Rachael Moss talks to idibu about Candidate Engagement

Candidate Engagement: Cultural or Economic Shift?

Steve Walker from idibu, a multi-sourcing and candidate engagement platform, interviews Rachael Moss, Group Marketing Director, erecruit, to get her views on how to win at candidate engagement.

Interview by Steve Walker, CTO and Founder of idibu.

Steve: So, lets keep this light. What’s the meaning of life?

Rachael: Oh my God! The meaning of life? Enjoyment. Being happy.

Steve: What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Rachael: A bowl of muesli.

Steve: Alright good. Interview is over.

Rachael and Steve: *Laugh*

Steve: Ok, to business. What do you think the average effectiveness of a recruitment agency’s marketing strategy is?

Rachael: I think that most recruitment agencies focus on the client equation and that’s also true of even some recruitment technology. Historically we’ve been very client-led because it’s the client that pays direct to you.

And I think actually what consultants would be better doing is to focus on candidate engagement. And actually that’s the whole point of TempBuddy. It takes a candidate-centric approach and it’s a really different.

Steve: Do you think candidate engagement is driven from a cultural shift? Or an economic shift?

Rachael: I think it’s both. But I think it is society now has become far more peer to peer, it’s much more open, it’s more transparent, it’s more accountable. People talk via Glassdoor, I’m not sure how widely that is used in the UK. But certainly, if you’re not happy, you can talk about it on Facebook / Social Media and that carries weight.

We’re now very familiar with 360 degree ratings, as candidates or consumers – people have got much bigger share with voice and they’ve got more channels.

Steve: So just as we have Trump tweeting, so we do with candidates – and fortunately the potential noise is kind of the same.

Rachael: We do and that in itself, is an interesting question because there is too much noise from every direction – not just recruitment agencies but marketing in particular.

We need to understand and segment properly – to channel down on the of focus – to find ways of monitoring that noise, and then practice putting in the right conversation.

Steve: When you look at social media, how un-effectively, and I’m leading the question here… How un-effectively are you seeing it being used by recruitment agencies?

Rachael: I think there are some agencies that do it well and then there are other agencies that are just scary. For example, they add a Twitter button to their website, it opens up to encourage a share, but doesn’t even feed back to the page they’ve shared!

Then you’ve got another group who just don’t understand it’s about conversation, it’s about engaging, and literally their feed is just jobs. 100% jobs. And let’s be honest, why would you even follow that unless you’re job hunting and you’re very going to very quickly switch that off?

And then I’d say there’s a middle group who are generally much better and understand that “OK, I’ll post some jobs but in between I need to share content as well” – but they are still mis-using it as a push channel rather than really listening or understanding, or even responding to what some of those questions and themes are.

Steve: What’s your favourite social network as a professional marketer?

Rachael: Oh interesting, I have been a huge Twitter fan and I’ve been using it for a very long time… I love Twitter because its current. If I want to find something out, my first go to is find it on Twitter rather than Google because with Google you’ll get the most prevalent search rather than the most recent.

And LinkedIn obviously, you can’t ignore LinkedIn as a platform. It’s an incredibly good professional networking system without question. But also for me now, Facebook is becoming more relevant in order to to talk to your candidates, and it’s becoming more used as a professional network in the US.

It’s all about understanding what these channels are and using them intelligently and testing. It depends on what your defined objectives are.

Steve: It’s interesting that Twitter seems to be losing its market value and at the same time, I think from a professional value standpoint, it seems to be increasing.

Rachael: I think it’s doing that partly because they’ve failed to understand how to monetize it – they’ve been less, strong perhaps in terms of the paid social campaigns that you have there. It still works well for you if you have built a solid Twitter follower base.

If you’re following the right people, and they’re following you back – you’ll be reaching the right audience and by additionally targeting those that can influence a group… *then* you’ll get great results.

Steve: What do you personally like to use to increase productivity, either to reduce “busy-ness” and create space in your life or to increase results. Do you have any methodologies, software products, anything you’d like to share?

Rachael: I’m hearing good things about Trello.

Steve: I’ve heard positive things too, it seems to work well on both the personal and team levels.

Rachael: Yeah, and we may see that two parts of our business will use that for collaboration, sharing, brain storming, thinking, but outside more of a formalized google docs environment – it’s definitely on my agenda for the next couple of weeks.

Steve: A well known and useful productivity habit is to always define “what’s the one thing I’m going to achieve today that really important, to allow me to tick one thing off my list and therefore define the day as a success.” Do you ever do that?

Rachael: You can get very busy with the day to day can’t you… The fact is our business is in a transitional stage, and that means deadlines – fitting everything in, working to other team members timelines.

You can also get caught up in social media – I have nothing against going into it, getting a snapshot of what’s going on. But then you must come out to regain focus on other activities.

Somebody once said to me if you fill your bucket with too many small activities, there’s never room for the really big stuff – I actually have that as a reminder above my desk. Tick-off the big rocks first!

I heard about the concept on a training course years ago – if you fill the bucket/jar with small tasks (grains of sand), there’s no space left for the big tasks/projects, but if you complete the big stuff first you can still fit in some of the smaller stuff (emails/tweets etc). I think in our uber connected world it’s very easy to get distracted, so we need this message/reminder/discipline more than ever.

Steve: That’s an excellent productivity habit!

What about noise. How do you find space in the noise?

Rachael: You might not describe it as mindfulness, but for me, having a break to look at media like Twitter, reading some topics and articles that helps me to be thoughtful, to understand some of the broader topics happening in the business… and I think you can do this, almost subliminally to help push your thinking in other areas and not just be 100% task-focused. The other thing is I do is regularly get up for couple of minutes, grab a drink or whatever, come back again – you need to move physically.

Steve: Marketing for me is really a combination of creative plus good process. And you need to have space to be creative.

Rachael: Yes! And for me marketing is always about having an outside view as well. As a marketer you can’t just sit inside your own world – you’ve got to see competitor trends, understand the bigger trends, take the time to research, and inform other people in the organization what is happening.

So you can also see a part of marketing as also being about the collaboration, the negotiating, and even working with competitors, having dialogues, having conversations, and ensuring you’re always being challenged professionally as well.

Steve: Rachael, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me.

Rachael: Thank you, you’re welcome.

(Previously published at idibu.com)

Roderick Smyth talks to idibu about the History of TempBuddy, Techniques to Develop Better Technology, and Improving Personal Productivity

Interview by Steve Walker, CTO and Founder of idibu.

Steve: Tell me how TempBuddy come about?

Rod: We founded the business three years ago – coming off my own need to do something in the time card space, eventually coming to the thinking of changing process and changing the outcome as well, rather than just fixing or building a product that does what other products do.
The first 12 months were about building the MVP and getting the team together. We launched in February 2015 whilst also juggling two businesses… until October 2015 when this became my entire focus.

Steve: Do you think the CRM market is too crowded?

Rod: It is very crowded – and for me there’s not just enough differentiation. The products out there are designed for data input and data capture. They are not designed to help business outcomes. A key lesson I learned through the process of TempBuddy was focusing on the client business outcome – and aligning what you’re building to meet that outcome. Not on how they do stuff but meeting the outcome. It gives you much better product direction.

Steve: Can you expand on what you mean by “outcome”?

Rod: The majority of businesses want to grow their profitability, their revenue, or their quality – to better serve their clients and meet their objectives. When you skip past the “How do I currently do this process?”, and ask the question “What is the best way to achieve higher, faster growth and profitability?”, it lets you look at the business itself, where the efficiencies and opportunities are, and then focus on just doing those things. Tackle the really big wins. One of those was the in the Temp side of the business, the vast majority of the recruiters time being taking up by managing availability and admin task-related time sheets.

If I look at product build, typically the CRM approach has been: I avail the products to do all parts of the process. So, I transfer what they do at the moment on the screen, which doesn’t really improve the process, it just puts them in a different place.

When you focus on business outcome, you say “Okay, one of the big barriers to growth is I can’t hire 100 new recruiters because they’re not easy to find etc. So I need to change my process to be more efficient… What’s the biggest bottle neck in my process? It’s in the availability and management of those time sheets. So you build a product that focuses on fixing those problems and does it really well.

Steve: Do you have a WHY of TempBuddy?

Rod: Absolutely. We want to change people’s lives for the better. We want to make flexible work easier and more rewarding. I want to empower agencies to provide a better level of service and a better employment environment for the workers.

When you think about what causes stress in life… getting married, moving house, changing jobs – one thing that’s often forgotten is that a temp worker changes and adapts practically daily. They’re going to new places of employment all the time. The consistent part of their lives is the agency that they work with. For quality of life, you need to have some balance, and the agency should be able to provide it.
They can’t provide it running around doing inefficient admin tasks. They need to be able to focus on the wellbeing of their employees; of the quality of work their employees are giving their end clients. And if they focus on those factors, they will attract more employees, they will provide a better quality of service to their clients, and ultimately this is what the end-client wants.

They want to have quality people who will produce quality work because that makes all of their businesses more efficient. Focusing on the wellbeing of their employees leads to a better outcome for everyone. We want to make the technology that gives them the tools and capabilities to do that. That’s what drives us.

Steve: Tell me more about the re-invention of process through technology?

Rod: The method of meeting clients’ requirements is often based on what they currently do, not how they should be doing things. For example, taking your legacy processes that you built around paper and converting it into a digital format.

Going back to the time sheets scenario… When I looked at how to solve the problem, I had to first understand why time sheets existed in their current form. Why does this piece of paper get signed by a manager, get signed by recruiter?

The simple answer was that the time sheet’s purpose is so that procurement – isolated from the front side of the business, can understand from somebody they trust (normally a line Manager) that a piece of work took place. Somebody turned up at a place, at a time, and did a piece of work. And the reason that this process works is because they trust the person that’s signing that sheet.

If you circumvent and bypass that using technology, that means putting biometrics, geo-location and other factors that will give procurement the same level of trust and comfort, but without having to go to through the same process to get there.

To really accelerate the growth of a business, you must improve processes. Too often technology starts off being built around replicating what the process currently does.

You need to properly utilize the tools that now exist. We don’t have stables everywhere to house our horses anymore, because we don’t use horses to get to places. The means of travel from A to B is a car, but the route to get from A to B has not changed. The process of how you achieve your goals changes over time.

Steve: Can you tell me about one or two personal methods of productivity that you have adopted as an entrepreneur and embedded into your life?

Rod: I do have a one thing that strikes me as really important – the advice I got from a mentor of mine, Kathy Murray. She’s an investor in TempBuddy and a good friend. She advised me long ago that how you achieve more in what you do – in business or anywhere else in life – is not focusing on the “urgent, important task”, it’s to focus on the “not urgent but important tasks”.

Steve: Yes, this one of the classic pieces of advice from Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” in what he calls “Put First Things First”, encouraging you to work in this “Second Quadrant”. I use this a lot as well, it’s been an instrumental tool in my task list prioritization methods over the past years.

Rod: Absolutely. That’s what I’m trying to achieve. You can’t always do it with the inevitable noise, but as long as you keep that front of mind, then the things that are urgent and important become much easier to delegate. Get those off your desk and get them delegated so you can focus on the things that are “not urgent, but highly important”.

Steve: How do you organize your tasks, what products do you use?

Rod: I’m 100% inbox. I just use my Gmail for everything.

Steve: Do you use any productivity software that works on top of Gmail to do that?

Rod: No. I process what I can, offload as much as I can quickly, and I have a target of ensuring there’s not more than 10 to 50 items left to work through by the end of the day-

Steve: You have a written list?

Rod: I work off a daily to-do list but if there’s a task that’s carrying over, it goes back to my Gmail. And that drives me to make sure that I never more than have 50 items in my entire task list. If it’s going past that, then I have to delegate more to someone else.

Steve: Do you have any morning routines?

Rod: Yeah, I listen to some music. Deal with family, get kids off to school, and then get at least 5 minutes of some music to lift me up. A bit of quiet time and then straight into the task list carried over from the night before via my email.

Steve: Do you ever ask the question “What’s that single most important task to achieve in a given day?”

Rod: Going into every night and every morning, I have one task as my top priority that I need to get done that day. You just get it nailed as early as you can. That task could be a successful meeting, something you need to produce, a conversation you need to have or whatever else. But definitely, you have to have one overriding goal each day

Steve: Rod, thank you very much for your time – and congratulations on creating such an awesome business.

Rod: Thank you, Steve – I really appreciate it.

(Previously published at idibu.com)

The SIA’s Staffing Industry Review magazine article on TempBuddy: “If Uber were a staffing firm…”

If Uber were a staffing firm…

When you push the magic button on your phone to request a driver, an email is sent to one of the thousands of Uber “taxi recruiters” around the country. The taxi recruiter searches its database of registered drivers for those with the same zip code as the passenger, and begins calling those drivers one by one to find out their exact position and availability. Once the recruiter finds a driver close enough who is on duty, they make them another to pick up the passenger who requested the ride. If the driver accepts, the order is confirmed and the driver is emailed instructions to pick up the passenger, with a purchase order and time sheet generated and emailed, which are to be printed, filled out and returned by the taxi driver at the end of the week, along with all other purchase orders. The taxi recruiter then calls the passenger to inform them a driver is enroute.

Fortunately for modern-day urbanites, this is not how Uber deploys its drivers. According to Dublin, Ireland-based TempBuddy, it’s not how staffing firms should deploy their temporary workforces, either. TempBuddy is a technology platform designed to make staffing recruiters more efficient in deploying temporary workforces, while increasing candidates’ engagement with the clients and staffing agencies they work with. The platform uses candidates’ mobile phones to give real time availability and deployment capability. The goal is to turn a passive temporary database into an “on-demand” workforce.

“Our technology accelerates the pace at which a staffing recruiter is able to deploy their temp workforce, and ensures they deploy their best people first,” said CEO and founder Roderick Smyth. “That opens up the opportunity for recruiters to make more placements, and focus on high-value, revenue-generating services. We give recruiters back 30 to 50 percent of their day.” The platform includes additional services such as compliance, scheduling, and paying and billing, and can integrate into existing systems and infrastructures. The firm charges a percent of the spend that runs through the platform as its fee. Full implementation takes three to six weeks, depending on the complexity of the temporary workforce.

Launched in 2013, the service now has more than 50 customers and a run rate of €120 million (US$131.1 million) in staffing spend as of the end of 2015. Its current trajectory puts it on track to achieve €400 to €500 million managed through its platform in 2016.
The Buzz TempBuddy offers an innovative way to “Uberize” staffing firms’ temporary workforces, and helps recruiters focus on what matters most: placing people and making money.

Previously published on the Staffing Industry Analyst’s website on 22/02/2016.