Nate Smith, founder and CEO of San Francisco–based Lever, joined us for this episode of the 3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat. Lever’s technology for talent acquisition, as well as the vendor’s philosophy behind finding new hires, helps employers facing complex challenges in reaching their strategic goals identify and woo future employees whose skills are essential to the related tasks at hand. As you can imagine, this made for an interesting podcast.
Nate and I first spoke last summer and openly wondered whether it might have been one year exactly to the day that we recorded this episode — which was Monday, July 19. Being a calendar pack rat, I did a search, and it turns out that we were off by just one week. Imagine that.
Many organizations today wrestle with antiquated, clunky or inadequate functionality to assist and facilitate talent acquisition. At the very least, it’s the last two of these that make it seem like all three anyway. The thing is, the very idea of an applicant tracking system (ATS) is ill-matched to helping employers keep tabs on potential new-hires in today’s recruiting environment. Long in the tooth, the concept of an ATS was so-named at a time when the workflow and scope of recruiting would have been nearly unrecognizable to today’s talent acquisition professionals.
Specifically, the vast majority of ATS functionality struggle to account for today’s environment. The word “applicant” itself assumes that the only job candidate worth tracking is one who’s elected to apply for a job. This is simply short-sighted. Social media and the evolution of recruiting technology have finally brought us to a point where employers can target new-hire prospects with accuracy and treat them as leads to manage and nurture over the long term.
In other words, the length of the journey of a potential new-hire today is akin to that of a potential customer — perhaps longer, if we’re talking about consumer products. Truth be told, customer relationship management systems have facilitated long nurturing cycles, for sales, for many years. Talent acquisition is catching up.
For example, a recruiter may have a conversation with a high-value person who doesn’t apply for a job as a direct result or any time soon. The last thing he wants to do is request this person enter her curriculum vitae into any conventional ATS whatsoever. Instead, he’d want to enter notes of the details of this contact and the attendant conversation into a candidate relationship management (CRM) system, marking the record for follow-up when and if an opening suitable for her opens. Only once she becomes an actual applicant does her CV enter the ATS.
Most organizations solve for this issue by deploying their ATS and CRM (candidate relationship management) applications separately, contending with nearly impossible integration challenges. Lever combines the two as one application running a single data set governed by a single rules engine. We’ve heard of single applications for multiple functions before, and it’s often a very good idea. It’s almost silly to call such a sophisticated, purpose-built thing an ATS, frankly.
Nate and I explored so much more. I urge you to view the entire podcast.
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Well, hello, everybody,
and welcome to the latest episode of HR tech chat. And with us today we have Nate Smith, who is founder and CEO of lever, which is a West Coast based talent acquisition technology company. And I’m really looking forward to, to this conversation. Welcome Nate to the to the podcast. Thanks, Brent. I’m excited to chat. Yeah, Yeah, me too. We’ve spoken before. I think the first time we spoke was last summer, maybe? Maybe around this time? Almost exactly. That would be funny. If it were exactly a year from then. I’ll go back in my calendar. I’m a calendar. hoarder. So we’ll, I’ll know for sure after this, this this, this episode. But anyways, great to be speaking with you. Again, thank you for joining the chat. And we have a few things we want to talk about today. Just around? Well, let’s start here. I mean, there’s so much to talk about. And I think we’ll cover a lot of ground. But where I’d like to start is I’m very curious of what your take is as a leader of, of a company whose technology is focused specifically and whose mission is focus specifically on helping employers find heights, particularly high value talent for upper left upper echelon roles, this sort of thing? I’m just curious what your take is, in general on the talent market right now coming out of the well, at least for some parts of the world, or at least hopefully, we’re coming out of this pandemic, what what’s going on with the talent market the war for talent, right now we hear this thing about the great resignation. Is that real? I wish I’d come up with that terms. And awesome term, I wish I’d come up with it. I think it was at a&m, Texas a&m University, person who came up with it, but it was, what are your thoughts? Yeah,
there is a lot happening. And as you alluded to, you know, it’s not necessarily that it’s all exactly the same in every geography around the world. But I would say that there’s a global trend that’s been going on for at least a decade now of it being harder and harder for companies to fill talent in key positions in particular. But even you know, most recently, we’ve been seeing this as well, with volume roles to a lot of companies talking about just having a shortage of talent in general. And so you mentioned like lever, we’ve, we’ve always been inspired by helping in particular knowledge workers and kind of high value, talent hiring. But it also is the case that a lot of companies, you know, they need to do a mix, right? So you’re actually thinking about hiring in a whole variety of locations, which might have different local talent markets, different roles, which are gonna have different characteristics. And you know, we really want lever to be a platform for all of those different types of hiring. But often, the tip of the spear is what are those roles that are holding you back from being able to hit your strategic plans for the year, right. So a lot of times we get executive teams, they come together, or even the, you know, get input from the board, and they say, our goal for this year is we’re gonna move into this market, or our goal for this year is we’re gonna release this new product that has these capabilities. And we think that’s the third step forward for our market or our products great, but where we need to double down is marketing or sales. And so, you know, executive teams are coming to talent organizations with, with plans, okay, ours, you know, what, what have you and talent organizations are often finding themselves in a position of being in a bit of a crunch? Traditionally, the crunches, hey, were experiencing, you know, we’ve, we’ve got these plans, we need to figure out how to help. We’re also busy, we, our team needs to be bigger, too. So how are we gonna make this all happen? And you know, now with your point around the topic of the great resignation, that’s just making that even more challenging if you’re at the same time losing people that you really rely on to make to make that foundation of that plan work. So if you have to think about not only where do we want to go, but also do we have the existing kind of foundation to hit our normal growth plans, you can see how it can become, you know, really quite a stressful thing to try and manage all those different competing concerns at the same time. So yeah, I think I think there is a lot going on. I think there was a great resignation and it is something that is a reality for a lot of folks. You know, we’ve had folks that are it’s been over a year. For a lot of a lot of people where they’ve had, you know, a bit of a pause in terms of what they were used to, and so now they’re coming out of that. And that’s a moment of reflection, you know, times of change are always moments of reflection. And this is a really important time for organizations to engage with their people. And, you know, I always I often say that there’s a lot of talk in the HR industry of engagement, and has been for some time, and it’s a really important topic. But a lot of times just understanding that you have an engagement problem isn’t necessarily enough, because what do you do next. And I think talent acquisition, interestingly enough, is often the best tangible solution to an engagement problem, if you can find someone a new role inside the company that is going to reinvigorate them, get them excited about the future, that’s really the ticket to fully solving an engagement problem, rather than just delaying it. And a lot of companies we’re speaking with, a lot of our customers are talking about internal mobility, you know, being able to rescale or upskill, their talent, you know, leadership training for a lot of folks, these are all really hot topics within the HR industry at large, but we’re seeing with higher growth companies, it really amplified. And that’s something that I would say, every company would be wise to pay attention to is, are we keeping the folks on our team that are most critical to hitting our goals? Not just thinking about the new folks we’re bringing in, but the existing folks we have? And are they still challenged? Are they still engaged? Can we find them an opportunity inside the organization? Yeah. Oh, man,
just so many just nuggets in there that you that you shared in it? And I think you’re right, I obviously, and I agree with you. This idea that, you know, hiring isn’t, you know, talent acquisition isn’t just well, hiring isn’t just external, right, there is internal hiring as well. In, you know, in talent acquisition isn’t just this, even though it’s it is a points it is a it’s a point solution that has persisted in terms of being that that, that very high level, sort of, what’s the word, it’s an organization that has any kind of complexity and as talent acquisition needs, it’s not necessarily going to be able to make do with sort of an off the shelf recruiting talent acquisition ETS solution that comes with any number of the sort of the large HCM suites out there, you really need to go out there and find a best, you know, the best of breed, you know, that, that that term has been around for a long time. So, and that’s been my opinion for four years is, you know, I think talent acquisition is just persists. And that’s because it’s such a complex thing. In the fact that it’s that it also needs to integrate very seamlessly, in my opinion, with, with learning with onboarding, all these sorts of things. And, and what you’ve mentioned about engagement is really important. You know, you think back to any kind of role that you’ve started that you’re really excited about, I mean, in my opinion, not my opinion, an employee, and you know, that this is up to debate, you know, but in my opinion, an employee is at least potentially the most productive when there were wants to be the most productive when they’re brand new in their role, right? Because there’s that newness as that excitement. And so the faster you can onboard them, the faster the fast in the end, the better match they can be at the very outset of their relationship with the organization. The better and I guess that’s where I want to might be a good segue right there and from what I’m hearing is yours. It sounds to me like levers help with finding organize helping organizations find that the purple squirrel, so so to speak. I heard that term for the first time, interestingly enough, just a couple of years ago, but I was called the purple squirrel, actually. Good Cop bad Brad. You should take that as a badge of pride. Good stickers. Yeah, afterwards like oh, yeah, I guess. Anyways, um, I’m not trying to toot my own horn here. But, but yeah, the idea of a purple squirrel. So it sounds like you folks help organizations find purple squirrels? Yeah, I’d
say it’s important to have squirrels of all colors. But you certainly need some purple ones. And that’s often the situation we see with customers is there’s some role that’s kind of the tip of the spear. It’s that key, hire critical hire people have a million words for this, but it’s all kind of the same idea. It’s like if we don’t hire this person, we can’t even get this initiative off the ground. And at the same time, you also do need a certain volume of roles. And then how do you manage those two realities at the same time. So I think it’s not just that we help with hiring some very particular individuals. But the fact that we do that, in addition to helping the company scale, as a holistic package in one place, that’s actually really the key. And the way we’ve always talked about that is this idea of which we’re now excited to see more and more people have embraced this idea of the talent acquisition suite where it’s, it is an ETS, but it’s also a CRM, and it’s one holistic solution, it’s not something you have to piece together, but the you know, the kind of you get this offering straight from us, and it works out of the box, because everyone actually needs that these days. And something lever also has is leverage nurture, which is a big part of finding the purple squirrels. So what we see successful organizations doing today is a mixture, they’re going out, and they’re sourcing, to find the talent that is really particular that they need, in addition to needing to handle high volume of applicants for other roles. And you know, maybe they’re also doing some amount of something in the middle, like a referral program, or maybe they host events or go to universities or, you know, whole variety of other different sources of hire. And it’s, it’s not one or the other. In fact, it’s kind of a portfolio approach, you have to do all these different things together. And other systems haven’t really been built for that kind of mixed mode or, you know, multi channel approach to talent acquisition, they’ve been very much focused on one workflow. And it’s always been our idea that’s similar to kind of the sales CRM market, you know, you look at Salesforce, Salesforce is a system and you know, through the Salesforce products you can do, you can bring together a whole different variety of things with your customer relationships in one place, right. So with Salesforce, you can, of course, you can do your initial kind of sales outreach, but also down the road, you know, you need to do upsells, or renewals or you want to bring in more data from your marketing technology stack, and you want to bring in data from your customer support organization. And as we’ve seen, over time, it creates a lot of value. I think that talent acquisition is going through a similar technology revolution that we’ve seen in sales and marketing. And there’s a ton of really exciting things happening, because we’re really seeing a lot of technology evolution, enabling people to do all these different things. While still, you know, having you know, you need a lot automation to be able to handle this, while still being able to have a really good candidate experience where you build really great relationships with the candidates you’re speaking with. And to do that, you’d you need technology platforms to help you be able to do all of that at scale.
Yeah, that’s the I love that the idea of a CRM right, and, you know, it’s even as the same acronym, which works, it works magically, well, for some reason. Yeah, it does. It does. And, you know, and already thinking, you know, yeah, you reach out to somebody who might be a very high value person, they just have a really, you know, a great says collection of skills and capabilities and whatever, and maybe, maybe they weren’t right for the organization, right, then, yes, maybe they’d be right later. And it if you’re not, if you have a system in place, that doesn’t really, you know, the left hand isn’t speaking to the right, this is actually my right hand. The right hand, right? for the viewers anyway. You may have to like go through that whole process all over again, maybe not even get to that person again, right? And maybe you’re not doing anything in the interim to keep them sort of engaged even just a little bit so that you’re on the periphery of their thinking at least so that Oh, yeah, those guys, I’ll talk to them again or something like that. So, so that that whole candidate relationship management concept is is is not lost on on me at all. I mean, that that that’s super important. And how do you think it helps? So just taking a step back, I was having conversation with somebody else a while back, and few months ago, and it was around this idea, and we all know this, you know, marketing went through this, this, I think, about 1015 years ago. in HR, when I say HR, I mean HCM, the whole thing, you know, and talent acquisition, everything, right? You’re going through it now this measurement thing where you know, it’s exactly right. So how does a CRM candidate relationship management And leading, like candidate lead nurturing, and all this stuff you’re talking about how does it? How does that factor into talent acquisition? professionals maybe, you know, measuring their success differently, or more dynamically or better.
Yeah, that’s a great, great topic and something that we’re really engaged on and working and partnering with a lot of our customers to help develop best practices for their organizations, because as you said, it is in a lot of cases, something that, you know, the industry is evolving. And so this is an area where we find that it’s really important for us, in fact, to, to really engage and partner with our customers to figure out how can we measure that company’s goals, we can provide a lot of best practices out of the box, but then also following that through with in the implementation process, as well, as you know, down the road, making sure that we’re able to see the results of all that effort that the time acquisition team is putting in. And a lot of times when people are looking to answer starts with really fundamental questions, a lot of times, you know, when you when you are going through a big transition to mature, an interesting thing that we’ve observed time and time, again, is that the first thing you need to do is not add more complexity, but rather simplify. This is something you see oftentimes with companies as they go through their growth evolution to is, you know, you start as a small company, you get a bit bigger, you add more complexity, you get a bit bigger, you add more complexity, and there comes a point where you see, wow, like, in order to be more predictable, we actually have to simplify so we can get our hands around the whole situation, and we can understand everything that’s going on. And then you can kind of layer on top of that again. So when we’re talking about being effective with some of these ideas, like nurturing, I always say, let’s start with basics, right? Let’s go back to the basics. This often also works in sales and marketing, by the way, and one of the very first things you want to look at is, do we have a shared understanding of our methodology, like our process, but not just process from the perspective of like, rules, right? I’m actually really understanding what are the different steps? Why are those the steps? What are we looking to achieve at those different steps? What do they all mean? So that certainly applies to the interviewing pipeline, it also applies to objectives around say, sourcing, if you’re gonna say, Hey, we want to be able to move away from spending so much money on outside agencies, we think we should be able to hire more roles ourselves, you need to set measurable goals around that, and be able to attribute that activity that your team does to outcomes. So it’s really important that to your question on analytics, that there is one true system of record, what we’ve seen in the market really gets in people’s way is when they have a separate CRM from an ATM, because it’s difficult to connect those two together in terms of understanding what is all that top of funnel activity ultimately, for like, what, how are we going to measure whether that actually had impact down the road, because a lot of times those systems don’t connect the dots until someone’s already actively interviewing. But most of the work you’re doing is before that. So we think having one system of record is a big part of it. And that’s why we have bill lever as one software platform, one interface that really does both things, and has, you know, separate pipelines for lead nurturing, and, you know, applicants and people who are interviewing in the process, but it’s all within one interface, it’s all within one place. And you can see all those different job opportunities that people are being considered for in one single view. And they all are connected when it comes to analytics.
That’s interesting. So we’re getting into a little bit of the weeds here and yeah, but it’s interesting to me, and I’m not a computer science, either. So. So at some point, I’ll say, Okay, let’s, but anyways, is it a single application? Is it essentially a single? Okay, absolutely. Okay. So it’s a single database. And exactly, okay. I mean, I was just kind of thinking conceptualizing in my head, again, not being a computer programmer, but I’m thinking myself.
I mean, really, all you need to know is all the data is in one place, as opposed to being in a bunch of different places. That’s really the whole point.
Right? But at the same time, even let’s put it this way, even somebody who’s not a computer programmer can see that I mean, I can’t imagine trying to integrate a separate CRM with this with the With an ETS, I mean, that just, you know, I think it would just not be worth the hassle even I mean,
yeah, unfortunately, that’s kind of where things started. And so it’s hard to, it’s hard to sometimes kind of go from thinking about, hey, we’ve always done it this way to a new way of doing it. And that’s why we’ve always thought about in the workflows, you know, in leverage, it honestly feels like, you’re just using an HTS, or you’re just using a CRM, it just happens to be one tool, right? And so you don’t have to be a techno whiz to understand it, it just works.
It’s like when I buy a car, it just works. best not to, um, you know, what’s interesting, though, is what now? Now, the semantics are super interesting to me right now. It seems to me that these terms applicant tracking system or candidate relationship management system, especially applicant tracking system, it seems to me that that was just a term that that, you know, sort of organically developed, because that’s what we knew how to do. That’s where we started doing it first. And I mean, have we sort of outgrown the idea of an applicant tracking system?
Yes, the answer is yes. I mean, the term comes from this idea of a workflow, right? So the workflow is still relevant. The workflow is someone hears about your job, maybe through a job site, or classifies for some kind, and then they come to your job site, they apply, and you take that new application, review it, and then you bring them into the interview process, like we all know. And that’s absolutely still something people do. So it’s still a very relevant workflow. But the reality is that it doesn’t describe what modern recruiting is really like. Because that’s just one of many different things. sourcing is also a critical element to hiring. referrals are a critical element to hiring. And they might be active or passive, you might have someone say, like, hey, this person I know wants to apply. And that’s a little bit more like your ETS workflow. But you might have someone say, Well, I really liked this person, we worked with them before, I don’t know if they’d want a new job. But I would love to work with them again, let’s try and go get them. And so that’s a little bit more like sourcing, right. And this is all happening all at the same time. And you’ve got recruiters who are doing a lot of these different activities. At the same time, you might have some specialization, perhaps. But typically, recruiters find that at different points in time, they’re doing different kinds of hiring workflows. And ultimately, that kind of points to the fact that it no longer makes sense to call the ATMs the system of record, because it’s just one of many types of hiring activities. So when we talk about the category, and we’ve started to see others really adopt this, you know, we really think of it as it is a talent acquisition suite, that is kind of the descriptor of the software in the most simple terms possible. And you know, 80 s is just one workflow in that in that talent acquisition platform. Yeah,
yeah. That certainly seems to me to be the right direction to go. And I’m sure I’m sure somebody out there is trying to think of another term other than talent acquisition sweet. I mean,
definitely, it has been tried. But you know, at this point, Gartner wrote a report and so we’ll probably all just be like, Good enough.
Yeah, I know. Same. Same thing with employee experience. You know, this. Yeah. Very important concept. Yeah. Josh Burson came up with and yes, now we are talking about it. And it’s definitely moving in the right direction. But I would love to see you know, what, what’s the next the end? I don’t know what it is. But they’d love to see what is it next concept is going to take place employee experience the next level, at least me semantically, I don’t know, we, we have to get into that right now necessary. One thing that’s, that’s interesting to me is so if, let’s, let’s say you’re an organization, and you’re unfortunate enough to be contending with, or dealing with, maybe an archaic ATMs, right. And, but it’s, you know, it’s a sunk cost. It’s there, you know, and, and then maybe you have some other systems that you’re using for your, for your talent acquisition as well. I’m going to stop short of saying maybe you have a candidate relationship management system in place too, because if you have an all day TST probably don’t have a CRM in place. But there’s sort of a a so be tough. Thinking about how you would quiet But how would you measure the elimination of that system? And the replacement of it with a, we’ll call it a talent acquisition suite? Right, which, which is, you know, which is the eight, the ATMs and the CRM all on one application is basically a much richer sort of ecosystem for, for engaging and managing, you know, potentially incoming talent. Okay. So now you have, so there’s a, there’s a lot of potential upside there. Right. But, but it’s to me, it seems, well, let me ask the question, I guess, how do you how do you go to, to a company say, you know, look, this would be a lot better for you? What is, you know, how do you? What’s the pitch? And, you know, I’m just curious, I have a couple ideas I’ll share in a moment.
Yeah, well, I’d love to hear your ideas, that’s obviously useful, but you know, truthfully, it’s, it’s a partnership, when you’re engaging with customer who’s looking to modernize their, their tech stack, it’s almost always for some reason, you know, like, at the end of the day, there’s some sort of business motivation, you know, maybe you’re going through a digital transformation. And your business is evolving from being much more about producing physical process products to more digital products, or maybe the way that you’re, you know, going through the process of making things is changing really radically. And you need different kinds of talent in your organization, or your marketing through different channels, and you need really different kinds of talent. So I there is not a one size fits all business case, because it’s very specific to the organization and where they are on the maturity curve of understanding. Ultimately, hey, here’s where we are. And there’s no, you know, right or wrong, like, it’s just a point, it’s just the state. And, you know, we have a goal to be here. And that’s something that, you know, I love her, we really engage on kind of a case by case basis with our customers to partner with them, and help them to build a strategy to get them from where they are to where they want to go. So I certainly wouldn’t start with something like, you know, universal, I would actually start with something that’s very connected to the business problems, the positive outcomes that people might be able to achieve. And then, you know, honestly, part of making the business case, recruiters and talent acquisition folks and people in HR and talent operations are probably really excited to put in place something more modern. So that’s not usually too much of an uphill battle. But there could be other resistance internally, maybe people are saying, Hey, I’m not sure if this is a priority. And usually how we approach that is by equipping the folks that are excited to make a change with a story around what you know, what could be possible, but also what can we avoid? What are the possible things that could go wrong if we don’t change? And what does that look like? And we’ll this helps you to avoid that. Because a lot of times, that’s a lot more real and concrete to folks who you need to build a business case with is what why is this necessary? A lot of times, it’s to avoid some sort of negative outcome that’s possible if you don’t invest risk mitigation. I mean, it’s a little bit of both.
Yeah, that’s interesting. So you kind of went where I was thinking, a rendition of what I was thinking, just Yeah, what are your ideas? Maybe? I don’t know. I don’t know if I have too much of a crazy idea here. But I get more of an observation, I think, is this idea that, you know, when you have this sort of clunky bad situation in place for your talent acquisition, from a technology standpoint, there’s a lot of there’s not just a lot of inefficiencies there. I mean, you can definitely make the case, a business case for, you know, a reduction in labor expenditure faster, you know, faster KPIs, and this sort of time to fill and all this kind of stuff, right. But there’s also sort of a lost upside benefit to the organization. So, you know, you very well may as an organization in that situation, you’re almost certainly missing out on finding top talent, who, who would come into the organization and bring you to the next level and lead to X amount of additional revenue or whatever. That’s right. There’s no knowing what that Number Well, you cannot quantify it’s just it’s some potentially large amount that you never realized because you have that situation, it that you’re that you’re dealing with. Right? So that’s. So that’s kind of where I was going with this, you know, it there’s so much more to the potential, financially quantify fiable benefit eventually to the organization that makes this leap and says, you know, we are going to digitally transform our talent acquisition ecosystem. And so, you know, to kind of bring this full circle to what you were talking about is it sounds to me that, that, that, that it’s really important, important for that was put this way. But I think I think an organization really needs to be in a place where, like you said, he understands already has already reached the conclusion on its of its own volition on its own that right, yeah, we’re going through a digital transformation, we want to move to the next level with our technology and all this kind of stuff.
Exactly. Yeah. I mean, the advice I would give to a lot of time acquisition professionals, and of course, it’s all situational. But if we were to kind of summarize would be something to the effect of really leaning into empathy. I mean, it might sound a little bit squishy, but I think it’s, I think it’s always the most effective way to engage with other people is to start with, what did they care about? What is their motivation here? And how can I help them to be successful? You know, like, don’t think about, are they going to like me? Are they going to think my plans are good, think about what makes them look good. And so a lot of times talent acquisition, leaders are in charge of these decisions. But there’s a lot of other folks in the organization that care immensely about the outcomes. And if you’re able to make a strong case for, hey, if we’re able to do this, here’s what I’ve heard from you, you really care about, you know, you want to expand our team in this way, or maybe changed geographies, or what have you bring in these new skills. Here’s why I see this as a solution to that. And here’s how we’ll be able to concretely measure it as we go. And that really gives people the assurance that there is a plan. And also, that’s kind of doing the work of starting to build that concrete, positive potential that you talked about, you know, once you can break it down into goals, maybe you can say, let’s start bringing in talent that we just don’t have. And when we do that, we’ll be able to do these new things that maybe makes a new line of business or just increases our efficiency. And you know, the possible outcome could be this. And you know, that’s something we can measure. So I think it kind of comes full circle back to the conversation we had about being data driven, and measurement. This is often how one makes the case for marketing programs. And I think there’s a lot to learn from that, you know, when you’re saying, let’s go ahead, and let’s spend a bunch of money on sharing our brand story, or maybe advertising in, you know, this particular channel, doing a partnership with these other folks and sharing revenue with them. A lot of times, you’re talking about how, like, what the potential of that is, before you’ve even done it, and then you want to measure to see whether in real life that you know, the the practice needs, the plan that you put forth. And so that’s, you know, that’s why I would start is really understand the other leaders in the organization and what they’re looking to achieve, and what’s important to them. And then, you know, really craft a story around how technology investment and also coming with it often is, is some investment from the recruitment team side as well can really support that, and how it can be concretely measured. So these are things we commonly, you know, really partner with our customers in crafting, as we’re thinking about, you know, even just is the system the right fit for you and going into the implementation and ultimately using it day to day.
Yeah. It just seems to be essential to have that, um, that. Well, the recruiting team, it seems it seems that you’re what you’re equipping the recruiting team with two is an ability to be a little bit more visionary for the organization to be exactly. It’s easy for them to write and I imagine
it really flip the script. A lot of times recruiters are they feel like they’re the last ones to know. Pretty common thing. They’re like, Wow, you’ve already made a whole plan and decided how many people we’re hiring and how much money we’re gonna spend on it and you haven’t even talked to us That’s possible. And you know, flip the scripts right? Like have the recruiting team can do so much to say, let us help you strategize, let us help you, to tell you what’s possible that you might have never thought about before. And kind of really changed from being an organization that’s just supporting I think supporting is really important. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but also be a strategic partner as well. Well,
you said about, well, first of all, it’s kind of like, you know, the line workers on the shop floor. They all of a sudden, there’s a new widget to put in such and such place. And you want us to put that there now? Are you kidding me? You know, yeah, do it, you know, that’s it, you want to get away from that sort of, you know, top down or, you know, so
that’s the whole Toyota model, and why they really had a huge amount of success is they said, Hey, the folks closest to the work are the ones who know the most, so let’s learn from them. That’s right. That’s right. Absolutely.
Um, I love that the automotive analogy, say, hey, makes sense all so many times. The empathy part is, is I’m looking at the time, and I can’t believe it’s gone so fast. We only have a couple of few more minutes here. But I do want to just, you said a couple things are super interesting and relevant and pertinent. This idea of empathy, you know, 360 insights, we’re always interested in just looking at the, you know, the technology buying software, enterprise software buying process today, it’s so much different than it was 15 years ago, streamline this is old hat, you know, everyone knows it’s not driven by it anymore. Obviously, they do still have a say, right? They are one stakeholder, but you have so many stakeholders you described a few minutes ago, this idea that, you know, the recruiting team, or the talent acquisition team has its, they’d be really jazzed about this, you know, this is this, wow, we’re going to have this new system in place, that’s, we really want this and we’re so excited. And they have their own reasons for that. And one of them is, you know, that, let’s be frank there, they’re just kind of, they don’t want to deal with the administrative tedium, or just, you know, re entering things all the time, or different systems and all that. But that empathy piece seems to me to be I don’t think it’s too touchy feely, I think it’s, um, I think it’s absolutely essential. You know, if you have so many stakeholders involved in the technology decision making process today, you need to understand you need to have sort of a conception of what, what the CFO is interested in, and the CFO has to have a conception of what the talent acquisition team has, has an impact. And so to have assist, to have a technology in place, a software that actually enables the recruiting team to, to, to, to, to deliver higher level of value to the organization seems to me to be a good moving in that direction, I was having a conversation recently with an HR VP of HR operations at a, at a global asset management firm. And, and he’s all about the HR technologist, right. And I would say maybe the the TA technologist as well, having a good understanding of that technology so that you can explain the need to those stakeholders in the organization, and then obviously, get the most out of the out of solution as well.
100% Yeah, and I think, you know, the concept of empathy is something that it goes deep in our organization, it’s it’s actually a cultural value, we have a cultural value, which is about championing cross functional empathy. And the reason we in particular talk about that, it’s, it’s very connected to this idea of both ourselves being more successful, as well as helping our customers to be more successful, because what we’ve seen is that when recruiters and hiring managers, folks on the interviewing team, folks on the finance team, folks on the HR team, they all really embrace that they’re all part of what makes that company really exceptional at being able to hire you know, a recruiter might be the one who develops a really deep and meaningful relationship with a candidate who’s particularly important to that organization and becomes their advocate in the process. a hiring manager might be the person who can best really sell the opportunity, say, like, this is why you want to join this organization, maybe they’ll even be reporting to that person. So building that relationship as kind of a report and manager and being able to describe the opportunity of the company and the opportunity of that particular role on career path. The interviewing team, of course, contributes a lot to making the right decision can also help to bring in more diversity into the process, which can really help to build affinity and a sense of belonging and inclusion with a wider variety of folks. So it’s a really important part of building diverse teams, which is another really important topic. So when you think about all the different roles that the different folks play, They’re all critical. And what we’ve seen is that one of the simplest and again, back to basics, one of the simplest, but most effective ways that teams can get better at hiring is honestly to just build a lot of trust and great relationships among those folks, if the recruiter understands the value that the hiring manager brings, and, you know, trust them and wants to work with them, and vice versa, if the hiring manager loves working with that recruiter, you’re going to get better at hiring. So take the time to like build those relationships, build that understanding, is something we really advocate for. And it’s part of every step, it’s part of the buying process, it’s part of continuing to get buy in to the goals over time. And it’s part of just frankly, being really good at hiring, at the end of the day,
in give them a tool, a software, a technological tool that enables them to maximize that, that that synergy between those Exactly.
Yeah, I mean, we always say it’s a lot harder to build software that feels human. Like it helps you to be human instead of feels like you’re bowing down to the robots. So we think about that a lot is when we when we think about how we design features, what patterns to make the defaults, we really encourage collaboration, engagement, you know, recruiters shouldn’t be spending their time going to hiring managers and trying to get them to submit feedback. That’s so the tool should take care of that. Really.
So you mentioned, you mentioned the robots, and we don’t have enough time, but that that really is one of my favorite topics is, you know, the robots or the AI and what its role is going to be in the future work. Maybe that will, maybe that can be our next conversation. Maybe
that can be our next conversation. I think there is a role as long as that as long as we keep the human relationships at the heart of it. Agreed. Agreed.
Well, thank you so much, Nate, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Yeah.
Thank you, Brent. It was amazing to chat and looking forward to the next one. Awesome. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Have a wonderful day. Thanks. You, too.