Leadership Recruitment for Series A/B/C and PE Firms

The Free Agent Podcast

with Beau Billington

The Free Agent- Optimizing The Hiring Process While Increasing The Candidate Experience with Michael Yinger

CEO of CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS, Inc.
Posted 2 years ago

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  Interview with Michael Yinger   Host: Beau Billington Guest: Michael Yinger   Beau  00:11 Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another podcast. The free agents, Beau Billington here. And I’ve got Michael Yinger, Michael, thanks for joining.   Michael  00:30 Hi Beau, I’m happy to be here, looking forward to the conversation.   Beau  00:34 You know, So this is a topic that’s really near and dear to my heart, right? It’s about the employee experience. It’s about, increasing, creating efficiencies in the recruiting process. And candidly, I would imagine, it’s really quite topical, considering the times that we’re in. So, I really appreciate you joining in and kind of sharing your mind and sharing your time with the audience here.   Beau  00:34 Yeah!    Michael  00:54 Yeah, I think you’re right, it is timely and happy to be part of the conversation.   Beau  00:58 Excellent!    Beau  00:59 So, prior to jumping in, we’ll just do a quick bio. So, Michael is the founder and principal of customer solutions, a consultancy focused on issues in the HR and talent acquisition space, whether strategy recruitment, planning, or devising the right tech stack, customer solutions can provide the advice you need to drive your company for. So, how long have you been the principle of customer solutions?   Michael  01:20 It’s been 21 years. I’ve had the company there have been times when it’s been quiet because I’ve taken a full time job. But I’ve had the company for 21 years.   Beau  01:32 Excellent.   Beau  01:33 So, have you always been in that recruiting space? Is this something kind of new for, you know, kind of your consultancy?   Michael  01:41 Well, my consultancy was founded as I was coming out of the tech consulting space and the tech bubble, so, in 2002, the tech bubble burst, the company I was working for cratered pretty hard. So, I started my own company and I did some initial consulting, ironically in pharma, and then I picked up a consulting gig in the talent acquisition space and within a couple of years, that was my main focus.    Michael  02:17 So, I built into it slowly but I became pretty dedicated based on the kind of clients I was getting. And then finally, as I said, I’ve had times where I’ve taken time off from the company, because one of my largest clients said to me, you know, we really like you, and you can’t be a consultant anymore. You have to come work for us and I said, yes. I did that for a while and then in the last couple of years, got the consultancy back up and running as an alternative during the COVID times.   Beau  02:55 Understood, I could completely relate not so does refer to folks is like, you know, reluctant consultants are looking at words where maybe some certain life situation occurred, or maybe it was just kind of burned out disenfranchised, hard to get out of corporate America. So, you start your own thing but regardless, I really appreciate you coming on.    Beau  03:13 So, listen, are you kind of like all things HR? Are you specific to like maybe talent acquisition? Like, tell us a little bit about your focus areas and expertise?    Michael  03:22 Yeah, my particular focus is talent acquisition, I have worked in virtually every role across talent acquisition. On the external side, I haven’t been internal, like working for a company, sales strategy, implementation, client delivery, product management, the whole gamut of things. So, I have a very broad view of talent acquisition, most of the work that I do tends to be, you know, some people think talent acquisition, that means you help hire people. Well, yes. Except that No, I’m not a headhunter. I have helped people hire mostly what I do is I help people figure out how they should be hiring, what process should they be using?    Michael  04:07 What kind of tools should they be using? What results should they expect from their talent acquisition process? Because it all too often, particularly as companies are growing early in their lifecycle and then as they grow, talent acquisition, it is a necessity, of course, and how they do it is something they don’t think about, they just start doing it, they post a job, and they just start hiring people. And all of a sudden, it’s, you know, might be chaos.    Michael  04:34 I talked to a CEO the other day, and I said to him, when did you decide that you needed professional, full time help with hiring? he said. When I had 13 interviews in one week, I realized I was spending 40 hours a week on recruiting as the CEO and well, okay, good. And so you know, he at that point, he hired his first HR professional and has grown from there.    Michael  04:57 So, there’s still a lot out of that going on, you have somebody getting started up. Yeah, that’s a great thing and they get moving and first you’re hiring people, and then maybe friends of friends, and you know, that’s how a startup grows. At some point, it gets to be too much. Do you realize it in time? Do you need some help getting things set up? That’s where I come in.   Beau  05:18 It’s funny, too, it feels like, you know, recruiting, and you mentioned that you use the word necessity earlier, but it can also be a competitive advantage for companies that do it properly.   Michael  05:18  Oh, yeah.   Beau  05:18 And it’s a lot more of a sophisticated process and practice. And I feel like most people give credit to it. I mean, there’s a lot of companies, it’s all around, you know, metrics, KPIs outreaches, the candidate experience, which we’ll get into in a moment, but like, it’s literally gone from this just kind of, oh, it’s recruiting is talent acquisition, whatever to now, it’s literally a company’s competitive advantage, the way that they’re gonna propel themselves, you know, faster and further than a lot of their competitors.    Beau  05:57 It’s a missed opportunity, if companies don’t have a keen eye on creating a better experience and a more efficient process.   Michael  06:06 Well, there’s no question about it. I mean, the simplest component of that is that the more efficient you are, the less time the job is vacant.    Michael  06:14 Yeah.   Michael  06:15 The more focus you’re on who you recruit, the less replacements that you have to do. So, all of those things tie together, your point is absolutely valid companies that focus on this, not to the exclusion of everything else, they focus on this, to get it right, it really does provide a competitive advantage, you have better productivity, you have better retention, presumably, you have happier employees, which all leads to, a better work environment.   Michael  06:44 It’s surprising how many companies recruit badly, in spite of the fact that it has so much of an impact on how you can function as an organization.   Beau  06:57 The implications are huge and it can also create a slog, I mean, the example you mentioned earlier about the CEO having 30 interviews over the course of the week, like that’s seems to be like a pretty negligent use of time, to be honest.    Michael  07:09 Exactly.    Beau  07:10 So, I believe we can get out a little bit later, you know, one of the first questions I really have for you is in regards to the State of the Union for the recruiting space. Why is it so difficult? I mean, I have conversations with other recruiters weekly, and everyone’s talking about how ever since COVID, it’s been a slog, and then kind of companies started to over index and over hire once we realized COVID wouldn’t go away.   Beau  07:10 So, we had a hiring frenzy and now we seem like we’re slowing down a little bit more like, what is going on? And why is it so difficult to recruit and find good people?   Michael  07:41 Well, there’s several things there, how we react to what goes on in the economy is different every time we do it, right. And I think you described it well, in terms of over indexing in either direction, the company that I was working for, just before COVID, hit, had a fairly significant 60% reduction in revenue. This is public knowledge, I’m not sharing any secrets.    Michael  08:09 So, about that many of us were let go and then, as you say, three to four months later, people realize we’re in this for the long haul, but the economy is starting to come back in some places. Well, all those resources have gone off and to do something else.   Michael  08:22 So, companies have to be a little bit more creative in terms of how they hire and the third thing that you touched on, why is it so difficult to hire? Well, we know that there aren’t enough people to fill all the jobs that are available.    Michael  08:22 So, the things that are impacting the industry right now is one, the oversized demand, which we hear about every time we hear the employment numbers, and two, the fact that there were a lot of people who left recruiting, and so, there’s a smaller pool to pull from.   Michael  08:50 And let’s be honest, there’s like a five or 6 million headcount gap between available people and how many jobs are opened up. Some of that is early retirement, some of that is people who’ve decided  they’re not going to work again.    Michael  09:05 A lot of those are jobs that not everybody wants. And so, the jobs that are in demand, there is still a fight to get the right kind of people, and how are they getting the word out? And then there’s the whole process of how they’re recruiting.    Michael  09:23 And there are three people in the company besides the CEO. This was his next important hire, and he got 1000 applicants, so how are you going to go through that, you know, if you’re a recruiting organization, you got 1000 applicants? Well, hopefully you’ve got some technology to help you. But the reality is that you can be buried or had another company, they were only averaging about 1.8 applicants per requisition, which is pretty low.   Michael  09:23 There’s so many different channels these days.You know, advertising on your website? Are you advertising on social media? Are you actively looking? Are you working passively? Are you maybe using some of the AI tools to help you find people? There are a lot of those kinds of alternatives.    Michael  09:39 I talked to a CEO six or eight weeks ago. He was looking for a chief operating officer. And he posted, he said, Look, I’m a startup, I don’t know whether this is a part time job or full time job. He got 1000 applicants for that COO job.    Michael  10:24 They were interviewing nine people but they were only getting 1.8. And so they couldn’t figure out well, why are we falling behind? Why are there more jobs? Well, it’s because you’re not getting the number of applicants that you need. And you’re interviewing too many people, you’re too picky and so what ends up happening, your job stays open longer, what’s more important, somebody who’s not quite perfect? or having the job vacant?    Michael  10:50 And you talked about the metrics that people look at. Are you looking at the right metrics to tell you what’s going on with your recruiting process? So, I mean, their stories? Yeah, a lot of stories. But often, people will try and change their tire while the car is moving.    Michael  11:15 Now, I get it.   Beau  11:15 Sure.    Beau  11:17 No, I agree. I kind of like the information you shared about the job boards and I want to table that discussion for a little bit because I think that’s super important. Because there’s been just an influx of job boards, an influx of interest in job boards and just to kind of pile on and interest in not using recruiters because people love the job more. So, let’s save that for a minute. One thing I want to talk about is the candidate experience, right.    Beau  11:41 So, a few moments ago, we talked about the recruiting space, and how it’s quite difficult to hire, which I think is a great segue into the candidate experience, because to me, you know, and I’m in the industry reluctantly, myself five and a half years, I feel like the candidate experience is way that companies can differentiate themselves from other these, and you know, maybe not necessarily be more efficient at hiring, but do a better job of hiring right, find the right people.    Beau  12:07 So, let’s talk a bit about the candidate experience and what does that mean to you? And how is that a competitive advantage for companies that actually have a keen eye on increasing that focus?   Michael  12:18 The candidate experience is just what it sounds like, as a candidate, how do you experience the opportunity of going to work for a company, and observationally, which is to say you listen to the stories you read, what people say online candidate experience right now is pretty abysmal. Which is surprising, In an era when candidates are still in such high demand.    Beau  12:42 When companies are saying we value our employees.   Michael  12:44 We value our employees. Well, as you can see, they value the employees, but they don’t value the job seeker, right. That’s right. So, if you have a lousy experience, you know, they don’t communicate with you. When they do it’s superficial. It’s long gaps of dead silence. What does that create in your mind about going to be like to be an employee when you get there? So you know, people come in pissed off.    Michael  12:44 Yeah, I took the job, because of what they offered, but they’re not gonna get anything out of me. You know, it is an interesting time driven, I think by a couple things. One, is, you touched on technology and sometimes we rely too much on technology.    Michael  13:30 To help with the decisions, is the technology making the right decisions, there was one study done out of Harvard that 26 million people a year are rejected by the technology before they’re even looked at by people who could otherwise have been qualified, you know, with some little glitch in their resume or something, so, over reliance on technology is something you have to be careful of.    Michael  13:52 The other is if you’re short handed in recruiting, and your recruiters are handling 50 recipes, or you’ve got the Chief Executive Officer doing the recruiting, you know, maybe they’re not going to follow through and have the same sort of impact on it. Now, you know, studies show you how important the candidate experience is, because not everybody that you talk to is going to be hired, right? And so, if you’re treating that person badly, are you a consumer brand? And what is that going to say about your potential with that person?    Michael  14:29 There’s actually an award, it’s called the CandE award C.A.N.D.E, CandE awards, and it’s candidate experience. Every year, if you choose to, it’s a voluntary thing and it’s a really extensive self audit process that you go through and then you submit it and the people are chosen.    Michael  14:52 The people who went in are ones that you would expect to because they’ve got such a well known brand and they’re known for the consumer brands, the airlines, the hotels, those kinds of folks are very often the winners, although sometimes you don’t want industrial company will get in there or somebody that isn’t particularly consumer brand, but really recognizes the value of treating their employees right.   Michael  15:16 It’s kind of ironic that before COVID, say 2019, we were as an industry very concerned about the candidate experience. And there was a lot of conversation around, you know, as we were starting to taper off from the old war for talent routine, right. But still, candidates were in high demand so people were really interested in doing a good job with the candidates. Well, we seem to have forgotten all that it seemed to have gone all out the window.    Michael  15:42 And you know, it’s going to take some time to come back in, the whole ghosting aspect. People wonder, well, why did candidates ghost me? Well, they ghost you because they’ve been ghosted. I talked to one executive who had applied to 300 jobs, sea level jobs, and gotten 10 rejections and one interview. Now it’s possible this person wasn’t qualified for anything. But that doesn’t explain the fact that they didn’t hear from the other 289.   Michael  15:42 I want to touch on something you brought up earlier about kind of like, you know, the reputation in the marketplace, consumer brand or not consumer brand, I feel like poor candidate experience can affect a company’s brand equity.    Michael  16:27 Absolutely.   Beau  16:28 Ghosting people, if you don’t have, you know, a good feedback loop, etc. I mean, people want to know why they don’t get jobs, especially ambitious folks want to know why they don’t get jobs, so they can do better next time, and get  a hold of skill sets.    Beau  16:40 So, candidly, when I work with companies, and non negotiable for me is, you know, I need to have feedback within 24 to 48 hours max, anything more than that, you’re making my job almost impossible. Because to your point, people take that as indicative as to how it’s going to be in the work environment.    Beau  16:56 So, take a sales opening as an example, you know, a good salesperson is going to think, hey, we need to be able to deliver, we need to be able to get back to clients, etc. And if you can’t even have your own company, get back to you and provide feedback, provide you an offer or provide guidance as to where you stand?    Beau  17:14 How are they going to do a good job in the sales process? Right. So, I feel like your point, a lot of people do take it as indicative that this company is bad and getting back to me, what’s it gonna be like to actually work for them?   Beau  17:27 Candidly, that would be the first thing that I would look at, when, you know, interviewing with a company is, do they actually? Do they ghost you? Did they get back to you? And do they get back to you with good information or bad information? Because to me, you should be closing the loop regardless of whether or not it’s hey, let’s move forward or sorry, you’re not the right fit.   Michael  17:44 Yeah, and it’s such a simple thing to reach out. The challenge is I’m not looking to make an excuse for folks, people don’t like to deliver bad news. And sometimes bad news is not well received.    Beau  18:00 Correct.    Michael  18:02 It seems to me, having worked on the service side of the recruiting industry for so many years, that it’s almost an obligation in terms of somebody having invested their time to show their interest and to go through your process. Don’t you have an obligation to them to let them know where they stand? You know, you can tell?   Michael  18:25 I think, again, talking to job seekers, you can tell when you’re dealing with a company that’s got outsourced recruiting, it’s a different experience, because they’re probably properly staffed, and they’re following a process and likely, there’s a concern for  that employer brand, which is being enforced on them by their company that’s hired him.   Michael  18:48 A lot of companies that just they don’t seem to follow that and it’s their loss, right, because the next company that does is going to pick up the hard to find candidate, and is going to have the reputation whether it’s on Glassdoor, Yelp, or you know, you pick a rating site, people look at those things.   Beau  19:09 People absolutely look at those things and people also share, they’re more inclined, I know what the status is but they’re more inclined to share a bad experience and they are good.   Michael  19:16 I think it’s 10 to one.   Michael  19:18 Okay.   Michael  19:19 It’s 10 to one. Yeah, we’re more happy to complain than we are to praise.   Beau  19:26 Yeah, holding onto it and kind of having their head on the space myself and like, I will work with companies that have a poor candidate experience or poor footprint. That’s not because I’m opportunistic, but it’s because I want my brand to work in concert with a company that actually cares about potential employees in the candidate.    Beau  19:45 Very important. I by no means imperfect, but I make it a point to try to let every single person know if they’re in or out in the process. And why and to me, that’s really important. That’s just table stakes, and you know what, at the end of the day, Michael, it’s just good manners too.   Michael  20:00 Absolutely. It’s so simple and you know, the argument you get is, you know, the time that it takes and so on and so forth. Well, you can point to the studies that show that it pays itself back in terms of employee engagement, employee retention, and also as you pointed out, your reputation in the marketplace, it’s so short sighted not to think about those things.   Beau  20:27 I’ve actually gotten more business and more referrals, candidly from candidates that did not get through the process, but they appreciated how I kept him informed throughout the entire process. I found a channel that worked for them via text, via email, and via call, and was very transparent. And I didn’t like it not again. I’m not patting myself on the back but it’s like I didn’t represent the client or the candidate.    Beau  20:48 I was in this kind of, you know, intermediary that was in the middle and worked with both parties and I’ve gotten more business over the last three years just because of a good candidate experience. People have referred me into their new customers, you know, seemingly have integrity.   Beau  21:03 I want to bring you into my organization now and it’s staggering how there’s such a profound effect by just being a good human closing the loop and keeping people up to speed with progressing or not.   Michael  21:15 Yeah, we go through these ebbs and flows and we’ll see how it sorts itself out, you know, that there are a lot of things that people are struggling with, between the great resignation and quiet quitting, and just general shortage of workers. You know, some of them, we exacerbate? Right? The unfortunate thing is, that sometimes we make it harder for ourselves.   Beau  21:38 Yeah, well, quitting to me is just a ridiculous premise but that’s probably a topic for another day.   Michael  21:45 Well, yeah. It’s a Gallup poll yesterday, 51% of people surveyed said that they’re engaging in quiet quitting. That’s pretty staggering and, you know, to me, it means you hired me for 40 hours a week. That’s about what I’m going to work on. Now, is that quitting? I think we’ve overblown, but you’re right. That’s a whole another topic.   Beau  22:10 True, you’re doing what you get paid for.   Michael  22:13 Yeah.    Beau  22:14 Anything else is my time. Right?   Michael  22:16  Exactly.   Beau  22:17 So, we talked about candidate experience. I feel you’re getting some sort of folks who have actionable insights into maybe what they can do to increase those I mean, namely, feedback loop, you know, not ghosting, people being transparent, being open. I think one thing we didn’t really talk about, but it’s setting clear expectations.    Michael  22:34 Yes.    Beau  22:35 So, that’s all good stuff. Let’s talk about the company side of the equation. So while recruiting and what a company can maybe do tomorrow to have a better recruiting footprint, I’m sure we’ll tie that back to the candidate experience. But what can they be doing? I mean, is it job ads?    Beau  22:51 Is it leveraging their employee network and having them as folks that kind of go out into the market and try to kind of bring in, you know, friends are ex-colleagues, like, what can a company do? That’s really struggling right now, with recruiting.   Michael  23:05 You know, one of the first things that I think about, and this is something that one of my colleagues has been advocating for a while. We often think that recruiting starts with posting a job. Why doesn’t recruiting start with first looking at people that you’ve looked at in the past, and see if any of them are suitable? And then go to referrals? Then ask your internal folks, ask your network who you’ve got, and then finally go to posting?    Beau  23:35 Yeah.   Michael  23:36 You’ve got these ready pools and then maybe people that you looked at, they weren’t a B player, column, a silver medalist, because somebody had just the right combination of things, or there was a money issue or something, it wasn’t related to skills, you’ve got these people that you’ve looked at, you’ve invested money to attract them in the first place, why not go back and review those a second time?    Michael  23:59 The referrals are gold because somebody who is being referred in is likely being prepped for what to expect and so you’re dealing with somebody who’s sort of a warm lead, why aren’t you using that? And then if you can’t find anybody there.   Beau  24:16 Yeah, you can show up but there’s also the reputation aspect like I’m not one of the first somebody that I feel would do a course actually,   Michael  24:22 Exactly.   Beau  24:23 Almost like this added layer of validity that you know, whom you’re bringing to the table is going to be a step in the right direction.   Michael  24:31 And would you refer somebody to a company if you thought it was a bad place to work?    Beau  24:35 Right.   Michael  24:36 So yeah, it’s a win-win in the referral space. And then if you can’t find anybody, then post it and work quickly through the people you find because posting you’re gonna get good and mediocre and you know, somewhere in the middle, just work through it quickly and make a decision and all too often, where companies get caught is they get caught in this endless cycle.    Michael  25:02 They’re recruiting, they’re looking at too many people. If you’re looking at more than four or five people, you probably don’t know what you’re looking for.    Beau  25:12 I love this. Yes,   Michael  25:16 One company that they were really concerned about because they went from 39 average applicants per job down to 19. Well, what are you concerned about? Did you want to say no to another 21 people that you didn’t say no to before? My buddy, who’s a data analyst, said to me the other day, he said, I have never seen stats to tell me how good the person I didn’t hire is compared to the person that I did.   Michael  25:47 If you think about that because there’s this whole regret thing? Well, I didn’t have enough candidates, how do you know you didn’t have enough candidates? How do you know that the people that you didn’t look at because you didn’t look at them, were actually better than the person that you hired?    Michael  25:59 Do a good job hiring in the first place, have a reasonable process that you go through understand the kind of questions that you’re asking, there are some fundamental things that say, as an outsourcing firm, we encouraged customers to look at no more than three to five people,   Beau  26:16 100 percent.   Michael  26:16 because of the time it took and if we’re not bringing the right people to the table, that’s a challenge, I get that. If nobody is matching it, what does that say about the hiring manager’s decision process in terms of what they’re looking for?   Beau  26:32 No, I totally agree. So, a couple of things from the search side of the house, you mentioned the referral network, as a company, and that’s what I do as well, just so you know. So, the first thing I do when we get a new job is to look within my network, find my trusted folks, reach out to them and have a conversation and see if we can find somebody in this trusted circle.    Beau  26:52 So, I think that’s super important in the area of focus. The other point that I want to kind of underscore is what you mentioned a few moments ago, about three to five candidates, you know, our goal is typically one to three candidates.    Beau  27:03 What I tell clients is that you know, anything over five as an example, either we did a bad job during discovery because we didn’t understand what you guys needed. You guys were not completely transparent with us or did a poor job sharing information about what it’s really like with the company. Or see, there’s something else going on entirely that we needed to look at.  Michael  27:24 Yeah, yeah.   Beau  27:25 Absolutely, in my experience, what I have found, and when I’ve worked with clients that are very open, transparent, and honest, and we can have a dedicated 45-minute to an hour discovery session with the leadership team, we literally will provide one to three candidates, like it gets our job gets markedly easier that the more time we can spend with a team because that’s what it’s all about.    Beau  27:45 It’s about information, receiving information, disseminating information, and being able to represent the customer appropriately. And if you can’t even represent yourself appropriately, you’re dead in the water.   Michael  27:57 Yeah, it’s all too often it’s that, it’s either not taking the time to have that discovery conversation, which does happen, particularly with internal recruiters, you know, oh, you know how to handle this. Here’s, you know, and then they come back and say, Well, no, I want this or No, I want that. Or as you say, it’s it. I don’t choose to believe that it’s a lack of honesty about what it is that they want. It’s a lack of clarity about what they want.    Michael  28:27 So, what they’re doing is they’re putting the job on the recruiter to bring candidates to the table that they can react to. And then oh, no, I don’t want this. I don’t want that. Or I do want this or I do want that, instead of doing that thinking in advance. I mean, it’s like manufacturing, right? Where’s the best time to correct the errors in the manufacturing process? Well, before they happen,    Beau  28:48 Yeah.    Michael  28:50 Yes, exactly. I mean, there’s some logic to these things, but again, we’re people moving so fast, they think they have to move fast. You know, you’re causing yourself trouble.   Beau  29:03 Their own internal recruiting team, you know, if the hiring manager is not giving the recruiting team clear and concise direction, they’re not going to do a good job.    Michael  29:12 No, they’re not.    Beau  29:13 You may get lucky here and there, but if you can’t accurately represent your own organization or the wants and needs of a division, you’re never going to find the right person.    Michael  29:23 Well, you know, if you’ve got that rare recruiter who can read minds, then maybe you’re okay.   Beau  29:29 Exactly.   Beau  29:30 So, let’s talk about two more tour items here, Michael, I really appreciate your time. So, a lot of buzz around passive and active candidates. I have my opinion, which I’ll share here in a few moments but what’s your opinion: is there a passive candidate or an active candidate, was one better than the other are both kind of, equal and certain circumstances like what companies really are looking for in this day and age?   Michael  29:54 Well, as you might imagine, there are pros and cons to both active candidates, of which there are a lot, right? as we’re in the environment of, of the great resignation. Active candidates often over-represent what they’re capable of, and I think you’ll find it, which is, hence my suggestion about how you approach when you’re going to fill a job.    Michael  30:23 When you open it up, and you’re asking for active candidates to come in and apply, you’re gonna get a lot of people, I’ll just give you an example.   Michael  30:30 I was filling a sales job for a company I was working with. It was SAS, and it was particularly in the recruiting space, and HR tech, all of this was very clear in the job description. We got 293 applicants over the course of a week. We were using a tool to evaluate the candidates, so we could do it on a consistent basis. The most qualified candidate had been selling Gardening Services nationally for the last nine years.   Beau  31:03 Right.   Michael  31:04 No, SAS, no HR tech, that was the most qualified candidate. So, that’s the challenge you get with being active, right? you get whoever’s looking for a job. On the other hand, passive candidates are harder to get, you’ve got to go and dig for them, and are those passive candidates by their nature, passive candidates are not actively looking for a job doesn’t mean that you can’t entice them to come work for you, although you should be able to work with a much shorter list.    Michael  31:31 So that goes back to your idea of putting it out to that trusted circle. Well, I know so and so they’re pretty happy, but they might consider an offer. I think that the stats again show that a surprising number of job applicants who are not people working today are willing to listen to an offer today.    Michael  31:53 Because even if they’re not actively looking, you know, people are looking for things to do that are different. So, there’s a work effort which is the key difference and then the trade-off is you might get more active applicants, but you’re less likely to find quality, passive, much smaller numbers, and it’s going to require some digging to get to them.   Beau  32:17 I think that’s an excellent point, and I really liked what you kind of mentioned about the active candidates maybe kind of overemphasizing their skill set, because they’re so active, they’re so interested in moving on, like they pick it up their mind, maybe they’ve left or their layoff laid off, but they’ve made up their mind that they’re leaving. So, I have seen that there could be an overemphasis on their skill set, what I’ve also found is that they’re at a higher risk for flight risk.    Beau  32:41 So, they’re so active to take a role that only hit seven of the 10 boxes versus eight or nine or 10. Then they get in, they try it and they want to leave because it just wasn’t the right fit, because they’re active, and they were kind of desperate maybe to get out of their situation.    Beau  32:58 Passively on the other side, which is, candidly, what I prefer to work with. I feel like the style and the conversations are different because they don’t really need me, I kind of need them a little bit but they have a wait-and-see approach. Okay, I’ll talk, but like, I’m in a good spot and so this role has really got to line up a certain way for me to really kind of change my position from, All right, I’m listening. Now we’re talking, and to your point, it is a smaller network, so it’s tougher, but in my experience the quality. Asian can be a little tighter.   Michael  33:33 Yeah, I think I would say the fit is more likely better because you’re looking at somebody before you’re talking to them. Then you’re just to add to your point about the flight risk, active candidates are very often looking at more than one job, and so, this is where ghosting comes in. You know, you could be really hot on one person and they can have three other things that they’re working on.    Michael  33:58 And you know, A, you might never hear from them again, or B, you pitch an offer. And they say yeah, no, thanks. Because I got this other offer. Yeah, so, there’s a speed-to-market issue with active versus passive, particularly, at the more senior levels, maybe not quite so much, but particularly, it’s sort of the middle and the lower levels.    Michael  34:19 You know, as you say, those folks are going to take the job that comes along because they’re looking for the dollars or they’re looking for stability or they’re looking for a replacement right at the moment.   Beau  34:28 Great, and pro tip for anybody listening, if you’re getting ghosted on either side of the equation, probably not the right fit.    Michael  34:35 Yeah.   Beau  34:36 Moving on, last question for you and Michael, thanks so much for your time. So, job boards, we kind of talked about this earlier. I’m not a huge fan of job boards, candidly, I don’t post any jobs at all. Everything we do is a direct touch going out into the market, but they do have a place you know, like maybe smaller organizations, that don’t have maybe the purse strings of a higher recruiter, maybe it’s a multinational corporation that got so many jobs, that they basically need to cast a wide net.    Beau  35:04 What says you? What are your thoughts on job boards? Is there a time and a place where they work? And are they a good replacement also for firms such as mine?   Michael  35:13 So, I think that yes, there’s absolutely a place for them, and you hit on a couple of them. One is, is the small firm that doesn’t have a way to get the word out there or another is just the sheer volume, I worked with one client and everything was posted online, because they had such a market presence in their space, that we were bringing in, you know, close to a million and a half applicants a month. Well, it’s no big company, but you know, without it having to do any real advertising, right?    Michael  35:47 Other than for certain niche jobs, you know, there were certain niche jobs that you had to do some advertising for you needed a particular skill set. So, I think they definitely have a place in what you’re doing, recognizing that a job board is generally going to bring you the active candidates, it’s not going to bring you the passive candidates. Just by definition, if somebody’s passive, they’re not looking for a job. So, you’re gonna miss those kinds of folks. And it is a necessary piece of the equation.    Michael  36:18 Now, what’s interesting now, as opposed to say, seven or eight years ago, is that we’ve sort of blended job boards and social because there’s indeed, or monster, but then there’s LinkedIn, is LinkedIn, a job board? Well, it functions as a job board, but it’s a little bit different. There’s Facebook, or there’s Craigslist, so, it’s understanding, based on the persona of the candidate that you’re looking for, where are they going to be hanging out?    Michael  36:55 Where are you most likely to find them? And so the mistake that a lot of companies make is, you talked about the wide net, I totally get your metaphor there. And are you throwing too wide a net? Are you throwing the net in the right part of the ocean? Let’s think about that. You know you want to catch salmon, and you throw it in the net off the shores of Hawaii, you’re not going to catch very many salmon? I’m sorry. It’s just that’s all I know of fishing, so I’m not gonna go any further than that.    Michael  37:22 Are you posting jobs when you do, where the people that you’re looking to hire are likely to see them and likely to be interested in them? And then that comes to the whole concept of posting in and of itself? All too often still? A job post is a description of the job. Well, okay, that’s great. Why should I be interested in it? That doesn’t come into the job posting. So, there is a whole industry around writing better job postings, whether it’s really marketing, right?   Michael  37:54 It’s a sales pitch around the job, you’re doing it verbally and through your network. So you’re doing it sort of intuitively. And it can make a dramatic difference in both the quality and quantity of applicants you get, depending on how it’s written. On one level, it can be written such that people of certain demographics aren’t interested, you know, maybe it’s a pronoun issue, or maybe it’s a description of the work environment.    Michael  38:23 They’re all these kinds of things that can come into play. How much do you want to think about getting the right people to come work for you? I would argue that the more you think about it, the more those dividends are going to pay off in the long run. Yeah, it’s going to take some time at the front end, and not as much time as you’re going to be doing with replacements. Simple as that.   Beau  38:45 Oh, I totally agree. I want to kind of highlight a couple of those points there. First and foremost, what I tell people a lot of times is, like your job ads, it’s a leg to the stool, it’s not the stool, right? If you’re going to use one easy part of the equation, maybe it’s coupled with digital but to your point, you know, if you’re not finding the proper channel, then it’s all for naught anyway, it doesn’t matter no your people on Facebook or your people on LinkedIn, or they can indeed and companies need to do the due diligence to find out where their ideal candidate is.    Beau  39:15 If they’re going to use a job ad or you know, advertised and in my opinion, it sounds like you kind of, you know, agree with that sentiment, you need to find the proper channel.    Michael  39:24 Yeah, right. Exactly.   Beau  39:25 There also to the job ads, you know, what I found is that, again, they may be good for getting a mass of folks and but you can also make may get a massive unqualified candidate, you know, whereas you may you get 1000 candidates, I think, to an example used earlier, and then like 1% are qualified and chances are very high that you’re going to lose that 1% Because you’re going through applicants, so, I think it goes to two job ads in my life and I got four or 500 applicants per each and I found one qualified candidate out of each pool and I was like, you know it for my business personally and not a good fit. All right?    Beau  40:01 Well, definitely scenarios where job ads make sense, I think it needs to be tied back to visuals and like finding that right channel. And then the last point, you mentioned kind of about the copy. And like, you know, a sales ad essentially is what this is, it’s a glorified sales ad, in my opinion, right, you’re selling somebody who has to kind of work with your company. I do the same thing with my business, you know, when I’m having conversations with prospective clients, you know, we sit down, and during our discovery session, we create a persona.    Beau  40:26 Then always a statement that ties back to that persona and says, Hey, this is who we’re looking for, this is what you’re going to be doing. And this is why you’d be delighted to work here, right? I mean, it’s obviously written a little bit differently than that. But that’s the whole point is creating a message that’s going to resonate with your target market, and it all starts with kind of creating the persona, you need to know who this person is, and where they’re going to be. And then that’s the only way that you can resume.   Michael  40:52 We are in complete sync on that, and yeah, it is a little more work. And it pays off in the end because you’re getting a better fit, which means you’re looking at fewer people, and the people you bring in are likely going to last longer. Because you know, those are all good things. And it’s not hard to show an ROI to that, you know, it’s not, just take the time and you’re gonna get the quality you need and you’re gonna be better off for it. But it’s, you know, we get caught.   Beau  41:24 Every day you get them in the system. How do you retain them? Right?    Michael  41:27 Yeah, exactly.    Beau  41:28 Well, Mike, thanks so much for coming on. Where can people find you and more about the kind of things that you’re up to?   Michael  41:35 So, there are a couple of places that you know, I’m easy to find on LinkedIn, Mike Yinger just search for me you’ll find my LinkedIn page. My company is Customer Solutions Incorporated. That’s on LinkedIn and Facebook and also on the web at CUSTSOL custsol.com. And you can email me Michael at cus soul.com happy to chat and see how we can make the recruiting experience better for everybody.   Beau  42:02 }}Awesome. We’ll be sure to post it on the video. So again, Michael, thanks so much for your time. Really appreciate it. This was great.   Michael  42:09 Great, thanks. Bye. Enjoy the conversation.   Beau  42:12 Take care.    
Posted 2 years ago
Michael Yinger

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About Beau

FOUNDER, THE FREE AGENT

Beau spent over 14 years in enterprise-level software sales and was exposed to high-level talent by working alongside companies such as Apple, AT&T, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and more. 

In this podcast, Beau aims to interview high performing business leaders in the hope that their insights will bring about real positive change to the businesses of his listeners.

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