Our guests, Joe Totten (VP of Sales) and Gregory Burlack (Enterprise Sales Leader) of Gem, talk to Shally Steckerl and Mike "Batman" Cohen about open mindedness, the value of CRMs, and the ambiguity of these tools.
A lot of people buy an ATS thinking it's gonna solve all their problems. However, people seem to be using these platforms as a crutch while failing to improve their fundamental recruiting abilities.
These de-facto databases only make up a few steps in the recruiting pipeline. It won't be the one stop shop answer to your recruiting problems any time soon. Innovation and understanding the recruiting workflow is a huge step towards building a platform that actually helps recruiters.
This HR Tech 2022 series is sponsored and made possible by our friends at Gem!
School is in session. This is RecruitingDaily Sourcing School podcast. We're recording from HR Tech in Vegas. Thanks to our friends and partners at Gem. Sharpen your pencils and get your sourcing pants on because we have the scoop on sourcing news, recruiting tech, and all the hot topics that you need to learn about. Here's your professor, Ryan Leary with special guests, Shally Steckerl and Mike "Batman" Cohen.
Ryan Leary (00:27):
Oh, yeah. Welcome back, everybody. We are here again with what could be our final episode of day one at HR Tech. We are presenting from the Gem Booth here and we thought it only appropriate to close out day one with Gem. It's myself and Shally Steckerl. Thanks for letting us use your booth, guys.
Shally Steckerl (00:48):
Hey, thanks for hanging out with us. This has been a great show so far. You guys have been a lot of fun.
Ryan Leary (00:52):
Sure have. It's going to continue. I've got with me, Joe and Greg. I'm going to let y'all introduce yourselves because you'll do a better job than I would.
Joe Totten (01:00):
Thanks, Mike. So I'm Joe. I lead sales here at Gem. I'm about a 10 year veteran of the talent acquisition, technology space. I was at a little company-
Ryan Leary (01:09):
Since you were 12? Oh, my gosh. Wee little baby.
Joe Totten (01:12):
I started Young. But I was at a little company called Connectifier. You might remember.
Ryan Leary (01:16):
Joe Totten (01:16):
I spent a lot time at LinkedIn. Spent some time in the referral space before I found Nick and Steve, the founders of Gem, and convinced them to take a shot on letting me help bring their product to market a couple years ago. Right next to me is my good friend, Greg Burlak.
Gregory Burlak (01:32):
Greg Burlak. So I am the enterprise sales leader here at Gem. Started about three months ago and prior to that, career at Robert Half, doing recruiting and sourcing. Hear it all the time. Five years stint at CareerBuilder up in the northeast running enterprise, and then Greenhouse Checker and now here at Gem.
Ryan Leary (01:53):
Heck. Yeah. That's awesome, man. Where are you two both faced physically? Geographically?
Gregory Burlak (01:58):
I'm in New Jersey.
Ryan Leary (01:59):
Where in New Jersey?
Gregory Burlak (02:00):
Ryan Leary (02:02):
Yeah, my sister's in Redbank.
Gregory Burlak (02:03):
Ryan Leary (02:05):
What? All right, we're going to have a long chat about this.
Gregory Burlak (02:07):
My son goes to school in Redbank.
Ryan Leary (02:08):
Shame on me for not doing this beforehand. Okay. Great. Go.
Joe Totten (02:11):
I'm in the Bay Area. I'm in a little place called Danville, California out in the East Bay.
Ryan Leary (02:16):
Oh, sorry. I mean, oh, that's so cool, Joe. So interesting story about how we came together on this.
Joe Totten (02:22):
So this is funny. We were talking about this yesterday. I don't know exactly how the contact got made. I think it might have been our friend Elliot Gairns.
Ryan Leary (02:30):
Joe Totten (02:30):
But in very early days of Gem, you and I got connected and I knew who you were and I had read some of your stuff. I think you were still a little bit up and coming a little bit at that time.
Ryan Leary (02:45):
Oh, way up and coming. Yeah. Yeah.
Joe Totten (02:47):
But I knew about you.
Shally Steckerl (02:48):
Wait, does that mean you already arrived?
Ryan Leary (02:51):
I like to think so sometimes, but no, no, just kidding. No, I didn't even really have a giant brand that people knew. I wasn't speaking. You caught me right at the beginning of my speaking career.
Joe Totten (03:01):
Ryan Leary (03:02):
No one knew really who I was.
Joe Totten (03:03):
We were chatting about that stuff. That was-
Ryan Leary (03:04):
Joe Totten (03:05):
... when you were just starting to do more of it.
Ryan Leary (03:06):
Yeah, that's right.
Joe Totten (03:07):
I was eager to get the product in your hands and I think a lot of folks are eager to get their products in your hands. But you were giving me, pretty quick out of the gate, very tactical feedback on the product. In retrospect, maybe you were testing me a little bit because it was like, "Okay, here's all the things that could be better. Here's all the things that are wrong." But I like to think that one of the things that differentiates Gem from other solutions in the market, not to go straight into advertising mode here, is that I think we're very keen to get that feedback from our users and it actually ends up in the product. It informs our product roadmap.
So it wasn't so much that I listened to your feedback and you wanted to give it to me. It was that I came back to you later. I was like, "Hey, what do you think now? We fixed some of these things."
Ryan Leary (03:47):
Yeah, that's right.
Joe Totten (03:48):
I think actually, you tell me, but I think the rubber met the road on that a little bit.
Ryan Leary (03:51):
It did. Yeah, it was cool. The gauges for me are, do you actually want feedback because I'm partnered up with a bunch of tech companies and I advise quite a few and some of them do want feedback. Everybody says they do. Then I give it, and I tell people in our first time, I'm like, "Hey, I'm brutal with feedback. I don't know another way to be." I'm like, "Hey, this sucks and this needs to be fixed." You were just like, "Yeah, okay."
Joe Totten (04:15):
I would characterize you as thorough. Honest.
Ryan Leary (04:19):
Joe Totten (04:21):
Frank and earnest.
Ryan Leary (04:23):
Yeah, yeah. So to tell everybody and catch everybody up who's listening, we started a conversation five minutes ago, talking about the history of the CRM and this idea of data and the purpose of a CRM versus an ATS. I made a challenging comment that I know people who own and run CRM companies go [nonsense 00:04:49] until the end and they're like, "Yeah, kind of." Right?
Joe Totten (04:52):
I would say that was about my reaction.
Ryan Leary (04:55):
It's great that you're open to chatting this way about this.
Joe Totten (04:58):
Ryan Leary (04:59):
So I don't feel like we have to make this a Gem talk. This is a-
Joe Totten (05:01):
No, not at all. This is-
Ryan Leary (05:01):
... Tech Talk.
Joe Totten (05:04):
We're all nerds for the space. I think this is one of the fun things about this community that have. There's no closed mindedness here. There's like, "What is the right thing? What way to think about this?" Then these concepts like CRM, I think honestly they evolve over time anyway.
Ryan Leary (05:20):
Yep. That's right. Some of us are nerds about lots of things, for what it's worth.
Joe Totten (05:24):
I am, too.
Ryan Leary (05:26):
So the comment and where we were coming from, we can just continue our convo normal. I'd made a comment that CRMs in theory shouldn't exist because they should be unnecessary and valueless. Because if the systems that we use, like ATS's for example, were built with the forethought in mind of things like email outreach and candidate data tracking over time and reporting were thought of when it was done and when they were built, and if recruiters were diligent about putting good information into a system, a CRM wouldn't have any value today. It would all be taken care of.
But the problem is they weren't. So many, many ATS's, you literally can't even email people out of that ATS. It's literally a database. You have inherently, I don't want to call lazy recruiters, but recruiters who are focused on making a hire, making a placement, which doesn't constitute taking the extra time to put the data in the system, so that two years from now that data is super actionable.
So you have bad data, garbage in/garbage out, and you have systems who aren't functional. So it's like, well, where does the CRM sit? Right? Joe, we had thoughts around a CRM and an ATS are just wildly different use cases. So I don't want to do all the talking. I actually want to hear from you because you work at a CRM company and we know CRMs are great for some people. They're not great brothers. You don't need them. Where do you see a divide in the CRM/ATS paradigm?
Joe Totten (07:03):
No, 100%. I have, and I'm sure Greg, you do, too, very specific thoughts here. The ATS is ... What is it? It's an environment and you had this label for it. I forget what it was. You had this very technical-
Ryan Leary (07:15):
Oh, a database with candidate workflow project management.
Joe Totten (07:19):
Yeah, there you go. Okay. So the way I articulate that is it's an environment where you put your active applicants as you move them through an evaluation process. At the end of that, you reject them or they reject you or you make an offer, you make a hire. That's just what it does. It is not an environment designed to handle this massive data set of all of the folks out there who you ever come into some contact with or identify as potential future talent. That's a much more massive and complex data set that requires a different type of management.
So to your point, I do think about this and we hear this from the market sometimes as folks who sell a CRM as a solution, is, "I thought my ATS was supposed to do this" or "I just bought an ATS that told me it was going to solve these problems for me." It's like, "Well, okay, there's a big question as to how that's going to happen" thing. Again, not to get into a Gem pitch, but I think a lot of how we think about that is, to your point, recruiters are busy. I agree. I don't characterize them as lazy. They're busy trying to hit the targets, get to the outcomes that the business needs to get them to.
I think the way we think about CRM is you have to capture the person record, you have to capture the activity data as a byproduct of a recruiter doing the job that they need to do, going to the outcomes that they need to. Don't put a form in front of them to fill out. Don't ask them to take extra manual steps. Don't give them another tab to click into, another system to log into. Make them better at the job that they're doing. Make them faster at the job that they're doing. As a byproduct of that, capture the data and the insights that you need. Long-winded response, I suppose.
Ryan Leary (08:54):
Yeah, no, no, no. I think it's good. That's what we were discussing. I see it as a very clear cutoff. People who know me know I have very strong opinions about a lot of things. One of-
Joe Totten (09:04):
Ryan Leary (09:05):
I know. What? You just seem so quiet, humble, and reserved. I think when I think of sourcing vs recruiting, for example, yeah. I am a firm believer that sourcers should not be doing any phone screens-
Joe Totten (09:18):
Ryan Leary (09:19):
... because you're then starting to build a relationship with a candidate and then handing it off. It's going on a first date with somebody and getting to know them and then be like, "Hey, we should go on a second date, but you should go with my best friend. Don't worry. I've told him all about you." It's like-
Joe Totten (09:30):
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ryan Leary (09:31):
Joe Totten (09:32):
Nothing weird about that.
Ryan Leary (09:33):
I think it's similar with a CRM and an ATS. So you use the phrase applicants. I would add to that and say applicants. Yes. Any candidate who is getting into any interview process with your company, whether they applied or you found them or whatever. That, for me, is where ATS data comes in. Because this sounds crazy, but ready? It would almost sound like you wanted a system that could track applicants. If I were thinking about that-
Joe Totten (10:05):
Wait, wait. Is this a new concept?
Ryan Leary (10:06):
Yeah. I'm going to call-
Shally Steckerl (10:07):
It's a very new concept because a lot of the ETS's that are out there are not applicant tracking systems. They're requisition tracking systems as they follow the life cycle of a rec. Open rec, closed rec, right? Not open candidate, closed candidate.
Ryan Leary (10:20):
Joe Totten (10:21):
It's that data model that the environment's built on. This is one of the things as a CRM-
Shally Steckerl (10:26):
Which is a risk model.
Joe Totten (10:26):
... that's challenging, is we have to integrate with every ATS. ATS's are at that fundamental foundational level, is it a rec-based object or is it a candidate-based object?
Shally Steckerl (10:36):
It's always a rec-based and it's always about risk.
Ryan Leary (10:39):
Yeah. I think what we were talking about, and Greg, I want to come to you on this also, thinking through the ATS model and the CRM, I found on the agency side, we had way less use case for a CRM because we had to have our ATS candidate-centric because we couldn't have it rec-centric because we had recs coming from different clients all the time.
Joe Totten (11:03):
Right, right, right.
Ryan Leary (11:03):
So while I was thinking through it, I was like, "We actually were really good about that, but we didn't have a choice because otherwise, what role did we send them to? When was it? Who was that?"
Joe Totten (11:12):
Well, this is just another layer of where ... The terminology in what we do is so interesting. On the agency side, sometimes CRM, I'll come with a CRM and they're like, "A CRM to manage my clients? What?" We get this ambiguation across all these terms and whether it's in a corporate setting or staffing setting, right?
Ryan Leary (11:31):
Joe Totten (11:32):
Then in staffing, maybe it's a database, rather than a CRM.
Ryan Leary (11:34):
That's right. That's right. Yeah. Greg, I haven't heard from you. Talk to me. Tell me all the things.
Gregory Burlak (11:40):
So I have different viewpoints.
Ryan Leary (11:41):
Gregory Burlak (11:43):
I have different viewpoints. They essentially stem from, I was on the user side in staffing and in corporate for a little while.
Ryan Leary (11:50):
Gregory Burlak (11:51):
Then moved over into the technology side, where I sold Greenhouse and ATS and CRM and everything around that. So I think of it from the user side, recruiting in itself. It was always very challenging to get outside of what I was told or my day to day routine, which is I live here, I live here, I live here and I'm told I have to use this system. I agree with you, we didn't do a whole lot of proactive, "Let me go find that person because I know that this client's going to need this kind of rec maybe in five months." It was always, "I have a requisition, it opened. Now I'm just try to go find somebody. Are they in our system? Are they not?"
Then from the side of the actual applicant tracking systems, it was more hyper-focused on how do you manage candidates that are in the interview process through that process efficiently and make sure we're hiring the right person. Where there was big misses that customers kept saying was 74-75% of our hires come from non-applicants. Whether they're being referrals, whether they're being hard sourcing, I need to go find these six people and these are the six people my hiring manager needs.
So all of a sudden, it became a big gap. When I looked at myself in sourcing and when I looked at myself in staffing, everything was reactive. Everything was what rec is open? Now let me go try to find somebody. Do they exist and so forth? So there's a big gap and there's a big miss, I think, generally in the industry sometimes. A lot of it I think stems from, we're so used to the ATS just being a database, an administrative database where we run some stuff. Everything before that gets overlooked. That's where all the magic happened. That's where all the identification happened.
Ryan Leary (13:48):
FYI, Actual Static just gave a talk on this not too long ago. MIT Sloan School of Business did a study in 2020. 79% of employees were not actively looking for a job when they got hired, which means that they didn't apply to your job. So if that's what you're waiting for, good luck. To your point also, Greg, is I have found, and this is just me, and maybe I was the outlier at the companies I was at, but I found that ATS's in general were really difficult to search through, like Greenhouse. There are great ATS. So please hear me.
There are great ATS for the customers whose use cases line up, but without a particular add-ons on top of that ATS, which I think you're shaking your head yes, it's very difficult to search an action through versus if you're pulling all of their data from an anonymous social platform, and she'll go unnamed. All of a sudden data is now not just searchable by tag, project, title, company, but now by all of the data represented from that person socially as well as every interaction that you've had. So I think that that definitely adds.
Joe Totten (15:03):
It's a searchability and to your point, the actioning on. So okay, yeah, you can get the right results in a search maybe if you know what you're doing in that environment.
Ryan Leary (15:11):
If you know what you're doing. That's the presclusive, which most of the time people don't.
Joe Totten (15:17):
Best case, you can in that very small set. But even when you can, it's so then what do you do with it? What is the next action that you take? I think that's where we get the CRM situation happening of well, we can actually engage.
Ryan Leary (15:31):
Right? What are we doing?
Joe Totten (15:33):
I don't know. We found them. What are we going to do next?
Ryan Leary (15:36):
I don't know what to do with my hands, guys. So interesting. There's two things that I hear all the time that are like, "Oh, this is going to be dead." I don't know where I stand on one of them. I definitely feel like that's true. I hear all the time, "Oh, resumes are going to be dead." I don't know about the validity, but I certainly hope that that's true.
Joe Totten (15:58):
Wouldn't that be nice?
Ryan Leary (15:59):
Because I think they're a colossal waste of trees and data space. But I also hear the ATS is going to be dead because if you have-
Shally Steckerl (16:11):
Oh? Where'd you hear that?
Ryan Leary (16:13):
I hear that an ATS could be replaced by a CRM that can integrate, sit on top of and/or incorporate a project management tool. I think of a click up or an Asana or a really advanced Trello built into it. So you're actually tracking them going through the process still, but not necessarily needing two separate voices or places of truth.
Shally Steckerl (16:36):
Where's the applicant flow log?
Ryan Leary (16:38):
It would be in the project management tool as they're working through the process. So instead of going from thought, brainstorming, blah blah, blah, you're just going apply to blah blah and just drag and drop through the system.
Joe Totten (16:49):
I have a thought on that.
Shally Steckerl (16:53):
A project management tool that has applicant flow log sounds like an ATS.
Ryan Leary (17:00):
But without the database attached because that way-
Shally Steckerl (17:02):
Oh, I see what you're saying.
Ryan Leary (17:02):
... the data's only stored in one place versus having-
Shally Steckerl (17:07):
You shouldn't be storing data anyway. That's your first problem right there. So I see what you're saying. So what you're basically saying is whatever you call it, ATS or CRM, make it about the relationship, make it about the activity, but now make it about the data which is obsolete the moment the data comes in. Think about that. Whatever tool is out there, not naming any names here either, but whatever tool is out there, you search in that tool and you find somebody and you go look for that person's current profile, it's almost always different than the one that you found in the database. It's updated. Everybody updates their stuff nowadays.
Ryan Leary (17:45):
Shally Steckerl (17:45):
So I get what you're saying, but I don't know if that's a replacement of the ATS necessarily or just a rebranding. The point is that the ATS does have a very valid use that is required, and that is risk mitigation, which is really all that it's there for.
Ryan Leary (17:59):
Shally Steckerl (18:00):
Then companies try to get more out of it or because you have to have it, you might as well. So that's where you end up with ATS's that have CRMs as an afterthought. Well, we already have the ATS. It would be nice if they had a CRM so we wouldn't have to go buy another software. So then that company creates a CRM in the ATS that basically is useless.
Joe Totten (18:26):
Glorified Excel sheet that looks a little bit prettier.
Shally Steckerl (18:29):
That's what happens.
Joe Totten (18:31):
Shally Steckerl (18:32):
So it's the case for the standalone technology that's best in class. So buy the ATS that best suits you, buy the CRM the best suits you, and then hopefully get them to work together. But then the question becomes, "Isn't LinkedIn a CRM?"
Joe Totten (18:49):
Interesting. So okay, I'm not-
Ryan Leary (18:51):
LinkedIn's a database with permissions and provisioning. That's all it is.
Shally Steckerl (18:53):
And a CRM.
Ryan Leary (18:53):
A would-be CRM.
Shally Steckerl (18:59):
Yeah. I'm not saying I like it, but it's got who you contacted and what they said and how many messages and even tracks and tells you all this information about how many messages. It is like a pseudo CRM, right?
Joe Totten (19:13):
It puts limits on how much you can actually interact.
Shally Steckerl (19:15):
Joe Totten (19:17):
Yeah, so it becomes limiting.
Ryan Leary (19:19):
It's not a social media platform.
Shally Steckerl (19:21):
ATS's are limited, too, because-
Joe Totten (19:22):
It's not just Facebook for work? Am I thinking about it the wrong way?
Ryan Leary (19:26):
Shally Steckerl (19:27):
No, I think Facebook for work is Facebook for work.
Joe Totten (19:30):
That's a thing. That's an actual thing.
Shally Steckerl (19:32):
Yeah, it is.
Joe Totten (19:33):
Yeah. Anybody listening to this-
Shally Steckerl (19:35):
Trying to throw a monkey wrench in here. I'm just saying that the ATS is not necessarily the culprit as much as all the regulations that we have. There at least that I can think of, there are seven laws that impact recruiting, seven different laws. We have organizations that have oversight over recruiting that most people don't even understand, don't have any idea.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, FCRA, the ARA, Sarbanes Oxley, these are all entities that have oversight into recruiting. The ATS is what protects us from them. If we didn't have that, we would have to do a lot more manual tracking than we do now. We do a lot now anyway. Right? So the CRM is really not bound or encumbered with those things.
Joe Totten (20:21):
Right. So this all stemmed from the is the ATS going to die? That was quite the opener. We got into some-
Shally Steckerl (20:29):
Boom. I don't have a sound technician.
Ryan Leary (20:30):
Yeah. It's like [inaudible 00:20:36]. I personally believe the days of an ATS are going to be severely limited and-
Shally Steckerl (20:41):
I hope so. But-
Ryan Leary (20:41):
... replaced with ... because the bottom line, and we've been talking about this is the idea of the Lord of the Rings approach to technology, like one ring to rule them all. Yeah, companies who do that tend to do it. You can do everything with one tool at a solid B minus. There's like an-
Shally Steckerl (21:00):
Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.
Ryan Leary (21:03):
Yeah. Right? Yeah.
Shally Steckerl (21:04):
One LinkedIn to rule them all. Sorry, was that-
Ryan Leary (21:06):
That's right. The blue dev. So I think now that we're moving towards a disparate system where you're getting best in class and then syncing them together, in ATS because it's serving purposes, to Shally's point, as a database for risk mitigation to prove and validate that we're being compliant. But also, more or less a project tracking project management tool as he-
Shally Steckerl (21:28):
Yeah, that's exactly right.
Ryan Leary (21:30):
There would be, I believe if I'm understanding then, two separate platforms that could accomplish the same thing and enable you to not have to, as our favorite Ghostbuster said, "Cross streams can be dangerous." Greg, you actually had something you were going to share, and I want to hear what it is.
Gregory Burlak (21:47):
So when you said the ATS is dead or could be, I think the ATS's will be forced to be different and think differently or they will slowly but surely become a little less prominent. I mean that not in the sense they're going to go away, as we just mentioned and talked about.
Ryan Leary (22:05):
Gregory Burlak (22:08):
The recruiting world, I'll say, in town acquisition and so forth, uses it as a crutch. Then I think you might have mentioned. They say, "Oh, we have this, but we're going to move into maybe the ..." Okay, they have a CRM and glorified Excel sheet. I was there for the creation of many of these. Glorified Excel sheet doesn't do anything else. It's called a CRM. Sure, that's great. It's not what it is.
Ryan Leary (22:29):
Gregory Burlak (22:31):
So they need to think differently, more innovative. If they want to be part of that, then they have to. But I have a feeling that that's not going to be the case. We talked about it. It's compliance tool, it's for audit purposes, it's a database to make sure that we're at mitigating risk. I think it's going to have to be different or there's going to be this expansion of a lot of what we use, such as CRM and so forth into some overlap and making it better on that side. So that's my thought process.
Ryan Leary (23:01):
So I have a question about that then.
Gregory Burlak (23:02):
Ryan Leary (23:03):
So what I'm hearing is particularly for some of the bigger players in the space, and I won't call them out, but that as an ATS, they're going to have to start shifting the way that they operate and approach the market, right?
Gregory Burlak (23:15):
Ryan Leary (23:16):
So when do you think ATS's are going to die?
Shally Steckerl (23:19):
When they become dashboards.
Gregory Burlak (23:21):
Ryan Leary (23:22):
Shally Steckerl (23:23):
When the dashboard replaces the ATS, the dashboard, that is what you were talking about, the Asana or whatever project management. Because really what you're doing is you're tracking a timeline, which is the pure definition of project management. The project is to hire someone for this job.
Ryan Leary (23:41):
Shally Steckerl (23:41):
The project begins when we identify what we want to hire for. Then we have these steps like open rec, post rec, un post rec, right? Interview applicants. Fast forward to make offer and onboarding. These are all project management steps. So that's really all you need. Then you have that other layer that is the compliance layer. But if that's built in, you don't have to worry about it. It's automatic. Then really all you need to see is that workflow. So that dashboard.
Then things that plug into that dashboard include LinkedIn or a CRM or whatever. You might have other things, too, right? There's a scheduling like calendaring stuff to book interviews and things like that, that are always plugins. ATS's don't have built in calendar management, do they? At least none that I've seen. They always connect to Google or Microsoft or something to do that.
So it's a centralized dashboard that connects to all these different applications that are business applications that you already need, including maybe a drive to put the resumes in.
Joe Totten (24:48):
So I have maybe a minority opinion here. I love ATS. I just think it's been misapplied, back to maybe how you opened us up here. It's been like this. Everybody wants to do all the things.
Ryan Leary (24:59):
Joe Totten (25:00):
It's not just to move your applicants through the process and make offers and reject candidates. It's also, I want you to store all my passive contacts that I make-
Shally Steckerl (25:06):
And also make appointments for me.
Joe Totten (25:08):
And do all the things. It's not that. It's not that.
Shally Steckerl (25:10):
And post jobs.
Joe Totten (25:11):
There's this middle part of the landscape. On one end, you've got LinkedIn, Indeed, all the sources of talent, human predictions, there's all the places you can go find folks on the other end. You've got HRS, you've got Workday, you've got ADP, you've got all the other folks. In the middle, what is there? Historically, there's ATS and it's just this broad middle thing.
I think the first iterations of CRM were actually, Sally, closer to what you were talking about around ATS. They were like, "Oh, okay, there's all these laws in place around how do we evaluate folks who apply for a role? We need to be able to report on that. We need to be stand up to an audit and show that we treated everybody fairly and ethically and we're in compliance."
Then the first iteration of CRM, and you guys tell me if I'm wrong, but I saw that as it was just strictly a compliance tool. It was like, we can't put the folks who didn't apply in the same bucket that we put-
Shally Steckerl (25:58):
Joe Totten (25:59):
... folks who apply.
Shally Steckerl (26:00):
We can't because they didn't apply. They're prospects.
Joe Totten (26:01):
We just need another bucket. The first CRMs, and I won't name any names, Avature or whatever because I'm a classy guy, but it was just another bucket. That's literally all it was. Then we saw, I remember I got into this game like Connectifier. It was 2012. Everyone's like, "Oh, you got to have a CRM." It's like, "Okay, cool. Tell me more about that." Yeah, it's like another bucket. What do you do with it?
Then there was this other wave, maybe 2016, 2017, it was like the next gen disruptors. Now I'm really not going to say any names of the ones coming out of the gate right around that time. But people know who I'm talking about. It was like, well, you can do a little more with that bucket. You could maybe have some talent pipelines and talent pooling and get some analytics and actually take some action. But then none of those solutions actually worked. You couldn't actually launch or implement any of them.
Then CRM faded into the background. Actually, the way I think about CRM today is what if you can actually do real talent pooling? What if you can actually have this concept of on demand talent pipelines? What if you have real analytics that touches every part of the ... pulled in from the ATS and the CRM stitched together and you can actually query your entire talent funnel for any insight that a talent leader would want to know?
So I think this hasn't changed in my four and a half years at Gem. On day one at Gem, I told Steve and Nick, our founders, "If you go ask 10 different talent leaders, what is a CRM? You're going to get 10 different answers." That is not different today, four and a half years later.
Ryan Leary (27:32):
It's just what the answers are.
Joe Totten (27:33):
The answers themselves have changed. But the fact that you get the 10 different ones, that hasn't changed.
Ryan Leary (27:38):
Shally Steckerl (27:38):
Oops, I missed something. What is a CRM?
Ryan Leary (27:41):
I think it's a client response management tool.
Shally Steckerl (27:46):
Candidate relationship management.
Ryan Leary (27:48):
Shally Steckerl (27:48):
Candidate relationship manager? Isn't that called a recruiter?
Joe Totten (27:51):
Customer resource management?
Shally Steckerl (27:51):
Ooh, there it is.
Ryan Leary (27:53):
I don't remember. It's something with-
Joe Totten (27:54):
Customer resource management.
Ryan Leary (27:54):
It's something with a K. So I want to ask one question to everybody to close this out. I want to start with Greg on this one. So my question, and this is going to be really interesting to see, because I think we're all going to have really cool answers. You can create one piece of technology for the recruitment industry. It can't violate any laws, but technically there are no necessary restrictions.
Joe Totten (28:24):
The laws of the universe or the laws of man?
Ryan Leary (28:25):
The laws of the universe still matter. The laws within the country that we reside and build stuff in matters, and the laws of what is technically capable right now. You can't have an AI that does recruitment. Sorry. What would that piece of technology be? What would its function be? What would it look like?
Gregory Burlak (28:41):
Oh, my goodness.
Ryan Leary (28:43):
I know. It's only because I already have my answer to it that I was like-
Gregory Burlak (28:45):
This is going to be so unfair.
Shally Steckerl (28:46):
Gregory Burlak (28:49):
Why don't you guys go first?
Joe Totten (28:49):
Gregory Burlak (28:50):
No, this is so unfair.
Joe Totten (28:51):
All right. I'm going to give Greg a minute to think, if that's okay.
Ryan Leary (28:54):
Yeah, do it.
Joe Totten (28:54):
Can I throw a question at you guys?
Ryan Leary (28:55):
Joe Totten (28:56):
I want a little insider dirt. I'm just buying him a second.
Ryan Leary (28:58):
Yeah, no, I like that.
Gregory Burlak (28:59):
Nice guy, because I got to drink my margarita.
Joe Totten (29:00):
So I want the dirt on the recruiting podcast, just scene. Do you guys have podcasts that you're friends with? Do you have rival podcasts? I know some of these guys and I just want to know, is it competitive? Is it collaborative? What's the dynamic in this world?
Shally Steckerl (29:19):
I don't think there is one.
Ryan Leary (29:20):
I don't. Yeah, I've been on a bunch of other Chat and Cheese podcasts and we promote each other's podcast.
Joe Totten (29:27):
So it's friendly?
Shally Steckerl (29:28):
Pretty much. I even invited this guy to my podcast.
Ryan Leary (29:31):
Shally Steckerl (29:31):
Can you believe that?
Ryan Leary (29:32):
Dude, we had-
Shally Steckerl (29:33):
That was just so weird.
Ryan Leary (29:35):
That was a really, really good one.
Joe Totten (29:38):
Okay, so there's no sharp elbows?
Ryan Leary (29:40):
So here's an interesting-
Shally Steckerl (29:41):
Nobody pays for my podcast.
Ryan Leary (29:42):
I have strong opinions on this, not even just podcasts, which is I find that, and I partner with a bunch of tools. I partner with companies who CRM work. I partner with multiple sourcing platforms. I find that it turns out that they're feeling super combative about like, "Oh, well, we got to beat them or we got to beat." I'm like, "If you're living in a scarcity mindset or you're really believing you're going to get 100% of the market, that logic makes sense to me. But if you're not, who cares"
There's one person in the world whose company offers a competing process to what we offer as a company. It's Jared Langhans at Parrot Sourcing. I send clients to him when we are too overwhelmed and we can't do stuff. He literally promotes my company on his Twitter account and Facebook account. It's like, why? Because there's more than enough for everybody. Each use case, for each tool and integration and even just down to the UI or the salesperson you spoke to, may impact you from going from one to the other. It's very rare that a piece of technology exists that is so holy crap, there's never been, never will be in the face of the earth. Another tool remotely like this. There's 80-90% crossover.
So I am a firm believer that even if you are in a competing space, there's so much business. If everybody played nicer with one another and that's in any space within the HR tech or content world, I think we'd all be wealthier because of the sharing in the community.
Joe Totten (31:21):
Shally Steckerl (31:21):
I started sourcing 25 years ago and pretty much created the discipline way back then. I was one of the first ones to actually start sharing. I had a newsletter. It was a free newsletter you could subscribe to, and it had all the tips and things that I did. These are the things that I was doing to fill jobs. I was the number one recruiter in the company, and I took the branch from 32nd to first in the nation with these techniques and I was giving it away. So I never charged for that newsletter.
Then later on, I became the very first blogger in the industry with ERE. Steve Levy and I and one other person. The three of us were the first bloggers, and I was the first one that did sourcing. The other one did recruiting marketing, and the other one did just recruiting. At first, I was worried about people stealing my ideas and it bothered me when people copied my stuff. But I stopped caring after a while because the problem was that they were copying my stuff and not giving credit.
Joe Totten (32:18):
Shally Steckerl (32:18):
It was just about the hat tip. Just like, "Hey, I learned this from Shally." That's all I wanted. But even that, I stopped worrying about it. I've created the market for you guys for sourcing.
Joe Totten (32:31):
So I know that, and I've seen that. I've only been involved in that. I think of it as the source con crew a little bit.
Shally Steckerl (32:37):
But what I'm saying is I'm not worried about Gem taking any business away from me or-
Joe Totten (32:40):
Oh, no, no, I don't-
Shally Steckerl (32:41):
You know what I'm saying?
Joe Totten (32:41):
No, I don't think about that at all. But the thing I've noticed with that group and that you're a very core part of, and Steve and other guys, is yes, you all created that, but it doesn't belong to you. It belongs to the universe and you've like opensourced it because it's just the right thing to do.
Shally Steckerl (32:59):
I never asked to own any of it. I started sharing that 25 years ago because I wanted to. Created the first cheat sheet-
Joe Totten (33:05):
Even people like Jerry-
Shally Steckerl (33:06):
... in 1999.
Joe Totten (33:06):
I remember when Jerry bought hr.com or something and he gave it away, a two letter domain. This is just the spirit of this group that I've gotten to know over the last 10 years. It's a very generous group. They share best practices. They want to help each other be better.
Shally Steckerl (33:20):
I learned one thing. Any time somebody identifies themselves as an enemy or a competitor, all I have to do is wait long enough and their dead body will float past me.
Joe Totten (33:28):
Yeah. There you go.
Shally Steckerl (33:29):
I've been doing this for 25 years. Seen a lot of dead bodies. I have a lot of t-shirts and a lot of giveaways from companies that existed for two or three years. Flash in the pan. Long gone.
Ryan Leary (33:41):
It's so interesting to throw out that giving away for free thing. I live by that, right? You know this. If I do it, I will show you how I do it. I'll make a video of it and you can do it, similar to Shally. I think this comes from form myself, and I'm not going to speak for Shally, but I assume we have a lot of similarities, a little bit of ego and a little bit of substantiated competence, which is to say, if I show you how I do something and that enables you to be better than me at that thing, then I wasn't really great at that thing to begin with, in which case, have at it.
That struck me when I started really going out and doing what I'm doing now, the sourcing on demand. I pinged Shally and was like, "Hey, man, I'm having a hard time with these dashboards." I wasn't as strong in Google Sheets as I am now. I'm like, "Hey, man, any thoughts or suggestions as to how to go about this?"
Shally Steckerl (34:34):
Yeah, here you go. Use mine.
Ryan Leary (34:35):
He literally wrote back three words to this. I'm reading the preview of it was like, "WTF, Shally?" He goes, "Here you go." It's a Google Docs link. I opened it up and it was literally just an editable template.
Shally Steckerl (34:49):
Everything you needed.
Ryan Leary (34:50):
His exact thing that he currently used with his clients. That for me-
Joe Totten (34:55):
His incredibly valuable personal IP.
Ryan Leary (34:57):
Right? Right? And realizing that the Shally-mindedness and what I've now adopted is my mindedness of the IP is really just standing on the shoulders of giants and realizing somebody paid it forward to you at some point. That first person to give you a job, first person to let you speak, first person who shared something when you didn't know what to to. We're all just standing on the shoulders of giants who've come before us in some variations. So that was a long winded answer to your question.
Joe Totten (35:28):
Hey, I love it. You went straight to the subtext of my question.
Ryan Leary (35:31):
Yeah, I got that.
Joe Totten (35:31):
I love that. There's no beef.
Shally Steckerl (35:33):
We figured it out.
Joe Totten (35:34):
Here's a quick pitch. Let's consider just a staged beef with Chad and Cheese over six months or something.
Ryan Leary (35:40):
Oh, my God.
Joe Totten (35:41):
It might be fun.
Ryan Leary (35:42):
He would know that I was totally full of shit. I literally sat next to him at dinner last night for hiring. Cheese and I were like, "Dude, if we ever sell one of our companies, we're going to Scotland together on a tour." So they would know. The rest of the industry may or may not, but he would call me and be like, "Why are we doing this?" We have to.
Joe Totten (36:01):
I think you got to get-
Shally Steckerl (36:03):
Brian thinking I had pulled the fast one on Ryan. We made an announcement on April Fool's Day that Brian had resigned RecruitingDaily and became the editor of Source Con.
Joe Totten (36:16):
This is what I'm talking about, guys. This is the sense-
Shally Steckerl (36:18):
We need to stir the pot. We need stir the pot.
Joe Totten (36:20):
This is what the people want.
Shally Steckerl (36:22):
Have you had enough time to think about the answer yet?
Gregory Burlak (36:23):
Ryan Leary (36:24):
Oh good. Okay, great.
Gregory Burlak (36:25):
I was done like 10 minutes ago.
Ryan Leary (36:28):
Shally Steckerl (36:29):
Well, then in that case, I do want to say that there is one very big difference between Batman and I, and that is that I am much better looking.
Ryan Leary (36:35):
Joe Totten (36:36):
We're sitting right across from him.
Shally Steckerl (36:36):
I have no ego whatsoever about it.
Joe Totten (36:39):
This is just an objective-
Ryan Leary (36:39):
Yeah, it's an objective fact. Yeah. My hand is literally on his leg right now.
Joe Totten (36:43):
I see that. It's getting a little warm in here, fellows.
Ryan Leary (36:46):
Too much tequila.
Shally Steckerl (36:50):
Gregory Burlak (36:51):
I'm going to hit you. I'm going to hit quick and hard.
Shally Steckerl (36:52):
Give us a hit.
Gregory Burlak (36:52):
I want merit-based, peer review, company review platform that allows me to be able to hire people.
Shally Steckerl (37:01):
Glassdoor. What do you mean?
Gregory Burlak (37:03):
Shally Steckerl (37:03):
Totally merit-based and fair.
Gregory Burlak (37:04):
Correct. Love Glassdoor.
Ryan Leary (37:07):
Love that. Cool. I like that. That's a good piece.
Shally Steckerl (37:10):
Is that a technology or is that just a change in human behavior?
Ryan Leary (37:13):
Shally Steckerl (37:15):
That's what I thought.
Ryan Leary (37:17):
Gregory Burlak (37:19):
Can we change humans?
Shally Steckerl (37:20):
Oh, yeah. We've been doing that for a while.
Ryan Leary (37:23):
Minus a few key characteristics that are unchangeable without a lobotomy.
Gregory Burlak (37:26):
I've recruited for 20. Not me, but I hear, "I've recruited for 25 years. I've always done it this way." Okay, great.
Shally Steckerl (37:34):
Has it been working for you? Well, not lately. Gee, I wonder why.
Ryan Leary (37:38):
I have such a terrible response to that. So for anybody listening, I apologize. There's going to be a swear word coming up here. So I apologize. There's no better way for me to do this.
Shally Steckerl (37:46):
Cover your ear is great.
Ryan Leary (37:46):
Which is to say, "Oh, you've been doing it that way for a long time. So to be fair, do you still shit in a bucket? Because we did that for hundreds of years. So if you don't, that's a weird reason to do a thing still."
Shally Steckerl (37:59):
I believe it should evolve at some point.
Ryan Leary (38:01):
That's right. That's right. That's right. Shally, do you want to go next?
Shally Steckerl (38:06):
With the question?
Ryan Leary (38:07):
With the question of the piece of tech. You could create anything.
Shally Steckerl (38:13):
Well, I would say that it would need to be a way, which I don't even ... You said there's no laws or limits or whatever. It would have to be a way to detect intent because for me, that's probably one of the biggest time wastes in so many ways. For example, my company can't hire people right now that are requiring a brand new visa sponsorship because we simply are not set up for that. We don't have it. There's only 60,000 visas and they've already been handed out. So we just can't, right?
So I ask candidates if they now or will ever require a visa, and they say no. Are they eligible to work for any employer in the United States? They say yes. Then I get on the phone with them, do the entire phone screen, and send them to the hiring manager. Then they tell the hiring manager that they need a visa. Not only did I just waste my time, but even worse, I waste the hiring manager's time. Of course, I waste the candidate's time. They're not going to go any further. So what's the point of them lying about that? They're clearly lying because they're saying that they don't need one. That's just one example.
Other examples are people who are looking for an offer just so they can go back to their boss and say, "Oh, na na na na. I look what I got." So there's so much misdirection in the industry that it creates waste for everybody. Everybody. It's partly the reason why we have an HR black hole. It's partly the reason why we have these compliance issues. It's partly the reason we have dispassionate hiring managers. It's partly the reason we have incompetent recruiters. All of these are created by this environment of essentially lies. So to me, it would be a fricking lie detector.
Gregory Burlak (40:01):
So what if we merged my thought and your thought?
Shally Steckerl (40:06):
I like that.
Ryan Leary (40:07):
A meritorious platform that also detects intent?
Gregory Burlak (40:10):
Well, or at least somehow, the intent and surfaces it. I'm thinking about the situation you just gave as an example. What if you were reviewed as an individual by a corporation, by a recruiter in a public forum about the interaction that was had? I'm just saying.
Shally Steckerl (40:30):
Ryan Leary (40:31):
I like it.
Shally Steckerl (40:32):
Yeah. Don't work with this candidate. They've bait and switched me three times already.
Gregory Burlak (40:37):
How about from a sales perspective, like a sales team working under Joe? What about from a "has gone job to job" every year. Every year. Every year. All of a sudden you see Alexis Ramp or Her Ramp doesn't show up. Six months later typically finds a new job, rather than the answer that you might get from the person, which may be staged somewhere. So how about-
Shally Steckerl (41:00):
Gets a job three weeks later, breaks a leg and files a complaint.
Gregory Burlak (41:04):
So it's not calling people out. Obviously, we need guardrails, but the idea was more let's think outside.
Shally Steckerl (41:10):
Yeah, I was totally thinking outside. I don't think it's, like I said, even possible.
Gregory Burlak (41:13):
It's more clarity, more transparency.
Shally Steckerl (41:15):
Yeah, more transparency. They're asking us to be transparent.
Gregory Burlak (41:18):
Shally Steckerl (41:18):
We have to disclose our salary bans. We can't ask them about theirs.
Gregory Burlak (41:21):
Shally Steckerl (41:22):
So we can't even have a negotiation about it. We literally have to just tell you what the salary is.
Gregory Burlak (41:27):
Ryan Leary (41:28):
To be fair, it was my boss who tripped me in the third week to break my leg. So I feel like it was justified.
Shally Steckerl (41:34):
But at every employer you've ever had?
Ryan Leary (41:36):
All but that one.
Shally Steckerl (41:37):
Ryan Leary (41:37):
Joe Totten (41:38):
Three times. You can't die four times.
Ryan Leary (41:42):
Well, not going there. We're not going there on a podcast. Okay, great. Joe?
Joe Totten (41:47):
All right. I think I got something good.
Gregory Burlak (41:50):
Ryan Leary (41:51):
I do as well. I'm intrigued, where we're going here.
Joe Totten (41:53):
So I don't know if it's an app or if it's a physical device, but it's called a bat phone.
Ryan Leary (41:58):
Joe Totten (41:59):
It's a direct line for any recruiter. It's my friend Mike over here. It's to shift the mindset in the direction of everything you and I have talked about over these last few years, this more openness.
Ryan Leary (42:13):
Oh, thank you.
Joe Totten (42:14):
This growth mindset, this openness to new solutions. This distaste for banging your head against the wall, doing the same thing, hoping it's going to work, hoping it's not a strategy.
Ryan Leary (42:24):
Joe Totten (42:25):
I don't know if that's a little too much for you, buddy, but I think there's an opportunity for us there, if you ever want to-
Shally Steckerl (42:29):
Before you do that, you have to invent a cloning machine.
Joe Totten (42:32):
Well, I was thinking it's going to require, and we can't violate the physical laws, but we're probably going to need a few more of you.
Ryan Leary (42:37):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Good. No one needs that. No, I really appreciate that. That's a unique call and you can certainly call it that and deal with all the C and D issues. So are you ready for this? If anybody's listening and wants to engage in this with me as a natural startup thing, totally cool. But I already have it named, so just know this is time and date stamp. So don't play games right now.
I would call it Unify UI. It would literally be a UI layer whose sole function is to provide searchability and a solitary UI for all of your HR tech components anywhere. So you're sourcing platforms, your CRM, you're messaging, your ATS, your HRIS, every single thing. The only thing it does is just sit on top of it as a UI. So that way anything you search can be searched through any of those platforms. Recruiters who need any level of data or reporting are only interacting with one system ever. It will plug in to everything. In this world that I'm living in, all of the platforms play super nice and are totally okay with one company having other guys.
Shally Steckerl (43:53):
And that's when it dies.
Joe Totten (43:53):
He's standing on his chair. His shirt's coming off.
Ryan Leary (43:54):
Shally Steckerl (43:55):
That's where it fails. That's where it goes.
Ryan Leary (43:57):
Yeah, exactly. But that's-
Shally Steckerl (43:58):
But then nobody is ever going to go into business with you for that.
Ryan Leary (44:00):
I know. I know. I'm working on a unifying sourcing platform first.
Shally Steckerl (44:04):
You can definitely do that. But then you've got LinkedIn saying, "Nah, you can't have our API." Then you got Workday saying, "Nah, you can't have our API."
Ryan Leary (44:09):
Shally Steckerl (44:10):
There you go.
Ryan Leary (44:11):
Joe Totten (44:12):
We asked some important questions. I think we got to some good answers.
Ryan Leary (44:16):
I think so, man. I think so, too. I shared this in the beginning. So for the two of you, and this doesn't have to be about data or CRMs or anything, if you could leave people with one sentiment or thought for them to go and hit them in the heart or the soul or the mind, what would that be?
Gregory Burlak (44:38):
You want me to go first? You're looking at me?
Ryan Leary (44:39):
Whomever. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. You're the most handsome. That's my eyes.
Gregory Burlak (44:43):
Ryan Leary (44:44):
Gregory Burlak (44:44):
My wife doesn't think that. That's okay.
Ryan Leary (44:46):
Gregory Burlak (44:47):
Step outside your comfort zone because true innovation, true success, true empathy and true building of the best companies in this world come from stepping outside the comfort zone and leaving the "I've always done it this way and it's always worked this way. I've always used the system."
Shally Steckerl (45:06):
Oh, dammit. That's a quote. No, I think it's Einstein. No paradigm can be solved from the perspective which created it.
Joe Totten (45:12):
Gregory Burlak (45:13):
So much elegant. I'm so much more elegant than that.
Shally Steckerl (45:16):
I think it was Einstein that said that. Yeah.
Gregory Burlak (45:17):
I've heard those comparisons.
Ryan Leary (45:19):
Gregory Burlak (45:20):
So it's just step outside that comfort zone.
Ryan Leary (45:22):
Comfort zone. Yep.
Joe Totten (45:27):
There's just a better way. Don't keep doing the same thing, hoping for better results. Just be open. Have a growth mindset. I think for what Greg and I do for a living, we have to be better every year than we were the year before. We have to be open to new ways of doing things or we get eclipsed. My hope is the folks listening here understand this is an evolving landscape and there's a lot of noise, but there's also some better ways.
Ryan Leary (45:58):
Awesome. Guys, thank you so much for joining us. This is a long one, but this was a cool conversation to have that was not as focused on a thing, but the thing. And thank you guys for letting us use your booth, where they're letting RecruitingDaily postop in the Gem booth here at HR Tech where space is not only valuable, it is very valuable.
Shally Steckerl (46:20):
Ryan Leary (46:21):
We have an entire booth here in the Gem space.
Joe Totten (46:24):
Right in the middle of everything. But you guys have been amazing. I think you've been a huge draw. Folks are coming through. They want to see you, they want to talk to you. So thank you for being here.
Shally Steckerl (46:32):
Next stop, we seek out being interviewed.
Joe Totten (46:33):
Ryan Leary (46:35):
Hey, we're spending some time with them.
Shally Steckerl (46:37):
He totally took that with ... He's like, "All right, I'll stop."
Joe Totten (46:40):
Well, no, I'm taking it like, "Hey, I don't care."
Ryan Leary (46:42):
It's all growth mindset, man. There's plenty.
Joe Totten (46:46):
There's lots of business to go around.
Ryan Leary (46:47):
That's right. Sharing is carrying. Thank you so much. Have a great night.
Joe Totten (46:51):
Ryan Leary (46:51):
We'll be back tomorrow with day two, Sourcing School at HR Tech.
Oh, man, that means it's over. You've listening to the Sourcing School Podcast, live at HR Tech in Vegas, sponsored by our friends at Gem. For all other HR, recruiting, and sourcing news, check out recruitingdaily.com.