Join us on the StaffingREEL Podcast to hear Adam Conrad sharing insights on recruiting, how to get the best from each recruiter, and defining the difference between your great recruiters and others.



00:00:00 – 00:05:00

Hey everybody in staffing world! Listen, it is two weeks till staffing world and we have a couple of weeks further until TechServe Alliance but I did want to take a moment to sit down with everyone and go through some things that have been really the key of conversation in talking with staffing firms about their recruiting endeavors, about their overall perception in the industry, and really trying to find that differentiation. So today we are joined by just a great guy, Adam Conrad. I hope all of you have met Adam but Great Recruiters, and if you haven’t had a chance to check out Great Recruiters, please do because I will tell you that when you’re trying to find that key messaging in differentiation nothing better than hearing it from your actual consultants, hearing it from your actual candidates. And hearing how great your team is doing. So the fact is, how do you use that to actually create more opportunities and create a better environment for all of your team as well as to create a truly great staffing firm. So with that Adam hey, how you doing bud. I’m doing well, thanks Larry appreciate you take some time to talk to me here. No Worries man, Listen I’m glad we could do this. You know everything going on in the world right now, all these different staffing firms with being virtual they don’t get to make a lot of the relationships that they’re used to doing and right now it’s a lot over email and phone and text, and it really is proving to be a little less personal. I’m just Kinda curious what caused you to start Great Recruiters? I’ve been in the industry for twenty years. You know I cut my teeth as a recruiter, had managed recruitment teams, was running operations for a mid size staffing firm, and you know I always thought we were ahead we’re innovative. We’re one of the first use engagement platforms, one of the first to really incorporate video into our onboarding acclimation process, and so I’ve always been focused on the experience that we can create as an organization and as recruiters and as sales people, and you know what bothered me the most and what drove me to do this is our industry has a horrible reputation and I always go back there. Right? Google recruiters are and it doesn’t say very nice things. My wife is a nurse. You Google nurses and in it says a lot of wonderful things. So you know for me part of the problem and I think it’s the elephant room that many staffing firms don’t wanna acknowledge is the reputation of our industry of not having very much transparency and what drove me to doing this is I knew there’s great recruiters out there, there’s great staffing firms, and I know there’s a whole bunch that unfortunately create a lot of negativity in our industry. I wanted a way for staffing firms to see if they’re part of the problem and to help get that feedback to help drive their brand in the marketplace. Well, it sounds like we can make this really easy podcast. I think what you just said was is they’d all recruiters should become nurses. No. I’m not necessarily. I think nurses need to have a little empathy and sometimes they see that lacking a little bit on the recruiting side. So just a little. I mean, it is funny when you think about this most people kind of think about it from their own recruiting perspective, which is that they are calling on a candidate two, three or four times a day they’re trying to get that person nailed down. But the reality is is there’s about fifty thousand to five hundred thousand other recruiters calling the same people so they forget that burn out factor that these candidates get. How you stand out really is important for everyone but it’s also the fact that knowing that you’re standing out right. So I mean with the tool and things like that I was just kind of curious. What are some of the challenges that firms are having differentiating themselves that you’ve seen? On my own personal experience I’ve been through multiple website refreshes in you know you just I mean, just read your website, go to your competitors website, Google another staffing firm in the same kind of industry, read their website. All says the same thing no one’s out there saying we want to create a poor experience, We’re GONNA GHOST YOU WE’RE NOT GONNA call you back. I mean let’s face it. Everyone’s GonNa say we have the best recruiters we have the best process. I’ve got a five step process. Maybe you have a seven step process. And everybody wants to talk about what they do and the reality is the proof is in the way you take action afterwards and so you know I, think the biggest differentiator is actually putting your actions where your words are and so when you’re a candidate, you’re bombarded by all these messages. Many of these messages are knee centric. What’s my agenda? I got to fill this job, I got to put a butt in this seat, got to get some middle and very little is it about the candidate and so I think the biggest differentiator that staffing firms have in the ones that are growing faster and are monitoring are the ones that realize their recruiters don’t belong in the basement they belong in the front of the brand. They’re talking to more people than anybody in your organization. They’re talking about your brand more often than anybody else in for me I’m going to make sure that that was being done in a way that aligns with our brand. And…

00:05:00 – 00:10:09

…so I think the biggest differentiator for staffing firms truly are their people, and once again I think a lot say that but would you do to actually prove it. And our customers use great recruiters to help ensure the quality of the services and make sure that what they say is actually happening and if it’s not they’re being able to get that instant feedback to make course corrections quickly. And I think that you know when you look at this, you nailed it when you’re saying the basement and front of brand I mean I can’t even think about how many staffing firms I’ve worked with at this point but when we get into differentiation, one of the things that happens is they start saying the same things you know we want a superior customer service for our clients and I have to remind them sometimes that it’s and candidates and consultants and staff and stakeholders even. But you know I think that people miss out on the part that what they get back from reviews and from testimonials and things like that give them a picture of what’s really happening and it gives them real tangible things to be able to stand out and say this isn’t from me. This is from testimonials or reviews that have come back. Do you see a difference between the concept of a testimony on the review? I think, well, let’s talk about what testimonials exists for many firms today on their website and Larry you can’t take offense this but. Don’t hit low. It’s a marketing content, very little testimonials that I see linked to origination I mean I can write anything I want and put somebody’s name. It’s like how do you validate that? So through Great Recruiters, we captured testimonials through the review process and we give you the ability to embed those testimonials into your website and link to a very public facing page that has all of your reviews you know. So I think part of that is validating it’s coming from a valuable third party source it’s not somebody in marketing that’s just writing things on the website. I think from that perspective that’s the difference that I see. It’s how you display those testimonials in the transparency that you create. If you’re not creating transparency it’s very difficult to create trust and I think that’s a great point because like on testimonials on our website and I didn’t take any offense believe it or not. I, actually say to my clients if you’re going to put an anonymous testimonial up, it won’t matter what it says. No one’s going to pay attention. If you try and do Mike L. at unknown company, it’s still that that may not be anonymous, but it’s pretty close to anonymous. So if you want a testimonial for me to be impactful, I Look at it, it’s got to have the full name, its got to have their title. It’s got to have what company Heck put down their email address but then people start worrying about the poaching side of things, etcetera. From my perspective, you know when I look at your tool and I got introduced to it about a year ago, and when I got introduced to it at first I had a little separation in my mind of where’s the value and I started talking to different clients about it and I saw some very forward thinking people that immediately saw that we can drive the quality and so on of our own staff by truly knowing this information. When I look at this why do you think people aren’t understanding what the value is? It’s a great question. I’M gonna push that back on you because you’re the one that’s talking to it. So I mean I ask you what’s different in your mind between those clients that say I get it I see the value and I know how many users strategically to help our firm grow and be successful, you know what’s different with those firms versus the ones that go I, I don’t see the value I. Don’t get it. We’ll this call the next candidate. So I’m interested from your perspective. What you see is different between those firms. Well and I think that what I see is it’s interesting because it’s the same thing with marketing campaigns or whether you’re using a chat Bot or whether you’re doing SEO work, whatever the case may be. It’s all about consistency and so from my perspective I, think a lot of people don’t see value because they don’t understand how to be consistent with it. Does that come across in your world much? Yeah I think that’s it. We tried it. We used to get feedback and I think if you’re using it as a gimmick, it’s never going to work. Agreed. You need to believe in why you’re doing it and I think our customers that love what were doing that see the value they’re not just getting external value they’re getting internal value they see increased engagement of the recruitment teams. They see better conversations and relationship between recruiting management and recruiters, they’re changing their culture around being a culture of transparency in celebration and wanted to take quick action. You’re never going to be perfect. We’re human to human business. You’re never going to be perfect. It’s what you do in those moments of imperfection that I think define you. And do you want to ignore it? Right? Or do you want to go ahead and pick up the phone and say I’m really sorry that you had that kind of experience. That’s not what we try to create and you try to resolve that. So I think myself whenever I’ve been faced with a situation where maybe service wasn’t great but somebody has intervened, interjected, listened to me, it made me feel better about the brand and let’s face it…

00:10:09 – 00:15:07

…We can’t, now staffing firm can promise to find somebody a job. Too often that’s the promise that’s given and that’s not the reality of it. You probably place only maybe five-ten percent of the people you actually engage with. What do with the other ninety, ninety-five percent? Do you cast them away and forget about them or do you create a relationship with those people because you know there’s long-term opportunities, they might gain more experience and want to come back to your brand. They may become a hiring manager and want to use your services. But if you treat them poorly, then they’re never going to come back. So for me, it’s all about the experience you create whether or not you have success today or in the future, you should still be driving a great experience for those individuals. Well and I also think people forget you know I brought up a minute ago whether it’s five hundred, five thousand, five hundred thousand recruiters are calling these folks and when we talk about that, the candidates have choices, it is not a marketplace where you’re the only person calling them and so I think people forget about the fact that understanding what that not like using your example of the five and ten percent that let’s say it’s ninety percent of the audience that they’re not actually working with will but all the staffing firms are trying to create relationship built recruiting, and so how do you have a relationship if there’s no conversation? Yeah I agree and you know as you mentioned, biggest issue is finding talent and it’s not think about how many millions upon millions of dollars are spent building databases talents out there they just don’t want to call you back right they either isn’t a reason to call you back. They don’t trust you enough. They don’t know who you are in. So you know through Great Recruiters, if you think about the way, we we buy goods and services from a consumer standpoint, we trust reviews. I’m looking at restaurants, I’m looking at Amazon. I’m looking all over I trust other people’s crowd source perspectives, and that’s really what we do for staffing firms is to get that voice in deliver it in a way that is recruiters. If I’m calling you Larry, I might say, Hey, look help other marketers like yourself I know we haven’t met each other but hey, take a look at what people think about working with me and I simply share my profile. We’re hearing from recruiters that are doing that the receive a twenty five percent callback rate. What impact is that going to have in your organization if you get twenty five percent more candidates to call you back, it means you have a bigger talent pool to choose from in your clients getting better access to a better pool of talent to make a decision. So for me, that’s a differentiation piece is you need a way to differentiate and I can tell you how great I am, but they’ve been hearing that for a long time when it’s somebody one of their peers saying this is somebody that can trust, it carries a lot of weight. And I think there’s a difference between what Great Recruiters does and like the Glassdoors’ of the world. Glassdoor is a place for people to complain for the most part and they’re probably not going to like this podcast. But the fact is, is that most of the staffing world spends time being defensive with Glassdoor and with what Great Recruiters offers is more of an offensive approach but the. The other thing I just want to throw out there is from a marketing perspective I feel like it’s a treasure trove of information because now I can say something and prove it because I can point right to Great Recruiters with it. When I say my recruiters are better than everybody else because they have four point eight on Great Recruiters here are all the comments that they’re candidates and consultant said about them. So I definitely believe that there’s greater transparency, but there’s also this ability I mean people forget you’re being researched every staffing firm that I talk with when we talk about the website, they’ll say the websites the first place that the clients will actually go to to validate what I said. Okay. So I agree that one of the things people are going do is hit the Internet and look for those reviews to see what’s out there. Well, when they Google your firm and just do it yourself anybody listening Google your firm and say, would you call you back? What is your page one Google results looking like? The problem with Glassdoor as it relates to staffing is it’s not about what place talent thinks about where they’re placed. It’s not about what they think about working with a staffing firm. It should be what the people inside the staffing firm the internal employees say about working there, and so it wasn’t a tool that was built with staffing in mind. Great Recruiters was and it’s a tool that as you mentioned, it takes you from a reactive, passive. Right? Wait for somebody to give you a bad review. You’re spending so much time and energy because you’re trying to figure out based on the context of what comments are trying to figure out who in the organization did it it’s time energy wasted. With Great Recruiters it’s like, take control of it, be in control, be proactive. We promise this quality of service, we want to make sure that we’re giving it, and we want to make sure that the individuals delivering that service are doing what we said give us our feedback. and I…

00:15:07 – 00:20:08

…think that’s why we probably captured ten times more data in one tenth the time for our clients. It is because it’s the proactive approach. You said something just a minute ago that made me realize Glassdoor and you may be taking away one of the most fun things in the market, which right now is all the executive team trying to figure out who said what on Glassdoor. So I mean maybe they can build that back into their recruiting time I don’t know. A lot of time spent and energy and for me if you’re going to give feedback, anonymous feedback doesn’t help anybody. To me, it’s somebody that’s venting because they had an experience that they need to get off their chest, and if you’re not asking, they’re going to go to the place that they know which is some sort of public forum. For me I want to be proactive in if you had a bad experience, I want that to come back. I want to know who it is because I truly want to solve that issue and I think our clients want to do that as well. And they love the fact that they’re they’re seeing less negative things on third-party sites because they’re getting to the talent, they’re getting to the clients faster because they’re proactively asking throughout their entire recruitment process. What I think what you’re describing is actionable intelligence that allows you to better your firm. Yeah Yeah without a doubt. Do people get the concept? Yeah I think you know it’s funny. The most common thing that I heard when we launched it is we’ve come a long way in three years, the conversation has changed drastically. You know was like interesting concept interesting concept, and now you look at our website, we have case study after case study of success, we have case study of case study of value in ROI. It’s not an interesting concept. If you think the premise of asking for feedback and you think the concept of online reviews is a concept you’re probably a little behind the times because the reality is it’s mainstream. It’s just hasn’t been mainstream until now in the staffing industry, and that’s really what Great Recruiters continues to aim to change is to create more transparency and provide a great tool for people to make sure they’re not part of that problem. And I think tools like yours, they tend to inspire a question by the audience, which is, where’s the ROI? Return on investment is something that everyone especially in times like now that everybody’s looking at going how can I get the value what? What’s the best thing for my firm and I definitely have heard that question come up. Let me give you a chance to just explain to everybody what’s the ROI? What I think the ROI, what’s amazing is we hear different types of ROI from Hey, we’ve increased retention of our internal staff because they’re more engaged. They’re happy with the work they’re doing because they feel that as an organization we support. Let’s face it, recruiters don’t want work for a staffing firm that doesn’t respect the recruiter as a role. You know, I think that your increasing performance. Let’s face it, if you know somebody has the opportunity to provide you feedback, even on your worst day, you’re going to put your best foot forward and if you don’t and you consistently don’t, it’s probably the wrong job for you anyway. So we’re helping to make quicker decisions, we’re helping to pinpoint areas of improvement for the recruiting team. So you have this whole training and learning development that our larger firms have so many specific in those departments monitoring it and trading opportunities to increase the performance through trading development tracks. On the flip side from online reputation you know if you look at our clients page one Google results we’re helping to make sure that the good word that’s being said about them is out there in front of people. So from improving ratings, not only on Great Recruiters but how we can help improve ratings across other third party sites. There’s a huge ROI there. There’s a lot of data that shows what happens when you go from a three point five rating to a four to a four five. Let’s face it. I don’t go to any restaurants that’s three five unless it’s McDonald’s right and that’s a five buddy well in some and then you have the opportunity. But if you think about what great four stars isn’t Great, it’s good four and a half stars is better. But when you think about what is a rating that you’re looking for? It’s you know you’re looking for things that are four seven, four eight. You know. So I think that’s a huge ROI that we help to drive that. And the most direct piece, most of our clients realize their one year investment in a short period of time through the placement of the referrals they captured through our process. And that’s what I was going to bring up because I mean one of the things I was surprised by how you thought about the referral process in this because once again, great people know great people and so when you have a candidate, you’ve already determined to be great and then the next thing you know you’re getting this review that’s saying that our recruiter is great and by the way, here’s another referral that’s almost goal just because I mean it’s coming from somebody you already value. Yeah. Without a doubt I mean it was something that was very early on I remember the conversation as we were designing this out, and I was like, no you have to ask for a referral if it’s a good experience because the number one reason recruiters don’t get referrals as they simply forget to ask or they’re uncomfortable asking.

00:20:08 – 00:25:04

So what a great opportunity after somebody assured positive experiences simply say who else can we help? People are looking to refer their friends to people that they can trust. So through that review process, we just make it really simple and it’s had a wild success and so from a direct ROI perspective that’s the easiest bottom line dollar where we can translate dollars generated because let’s face it everybody in staffing wants to do everything and I’m sure you have challenged the marketing how do you translate that direct ROI that’s the most direct way. But I think what I hear for my customers that’s the first thing they say as far as the value of why they keep great recruiters, it’s because of the engagement and the confidence, the piece of mind you know we want it to be simple and meaningful. We want to give you piece of mind and we want to help you build that legacy and build that brand. I think we both came from working in staffing firms for a very long time and I will tell you that more often than not in leadership you don’t have all the facts. You don’t know that a particular recruiter is not doing well, what we would want them to be doing when they’re talking to a candidate or same goes for sales etc. I would I was most amazed by the fact of how real time the data is and how actionable it is for myself when I’m sitting there talking with a recruiter and how to be better at their job but it’s also like you mentioned sometimes, they’re people that really don’t belong in the job and you get to see that real time with the data because it’s coming back and it’s this person was not very explicit on the phone with what they were wanting. They were hiding facts from me. They were acting like that they were interested in me, but you could tell they weren’t. So there’s just so many different factors, but it’s also how to reward the great recruiters not to steal your name but how to reward the great recruiters for their great effort that’s one of the things that gets missed and leadership all the time. And I think in my perspective I take a little bit different take and I agree with everything you said, but I think the great recruiters are the ones that want to continuously improve and get better. And so although my manager can help coach me what I love hearing and we hear it from recruiters is that you know they get their first constructive feedback right I like to call it constructive… And that’s the way we pose it but they said, you know what I’ve heard time and time again like this was awesome for me because I didn’t know that by doing ABC always creating this negative experience in because somebody shared that with me, you can only imagine other people probably felt that way as well and they’re able to take instant course correction. Somebody said I was way too pushy way too pushy, I followed up way too much and she goes it was just naturally what I did and she said what I learned is I need to start asking people how often is good for you to for me to follow up. So now she’s caring about what the other person’s perspective is and she’s going ahead and tailoring her interactions with the way people want to be interacted with and it wasn’t something she normally would have done if it weren’t for the feedback that she got through Great Recruiters and she was able to correct it in an afternoon. Yeah. I think that’s a great recruiter that can take themselves and want continue to elevate their game. Well and back to that constructive feedback from the leadership standpoint, most of that feedback that we’re going through with people in that coaching moments is a template of ideas that we’re trying to you know share with them. Well, with Great Recruiters, I was able to really focus the conversation on specific areas because I saw it in the feedback. Exactly I mean there’s five common things that every recruiter is rated on and allows you to gain insight into those areas and it’s the thing the candidates are looking for. Obviously want a job, they want to talk about positions. But when it comes to services they want somebody who’s going to be genuine, responsive, experienced, who’s going to provide advice and guidance that’s transparent. I mean, These are the things that we think about it why you didn’t appreciate some service they’re lacking in one of those five areas. So that’s that’s really where we hone in and I think from a leadership perspective as well. A lot of leadership do not give enough positive accolades for as tough as this business is. Especially over the last six months, it’s been difficult recruiters grind and grind and grind. They’re saying more more more. And very little do they get the feedback for all that effort that they put in they get the Atta Boy Atta girl and a placement and it’s like, okay, what’s next? So with Great Recruiters, it’s really providing a really nice vehicle for leadership to feel once again, have piece of mind that they have a team that’s driving the brand in the right way, and it gives them the opportunity to acknowledge people. They otherwise wouldn’t have acknowledged. Absolutely well listen I do feel the need as a marketing person just to give you fair justice here. One thing I really want to make sure the audience knows is we do not do advertising. Adam and I met over the fact that we were working with several clients on Great Recruiters and I got to tell you, I probably came into this with a little bit of a interesting concept kind of belief about a year ago and I will tell you, I do agree with that and…

00:25:04 – 00:26:19

…by the way folks, if you do not understand that this is not an interesting concept, it is not interesting in any way it is a reality for how to manage your brand, how to make sure you understand what’s going on. Let’s move this from interesting concept to just everyday normal walk a life folks and Adam give me that five dollars that you promised. The the big thing here folks is, is I just really want you to understand that when it comes to differentiating your brand, there are many many sources for data, but getting it direct from the mouth of the your consultants, I just can’t say enough about how you can use that across all of your marketing efforts and Adam just thanks so much for joining me today. Appreciate it and I appreciate the conversation, love your perspective and just love being able to chat recruiting. I love the industry. There’s so many of us that actually it just fell in love with the industry and I always laugh because you can always tell when somebody does but listen guys for everybody out there in StaffingREEL land, let’s keep it up and let’s keep the focus on positivity and growing our businesses and making the most difference we can I know we’re all in this strange time. Let’s stick together. Let’s figure out a way to do better, and this has been Larry Hemley with S.J.Hemley Marketing of StaffingREEL. Thanks so much, have a great day!

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.