The Weekly Dose: @Pandologic – The Job Advertising Platform

Today on the Weekly Dose I review the programmatic job advertising platform, Pandologic. Programmatic job advertising has been around now for a decade, but still, it hasn’t caught on as it has with our Marketing peers who have been using the technology successfully to lure customers for decades.

95% of Talent Acquisition job advertising budget is still mostly spent on traditional types of job posting products: Indeed sponsored jobs, LinkedIn job postings, ZipRecruiter, other job boards, some radio, some TV, billboards, a sexier career site no one sees, etc. 95%! 

For the most part, TA hasn’t changed how we advertise for jobs in decades. 

While there are a number of programmatic job advertising tools on the market, Pandologic has truly gone all-in on utilizing artificial intelligence to make their technology more efficient and easier to use. One of the reasons so many great TA shops haven’t yet tested using Programmatic Job Advertising is that it quite frankly seems complex. And while the science behind can be complex, Pandologic has made a simple and intuitive platform that any TA pro can easily use to get better results on their job postings.

I like to think of Pandologic as Programmatic 2.0. It’s not just about distribution (traditional programmatic – put the job everywhere at once), but the utilization of AI-driven decision-making of when and where. Precisely placing your jobs in front of the kind of job seeker you’re looking for when they’re engaged on the internet.

What do I like about Pandologic?

  • Really the only fully-automated programmatic job advertising platform. You can set it and forget it, many of the programmatic tools take some constant watching.
  • Pandologic’s AI will constantly make micro-adjustments to get the best results, including constantly testing and making small language changes to your posting to get the best results.
  • Full AI, no human in the loop. You set your campaign goals and it goes out and gets the applicants.
  • An overall reduction in job advertising spending for the same traffic you have now or increased traffic for the same spend.
  • Easily integrated with your ATS to pull in job postings.

I’m a big fan of programmatic job advertising technology. I think too many TA leaders continue to play this game trying to figure out which “site” is the best one for them, getting into long-term relationships that cost too much money and quite frankly are inefficient. At the end of the day “advertising” is about the best results for the lowest cost.

One word of caution that I constantly try and educate TA pros and leaders on. Programmatic isn’t a silver bullet for hard-to-find talent. If you need Software Engineers in a market where there are very few Software Engineers, Programmatic technology can’t magically make Software Engineers where there are no Software Engineers! But, it can help get your job advertising in front of those few, for less money.

Pandologic for the most part is an enterprise-level TA tool. More than likely they are best utilized with organizations that hire at volume, 500+ hires per year, or it also would work for organizations hiring less, if the vast majority of roles are similar in nature (I.E., we hire 200 Nurses a year, etc.) I think every enterprise and large volume TA shop should be testing Programmatic in 2021.

The Weekly Dose: @OurTilt – Leave that doesn’t suck!

This week on the Weekly Dose I take a look at the startup employee leave technology Tilt. Tilt is reimagining Leave Management to help companies improve retention, streamline processes and reinforce corporate culture.

Let’s face it, most organizations use an Excel Spreadsheet to track company employee leave. No judgment! The vast majority of organizations have tracked leave this way since the invention of Excel! Before that, it was written files. But, now, thanks to Tilt there is a more elegant way to administer employee leave that helps all the stakeholders.

You might be thinking, “do we really have a problem tracking leave?” Maybe not, but leave is more than just HR tracking it. You also have the employee who is on leave, and the manager of the employee who is on leave, who often feel in the dark the entire process.

What I like about Tilt:

– One easy platform to streamline all of your employees leaves into one place where all parties can log in the get the information they need. Super easy to add an employee to leave, and each employee has their own access to track and get answers they need while on leave.

– Fully compliant, in every state, so a perfect solution for those organizations that are multiple states and find it hard to keep up on changing legislation. Tilt helps ensure you stay in compliance and don’t’ find yourself in legal hot water.

– Tilt guides help employees and managers through the process, lowering the amount of time and questions leave administrators have to deal with on an ongoing basis. Also, integrates auto-nudges to ensure both employees and managers do what they need to do, when they need to do!

– Direct communication from employees, managers, and leave administrators that are logged within the platform to ensure all communication is tracked and documented. Plus, great, ongoing manager education around the do’s and don’ts in having an employee on leave.

– Tilt works with every client to review and update leave policies and plans, to ensure your leave plans are built on what’s best for your organization and your culture.

I really like what Tilt is doing. Organizations big and small struggle to administer leave in a really easy way and most of the time all the company leave knowledge is usually stuck in one person’s brain. Also, administering leave is a complicated job, the more employees who have on leave, and the more states you must administer it in.

Pre-leave, leave, and post-leave, you, your employees, and your managers will have the information they need when they need it. All the while the tech helps you stay compliant, saving you time and money. Well worth a demo, especially for those companies managing leave in multiple states.

Buy Game Stop! No wait, get back to work!

Everyone is talking about Game Stop and AMC and a bunch of other companies that no one should really be talking about! Why? Because a bunch of remote workers are sitting at home, not working, and playing around on Reddit and their Robinhood brokerage accounts!

Yeah, I said it!

You have employees you’re paying to work remotely who are messing around thinking they’re day traders by buying crappy stocks off Reddit suggestions. Also, they think they’re sticking it to the “man” by doing this, so in their mind, they’re really saving the world. All while you’re paying them to sell more Saas software…

This is why Remote Work doesn’t work! 

Everyone loves Remote Work. Why wouldn’t you. You get paid to do the same work in half the time, and you get to do it sitting on your couch with Netflix running in the background and you’re still wearing the same stretchy pants you woke up in! God Bless America! Am I right!?

Remote Work fails when leaders feel like even one person is taking advantage of the system!

Look I get it, I get that Timmy is sitting in his office, at the office, and still not doing anything, but Mary, your CEO, can walk by Timmy’s office and scare him enough into thinking he should probably do some work.

Most organizations suck at having measurable performance indicators for every position, or any positions, besides sales. Most performance measures that employees have, would happen regardless if they actually did their job or traded crappy stocks all day, or ran an Etsy shop out of their cube.

Can’t we all just be adults!? 

Apparently, no.

You don’t want to be micromanaged at work, but the true future of “Remote” work is we are going to micromanage the sh*t out of you! (No, not me, all the other bad folks!) The bigger the company, the better the technology they’ll be able to afford to ensure you’re actually working and not acting like a wannabe revolutionary taking down the stock market by buying bad stocks.

If you have over 500 employees working remotely right now, at least 3% of those people are amateur day trading on your dime. It’s just a numbers game, at this point. Depending on what your business does, you can probably raise or lower that number 1-2%.

“But, Tim! You don’t get it! I work a flexible schedule, so I’m putting in more hours and still being a bad day trader!” No, you’re not. You’re an idiot who is going to cry you got wronged when you get fired because your company found out a part-time seventeen year old can produce more than you, without any formal college education.

Gawd, I actually love being the voice of reason! 

Man! I’m not a life coach, but what I wouldn’t do to punch some stupid 35-year-old dude in the mouth who’s trying to explain to me why Game Stop is a good investment, ‘really’! Turns out, no one needs a brick and mortar store to buy online games! Thanks for the advice, Trevor, how did all those folks at your company respond to that analysis in the company Slack!?

Okay, you don’t have to work forty hours a week, because when you’re home you have fewer distractions and you get your job done in thirty. The question you should really be asking yourself isn’t if America is considering you a hero for buying Game Stop stock, but if you can do that all day and still get your job done, who else is thinking they probably don’t need to be paying you any longer?

I can guarantee you, Game Stop doesn’t care about your job!

What is the Top Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) in the U.S.?

Okay, you guys know I love my guy, Rob Kelly over at OnGig and his team, for putting together data around the most used ATSs. OnGig recently released their latest report and I wanted to share some highlights and reactions.

First, let’s answer the biggest question – is this real? Yes, Rob and the team looked at over 1,000 companies and dug into which specific ATS they are using. Most were Enterprise level, but there were also a number of SMBs.

Here’s the breakdown: (click on the pic for a larger version)

 

Tim’s Reactions:

– In 2018, Workday had a 4.20% share in the enterprise ATS market. In 2020, that has grown to 21.92%, and they have thousands of customers going through and waiting on implementation. Workday has taken over the recruiting market at the enterprise level as of right now and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

– In 2017 Taleo’s market share was 25.51%, in 2018, 19.11%, and in 2020, 14.68%. Still a giant piece of the market, but it shows how Taleo didn’t react quickly enough to the changing marketplace to keep or grow their huge advantage. Keep an eye on Oracle Recruiting Cloud and the impact that will have for those Oracle customers looking to move to the cloud and away from Taleo.

– iCIMS share at 8.94% is extremely impressive, given they totally retooled their software over the past year or so, and basically pioneered the recruiting “App Store” marketplace concept which allows users to build an integrated stack with the features they want fairly easily. Also, this number doesn’t include many of the mid-market, SMB customers iCIMS have.

– Along with iCIMS, Greenhouse, SmartRecuriters, and Jobvite are all top best of breed ATS plays on the market and we are beginning to see this separation of organizations who are choosing the Best of Breed recruiting technologies, to those who are using the Giant HCM recruiting modules (Workday, Oracle, SAP).

What does any of this mean to Enterprise TA Leaders?

If I’m a current TA Leader working for an F1000 organization I better be ready to answer this question:

“Why can’t you, or can you, use the recruiting module for our large HCM stack?” 

Every single CFO, CIO, and CEO, if they haven’t already are going to be looking at their financial, operational, and supply chain stack and making a decision, most likely, between Workday, Oracle, and SAP (there are some others, but these 3 own 90%+ of the market).

These leaders are being sold on the power of one platform and the ability to leverage all of that data, and part of that decision will be HR and TA explaining the benefits and drawbacks of going enterprise module solution versus best of breed.

By the way, and this is very important, your input to this decision, as a TA and HR leader, will be weighted by the overall cost of the combined organizational solution and decision. Don’t be confused and think you are an equal player in this decision. The reality is, we (HR/TA) are not, as our portion of this contract is peanuts compared to the rest. The CFO and CIO are the big players, so if you want leverage around what you need, make friends fast!

Final Thoughts:

Many of you will not be given a decision on the TA tech stack you are given. I find that unfortunate, but that is a reality at the enterprise level. HCM Recruiting Module, best of breed ATS, an Excel spreadsheet, they all work, if we make them work.

Workday has a tremendous partner network with some of the most advanced recruiting technology on the planet. You can build a great Workday TA stack. You can build a very strong Oracle TA stack. The key is getting the decision-makers to understand, no matter what system you choose, the core ATS is only the foundational piece, and each of us will have other pieces that we’ll need to add to that stack to make it most effective for our organization.

Those pieces will cost money, on top of the money that is spent on the foundational ATS. Try not to allow yourself to be handcuffed with a new ATS (at any level) and be told this is all you get. Modern-day recruiting and talent attraction take way more than just an ATS.

One last shoutout to Rob and the OnGig team – keep up the great work!

Why Don’t We Make HR Simple? (hint: we might possibly have deep psychological issues!)

Have you ever wondered why HR Departments continue to make complex processes?  In reality, all of us want things simple.  But, when you look at our organizations they are filled with complexity.  It seems like the more we try to make things simple, the more complex they get.  You know what?  It’s you – it’s not everyone else.  You are making things complex, and you’re doing this because it makes you feel good.

From Harvard Business Review:

“There are several deep psychological reasons why stopping activities are so hard to do in organizations. First, while people complain about being too busy, they also take a certain amount of satisfaction and pride in being needed at all hours of the day and night. In other words, being busy is a status symbol. In fact, a few years ago we asked senior managers in a research organization — all of whom were complaining about being too busy — to voluntarily give up one or two of their committee assignments. Nobody took the bait because being on numerous committees was a source of prestige.

Managers also hesitate to stop things because they don’t want to admit that they are doing low-value or unnecessary work. Particularly at a time of layoffs, high unemployment, and a focus on cost reduction, managers want to believe (and convince others) that what they are doing is absolutely critical and can’t possibly be stopped. So while it’s somewhat easier to identify unnecessary activities that others are doing, it’s risky to volunteer that my own activities aren’t adding value. After all, if I stop doing them, then what would I do?”

That’s the bad news.  You have deep psychological issues.  Your spouse already knew that about you.

The good news is, you can stop it!  How?  Reward people for eliminating worthless work.  Right now we reward people who are working 70 hours per week and always busy and we tell people “Wow! Look at Tim he’s a rock star – always here, always working!”  Then someone in your group goes, “Yeah, but Tim is an idiot, I could do his job in 20 hours per week, if…”  We don’t reward the 20-hour guy, we reward the guy working 70 hours, even if he doesn’t have to.

Somewhere in our society – the ‘working smarter’ analogy got lost or turned into ‘work smarter and longer’.  The reality is most people don’t have the ability to work smarter, so they just work longer and make everything they do look ‘Really’ important!   You just thought of someone in your organization, when you read that, didn’t you!?  We all have them – you can now officially call them ‘psychos’ – since they do actually have “deep psychological” reasons for doing what they’re doing – Harvard said so!

I love simple.  I love simple HR.  I love simple recruiting.  I hate HR and Talent Pros that make things complex, because I know they have ‘deep psychological’ issues!  Please go make things simple today!

The HR Technology Conference 2020 ReCap & Top HR Product Winners! #HRTechConf

For the past decade or so, the HR Technology Conference has been one of the top conferences I attend every year! I’ve spoken and many covered all of them as a blogger or analyst, so when HR Tech went virtual for 2020, you knew I was going to check it out!

Let’s face it, virtual conferences are not the same as in person. It’s a very small percentage of folks I know who like virtual over in-person, so I think we are all hoping that HR Tech 2021 will be live in person back in Vegas! All that said, the HR Technology Conference team put a really good virtual event, using the technology platform Swapcard, and I’m sure some behind the scenes production.

The content was exactly what you normally expect from the HR Tech show – my buddy Steve Boese in a fancy suit, looking great, but from his living room, the keynotes this year were a little less big-name celebrities, and more inside baseball HR Nerd celebrities, which I loved (shout out to Josh Bersin, Stacey Harris, John Sumser, Stacia Garr, Jason Averbook, Dr. Tolonda Tolbert, Marcus Buckingham, Lisa Buckingham, and Ken Solon – go follow of these folks – super smart and they all share great stuff!).

Everyone did very well, but of course, once again, Marcus stole the show! He’s ridiculous, great speaker, sharing “wow” content is always a show stopper. This year, Marcus shared some new data from an ADP study on Resilience (and boy in 2020 do we need more resilience!).

Go check it out, turns out, those who go through more change tend to be more resilient. This seems to make sense, but yet we move mountains and constantly make dumb decisions in our organizations because we believe our employees can’t handle change! Also, age/generational differences have zero impact on resilience!

Who won the award for Top HR Product in 2020? 

-Accelerated Coaching and Scaled Mentoring Program

PILOT, New York, N.Y.

pilot.coach

-Dayforce Wallet

Ceridian, Minneapolis, Minn.

ceridian.com

-Fuel Marketplace

Fuel50, Laguna Niguel, Calif.

fuel50.com

-Language Learning Solution

GoFLUENT, New York, N.Y..

gofluent.com

-Manager-on-the-Go

Paycom, Oklahoma City, Okla.

paycom.com

 Microsoft Teams, Outlook Integration

iCIMS, Holmdel, N.J.

icims.com

-Moodtracker

Workhuman, Framingham, Mass.

workhuman.com

-Next Gen Pay

ADP, Roseland, N.J.

adp.com

-Opportunity Marketplace

Oracle, Redwood City, Calif.

oracle.com

-Paychex Flex Remote Workforce Enablement

Paychex, Rochester, N.Y.

paychex.com

-People Experience

Workday, Pleasanton, Calif.

workday.com

-Pluto

Pluto, New York, N.Y.

pluto.life

-Remote Hiring Solution

HackerRank, Mountain View, Calif.

hackerrank.com

-Skills Graph

Cornerstone OnDemand, Santa Monica, Calif.

cornerstoneondemand.com

-Workforce Insights

pymetrics, New York, N.Y.

pymetrics.ai

-WorkVue

Willis Towers Watson, London, U.K.

willistowerswatson.com

Very awesome list of winners and products as you look to 2021 you should be setting up demos to keep yourself up on what’s the next latest and greatest technology in the HR space!

Big shout out to the LRP team for pulling off a great virtual event, it’s not easy to do this right and you guys certainly did! Thanks, Steve Boese, Jeanne Achille, Tim Burke, and Elizabeth Clarke! Can’t wait until 2021!

The HR Technology Conference is going to do another virtual event in March – HR Tech Spring which is a free event, so go save your spot now!

@LinkedIn’s Future of Recruiting Survey says the #1 Skill for Recruiters in 2020 is… @LinkedInNews

I know you hate clickbait headlines, but they work, plus I know you want to know, so why give it away in the title! I mean I don’t get paid for my dashing looks and witty charm! Thank goodness!

LinkedIn launched its 2020 Future of Recruiting survey results today and it’s one of my favorite content pieces to comment on. Click through the link to download it for yourself, it’s packed with interesting data around talent acquisition and recruiting!

The #1 Skill for Recruiters in 2020 is…Adaptability!

Did you guess that? I didn’t. I think I could have probably could have had 50 guesses on not got that one. Here are the others:

Fastest growing skills for recruiters in 2020:

● Personal Development +44%

● Diversity & Inclusion +42%

● Talent Pipelining +37%

● Decision-Making +34%

● HR Strategy +30%

Okay, I can see personal development being high on the list, since 2020 has brought a lot of quality time working in remote settings and high unemployment numbers for recruiting pros, I think most people have been thinking about their personal and professional development.

I actually would have guessed D&I would have been #1. 2020 will be remembered for a few things – Covid, Social Justice, and the U.S. finally getting a sane person in the White House. So, from a talent acquisition perspective, I would have guessed diversity and inclusion recruiting to be the top priority.

HR Strategy actually makes zero sense to me! So, you’re in talent acquisition and your most needed skill is HR Strategy? Quite frankly, it makes you question the results overall. How could that be? Talent Pipelining? Yep! HR Strategy? Nope! But, it’s 2020, weird times.

Another big eye-opening stat from the report:

70% say Virtual Recruiting will become the new standard!

Okay, this one will take some explaining and background. First, what do you mean by “virtual recruiting”? So, for this data, that basically means, the process we have for recruiting can be done virtually. Sourcing, video interviewing, online assessments, etc., can all be done virtually, so I guess, yes, in that case, “virtual recruiting” is the new standard.

But, honestly, most of that stuff was already fairly standard.

I think the bigger aspect is Recruiters believing they’ll continue to be virtual/remote after Covid. I think Covid has shown organizations that in a pinch, yep, recruiting can be done virtually. But, every organization will have to truly decide is it better or the same as before, or possibly worse?

I’ve spoken to a number of F500 executives who aren’t super keen on remote recruiting because the relationships with hiring managers are worse, synergies amongst the TA team aren’t as robust, and brainstorming around testing and how to improve seem weaker in remote settings. Some of that can be improved, but it still comes down to leader perception.

We’ve been automating recruiting since the first Caveman needed a new assistant to track dinosaur migration patterns, so the fact that we’ll continue to automate and be able to recruit from anywhere in a mostly Saas environment should not be surprising to anyone.

Go download the new report. Some really good stuff around TA budgets and everyone’s favorite new topic, Internal Mobility, as well.

Could Employee Data Portability be the Future of Employment?

Do you remember when cell phones first came out? If you were with Verizon and you wanted to switch to Sprint, you actually had to change phone numbers! Think about how that would impact your world today. We switch from company to company, go-between social apps all day long, never worrying that our “profile” our data, won’t follow us.

In the mid-2000s the FCC finally made the determination that we should be able to move our phone number from one carrier to the next. Our phone number was part of our personal data. It’s how people recognized us.

Now, think about how our jobs are similar to our phone number, in terms of data.

You go and work at company A. You do a great job. You want to use that great work to get a new job at company B, but company A is restricted from telling company B anything about you, besides maybe some dates of employment.

What if we had a full digital file of everything we did at company A. Our performance records. Our training and development records. Maybe even records of peer reviews, etc. Exactly which jobs you held and what you did.

Do you think that would help you get that next job?

For most, it would help a bunch. If you sucked it might hurt your chances, but hey, you sucked, get better at your current job and turn it around!

Workday has been working on making employee data portable between Workday customers. That is close, and it’s definitely a step in the right direction, but so far you can’t take your Workday record and take it to a competitor HCM solution like Oracle or SAP. But, if you worked at three Workday HCM shops in a row, theoretically they are putting into place the ability for you to make your employment data portable.

That’s really cool! Because one of the biggest issues we face as candidates and as employers is truly knowing what someone has done previously, and letting a potential future employee know what we have actually done. Unfortunately, way too many people flat out lie on their resume/application/LinkedIn profile, that it’s hard to take any of those things as concrete proof of work.

I actually really like the idea of employee data portability. We allow employees to have a copy of their employee file, but so often, there isn’t really any substance in those files to help an employee get their next job. I also, get that if you had a negative job experience, you might not want that, but let’s face it, most people have some negative job experiences along the way, and I think all of that would come out in the wash.

We are the collective of our experiences, not just our most recent experience. As a hiring manager, I’m looking for trends and growth, understanding an individual might have made a bad job choice that didn’t fit well, and that might pop out. But, I also like the fact that if someone is truly a bad apple, that will also pop out.

We are all quickly becoming portable data sets. Facebook, Instagram, Snap, TikTok, Twitter, etc. already know this. Most consumer marketing pros already know this. Employer technology tends to lag behind, but I think we are all headed down a path where one day getting hired will be less about your resume or profile, and more about your complete data set you can show an employer with a simple click.

Influencers or Analysts? Who has the most impact on your brand?

The worlds of Influencers and Analysts have never collied more than they are right now in the HR industry. Most of this has to do with the popularity of Influencer Marketing that has taken off in the past decade, and like most things in HR, we are now just catching up with the marketing trend.

Traditionally, in the HR space, companies selling products, technology, and services only really cared about two things: 1. What do our clients think of us, and 2? What do the “Analysts” think of us?

What’s an Analyst? 

Every industry has them. These are basically individuals who work for organizations like Deloitte, Gartner, Forrester Research, IDC, and hundreds of boutique firms specializing in specific parts of the HR ecosystem. The individuals spend a great deal of time understanding the landscape of a specific function in HR, the technology, the processes, what works, and what doesn’t, etc. Then your organization pays its organization a great deal of money for this expert knowledge.

The hope is, using this expert Analyst knowledge will ultimately help you save time, money, and missteps because you’ve hired a firm of experts to help you make the right decisions. Many of these experts have never actually worked a day in HR, but hold MBAs and such. Some of these people are some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and if you listened to them, they could truly help you. Some are idiots working for a big firm.

Examples of Analyst I admire: William Tincup, Madeline Laurano, Trish McFarlane, George LaRocque, Ben Eubanks, Kyle Lagunas, John Sumser, Holger Mueller, Jason Cerrato, Josh Bersin, Sarah Brennanetc. 

This will then beg the question of well, then, what’s an Influencer? 

Influencer marketing has been around for a hundred years, but Kim Kardashian is the queen of modern-day influencers. I’m famous! You see me talking about or using this product. You buy this product. That’s really the backbone of influencer marketing. I mean Kimmy D would never steer you wrong, would she?

An Influencer is anyone in an industry that a measurable amount of people are listening to, which will influence their buying behavior. I write a blog post on some products that I’m using in my own shop. It’s super awesome! You go out, look at it, and decide to buy it and use it with your team. You’ve been influenced.

Most of the influencers in the HR industry are current or former practitioners, they’ve lived your life. Some are super smart and have the resume to back it up. Some are complete idiots. Any idiot can have a blog (I’m a great example!). Most influencers, like an analyst, have a specialty, something they’re better at than other stuff. Some influence full time, but most hold down ‘real’ jobs to pay the bills. So, they probably don’t have the time to deep dive into the industry, as you’ll see with analysts.

Examples of Influencers I admire: Kris Dunn, Dawn Burke, Carmen Hudson, Robin Schooling, Jason LauritsenLaurie Ruettimann, Jennifer McClure, Sharlyn Lauby, Steve Browne, Sabrina Baker, Joey Price, Mary Faulkner, Jessica Miller Merrell, Janine Truitt-Dennis, etc. (there’s really too many to name!)

Many of these people are HR Famous! They have worked hard to create an audience who for the most part listens to what they have to say.

You also have people that fall into this strange middle ground of Influencer-Analysts types that have no name. Maybe they started out as an influencer, then became an Analyst, or maybe they were an Analyst who became popular and started influencing. Examples in this camp are folks like: Josh Bersin, Jason Averbook, Sarah Brennen, Trish McFarlane, Ben Eubanks, etc.

(BTW – All of these people you should connect to! )

So, who has the most impact on your Brand? Influencers or Analysts? 

This is not an easy question to answer because like almost anything it depends on a lot! We all know of a certain product we love and regardless of the influence or what some expert is telling us, we will just buy it because we love it!

We also have an untold number of products and services we buy because someone we trust told us about it, and because we trust them, we go buy it.

If you’re a large enterprise-level product or service, basically selling to companies that have more than 5,000 employees, you better make nice with the Analyst community! They tend to have the ear of more enterprise buyers then you’ll typically see from influencers. I doubt very highly the CHRO of Google is reading this blog! (but I know the CPO of GM is!)

What I see is companies selling to enterprises usually work with both Analysts and Influencers. They want to ensure their message is heard across the buying community, so they don’t miss out on a potential buyer, and they have the money to do both.

Companies selling to under 5,000 employees and it starts to get a little harder to determine the impact of Analysts. I mean how many HR and Talent shops in Small to Medium-sized businesses have the money to pay for Analysts Research? Not many! If you run an HR shop of a 1500 person company, you do not have $50,000 to hear what the best ATS is! The ATS you buy won’t even cost $50K!

Behind the scenes, most analysts understand their biggest impact on the enterprise buyer, and because that’s where the money is, that’s exactly where they want to be! If you have buyers across small, medium, large, and enterprise markets, it then becomes a more difficult decision on how you use Influencer marketing.

The real answer to the question above is you engage with the analyst and influencers that have the most positive impact on selling your product. Unfortunately, most organizations have little or no idea if either side is having an impact on selling their stuff.

Who has the juice? 

I call someone who has ‘real’ influence as having the “juice”. If you have the ‘juice’ you have the ability to influence real buying decisions on a regular basis. Laurie Ruettimann tells you to go out and buy this new great HR product, and that organization will see a measurable sales increase directly tied to the links in her posts. She’s got juice!

I wrote about an HR Tech company a few months ago after a demo and a month later they sent me a bottle of gin because they landed a six-figure deal directly from my mentioning them in a post. That’s gin and juice! 😉

Most people who call themselves influencers in the HR space have little or no juice. Usually, because they just don’t have a large enough, sustained audience who is listening. They might be 100% correct in their recommendations and insight, but not enough people are listening to move the buying needle.

I love what the folks are doing over at Advos because they are actually showing organizations who have the juice and who doesn’t. I can tell you I have the juice and say I’m the #1 Influencer in the HR marketplace, but the reality is, anyone can say that! HRMarketer is actually giving data behind those words to let people know where the real juice is.

The truth around all of the analyst vs. influencer chatter is that you’ll find people in both groups who can help you and people in both groups who are complete idiots and have no value. The best thing to do is build a relationship with both, find out who moves your needle and aligns with the messaging you’re trying to get out, and then measure. Eventually, you’ll find the right mix that will work for your organization.

7 Things Start Ups Teach Us That Will Increase Our Success!

My buddy John Hill works for Techstars as the VP of Network, go connect with him, he’s completely an awesome guy who will sit down and have a beer with you and talk about how to change the world for hours!  Last week he got to meet the latest crop of Techstar startups and came away motivated with some great learnings.

Here are John’s takeaways from the newest Techstar startups:

1. Nothing beats hustle. Nothing.

2. The world is full of good ideas, but only a few will execute them.

3. Relational capital is vital.

4. Networks matter. Surround yourself with those who can help you.

5. There are some wicked smart people in the world.

6. To build a great company you need help with funding, talent, and connections to business/industry to scale and the understanding of how to navigate each.

7. Suspend disbelief!

I’m drawn to each of the seven for different reasons but #2 jumps out because I witness this on a daily basis. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who execute and those who talk about executing. Hire those who execute. Understand that they are rare and you should overpay for this ‘skill’.

Do you notice nowhere on his list does he talk about failure. John is a motherfucking doer! He gets shit done. Techstars will only take a chance on startups led by people who will execute. John talks about ways to succeed not about just throwing caution to the wind and failing. The reality is most will fail, setting yourself up for success is key.

I love that he ends his list with “Suspend disbelief”. The world is a critic. Those who make it big have that special combination of John’s list. Great idea, ability to execute, the right network to make it happen, super smart, etc. What they also have is true belief! At the end of the day, you have to believe 1000% of your idea is going to work. No part of you even questions that it won’t.

If it didn’t work you would be destroyed because your belief was so strong that you never saw it coming when it fails. That’s how most great ideas actually make it. You find a combination of all of these things and you put money and resources behind it.

These 7 learnings aren’t about how to make a startup successful. These are how you make anything successful that you’re working on.