Chris Murdock, Co-Founder and Chief Sourcing Officer of IQTalent Partners, recently hosted Joel Cheesman, Founder of Poach, for an interview. In the following article, we’ll highlight the best moments of their conversation regarding collecting and leveraging candidate data in recruiting.
Give us a little background on your company, Poach.
Joel: I've been in the industry for more than 20 years. I’ve mostly worked on the vendor side, through job boards, SEO, pay-per-click, things like that to help organizations find talent.
My experience in the industry means I’ve sort of been a fly on the wall for a long time. I've also been a bit of a, I guess, solopreneur. I start companies, mostly tech-based. My most current one, which I'm really passionate about, actually, is Poach.
Poach is a recruitment software company founded to provide high-quality market insight and recruitment intelligence to all recruiters and employers, not just those with crazy corporate budgets.Founder of Poach, @joelcheesman, and Co-Founder and Chief Sourcing Officer of @IQTalent Partners, @cmurdock, sit down to talk about how #recruitment has changed over the years and the use of #AI in #recruitment today:Click to Tweet
Chris: That’s a great mission. At IQTalent Partners, we also believe that everyone deserves high-quality candidate data and recruitment support, regardless of their budget.
Tell me, how has the recruitment space changed during your career?
Joel: So one of the interesting things about how things have evolved in recruiting is how the tools and strategies evolved. When I started, you were connecting candidates with companies, and all of the processes were manual for the most part.
There was a printed directory at my first company, and I would have to find buyers or general merchandise managers and scan down their information. We were using a Rolodex to put that information into the database. Do you remember that?
Chris: Oh yes. I have some very vivid memories of using those manual processes.
Joel: Well, in recent years, big changes have come regarding the use of technology. Nowadays, technology has been really kind of facilitating those connections, making them more meaningful, making everything you do more effective and efficient. Today, you have AI and machine learning to help you understand these different factors when it comes to recruiting.
On our first CRM system, I was tasked with entering most of the data we collected into our system by hand. Now, a lot of this stuff is automated.
As you know, in recruiting, information is power, and there's a lot of information out there, whether it's information on people, information on opportunities, information on companies, it's pulling all that data together. So now, we're looking at how you take data from different disparate sources, whether it be through API, crawling data on the web, or other avenues, and put that together nicely.
What kind of data do you use, how are you collecting it, and how are you getting it?
Joel: Right now, we primarily go after employee reviews. So we look at a variety of sites. Some of those are sites you don't even consider to be employee review sites, say a Twitter account, for example, might be something that we look at.
And then we look at the news that's related to it. So, for example, if Kanye is developing a new pair of shoes for Adidas, that's not really relevant to employment. So we won't bring that into the conversation or the data, but if something is work-related, we bring that in, then we take that data and throw it into our AI technology.
And that's how we start charting out and visualizing what's going on at a company. Then, we pull out specific content that we think is really relatable to the recruiting process. So maybe it's key phrases like layoffs, or key phrases like sexual harassment, or diversity issues, anything that helps recruiters really understand the landscape because we’re throwing a lot of data your way. Sometimes so much data that it could overwhelm you.
So it's part of our job to pull out the things that help you to make the most effective and informed decisions regarding your recruiting strategies.Check out @IQTalent Partners’ latest blog to read up on the conversation @joelcheesman, Founder of Poach, and Co-Founder and Chief Sourcing Officer of IQTP, @cmurdock, had regarding the changes to #recruitment over the last 20 years:Click to Tweet
How does Poach’s AI find context and validate information?
Chris: You said you’re taking information from a variety of places that helps you to paint a vivid picture of what a workplace environment looks like. What happens if you come across a negative review? Say it’s just one disgruntled person that was fired? Does the algorithm look for multiple instances before grabbing this information? Would it take the context into account before marking this as a negative indicator?
Joel: Yes. One thing to mention is that one bad comment isn't going to deep sink a company. We're going to look at trends. We're going to look at multiple commentaries, multiple streams of content surrounding the company as a whole. As we both know, you can’t use AI to get your way out of everything. There needs to be some level of human interaction to understand the reality behind scenarios. An employee having a bad day doesn’t equate to a negative work environment.
Chris: Exactly, some level of human interaction will always be a crucial part of recruiting. Recruiters need to create personal connections and relationships with the companies and candidates they’re working with.
Joel: Yes. Communication is crucial in every organization. And just think, how much more efficient would you be as an organization if you had a clear hierarchy of who to contact and when.
Another issue that many organizations keep discussing is the scarcity of talent.
Chris: I wrote a little piece yesterday about how everyone talks about the scarcity of talent.
One of my points was that nobody is really talking about sourcing metrics. They're only really talking about applicants. The scarcity is real, stemming from a reduced applicant pool, a lower number of passive candidates we can source, and a drop in response rates. But, it just means we need to be more relevant. Part of the relevance is working to find the right people at the right time.
I see Poach becoming a tool that is ubiquitous in helping to target, not only from a skills-based or experience-based search but also to help identify which candidates are star applicants or Diamond Candidates and which ones are lackluster. The goal is to create a deep pool of these Diamond Candidates, the people who are spot-on and present a strong recruitment opportunity for organizations.
Do you have any parting thoughts on recruiting connections?
Joel: I celebrated my 50th birthday this year, which led to me reflecting on my life. So, if I'm leaving any parting words of wisdom from an old dog in this business, it’s to keep learning and keep being curious. There are so many cool things going on right now in the recruitment space, with new software and tools emerging left and right. And, to paraphrase our friend Ferris Bueller, if you don't raise your head up from your phone and look around once in a while, you're going to miss it.
Each month, Chris Murdock will sit down with new impactful individuals in the recruiting space to discuss new strategies, software, and trends that hiring managers can expect. Subscribe to the Recruiting Connections with Chris Murdock podcast today to stay up to date on the latest conversations.