Create, Manage, and Work With Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces.
Each week, Steven Rothberg of College Recruiter and Peter Zollman of the AIM Group, along with guests from the world's leading job sites, analyze news about general, niche, and aggregator job board and recruitment marketplace sites.
Does the Indeed Whisperer think you're properly data-driven?
Jim Durbin is the Director of Recruitment Marketing for PSG Global Solutions, an RPO that supports staffing and recruiting companies. Jim has been in the industry for over 20 years, and he is sometimes referred to as the Indeed Whisperer.
Welcome to the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast. I'm Steven Rothberg, the founder of College Recruiter, job search site at College Recruiter. We believe that every student in recent grad deserves a great career.
And I'm Peter Zollman, founding Principal of the AIM Group, the leading global business intelligence service for marketplaces and classified advertising companies. We consult with recruitment marketplaces, companies and publish AIM group, recruitment intelligence, and a free weekly digest. We also host the annual Global Rebus Conference.
This is the podcast for you to learn more about how to create, manage and work with general niche and aggregator job boards and recruitment marketplaces. Well, Peter, it is great to be with you today, especially because we've got a guest who I think is gonna really knock the socks off of listeners. He's somebody that I have known since I think 1862, <laugh> might have been 1863 back
In our thirties.
Yeah, exactly. <Laugh>. It's, it's been, it's, it's been a long time. Our paths keep crossing and somehow he's forgiving enough that he's willing to talk to us. But Peter, you as excited as I am for this,
I am looking forward to it because you have told me he is, I'm taking away from your scripted intro, but you told me he is the Indeed Whisperer and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I sure as heck want to find out more about that. You want to go ahead and introduce him?
Yeah, yeah. So today's guest, as you said, is known as the Indeed Whisperer. He is Jim Durbin. His formal title is a Director of Recruitment Marketing, and he works for a recruitment process outsourcing company R p o called P S G Global Solutions. They support staffing and recruiting companies. And he says he's been in the industry for over 20 years. He doesn't say how much over. Maybe he'll share that later, but but Jim, a k a, the Indeed Whisperer. Welcome to the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast.
Thank you. And hello Steven and Peter.
Well, we're glad to have you. Steven kept telling me about this Indeed Whisperer guy. Tell us what that means.
I'm a huge fan of branding. Used to be called the Social Media Head Hunter. I don't do that anymore, so I had to come up with something new. And five years ago, I shut down my marketing business and went inside to manage Sourcers. I started teaching 'em how to use Indeed Resume, and then they started giving Indeed Advertising. And over the last five years, I just know Indeed so well, I used to make so much money off of them as a head hunter, and now they, through all their iterations, I, I just, I feel like they're a little horse that I whisper down. So we started looking at our campaigns and looking at our numbers, and they're, they're so unbelievable. I had to come up with something for it. Like, nobody believes me until I show them and they wanna know what my tricks are. And the question is, is it a parlor trick or is it just understanding how indeed works? So it's, it's tongue in cheek. It's a little ridiculous to call yourself that, but I figured, Hey, you know what? Be bold makes me work harder. And I do understand the systems, and boy do we get some good results. So that's why we're brave enough to say it.
Okay. So talk to us in the about Indeed, what does it do right? What does it do wrong? How would you improve it and one or two quick secrets to using Indeed.
Well, the first thing is what Indeed does specifically, obviously they're moving to their cost per application. The things they do right is, are the biggest in the industry. They have the largest organic traffic. They spend a lot of money driving people to their site, their model in the beginning is superior. The pay per click model wins at the early stages. They've definitely taken advantage of that when they started scraping data and then started doing pay per click, that was just guaranteed win. As we can see from Google and Marketplace, the problem is, they're so big now, they're not 19,000 people, billions and billions of dollars. I don't think they necessarily know who they are. On the one hand, they wanna fix the hiring process. They still wanna grow in sales, they wanna change the way we do things, and they don't communicate it well. For, for better or worse, a lot of us are dependent on them. And when they make big decisions and don't, don't necessarily, they're not clear about that, they're not communicating to us. It can be devastating for your budget and then you just shut it and you go elsewhere. So that's the biggest issue.
One of the things I love about Indeed is they have reduced their mission to a great, great sim simple statement. We help people find jobs and that pervades everything they do. I noticed just the other day an AIM group marketplaces report that they put out a manifesto may be too strong, but put out a, a manifesto that says, in the next five years, they wanna have the time it takes to find an employee, not through Indeed just find an employee and, and double the efficiency in recruitment and finding and, and all talent acquisition and all that stuff. Primarily through automation and ai. But I will turn it over to Steve to ask you about what your ideas on are on job board sources.
Yeah, so, you know, one thing about Indeed is we've, we at College Recruiter, we've been working with them almost since the day they launched. So I, I'm not a by any stretch of the imagination anti Indeed person, I, I like a lot of what they do. No organization is perfect, of course, but Jim, I'm I'm sure that you would agree that for as dominant as Indeed is and that the generally the really good results that employers get from there, that there are other job boards out there. And so when your team is looking at what job boards to use, aside from Indeed what are you guys using and, and why?
That's a great question because I'm obsessed with, I, I do like Indeed and some people think I don't because I call them out for things. But the challenge is I don't like anybody owning everything that I do. Their site's gone down, integrations break, and you can't, if, if, if you're stuck using one source, they raise their prices, you can't do anything and you're never gonna make changes if you're getting on that cheap traffic. So I'm a, I'm obsessed with making sure that if something goes wrong, I have split my tech stack. So my ideal source is no more than 50% from Indeed. And then the next biggest player, ZipRecruiter, you should be getting 10, 15% of your stuff. And of course, it depends if you're looking for developers or engineers or warehouse workers, but especially for high volume, which is what I primarily work in.
I want 15, 20% from ZipRecruiter. I want 10% from my database and for my career site, we're a staffing firm, so career site's not gonna have a lot of traffic, but I wanna drive some stuff from Google for jobs from that. So I have to set that up. And then there's the, the rest of the Constellation is social media and other job boards. And the challenge with those is we do integrations. Because I, I want that click to turn into an apply. I don't wanna send traffic to my website and lose 70% of it. Which is apparently good. Apparently 98% or 92% are leaving. I lose 66% and six, 6% lose me, like leaves me up at night. So I, I split that 50, indeed 1520 ZipRecruiter. And then right now I'm using you guys sell Kelly from broadband, Kelly Robinson. Oh yeah.
He's got a new product called Job Splice. And so where you could use programmatic, like your app Cash or Pando your agency or something like that, which will cover 10,000 job boards, job splice lets me connect to all those job boards. It's like a manual programmatic for me. So I can pick talent.com and at zuna and others and run campaigns that are integrated into my system without just driving traffic. So for us, I, I, I don't like to drive traffic unless it's an applicant. So when I split that up and when something goes wrong, I can immediately pour it over to another place that's already there. Everybody's good. And I didn't lose 50% of my traffic for three days cuz my integration was down.
Fair enough. Pay per click duration, pay per application, and pay per higher. Which do you like, which do you think is going to be the dominant method in the future and how does that impact quality?
It's a timeline. You start with duration. So, so for the rest of the crowd, duration's pretty simple. That's 30 days. I pay 2 99 at Monster. I put a job up and people apply and that worked great in the beginning. The problem with is, is that there's so many applications that go through that. You're really only looking at the first applications and the last ones it's just luck cuz you're not paying attention to the middle one cuz there're too many. And if you have the job up and you want it, want it longer than 30 days, now you have to refresh it. Eventually everybody's refreshing their jobs and the standings become ridiculous. So when you move it to pay per click, which is a great model because instead of say 300 bucks for 30 days, here's 2 cents a click, five people click on it, that person comes to your website, you get a hire for 30 bucks and if you need 10, you just do 10 x 10 hires for 30 bucks and the first days of paper per click, it's a fantastic deal for people who have their stuff together.
Over time those clicks get more expensive. And when you don't have a growing population like we are facing now, you move into the third stage, which is per application where you have to start thinking about terms of quality. The, the, the great thing about Pay per click is that everybody clicks and everybody's happy. And if 10% of the people are there, you get your hire on application, you have to improve your conversions and you have to prove a quality of both the clients, the employers and the candidates. Cuz you have a lot less applicants at a lot higher cost, but it, it, it's going to all go to application regardless of what in anyone's going because that's the smart thing to do long term.
Yeah, I, I agree. I do think that the, the industry, both from the, the customer side, whether it's a staffing company, a direct employer or another job board buying traffic as well as from the vendor side at the job board of the recruitment marketplace that's selling that traffic, that we're all moving eventually to more of a paper applicant model. Right now it's, I think it's pretty heavily dominant in the US by, by Duration based and Paper click and overseas it's, it's still mostly D duration based. We'll be back right after this break. Welcome back to the inside job boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast. I'm wondering what your thoughts are about moving towards that paper applicant basis and, and the, you know, what, what do you think that's going to do to the advertiser's budgets and their campaign strategies?
Well, a lot of the job boards are currently doing that and there's a skilled trade job board that we do that where they charge us $8 per applicant and they wanted to raise the price because if you only have a thousand applicants coming to your website, you've gotta, you gotta parcel it out to different people. So you just raise your prices. You don't care where the prices are as long as you sell every one. So those CPAs continue to go up, but the problem is, is that quality issue, how do you, with high volume, it's different than enterprises, different than small business. I don't see how you can manage a cost per application unless you have absolute clarity into everything from the first click all the way to the higher. And a lot of companies, I would say, no companies have a perfect record of that.
So how are we possibly gonna figure out what that application is? So there's a lot of pain to come from that, but it's probably gonna force some good changes because the whole, the whole point of the of doing it that, of doing the pay per click is cost. If cost gets high enough that I can start paying individual recruiters to sit and talk to people, I don't need the applications anymore. So all CPC was, was the way to cut cost long term. It's cheaper to do that than having individuals do it. Now that we're pay for application, eh, our models aren't set for that. Our agencies aren't set for that. There's gonna be a lot of pain, but ultimately it'll be better for everybody involved.
Yeah. And speaking, speaking of a lot of pain, there's a lot of, there's a lot of pain in in, in the marketplace right now that, you know, during, in, in the fall indeed announced that in during 2023, not, not as of January 1st, but at some point in 2023, all of the advertising that it'll be selling will be on a paper application basis. But then it sounds to me, and, and Jim, I think you're probably a big enough Indeed customer that you're hearing more details from them than perhaps a lot of listeners are it, from what I've been able to gather, what Indeed is talking about are when it hosts the application page, when the candidate sees the posting on Indeed clicks, the apply button, completes the form, that's an application and the employer or staffing company, rpo o whatever is, is going to pay for that application. But for the employers that require the candidate to apply on the ats, which many do, it's not a completed application on the ATS that you're paying paying for, you're paying for the click to the ats and at, at College Recruiter and in some other sites, we refer to that as a, as an apply click. Is is that what you're hearing or are you hearing different things?
So I'm hearing a little different and I, and again, I don't think of us have perfect knowledge unless we're at Indeed. First of all, it's live already. If you go and try to smaller start a small business and sign in for an Indeed account, you're going to get application pricing. Yes. Their goal is to drive it there. You're sitting there and you pick which applicants you want. The ones you interview, you're the ones you're paying for because you're inside their system. A larger company, the enterprise can't do that because we're not gonna send all of our time inside the Indeed application, which is what they're looking for. So for them they'll switch and they'll have some type of integration. For CPAs it's called cost pause per apply, start, start, which would be did they get into your application? Cuz they we're also the third party cookies are going away for Google.
So onsite analytics are gonna matter a lot for people and I don't think we have a good understanding of that in our industry. But the CPAs is C CPAs is gonna be some type of integration where if I, I can bulk upload the candidates I didn't like and mark them as not applicants, then I get credits back. So companies will be incentive for cost reasons to build their integrations out. So you can mark yes or no, which means you have to mark yes or no on everything that you do, and then they'll judge you on speed. How often you do it, the same kinds of jobs. It'll all go into that algorithm, determine what your pay is, which it's gonna be dependent. That's gonna be the hardest part. They're gonna set it by application and do they get it right. It really takes away people like me who do a good job with campaigns, it kind of standardizes the field. It's like salary bands. So in general we should see less, but there are some people that are gonna have extreme pain. And then the question for the rest of us is always, oh, somebody's always coming up with something that's supposed to stop us from saving money. We'll see how whispery I am at that point. <Laugh> the Indeed Crier, I may turn into the Indeed Crier at some
Point. Yeah, well you're the whisperer and the crier. One quick story and then I'm gonna ask you about ultimate ultimately whether we'll ever get the cost per hire. At the AIM group, we use a lot of freelance writers and analysts and in order to see whether they can follow instructions and whether they can write, we require don't click the apply button instead send an email with a cover letter and include your resume in the body of the email too. And let me tell you, the number of people who don't read that far into the, into the ad is staggering. Number two you know, the number of people who just hit apply and are done with it. Number two you know, what will indeed say when we want to require people to write a resume write a cover letter and incorporate their resume.
And last but not least, they require a range salary range. Well, we recently posted an ad and depending on where you are in the world and depending on who you are and the experience, we'll pay anywhere from 20 to $60 an hour which is, you know, no range at all. Number one and number two, everyone who comes in is gonna want to get the $60 an hour, which is absurd because they're, you know, you almost have to be the purple squirrel to get the 60 to get to the $60 an hour. So we face some challenges with Indeed we've used ZipRecruiter and I like them pretty well too. But we'll see over the next six months to two years how it evolves. Eventually, will cost per hire come to pass? Cause for me, although we don't technically hire anybody, they're they're independent contractors, but even so eventually, will cost per hire come to pass Mr. Durbin?
I I don't think it can go that far. And the reason is you just need to look at Google and Facebook what they're changes that are happening from them. So we're just like a little cousin of marketing when it comes to these things. Ccpc and CPA are models that make sense. C P H is a process that changes. So the idea that a company would ever take responsibility for another hire, that's, that's not, it's not, I I don't see how a model like that works. Now, there may be hybrid people who like if Indeed started its own flex hire like it did before and that really took off, if indeed changed to a staffing firm, they would do it. But job boards and and programmatic advertising and all that, those models don't work for cost per hire. And, and they're not going to get to that point long term because you have to share all of your data.
We don't know what a good hire is right now. We can't define quality internally yet. How are we possibly gonna put that in the recruiting process? Most people don't know their true cost per hire. Like they don't count six managers, they don't count the hours that those people take prepping and doing the interviews for that. That's a true cost. They're not putting in their tech stuff or engineering. Those are all putting in different silos. So being able to come up with a true cost per hire would require us to have such good knowledge of the data. I don't see it ever happening. Somebody may try it, they're gonna crash and burn pretty hard because they're, they're guessing that number, like the salary transparency, guessing that number is very dangerous. I imagine there'll be a lot of lawsuits about the salary transparency. I'm not a big fan of it, but I'm much preferred indeed doing it than government doing it.
And I think companies should do it cuz it's the right things to do. It scares me when government does it because they, you just never know the consequences. But if you don't put the number in Peter, they'll put it in there for you based on what they've seen before. Now you have a problem of titles, you've got a problem of regions. We all loved free trade for 30 years, but we don't realize that free labor is part of that. Why should I pay you differently cuz you're in San Francisco when I can get the same thing if I put someone into Moldova. I mean, that's, those are big questions and I think they'll be decided by politics instead of our models. But I mean it's good. At least we're talking about it finally.
Yeah, and, and Jim, I I agree. I I think the, it's not that pay per hire won't exist. It does exist and it has existed for a long time. That's called executive. And that doesn't scale well for most organizations because for most, for most roles in most organizations because the costs are just so high.
But RPO does cost per hire. Yeah.
And, but it's the whole, it's the whole Chabat <laugh>. Yeah. It's not just the
Advertising. Right? And, and it's, you know, there's, there's no free lunch. And if you want to, you know, if you want to essentially outsource a huge amount of, of the recruiting function and save yourself a lot of money, great. You know, call Jim. He, he works for a company that is more than happy to help you with that. But Jim, thank you. Thank you so much for joining us today, sharing a little bit of your wisdom about indeed the the job board market, different payment models. For, for the listeners who wanna learn more about you how should, how should they reach you?
Linkedin's the best way. I spend most of my time on that. I've s shuttered my blogs. I reopened a Twitter account, but we'll see how that goes. I wouldn't send people there until, let's see what happens in a couple of months, right? <Laugh>, let's wait, let's see if it works or doesn't. <Laugh> that'll be an answer, but LinkedIn, just look for Jim Durbin or search the Indeed Whisper and you'll pull up a bunch of podcasts
For the listeners at that, it is it's Durbin, d u r b i n. Peter, any closing words?
I hope they can find him on LinkedIn. I'm sure there's more than one Jim Durbin, but they're probably most, most of them probably spell it with an A. So d u r b i n and s t e v e N. Have a good day.
You all. Thank you so much guys.
Inside job boards and recruitment marketplaces is a co-production of Evergreen Podcasts College Recruiter and the AIM Group.
Please subscribe for free on your favorite app, review it five stars are always nice, and recommend it to a couple of people you know who wanna learn more about job boards and recruitment marketplaces.
Special thanks to our producer and engineer, Ian Douglas. I'm your host Peters Ulman of the AIM Group, the leading global consultancy in the field of marketplaces and classified advertising. Find out more about our reports on recruitment marketplaces, job boards and classifieds, including our new recruitment marketplaces annual at aim group.com/reports.
I'm your host Steven Rothberg of job search site college recruiter. Each year we help more than 12 million candidates find great new jobs. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale and advertise their jobs with us. You can reach me at [email protected]
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