I’m curious, what is your background? How’d you find your way into the talent acquisition toolspace?
I’ve been in Corporate Talent Acquisition for the past 25 years. 5 of those years I’ve been in business for myself running Pipeline Search Solutions where I provide a variety of recruiting services. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked in a variety of industries such as financial services, retail, healthcare, and global software and RPO and have led the build-out of recruiting functions.
Most founders have a story - something that kicked off their initial idea. What got you going on My Career Fit?
When I started my company it was at a time when the rise of podcasting was really starting to come into its own as a communication tool. I loved the idea that you could find entertainment, education, and other information and consume it literally anywhere. That was the difference for me when I started thinking of podcasting as a recruitment marketing tool. With both Video you written content it demands that you stop what you’re doing to pay attention to the content. To me, that’s a pain point in the process. The question for me was how to create an effective message and eliminate friction between the employer and the talent pool. With Audio you can listen to it anywhere. There is no requirement to stop what you’re doing in order to pay attention to the content. With marketing, you are trying to accomplish a number of things like build awareness around your brand, engage with your audience, create trust, and ultimately help bring your audience to a decision. Audio does that extremely well because you can reach a wide audience where they are, it’s extremely mobile and social media-friendly but most importantly with a branded podcast you can build experience and tell a story around your EVP and as any marketer will tell you storytelling is among the most vital elements of any consumer engagement and shouldn’t be underestimated in digital marketing. That fact alone led me to the idea of expanding into VoiceFirst Technology such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and others. It was an obvious next step and a way to blend the two into a platform that created an experience and removed almost all friction between talent and an employer.
As ubiquitous as voice tech has become, it’s a relatively brave new world. And this is even more true when it comes to recruitment. How do you see employers using it/ what’s the business case for it?
The business case to me seems obvious. Amazon Alexa launched only 6 years ago and nearly 90 Million U.S. adults have smart speakers and the adoption of this new technology now exceeds one-third of consumers. They’re not just in your home as a speaker now either. They are in your car and on your smartphone. If you have an Amazon Alexa you have the App installed on your phone. You can also download the Google Assistant app to your Apple Smart Phone.
Smartphones continue to dominate though and remain the most regular platform for the use of voice assistants. For 2020, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 275.66 million. When you combine the fact that 51% of Americans (12 or older) have listened to a podcast and two-thirds of podcast listeners listen on their smartphone along with the rise of voice technology the picture becomes very clear. Employers need to maximize the channel.
At the end of the day, candidates are consumers and consumers are candidates. Comscore predicts over half of all online searches in 2020 will originate from voice-enabled devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and others. eMarketer reports that by 2021, 42.2% of the US internet population, will use voice assistants daily and Edison Research found that 54% of podcast listeners are more likely to consider buying a product being advertised on a podcast. There is a shift occurring for consumers and that shift is coming to how job seekers look for jobs - I think it’s a must-have strategy and should be a critical part of every recruitment marketing strategy.
Employers can use the My Career Fit platform to reduce the level of friction between the audience and a brand by bringing a certain level of authenticity that humanizes the content in a way that a well-produced, slick video or written content doesn't. How we accomplish this is through two ways:
- First, through audio job ads that humanize job opportunities using voice-first technology such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. We post and make searchable your recruitment ads to Alexa and Google Assistant by allowing you to record a short branded audio narrative of your job opportunity that becomes searchable on Alexa and Google Assistant. If the user likes what they hear they simply say “Text Me” and Alexa or Google will send a link of your career site or job ad to their smartphone in seconds.
- Second, through podcasting, we use the narrative of storytelling to illustrate and advance the mission, vision, and culture of an organization to create a personal connection between talent and an organization.
Since this is 2020, and things are… interesting, have you seen any changes in demand, or requests, from clients?
Interesting might be an understatement. Yes, the demand for job advertising is definitely on the decline. Job openings on Glassdoor since the beginning of March. My service is no different in that regard. That said I believe as most do that the economy will rebound in the near future and frankly having an EVP that you can clearly communicate right now is more important now than ever. A lot of companies are continuing to hire as well. I have one client - QuickenLoans - that just posted a brand new podcast episode with us for their Remote Mortgage Banking division.
How are you pricing the product? What’s the model?
There are three very affordable plans (Standard, Premium, and Enterprise) and employers can check out the pricing page on our website for more information.
What tech stack are you using to support the product?
I host and produce all of the podcast episodes and for Alexa and Google, I’ve built the platform using a service called Witlingo.
We’ve seen some really cool voice ideas that just didn’t gain traction - often due to adoption. How are you going to ensure that with your customers?
With any product adoption and use of the service is marketing. We’re continuing to grow our user base through marketing, social media, and paid advertisements.
What does support look like for your customers?
Currently, I oversee the entire platform. My customers know they can contact me anytime they need assistance. Customers do receive their own My Career Fit portal where they can access their data and reporting on how their podcasts and voice ads are performing.
What devices do you support (ie, Alexa, Google, etc)?
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
What’s the elevator pitch?
My Career Fit exists to enrich the lives of people everywhere by helping career seekers find a career and company they can work with, not just for. My Career Fit helps companies personalize their corporate brand as it relates to employment by helping them effectively communicate their mission, vision, culture, attract the right people and ultimately make more money to further their cause.
Where do you see the product in a year? Five years?
Currently for a job seeker to use My Career Fit on Alexa or Google Assistant they have to launch the My Career Fit Alexa “skill” or Google “action”. In a year I’m hoping to have it work so well that all a job seeker has to do is say “Alexa, find me a job”.
In five years, I think the sky is the limit. Voice technology is evolving so quickly that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. I think we could see a day in the next 5 years where you search for a job on Alexa and possibly complete the process by applying or sending your resume to an employer just by speaking to your device. I really don’t see that kind of service very far off in the distance because currently you can schedule doctor’s appointments, order a pizza and pay for it, and even set a day and time for a movie and pay for the ticket.