Sourcing School by RecruitingDaily

The Ripple Effect: Economic Trends and Talent Acquisition with Jonathan Kestenbaum and Jeanette Leads of AMS

October 27, 2023 Brian Fink, Ryan Leary, and Shally Steckerl
Sourcing School by RecruitingDaily
The Ripple Effect: Economic Trends and Talent Acquisition with Jonathan Kestenbaum and Jeanette Leads of AMS
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the talent acquisition landscape and how critical communication skills are in this process? Join us for an engaging conversation with Jonathan Kestenbaum and Jeanette Leads from AMS. We're diving headfirst into the world of AI, discussing its potential to solve problems and streamline processes in talent acquisition. There's more, as we align on the essence of marrying top-notch tech, stellar people and streamlined processes to transform talent acquisition outcomes.

Our dialogue doesn't stop there. We shift gears to examine the role of automation in enhancing the employee experience, empowering recruiters to focus on fostering meaningful candidate relationships. Join us for these insights and more in our episode - a tapestry of informative discussions weaved with real-life experiences and current trends.

This is a 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:

Hey everybody, it's Brian, Think I am flying solo at the Olio booth. I'm an official Olioer today, hanging out with Jonathan, with Matt and with Jeanette, all from different organizations. We are going to talk all things sourcing and talent. Matt, you are with Alight, I am All right. Jonathan, you and Jeanette. You brought Jeanette here. Jeanette is a pistol. Ladies and gentlemen, I just want to let you know she's a delight, but she's a pistol, All right. So I got Jonathan and Jeanette from AMS. We are talking about the future of talent acquisition and sourcing. There's a vibe on the floor here today. What's the vibe? What's going on? Who wants to jump in here and say all the feels that they're absorbing at HRTech? Live in Vegas at the Olio booth.

Speaker 3:

Well, I can. That's absolutely Well. It's really interesting. Everyone wants to talk AI, ai, ai, ai, ai, ai, ai, but all the time it's this overwhelming. I remember when AI stood for Alan Iverson None of this artificial intelligence.

Speaker 1:

I remember when it was going to come to kill you. I still have Easter babies, yes exactly.

Speaker 3:

I think what's interesting is every time I ask what problems are you solving with AI, it gets really squirrely because they say you need it, but then nobody's talking about the actual problems. I know in recruiting there's a lot of applications but I'm yet to see people do it right.

Speaker 1:

All right. So speaking about doing it right, Jonathan, you want to jump?

Speaker 4:

in. What about you? Yeah, I've seen some interesting stuff. I've seen some technology that helps create job descriptions. I've seen technology that helps actually create images for job advertisements. I've seen technology that allows you to transcribe and summarize interviews and actually my favorite is technology that will actually do the interview, have a dynamic conversation that will sound like you.

Speaker 1:

I've not made it to that booth yet. I'm sorry. I just gave everybody the wide eyes. I was like what's that, jeanette? What about you? What's the vibe?

Speaker 2:

The other big theme skills. Right, skills first. How do we figure out what someone's skills are and align it to whatever they need to do in the future? So that is the two. You combine the two together AI and skills.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but a resume should tell you what a person's skills are right.

Speaker 2:

Resumes are dead. Resumes are dead.

Speaker 1:

Yes, resumes are dead.

Speaker 3:

I told you this is more of a biker group than an HR conference group.

Speaker 1:

This is a good conversation.

Speaker 2:

I am wearing leather, I know, right, there you go.

Speaker 3:

I know Tattoos and beards. That's what this group is. That's what's going on?

Speaker 4:

It makes sense, though, that skills is also hot alongside AI, because, as AI makes its way more meaningfully into every business unit in the company, the skills needed are going to change so rapidly that you're going to need to hire for skills instead of.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wait a minute. Wait a minute, I'm jumping in on Tuesday. Okay, so, meaningfully, what does it mean to make a meaningful contribution to a business? Is it bottom line, is it personal production? Is it retention? What is?

Speaker 4:

meaningful. I think it depends on the business and what their expectations are and what they're trying to accomplish.

Speaker 1:

All right, All right, and so about what we're trying to accomplish. We're having a great conversation about the vibe that's going on here. Jonathan, give me a 30-second overview, the 30,000-foot view. What are you at AMS? What are you guys all about? What are you doing? How are y'all changing the narrative?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, so AMS helps companies get better outcomes in their talent acquisition function. We do everything from help you go through a digital transformation in talent acquisition to actually running the people and the process, so outsourcing your recruitment to our organization.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome, all right. So understanding that from a BPO standpoint. Jeanette, do you agree with that or do you disagree?

Speaker 2:

I agree, I would add to it and say, really, if we think about what, is that? Very much a tech-enabled RPO services with advisory around it. And so we always say and Jonathan said this even before I joined is you have great tech, great people, great process? And that's when the magic happens together, because you can have the best technology and not great process, oh you can have magic and be dead in the water. Yeah, but there's something really special when you combine all of that together into one, and that's what we bring to the market and help our customers.

Speaker 1:

So I get that and understand that you guys are customer-centric, that you're customer-first, that you're building that relationship, that you're not just kind of throwing resumes against the wall resumes are dead, that we're going with skills first. Got that, I'm gonna pass the mic over to Matt and I'm gonna say Matt, what are you doing? That makes you distinctly different in the challenges you're trying to solve.

Speaker 3:

So we do everything that the traditional HCM providers don't. So Alight does this very broad, where we do, leaves management over here and we extend onboarding way before the first day of work. Or we do benefits enrollment and all of the benefits and have these 17 million people running our benefits from Fortune 500, Fortune 100 companies, or we do wealth. We have over a trillion dollars under management. So we do all of the things that the traditional HCM providers don't. And then we put this beautiful enablement layer on top of it, loaded with AI, loaded with communication tools, loaded with integration tools to extend that HCM platform way, way, way beyond what they've traditionally done from an ERP perspective.

Speaker 1:

Alight. There's one word that all three of you have said, and I don't think this is prompted, because up until now, the only two people at this table who knew each other were Jeanette and Jonathan. We talked about AI and communication, right? So everybody had AI on their bingo card, right?

Speaker 3:

Yes, I win.

Speaker 1:

Win okay, but communication I don't know that anybody had that on their bingo card and all three of you have called that out as an important element in the recruiting process.

Speaker 3:

Matt, I'm gonna kick it to you, yes so it's gotta be beyond communication, because I don't know if any of you have read a chat GBT job or somebody that's applying for a job 3.5 or 4. No no, no, neither. It's a word salad of. And then you meet them and you go like this is not the person that wrote that cover letter, and so I think it's beyond communication. It's authentic communication. It's what's happening here. It's we have to become better at authentically communicating with our employees, and our employees have to be better at authentically communicating deep, personal things to their employers or to the people that are supporting their employers, like in a light.

Speaker 1:

So, Matt, you just took this in a different direction, because we were talking about customer, we were talking about candidate success and candidate experience. But you now have dropped in there and said the most.

Speaker 3:

You didn't say these words, but you just made employee experience at the center of everything that you do has to be has to be, because if you're looking at all of the typical problems, whether it's retention or first year attrition or ghosting your job, which we're seeing all over the place if you don't start with creating a dynamic relationship with that person before they're an employee and, by the way, we also extend that HCM platform to their families, to their children, so that ability to actually connect all of your benefits with your spouse do you manage all of the benefits?

Speaker 1:

in your household, none of the benefits in the household. So if you're the employee, so shout out to my wife, shout out to Ally. She runs all the benefits for me and for a mid-sized startup in Atlanta, georgia.

Speaker 3:

And soon multiple dogs. She's going to be running the benefits for that too, I'm guessing, brian, yes, yes, multiple dogs.

Speaker 1:

Put that out in the universe, matt. That is correct If you're hearing it here first. On the Recruiting Daily Source and School Podcast, brian think maybe getting a dog yet again right. So about dogs in the fight? That's going to be the transition on that one. Woohoo, that's amazing. Well done.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think there's something really interesting about what we were just talking about not the dogs.

Speaker 1:

Go for it, Jeanette.

Speaker 2:

I love dogs, and I have one.

Speaker 1:

OK, jeanette is a dog lover and has one.

Speaker 2:

I do, I do. If you think about the employee experience and here we talk about the other word is automation right. And so people are worried through AI and automation that's going to get rid of the people, the recruiters right and that is not going to happen, Not at all Because you need. Like research shows, you can automate all the boring administrative pieces. But how do you really?

Speaker 1:

find that I like to call it BS the boring stuff.

Speaker 2:

Yes, but if you, but literally, if you can't, you can't.

Speaker 3:

I'm totally going to use that sorry.

Speaker 2:

Jeanette, If you get rid of the BS right, the candidates will show up to the interview and are less likely to go. If you add that human element and let the recruiters be a part of it Make time. So let them do the fun stuff right, and that's. I think that's OK, and what you're saying is take that thread and keep it through the entire process.

Speaker 3:

Let me stack one more thing on top of that to go full circle.

Speaker 1:

Oh, we're going, Jenga on it.

Speaker 3:

Yes, which is the only people that can have authentic communication with those candidates are not some AI platform. It is the recruiter, and so that's where that is so important that, as much as we've all crossed off AI on the bingo card, I don't remember the last jobs I took. I remember the recruiters that recruited me to those jobs, and that's the power and that's what makes people not ghost.

Speaker 1:

So, jonathan, that was wait a minute, hold on. I was going to say I was not going to make a comment about ghosting, but I am now and I'm going to pitch this to you. What are you seeing, from a candidate drop off perspective, in this economy, as it's being touted as a really rough economy for white collar workers, but for frontline workers it's a good economy. What are you seeing in terms of ghosting or drop off?

Speaker 4:

We're seeing less ghosting because there's less opportunity for folks, less jobs that they can get access to, and it really does, though, depend on the vertical that you're looking at, whether it's hospitality versus energy, versus a white collar, blue collar role. It depends on the market and the location.

Speaker 1:

All right, so wait, you bring in location to this conversation. Are there different pockets of the country right now where it's super hard to recruit in? I mean because talent's still mobile, right, Like it's still going hybrid or are we just all in on the RTO train? What's going on with that RTO train? I got that on the bingo card.

Speaker 4:

No, there's definitely parts of the country where it's easier to hire talent versus others, especially certain types of talent. Unfortunately, I don't have my hands recruiting these days, so I don't have the details on where specifically.

Speaker 2:

But I can speak to that.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, jeanette, probably could.

Speaker 1:

And the handoff to Jeanette, and she's going to run the ball down the field.

Speaker 2:

Here we go, so here we go so much harder rural versus cities, like we're definitely seeing that, especially when it comes to the frontline workers right Like there's that labor shortage there, they can hop around. So that's definitely what we're seeing in the market right now. It is that.

Speaker 3:

But I heard statistics yesterday. There are 9 million jobs open, only 4 and 1 half million people looking for them, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics said by 2030, there's going to be 11 more jobs stacked on top of that. So I got to believe that there are jobs to be had, especially in the remote aspect of what a lot of folks are doing. 40% of all the jobs right now are remote. According to what those people upstairs.

Speaker 4:

It's insane. I agree with everything you're saying. I've been struggling to understand where the Bureau of Labor Statistics is getting all the data Amen, I think they're using chat GPT.

Speaker 3:

Full circle.

Speaker 1:

All right, Bingo. We have a bingo. We have a bingo courtesy of Jonathan, All right. So, Jonathan, it's interesting that you bring that up is that we did have a labor report that talked about there being 335,000 new jobs that were created, 335,000 new jobs that were created in the month of September quote, unquote, the September surge but of those 335,000, only 21,000 of them are white collar jobs, right? So I think that speaks to this hallucination that is happening in the marketplace is that they're far more white collar individuals that are looking for roles and they're far an outpacing amount of front line in retail and in hospitality that are outpacing, that is, are you all seeing anything similar to the official? I put official in air quotes? I know this is an audio podcast so people can't see me making that years.

Speaker 3:

I'm going for blackout, by the way.

Speaker 2:

Blackout included. Blackout included Air quotes.

Speaker 1:

Air quotes. Are you guys seeing anything similar to that, or is everything all cylinders pumping at once? What's going on there with the labor markets?

Speaker 2:

I mean from that standpoint on that, that high volume hourly space, like there is a shortage right there still is. There is not enough candidates who are those jobs and it's a struggle and it's a flip side. We're starting I mean definitely makes sense in September and we probably all have friends who started to get jobs maybe if they were out of work, if they were professional knowledge workers, right, so that definitely makes sense. Just can that standpoint?

Speaker 1:

Do you hear people are clapping for you. They're giving to you. I'm pretty sure. I'm pretty sure, I'm pretty sure.

Speaker 2:

They agree with what I'm saying. So that resonates for sure, and so you know. Hopefully that market will keep on going for the knowledge workers over the next few months and keep getting stronger.

Speaker 3:

But early indications, I don't know, I don't see that either, but there's still this shortage of these other types of roles. And so I live in Nashville, but I also Nash Vegas Lamping company in Smithville which is this little crazy world. So I get like both sides.

Speaker 1:

Wait, you do glamping Seriously.

Speaker 2:

I do, I guess. I just want to award, really it's fantastic.

Speaker 3:

Do you know there's a conference like this for glamping?

Speaker 1:

Okay so.

Speaker 3:

We should be doing a podcast next year at the American Glamping Association Conference.

Speaker 4:

What do they have?

Speaker 3:

there 140 different cool tents and stagecoach.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome. Oh my God, we got a go to that. Yes, that's amazing.

Speaker 1:

It's in Colorado every September, so my wife again bringing her up is that she's very concerned about me being doing a 29 or 29. And if you're in glamping, I think that you know what that is is that it is a race up and down a mountain 18 times to simulate the ascent of Mount Everest and you stay in a glamping environment for the duration of the trip. Sounds good.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's three days that sounds fun it's actually amazing, my moment. I don't know if I'm really ready to do 29 and 29.

Speaker 2:

You would have to seriously train for that.

Speaker 3:

I was going to say we'd have to start training there.

Speaker 1:

I think we have some training. I'm good with that, Matt. I am totally good with that. How many steps did you guys get in here today?

Speaker 3:

I mean 32,000 today. It's been a really large amount of travel day, so to speak.

Speaker 1:

Okay all right, everybody looked at their apple watches, for I know I'm not even at 9,000, which is sort of embarrassing.

Speaker 2:

That's not enough. I have to do some more walking.

Speaker 3:

There's 9,000 steps between your room and the conference center here at Mandalay Bay. I swear, and.

Speaker 2:

I'm saying at the Luxor. So that's like I know, west Tower, central East, the West Tower which is so far, yeah, west Tower in the house, people, people.

Speaker 1:

I know the only thing that's close to it is that Starbucks, and that line just wraps around.

Speaker 2:

Depends what time you get there, because I got there early. Yeah, I was late, so it was fine, there was no line.

Speaker 1:

Are you East Coast or West Coast guys? What are we West Coast? Yeah?

Speaker 4:

You're East.

Speaker 2:

Coast and Nashville All right.

Speaker 3:

So to go full circle to Nash Vegas, because we all got on this cool glamping Nash Vegas. In Nashville we've had 100 families a day moving there for the last like four years. It's insane.

Speaker 1:

God bless you.

Speaker 3:

Don't drive anywhere. It's impossible. They're opening like 30,000 hotel rooms over the next, like between a year ago and the two years ago.

Speaker 1:

It's the number one destination for Bachelorette parties.

Speaker 3:

Don't ask me how. I know that. My wife didn't tell me. It is insane, see, and yet there are help-wanted signs everywhere. Nobody can keep them. All of those people moving, a huge migration. And then you go out to Smithville, there are restaurants closed, saying we will open when we can find somebody to help serve you. And so across a state that is having a massive influx of people, whether it's rural or city, no matter what everyone's looking for, even that's very front line, very hourly, very hey, I play music during the day and then I want to be a bartender at night kind of an environment, and it's still impossible.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so let's go back to that. Is that you know there are a lot of economic things that are economic headwinds that are taking place. Student loan repayments resumed just the other day. Jeanette is looking at me and shaking her head and is like, oh darn it. So that is one economic headwind. The interest rate continues to go up. Inflation is the child we're trying to tame. How does all this? How does all this?

Speaker 3:

Dog. We're trying to train Dog, we're trying to train. Yes, there we go. Child we're trying to tame. All right, all right, all right.

Speaker 1:

So I'm just really curious is that, what do you see as talent trends for recruiters in 2024, with all these economic headwinds that are coming down the pipe? Jonathan, you got anything. Matt, jeanette, jeanette is quiet. We have. We have silenced.

Speaker 2:

Jeanette, I know, I know I'm like I don't, I don't know, I know. I'm literally sitting here like I think let's back to what Jeanette said earlier.

Speaker 3:

It's all about skills. I have been in a light for a year and a half. I've already had six different jobs. Now, it wasn't because I was bad or good at any particular job, it's because they really really like you. I have the skills to solve problems. And I think, ultimately, if you have the skills to add value and solve problems, they will find places to have you solve problems. And to me that's if you're a recruiter, you're not trying to find somebody that had 25 years of this, you're trying to find people that have the skills to solve the problems and add value to the companies that you're recruiting for?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I would put $100 on skills as well.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so new bingo card. Are we going bingo? Or, since we're in Vegas, are we going roulette? I think we got to go roulette.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we got to go roulette Go big or go home, so let's do it. I think that's. I think I was about to say, I think that's the moniker for Texas, not Vegas.

Speaker 1:

Go bigger, go home in Vegas.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I like that All right.

Speaker 1:

So you know, here comes a cart with champagne, I think, or wine bottles.

Speaker 3:

Can we have them stop here? Can we bingo over?

Speaker 1:

podcast over. Hey everybody, you want to drop that one over here? No, okay. So look, this has been truly a great adventure. I'm glad that Olio could bring all of us together and have a great conversation today. Are there any final thoughts that you want to leave the audience with? Either maybe about 2024 or the bingo cards or generative AI Anything you want to add to the conversation that we didn't already talk about?

Speaker 3:

Leather jacket should become part of standard attire for corporate America.

Speaker 4:

That's the only thing.

Speaker 3:

That's the only thing I can think of.

Speaker 4:

I think blockchain makes a comeback in 25.

Speaker 1:

Oh, somebody's betting on the ledger. Okay, 2025,. I like that. I like that, Jeanette, what you got.

Speaker 2:

I? You know I can't follow that. I mean, that's it what JK said.

Speaker 3:

I'm going to add one more, jeanette forcing yourself onto this podcast by ripping people out of chairs the best thing that happened.

Speaker 1:

The best thing that can happen is podcast Excellent.

Speaker 2:

Diversity is key. It can't be four white men on a podcast at once.

Speaker 1:

We had two guys with beer versus non-beers I want to come back to that right Diversity, like we're making a light of it. But diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging when do we make belonging important to organizations? Because I hear DEI all the time? But like belonging, I think, is what keeps people engaged with the mission of the organization. 100%.

Speaker 2:

It has to be that.

Speaker 3:

Belonging and culture goes to.

Speaker 2:

That's what keeps people there. And you said when do we like that has to happen now if not yesterday? Correct, best time to plant a tree was yesterday. Got that.

Speaker 1:

All right. So I'm with Matt, I'm with Jeanette, I'm with JK JK, that's what you're being called now. Jk with Jonathan from AMS, from Matt, from Alight Jeanette, from AMS. It's been a pleasure. Thank you for joining us on Olio's Recruiting School I mean Sourcing School podcast. Bye, everybody, you'll have a great HR tech.

AI in Talent Acquisition Communication Skills
Employee Experience and Recruiter Communication
Diversity and Belonging in Organizations