How is AB5 (the Gig job crusher) affecting TA Tech vendors

Gig Economy

A recent article from the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted how Gig economy companies are dealing with the new California independent contractor law, AB5, that went into effect on 1/1/2020.

While a lot of the attention has been on companies like Uber and Lyft, there are other Gig Work platforms that are also being affected, like Wonolo, a California based gig worker platform.

Wonolo’s workforce is similar to many other platforms, like dog walking, freelance writing, and other platforms that offer independent contractors flexible work hours, but don’t provide benefits. This flexible, no benefits model just got harder to maintain in California, however.

Because Wonolo workers don’t meet the stated exemptions in AB5, the company has chosen to shut down gig operations in California. This is going to be an interesting ride, because California is one of Wonolo’s primary markets. Wonolo, and other applications might be able to continue to scale outside of California, or they’ll face changing to an employee model, similar to typical staffing firms.

What is AB5, and who does it affect?

California AB5 clarifies and creates exemptions to the California Supreme Court 2018 ruling, name Dynamex, making it harder for California companies to classify workers as independent contractors.

In short, AB5 creates a 3 step litmus test. Workers are considered employees, if:
* They perform tasks under a company’s control,
* The work is integral to the company’s business,
* The worker does not have independent enterprises in that trade.

This is going to be interesting to watch, because Uber, Lyft and other large gig platform companies are not laying down on this new classification. They’re fighting the law in court, while also proposing a new law to be listed in upcoming public elections.

There’s no doubt that flexibility of work options is a primary driver of the gig economy. It’s also one of the newest and biggest competitors to the traditional warehouse, hospitality, quick serve restaurant, and other part-time employers.

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Measuring Candidate Experience

Candidate Experience is a term being used quite a bit in talent acquisition and recruiting teams, but what exactly is a “candidate experience”?

What is Candidate Experience?
Candidate experience is the sum of interactions that an individual has with a company, or the company brand, where they might seek employment. These experiences might come from word of mouth referrals, search results from a job board, a couple of visits to the companies career site, good or bad mentions in social media, or from disgruntled candidates who applied and never received a response. Any one of these interactions could be positive or negative for a company, but most companies don’t know what candidates think of them. In many cases, employers don’t have a way to measure or survey their candidates or applicants.

So Why does Candidate Experience matter, and why now?
Candidate experience matters because candidates have more employment options than ever before. With job aggregators and Google For Jobs posting nearly every job online, it’s common that online job boards are going to show not just your companies jobs, but your nearest competitors. I’d argue that prior to job aggregators and “All Jobs Everywhere”, candidate experience wasn’t as important, because there were fewer employment choices during the “Hidden Job Market” days. With more job options, candidates can look beyond just pay. They want to know more about hours, shifts, flexibility, PTO, company culture and of course working with companies they are attracted to, or align with.

Candidates now have multiple ways to share their experience working at a company, or how they were treated during an interview. They have access to insider employee ratings through sites like Glassdoor, with CEO scores and employer benefits ratings.

To Understand your Candidate Experience, you have to understand your Recruiting Funnels.

Recruiting Funnels are the processes, or steps, or interactions, that occur between a potential employee and anyone that might influence a potential employee; including, the company’s brand reputation, career site, job descriptions, job application process, employer branding, interview scheduling, offer process, rejection process, and possibly onboarding.

While each department in your business might have it’s own recruiting process, there are often a lot of similarities. In smaller companies, the recruiting process is often left up to someone in human resources, a recruiter, or a hiring manager. In recruiting, many of the steps are manual, creating no consistency, and therefore producing inconsistent results. With inconsistent processes and no way to measure a candidates opinion, it’s impossible to know what’s working and what’s not.

In bigger companies, there’s often a handful of existing software solutions that don’t talk to each other, but are required for recruiting and HR compliance. Are these technical issues causing candidates to drop out of the recruiting process? Is the process, from finding a job to applying, and hearing back from a recruiter, taking too long?

The typical Recruiting Funnel might start at job posting on a job board, with interested candidates then applying on the employer’s website.

When was the last time you searched for your own companies jobs on Indeed or Google for Jobs, and tried to apply with the mindset of a candidate who has never seen your company before?

Whether you’re marketing on job boards like Indeed, or putting ads in a porta-potty, it’s important to understand every aspect of the candidate journey. How many clicks does it take to apply? How long does it take? Is the process easy to complete on a mobile phone?

From the initial first interactions to the completed application, the scheduling of an interview, to the uncomfortable rejection email”, what was the experience like for the candidate?

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
– Peter Drucker
If your Candidate experience isn’t up to par, what do you do?
If you think your candidate experience needs work, and that’s probably everyone, the first thing you have to do is document the process and the weaknesses, or problems. One way to measure how your candidates feel about the process is to survey them with a candidate experience survey.

If you want to improve something and get senior management to support your plan, you need to speak their language. In many cases, that means data and numbers. You’ll need to define the problem in measurable terms. You’ll need to measure the cost of fixing the problem and the return on investment. Creating an ROI for recruiting and fixing the candidate experience isn’t always going to be plain and simple, but there are ways. If you’re going to sell your idea to a VP of HR, or CFO, they want to see how you plan on tracking the results of the investment.

Consider alternative, or “out-of-the-box” solutions, that can make it easier for candidates to apply, while integrating to your existing tech stack. Consider adding a text to apply recruiting chatbot, that can pre-screen candidates. Look at your recruiting funnels for areas where you can introduce recruiting automation solutions, to remove manual tasks, or speed the hiring process.

The Economic Cost of a Bad Candidate Experience
A couple years back the Director of TA at Virgin Media in the UK, released one of the first P&L affects of poor candidate experience on the overall companies bottom line. The negative impact of Virgin Media’s poor candidate experience was costing the company more money than the entire recruiting annual budget. After some exhaustive financial analysis, they could prove to the CEO and CFO that a bad candidate experience was actually costing the company money because those poorly treated applicants/customers were canceling their cable subscriptions.

Like most things, it does take time for companies to understand the problem, adopt solutions and then create and manage solutions to institutionalize change to the new normal.

Benchmark your Candidate Experience against the Best.
The CandE awards started out of the passion of some of our industries’ most thoughtful leaders, like @GerryCrispin, @ElaineOrler, and @KevinGrossman with the intention of measuring and understanding companies who were tackling the problem head on, and then making those best practices available for other TA teams to learn from and replicate.

Some of the tools used to measure candidate experience, include Survale, a survey tool, that helps survey candidates about their experience with the company and the recruiting process. While many recruiting teams know about Glassdoor ratings, it’s also important to note that there are lots of employee review sites, and companies like Ratedly, founded by long-time industry insider Joel Cheesman, (also a co-host of one of the best HR and Talent acquisition podcasts (Chad&Cheese) aggregate employer reviews from multiple sites, making it easier to track and manage.

No matter what tools you use, it is possible to document and measure your candidate experience. Only then, can you start making measurable improvements.

This blog post was originally posted on GoHire – Measuring Candidate Experience.

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LinkedIn Groups – great for engagement, bad for advertisers and spammers.

LinkedIn groups are a great place for engagement, professional networking, and education. They’re also one of the most valuable tools for sales and marketing professionals.

LinkedIn groups are great for finding highly qualified prospects.
Prospects who have self-selected their professional interests, job titles, levels of expertise, and possibly even geographic region, etc, by simply being choosing to be a member of a specific professional group on LinkedIn.

Unfortunately, like all great public communities, unless moderated, the community ultimately can be over run by self-interest, and spammers.

About 18 months ago, LinkedIn took a knee-jerk reaction to dealing with spam on LinkedIn Groups. They had to. It was getting out of control, group membership and engagement had flattened.

Similar stories are abound, UUnet newsgroups were rendered useless because of spammers. Google bought the newsgroups, thinking they could solve the problem. After a couple of years of declining membership, they killed them.

Ning tried to solve the problem by going to a paid model, but that didn’t seem to work.

LinkedIn was a little different though.
LinkedIn was able to survive the early spam attacks because each post was connected to a LinkedIn profile, and a LinkedIn profile was connected to a valuable professional network. So there was an inherent negative consequence to spamming. Spam the community, get your profile removed… loose your professional network.

Spammers and fake profiles could be analyzed much easier, through a series of queries and actions taken on LinkedIn. No profile summary, no current job title, no recommendations, no picutre, but 100 postings in newsgroups… Algorithmic Red Flag.
Additionally,

d a lot longer because a user needed a professional profile, andLinkedIn had to come up with a way of eliminating spam, from “off-topic”, or straight advertisements in discussion groups.

Looks like over time, a number of group owners have put your account into “Auto Moderate”. Once you hit a treshold, of enough group moderators doing this, you’re posts are automatically banned from all groups. No warning. No way to fix it. No way to see who banned you. While the exact process has never been fully understood, SWAM, was a knee-jerk reaction from the Group Security team to ban posting from all groups, when enough group owners complained. Admittedly, even LinkedIn knows it was not launched as well as it could have been. They are in the middle of trying to fix it, but don’t expect anything soon. Consider it a learning curve.

If you want to post to groups, follow these rules:
1. Follow the posting guidelines from the specific group. If you don’t you’ll get banned from that group. If you do it in a enough groups, you profile will automatically be banned from all groups. (ie. above).
2. Never post unless you are going to create and encourage engagement. Creating engagement isn’t easy, and take time, so there are no short-cuts.
3. Never cross post to multiple groups, unless you follow rule #1 and Rule #2. Posting without engagement is like coming over to My house, during My party, standing on a soap box, with a megaphone and yelling your companies name. Then, immediately getting up and walking out the back door. The only response you’ll get is a bunch of people thinking you are an annoying idiot and should never be let back into the party.” so you get SWAM banned.

LinkedIn is too good of a sales and marketing and professional tool to screw with.
UUnet went away because of uncontrolled spamming.
LinkedIn did what it had to do to save the groups platform from spammers.
Sure spammers are frustrated, so are others who thought it was OK, because they got away with it for a while.

LinkedIn groups are about ENGAGING with other professionals.
If you don’t want to engage, start buying clicks with LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, Facebook Ads, or Google SEM, because that’s what you’re doing… Advertising, Not Engaging with your market.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of really great ways to do direct marketing on LinkedIn, and they are Extremely Effective, but posting links to blog posts in LinkedIn groups, isn’t one of them.

Believe me, I used to “Post and Run” , too…
I knew it was on the edge. .
I knew it was becoming less and less effective. Clicks on the links started dropping off, as more users started doing the same thing. Then, spammers started doing it, and the writing was on the wall.
I knew it could cost me, to continue, so I stopped posting to groups, unless I’m going to engage, respond.

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JobsInLogistics acquires Net-temps – Great combo!

JobsInLogistics-NetTempsJobsInLogistics, one of the strongest brands in the transportation niche recruiting niche, announced the acquisition of Net-temps.com, one of the pioneers of Internet Recruiting, and one of the strongest brands in the Temp-to-Perm and part-time recruiting and staffing niche.

As a long time Internet recruiting veteran and Internet job board pioneer, I’m always interested, and more often, then not, amazed at many of the mergers and acquisitions within the HR technology and Internet Recruiting market.

Many of the Venture Capital funded companies never get off the ground, because they never had a business plan or technology that had much hope of really working (think BranchOut, Jobster, or any and all “automated psychological profile job matching algorithm companies”).

Recently, Glassdoor raised an additional $50 Million, bringing their total investment to over $90 Million. I don’t know the recent valuation for Glassdoor, but if the investors wanted a 10X return, Glassdoor would have to sell for well over $900 Million (a little under the current public valuation of Monster.com and DICE.com, combined).

So, seeing two of the best brands merge, who can provide synergies to each other in a real-profitable way, is always exciting.

Congratulations to Don Firth, of Jobsinlogistics.com, and Sue and Gregg Booth of Net-temps!

What are your thoughts about the acquisition?

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Glassdoor raises $50 Million

Glassdoor.com, the website that made it OK to rant (“or praise”) about you’re current and former employers, just announced it has closed another $50 Million venture round.

glassdoorlogo

This brings the total investment to over $93 million, in 6 years.

The company reports 22 Million members from over 190 different countries.
Compete.com shows monthly user visits of 3 Million.

What’s clear is that Glassdoor.com has invested heavily in creating an integrated Internet marketing campaign that leverages social media distribution to gain backlinks for their SEO strategy.

It’s clearly paying off.
* 62 million webpages indexed in Google
* 59,000 top 10 landing pages in Google
* 479,075 total backlinks
* 9,865 backlinks from unique domains
* 4,988 new backlinks

GlassDoor-SEO-SocialVisibility
Glassdoor’s content marketing, blogging, and social media campaigns are top notch.
While Indeed was gaining SEO traction with aggregated job postings (Glassdoor is also doing this, but to a smaller scale), Glassdoor has been building a user-based content hub, like LinkedIn.

Their social stats:
* 11,447 unique pages linked from Facebook, and over 950,000 total links from Facebook alone.
* 2,732 pages linked from Twitter.
* 4,382 pages linked from Google+.
* 886 pages linked from LinkedIn.

* Stats from SearchMetrics.

What do you think?
Does Glassdoor have a big enough business plan, and user base to take on LinkedIn?

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