Sourcing School by RecruitingDaily

Inside the Intricacies and Evolution of Job Distribution with Doug Ries of VONQ

October 27, 2023 Brian Fink, Ryan Leary, and Shally Steckerl
Sourcing School by RecruitingDaily
Inside the Intricacies and Evolution of Job Distribution with Doug Ries of VONQ
Show Notes Transcript

Ever wondered how recruitment marketing has evolved to become so complex and diversified over the years? Join us in a riveting discussion with Doug Ries SVP of Business Development at VONQ, who brings his vast two-decade-long experience to the table. This conversation traces the journey of job postings, touching on the rise of programmatic advertising and the increasing sophistication of employers.

Special mini series recorded with Oleeo at HR Tech 2023 with hosts Ryan Leary, Brian Fink, and Shally Steckerl


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Speaker 1:

And we are back on at the Olio booth in HR Tech, broadcasting right from the floor here in the middle of the event. With me today is my old friend. When I say old, I mean really old Doug Rees from Bonk. Now you can't tell from his looks, but he's really old. However, he looks like he's 20, which is exactly how he looked when I first met him 20 years ago. You're too kind, so the man never ages. But anyways, talking about a man who never ages, you've been in this industry, and I mean job distribution, job posting, advertising, what do you want to call it? For Several decades now 23 years. Yeah, and in fact you've, like, innovated some of the solutions in the space.

Speaker 2:

We've done a lot of work over the past couple of decades we have yeah, We've done a lot of job distribution.

Speaker 1:

Doug and I used to work together at a company that did some pioneering work back then, and since then he's had a couple of other jobs. But now you are. What's your role now? Your VP of partnerships or?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm the Senior Vice President of Business Development for North America.

Speaker 1:

Which is partnerships and, and, yeah, business development here covers partnerships channels as well as some direct sales.

Speaker 2:

Cool, cool, cool.

Speaker 1:

So, in your walks, if you will, what has evolved? What has evolved in a way that, like it's grown in job distribution, in job advertising, in recruitment marketing. Let's call it.

Speaker 2:

Sure sure. Yeah, there are some obvious things like programmatic.

Speaker 1:

That's new, that's new.

Speaker 2:

In the last couple of decades, I think the savviness of employers has really evolved. Of course there's the obvious 23 years ago we were sending a lot of jobs out to Yahoo Classifieds and news groups, and stuff like that. That aren't really a thing anymore.

Speaker 1:

So destinations have changed but Destinations have changed.

Speaker 2:

They've gotten a bit more intelligent and employers are really looking for a true mix of what they're doing with recruitment marketing. They want to do some programmatic. They want to have their posting contracts with large job boards. They want to publish out to niche sites, local sites. Many need some level of diversity distribution, compliance, posting.

Speaker 1:

So it's a flexibility, it's a mix, where it used to be a lot more kind of homogenous, like we advertise here and here and that's it. Get me to monster and hot jobs, and so now there's a variety of destinations and a variety of choices and you're saying that the buyer, the employer, is more savvy and understanding that there's sometimes when you want to get the word out broadcastly and sometimes when you want to go niche. So they need guidance with that and they need a system that helps them do all that, because manually it's a bear.

Speaker 2:

Employers are more savvy, they also. They still need assistance, and we've gotten smarter over the years.

Speaker 1:

The technology is providing the technology has gotten smarter.

Speaker 2:

Recruitment advertising services have gotten smarter.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so do we know now what makes people click on a job and we still haven't figured that out yet.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't know that anyone's truly figured that out?

Speaker 1:

I don't think so.

Speaker 2:

It's got to all start with the job title, right, yeah. And then the job copy. You know that stuff goes. That's ages old.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's all. That's an avatar, that's copywriting. How are you drawing someone in Ogilvy? Kind of set the stage for that, yeah, but the clicking and all that. I mean there's just you've got to. You have to have a mix.

Speaker 2:

You have to have a mix. There's no silver bullet. It has to be something attractive and, as you know, the whole process has to be pretty painless. Right, you want to?

Speaker 1:

remove friction. That's true, yeah, remove friction.

Speaker 2:

That's for sure.

Speaker 1:

So, on the results side right, you and I had many a let's call it dynamic conversation around attribution of source of hire, which, back way back when it was basically I mean, people were literally asking the candidate how'd you hear about the job? And that was okay. People thought that by asking the candidate you'd get an answer, and then they learned. Well, the candidates, most of the time, just picked the first answer or the default answer or the one that they recognize, and it really wasn't accurate. And then you've got sort of the URL tracking and hashtags, and you got pixels and all that. We still don't really know, though. So what I've heard is the job distributor and the way to track it now is tracking what they call apply completions, and they're. This is another way of charging for performance paid for performance. Is that you only pay us when someone applies? Is that the answer, or are we still just kind of bumping around in the dark? It feels to me like that's a step in the right direction, but just a step, because you still have apply abandonment, you still have original attribution, multiple points of attribution.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So there are a couple of questions in there. One is source attribution, which the easiest way to accomplish that is using source code source IDs in apply URL strings and that becomes a true source identification, hard coded. Now, that doesn't go back through that individual's path of searching and finding that job beyond the site that they clicked from.

Speaker 1:

So it's the most recent source?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but that certainly is a true way to find out where they clicked, and it does break.

Speaker 1:

People do see the job and they go to the website and look for the job and apply and don't use the link. So that still happens with people that are suspicious. I still get replies to email outreach from my sourcing team where the candidate says I'm not really sure this is a legitimate job or whatever. So they reply to the email Is there really someone here or is this spam? And we reply back and I'm like no, that's really it, that's the link, please click on it and apply. So there's still that. So if we can't really, if that's not the solution, if paper applies not the solution then what is it? Is it a paper interview?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think it's still important to look at job postings as advertisements. Yep okay right, so you're paying for as an advertisement.

Speaker 1:

Traffic.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and is paying for each application from that advertisement. Is that right? Is that the most efficient thing to do? I'm not sure about that, you know, and you're not guaranteed that every applicant is of quality.

Speaker 1:

That's true, right. So an application could just be what level of?

Speaker 2:

quality are you ultimately paying for?

Speaker 1:

Right, just because they apply doesn't mean they're even remotely.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, so if you're paying for an advertisement, pay for an advertisement.

Speaker 1:

Make sense.

Speaker 2:

Take an applicants, evaluate them, increase the traffic, but it's important also to track your posting, your sites, your vendors and ensure that you're getting the quality. Getting a ton of applicants doesn't mean you're getting a ton of quality.

Speaker 1:

So audit right, it's kind ofyou're buying it, but you also need to audit what you bought.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and your job distribution vendor, even your ATS, is going to have reports that you can use, that you can view the analytics results from sites your click rates, your apply rates, your higher rates.

Speaker 1:

What about going back into that original source or the multiple source attribution? I've seen some technology out there where they are essentially using kind of crafting mechanisms to attach an IP address, multiple IP addresses, to you so they capture your interest via an email. Now they know, okay, this person we don't know who they are this nameless person clicked on this email. We know that it was this email that we sent. So now we're going to associate that activity with this IP address and then, if they come back and they fill out a form, now we know their name. And if they come back and they click on an article, now we know their interest. And it's sort of building this sort of three-dimensional profile. There's technology out there. It just existed in marketing Not that long ago that they created all these ways to welcome you back. Instead of saying, hi, stranger, fill out a form. It's like oh, welcome back, doug, you were interested in water recycling last time. Would you like to learn more about that? So that is helping us.

Speaker 2:

This site uses cookies.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this site uses a cabinet, and that's no longer cookies. Now it's actually tracking your IP address and recognizing that your phone is one address and your desktop is another one, and it puts them together and starts serving you dynamic content, and you don't have to fill out forms over and over again. Is that the future of tracking, or is that just way too complicated for what it's worth?

Speaker 2:

That sounds pretty complicated for job posting advertisements. So I'm not sure, you're not sure.

Speaker 1:

I'm not sure, because I'm wondering if I had. I've got some money and I'm going to buy some contracts. That's already done, they're signed, so I'm going to advertise there because I already paid for it. I got some one offs that I know I need because this particular skill set is a front end view js developer and they have their own group of whatever you discuss, your group or whatever. So I know I can post there and get their attention, because I can pay 200 bucks and get the attention of exclusively viewjs developers, because that's that. So you've got the big one, you've got the niche one, then you've got the I don't know. Let's call them influencers. There's some guy out there that's really well known for being the voice of viewjs, but I don't know where people are reading him. Is there a way to capture that? It's a completely different. You know, bob Smith is the viewjs king and I want to get access to his audience. But he's got Twitter, he's got TikTok, he's got LinkedIn, he's got Instagram, he's got. You know how do I tap into that?

Speaker 2:

Enter this podcast code when you log into my. That sounds good. That sounds good. So is there ever?

Speaker 1:

going to be an influencer? Sorry, is there ever going to be an influencer marketplace for jobs?

Speaker 2:

I think there already is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. It's called networking oh that's yeah, never heard of that. That's a good point, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, one of the things that you make a great point around the different types of posting that organizations do. So normally an organization in, we'll say, normal employment market will have three, four, maybe five contracts with job boards, annual contracts, where they can maybe post unlimited jobs or a lot of jobs Right or parking slots or whatever. Yeah in addition to that, they'll for probably 50 to 60% of their jobs. They'll need to go out and post those to additional sites on an on demand ad hoc. As needed right. So what Vonk has done is we've built some intelligent job posting solutions that we white label into hiring platforms and it accommodates customers posting jobs to their annual contract.

Speaker 1:

So half the time you're doing that by route and it just happens, and then every once in a while you need to do the specialty and then the platform just says all right, you need to boost your applications for this one job. Here's three things that you could do.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we serve up a marketplace with 3,000 options in it.

Speaker 1:

And it buys them on which?

Speaker 2:

ones. So it provides recommendations, filters, search, and they can just be purchased in the moment.

Speaker 1:

So streamlining that, consolidating it? How does somebody end up on that? How does the destination, whatever view that JS careers end up on your marketplace?

Speaker 2:

Well, a job board reaches out to us or a customer requests it, and we reach out to the job board and then you're like, hey, we want to add you. Yeah, sure, that's easy A way that a user ends up in the marketplace. Perfect example an iSim's user clicks the advertise button next to their requisition inside of iSim's and they're dropped into the marketplace and they can make purchases there. So we make it very easy.

Speaker 1:

So I got 10 jobs eight of them are performing well. Two of them are really slow, so I'm going to click on that button and go. I need to boost this one by a couple of things that way, and then they see the results. What about just the like search engine marketing stuff that we used to talk about? You know, paper click and that's not job boards, that's not career destinations, that's the web, like open web.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we do a little bit with Google, sponsoring and boosting jobs on Google. That's still relevant then have you looked at that lately?

Speaker 1:

No, I wanna-.

Speaker 2:

They still don't make it very easy for job seekers.

Speaker 1:

No, they don't. Yeah, they don't make it very easy for an employer. I don't know how useful that is anyway. If I want to post a job on Google, I'd have to like become a Google advertiser. Drop a credit card, do the whole keyword optimization. I think it's clunky. I mean, you know it works. If your business depends on advertising, then you solve, you know how to advertise. But if you're a recruiter, you don't know how to advertise. That's not your thing, it's not you know. So yeah, there's a big barrier for entry there, so all right. So what have you seen here in the trade trail floor that really impressed you of like wow, that's hot, that's new, that's interesting, that's a good direction.

Speaker 2:

I'm trying to avoid saying anything about AI.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, don't say the word. Ai Say machine learning or deep learning or language models.

Speaker 2:

Right, Well, there are a lot of vendors that are doing some more sophisticated stuff with analytics. There are also vendors that are kind of reaching beyond the ATS concept to more user-friendly hiring platforms. And that stuff is interesting. Generally impressed with how large the show is.

Speaker 1:

It's definitely the biggest I've heard.

Speaker 2:

I haven't been to HR Tech in a while and it's really been a great show Great turnout, great vendors and really good conversations there.

Speaker 1:

Well, you heard it here, Doug. Thanks so much for joining us.

Speaker 2:

Thank you show.

Speaker 1:

We are live at the HR Tech, right on the floor and sponsored by the Olio booth. Olio, olio, all right, thank you, and we'll see you next time.