told me that, “Oh, it takes me an hour to get to work. It takes me 45 minutes and that’s my downtime. And that’s, I like the time in my car.” And six months later, they’re telling me “Yeah, I left that job because I had 45 minutes a day in my car,” whatever the distance was. No one really likes to spend that much time in their car, I don’t think.
Although it’s a great time for listening to the JoyPowered® podcast.
Now you’re talking!
Exactly! Thank you, Doug.
Whenever I hear about geofencing, it does feel a little bit like Big Brother watching me, and, you know, knows where I am and what I’m doing. Do you ever get that reaction from prospective employers who want to attract candidates who live near them or – so that they can work there, but they feel that they don’t really want to do it through their mobile device?
What’s really interesting about that is that, and Doug, you could probably chime in on this one. We don’t get a lot of complaints from job seekers at all on that, so the job seeker side is fine. What we do hear a lot of questions are really employers, because they’re looking at something new. And so geofencing has been around in its modern form for about three years. The early adopters of geofencing technology were big retailers, like car dealers, that have lots, and what they were really interested in is if you’re going to go look at Volkswagen or whatever, they want to make sure they can retarget you and get their ad in front of you for a few weeks, make sure you buy a car. So that’s where, where it originally started getting use. But as we’ve started applying it, started using it in other places, especially recruitment, job seekers are pretty used to it, because almost every consumer interaction they have, be it in a mall or buying a car, whatever, there’s some kind of geofencing that’s going on there anyway, so…
But you’re right, the employers do have a lot of questions about it. Two things probably important for employers to know is that the data is anonymous. We don’t know who the people are that enter that geofence until they actually respond to an ad and tell us who they are.
So, you know, that might be a quick apply, that might be a chat with our chat team, that might be a full job application, but we don’t know who they are until they respond.
Which is kind of nice, so that, you know, it’s not – we’re not violating anything. If they’re not interested, they’re not responding.
That’s right. And there are some rules around geofencing where you’re not allowed to geofence certain places. The Pentagon’s a no-no.
I wonder why.
So there are some places we can’t really do a true, a true geofence. And so, you know, generally those make sense when you hear them, kind of like the Pentagon.
Yeah. And who regulates geofencing?
A lot of it is self-regulated, the, the advertising industry is self-regulating itself and looking at things and going, we don’t want to do things that are too scammy, we really don’t want the government to jump in here and make their rules. But the other side of this is if you go look at the political side of advertising. The last two election cycles, geofencing has been a very big thing in political advertising. So.
And that’s felt wonderful. Yeah.
But you know what, this is geofencing for good, we’re gonna get people jobs.
Well, and I laughed about, you know, knowing people who said they enjoyed their commute and then quit. I’ve actually heard you guys say that 25% of workers have quit their jobs due to their commute, so you have a real statistic on that.
Yeah, that, that’s actually a Robert Half study that, that happened in October, and that was a U.S. workforce survey. So it was, they were, they were sampling the whole U.S. workforce, and they found that a quarter of Americans had quit a job over their commute.
Yeah, interesting. I have to admit, my job is less than a mile from my house, so I’m one of those people that enjoys it.
Where it really comes out in the end, it’s, it, it has a big effect on two things. One is absenteeism goes down a lot when people have close to work. And then the other place where it really matters is job satisfaction.
And, and it’s, nobody cites their commute. A lot of times when they quit, you know, it’s usually “bad manager” or something like that.
Then you go back and ask them, you know, how about that drive? They’re like, “Well, yeah,”
So it’s a factor in the decision making of a new job, too. If you’re interviewing or driving someplace, you want to know what’s the commute like, and…
You’re always going to factor that in, maybe subconsciously, but you are factoring that in. One thing I’ll add to the location and how that’s playing a role. And I’m finding in my role that there’s some education to the employer side, of really educating what we mean as location or geofencing versus what they may think it is, so it’s always interesting to see play out in those conversations. And the other thing is a lot of companies nowadays have gone to, you know, gig work and virtual work as a, as a way to combat that, that location pain for a lot of their employees. The other side is, is that what we’re doing, I think, has been helpful to address that for employers that can’t do the virtual types of work. If you still need line workers, or you still need people working in your warehouse or using your forklift or answering your phones, sometimes you have to have them on site, and you can’t do virtual everywhere.
But what’s so great about, I think, WorkHere is it enables people who want to go home during the day to take care of their animals, which I hear a lot from career coaching clients. So it makes such sense. I mean, that’s a real benefit to them.
When you’re closer, you can do that, right?
Absolutely. Something, something I talk with employers a lot about just kind of in the, you know, the sales process. I’ll ask them about the walk the dog test, which is, you know, when you have an employee says, “I gotta go home to let the dog out,” how long does that take them? And it’s a really interesting conversation, because if the drive takes more than 30, 40 minutes, the answer is, “Well, all morning or all afternoon,” and then you start getting back to what’s the effect on productivity? And then why do you get into it with your employees and ultimately write them up and fire them? And you’re in a situation where location really can be critical in setting a foundation for having a happy workforce.
Sure. Well, and you have this 25% of workers quit their jobs to their commute. Do you have any data, or is anyone measuring how it might help retention on the other side?
Sure. So early on, we presented this to a retail chain that had 87 stores, and they didn’t believe location was important, and so I asked them if they would mind going and looking at their, their workforce, and see how far away everyone who’d been with their company more than five years lived from work. So two weeks later, we get a call back from them going, “We did the study, and we found out 85% of our employees that have been with us for more than five years, lived within two and a half miles.”
That is so powerful.
And remember, this is retail. So we’re not talking about, you know, top of the line wages or anything like that.
And, and so that was, that was a kind of a really big piece of early validation. And as we went on, we’ve asked our employers to look at that, and we’re seeing a real consistent pattern emerge. It’s not always two and a half miles, but it’s always closer than we expect.
That is amazing.
I spent a lot of years trying to staff branches of banks, and what we found was we were always looking for people in the neighborhood. First of all, when the snowstorm came, we wanted to make sure we could open the branch, so they could walk there if they needed to. But secondly, we did know that people would give – they would go, they would go for a lower rate, they would go for lower benefits for the ability to be working in their neighborhood. But we didn’t have the technology platform like this. We put help wanted signs up, you know, in the windows. This is a much more sophisticated way to go after it.
I just liked it as a possibility. Now that’s, that’s something when we started WorkHere, the the digital advertising networks hadn’t reached the point where we really could have done this kind of advertising. It was just all brand new and primitive. And then as we got into our… really the beginning of this year, the networks had evolved far enough that we were able to really take advantage of that, and we’re lucky we got a new customer early the very beginning of the year, Uber, that wanted us to try this out and see how it works recruiting drivers.
That’s a nice little client.
And they’re still, they’re… well, they’re our biggest customer now.
Fantastic. So we’ve already learned a few new words today to add to our vocabulary, but I know you offer some other services to employers to help them find candidates. One of them, I’ve heard you use the term “redlining.” What does – tell us what that means.
Okay. So redlining is one of our geofencing tactic. And what we use that for is finding people that maybe have a certain commute that they do every day, or maybe they’re a route driver. So we’re literally drawing red lines on the map. So you might put a red line before a major intersection, and then maybe we go, we’ll geofence parking lots of all the manufacturers on the north side of the city and put the red line 20 miles north or south and recruit people that we know are making the commute right by our location.
And offer them a better commute. Maybe a little better deal.
Yeah, so possibly even maybe someone who doesn’t live in that area, but maybe they’re dropping their kids off at school every day in that area.
Something like that.
Yeah, it could be any, it could be anything, drive by that area, it could be a school’s there, it could be any number of things, but redlining has been really, really effective for identifying candidates based on their their movement pattern.
So I know a second – is it a product line or service, would you say, your “showrooming”?
Showrooming is one of the geofencing tactics we use. And so that, we see a lot of… a lot, we use that one a lot for retail and for businesses where maybe customers make the best employees. So if you look at a company that maybe an employee discount is a big driver of why people work there. So what we literally are doing is geofencing, their location, the retail location, and then advertising the job opportunities to everyone who enters and leaves the store. And what that does is it makes it easier for people to apply. They may have seen signs in the store that they’re hiring or whatever, didn’t have time to apply when they were in the store, but when they get home and fire up Words with Friends, they see that ad. “You know, maybe I’ll take a minute and apply.”
It makes sense, because they already identify with the brand. Right? So they’ve been more interest – more likely to hit, click on that.
Yeah, showrooming works really, really well for companies and brands that really customers love it so much they want to go to work there.
That’s fascinating. So, okay, one more term, although I’m sure there’s many that we don’t know, one more you called “conquest.”
Okay, so conquesting is far and away the most most used geofencing tactic. And what that is, is geofencing your competition or feeder, feeder industries, and then advertising to their employees. Where it’s really, really useful, and we’ll, we’ll pick on the call center industry, because they’re somewhat easy to pick on. And the really, really good call centers are great places to work. Really bad call centers are awful. And so what conquesting, a conquesting strategy would be would be to go find all the call centers that are located within a reasonable distance of your own call center, and then geofence those, and then do very, very targeted advertising where we understand what the deal is at that other call center, and we’re able to go in and say, you know, it might be a pay difference, we have better pay, it could be that we have a policy to take your pet to work, it could be any number of things. But the ads we do are very, very simple and designed to go make somebody go, “It’s better over there. I’m going to find out more. Click.” And then that’s why we have a chat team is with conquesting, when people are interested, it’s usually because something happened at work this morning, and they are at lunch and on Words with Friends, Facebook, whatever it is. They see the ad, they click, and then they have questions. And so if we can answer those quickly, we generally are able to pull candidates in.
Tell us about your live chat teams. I think that will surprise people, that they when they click they really have the opportunity to talk to a human being.
Yeah, so we started doing this and, of course, AI and bots and all that are all the rage right now. And we started off with a chat bot, because we’re technology people and we just love technology. Right? So we put the bot out there, and it did okay, it did better than a job board style web page with a form on it or mobile apply. Did better than that, about twice as well, but it was tone deaf. And so one day we had a person come in and had clicked on an ad and had a question and she goes, “My mom has cancer. I really need to find a job today. Can you help me?” and the chat bot went, “Alright, woohoo! Let’s go.” So we fired the chat bot.
With no notice, by the way. “You’re out!”
So, somewhere, there’s an angry AI that’s gonna tell me to turn left into a building or something one day when I’m driving. They’ll have their revenge. Don’t worry. But what we thought is let’s, let’s try out people on this.
We had a little experience with doing that, because we did a job, summer jobs program for the city of Indianapolis, and it’s called Project Indy. And in the first year, we ended up texting every one of the kids in the program to help figure out how to make that program work. And we found out that they didn’t know that they actually had to go in and – go in to see the manager and say “I’m interested in a job.”
So they thought they could just sign up online and get a job.
So we learned that and so we figured, hey, let’s just try people on this thing and see what happens. And it was amazing. We went from getting 6 to 8% of the people that had responded to an ad to an employer, it went to 18 to 23%. So the conversion rate went up, you know, almost tenfold, and as a result of that, we kind of looked at it and go, keep doing that, because it works. And then the fun part was that the job seekers loved it, because nobody talks to them.
Like, you know, we want you to apply online. We want to, you know, we want to know everything about you and screen you, but, you know…
No human contact.
No human interaction, when I can answer that question. And then the questions were fantastic. They were like, “Does this company have childcare?” And there’s the easy ones to go, “Well, yeah, they do.” And then…
Well, you, they’ll ask us more detail, and we’ll be able to go, “Well, I can’t really tell you that, but if you’re interested in talking to them…”
“…go ahead,” and, you know, “Here’s what you need to do….”
Right, to move forward.
“…to get in, move forward into the hiring process, and they’ll answer those questions for you.” So we’re answering these really simple upfront questions and helping people understand that this is a good fit for me.
And, and then we’re moving them into the employer screening and hiring process, so that they can, they can do what they usually do, it’s just more of it will, will help sell them on it’s a great place to work and answer a few little questions. And it’s, really, for us, been a game changer.
Yeah. In this competitive labor market, how wonderful that you’re going to get more people at the top of the funnel through that process.
Yeah, think about it from an employer’s perspective. You’re gonna be able to have people in your funnel that are more relevant and, and actually expressing interest in your job opportunities rather than those that are just clicking to apply to apply, just to say they applied to something.
So about a month ago, we started including a note from our chat team with every one of the candidates we’re referring over to the employer. So now now they’re finding out that, you know, this, this particular candidate was interested in childcare, or this particular candidate is wanting to get out of second shift, is okay with first or third shift, and we’re able to give that information to the recruiter, who is using that exactly how we hope that they will.
Information is power when you’re trying to recruit.
Excellent. So you’ve mentioned Words with Friends and Facebook a couple times. I’m a Spider Solitaire player. Do you have a…or where else do you have ads on social sites?
So as a rule, I like to pick on Words with Friends a lot, mainly because my wife never puts it down. But the reality is, it’s been an effective place for us to advertise. But if it’s a mobile app and you see ads in it, we can get our ads into that. We’re, I think our ads run on 19 different mobile networks now, and we’re always looking for new channels that we can, we can get those ads out there. And one thing that’s really important about what we do that’s very different is we’re not always just doing job posts. A lot of these ads, the ads you see in, you know, a game on your mobile device, if you’re playing solitaire or whatever, those ads are very different. You know, they’re video ads sometimes, sometimes they’re, they’re just a, you know, a static image. There’s not a lot of room for a lot of text, so we have to make this really, really interesting and it really helps, and that’s why geofencing works, is it really helps us to have an audience that’s likely to respond to that. So I know if I’m, if I’m advertising for account auditors in Washington, DC, I know that the buildings I’m geofencing are much more likely to be full of account auditors.
And is your team designing those ads, too, then? Is that something you offer or does the customer do that?
Well, we have the marketing team that definitely designs a lot of the copy, and if the employer that we’re working with client-wise has, you know, branding or, you know, artwork that they want to share, we’ll definitely incorporate that as we need to.
What’s been interesting is sometimes we use the customer’s brand, but a lot of times we’ve ended up using WorkHere as the brand on the ads. And some of that has to do with conquesting, and a lot of times employers don’t want to put… they don’t want to let their competitor know…
They’re trying to poach!
…that they are aiming the talent magnet, if you will, at their building.
And so, so we end up using our brand a little bit there. And then there’s another kind of, kind of sad truth and that’s the really the law of averages, is that most companies are not great employment brands. And a lot of times, it’s better to advertise the opportunity rather than lead with a brand…
…that, that maybe isn’t everyone’s favorite.
Right. And get them interested and…
We’ve found that there’s a unique set of candidates that come from either/or, right, they’re usually not one and the same. Ones that will apply to one, or click on something that has a brand, they’re doing it specifically for that brand. When it seems to be more on the WorkHere or the generic side, we’re finding that people are more interested in paying attention to the opportunity, as Mike mentioned. And then once we get into the conversation, then if we are allowed to share the name, it’s interesting that the responses we get, “Oh, I didn’t realize that was Uber,” or, “Oh, I didn’t realize that was x.” And they’re more interested in the opportunity. So once we’ve got them there, then there’s an awesome opportunity to share with that client, say, “Hey, here’s a candidate that otherwise probably wouldn’t have clicked on anything with your name on it, but they are interested in the opportunity that you have.”
That’s good intel for them in their, as they do their recruiting strategies.
So, you mentioned that Uber is your largest client right now. Can you share some of your other clients?
We’ve had a lot of success, of all things, this is something I thought would be very difficult for us to be successful with, but cosmetologists for Great Clips.
Yeah, I thought that there’s just not that many cosmetologists, I thought that was going to be a really tiny market, really hard to reach. And we’ve worked with, now we’re working with, I think, four franchises in that system, and that’s expanding really, really rapidly. And the reason we’re able to be successful there is we’re able to really talk about the opportunity that’s there and, and help people understand that the one thing that is not going to be at Great Clips is the only thing that’s consistent in your job right now, which is booth rental. And so as we help people understand that, it’s… and that’s something the chat team lets us do, we, I don’t know that we can introduce that opportunity any other way. So that’s been a big success. We do really well, not, not – with drivers, not just with Uber, but with everybody. It doesn’t matter if it’s grocery delivery or if it’s people delivery or if it’s, you know, driving big trucks, it doesn’t matter. We do really well in that segment. That’s one that went well. And we’ve done really, really well with home health care. That was a surprise too, but location really, really makes a difference there. So.
Yeah, I guess you’ve mentioned plumbers and call centers and… catching a wide range here.
What’s been fun this year is like we started off we thought we were all going to be kind of blue collar, you know, high volume industrial manufacturing, warehousing. And this year as we’ve tried what we do in different categories, it’s worked well. You know, the account auditors in DC, we did that one back in May. I think it took us three weeks to find 28 candidates, and those are kind of, you know, it’s a purple unisquirrel.
It’s very hard to find. So, so we’ve had a lot of success with with different categories, but the key has always been the location kind of strategy. Location first and…
But it’s very, I think, foreign to kind of how a lot of a lot of us think, because we’ve been trained on job boards and keywords and…
…metro areas and all that stuff.
Yeah, yeah. And here I am still getting some of those pop up ads thinking, “Wow, what a coincidence.”
“I was just talking about that!” Exactly. Funny, when you walk out of Walmart, you get ads for Walmart.
Like, “Wow, how’d that happen?”
Pretty sure we now know.
So Mike and Doug, what else do we need to know that we haven’t thought to ask you?
You know, I think one thing that a lot of employers, and hopefully those that are working with, you know, Purple Ink are thinking about it, but a lot of employers are really just now realizing how tight the labor market is and how tight it’s going to be over the next four or five years. I was speaking with a… one of the, I guess, fun things I get to do from time to time is go talk to investment analysts and that kind of thing as we’re going through our process of growing our company. I was talking to one last night who was sharing with me his thoughts on where the labor market was going to go, and he, he brought up something I think a lot of us think about. We all think about the boomers are leaving, what a lot of us aren’t thinking about is the millennials are having kids and leaving the workforce.
And so it’s not going to get easier. And for a lot of us, we’ve all been kind of focused on active candidates and going and finding those people that are looking for a job today. Now, there’s not that many of them right now. And really, your best chance of making a hire probably is going to be learning how to get good at finding and attracting passive candidates. And we think our strategy is one that works pretty well for that, but but there’s a lot of other ones and I think a lot of a lot of recruiters and sourcers would be wise to really start thinking about the world a little differently and leaning a little less on the old active candidate channels and trying to find new sources, because we’re all going to need it.
Well, I really think you’re a disrupter, and really excited about it, so glad our listeners got to hear more about it today.
I know! I’m fascinated by the whole thing. And I knew pieces and parts of this, but have learned so much. So how can our listeners reach out to you, to WorkHere or whoever they should contact?
Okay, the easy way to get ahold of – I’m Mike at workhere.com, and I, you know, emails are fine, you can always hit our website at workhere.com, we’d absolutely love to share with you what we’re doing. And we know it’s kind of new. We do lots of webinars, and, really, education is important in this, because I think a lot of, a lot of people geofencing is new, and the whole strategy of geofence and chat and all that, it’s a little bit to wrap your head around. So, yeah.
And don’t forget, Google Play Store as well as the iTunes Store, you can find the app and download that if you’re interested in looking for work or just playing around with the app.
So I was just going to ask that, so employers who are interesting – in hiring you could go to, could email you or go to the website, but candidates, is there information for candidates on the website as well? Or is that maybe the best place for them?
Really interesting. They’re welcome to use the app. A lot of the candidates that we generate now actually never touch our app.
Right, I was just thinking that.
You snag them on Words with Friends.
Yeah, we get them there. And what happens with the app…
Want a job? Go start playing Words with Friends.
Start playing your mobile games, that’s right.
When somebody does respond to one of those ads, and then chats with us, what we do with the app is recommend that the candidate get the app, because we do provide, if an employer gives us contact information that they want us to share, we use our app as a way to share that and help the the job seeker track their job search.
And so, really, it’s been interesting, because when we started the company, it was all about the app. And I mean, I spent two years my life on that app, and then now, really, a lot of those interactions on the app is kind of a secondary thing. Like you said, a lot of it is they saw an ad in a mobile game or in a mobile app they’re using, they hit that and talk with our chat team and…
Some are led to jobs just through that chat conversation, the, the app itself or the platform that they can go on, which is, you can get on the website or via, via your mobile device. That’s more of a secondary. You know, they go to that after they’ve already gone out of the chat or if they didn’t get a job, or they’re looking for something new again, that, you know, because that happens in cycles, as well, is now they’ve got the app and they can go right back to it and look at that.
That’s been the fun part really is the people that come back to us if they don’t get a job. So we have this chat, and when we started doing chat, we thought, you know, we’d get them into an employer and it’d be the end of it.
Oh, no, they, like, it took about two days. Then we had somebody that decided that they had a really bad interview experience. They got put in a interview room for three hours, nobody interviewed them, and they left, and they chatted us back and told on the employer. And so what we did is we called up the, called the employer and go, “We just had this person come in. This is what happened.” And it was great, that, that company responded really well.
And went ahead and reached back out to him, brought him back in, and got him interviewed. But we actually get feedback from candidates after the, after they interview.
And employers are gonna want to hear that, you know, if we’re doing something not right in that candidate experience, tell us.
Another service you can offer.
It’s been, it’s, it’s really…
That’s part of the feedback loop that I get involved with a lot of our clientele, is sharing that from the, from the clientele to the candidates, vice versa, just kind of keeping that cycle going. It’s, it’s been very important as we’ve grown this side of them of the team in regards to the client success side and really helping leverage and expand those relationships, and that feedback’s super important, you know, they may think they’re good employers and fast to respond, but if it takes you three days to get ahold of somebody, maybe you’re not as fast as you thought you were.
Right and a great, another great message for employers. Not only is it tough to find people, you got to take good care of them once you get them in there. You have to respond, you have to…
Early bird gets the worm…
…and the fastest one to it is usually the one that’s gonna win out most of the time.
Well, thank you both so much. It’s really been terrific today.
Thanks for having us.
Well, thank you. We really appreciate it. We look forward to hearing more about how your audience resonates with the message, and certainly look forward to helping anybody that’s interested.
Alright, thank you so much.
Have a great day.
So finally, on this topic, Inc. Magazine online recently offered advice on how to hire the best in a tight labor market. Their ideas included, first of all, make sure you’re defining the role behaviors that you need, not necessarily the experience. You need to think more broadly than finding someone who has x number of years doing a certain thing. Think about what are the behaviors someone needed to exhibit in order to be able to do what you need them to do. What was the second piece of advice, JoDee?
Look outside your immediate industry. I think that’s something… over the years, I’ve talked to many clients who think they can only hire people, even something like an accountant, where if they’re in the construction industry, they think their accountant has to have worked in the construction industry. Now, sure, there are some things specific to accounting in construction, but it really limits your opportunities or your, your available candidates if you stay focused on that particular industry. So think about those transferable skills.
Right. You can teach the industry, let’s hope. Third piece of advice that Inc. Magazine had was boost your internal training programs. Really focus on growing your own talent, don’t rely on trying to import it. Think about can I really grow it.
Right. By the same token, thinking on a similar vein of leveraging the power of coaches, both internally and externally, is another way you can help develop people to help them work on skill sets that might help them to be eligible for some of those positions, as well.
And then finally, the final piece of advice was focus on culture development. If you really do a good job at having a healthy, JoyPowered® workspace, you do it really well, it’s going to attract talent, and it’s going to keep talent.
Yeah. Nice. We have a listener question this week. Susan. This question is from Vicki in Louisville. She says, “I have been reading where some of the largest companies, like Facebook, Uber, Lyft, Microsoft, and Google, have ended their forced arbitration for sexual harassment issues. Likely, this is in the wake of the #MeToo movement, where employees who felt victimized by being handcuffed to use arbitration to settle their claims, rather than being able to sue the employers who had executives exposed in scandals.” Vicki works in HR for a large service provider, and they make agreeing to arbitration as a part of their ADR policy for any employee disputes and/or employee matters a condition of employment. And she’s – Vicki wants to know, “Should we change that for sexual harassment issues?”
It has been extremely popular, especially in large firms, to really force your employees to, as a condition of employment upon hire, or if they were there before you started this, you know, to get raises and so on and so forth, to agree to arbitration. And I don’t know, Vicki, as a… just outside observer, it doesn’t feel right to me. It – just my own personal opinion, I would absolutely talk to your legal counsel, I would do whatever the organization needed to do, but it doesn’t feel as you’re trying to really build a culture of transparency and ability to raise concerns when they come, if… for any reason, sexual harassment or any reason, it wouldn’t be my first choice, but I don’t know, JoDee, do you feel differently about that?
No, I agree. And just to give some stats on that, the Economic Policy Institute, back in April 2018, reported that more than half of non-union private sector employees do have mandatory arbitration procedures. And among companies with more than 1,000 employees, 65% have mandatory arbitration procedures. And the Supreme Court decision, back in May of ’18, in a five to four decision, ruled on a case supporting forced arbitration. So…
So the fact is, the courts are going to support you if you do it, Vicki, at least with the most recent Supreme Court case, but I think you have to think about what do you want in your culture.
So good luck with your decision making.
So JoDee, we did have some best practice sharing information come in for this episode. In an earlier podcast, we asked our listeners to share any software apps that make their work lives easier. And two that we heard about recently from you were, the first one was Trello. It’s a web-based project management application. That’s T-R-E-L-L-O, and in one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. You can learn more at trello.com. JoDee, I think your team started to use Trello, didn’t they?
We did. I’d actually used it a few years ago with another organization, volunteer organization I’m involved in, and I liked it, but I hadn’t used it again. And now we’ve picked it up again, and I have to admit, it’s… sometimes there’s so many technologies out there, it’s hard to get ourselves to learn new one, but I do think it’s very powerful.
Oh, that’s great.
Another one that I haven’t used personally, but I’ve heard a lot about, is called Sticky Notes in Windows 10. It looks like a post it note on your screen, and it can be used as a to do list creator, an alarm note, or even for just creating random notes. For professionals, that can be used for jotting down notes, especially during a presentation. In other words, sticky notes is a good alternative to paper for taking notes, and you can learn more about that one at microsoft.com.
Well, great. Well, listeners, please do send us anything that you come across that makes your lives easier at work, because we would love to share it with others.
So in the news, Cognizant recently released their 2018 “21 More Jobs of the Future: A Guide to Getting and Staying Employed through 2029.” Cognizant originally published a November 2017 list called “21 Jobs of the Future,” and now a year later, they’ve published the second edition. The three themes that we hear, or that we see in these 21 jobs reflect an emerging focus on ethical behaviors, security and safety, and dreams. And what they mean by dreams is futuristic technological solutions for things that we’ve so far have only dreamt of. Why don’t we share seven of those 21 jobs? These are the top seven in order that Cognizant expects them to appear.
Yeah. I’m not sure I’ve heard of any of these. But the first one is a Data Trash Engineer. Sounds like a nice word for something a bit dirty, but it really means tapping into the tons of data companies have and make it work for you. Turn that trash into a treasure.
At Thanksgiving recently, one of my nieces was talking about her son, how he wants to figure out – he wants to major in math in college – to figure out what to do with data. I said, “He can grow up to be a data trash engineer.”
There you go!
I got a funny look. Yeah.
There you go.
The number two job that they believe in the future is a Cyber Attack Agent.
Ooh, sounds interesting. Number three is a Juvenile Cybercrime Rehab Counselor.
Oh, dear. Number four is a Voice UX Designer. And what they mean by that is, like, you know, hey, Google, or hey, Alexa, or Siri.
Understanding how to program those voices.
Now here’s what I’d like to have on the JoyPowered® podcast. Number five, a Joy Adjutant. It’s a person who helps people find joy in their relationships and objects.
JoDee, I think you are one. You just don’t get paid for being one. Yeah. Number six, Head of Business Behavior.
I kind of like that idea, with a focus on ethics, right?
I do too. And number seven, a Smart Home Design Manager, leveraging technology in house construction, in-home layout, and services.
That’d be very interesting.
So to read more, to see the entire list of 21 jobs of the future, go to cognizant.com. C-O-G-N-I-Z-A-N-T dot com.
Thanks for listening today, and a reminder to look for the joy in your day.
Please tune in next time. Thank you for listening today. If you’ve missed any of our podcasts, you can catch all episodes for free on iTunes, Google Play, Podbean, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts by searching on the word “JoyPowered.” If you like our podcast, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any upcoming episodes. And we’d love for you to rate and review us on iTunes, it helps people find our show. If you have any questions on any HR topics, you can leave us a voicemail at 317-688-1613 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @JoyPowered. We welcome listener questions and comments.