The Masters of Modern Recruiting Podcast! - Episode 3 with Andrew Gadomski, the founder of Aspen Advisors

The Masters of Modern Recruiting Podcast! - Episode 7 with Katrina Kibben

This we sat down with Andrew Gadomski, the founder of Aspen Advisors.

Andrew breaks down one of his key recruitment strategies and shares how to find the best talent at the best price. Take a listen. 

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Episode 2 Summary:

In today’s episode, our host Derek Zeller chats it up with 20 year recruiting pro, Pete Radloff about how to avoid using “post and pray” as your main recruitment strategy. 

If you enjoy todays episode, be sure to rate and subscribe on iTunes!

Complete Transcription of Episode 3

Derek: Oh hey recruiting maniacs how are you? Welcome to the show welcome to podcast this is one of those types of podcasts where we just kind of hang out and I chat with somebody or I just speak my mind. Today though I've got the owner, Founder and all-around great guy of Aspen Advisors, Andrew Gadomski. Andrew, how are you?

Andrew: I'm well sir thank you for having me. Hello recruiting everybody all things recruiting.

Derek: All things recruiting I like that all things recruiting. Sourcing and recruiting. This is the Masters of Recruiting show. Although Andrew isn't a recruiter himself I'm going to let him explaining basically what he does for the recruiting community.

Andrew.Andrew: Well I'm not a recruiter anymore. Yeah well actually so yeah so I run Aspen Analytics. It's a business we work; we consult with large-scale employers on how they do recruiting. Usually globally or in a very large domestic way and we congeal all their data. We take a look at how you know try to make them better, faster, cheaper. So we will constantly be looking at how the recruiters are doing, how their sources are doing, how their campaigns are doing, how people are responding to their messaging and then will make tweaks and Tunes back to the business. And you know tell them how to do things better that's what we do.

Derek: Very cool! So you know we're just chatting before we got online that was pretty funny you were talking about what you did yesterday at four o'clock Andrew.

Andrew: What I did yesterday at four o'clock?

Derek: The post that you put up one SourceCon.

Andrew: About the no free milk?

Derek: Yeah.

Andrew: Right so we were talking about how, okay so yesterday it's four o'clock. I think it was like on Talents Sourcers Group or SourceCon it was one of the Facebook groups. And over the last several weeks almost every day like clockwork somebody asks a question that's something like “hey what's everybody's list of favorite tools and extensions to use for sourcing to collect email and phone number information?” And it's literally a post that always shows up at least once a day.

Derek: And they want it for free?

Andrew: Oh yeah of course. And what they want is: here's this awesome list and tell us how to use it and I don't want to have to do any research. I don't want to have to review anything. I don't want to have to read any analyst reports just tell me what it is. Right? ?Fine. So no one had asked and it was already four o'clock. So I went ahead and said “Hey everybody what's your favorite chrome extension to use for sourcing to get email and phone numbers and then you know it would be great if someone were to post a list.” You know meanwhile every day you got people like, like you and you've got Beam and all kinds of folks going ahead and saying okay here's like a whole book. Here's a huge list. Everyday it’s the same thing. And so finally so it was really funny so now people are responding back saying this is really hysterical. Right? Because every day someone seems to ask the question. By the way I notice that nobody asked today so maybe my post. So this race only it's only 3:30. But the point was you know so I kind of get a little on my soapbox. You and I both have a microphone right now. But I do get a little frustrated when I see people you know people who are in the function they're trying to be better they're trying to get stuff done I know there's a lot of pressure but they kind of turned to the community for shortcuts. Right? And there's a point where that makes sense but if that's the only way that you learn that's bad. You know and by the way there's nothing wrong with finding a tool using it for two days and then calling it great or calling it bad. Nothing wrong with that. Or instead of saying what does everybody use.I'd rather see a rather see people ask the question “Hey does anybody use like ENGAGE Talent?” I want to know a little bit more can I talk to someone for a half an hour you know thanks so much a bye cup of coffee.

Derek: What are the pros and cons what are the pros and cons of every tool?

Andrew: Right. I mean and the thing is that I don't know enough about you’re ask anyway or your business to really even answer the question with a quick oh yeah use ENGAGE or use X Y Z or whatever because I don't know enough. So all I can tell you is what's in my toolbox and I'm not convinced sometimes that me telling you that well I use this kind of hammer. I'm like well yeah so it's the Stanley hammer I get it you know what are you building?

Derek: It’s like saying I need a hammer. Well what do you want the hammer to do? Are you going to hang it like a picture on the wall or are you going to try and knock down the wall? So is it a sledgehammer that you need or do you need some of its more finesse, that you just want to put a nail into a wall?Andrew: So here's a good story: So I come home a couple years ago just from the office no biggy. Shara's waiting. My wife and then Addie's playing. And Shara says “Hey, you need an extra hammer?” And I'm like “What”? She's like “I found a hammer today it must have fallen off of like a truck going by”. Like maybe like a contractor's truck or something and I said “Was it in the street?” She goes “Yeah.” I said “Yeah I could always use a second hammer. I mean you know I have a big tool of a big toolbox let's go ahead and put it in there. So she goes and gets it's literally a roofing hammer.

Derek: Oh wow.

Andrew: So it's like two and a half feet long. It's got a huge claw on. And like you know that like the hammer part of it is like is big is like a silver dollar right. So it's really a weapon more than it is a hammer and I say to her I'm like “Is this what you're going to kill me with?” This is a real hammer.

Derek: It's totally like a war axe or something.

Andrew: I like this is the kind of thing like I literally looked at it I'm like I'm pretty sure I saw this in Last of the Mohicans this is going to kill somebody. But it does kind of tell the story about okay hey I need a hammer I'm like to do what. Because you just telling me you need a hammer doesn't tell me anything.

Derek: That's the interesting part for me that’s what I love about ENGAGE Talent, it's sort of what you just said it's a double edged weapon. It's giving you business intelligence which I don't think that the sourcing recruiting community does enough of. And just because I can get into your inbox or I can find your phone number and call you I only know information in and an information out. You’re an information guy. You and I have talked about this before if I don't share the information then you can't you don't know what the information is. So you know with ENGAGE Talent, yeah I got your email, I get your phone number but I also had a reason why I know you possibly to be looking because of the market because of your history through predictive analysis. What's going on with your company they just finished filed for bankruptcy or they just got delisted, those types of things. So that's what I like but and the metrics can be kind of measured but there is a trouble with metrics right? Nobody really knows how to what the metrics would be for like a sourcing version or for a recruiting person. What are your thoughts on that?

Andrew: Well I mean you know. Look you and I are about to you know next week we're going to be going to HR tech right. And you know last year everybody had a dashboard and the year before everybody had a dashboard this year everyone's touting AI and the dashboard. So and look there's going to be lots of good stuff coming out people are going to say hey here's a great you know here's metrics you should use for sourcing. Here's metrics you should use for recruiting, I applaud all those efforts. I think it's great that people want to measure stuff. And measuring versus not is better right. So where it's not going to go is it’s not going to go to one big set of metrics that everybody can sing Kumbaya about and then measure each other okay. So the likelihood that a standard set of metrics are going to come out and then permeate across 50 thousand companies let alone a thousand is so remote right. Like I laugh like people like oh we're just going to make up a measure system that standardized I'm like really how'd that work out for metric in English. You know we can't even do that for like gas. I’m like what are you talking about “we’re going to have a global standard” I'm like really how many liters is in your gallon? Because if you think about it like we can't even get standards to work from one country to another. And all of a sudden like the recruiting geniuses are going to get together and we're good come up with a way to measure stuff. Like alright that’s one way to go. So taking that aside that this concept of standardization is going to be difficult the thing is that what you measure the reason why it doesn't work real well is that what you what we at Aspen do is we'll look at the maturity of a business and what's important to their business. You have to come up with a set of key performance indicators around recruiting that that link back to things that are important to the business. So if you're a startup right, some things that you might want to know. People say well you know speeds really important. I'm like speeds important to everybody. Move on okay. So I get time to fill get time it's you know it's always important but what might be important right now is less upfront cash on a hire. Right things like that. It's like okay we don't have a cash flow but meanwhile we're giving away sign-on bonuses like crazy. We’re recruiting people that would require one right. And so I look at that and say well we want to do all this sourcing. I'm like okay great tell me how you do your sourcing. Sourcing teams show me I'm like okay seventy-five percent of everybody you just showed me is going to need $30,000 upfront to join this business because they're walking away from a bonus.

Derek: Right well that's what you told glue remember that, that term it was the glue, the glue. We have a mutual friend that's going through that right now he just left the company he was with under a year and had to repay back his bonus which was extensive. His sign-on bonus was extensive and you know to leave the company and to be had to pay $2,000.

Andrew: And what I would say is, so we were just doing this and so you were saying earlier that I'm not, I used to be a recruiter right and we still do recruiting. So we you know I still have to stay sharp so I still do stuff like in data analytics and business intelligence for bigger jobs and that keeps me sharp right as a recruiter. You know so today we were doing some research, we got a job open in Boston and so I'm working with one of the analysts and they're talking about so how are we going to source and how are we going to do the research and I said these are all the mechanics this is the boolean I want you to use okay let's start here. And then the last thing I said is oh and I only want to see people who have a work anniversary or a promotion anniversary within the last two and a half months. And I'm like oh yeah we can't look at anybody who's coming up on a two-year anniversary or up are coming up on a three or four year anniversary they're not leaving right now no, they’ll wait.Derek: You put them in the “I'm going to call you in three months folder”.

Andrew: Right because let's look at all the people who just celebrated their two or three year anniversary with a business or their one two or three year anniversary on their job. And then I want to go ahead and I want you to look at all the people who were working for a public company and find out when the fiscal year ends. Because I don't want to have to pay because we're coming into the fourth quarter, I don't want to have to pay seventy five thousand dollars to make up some person's bonus they’re leaving. So go find me people whose fiscal year closed in like July or closed in June. And of course you know then you know the research happens all it happened in half a day.So I'm like what do you got she goes I got a list of 25 but we got eight that are primary. Like that's what I'm talking about.Derek: That's business intelligence.Andrew: Now we have to figure out how to engage these people and what we’re going to say. Now maybe I know some of them maybe somebody I know so someone maybe we can get a hook on what's going on in their business. Maybe we can send in a candygram I don't care, but if I know that these are the eight and by the way they're all local that was the other thing. So I'm like I don't want to have to pay for a relo right. Because from a sales perspective I know that if I can get them to engage and I can get them to be local then the likelihood that our manager is probably going to want to see them is really high, right. So now it's about you know and so this is where I think metrics and data and sourcing are really starting to bleed together. We can find out a lot more about potential candidates and we can let machines or algorithms or systems order these candidates so where instead of like our recruiter is spending you know sending out a hundred emails they're really only going to send out like ten. And they're going to be good or better yet like you know we always talk about how people don't answer the phone and get back on the phone and you can argue that point all day long. But I would say look if I know that these are eight people I'm going to do everything I can to have eight solid conversations what do I need to do right? I mean I'm not necessarily I'm not going to necessarily put a food truck outside their office and give message it's not a bad idea, does work by the way. But you know but you can get inventive when you only have to do eight and so I think we're metrics are going to answer your question we going a long way to get there. I think that they're going to get a lot more personal and recruiters are going to have to get insights about what they're working on to understand what they need to do and what service expectations they need to kind of meet so right now people are say well I want to know how, you know how long they say what I want to measure I'm like better yet what do you want to deliver and what a should you deliver.Derek: That's exactly what is the delivery now, that's absolutely perfect?Andrew: So I'm doing an example right now with a company and we're trying to build algorithms that predict, not necessarily how long the job will take to fill, it's more of: when should it fill? So this idea that a job is going to be vacant when is the most logical time for that person to start based on any kind of set of mechanics around the business. You know so I mean we do it naturally all the time like if a job opened December 1st like the whole planet it thinks it's not going to start to leave till next year right. No one makes a higher December 17th and the person start that day or December 24th. We tend to push stuff off naturally right so now we're starting to look at okay job is about to open our capability has been that we can get a person through a process even if it's fast in like two weeks. But this job is harder and then we need diversity because we're underrepresented in this area. We don't have really good data that supports that we can do that well okay spend more time on it. And we really should have this person start based on when the other person's going to leave etc. etc. And then now I can go to a sourcer and say this person need. Here's a job, I need three candidates, I need to make sure we got you know diversity and gender representation. You got 70 days to pull together a slate but I want you to do it for less than so many thousands. Go!Derek: I like it.Andrew: I think that’s where we're going. That's where we're going I think Derrick is it's not going to just be about counting stuff.Derek: Right it’s not going to be about numbers anymore.Andrew: It's not like oh how many jobs did we fill I'm like run a report.Derek: Right and what does it matter how many jobs you fill because how many jobs did you have to make because you lost that person. Or how many new jobs were actually created so the company you can check Ellen's company growth.Andrew: Right I mean so you to align back to you know what's important to the business. Like I said speed might be important representation might be very important. Costs. And you know now a cost of the acquisition can be very important and I think that we're going to see as interesting as it would be to say well these are the things I want to measure a sourcer on. You know I say well okay I've got that list of things that I tend to look at too. Right so you know the one that I kind of look at is what's the total compensation that a sourcer contributes to annually.Derek: Right.Andrew: I think that's the big one is you had this many people, you source people, this many interviewed and that made up this percentage of the overall interviews for that many hires right. You had 200 people interview last year; of the 200 that you source you know that made up 70% of the applicants we interviewed. Right. Versus you had 40 people interview and that made up 20 percent of the applicants that we interviewed okay and then you know you can still have the same number of hires if you think about it that's true. Derek: That's true the crazy thing for me too once back in the day I was with a company and the company says how many hires did you have last year? And I said I didn’t have any, I didn't hire anybody. And they just looked at me like just shocked and they're like well what were you doing so that was on the phone I was setting up interviews and I was getting people in the door and they were getting hired but I didn't hire anybody that's what a hiring managing. So why is the metric how many people a sourcer specifically of how many people they got hired I don't get anybody hired. They get hired because they come in and they do a good job on the interview and then the manager likes them and I'm a matchmaker right. Andrew: I hear you, I totally agree with that I think it was like seven years ago. I was like at like a local SHRM event and I'm talking about something and I said okay everyone raise your hand if you did 10 hires last year and then raise your hand if you did 25, raise your hand if you did 50 right. You know and I'm like awesome you did 50 right there like yeah I said how many people work for you. Like none they're like, I'm like so you didn't do the hiring somebody else did by the way that was like cool. By the way it was like 300 people in the room that was the last time I did that exercise because it was not well-received. They’re like we all hire. I'm like actually recruiters and sourcers are awesome at giving people opportunity. Derek: Exactly.Andrew: Right because we know what's going to happen is that two, three, four, five people interview for a job so you got a 20 to 50% to get there. That’s just the reality I mean I can I can throw all kinds of together to prove that but it's you got four people interview and everybody's got a 25% chance of getting their offer.Derek: Yeah I mean and the crazy thing is remember when I took statistics in college I remember my stats professor she told me straight up because I told her straight I'm a writer I'm an English major. I don't really do number as well and she's like you'll be fine that was just I was crushing it because it was really interesting to me and I really started to look at numbers as words and words as numbers and things like that. And she once told she said you know the best thing about statistics is you can take raw information and make it look any way you want you know. I can write up statistics all day long but if you can't prove them then what's the point of the statistic. It's kind of an amusing anecdote that we're sitting in this vicious cycle that I have to I'm super excited that I had you know eighty-five hires this year like we said you didn't really have 85 hires.You have 85 hired people hired you have the right people in the door that's great but to me that's not the right metric. It's just a bunch of numbers are floating around.Andrew: And the thing is you got to be careful about you know a lot of the numbers that we come up with Derek, they're natural aggregates right. So you know I will track requisition data very carefully and I used to track it every day. I don't anymore. I actually only request from our clients that they send us requisition data maybe every other week or once a month.Derek: YeahAndrew: And they're like wait, what? And I'm like look if you're really going to operate with us you probably should be sending this stuff every day but you know if you just want analysis you can just send me stuff every other week or every month correct data. They're like “why is that?” I'm like because it doesn't change. I said you open up a rec on January 1st, the next time that that data changes is when the status moves to filled which is not that big of a deal. But I've got a hire date sitting on it. But the next time a changes literally in that data table the next time. Now what might change is well how many candidates have applied to it, how many how many interviews we've got. But I'm like yeah but that's candidate data that's getting pulled out of that candidate data table and getting cluttered into that report that you're seeing. So I don't need your rec data to tell you what's going on what I need is your candidate data. I need to know every day, how many people are coming in, how many people are you're processing, how many are you dismissing, how many are you interviewing. What's going on with the interviews, what's going on with your response rate? That's what I want to see and you know companies like I do. Most people have been running on rec data for so long they don't even look at the candidate data.

Derek: Yep, that’s exactly right.

Andrew: They've got like a little cool candidate funnel that tells them oh look I've got 12 people in the top and I got 4 people in the interview and I got one person an offer and they got a cool little you know oil can shaped funnel right and like oh isn't that pretty. And I'm like yeah that doesn't tell me much what tells me much is that after 10 days of you guys posting and you guys social media and your branding that only you know 30% of your applicant pool are women for software engineers.

Derek: Right.

Andrew: And I can tell you that you haven't made an adjustment so your brand isn't being responsive. Meanwhile you've got a representation problem for women in engineering. So at 7 days you know so much about a rec right. At 17 you almost know everything right. So at 7, it's like we don't have enough women who've applied and we certainly don't have enough that have made it past the screening protocols we have I'm like well you're not going to get them. Hope is an awful strategy right now.

Derek: Yeah and it's true hey listen man we got to wrap this up I want to thank you so much talking data with me and talking metrics.

Andrew: Yeah.

Derek: On the show Masters of Recruiting, sponsored by ENGAGE Talent. Check this out. Please do I probably got this off of our website go over and get a free demo check it out. Tell them Derek sent you. Now if you want me to be on the demo, I'll be happy to get on there and tell you my ten cents and my almost two years of using the tool before I got in the company. Andrew thank you so much for taking the time out of your day especially on Friday to chat with me and I'll see you next week at a HR tech.

Andrew: Next week.

Derek: Right on brother take care.

Andrew: Thanks so much

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