March 22,  2021

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In this week’s episode, Chris talks with Nate Guggia, co-founder of Before You Apply – a content platform and creative studio that specializes in helping companies give candidates an insider’s look at their teams and culture. Based in the Bay Area, Before You Apply has special expertise creating content for highly technical audiences in extremely competitive markets that help companies and talent teams hire fast. Nate has a history of working with HR tech organizations like Work Bubble and Hire Club.

TRANSCRIPT

Chris Nichols  00:13

Hello, and welcome to The Talent Tide Podcast, the show that ensures you have the information you need to adapt and evolve your workplace culture as you ride the wave of change in talent management. I’m your host, Chris Nichols. And today we’re gonna talk employer brand, content creation and recruitment marketing with Nate Guggia, the co-founder at Before You Apply.

Nate Guggia  01:20

Hey man, it’s good to be here.

Chris Nichols  01:22

Hey, quickly an introduction on Nate. He is the co-founder of Before You Apply a content platform, and creative studio that specializes in helping companies give candidates an insider’s look at their teams and culture. Based in the Bay Area, Before You Apply has special expertise creating content for highly technical audiences in extremely competitive markets that help companies and talent teams hire fast. Nate has a history of working with HR tech organizations like Work Bubble and Hire Club. Welcome, Nate. Thank you for being on the show.

Nate Guggia  01:55

Yeah, yeah. It’s great to be here. I’m looking forward to this conversation.

Chris Nichols  01:59

Well, you’re one of my favorite follows on social media, Nate. I love what you do on LinkedIn and the conversations that you start is my favorite part. So maybe I’d like to kind of start there. What do you – Why? Why do you make the posts that you do? I guess, number one, and what is the process that you go through for the listeners when they find you? I’d like for them to have a little bit of insider information whenever they find you on LinkedIn about the kind of thought that goes behind your posts?

Nate Guggia  02:29

Yeah, that’s a good question. I don’t get asked that, that often. Yeah, so here, just like a little backstory on that. You know, before our company was previously called Job Portraits. About a year and a half ago, we were just at – at that time, we only had six full time employees. So, there was like six of us. And we had a husband and wife co-founding team, which is pretty unique. And we were all at their house for a three-day retreat. We were like all staying together. One of the – on one of the days, we talked about marketing, and we had never really done any kind of like actual marketing. All of our business was through, like, just warm, inbound, all organic word of mouth, that kind of thing.

Nate Guggia  03:16

And so, during that time, I kind of like raise my hand. And I said, I’m a big believer in LinkedIn, organic. I think it’s something, I think it’s a place that our buyer pays attention to. And I think we should run an experiment. I’m happy to be the one to do it. I really, like I love this industry, I think I have some things to say.

Nate Guggia  03:38

And, yeah, that’s how I presented it. And I just kind of told the team – the team is – they’re all extremely, extremely good writers. And I just said, like, please don’t police my work. You know, like, I this is new for me, just kind of let me run with it. Give me full autonomy. And we’ll just see how it goes. And everybody was really, like, they were great. And so, I just dove in. And I put a lot of effort into it at first. And at first like I it’s hard to create posts, like it’s hard to, like know, like, what am I going to come up with. But I just started doing it. And I was very dedicated to it. And it actually it took off a lot faster than I ever expected, I did not really expect it to turn into anything. I just wanted to see what would happen. And like within like maybe three or four weeks, I was like whoa, like people are really paying attention to this.

Nate Guggia  04:24

And then we started like, we started shifting a lot more off of my plate so I could do more of it. We started dedicating more resources to it. I started doing more videos and things and things like that, because the company saw the benefit, like especially like the long-term brand benefit in doing it. I say that just to like set a little bit of context, but like my process for it is – I do it so much now that my mind is kind of a lot of the time thinking in post format, which sounds very strange, but anybody who does it will know what I’m talking about. I’m listening, whether I’m listening to a podcast or I’m in a conversation or whatever it might be, if I, if an idea sparks, I think about it in like how can this turn into a post? And I have this like, on my Notes app on my phone, I just had like, it is a humungous list of like post ideas and like some of them are like almost fully written out. And so, I like I have a really big content library because I’m just like always kind of thinking about it and thinking about, like, different ways to approach this industry. It’s also been like, really interesting to see how like, like, just for me, I don’t know if anybody else has noticed it. But like, for me, some of my opinions have changed a little bit. Which I think is the way it should be. I don’t think like any of this is about like having a fixed mindset. I think a lot of like posting and putting your thoughts out there is like, a lot of times this stuff isn’t like fully baked. It’s just like an idea. And it’s okay to be wrong, and have people disagree with you, or change your mind on stuff. But it’s like, the whole point of this thing is to inspire thought in people. And that’s kind of just the way I’ve always thought about it. And I completely detached from outcomes, like I don’t like I don’t even think about engagement numbers. I have posts that do sometimes do really well, like, at least like, you know, what I would consider to be well, and I have some posts that like, don’t do anything at all, and like, whatever it’s like, it doesn’t matter. That’s not why I’m doing it.

Chris Nichols  06:22

Are you ever surprised by what posts do well, versus the posts that that don’t do well?

Nate Guggia  06:27

I am. I am. The more tactical I get, the less engagement. And some of my, like, favorite posts don’t do well at all. But, I mean, you know, it’s like one of those things where like, sometimes like, I’ll post something and like I know, it’s gonna do well, and I don’t like that feeling. It’s just like, this is gonna be – this is gonna be really agreeable.

Chris Nichols  06:52

It’s funny that you say that, because I’ve had the same experience, and I’m nowhere near where you are on the content creation scale, you’re like, relationship goals. But you know, but it’s like, I know if I write certain posts that they will do well. And most of the ones that I write that I know will do well, I don’t particularly like writing them at all, because they feel – they don’t feel like when I don’t really particularly want to talk about that subject. But I know that that posts will do well into a way it helps bring visitors to, to me and the other content that I have. So, in a way it’s positive. I follow a YouTuber that talks about this is  – this is very niche, but he does country music reviews. And He always talks about the fact that the negative – he’ll do like three negative videos a year about something wrong in country music, and those get way more views than anything else that he does. But what they do is they bring people to his channel to see everything else.

Nate Guggia  07:50

Right. Yeah, that’s it. You know, that’s a good point. I’m glad you’re bringing that up. Because I do I yeah, like I share that feeling where, you know, there’s been a couple times where, like, I’ve posted about some personal things, I don’t normally do it. Like one  post, like I did about, well, it would be about a year ago, like I’ve been sober for like quite a while. And like, you know, like, whatever, dude, it’s like, it’s not, it’s not about that. But like, I posted like, it was like my sobriety anniversary, whatever. And the post wasn’t about that. Like, I wasn’t going like, “Hey, look at me. I’ve been sober for so long!” it was really more about like, we all have things in our lives that take a level of like, dedication if we want to see them through, and that’s what the post was about. And I tried my best to like to make that like, not so like in your face. And like, regardless that posts just like took off. But I’m really glad it did. I had a lot of people reach out to me who were like, “Hey, thank you for this, like I’ve been struggling.” You know, whatever. It had like a lot of effects. But I know what you mean anyway.

Chris Nichols  08:52

Well, that’s the challenge of LinkedIn is that you can if you get on there, and you scroll through for any amount of time. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of inauthenticity, right?

Nate Guggia  09:03

Yeah.

Chris Nichols  09:03

And so, whenever you do mention something, not negative, but it’s, it’s something real. And I find that when people mentioned things that are real about themselves or their lives, those posts tend to do better on LinkedIn, in my opinion, because people respond to that. And they see that person not as like a facade of sales and marketing and branding for whatever their organization is, but hey, that’s actually a real person over on the other side. Yeah, and I think there’s value in that for people that want to do business with other people, right? It’s not – sales shouldn’t have to sales and marketing necessarily shouldn’t have- or TA – none of it should be forced. You shouldn’t go work for a company strictly because you saw you know this great video, or you’ve heard good things about them. It should be about how they make you feel, right? Like, do I feel like I can fit in there? Do I feel like the people that are there are authentic in what they’re doing and so I believe that LinkedIn is a great place for you to be able to tell stories that – and we’re trying to do as in our organization, trying to engage our leadership to tell some of the stories about our company. To tell the things that we’ve been through. It’s not always been pretty, because oftentimes, I think traditionally in sales and marketing, and recruiting, you feel like you only can talk about the good stuff. And I think people see right through that. Any thoughts around that?

Nate Guggia  10:25

Yeah. So um, I had this idea a number of months ago, and like, we started to do it, like my co-founder and I, like, you know, we have calls where we’re just like talking about, we’re talking about the industry, we’re talking about the business, we’re talking about problems or whatever, we’re just like, we’re talking about finance. I don’t know, who knows, we’re talking about stuff like, behind the scenes, I had this idea one day, I was like, hey, we should just start recording these. And, and I can use them as posts to give people an insider’s look at like, how we think about this stuff. Like, when we’re confronted with a problem as like, founders of a company, how do we address this that like, all this stuff that like, you just don’t get to see. What I’m getting at is like, and so I do that I did a post like that today, with one of those videos and like, I do them on kind of like a semi regular basis. But what I’m getting at is like, whether we’re trying to drive revenue, or we’re trying to drive talent, attraction, or whatever it might be, we don’t have to do it with like, straight up talking about the thing that we do.

Nate Guggia  11:31

Because, like, I don’t mean to go off on a tangent, but like when we talk about, like, attribution, right? Like, how do you attribute a new hire? Or how do you attribute a new sale to like one thing? And the answer is, you can’t. There’s like, all these different touch points and different things that influence people. And so by looking at it, just like one way, like, we need to put out a product video, or we need to put out an employer brand culture video, that’s just not understanding the way that the market behaves. It just behaves differently. We’re not just like looking for that one thing – we’re looking at, like all these things that add up to be that one thing. And so I think there’s a really there’s a, there really is a big opportunity for, for companies for leadership, whatever to like, get super creative with the stuff they put out, and just not think that it has to like look one way.

Chris  12:27

Yeah.

Chris Nichols  12:29

It’s funny, none of these things are on our topics, but we just kind of started rambling about. And here we are, but it all ties back because LinkedIn is the premier worksite. Right? Like, that’s where people go, when they when they graduate college to like, say, Hey, I work here now. Right? I mean, it’s it is, and it’s where people post their job changes. So, it is LinkedIn – is the social media for work.

Nate Guggia  12:56

Yeah.

Chris Nichols  12:58

And so like when you think about that as a tool, and that’s what it is, it is a tool in the toolbox of any organization, that is probably the number one place how they’re going to a candidate, or a client is going to potentially experience you before they engage you. Right? So, it’s, it shows your kind of true side, or it shows nothing, which I think also speaks volumes as well.

Nate Guggia  13:27

Yeah, Yeah, it does. Um, you know, it’s interesting too, if you like, I’ve gotten to experience some of this stuff now firsthand, which is like, which has been really cool. So like, if we’re talking about putting yourself out there on, we’ll just keep using LinkedIn as the platform because it’s very, that’s it applies to what we’re talking about here. You know, like, I started doing that, then I created a newsletter. And like the newsletter has like a pretty good base now. And we, we’ve been hiring. And I put out in my newsletter, hey, we’re hiring for this role. Like, you know, job description, whatever like was, like, you know, copy about like, the role like why whatever. And it was amazing to see what a recruiting tool now, like the personal brand side of it has become. Which what I’m getting at is like, I look at people, I love to use, do you know Dave Gerhardt? I love to use Dave Gerhardt as the…

Chris Nichols  14:30

I don’t know him.

Nate Guggia  14:31

No, okay, check him out. He’s like, he has a really big following. He has for a long time. He was formerly I think the CMO at Drift and now he’s at a an ecommerce company called Privy – very, very active on social. He’s like known in the marketing world as like a thought leader but he’s in house. Right? He’s not a consultant. He’s not anything – he’s in house. And I, when he was at Drift when I would think of Drift,  I thought of him. Now that he’s at Privy, when I think of Privy, I think of him. And it’s like, they, they have like one of the best talent acquisition tools in their toolbox by having somebody who is like so well known. It’s just pretty cool like what it can develop into. And I want I want more people to like understand that there’s like, it’s, it’s not like this whole idea of like personal brand gets like mixed in with all of this but what like I think there’s a different approach. This it’s not this like personal brand engagement hacking thing that we talked about earlier. It’s about like serious thought leadership about your industry or about things that are tangentially related to your industry mixed with some humanness. That over time, it can be your it can be a recruiting tool, it could be a marketing tool, like it’s like it, so much comes with it. And I want companies to like really to understand that’s, that’s real.

Chris Nichols  15:57

100% because it creates conversation. It creates an opportunity for people to have to talk to you, rather than you talking to them as well. Right? Because you’re now a thought leader, I have a question. We’re so predisposed now to hop on our phone and go to Google. But some of the internal conversations we’ve been having is, don’t – our followers shouldn’t have to go to Google, if they have a question about something in the recruiting world, they should already know the answer, because we’ve talked about it, because we have these conversations internally all the time. Yeah. And if we’re having those conversations, and we can one of our core values is help first. If we’re helping first, we should be putting it out there to everyone.

Nate Guggia  16:37

Yeah. Yeah.

Chris Nichols  16:39

So it’s, you’re right. It’s a tool, that if you if you think about it as purely an opportunity to create revenue, it’s, it’s inauthentic. But if you if you think about it as a tool to help people, it becomes more – much more valuable. And it becomes more authentic to more people, in my opinion.

Chris Nichols  16:58

So

Nate Guggia  16:59

Yeah, there’s a – there’s this- early on in my career, I worked with just a really smart marketer. And he told me that relationship capital plus mental capital equals financial capital. And most people think that financial capital starts first. And I think like, I’ve been thinking about this whole idea, like on the sales side, where, you know you have, you have MQLs, and you have SQLs and like, all this kind of stuff, but like, the real value is in a sales rep or a recruiter having a really great relationship. And it sounds so cliche and being relationship driven is like overused, and all this stuff. But like, literally it comes down to that. And if you can have the right relationship, and access to those relationships, which over time, but like, if you do the stuff we’re talking about enough, you just get access to people. A lot of the other stuff works itself out. Like, it’s kind of the equation, you know, but it really just started like that trust level, which takes time, it’s like it takes patience.

Chris Nichols  18:08

Which is a great segue, you must do videos a lot. So you mentioned candidates and candidate experience a little bit, Nate. And so let’s, let’s move there. Why – why is there such a need for candidate experience to be taken more seriously, in today’s marketplace?

Nate Guggia  18:26

Um, I think the, I think the experience is the brand ultimately. There’s, it’s so like what we talked about, like, let’s just say on the content side of like, the, the awareness side of things. It’s not easy, but at the same time, it’s not difficult. It’s like, it’s like, we know what that looks like, and we know how to do it. So that can generate a lot of interest. And, and it can also set a lot of expectations. And then when a candidate gets into the actual experience, which is where the rubber hits the road, and if things don’t line up, then all of a sudden the brand side of it is just completely damaged. I do – I really believe that a company could potentially just get by on providing an amazing candidate experience. But what we see too often is like there’s just the disconnect between what is like put out there and then what actually happens with the candidate. And I understand why it happens and it happens because, sure we can say like hiring processes are broken and all that kind of stuff but like what it comes down to is like poor top of the funnel management. It is volume. It is overwhelming recruiters and well-intentioned recruiters who want to provide a wonderful experience for their candidates and just can’t, because they just do not have the capacity to do it. What they are doing is: they have massive hiring goals, their companies that they’re at are scaling at ridiculous levels. They have the floodgates open. So they’re getting tons of applications that they have to sift through, people are getting neglected, because they just don’t have the time or the capacity to do it. They’re trying to spin through people to filter out. It’s like, they’re just doing a really poor job at the top of the funnel, when instead if they flip the mindset and say like, this is really about lower volume and realizing that volume is a big detriment to recruiters. How can we lower the amount of volume, have our recruiters have thoughtful, productive conversations at the top of the funnel, that will then help solving the whole experience? But I think it just really comes down to like recruiter overwhelm. That just kind of destroys the whole thing.

Chris Nichols  20:49

Couldn’t agree more. Recruiters – God love them – they’re drinking from a firehose from the time that they log on in the morning until the day ends. Because it’s candidates candidates candidates and hiring managers are breathing down their throats and they’re saying I need more candidates and you’re right, volume is the detriment. Because more candidates doesn’t necessarily equal good or quality. There’s nothing about more candidates that could potentially equal a better hiring decision. Sales and marketing also has those same conversations. Sales is telling marketing we need more leads – we need more leads and then they say the leads you’re giving us – they’re not any good. The same conversation should be being had and it is being had in recruitment and sourcing and recruitment marketing because they’re saying the same things –  that the candidates aren’t any good. Well you’re probably talking to the wrong people or have you identified – taking a page out of the sales and marketing book – have you identified your ideal candidate profile? Are you actually having that conversation, because if it’s just I need a nurse or I need an engineer and they have to have this and that, there are lot of people out there even in high demand fields that potentially meet that particular category of what you’re looking for and you have to understand that you’re competing against not just your current employer but all the other organizations in the market and the experience. If I leave my company today, am I going to feel the same each day as I do today? And if its’ not net positive, why would I leave the current job that I have?

Chris Nichols  22:36

And so I think that’s what’s kind of interesting about what you all are doing now at Before You Apply. And I really have – honestly, I missed a lot of it, Nate, like, we talked a lot when you were at Job Portraits, and I thought what you guys were doing there was pretty cool. But what you’ve done at Before You Apply in that kind of switch is really fascinating when you look at the candidate experience and how you’re, you’re having a more strategic conversation on the top of that funnel to help clean up funnel management, I guess is the right word. So can you share with our listeners? You know, what Before You Apply is and where the idea came from?

Nate Guggia  23:18

Yeah, yeah, for sure. So um, so if we look at like, I think in its current state, inbound channels, inbound platforms, for recruiting don’t produce the – don’t produce enough quality to actually help out recruiting teams. What they do is they they’re really good at producing volume. But because of that, outbound to candidates, especially outbound to passive candidates, when we’re talking about like hiring tech talent, for example, is still very much a thing. And it’s going to continue to be a thing because that is the easiest, best way for talent teams to manage quality. They can optimize for quality by going out one to one directly to a candidate that fits their profile because their inbound channels aren’t doing that for them. Inbound channels are creating overwhelm, outbound channels are creating at least quality conversations or the opportunity for quality conversations. So like, that’s where I feel the current state of this industry is at.

Nate Guggia  24:29

Because of that, there’s a conversation in employer branding about we need to – we need to get clear on our EBPs –  we need to design an amazing career site. We need to create a culture video; we need to do these kinds of things. But the reality is, is who is seeing those things, and actually who cares about them. So like, you’re spending a whole bunch of money because that’s what the industry says you should do or that’s what people in these positions think you should do. But it’s not matching the reality of the actual recruiting function. And the whole point of any of this stuff is to drive awareness to the right candidates, so you can hire them. That is it. There is like you can fancy this stuff up and talk about culture alignment and use all these buzzy words. But when it comes down to it, that is your responsibility. It is the same responsibility that corporate branding and marketing has. So like I don’t know why anybody fluffs this stuff up and the fact that nobody is creating assets, to put in the hands of their recruiters to make their jobs easier to have them have more productive conversations as soon as possible. And to decrease screening call times just blows my mind. It’s like, if you just look at behavior, versus the things that are being created, none of it aligns. Absolutely. So there, okay, that’s my, that’s my spiel on why. So what we did was, like, we’ve been in this industry for like, seven years. We have a lot of domain expertise when it comes to how companies especially how startups recruit. We know what their candidates think about. We know what they care about. We understand these people and their users really really well. So we came up with this idea of like, we need to create something that a recruiter can put in front of a candidate and give them answers to all of their questions before they apply. It’s that literal. And so, that’s where we came up with the concept and that’s when we designed the landing pages. The reason we do them at the team level is because for candidates it’s hyper relevant, it’s super relatable. They want to look inside how this team operates, not how this company operates. We will talk about how the company operates once you get into these conversations, but if we’re going to start a conversation, it needs to be relatable. It needs to be compelling. And we have to give something that doesn’t hide information behind gates and walls because, that game just doesn’t work.

Nate Guggia  27:07

We did, we did a lot of research. And we continue to do it with like hard to hire candidates, more senior level engineers, really skilled salespeople, people who frankly don’t need jobs right now. The great thing is what they want applies all the way through, you know, different candidate personas and different audiences as well. But if you can satisfy those, those groups, you’re going to satisfy the rest. And they all say like that, we just reverse engineered the content to match what they want. And they just say over and over when a recruiter reaches out to me, and if they don’t provide me with at least some level of like information, so I can check, check a few boxes, there’s no way I’m gonna have a conversation with them. And I just like, I get a little frustrated when things just continue to be done in one way. Even though we know that they’re not working, and what we have to is like, we have recruiters who want to do things differently. And they can’t, because the people leaving them, don’t under either don’t understand this or too afraid to try to change things up. So what you have is you have recruiters going like, dammit, I want to be doing this differently, I understand it and stuff present and I can’t do it. And it’s this weird thing. So anyway. So that’s like what I’m trying to I’m trying to change, I’m really like we really want to change the experience at the top of the funnel, because we know if you can solve that problem, it opens up a lot of this other stuff that is extremely, extremely important.

Chris Nichols  28:44

It…everything that you’ve just talked about in the last five minutes so… it resonates with me; I don’t even know where to go from there. What stands out to me is that Ron Walters is our Chief Revenue Officer and one of our managing partners here at endevis. And he often talks about how our biggest challenge in working with new clients is that they have a fear of the unknown. If, if we partner with endevis, I don’t know what’s going to happen. The same side of the coin is, but if you keep doing things the way that you’re doing them, is that gonna change to what you’re doing. Right. Like, you have a problem today, but you’re maybe a fearful of doing something different for fear that that could go poorly. And I think it’s all about perception and perspective on the problems that you have. So it’s – on the recruiter subject. I had a conversation yesterday with a company that does video job descriptions and they’re cool and people like them, they have high click through rates because they see them and they they’re not the static job description, right? And it presents, when you watch them, you think, oh, that company is modern and innovative. And they’re doing something different from the majority of what I see. It’s not a static image, it’s, you know, it’s a moving photo basically, with some descriptor words and adjectives. And what he said that they are learning is that recruiters don’t know how to use them. They’re selling to TA leadership and HR leadership. And what they’re finding is that recruiters don’t necessarily know what to do with them, if they can get it in the hands of marketing, marketing kind of knows what to do with it. But recruiters are like, when do I, when do I send this to somebody? Do I share it when I’m reaching out? Right? How? And so they’re trying to build kind of a content management team that helps their con- sorry, a content delivery team that assists with training and development of recruiters on how to just get their information in front of people. And so, in your, do you all see that as well? Like, recruiters don’t know what to do with some of these, these tools and technologies that they have?

Nate Guggia  31:05

Yeah, so we built into our process. So the activation side of it, right, the distribution, the use of assets is really important. It’s actually the most important thing. Creating It is like just step one. So what we do in like, in our processes, we create the content. At the end, when that content is ready to go, it’s ready to go live, we’ll do what’s called a launch day. And we have somebody on our team who leads launch day. And we’ll get to, we’ll get together with like, somebody like our liaison, which is usually somebody high up in the talent org will have the recruiting team on that call. And then we’ll also have as many members of the team that we’re profiling. So like, let’s say, let’s say we’re doing a sales team. While there’s many members of the sales team on that call as well. And we’ll just do like a 45-minute virtual work session called launch day, we have it all structured out, it’s like, we basically hold their hand. We come in with like a doc that is like all prepared with like links to the content. Copy is written all this stuff, and we just go “Alright, step one, go to LinkedIn, everybody use this copy, update your headline, everybody says we’re hiring, boom, step two, here’s how you take this content and how you make it visible on your LinkedIn profile. Step three, take this link. Here’s copy to inspire you tweak it however you want. Share it out on LinkedIn, step four, here’s how you use it in outbound. Step five, here’s how you can use it on other social platforms.” And we’d like literally go through this in like 45 minutes. And everybody like, understands distribution now, that’s like step one. And then there’s all kinds of other things we can do with like art, you know, with our like, liaison, or whoever runs social media at that company, sometimes that falls in the marketing, it just kind of depends on the company, but that’s just like step one to go like, here are the easiest use cases to use to put this content in all the places, you know, your candidates will might see, when they start researching your company. That’s like, it is, um, we, we’ve looked at ways to like, make it so we don’t have to be involved in that process. And as at least right now, it makes the most sense for us to be involved in that process. And yeah, it costs us money, like cost us money, it doesn’t cost our client money, we don’t charge extra for it. But like, it’s worth it. Because none of this stuff matters if it’s not put to use. So like that’s, that’s a problem that I have too, with, with like, tools in this industry. Tools are created based off of like, a need in the market. We need, oh, the market needs this, they’ll think this is cool. But, but the usability, the adoption rate is so low. And it’s so low, because nobody is thinking about the tactical execution side of the tool that they’re creating. So if you create, what you have to start with is like, how is this stuff going to be used? How is something going to be used based off of like behavior, and then you can reverse engineer something and create it. Because then the use and the thing actually match up.

Chris Nichols  34:22

Because who would have thought that somebody needed a video with team members talking about what the job was really like. But that’s not something that people really, if you’re sitting around thinking of ideas, that’s probably not one that comes to the forefront immediately. It’s like, we need a tool that will speed up the process for which a candidate engages with us and we get them in front of a hiring manager. And it’s like, yes, but right. There’s so many “Yes, buts” with technology, and that the integration of all these tools and systems, there’s so much HR technology out there right now that you have legacy ATs systems that like larger brands are working in, that are very hard to work with new HR tech, because they don’t integrate very well. And then you have companies that think, well, if I just switched my applicant tracking system, it’ll solve all of our problems, because the applicant tracking system is terrible. In reality, it’s a lot of process issues. The problem is, is how you’re doing it all. And so it’s just, it’s, there’s so many elements to this. And one of the reasons we created this podcast is we wanted to expose people to how things could be done better and differently. And for the people that tell these stories, right? People to understand that be you know, before you imply before you apply, is an organization that has helped other companies and they do it this way. Right? Because otherwise, they don’t ever, they don’t even know that something like you exists in the marketplace.

Nate Guggia  35:53

Yeah.

Chris Nichols  35:55

What I – what I wonder, is how much silos play into some of the challenges that organizations have with talent. So when we think about recruitment marketing is probably the buzziest of words and employment branding around TA in the last five years, and yet, TA people, TA leaders, they didn’t come up thinking I’m a marketer, or necessarily that I’m in sales. None of those conversations started happening until recently. So, how do we? How can organizations create an environment in which silos can work together to create a talent brand and a talent pipeline that an organization can be proud of? And it helps them fill their positions? Not just quicker, but with quality as well?

Nate Guggia  36:45

Yeah. Yeah, that’s that that is the question actually. That is, it’s a big question. And I wish I had like a really amazing answer to it, I’ll just, I’m gonna take a stab at it. There’s, there’s long been this disconnect between things that sit on the HR talent side, and then what sits on the marketing side. There’s, like, companies like to say, like, our people, or talent is like our greatest asset, but like, the behavior just doesn’t prove that or show that. Now, because of actually like, this is one of the benefits of COVID, which is like, so weird to say, but like, from like, what we’re talking about, you know, from this standpoint, it has created a market, a shared market with between corporate branding and employer branding, where buyers, consumers, candidates, they just think about companies differently. And a lot of there’s a lot of crossover. And so what that is caused is it’s caused a lot more alignment between marketing and HR talent. Because marketing now realizes that like, the way that people experience us on the, on the talent side effects the way that people experience this on the, you know, on the consumer side, and, and our buyers are actually some of our best talent. And like, there’s just like, those conversations are probably happening. Marketing, for the most part, though, doesn’t have the bandwidth to support the things that we’re talking about. They just don’t. They’re busy trying to drive revenue, which I totally understand. But their support their signoff, their belief goes a long way. Because they have – they have more clout than employer branding does internally. And if employer branding, or whoever leads that, which, a lot of the times is a head of talent, who has 20 other things on their plate, and they’re like employer branding is important, but like, they don’t have any resources to dedicate to it. If they can go to marketing and talk to them in a way that that marketing will understand. Not in like the fluffy way, whatever. It’s like, hey, my job is to do exactly what you’re doing. But it’s on the recruiting side, my job is to create really cool things that compel the right people to want to talk to our recruiters so we can hire them. It’s literally what you’re trying to do with your salespeople. That kind of language now all of a sudden takes all this fluff and makes it very tangible. You can feel it and at the same time, it matters a lot to the business. I think there’s just been this miscommunication, this like between language, but I am having like, like, I’m an optimist. And I am having more conversations with people in house who are saying like, hey, marketing is giving us some of their resources. They’re, you know, like we can use them for some of the creative work and you know, things like that. It’s like it’s all about like, doing things. It’s all about like doing things, creating something, showing what this looks like, and then getting more resources dedicated to it. I’ve seen it happen too many times to like, it’s just true.

Chris Nichols  40:05

Right? Yeah. It’s, it’s, you know, people in TA and HR probably never thought that it made sense for them to be taking their marketing folks out to lunch and having conversations with them. Right. I mean, it’s, it’s building that relationship and working together to achieve some common goals and getting buy in as well from leadership. Because I think a lot of companies, a lot of people believe in that idea of the Disney service, profit chain model where you put your people first and your customers come later. And I always I feel like I mentioned this all the time. But you take it another step further in your if your candidates believe in, believe in your organization, that they walk in the door believers, right and your 30 day and your 60 day even for high volume positions is going to go up, because they simply believe in what you’re doing. And I do think that b2c companies have an advantage over b2b companies when it comes to recruiting, right, because they’re already known in the marketplace, and what b2b companies fail miserably at – and it’s the biggest challenge that they have probably – is selling as well, they don’t want to talk about themselves, right too much. And they don’t, they don’t know how to how to talk about feelings, because businesses don’t have feelings. I’m selling to a business, why would I? Why would I sell feelings? And it’s like, no, you’re selling to a person on the other end, who’s having to make a decision about the business that they’re in charge of. And so for them to buy from you, they have to trust you. And so that’s why I say b2c companies have a huge advantage because they’re already there. In order to acquire customers, they have to have trust. And b2b companies are way behind the eight ball here. And maybe it’s because I’m in a b2b company, where it feels like I’m more exposed to that. But I think there’s just a massive opportunity for b2b companies to become more human.

Nate Guggia  41:56

There is. Absolutely. It’s so interesting man, like, you know, we’ll audit some companies, as if we are a candidate. And we go through like, we have like a series of questions that we know candidates want answered before they apply. So we’ll go through more audit. And like, a lot of the time where the b2b company were like, what the hell does this company even do? Like I don’t, I don’t know what they do. Like, why are they speaking like this? Why don’t why can’t you just like, talk like a human and tell me what you do? Which is like, hey, if I’m a candidate, especially a candidate who has options, and I don’t know what you do, come on. You know, like, think about your buyer. You know, stuff like it’s just like, it’s super confusing. So I agree, man, there’s like, b2b – b2b can steal a lot from b2c. And I just think like this idea of like, well, I’m selling a $50,000 or $100,000, like, AR piece of software, whatever, like, I can’t do that. Yes, you can. Yes, you can totally. Like, especially now, your buyer is wearing sweatpants. Do you know? Come on. Anyway.

Chris Nichols  43:08

No doubt – I was just having a conversation this morning about somebody who’s like, “I miss suits!” But yesterday, I had a conversation on zoom with a guy who was walking on his treadmill, you know, oh, yeah, that doesn’t… that wouldn’t have happened a year and a half ago. He’s a VP, you know, a year and a half ago, he’d have been at his desk and put a suit on and everything. So it is funny where we’re at Nate. I feel like we could probably have four or five more episodes talking about a lot of these topics. But I really appreciate you taking time to join me today. And I hope we can have you on again in the future, as well, because these subjects are so interchangeable. And there’s more to expand on, we can obviously get far more into the weeds. But I hope that our listeners can kind of follow along and if they want to ask you questions, Nate, where and how can they reach you about any of the things that we talked about today or Before You Apply?

Nate Guggia  44:04

Yeah, for sure. LinkedIn is a really easy place to find me. I post most days – Monday through Friday. So it’s pretty easy to find me on there but if you want to email me it’s Nate@beforeyouapply.com.

Chris  44:19

Are you serious that no one before you all had thought of the name of a company to be “Before You Apply”?

Nate Guggia  44:24

No, I got asked that yesterday too. No, like if the domain name was available.

Chris  44:31

You’ve literally said it in our conversation at least a handful of times and it’s –  it’s shocking any company could have  – any recruiting firm out there – somebody surely to God could have thought of that name before?

Nate Guggia  44:42

It’s too literal. That’s the thing. Yeah, so no, it works. But no, man, I’m happy. I would love to come on and do as many of these as you want. I think like we, we just like started talking about some of the – some of the cool stuff. So whatever. I’m down, for sure.

Chris Nichols  45:00

Thanks a lot, Nate. Go follow Nate on LinkedIn, everyone, because he is a great follow and there’s some great conversations and you can meet a lot of great people in the comments. That’s, that’s where I think a lot of value comes.

Chris Nichols  45:12

So that’s a wrap on another episode of the Talent Tide Podcast. Please be sure to like and subscribe and rate wherever you listen or watch from Apple to Spotify to YouTube. And remember to go win the day and success is on the other side of fear. Thank you.