#HRTechChat: A Deep-Dive Into PandoLogic Owner Veritone’s Acquisition of Broadbean

At the very tail end of May 2023, the enterprise artificial intelligence software and services vendor Veritone announced the acquisition of Broadbean, a global recruitment technology company. Given that PandoLogic joined the family of Veritone companies in mid-summer 2021, we invited an expert each from PandoLogic and Broadbean to appear on the #HRTechChat video podcast and discuss synergies between the two now-Veritone companies. Joining us for this episode were Faisel Samseer, director of partnerships, development and growth for Broadbean, and Nikos Livadas, vice president of partner development for PandoLogic.

Viewers (and listeners at the many audio podcast platforms where #HRTechChat syndicates) know we typically have in-depth discussions and communication with our guests in the “virtual greenroom” in the run-up to each episode. This episode is no different. Over a couple meetings and several detailed email exchanges, Nikos, Faisel and I discussed how the two vendors’ shared circumstances under the aegis of Veritone ownership afford them the same kind of benefits normally found in any business partnership of this magnitude and scale.

The joining of these two companies is natural in many ways. PandoLogic started out as an AI-based programmatic advertising solution for recruiting and quickly and significantly grew its capabilities from there, delighting customers along the way. As for Broadbean, “Today, we’re the world’s leader in job distribution technology,” said Faisel. “We enable our clients to blast out their jobs to multiple platforms at the same time.” He elaborated on Broadbean’s large global footprint: “We say we’re global. We have offices throughout the world,” and Broadbean supports around 7,000 job board integrations.

So, just how, exactly, do Broadbean and PandoLogic complement each other? “I think we all can agree that the bedrock of a successful AI platform is the amount of data that it has on the back end to fuel its algorithms and engines,” said Nikos, pointing to the the “immense reach that Faisal was talking about earlier in data and combining it with the power of what PandoLogic has done in the AI space.”

This is true. No matter the type of AI, it always evolves better the more data it has access to. We see this in AI-based scheduling software and AI-predicated self-evolving skills ontologies. Outside human capital management — and inherent in their very name — “large” language models thrive most when as much data as possible (i.e., from human input) feeds them. It only stands to reason that this same fundamental rule of AI applies when it comes to AI and talent acquisition.

As Nikos shared in a note to me ahead of the recording, “As our resellers and referral partners embrace the new Veritone HR Solutions set, they will be able to leverage our new expanded global footprint to expose our combined offering in more geo-locations than ever before possible. This will allow our partners to focus on their core competencies while relying on Broadbean/PandoLogic to handle the logistics and distribution aspects.”

Veritone’s history in the AI space is long, “and they’re a formidable player in AI when it comes to media advertising and voice technologies,” said Nikos. Leveraging all that newfound data in a creative way will help the companies’ customers find and engage with the best candidates for their open roles. “This is phenomenal for our partners as well,” Nikos continued, “and we’re looking forward to working with our partners under this new umbrella.”

“We’ve been sitting on a pile of data over the past 20 years,” said Faisel. “We’ve never been in the position where we actually productized the data.” To be fair, he notes, the market wasn’t really looking at performance-based recruitment advertising back in the days of Broadbean’s founding and for many years afterward. “Obviously, that has changed completely over the past five years. So now, it has become a very valuable asset, and being part of Veritone and PandoLogic,” with “their experience in transforming the data into usable information for our ATS partners and our end clients, makes me really, really excited.”

As usual, the blog post for podcast episode only scratches the surface of the podcast episode itself. It was an absolute pleasure to have Nikos and Faisel as my guests.

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Brent Skinner 00:00
Well, welcome everybody, to this the latest episode, newest episode of the #HRTechChat video podcast. And with me today, I have Nikos Livadas, who is Vice President of Partner Development at Pandologic. And also, Faisal Samseer, who is Director of Partnerships, Development and Growth at Broadbean Technology. Welcome to you both.

Nikos Livadas 00:26
Hi Brent

Faisal Samseer 00:27
Hi Brent, thanks for having us.

Brent Skinner 00:29
Absolutely. I’m really looking forward to today’s conversation. This is about we’re going to talk a little bit about Pandologic parent company Veritone. And their acquisition of Broadbean earlier this year. Broadbean is a global recruitment technology company. And there’s just a lot of really interesting stuff to talk about. It’s a really synergistic relationship here. I think you’re really looking forward to diving in. So maybe, maybe we could start with Faisal, if you could just introduce yourself to our audience and what it is you do and a little bit about your career.

Faisel Samseer 01:10
Thanks, Brent. Hi, everyone. My name is Faisal Samseer. I’m dialing in from the Netherlands today. I’m Dutch working for Broadbean, almost nine years now, I’ve been in the industry for 25 years, started as a recruiter and then moved on to other segments within the recruitment industry, online media. And as I said, with Broadbean for nine years now managing partnerships, basically, what that means is that I’m involved with all of our ATS CRM, relationships at Broadbean, we kind of like co-manage our partnership. So, I lead the partnerships department, but all the local teams chipping in, you know, helping me in managing and supporting the local partnerships on a day to day basis, we have a lot of partnerships over 100 These days, and integrations obviously, going. And if I If you’d allow me to also kind of like, you know, introduce Broadbean at the same time brand, if that’s okay, I’ll kind of like so if we look at Broadbean. Today, we’re the world’s leader in job distribution technology, what we do is we enable, you know, our clients to kind of like, blast out their jobs to multiple platforms at the same time, usually integrated in their ATS CRM instance, when we introduce Broadbean, we kind of like introduce ourselves, you know, by sharing some numbers to give you no insight on the size of our activity. We say we’re global. We have offices throughout the world. You know, us the Imia. We have the UK, we have France, we have been lived we have Germany, AIPAC in in Sydney, these days, we support about 7000 job board integrations, and we manage, you know, about 3000 employees on a global level. We’re not involved just in Job distribution. We also have an aggregated search tool, which allows our clients to, you know, search third party databases, so actively approach talent and not just post and manage applications. That’s kind of like a high-level introduction of Broadbean as well. Thank you.

Brent Skinner 03:27
Yeah, yeah. 7000 job boards. That’s, that’s nothing to shake your fist at. That’s a lot. It is. Yeah. Nikos. So maybe you could also introduce yourself to the audience, and maybe give us just a little bit of a level set on what Pandologic is all about?

Nikos Livadas 03:47
Absolutely. Again, thank you again Brent for having us. I think it’s, it’s great to kind of discuss the possibilities of bringing our two organizations together Pandologic and Broadbean under the Veritone umbrella. Again, my name is Nikos Livadas. I head up partnerships and alliances here at Pandologic. fairly new to Pandologic. But not new to the HRTech space technology geek my entire life. Before joining the HR tech ecosystem about 15 years ago, I led teams at Microsoft and other technology providers, especially in the BI and AI space. Really interested in Pandologic because of its AI component. We are the leader in the AI programmatic space in the talent acquisition realm. What we do is we help employers use AI to pinpoint the best endpoints for their job ads, the endpoints that will yield better candidates faster, with higher you know how their success rate in hiring and, you know, lower CPAs, lower CPA trips. And I think, given that our company has been around for so long and been collecting data for so many years, 15 plus years, the data that we use to fuel our AI engine is critically important in helping that ta leader, that recruiter, identified those best endpoints to advertise their jobs, using data, not gut feeling. I think that’s the value proposition that Pandologic brings to the table.

Brent Skinner 05:38
Yeah, yeah. And you know what, that’s probably a good segue into one thing I really wanted to kind of dive into with, with first with you and ECOSYS. In the Green Room, we were talking about analytics and data. And how are those two, so valuable in recruiting? How do Veritone and broad being Pandologic and Broadbean complement each other? visa vie analytics and data? How does that? How does this this, this help to, to, to sort of turbocharged that?

Nikos Livadas 06:17
So that’s a great question. I think, in order to have a successful AI engine or AI solution, you need data, I think we all can agree that the bedrock of a successful AI platform is the amount of data that it has on the back end to fuel its algorithms and engines. And I think I was I was mentioning that earlier. Not only now are we bringing together all the data, the panel logic has worked and collected over the years, but that immense reach that Faisel was talking about earlier in data and combining those two with the power of what kind of Pandologic is done in the AI space. But also, Veritone, if you think of Veritone may not be a household name in the HR tech space, but they’ve been in the AI space for a long time themselves. And they’re a formidable player in AI when it comes to, you know, media advertising, you know, voice technologies. So combining the two organizations, again, under that umbrella, leveraging the data that we have, in a creative way, will not only help our customers, find and engage with the best candidates for their open roles, but also our partners, we’re both in the you know, Fi zone, I are both in the in the partner engagement, partner development space. This is phenomenal for our partners as well. And we’re looking forward to working with our partners under this new umbrella. Veritone HR solutions.

Brent Skinner 07:56
Yeah, absolutely. Faisel anything to sort of add to those terms?

Faisel Samseer 08:04
Brand. And to add to what Nick was saying, obviously, we’ve been sitting on a pile of data over the past 20 years, right. And we’ve never kind of like been in the position where we actually productized, you know, the data that we had for various reasons, but I think, you know, one of the things is constraints of resource. And maybe also, you know, we were kind of like, ahead of our time, the market wasn’t looking at, you know, I would say performance-based advertising back in those days, obviously, data has changed completely over the past five years, right. So now, it has become like a very valuable asset and being part of Veritone and Pandologic. And their experience of, you know, uh, transforming the data, you know, into, I would say, usable information for our ATS partners, and our end clients, makes me kind of, like, really, really excited. I mean, if I had, you know, to jump the gun a bit, you know, I’ve, I’ve always talk to partners about, you know, predictive analytics, to the end clients, you know, given them insights on, you know, how to kind of like, spend their budget more effectively, and now within this kind of, like, new organization with actually, you know, be able to do that we’re making steps towards that, you know, predicting, and I’m really excited about that. And it’s not just, you know, for the end clients, but I’m also seeing a lot of opportunities for us to kind of like, you know, develop products that we indeed sell to our ATS partners as an OEM solution, right and not kind of like a marketplace offering because if you look at you know, if you’re part of a marketplace today, the penetration might be five to 10% That’s kind of like the max but developing, you know, the technology that we sell into the ATS and CRM partners. That is, that is a tremendous opportunity for us today. So, I’m really excited about, you know, this acquisition Veritone, Pandologic and being part of Veritone HR solutions today.

Brent Skinner 10:21
Yeah, absolutely. That is quite the compliment in terms of the two solutions, and I guess Nikos wants to go back to you for this question. How did our partners gain from the acquisition of Broadbean? How do partners and end users benefit from the development?

Nikos Livadas 10:45
So, it’s a great question. I think there’s two aspects to this, because we’re bringing together two organizations. But I think for the Pandologic customers, by bringing in Broadbean, to the friends and family under the Veritone umbrella, our partners and our customers gained from this incredible market reach that Faisel talked about earlier. It’s incredible that you know, the volumes and the in the reach that Pandologic has accomplished through this acquisition. So, if you look at Broadbean and all the numbers that were mentioned earlier, this incredible reach adds to the ability of our partners to acquire new customers expanding in different geographies. Use AI on top of that reach that Broadbean provides to again, find candidates in those 7000 locations that we talked about earlier. That was never before possible. It’s unprecedented if you can find the new technologies, what’s possible. And, you know, in any partnership, we want to see our partners succeed, they want to succeed as well. Our end customers want to benefit from this as well, because as they look at expansion themselves, going into new territories going into new geographies. As an organization, you always are looking to see which partner which technology, which platform will give you that ability. The other thing that is brought to the table is if you look at the people in the two organizations, the amount of expertise in this field is phenomenal. Robin has been around for as many years as Pandologic. If you look at our teams, we are truly experts in this field, we can help our customers identify jointly the best tactics and strategies to win against the competition, and gain foothold in new geographies. So, I think that’s critically important. When you look at the two combined organizations, not just technology, it’s the expertise that we bring to the table that reach that we talked about new customer acquisition, to kind of recap what I mentioned.

Brent Skinner 13:08
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there’s a lot going on here. What would you say is the real? The real game changer? Like, you know, what, what sort of the new? What is the innovation? And by that, I don’t necessarily mean just technology. Right. But what’s the, what’s the new offering that that wasn’t really available yet in this in this space? Because it sounds like this is sort of a market space sort of changing event. Any insight into that? Because, you know, I think we’ve been sort of circling around the edges of it and getting inside a little bit more, but like, what, what is that, that that key differentiation is it’s really interesting to me, it seems to me that this is, you know, the competition, like maybe there is no one to one competition now, for an organization like yours, is that is that what it is?

Faisel Samseer 13:08
That’s, I mean, if you’d allow me to kind of like go first breath. So what I think is kind of, like unique for Broadbean is that we’ve, we’ve talked about, you know, the first number of challenge channels that we have available, we have different types of, you know, products that we offer in, in this in this space, and I would say having, like a really robust programmatic offering within the Broadbean tool was something that, you know, was lacking. I mean, we we’ve had some initial experiments with a, you know, our own programmatic tool, but we lacked, you know, service like Pandologic is offering so I think that is going to be unique that you have that one tool that gives you access to all these different types of job advertising and you know, it Different channels, I think, you know, that is, that is that is very unique, if we look at, I would say what it means for our partners is that we’re not just kind of like selling software to their clients anymore, we’re also selling, you know, we also have a media offering, right. So that makes the opportunity bigger for the partner as well, where in some marketplaces, you know, and you know, this is it’s not a secret, there’s a market, or there’s a revenue sharing model, right? On the software, the spend on media is so much bigger, and the opportunity for the partners, you know, get so much bigger. So I think that, that makes it very, very interesting for them as well to kind of like, you know, have us part of their solution. And I was also going to say that on the AI technology that Veritone and Pandologic offers, right, so it’s not just about the posting channels, but also enhancing or our product in making it more user friendly. Improving, I would say candidate journeys, all of that is kind of like part of the mix that make us a unique offering for our partners. And I think one of the things that I really found interesting, listening to, you know, our CEO, Ryan Steelberg, saying is that, you know, with the data that we have, we can predict the future. And you know, we’re going to predict what it’s going to be next in talent acquisition, and we’re going to deliver on it. So I think, you know, every partner thinks that that is kind of like, really, really exciting.

Nikos Livadas 16:44
Yeah, I think, yeah, one thing to add here is Pfizer, that was great. I mean, that’s, that’s kind of the value proposition there for us, or our partners. But if you want to distill it down to our end customers, and down to, you know, the folks that recruiters in the organizations that are tasked with finding talent, right? What is this new organization, give them me today, if you’re a recruiter, and you’re looking to advertise your jobs, you have, you know, possibilities out there, there’s, there’s different types of players, AI players, non AI players, when you take a job description, you can’t just put it on your on your webpage or your career page and expect people to apply, you have to distribute it across job boards, across destinations, across different geographies. And all that was often done manually, it was often done, you know, without any, you know, critical insight into data and numbers. And what we are able to do today is tool and enable that recruiter to use analytics use AI to strategically place those jobs, where they will be more successful at a organization will be more successful. And the organization as a whole will be able to, you know, be competitive in the industry that they serve against their competition, right. So that is, at the crux of it, what we’re what we’re trying to do is enable our end customers, whether they come through a partner or directly to be more competitive in their industries, and you know, win that fight for talent. And you start at the very, very beginning, finding talent, and I think we talked about it in the greenroom is the toughest thing to do in the HR space. Ta is at the very beginning, sourcing is at the very, very beginning. And sourcing has two sides to it. One of the sides is roll up your sleeves and start reading Boolean strings to try to find a pallet yourselves. You know, as a recruiting team, the other part is advertise your jobs without getting people that are interested in applying to your organization, or show some interest to it. All the other tools that are out there, we have phenomenal tools out there. ATS is CRMs. You name it. But they all need fuel to run. And that fuel is interested candidates. And we’re there that’s where we come in we fuel and we feel it better now. That recruiter with that candidate that they need to bring through the organization eventually hire them.

Brent Skinner 19:32
Yeah, absolutely. We talked about that. Yes, I recall just the monumental challenge of actually getting people in the door to talk. And in finding those people. You know, we were on another podcast episode recently where we’re talking about the importance of sourcing and, and really sort of focusing on the sourcing is so many organizations, they’ll be built sort of a talent acquisition sort of in environment or ecosystem for themselves and then sourcing, they understand that it’s important, but they kind of think about it last as opposed to maybe first. And I don’t know if there’s exactly what you’re saying, but it’s in the same ballpark. I think another thing that’s super interesting about this, and I just want to call out for our for audiences that, you know, here 360 insights, we talked about the new emerging talent acquisition suite, the future of work. It’s not, it’s nothing like the ecosystems of the past, you know, the ATS was the hub, and it still is there, and everything still kind of needs to run through it. But there’s so many other things and practices, and that are that are available out there now at recruiters disposal, specifically, because of the advances in technology. You know, you’re really you’re also talking about Intelligent Automation, in a sense, right? Because you’re not, you know, that obviously, a lot of there’s a lot of players out there that over the years if ever endeavored with various levels of, of success to make it easier to post to several job boards at the same time, right, or just to get up. So you don’t have to go manually into every single job board, which is a huge inefficiency, right. But this goes beyond newfound efficiencies, right? Because you’re also talking about targeting, and you’re actually, you know, posting to the job boards that make the most sense, because of the intelligence in the system that helps you to understand that. Am I Am I describing this accurately?

Nikos Livadas 21:42
Yes, yes, I think I mean, the first thing that the first thing that an AI platform in this space does is and what we do at Pandologic, is we start from that job description. And we all hear about obviously, automation. And the other big topic that everybody’s talking about today is skills based hiring. So if you want to do skills based hiring, you have to target that job ad for that particular job to the right job board. So what a good AI engine does is it goes and understands each individual job description down to the skill sets required for that particular job description, not just looking at the title, because, you know, job developer that focuses on dotnet is a different Java developer than the one that Java developer that focuses on, you know, Java, right, two different fields, same title, what you can do is look at that actual job description, and lift the skills that you’re actually pinpointing and then use those with the job title to identify that job board that you’re going to go after. So that skills based hiring is something that is becoming more and more reality, if that is the approach that you want to take for your organization. But, yes, I think things are changing at a rapid pace. But at the same time, we you still need to do as recruiters what we did many years ago, is find that best candidate for that particular job that we’re hiring for.

Brent Skinner 23:15
Yeah, yeah.

Faisel Samseer 23:18
Exactly what deacons are saying this is kind of like exactly the reason why we are so excited at Broadbean, right, that, that is what Veritone and Pandologic is bringing to the table, if you look at Broadbean, we kind of like bring that automation, but, you know, the AI and you know, the skill based targeting and hiring is I would say something, something new to us. And I, I, I look at this, as you know, from a different angle, as well. And partnership has run very commercially and prod been so we’re also we’re always kind of like looking at, you know, the opportunity here for us. And if we look at our 3000 clients we have today, the amount they’re spending on recruitment technology and the amount that they’re spending on media. We’ve estimated that as you know, the media spend 1.5 billion on an annual basis. Right, and we know that budgets are moving from traditional duration postings towards other types of advertising services, like programmatic. So imagine that, you know, with this combination, we’d be able to kind of like, you know, get 10% of that market, that will be tremendous. So, that’s kind of like the opportunity that I’m excited about.

Brent Skinner 24:45
Yeah, absolutely. The, the, just being able to help those clients, sort of, consolidate or maybe you know, put something else in place to replace what they’re But they may be using right now. Whatever. Yeah, absolutely. One of the other things that that really, really strikes me about this, and you both mentioned it earlier is this this, the x, just the level of expertise in house now, between the two organizations, it’s just, you know, it’s quite remarkable. And, and there’s a very loose analogy with, with AI, and recruiters here, I think, you know, because when we talked about the Intelligent Automation, and all this kind of stuff to, and the better targeting and everything better sourcing, you’re, you’re really taking a lot of the yeoman’s work out of the recruiters job. And so they’re able to focus much more on providing their own service, which is that human touch to actually get that person to, to woo the right person into their or to whatever, whatever organization that recruiting for. So I, I think we’d be remiss not to mention that part two, and it’s that all goes back to an interesting sort of irony, or I don’t know if irony is the right word, or paradox, I don’t know if that’s the right word either. But it’s a strange thing, where so many people are concerned about AI, D humanizing things. And this conversation is not about that. But it is interesting that when you bring AI into the world that work off and it makes work, feel more human, which is actually interesting, because it’s getting rid of a lot of the stuff that’s just that, yeah, humans are doing, but it’s not, it’s not bringing out the most human aspects of the humans. And so if you can take out that administrative, or that, you know, that repetitive work there and help them focus on their higher level skills, they can be more of they can be of greater each recruiter can be of greater value to the organization that it’s work that they’re working for. So there’s that too, just to kind of looking at the time, it just wanted to kind of close out with a, with a question here for you both. It? What are the potentialities here in the future for the two organizations? Now, one, you don’t have to give away any state secrets, if you will, right, that we don’t we don’t sort of try to peer pressure anyone into sharing secrets here, but it’s just from a broad level or anything you’d like to share? You know, in terms of the next one, two or three years, what are some of the really exciting potentialities here, it’s not, it’s not available now, but could very well be in the future.

Faisel Samseer 27:42
Brent, I’m going to bring this back to what you were saying earlier that, you know, the AI we have available now is going to kind of like, you know, make recruiters lives easier, you know, cut back on manual tasks. That’s kind of like something that, you know, we’ve been trying to do with our product for the past 20 years, but we have new found technology now, that would, for example, allow us, you know, to kind of like auto populate some fields, you know, when posting our jobs that would make recruiters life easier, right? It will not replace the recruiter, you know, it’s going to cut back on, on some tasks there, you know, looking at maybe enhanced candidate matching, which, you know, will bring the recruiter quicker to that, you know, one qualified candidate. And we’re also very excited about, you know, the conversational AI that Veritone has available, that we could potentially use to kind of like, you know, enrich candidate profiles. So those are, you know, I would say, short midterm changes that we’re looking to make to the product. And I think that a wider outlook, it’s very fresh, right, so I’m not going to elaborate on that. But product wise, I think these are the things that we’re looking to kind of like, you know, improve short term.

Brent Skinner 29:11
Yeah, absolutely. Nikos.

Nikos Livadas 29:14
So, it’s 100%. What Faisel said earlier, but I think what really excites me is two things. One thing is the ability to leverage what the two organizations have, but under that Veritone umbrella, if you think of where Veritone has been and what they do, you know, their capabilities in in TV, radio ads, you know, being an agency of their own in their own merit. All that allows us to kind of dip our toe into a true omni channel approach. I mean, we’re kind of confined in our space. So you know, I’m going to post my jobs to job boards or this or the other but if we kind of let our mind to it to kind of think beyond that, and think of what’s possible, with a player like Veritone in the space, I’m really excited to see what we can do with voice with an omni channel approach as far as advertising roles, jobs, on radio, and TV and CCTV and all that. I’m excited to see what we do there. And I’m also excited because beyond what we just see on, you know, on what broad being is there’s some really interesting nuggets to their platform and technology that I know I’m really eager to get my hands on, such as their search and match capabilities, they have the a bonafide search engine, you know, very powerful that they’ve had for many years. And that’s something that we haven’t had at Pandologic before is the ability to again, as I mentioned earlier, roll up your sleeves and try to find candidates on your own by digging into those job boards and finding them if you’re a recruiter, finding those candidates. So, all that together is what really excites me, and I think it will excite our partners in this space. Yeah,

Brent Skinner 31:03
absolutely. Lots of interesting stuff. Exciting stuff. I mean, this is no this is this is a not insignificant event in the talent acquisition space. That’s an understatement. Lots of potential upside, making recruiters jobs much more making them more effective in their work, much more targeted, all these kinds of things that we’ve been promised by the newest technologies out there and it’s fine. It’s a really exciting to see it coming to fruition. Thank you both for joining us Faisel and Nikos. Thank you so much. Really looking forward to this podcast going live. Have a wonderful day.

Faisel Samseer 31:46
Thank you Brent!

Nikos Livadas 31:47
Thank you, Take care.

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