Welcome to the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast. I'm Stephen 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 Principle 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 Rec Buzz 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. Hey, Peter, it is great to be with you again for another episode of the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast. And if you can say that 10 times quickly, then I have a special prize for you.
Well, I can't, and I wouldn't and already they've heard it twice because of the intro and then you introing it again. That's okay. How are you?
I am good. Hey, you know, good things come into Paris, so why not?
Yep. Sounds fair to me. Um, so, uh, we at the AIM group took a detailed look, uh, at some of the issues we covered at Rec Buzz, remote work, talent shortages, global recruitment, uh, the use of AI and data and more. Um, it was a great conference and global recruitment was a big issue, and how to job board slash recruitment marketplaces operate in this environment was another big issue. Uh, we were glad you and Faith joined us, so thank you.
Yeah. For those, uh, listeners who don't know, so Faith is, um, both my wife and college recruiter ceo and she led a round table discussion, um, at Rec Buzz in Amsterdam on programmatic. And, uh, I spoke about the possibility of a recession and the impact on, on the industry. Uh, second time we've been to one of your conferences, Peter, and you can pretty much, uh, guarantee that, uh, be guaranteed that we'll be at the, the third, fourth, fifth. They're just the, the content, the vibe. It's all just excellent. You guys do an amazing job.
And that night out on the oil rig in the Amsterdam Harbor was just amazing. I saw you with a drink in your hand. I saw Faith with a drink in her hand, maybe even two or three. It's a good thing you Ubered back instead of, uh, walking back to the hotel.
We were, we were not within stumbling distance that that is for sure. Well, I am excited we're having a little bit of a different kind of a guest this time. Most of the guests that we have are leaders of job boards, recruitment marketplaces, um, vendors in that space, uh, people in the, on the investment side. But today we're gonna be joined by one of our customers, um, a customer of job boards and recruitment marketplaces. So today's guest is Evan Herman, who used to be with a big technology company as a technical recruiter, and now is in a similar capacity for a big, uh, bank that is based in the Southern us. So he's gonna be able to really share with us from the employer's perspective what job boards and recruitment marketplaces, uh, should be looking at, at least from the perspective of an employer. Um, Evan, maybe you can take a minute and just tell listeners who might not already know you a little bit more about yourself.
Well, thank you for having me, Steve. It's great to be here. Really e excited. It's been quite a long time, uh, since I've, uh, you know, been on a, a podcast like this or even blogged and, uh, you've brought me back in the game and I'm really excited. Um, so, you know, I'm here, as you mentioned in the introduction, uh, cuz of my experience on the customer side, being a recruiter, um, myself, I, I'm, uh, been a recruiter for 10 years after a misstep in my career. Before that, during the financial crisis and wealth management and, uh, started on the agency side and, um, like many people o ultimately realize that, uh, going in house, uh, was the better route for me and have worked, uh, for various, uh, large corporations, uh, uh, for the past seven years. Um, in the course of that, uh, with, you know, my wealth management background, I actually used to be an advisor, had a background, um, uh, in technology and startups.
And a couple years into my recruiting career started, uh, being also an advisor of sorts to many HR techers, specifically Talent X acquisition technology, uh, companies. And had a lot of things, you know, to say. And that's ultimately what brought me here today. You, um, sharing some of my old blog post and commentary and, you know, my, my goal here today, um, is not to critique in any way job boards. It's actually what I hope by being a recruiter help them better partner and ultimately, of course, uh, right, if you make more money, if you're more successful, we are more successful if we're able to deliver for our partners. At the end of the day, it's all about jointly partnering to deliver for the hiring manager of the line of business
Tech. Recruiting is really, really, really hard these days. Uh, you've written a lot in your blog about the passive candidate problem. Tell us what you mean by that.
Sure. Um, yeah, I'm not sure if the term is original or can mean many things. Uh, you know, the, the term is out there, but, uh, for me, what I define as the quote passive candidate problem is that technologies given what you, the job boards of course, and most other technologies out there, they're all based on getting the active candidate, the person that's out there looking for job postings, actively looking for jobs. And that's great, that's a good chunk of the market. But also on my side, on the recruiter side, our job isn't just to get the most active and vis and therefore visible and presumably easiest to find, uh, people. It's just the best candidates period. And that means both active. And when I say passive, like right, if you truly are like not open at all to a new job like that, it does every once in a while if maybe like a good friend happens to be at a company and persuade you to change your mind. But when I say passive, I just mean people that aren't actively applying. But that doesn't mean that they're not actively open to new opportunities. If you can find, reverse the process and find them.
And so for technology companies that pass a can problem is that's probably 75% of the market. And more often than not, uh, and I need to be careful how I phrase this, um, you know, more often than not pass a candidate tend to be better quality because you have to choose them. They're not applying to you. That does not mean in any way that active candidates can't be the best, won't be the best. It's just because passive, the process is often reversed. You have to find them, not them find you. Um, they, and so you could choose who you contact, they tend to be better fits if only cuz you chose, you intentionally chose to contact them because they have the right background, the right skill set, have the right companies in their employment history, things like that. And it's up to technology companies and specifically job boards to address that.
Problem is, um, the best science or data that I've seen on it is that 75% of the market is, uh, fits what I call the passive candidates. The ones that you know, are probably truly actually open to new jobs. They're just not actively looking and applying the ones. And that's three times the size of the active candidates, the ones that are going to job boards like registering with the, these sites and the ones that are ultimately, whether it's recruitment agencies or job boards that you get paid on. And so the, uh, the main problem is how do you tap into the, the much larger and often, um, more lucrative candidate pool in the passive candidate pool.
We'll be back right after this break. Welcome back to the inside job boards and recruitment marketplaces podcast asked, you mentioned a moment ago about the pricing and I'd like to dig in on that because, uh, that was one of the first points of contact that you and I had when you were writing about your belief. Uh, I share it that job boards should be paid, uh, on a performance basis and from an employer's perspective, why do you believe that?
Well, I always just believe in everything that, um, you know, you should be paid for what you bring to the table, um, and actually delivering on what you're being paid on. And it also incentivizes, uh, on both sides, uh, people to be helpful to the other side. Cuz this isn't like a one or the other, it's not a transaction. It's you are jointly working with the recruiters to actively help the line of business. And, um, if, if it's not pay for performance, which also needs to be defined, then unfortunately the job boards, and I've seen this and it's not the job boards fault, they, they go with what they're given. But if, unfortunately in many situations, um, um, the job boards have an incentive to just send as many candidates as possible and then hope that one of them gets hired. And if they were, if they're not paid regardless of the hire, they just hope that their person gets hired so that you come back to them for repeat business. That's really the sole incentive rather than quality over quantity. And the problem in that is on the recruiter end, if you get too many candidates, then like even if you've gotten some good ones, you've just made more work for them. You haven't lightened the recruiter's workload, you've increased it
<laugh>. Yeah. So the pay for performance, you were saying a second ago that we should define that. I think, I think that would be helpful. Some of the listeners of this podcast will be very immersed in that world and some are have little to no experience. So we're talking about, correct me if I'm wrong, we're talking about pay per click, we're talking about paper action or application, we're talking about paper per quality application. If the candidate meets the basic qualifications of what the employer's looking for, and I would think we're also talking about pay per higher. That's, that, that would be sort of the ultimate in pay per performance. Do you agree or there, are there others?
Um, yes. So for the most part, uh, those are all aspects of performance. Um, it's like where some places we need applicants and other places it's no, we just need quality applicants from you. And then, um, in many cases, although that's certainly difficult on the job board side, it can mean, uh, pay per hire. And, um, so in essence, job boards kind of becoming mini recruiting agencies themselves. And as any good agency recruiter could tell you, that could be quite lucrative. So you make up for the, the loss in quantity by getting higher payouts, by getting a, you know, like a recruiting agency, perhaps a, a percentage if your candidate gets hired of, uh, the hired person's salary. But, um, over the years, uh, from when I wrote that and talked about the passive can problem and the importance of pay for performance, I have come to realize that what it really means now that I've been in house at many different companies, it could also just mean contributing to a hiring decision. A home, sometimes maybe no one's hired, but you've helped them realize, oh my God, we are not paying competitively. Or Oh my God, we this ended up being a unicorn or purple squirrel search, meaning the, the person doesn't exist. And if you help a company actually even decide not to hire anyone, but then you've actually provided a very helpful consulting service to them. And that deserves to be rewarded by contributing to, and this in the example, I just gave a non hiring decision, but even deciding not to hire anyone, that's still a hiring
Decision. Of course, then the job board or recruitment marketplace, if it's being paid on performance, there's a question of how they get paid. Uh, and even with pay per hire, it's very, very difficult to attribute a hire to a specific job board. Somebody went to Indeed, then they went to your site, then they went to the niche board, then they went somewhere else. And where the application came from isn't necessarily where they found the job. How do you deal with attribution issues mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
And yeah, now we're starting to get in an area. I know there's elements that I don't really know about. And, uh, I do have friends that are actually affiliate marketers. And I, he, I, where I first learned about in, in a non recruiting type setting, the attribution problem that exists in digital marketing and what I actually learned years ago, that's no different. Uh, for many agency recruiters, they deal with that problem as well, uh, if they're, particularly if they're contingent. Um, and that comes in and, um, I mentioned earlier that job boards need to, in essence kind of, um, mimic recruiting firms, uh, agency recruiting firms and agency recruiting firms can learn to be more like job boards and learn better digital marketing and targeting. And, uh, I know I'm starting to speak your language. Retargeting is so important in marketing and if you are providing a quality, so you can't just be like the, the old class a digital online digital classifieds anymore, you gotta be more than that.
And that means providing quality content. So don't just provide jobs if you provide great career advice, if they remember who you are, if you have a great newsletter that they regularly get, there's no reason that a candidate won't remember that they came from you. And then in many cases, if you're really good, uh, even if the job they applied to didn't come through you, they might think it came from you. Ironically, you don't wanna steal from your own, uh, peers. But an added benefit of being really good, providing great content that is useful aside from just posting jobs, is they'll remember who you are. They'll be appreciative. And my hypothetical proposed solution is to get a box of not where did the click come from? Ask the person, you know, just like there's always a box. Did you get referred by an employee? It's like, Hey, was there a website that was helpful to you? And maybe one box or maybe several boxes, but then that's up to you to make yourself memorable. So they voluntarily put how they learned about the job and so that you get credit for it.
Sounds fair. Um, in about a minute that we have left, or maybe two minutes we have left, uh, Steven said you, uh, wrote in your blog that no job board has become the uber of recruiting. What do you mean by that?
Uh, sure. So, um, that's another topic that I've been absolutely fascinated with. Um, yeah, I'm a firm believer in markets, uh, for everything. And so there've been a ton of startups ever since the advent of the internet to try and basically just kind of like Uber, just automate connecting employers with job seekers and on a mass scale and, and try and build a truly without much manual human input, uh, an Uber type marketplace for recruiting. And I, I just don't believe the more I'm in the recruiting game that it's possible, many have tried and it's just ultimately recruiting. Good recruiting is not scalable in an Uber type way,
Don't you think Five and Upwork, um, fit that model almost perfectly? We use, uh, five, we occasionally use Upwork, or maybe it's the other way around, I don't even remember. But don't you think Fiver and Upwork and, and 50,000 other gig sites fit that model pretty well?
Sure, but that's also, well two things. I'd separate, you know, gig jobs from like recruiting for perm FTE or long term contracts from gig jobs. Uh, so first, yeah, so in a way, yes and no, but even still, like I've been on Upwork before. I've tried a couple times on and off, you know, who wouldn't, it's like, oh, like get gigs, but they just end up, um, being a lot of work and Uber's, even Uber, I'm not sure how much you or your audience know about the economics of Uber before. I've seen they still lose a mass amount of money for probably similar reasons to five or an Upwork is that people maybe go on just like people become Uber drivers and then they don't last. Like they do maybe one thing or they try it out like just once and then you have to spend all that money reacquiring them. So I also think like even though they exist, that even Uber itself, it's actually they spend a mass, they have to spend a massive amount of money reacquiring new people to be on the platform to make the marketplace work.
Yeah, there's no, there's no doubt that it is a, it's a heck of a lot cheaper to keep a customer than to acquire a new customer. Um, and in your example, to keep an employee, whether they're a contractor or a traditional employee, then to acquire a new one. Um, well, unfortunately we're out of time. Um, but I really appreciate Evan, you helping, uh, our audience better understand how employers look at job boards and recruitment marketplaces. And for the people who are listening, if, if they want to find out more about you, engage with you in, in some way, um, how would you like for them to do that?
Uh, LinkedIn is probably the, the number one way, um, can be, uh, found easily there under a Herman, um, there aren't many of us, so I'm the only recruiter as far as I know recruiter Evan Herman. Um, and then also, uh, feel free to email me. My, uh, personal email address is uh, evan dot f dot herman gmail.com.
Awesome. Thank you so much, Peter. Any closing words?
Just delightful to hear from an employer who struggles with the problems that every other employer struggles with. Working with job boards, recruitment marketplaces, and finding the uh, right candidate who isn't a purple squirrel. 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, Peter Oman 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 [email protected]