Ian is the co-founder and CEO of ZipRecruiter, connecting millions of SMBs and job seekers through innovative mobile, web, and email services. Prior to ZipRecruiter, he played an executive role at multiple early-stage to mid-size startups in the Los Angeles area, including CitySearch, Stamps.com, Rent.com, and Pictage. When he isn’t creating the product roadmap and speaking on behalf of ZipRecruiter, he is with his wife and kids at the beach or playing his favorite sport: soccer.
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3 Value Bombs
1) Remember, you’re not just recruiting candidates to fill an open position – you’re also selling them to come work at your company.
2) The only time you should hire is when you’ve already solved the problem, and you now need someone to manage the solution.
3) If any task inside your business is taking more than 25% of your time, you need to stop and say, “It’s time for me to hire.”
ZipRecruiter: Successful businesses rely on quality people. But finding quality people can be tough. That’s why I love ZipRecruiter! Its powerful technology scans thousands of resumes to identify people with the right skills and experience, and then actively invites them to apply for your job! That means you get quality candidates fast. And right now you can try ZipRecruiter for free! Visit ZipRecruiter.com/fire. ZipRecruiter. The smartest way to hire!
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How to build your dream team by hiring the right people with Ian Siegel
[00:10] – Ian shares something about himself that most people don’t know.
[00:58] – A quick teaser of what we’re going to cover in today’s masterclass!
- 2 mistakes that people make during the hiring process.
- Two things that every single person must do during the hiring process.
[01:25] – Where did Ian get the idea for ZipRecruiter from?
- Ian spent a majority of his career working at Internet startups. One of the defining characteristics of these companies: they’re small. As a result of being small, they don’t have an HR department to handle recruiting.
- He fantasized about a site that would let you push one button and send your job to every job portal on the web – then have all the candidates come back to you in one list.
[03:30] – Ian talks about the early days at ZipRecruiter
- It was like the market was at the gates waiting for a product like ZipRecruiter to exist.
[05:58] – What are the mistakes that people make during the hiring process?
- The number one mistake that Ian sees people make: having a section in their job description or job post for “requirements”
- Num. 1 piece of advice: Encourage employers to embrace one phrase. That is, “Nice to haves.” Just change the title from “requirements” to “nice to haves” and watch the number of candidates who apply to your job soar.
- Num. 2 piece of advice: Remember, you’re not just recruiting candidates to come to an open position that you have at your company. You’re also selling them to coming to work at your company.
[08:59] – What are the things we must do during the hiring process?
- Num. 1: you must research the company that you are applying to.
- By researching a company, you can say something specific in your application about how you can contribute to that company.
- Num. 2: a lot of people don’t understand how resumes are processed in the modern age. The reality is that the majority of employers have some kind of a system in place that will automatically process and interpret the details of your resume, then give some sort of recommendation to the employer who is hiring about whether or not you are a qualified candidate.
[13:39] – Ian’s best practices he has implemented to make sure he scales the right way.
- When you have a business that’s scaling, your temptation is to start hiring a lot of people to solve problems for you.
- The only time you should hire is when you have already solved the problem, and you now need someone to manage the solution.
[17:06] – The mistakes that Ian made scaling ZipRecruiter
- The number one mistake he made is that he was way too slow to hire.
- When you start a business, one of the things you should be thoughtful about is the quality of life you are looking for.
- Once you hire someone to own a problem, let them fully own the problem. Give them the autonomy to solve the issues – to not just make your life better, but to make their life better.
[20:03] – When is the right time to hire?
- Your job, if you’re the owner of your company, is to grow your business.
- If any task inside your business is taking more than 25% of your time, that is not a good allocation of you as a resource. That is when you need to look and say, “It’s time for me to hire.”
[21:05] – The other mistake Ian knows they’ve made…
- He didn’t consider raising money as a measure of success; it was just a milestone along the way.
- If you have a business that is working, be very careful with the details that are leading to that business working.
[24:08] – What are some challenges for new hires that Ian sees from his position?
- Like a jeweler that is going to cut a diamond, measure 3 times then cut once. You’ll never get a second chance to do the first thing that you’re going to do at a new business. You want to make sure that whatever it is that you do first has impact.
- The best way to make friends when you go to a new job is to ask for help. People who help you feel responsible for you.
- Whatever they have hired you to do, do that. Once every three months, do something more. Surprise them once a quarter.
[26:44] – How does ZipRecruiter help people?
[30:11] – Ian’s advise to jobseekers out there on how they can land their dream job.
- Over 50% of attraction comes from the concept of availability.
- When you sit in that chair and they say, “Hello! How are you?” Your response should be, “I am so excited to be here.” Then insert a specific compliment about the business.
[32:56] – Ian’s parting piece of guidance
- If you are an employer, you have to try one of the modern cutting-edge job sites.
- Magic can happen if you correctly describe the job you have to fill. The right candidates can be found with a precision that has never existed before.
- If you’re a jobseeker, employers are fighting for you right now.
- Visit ZipRecruiter.com/fire – Try ZipRecruiter for FREE!
JLD: What’s shaking, Fire Nation? JLD here with an Audio Masterclass that will be critical for your success moving forward because we’ll be talking about how to build your dream team by hiring the right people. And I brought Ian Siegel, who’s a cofounder and CEO of ZipRecruiter, connecting millions of small businesses and job seekers through innovative mobile, web, and email services. Prior to ZipRecruiter, he played an executive role at multiple early stage and midsize startups in the Los Angeles area, including City Search, Stamps.com, Rent.com, and Pictage.
When he isn’t creating the product roadmap and speaking on behalf of ZipRecruiter, he is with his wife and kids at the beach or playing his favorite sport, soccer. And Fire Nation, some things you’re not going to want to miss today is we’re talking about the two mistakes that he sees people make in the hiring process and two things that every person must do during the hiring process and so much more value. So, we’ll kick off when we get back from thanking our sponsor.
Ian, say what’s up to Fire Nation and share something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
Ian: First, let me say it’s a pleasure to be here. Something interesting about myself most people don’t know is I have an identical twin brother who also works in tech, and people frequently encounter him, not realizing or knowing that I have a twin brother, and so periodically I get accused of being exceptionally rude for not responding when people say hello. But I just want to let everyone know, it’s not me.
JLD: That is something that I also did not know. Very interesting. So, one thing I want to say to Fire Nation is we have a killer Audio Masterclass coming to you today. It’s about how to build your dream team by hiring the right people. And we have the CEO and founder of ZipRecruiter, Ian Siegel.
And let me just give a quick little tease of a couple of the things we’re going to talk about today. Two mistakes that people make during the hiring process. Two things that every single person must do during the hiring process. We’ll be talking about things that Ian did while scaling ZipRecruiter and so much more. So, you’re going to want to stick around for that because value bombs are going to be dropped.
So, let’s just dive right into this Ian, with you breaking it down for us. Where did you get the idea for ZipRecruiter?
Ian: I have spent the majority of my career working at Internet startups, and the defining characteristics of these companies is that they are small. As a result of being so small, they often didn’t have an HR department to do the recruiting for me, so as a manager of teams, I was the one posting my own job to job boards and then trying to figure out a mechanism to put all the resumes that I got from all these different job boards into one list.
I would say, it’s crazy. I’m taking the same job and I’m over and over again putting it on different sites, each of which required me to go through a different process to do it. And then when the candidates came in, each of them had a different way in which I had to go either download the candidates or access them online.
And so, I’ve had this idea for literally more than a decade. I thought, this is exactly the kind of problem technology is designed to solve. I fantasized about a site that would let you push one button and send your job to every job board on the web and then have all the candidates come back into one list, and that’s exactly what we built.
JLD Fire Nation, how many times have we talked about when you step outside in the morning and you’re walking around and you’re seeing problems that need to be solved into this world. You’re seeing struggles and obstacles and challenges. You’re seeing things that you wish were a certain way that aren’t. That’s an opportunity. And by the way, most of those opportunities you should never approach because you don’t want to do it and you shouldn’t do it. But every now and then, like with Ian’s case here, he saw an opportunity that he wanted to go after, that he knew needed to be solved. And here we are today talking about ZipRecruiter.
So, Ian, we see you now—I mean, you’re basically dominating the podcast sponsorship universe. I mean, you’re everywhere. I’ve literally seen ZipRecruiter everywhere from commercials to billboards to podcasts of every way shape and form. But tell us about the early days. Tell us about how you and all the other cofounders were still working your nine to fives, and then that process of actually transitioning from that into full-time at Zip?
Ian: ZipRecruiter, it started almost as a hobby project. It started as like a, “What if we built this?” So, I was at a job and I was managing not just a team but many teams, and I was literally at my desk staring at multiple stacks of resumes, each stack representing a different job I was recruiting for. and I was just thinking, this is crazy. Why do I have to go through all these resumes? So, I convinced a couple friends of mine – one designer and two engineers – to build the first version of ZipRecruiter with me. We all had full-time jobs. We did it on the side of those full-time jobs.
And then six months after we started, version one was ready to go. The day we put it out, we had no idea if it was going to work. We put $50.00 worth of ad budget into AdWords, and immediately, the response was overwhelming. We got 12 customers the first day. We were profitable the first day. It was like the market had been waiting at the gates, and maybe even beating at the gates, waiting for a product like this to exist. And very shortly thereafter, I quit my full-time job, and I decided I was going to dedicate myself to building ZipRecruiter.
JLD: Fire Nation, sometimes the market doesn’t lie. I mean, back in 2012, I knew in my heart there needed to be a daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. I didn’t know if anybody was going to listen to Entrepreneurs On Fire when I went live. Day one, I had 3,000 listens. I don’t know where these people came from, but it was like they were waiting at the gates. That’s why I love how you said that, Ian, because that’s exactly how I felt. I was like, it was literally like they were just waiting for this to exist, just like they were waiting for ZipRecruiter to exist. So, sometimes Fire Nation, when you get it right, when you hit that ball, it turns onto that grand slam.
Now, Ian, people make so many mistakes during the hiring process. We could make an entire season of podcast episodes around this. But let’s just focus on two. What are two mistakes that you see people make all the time in the hiring process?
Ian: The No. 1 mistake that I see people make is a really straightforward piece of advice, which is, best practice or most common practice for writing a job description forever, since the dawn of time, is to put a section in that is called “Requirements.” And when you put in a section called “Requirements” and then you list multiple things for a candidate to have, what you’re really doing, in the minds of many candidates, is creating what I’d call a “disqualification list.” Because if they go down that list and they see something that they don’t have and you’ve listed it as a requirement, many candidates, and in particular women, will self-disqualify from applying to that job.
Therefore, I strongly encourage employers to embrace one phrase, and that phrase is “Nice to Haves.” Just change the title from “Requirements” to “Nice to Haves,” and watch the number of candidates who apply to your job soar. So, that is piece of advice No. 1.
Piece of advice No. 2 is remember, you’re not just recruiting candidates to come to an open position that you have at your company. You’re also selling them on coming to work at your company. You are recruiting them, and inherent in the word “recruiting” them is you are wooing them. And if you want to have more success getting the right kind of candidates to come to your company, you have to remember to invest the time to tell them more about what it is like to work at your company. Don’t just create a dry job description that lists the things you would like them to be able to do. Tell them the experience that they are going to have once they join your company.
Things that I would add to a job description are things like, “Hey, it’s a family environment. It’s pet friendly. It’s close to shops and restaurants. We excitedly promote from within.” List the things that would make somebody be able to envision themselves working there. Sell the environment and the opportunities in addition to just telling them what you need from them.
JLD: Fire Nation, let me break this down one more time. No. 1, in your job description, you have to change the phrase from “Requirements” to “Nice to Haves.” It’s going to make a big difference in the amount of responses you get. And then No. 2, what experiences are people going to have at your workplace? Is it a family environment? Is it pet friendly? These are things that will catch people’s eyes and make them envision themselves being there. And that’s what you want. You want the right candidates picturing themselves there with you.
So, I love both of those things, Ian. And let’s kind of go over now the two things that every person must do during the hiring process. There’s a lot of things that we shouldn’t do, but what are two things we must do during that hiring process?
Ian: So, there’s two things that every job seeker has to do when they are applying to jobs, and these are critical. No. 1, you must research the company that you are applying to. The No. 1 mistake that job seekers make is they apply to a large volume of jobs and they don’t take the time to research the companies.
By researching a company, you can say something specific in your application about how you can contribute to that company. And whether it’s, “Hey, I researched you online and I think you have the type of environment that I could flourish in,” or “I really like what you’re doing from a product standpoint and I feel like I want to work on that product,” you will stand out from 99 percent of the other applicants if you simply take a moment to do the research so that you have something to say that allows you to stand out.
No. 2. A lot of people don’t understand how resumes are processed in the modern age. The reality is that the majority of employers have some kind of a system in place that will automatically process and interpret the details of your resume and give some sort of a recommendation to the employer who is hiring about whether or not you are a qualified candidate.
This makes it imperative that you use plain language and clearly label the skills and abilities you have along with the number of years of experience you have with each of those skills and ability. You must make it dead simple for these softwares to go through your resume and correctly assemble the information about you to present to the employer. If you follow these two tips, you are doing better than the majority of the job seeking population you are competing with. It’s a relatively low bar right now in order to stand out.
JLD: Fire Nation, two key things that Ian just talked about. No. 1, as job seekers, you’ve got to research that company so then you can go in and be specific and reference how you are going to help the company because of the skill sets that you have.
I can remember so clearly back in 2007 when I was applying to work at John Hancock in Boston—what did I do? I just Googled John Hancock, I read a little bit about the company, and I found out, oh, guess what? They have a huge sign above the scoreboard at Fenway Park. And when I went in and I was being interviewed, I referenced that, like, “I think it’s so cool you guys have that sign at Fenway. That’s just so cool it ties in with the city.” They were like, “Huh. That’s so cool you know that.” And guess what? That wasn’t a huge win for me, but that was just something that made me stand out just a little bit.
And then that second point, No. 2, use plain language. Make it simple. You don’t want it to be difficult for people to find out what they need to find out about you, your experience, your skills, etc.
So, Ian, I want to kind of flip back now to ZipRecruiter. Because as ZipRecruiter was scaling—as it was going from just you guys working part time to where you are now, what were some of your best practices that you implemented to make sure that you scaled right?
Ian: When you have a business that’s scaling, or in our case, a business that was rapidly scaling, your temptation is to start hiring a lot of people to solve problems for you. Because inevitably, businesses that grow find themselves with more and more problems to solve. I think my philosophy, and particularly with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, looking at what worked and what didn’t as we were scaling ZipRecruiter, my rule of thumb has become the only time you hire is when you have already solved a problem and you now need someone to manage the solution.
For example, when we were building ZipRecruiter, originally it was just the four cofounders and I was personally taking every customer support phone call, chat, and email. I did that for a year and a half. The first hire we ever made was someone to take over customer service from me. But I was an expert at customer service, at least as much of an expert as I could be, being the head of customer service, the head of business development, the head of product management, and the head of operations all at once.
So, that’s my second piece of advice, which is, when you do make a hire to take over a problem you’ve already solved, a lot of people when they’re hiring, they have a tendency to look for what I call “well-rounded individuals.” They try to find somebody who’s like them – entrepreneurial, can solve any problem, willing to work on a wide variety of issues and particularly in a fast-paced environment.
I think over time, when I look back at who was successful and who wasn’t that we hired, I think my philosophy has become I don’t want to hire well-rounded people anymore. I want to hire pointy people. I want to hire the pointiest person I possibly can who’s going to excel at the one thing that I’ve hired them to do.
So, if I’m hiring for customer service, I’m going to hire somebody who has exceptional EQ and stays calm. That’s the No. 1 criteria for being successful in that role, because if you’re talking to customers, you effectively are our brand. You are an extension of who the company is in the public. Hiring a well-rounded person who’s Type A who could solve the customer service efficiency problems and then jump over and do some accounting for us, there’s no real value in that for me if I’ve delegated the problem of customer support on an ongoing basis to this individual.
So, don’t hire well-rounded people. Look for pointy people who are specialists at the particular problem you’re giving them ownership of.
JLD: Fire Nation, you’ve heard us talk about this before. The riches are in the niches. If you are trying to resonate with everybody as an entrepreneur, whatever that might be, you are going to resonate with nobody. You need to be great at one thing. And I love that phrase “pointy people.” I’m going to steal it from you, Ian. I’ll give you credit twice, but then it’s mine forever. Because it just makes so much sense, that visual—be a pointy person. Be great at solving A, and who cares about B through Z because you were hired to solve A.
Now, Fire Nation, we have been going through some things that ZipRecruiter did right when they scaled. I want to go through some things they did wrong when they scaled when we get back from thanking our sponsor.
So, Fire Nation, we’re back. And Ian, just like I kind of alluded to before the break, talk to us about some mistakes that you made scaling ZipRecruiter. Let’s get real deep into the meat and potatoes.
Ian: ZipRecruiter is eight years old. And what I often say to new hires who come into the company is, you look around and we have a big office and we have a fancy kitchen with lots of free snacks. And when they look at the company, we look like a big, grown up company. And what I often say to them is, “We’re 8. Have you met an eight-year-old?” No eight-year-old in the world’s going to blow you away. I’m telling you right now. So, when you say to me, “What are some of your mistakes?” We are a litany of mistakes.
And we made different mistakes at every stage, but ironically the No. 1 mistake I made early on is I was way too slow to hire. Way too slow. I told you, I took every customer support phone call, email, and chat for a year and a half. And let me be clear. When I say I took those calls, I was taking those calls, emails, and chats seven days a week, getting up at 5:00 a.m. to support our East Coast customers and staying up till 11:00 at night to support our West Coast customers.
And when you start a business, one of the things you should be thoughtful about is what is the quality of life you are looking for? I am a father with two children. Believe me, no one in my family was appreciating the quality of life that I established as a baseline for our entire family.
And when I hired our first hire to take over customer support, I was blown away by how awesome my life immediately became. It was like a night and day transformation. Suddenly, I loved working at my business. And then ironically, this wonderful woman Ingrid who we hired to take over customer support came to me two weeks after we had hired her and told me she was going to quit.
And I said, “Why are you going to quit? Are you kidding me? My life is wonderful. You’ve solved every problem. The customers love you. You’re on top of the queue. You answer all the customer support emails, phone calls, and chats as fast as I did. I have no complaints. Why are you going to quit?” And she said, “Because we have no customer service hours. This is bat [00:18:19]. I don’t want to work seven days a week.” And I said, “I’ll tell you what. Let’s have customer service hours.”
And that’s how we put hours on the website. And Ingrid is still with us to this day. So, if there’s a little lesson in there it’s once you hire someone to own a problem, let them fully own the problem. Give them the autonomy to solve the issues to not just make your life better, but to make their life better.
JLD: Okay, before we go onto another mistake, I just want to get some clarification here. You were way too slow to hire. I know it’s easy to say, “Okay, hire faster,” but give us something tangible. Like, what’s a trip wire that looking back now in hindsight that you can share with our listeners as a way to maybe identify when is the right time to hire?
Ian: That’s a great question. I mean, I’m particularly speaking to people who are in the early stages of their company when I give this piece of advice, but your job, if you are the CEO or you’re the owner of your company or the head of your business is to grow your business. That is your job. If any one task inside of your business is taking more than 25% of your time, that is not a good allocation of you as a resource. That is when you need to look and say, “It is time for me to hire.”
So, if you’re doing all the accounting for your business, let’s say, or you’re doing all the customer service for your business, or let’s say you’re the one working the front desk or the retail register – whatever it is, more than 25% of your time is being spent on something other than growing your business, then it’s probably time to hire or well past time to hire.
JLD: Twenty-five percent of your time, Fire Nation. That’s a good little barometer there. All right, Ian, talk to us about another mistake that you feel like you can look back and say, “Yeah, we made that one.”
Ian: I’ll tell you a mistake that came a little bit later on, and so we were a little bit bigger when this happened, but for a long time, we were four guys in a garage working in an established industry, and everybody just thought of us as that cute little startup and nobody knew how big we were or how fast we were growing. And we did that intentionally. Like, we played up the fact that we were this four guys and we were a bootstrapped group of entrepreneurs. We hadn’t taken any outside funding. And then in September of 2014, we raised $63 million which was the largest Series A in L.A. history, and it hit every major newspaper – The L.A. Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post.
JLD: I remember that day. That was crazy.
Ian: And it was like a bomb went off, right?
Ian: And I had been challenging my team on whether we should announce or not. I didn’t feel comfortable beating our chest and saying, “We raised a bunch of money,” because I didn’t consider raising money to be a measure of success. It was just a milestone along the way. But the argument I got back was, if we beat our chest and tell everyone how well we’re doing, it will make recruiting easier. And we were constantly hiring at this point.
What happened? We announced the fundraise. It hits every major newspaper, every blog in our category, and suddenly, I am inundated with phone calls from our partners, all of whom immediately raised their rates on us. Our largest partner drops the partnership, circles us, puts crosshairs on us, and calls us their No. 1 competitor. And in every possible way, the business immediately went backwards.
Now, did it help with recruiting? A little. Was it worth the trade that we made? Probably not. And the worst thing about it was, a lot of people felt like I had misled them or betrayed them. Because in those negotiations prior to making the announcement, I would always say things like, “Hey, we’re just a group of bootstrapped entrepreneurs. We’re just four guys who were working out of our kitchen.” You know, like, “Hey, give me a deal.” So, you can imagine what the response was when we announced raising $63 million.
I would say that if you have a business that is working, be very, very careful with the cocktail of the details that are leading to that business working. I think sometimes when our eyes get big – or I should say our eyes get bigger than our stomach in terms of changing one of those variables too quickly, it can lead to a lot of unexpected and potentially even disastrous consequences.
JLD: Wow, Fire Nation, lesson learned. Think twice. Absolutely. So, Ian, let’s paint a scenario now of when somebody has just been hired. What are some challenges that new hires face that you see from your position?
Ian: I have a playbook that I strongly encourage everyone to follow. First of all, when you go into that new company, consider yourself to be on a listening tour. Everybody’s instinct is to want to contribute right away, is to want to make an immediate impact. It is a far better practice to learn, be thoughtful – almost like a jeweler who’s going to cut a diamond. Measure three times, then cut once. You never get a second chance to do the first thing you’re going to do at a new business. You want to make sure that whatever it is you do first has impact. So, I always say, go on a listening tour.
No. 2, the best way to make friends when you go to a new job is somewhat counterintuitive to most people, but ask for help. People who help you feel responsible for you. People who are helping you feel like they are rooting for you. It is a great practice to go on a listening tour to ask for help.
And then my third piece of advice is, whatever they have hired you to do, do that, and once every three months do something more. Surprise them once a quarter. This is my recipe for not only succeeding at a new job, but it is the fastest way to get promoted. Because you are the person who not only does great at the job you were hired to do, you do the unexpected. You’re great value of the money.
JLD: Fire Nation, when you first start at a company, go on that listening tour. I just love that imagery there. And then, No. 2, ask for help. I can remember, again, going back to my John Hancock days, I knew that I was going to be clueless in that job so I went to the Starbucks at the very bottom of the building, and I bought all of these $20.00 Starbuck gift cards and I went to people in cubicles next to me and I said, “I’m going to ask you a lot of dumb questions. Here’s an apology in advance, and a thank you if you are able to help me.”
Because guess what? In reality, everybody likes being the expert, Fire Nation. They like being able to tell what they know to somebody who doesn’t know that thing. So, ask questions.
And then go above and beyond at least once a quarter. Surprise and delight. Make it happen.
So, Ian, going specifically with ZipRecruiter, how is ZipRecruiter helping people like this, in these scenarios? How does ZipRecruiter help the overall areas that we’re talking about?
Ian: ZipRecruiter exists what is really the beginning of the process. It’s when employers are posting jobs and job seekers are looking for work. And that’s where we spend the largest portion of our investment in technology. If you had talked to me during the first five years of our history, ZipRecruiter, fundamentally, when an employer posts a job, puts it everywhere on the Internet, and then it brings in candidates from all those different sources into one easy-to-review list.
And if you had asked me in the first give years, what about candidate quality? What about the quality of the match? I would have said, “Hey. We sell haystacks. We don’t sell needles.” My solution for quality was always bring more candidates. And then about two and a half years ago, we’d gone from delivering, call it, 30 candidates a job, 40 candidates a job – it suddenly became 60, 70, a hundred. And employers looked at that and they said, “No, thank you. That’s work for me. Why are you delivering me so many candidates?” And even if the ratio of qualified to unqualified candidates stayed constant, it felt like the volume of unqualified candidates we were delivering was going up way too fast.
We made a decision at that point that we were going to become laser focused on quality, and we set up R&D centers both in the U.S. and in Israel, where we hired some of the best engineers in the world to use some of the most modern and advanced techniques that include machine learning, deep learning – this is often what’s referred to as artificial intelligence or AI – and we made our goal really simple.
We have so much information about the job and we have so much information about the job seekers that are currently looking for work. We don’t have to leave it to chance. We don’t have to hope for serendipitous interactions. The moment an employer posts a job on ZipRecruiter, we search the candidate population that is currently looking for work. We find up to a hundred of the very best, most qualified people in market, we notify them instantly that job has gone online, and they can apply from their cell phones with a single click. So, now you have employers not only getting great candidates that we’ve cherry picked from the market, but they’re getting them within minutes of posting their job.
This is a transformation in how recruiting has historically worked. On average, most jobs two years ago took 42 days to fill because people would post their jobs and walk away from them for up to 30 days to let the candidates come in. Now, they press the Post button to send their job out across the web, and before they even get up from their computer, great candidates are applying. There is magic in applying to a job and hearing back from an employer instantly. For both sides of the marketplace, this has been a tremendous efficiency boost.
JLD: Fire Nation, I just love how ZipRecruiter is using AI to do this stuff. I mean, AI is an exploding industry. There’s so my opportunity, yet so few people are implementing it into these type of things that we need it to be implemented in to maximize these capabilities. And ZipRecruiter is doing just that. They’re investing heavily in this for those very reasons.
Now, Ian, as we kind of come to the end of this chat today, let’s kind of circle back to job seekers to really bring this home. Give us two pieces of advice for those job seekers out there that are looking to land their dream job. I mean, we’ve given some specific advice about the resumes and this and that, but what if somebody’s like, “Man, I just really want a dream job. And I know what that dream job looks like kind of from a step or two back.” Let’s give them some specific advice so they can really land that dream job.
Ian: I think what is true for a large portion of the job seeker population is they don’t have a problem applying and they don’t actually have a problem getting called in for interviews. Where they stumble is in the interview process. And there’s a really simple trick that I recommend for every job seeker who has found the job that they want and has earned the opportunity to go interview. And that is the simple truth that over 50 percent of attraction, whether it’s in dating or it’s in recruiting, comes from the concept of availability. And there is this behavior so many job seekers exhibit when they go in for job interviews, which is they like to play it cool. They like to be careful. They don’t like to be vulnerable.
And my No. 1 piece of advice for job seekers who go in for an interview is to embrace the following sentence. When you sit down in that chair and they say, “Hello. How are you?” Your response is this. “I am so excited to be here.” Insert a specific complement about the business. “I am so excited to be here because I love your location and I read all the reviews on Glassdoor about your business, and I know this is the perfect environment for me.” “I’m so excited to be here talking to you today because your product is the best and I’ve been using it for years, and I would be thrilled to work on that product.”
You say something like that, you have just launched yourself into the best possible conversation you can be having with your potential employer because you are not only showing availability, you are talking about them. And there is one thing that is as true as the concept of availability –
JLD: So true.
Ian: – which is people love talking about themselves.
JLD: Love it.
Ian: Get them talking about themselves if you want slam-dunk that interview.
JLD: Fire Nation, get the concept of availability and the right mindset. You need to be excited. When you’re talking to somebody that’s working at a company and you make them feel great about their choice, however long ago it was, to join that company, to be a part of that company, you don’t think they’re going to feel great about themselves, about their company, and then about you? You want to create that environment. And Ian, let’s just wrap up with just one overall takeaway that you want to make sure our listeners get from this entire chat that we had. I mean, what do you really want to make sure Fire Nation gets from this conversation?
Ian: I’m going to give one for employers and one for job seekers. If you are an employer, you have to try one of the modern, cutting edge job sites. I’m obviously biased and going to tell you to use ZipRecuiter, but there’s a couple others that are leveraging this modern technology. The revolution is here. The age of digital robot recruiting is here. Magic can happen. If you correctly describe the job that you have to fill, the right candidates can be found with a precision that has never existed before. You owe it to yourself to try it.
Job seekers, this is a golden age to be a job seeker. You have a record number of open jobs, you have a record number of jobs that include benefits, and you have record low unemployment. Employers are fighting for you right now. If you are even thinking about looking for work, this is the time to jump on a job site and put in your credentials to find out if there’s a better job out there for you, or if there’s another job that you’re capable of doing. The software doesn’t just find great candidates for employer’s jobs, the software finds great jobs for candidates. I wish both sides of the marketplace luck.
JLD: Fire Nation, and if you are either a job seeker or you’re looking to hire some amazing people, ZipRecruiter.com/Fire. You can get over there right now, try it for free. Period. End of story. What are you waiting for? Because you’re the average, Fire Nation, of the five people you spend the most time with, and you’ve been hanging out with IS and JLD today, so keep up the heat.
And Ian, thank you for sharing your truth, your knowledge, your expertise, your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, brother, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Ian: Thanks for having me. This was fun.
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