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EP 13: Julia Arpag & Stephanie Quinn-West, Talent Acquisition Team Leads @ SecureVision

Podcast Transcript

James Mackey  0:00  

Welcome to Episode 13 of Talent Acquisition Trends and Strategy. I'm really excited about today. We are joined by Julia and Stephanie, our team leads at SecureVision. Welcome!


Julia Arpag  0:22  

Thank you, we're happy to be here!


James Mackey  0:26  

Before we jump into it, I know we have some really cool topics to talk about today. Could you both just maybe provide a short introduction, just talking about your background, and experience a little bit about what you do at secure vision? And, Julia, if you want to start first, you can jump into it.


Julia Arpag  0:42  

Awesome. Thanks, James. Yes, so I've been here at SecureVision for about a year, I obviously have loved every second. And like James said, I got to move from the recruiter seat into the Talent Lead seat about five months ago. And moving into leadership has been really fun. I still get to recruit. I'm still hands-on, but I also get to lead a couple of team members here at SecureVision and be part of just a higher-level kind of talent strategy planning for the whole company. So that's been really fun. 


James Mackey  1:12  

And you're crushing it, you're doing such a good job, too.


Stephanie Quinn-West  1:14  

Thanks, Jim. Hey, I'm Stephanie, I have done kind of similarly, I started just about a year ago, and moved up just about five months ago into the Team Lead role. Prior to that, I started my role in tech as an SDR and moved into an AE role, and then moved into the recruiting side of all of that. So that's been really fun to have that background and speak to folks in red roles. And then here at SecureVision, kind of open that up to all different types of roles. And then as Julia said, move into the team lead role and focus a lot more on strategy processes, but also on that kind of player-coach. So getting to talk to candidates.


James Mackey  1:57  

Sure. Both are a huge part of why we've been able to grow and be so successful. So I'm really excited to have this conversation with you today. And if you all enjoy doing this, we can just do this maybe once a month, where we bring you on the show, and you just share with everybody the things you're working on and what you're learning, what you're seeing out there in the market, and whatever we want to talk about.


Julia Arpag  2:21  

The world needs to know!


James Mackey  2:24  

I agree. One of the topics that I know, you both are really passionate about, and a lot of people are reaching out to you to learn more about is and, I would love to get your thoughts on How to become a top-performing recruiter, and how to do the things you need to do in order to move up in your career and ultimately, move into a lead position and move into talent leadership. 


Stephanie, if you want to start us off on this one, and then we can for each question just alternate who goes first, you're gonna do it that way.


Stephanie Quinn-West  3:01  

Sounds good. Yeah. I think in recruitment, there are a lot of moving pieces, obviously. And so really make sure that you are focused on each aspect of it. And knowing how to prioritize those things can be really important and help you to kind of move up and maintain what you have going on within your processes. 


I come from a role previously where I was more focused on candidates. And I think that's really helped to build the foundation of checking in with candidates and making sure that I'm calling them, making sure I'm checking in if they have an assignment, right? Checking in periodically, if it's due within a week, checking in on day two day, day five, and day seven. And really making sure that the candidate has everything that they need, especially in this market right now. 


Because if I'm not checking in on them, somebody else is, and then they're more kind of focused on that role. So maintaining that, being top of mind for candidates, I think has been really helpful. And then going back to kind of all your tasks is not only focusing on their late-stage candidates, but you've got to go back and make sure that you're doing all of the things to make sure you get those. 


So just really blocking time on calendars and making sure that you have that focus all the way throughout and knowing that everything is almost equally as important.


Julia Arpag  4:25  

Yes I would agree with everything Steph said and recruiting is a really unique blend, you have to be hyper-organized, like she said, but you also need to be a people person. You have to genuinely care for your candidates and care for your clients and care for your team. And people can feel it, they can feel it if you're just acting the part so that you can get a promotion or close a role or make the client not mad. They can feel that, they can feel your motivation. 


So I think cultivating that genuine personal desire to see everyone in your circle succeed, to see your candidate succeed, your clients succeed, and your team succeeds. 


And then as far as definitely getting to move up into this player-coach role, it really came a lot from that, like our human first approach. And then both of us were already leading without the title. We already were stepping up in our client relationships, we already were mentoring younger members of our team. So just basically stepping into the role that you want doing the things that are already your natural bent, and that you're already strong in or that you want to stretch in, just taking on those kinds of opportunities and projects is going to go a long way in your career.


James Mackey  5:30  

Alright. You all know how important psychology is to me and how much I weigh that in the interview process even when we brought both of you on board and with everybody else as well. 


I think it's understanding to just, if you want to move up, be willing to just proactively start to take on additional tasks and wanting to find solutions to problems and wanting to bring potential solutions to leadership and say, Hey, look, I know we're doing it this way. But have we considered doing it this way? Right? Have we considered implementing this change? Or, you know, and I think just some sometimes, you know, people might, they might want to do that, but maybe they feel unsure about, is it really my place? Should I speak up? Should I say something? 


And so, I think it's easier, with more years of experience you have, and just having a little bit more life experience helps, too. But, it's really important that if you're not the type of person that feels comfortable to understand that if you don't feel comfortable bringing those things up, it's okay. And in fact, if you're not comfortable, it means you're out of your comfort zone. And it means you're doing something that's making you grow. 


And so one of the things that I talked about with people, that is moving up, if they feel like impostor syndrome, where they feel uncomfortable about having certain conversations, I say, great, good. That means that you're growing, right? Like, you're, you're putting yourself in a position where you're uncomfortable, where it's uncharted territory, you haven't done it before. That's how you know you're exactly where you should be.


Stephanie Quinn-West  6:59  

Yes, but one, it's great to have a leader like James, who encourages that, and will tell us and tells us to then tell our folks that were leading those same things. Because sometimes you don't have somebody that will tell you, I know, you maybe have impostor syndrome, or you're not feeling comfortable, and that's okay. And that's a good thing. 


So I think us being able to instill that in future folks that want to move into leadership, and that trickling down from James, from Bridgette, really makes a world of difference here at SecureVision.


James Mackey  7:33  

Yes, for sure. One of the analogies I like to share with people too, is just weightlifting, is just such an easy analogy, because it's like, if you go to the gym in the morning, right, and if you if you're lifting a set, and that's not painful at all, it's not uncomfortable, then you're not growing, right? 


I try to use that analogy with people, it's like, you know, when you want to move up, and you want to, you need to be proactive, you need to be outspoken, and you need to come to the table with ideas and show that you're engaged and that you want to contribute and help and optimize the business. It's again, it's okay to be uncomfortable. Maybe we might get to a point where we want to be a little bit more comfortable. But I think at least for most people, and coming up in talent acquisition, when you're pushing to get that promotion, you also have to be willing to be uncomfortable.


It doesn't necessarily mean working crazy hours or anything like that. I just mean, in terms of the actions you take, the conversations you have, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and do things you haven't done before, which might feel a little bit tough at first.  I think that mental barriers that people quite honestly have trouble overcoming. 


Because, managers can be different personalities, some can be more extroverted, or introverted, but I think a common thread is people have to be willing to be out of their comfort zone and step up and try to find other ways to contribute and maybe some what might feel as, like uncomfortable conversations where they're kind of putting themselves out there and being a little bit vulnerable so that they can be, you know, thought of for a team leader or leadership role.


Julia Arpag  9:18  

I agree. And one thing I'd add to that, too, is humility. I think the fact that both Steph and I, yes, come with ideas, but we also come with questions. We're like, hey, what do we think is a good way to solve this? What do we think is a good solution? Or when I'm struggling with my response rates for LinkedIn messages, I'll go to my team and be like, hey, does anyone have any good templates? We're not ever coming down and saying, hey, you know, we're in a leadership position. So we're gonna tell everyone how to do everything. 


We're still asking questions. We're still inquisitive. We're still humble. So I would say that's a huge piece. And like Steph said, we see that from the leadership level here at SecureVision, which is awesome.  We see leadership asking questions, we see leadership, wanting to push in and hear from everyone about the best way to do something or the ideas that everyone brings to the table.


James Mackey  9:58  

Yeah, absolutely. I have a follow-up question. And, Julia, if you could answer this one first I. One of the things Stephanie mentioned earlier was in regards to checking in with candidates consistently and really investing in those relationships. And that is a core part of being a top-performing recruiter.  


I'm curious to get both of your thoughts on automation tools like Calendly in different tools that actually kind of cut down on communication with candidates. Because obviously, if you think about scheduling interviews, it can be a huge pain. Particularly, we've all worked with hiring managers that will reschedule several times, right? And so having that Calendly link that you can send out to new candidates, and also candidates down the funnel, it can feel like it's removing a big burden. 


But one thing that I found when I was an individual contributor is that a lot of the times when I was having those conversations with the candidates to schedule the interview, that's when I was doing what I call RPO. Right. Like, that's what I was kind of evaluating, you know, oh, hey, by the way, can you do Thursday at 12? Okay, great. Also, Hey, how's it going? Like, where are you currently interviewing? Where are you in the process? How are you ranking the opportunities? Do you have any pending offers? I would have those conversations, oh, what are you doing this weekend, like, how's your family? You know, I would have all of those conversations and ultimately build a much deeper relationship, and also really understand how their mind works, and what they're prioritizing. 


How do you strike that balance? Right? Because obviously, we need to leverage technology, because it allows us to move faster and more, hopefully, more efficiently. But I feel like as a recruiter, it's hard, right? Because how do you find that balance between automation and real, genuine relationships? So how do you leverage tools like Calendly? And how do you recommend recruiters leverage tools like that?


Julia Arpag  11:48  

I run a three-touch outreach process for my initial prospects when I reach out to them about a new job. So my first two touches, I do not include a Calendly link, I just say, Hey, I love to chat with you. Let me know when it works for you. And then I want to have that back and forth because embedding a link in those initial messages actually drives down response rate. 


So when I feel more human, when I'm personalizing my template, I'm not just throwing links at my candidate, it makes it way likelier for them to respond to me. And then if by the third touch, they still haven't responded, then I actually find the calendar link can actually help because they're like, Okay, fine, this is easy. I'll just click on this and maybe talk to her. But that being said, I agree that your first instinct definitely has to be maintaining the personal touch over automation. 


Obviously, as Steph said, you have a million candidates in process at any given time, so you need to be moving efficiently. But just that initial touch, I am really a big believer in making it as personalized as possible. I'll include, not only that, ask of, hey, when works for you. But I'll also include the name of their current company and my outreach. So they know I'm not just blasting this out to 50 people. 


So I think personalization is key, not using automation, especially for a couple of first touches. And then throughout your process. As you said, James, not just blasting them with hiring manager Calendly links, even if that is how your hiring manager wants them to schedule, you can still ask questions, as you said. You can still check in on their interview process, you can still make it a more personalized conversation the whole time. That's what I'd recommend.


Stephanie Quinn-West  13:18  

I was actually just talking about that with Bridget, who to clarify, is my manager yesterday, about Calendly. And she also doesn't send it out at the first touch. I've always sent it out, I included it in all of my touches, it's just at the bottom, because then it's a choice, right, like I'm writing a personalized message, of course, and my first touch, that's the most personalized, but it's also included there that way, if the candidate so chooses, they can go ahead and schedule and I can avoid that back and forth. It's almost like an option, and it's way at the end. So I do include it. 


And I feel like those conversations, I don't know if they really come up in scheduling. And maybe it's because of the way I do things, but what I do is when I first get them on the phone screen, that's where I'm starting the real relationship. And I'm talking to them a little bit at the beginning of the call, how was your weekend and making notes like, oh, they have a dog or, you know, so that I can check back in later on. 


And then towards the end of that phone screen, I'm also so hey, what's the best way to contact you, like, you can go ahead for me, you can text me on this phone number, we can do email, we can also hop on a call at any time. I'm here throughout the process. So I will check in with you between calls. I'm also here to do the scheduling. So you know if you feel like you're not getting your answers from the calls that you're on, or you'd rather speak with me than the hiring manager and you have a certain question that we can always do that and just kind of really open that up and get them their buy-in right oh, you know what text is great for me or hey, you know, I really don't check my phone during working hours. So email is the best way to get me. And then I will work on their kind of the way that they work with things, and then pop in those kinds of bits of How is your dog? and all of that within those texts, emails, or follow-up calls and things like that.


James Mackey  15:14  

Gotcha. I don't know about you all, but what I remember when I was an IC working as a recruiter, I had this idea of this upside-down funnel.  The candidate funnel goes this way, right? And at the bottom is final round interviews, and offers, but I would also have this concept of an upside-down funnel, where it's like, the further down the funnel somebody gets, the more time I'm actually spending with them. 


So it's that concept of when I have somebody in what I would call a late stage for interviews, or final round interviews, right? I would always kind of think like mentally about that kind of flipped funnel, like the further down the funnel somebody gets, the more time I'm going to spend with them, scheduling or otherwise, just on the phone, talking with them about other opportunities, what they're thinking about what they're prioritizing what they want to see in an offer. How are they going about the decision-making process? Is it a family decision?  All of those things like the further down funnel they get, the more I'm investing time speaking with them.


Stephanie Quinn-West  16:16  

I've never really thought about that in such a visual way. But I really liked that explanation. But that's something that I tell to folks, whether they're on my team, or sometimes when you're explaining to a hiring manager as well, right, where, you know, we're gonna start with, like, really getting 50 candidates in for week one and making sure that we're fully calibrated. 


And then once we've got a good pipeline going, then we're probably going to ease up on outreach,  and that's because our time is split, right? It's not like we're less focused on this role. But rather, we're spending more time with the candidates that are in later stages. So you're getting just as much time and I try to explain that to my team in terms of if they're like looking at, we've got a lot of roles going on. And I can't possibly source for all of these all the time. But it's like, you can just kind of flip the way that you think about your time. So I like your inverted funnel.


James Mackey  17:12  

Exactly. Well, very cool. We have about 30 minutes left, and next time we do this, if you all want to do this again, maybe we can even reserve a little bit more time. Just because I feel there's so much we can cover. But I would love to also get your thoughts. You've worked with a tonne of companies to help them hire at SecureVision prior to SecureVision. 


The companies and the hiring managers that stand out, that do an exceptional job, are there any clear differentiators about how they go thinking about recruiting or how they execute? That you can clearly say to people out there, like these are the things you need to do to be successful at recruiting, or these are what the best hiring managers of best companies are doing that's different from what the majority of the market is doing. Julia, would you want to start with that one,


Julia Arpag  18:07  

I do. Oh, my gosh, I have two clients who come to mind in particular, that are strong in different ways. So one, it is kind of similar to what you were just talking about staff in terms of you communicating to your clients, Hey, as we get candidates down the funnel, we as recruiters are spending more time with them. But I have this one client that they get that too. So not only do I pre-close my candidate after they've had their final interview, my hiring manager wants to pre-close them. 


So they have multiple touches with that person who's going to manage them. And so the client gets that personal touch piece there. They don't view recruitment as transactional, they don't view it as you just need to interview them and then move on. They're like, No, this is a person, they need to see who the team is, who their manager is going to be, what their life is going to be like here. So that's definitely a best practice. 


And then I have another client, who I love how quickly they're able to move. So again, it's not transactional, they're meeting, they're having these, you know, very in-depth interview conversations, but they move so fast, they don't waste the candidate's time, they respect that the candidate is making this choice just as much as they are. So from the moment when I did my initial phone screen, they scheduled one long panel interview, it was an hour and a half, and then they moved to offer. 


That's it! They make sure everyone that needs to make the decision is on that panel. They move calendars, they make it happen, they prioritize it. And then I've had many instances where I screen a candidate one day, and then I've actually literally been able to offer by the end of the next day, or at the very latest within a week. So that client is amazing and understanding the market and getting that they need to just move quickly and have that hiring velocity.


James Mackey  19:39  

And in order to move that fast too. They have to have a very clear understanding of what success looks like, and what the ideal profile looks like. And that I think just speaks to just a deep level of understanding of the role requirements and the type of individual that's gonna be successful at your company.


Julia Arpag  19:54  

Yeah, they're very dialed in and that client specifically, hires a lot of engineers, so that is almost an easier process because they have a lot of very technical questions where there truly are essentially, yes or no answers. But they're also vetting for personality. They know the type of person who's successful there, which is why they do a panel, and they have multiple people kind of experiencing them. But yeah, they do a really good job of understanding their profile, and then moving quickly on the right people. 


Stephanie Quinn-West  20:21  

Love it. One of the things that I thought of is that folks that have really strong criteria, like you were saying, really know what they want and need for this role to be successful, both in soft skills and anything else that is particular to the role but are also open, right. 


So if they have these strong criteria, you can hit the ground running as a recruiter, if they give you a certain list, and they're like, this is what we need. But at the same time, if they find somebody that checks 80% of the boxes, and maybe doesn't have that three to five years of experience, but rather has two, but they look great, then they're like, Okay, or maybe they don't have one particular item on their tech stack. And they're not going to just go ahead and ding a candidate because of that. I think those are super strong hiring managers and great folks for us to work with, right?  Strong criteria, but also contend to be open.


James Mackey  21:17  

Right. This is common across any discipline, right? But people kind of simplify things that aren't in their own swim lane.  And also, I think there are a lot of hiring managers out there that really don't have a good understanding of what makes somebody successful on their team. And, obviously, we have to be pretty tactful about it, as recruiters. Well, we don't ever really express that. But we try to dig, try to uncover things like, okay, what are the top performers doing? What kind of background experience do they have? How are they wired? What's their day-to-day look like, right? I mean, we try to get a pulse on that. 


Because usually, when we see companies pass on candidates for like, missing this one minor thing. My first question in my head is, does this hiring manager really know what is going to drive the best outcomes for their team? And most of the time, what I find is the hiring managers that will pass on something very small, they're not necessarily the best, like strategic thinkers when it comes to thinking about business outcomes and business strategy,  and that's where you have to, as a hiring manager, you have to be willing to step back. And, make sure you're not falling into the trap of oversimplifying something, because you might feel like, Oh, I've been hiring people for 10 years. I know everything I need to know. And it's just been my life experience. As soon as people get to that place where they end up kind of jumping the ball sometimes. Right? 


So, I think the best companies are focused on the business outcomes that the team needs to deliver. And then that's how they're kind of identifying, what are the core fundamental skill sets and that they need the person to have, and they're usually very flexible, on,  some of the nice to haves, as they have clearly defined like the top three must-haves, right. And then they have a bunch of other things where they're nice to have, and you'll have some people that have, one portion of the nice to haves, and hopefully, you hire somebody in the future that has different attributes that are the nice to have group, right? So you overall can have a pretty well-rounded team, as long as they fundamentally share maybe the three or three common skill sets or something like that. 


Julia Arpag  23:26  

I agree. And I know that you posted about this on LinkedIn before James, but also hiring someone who can do at least 70% of the job gives them grant like gives them room to grow, makes it likelier that they'll stay, I think it's so important to not hire someone who can already do 100%, who will get bored in six months.


James Mackey  23:43  

Yes, I mean, think about it, Would either of you go into a role that you've done 100% of I mean, unless somebody was like, Okay, I'll pay you a million dollars, like, of course, you would, you would do it, but otherwise, you're gonna be like, No, why would I? I've already done that. I'm looking for the next thing. 


And it's not just about money,  of course, that's important, but you want the money plus the growth? Because if you get like a little bit of an increase without the growth, then ultimately, that's going to stagnate in the future where you can't get more. So, I think that's how a lot of A players think, right? If I wasn't growing, if I wasn't learning, I just wouldn't be interested at this point in my career. Is that how you both feel? What are your thoughts on that?


Stephanie Quinn-West  24:31  

I think it's really important, and I love that you posted that, and immediately liked it. That it is for folks to be able to grow and as Julie said, then they're going to stay. You could get like you said an increase in pay, but then you're not increasing your responsibilities. What is that going to mean? Six months from now a year from now? How are you going to grow? And whichever way you're thinking about it, if money is more important, or challenge is more important, you're going to get stagnant and one or the other, if one of them kind of just stops.


James Mackey  25:07  

Yes, I mean, all of the most successful people that I know, are in positions that, like at least 20-30 %, they haven't done. 


Julia Arpag  25:17  

I think a lot of that though, James. Does also come down to you as an individual, like seeking out opportunities like that. So I would say even if your job doesn't have baked-in challenges that you haven't done before, I think you, you then need to go out and find them. If that's your goal, if you want to keep growing, if you want to keep challenging yourself. So I think it's both.

I personally took this job at SecureVision, because I saw Oh, awesome, like, just baked into the job itself are things I haven't done before. But then when I got here, obviously, I also kind of checked out the landscape. And I was like, Oh, let me also choose some things and take initiative on some things that I could use to expand my experience as well.


James Mackey  25:52  

Right. And, really cool that you mentioned that because that's kind of a full circle thing. Like the first topic, we were talking about how to move up your career, right? Like looking for things that you haven't done before? And taking the initiative to make an impact, right? This is all really good stuff. So this is a tonne of value for recruiters tuning in. 


So I wanted to also ask you what are the most common holes that you see hiring managers, and customers fall into. I think we touched on some of this in terms of oversimplification, but from a process standpoint, or whatever else, Do you see consistent things across the board that when companies are struggling to hire, it's like, okay, it's usually one of these three things? Or is there anything at a high level that you can speak to?


Stephanie Quinn-West  26:43  

I think one of the things that stands out to me is when you have a team of hiring managers, not really choosing one person that can be the decision maker. And it's totally fine to have a team of hiring managers and have other folks that have ideas, that's great because when we do our check-ins on a weekly basis, to have more people on the call usually helps. Because you're getting the input of everyone and you're talking things through, right, that's the goal of the meeting. 

But if you are then trying to follow up and looking to get the candidate to the next stage, and everybody's kind of passing the buck on who's making that decision on whether they move forward or not, that can be a real hurdle. And so having a group of hiring managers, as long as you have that one decision maker, I think can be super beneficial. But if you've got too many people in there, you don't have that, like a team captain, then that can be detrimental. And you kind of slow things down. And I've seen candidates lost because other companies are just moving faster.


Julia Arpag  27:47  

Yes, I would say the biggest thing that's gonna prevent you from making a higher speed, that's been my experience is not being able to move a candidate quickly for the interview process. And, obviously, there is a huge decision, both for the candidate and for the company. So I'm not saying you should rush it. But I think being efficient, having a plan, knowing who needs to speak with them, knowing that the back you need to get just this point, having a point person who makes the ultimate decision. That's just going to allow you to move quickly and be confident in your decision either way. So, I would say time and process is the biggest reason that a company would not be able to make a hire.


James Mackey  28:26  

You know, one thing that just never made sense to me, and I really have a hard time understanding is when you're working with a hiring manager that refuses to accept that their salary isn't in line with the skill set that they're looking for. Because it's such a simple thing, right? It's not very hard to understand that right? Like, okay, we've interviewed 10 people, you're offering 100, the candidates are, on average looking for 130. Like you're not paying enough in order to fill this role. But it's interesting, though, that's still something where it happens. 

I think every recruiter has dealt with that, a fair amount. I mean, not the majority of the time. But, I mean, it's something that's come up several times over the years for me, and I can just never understand why it's so hard for companies or hiring managers to accept.


Julia Arpag  29:22  

Well, I think what's hard right now is that the numbers are jumping up faster than the stats support. So if you pull the numbers on like and, it looks like you said. That roll, this fake roll should be at 100k. But the market has inflated so fast that the stats aren't showing that. So to your point, anecdotally, you can say I had 10 candidates all asking for 130 to 150. But the hiring manager can say well, No, look at what the numbers say and you're like, I hear you. This is what the people say. 

Is that balance to have an understanding of where they're coming from, like, they're looking at their bottom line. Like they can't just be throwing money at people. But to your point, sometimes they need you, depending on the market conditions and the changes.


James Mackey  30:09  

Yes. The other thing that always annoyed me too is when leaders in startups and growth-stage would use a PayScale or whatever, And that was like an aggregate of the entire US market, that's not in tech. But then they're looking at that and saying, Oh, this is what tech salaries are? It's like, no, no. Tech industry? And then also, San Francisco, New York, like the core markets, I guess that's changing a little bit. But I mean, it's like you can't use a data tool that's pulling data from industries outside of tech. If you're in tech, you need salary data from Tech. 


Stephanie Quinn-West  30:47  

It comes your way. Also, when your hiring team has been in the company for a really long time. And so they think, one, they're looking at their internal salaries, right, and you're not matching your current team salaries to what's going on in the market right now. And they're like, Well, you know, we hired so and so three years ago, and we're only paying him X and you're like, yep. And now here we are three years later, and the market is very, very different. 


And they're trying to look at, you know, being comparable within their team, which usually are trying to match that outside person, that new candidate with the previous market, obviously, salaries. Whereas I think if you're thinking forward, then you are really thinking about, maybe I need to raise the salaries for the folks that I have on my team to retain them. And to bump that up so that the folks that I'm bringing in are, you know, more aligned with what we have internally, and that's what's going on in the market. And that can be a really hard pill to swallow. 


For a CEO that's been in the same company for 10 years, or for somebody that's like, this isn't their focus, right, their recruiting is not their job, that's why we're here. But they, you know, really need to kind of think about it, and we have to be the influencers and the people that come with that data, not just from PayScale, but from real folks that we're talking to every day, and you know, kind of bringing that all together to make it an easier pill to swallow.


James Mackey  32:24  

Right. I remember I purchased it. It was one of those pay-something. com to pull salaries, and it was an aggregate, you know, salary thing because we were going to use that to put together salary guides within tech. And we paid for the service. And then all of the data, like, was just terrible. It just was not applicable at all. And I was like, Oh my God, we just waste. I mean, it's only a couple of 1000 bucks. Obviously, it's still like 2000 bucks. Really, why did we spend this? This is not helping.


Julia Arpag  32:54  

Have you been able to find a tool that specifically focuses on tech salaries?


James Mackey  32:58  

Yes, we don't actually pay for it right now. But LinkedIn talent insights probably would be a recruiter's best bet in tech, because you can segment by market, and industry position and then pull the average salaries and average 10 years and it's a fair amount of data. And I think the pricing is somewhat reasonable. I mean, it's expensive and it might be different for in-house recruiters than agency recruiters. A lot of LinkedIn pricing is different for agencies than it is for in-house.


Julia Arpag  33:31  

Is it more expensive for an agency or more expensive for in-house?


James Mackey  33:35  

Leads and recruiter licenses are more expensive in-house. Because agencies usually buy more of them. So they bring down the discount for interest. 

So for in-house, I think LinkedIn recruiter licenses are around like 10,000 bucks a year. And for the agency side, I think it gets the lowest here. It starts around like five grand. 

Anyways, we have a few minutes left here. And some really practical insight that can help people I think is like if we can break apart tech recruiting, so engineering product design, from revenue rolls, like sales, marketing, customer success management. 


Just for growth, startups, and growth stage, let's just say for tech recruiting. Could you just give us an overview on, you know, where are the majority of your hires coming from? Are you seeing hires coming across from certain job boards or certain channels, other channels? Are you seeing most of it from outbound sourcing or referrals? Or what is the biggest placement source for startups and growth stages that are hiring technical talent, whether it be engineering product design? And Julia, if you want to start with this one.


Julia Arpag  34:46  

Always outbound sourcing 100% of the time. For everything ever. I definitely find that and I find that across both tech and referrals, but I think specifically with venture nearing, that's where the personalized approach is so important, because almost every single engineer I talked to tells me, I'm like the 10th message they got that day, you just have to differentiate yourself from the literal first interaction that you have with your candidates. But yeah, that's gonna be key. 

And I think they also like to know if your client is willing to share, they like to know comp upfront, that's obviously important. And they like to know anything you can share about the tech stack, obviously, without, again, I'm a big believer in not giving too much information in that first step. So I don't include a link to the job description. I don't include my calendar as I said, but I do just pick a couple of pieces of the tech stack. So they can just think, Do I even want this job, would this even fit with what I'm looking for? So I think that kind of information is important.


James Mackey  35:45  

So, the vast majority of hires that you're kicking across for technical engineering, and product design are all coming from outbound sourcing on LinkedIn. 


Julia Arpag  35:55


James Mackey 36:00

And do you have any clients or have you over the past couple of years had any clients that were effectively de-leveraging off LinkedIn, LinkedIn outbound sourcing, and leveraging other tools that were helping in a meaningful way? Or have you pretty much seen any other solution or tool kind of fail in comparison to tech recruiting?


Julia Arpag  36:13  

No, honestly, DICE is used really well by one of my clients. So they use that for the app. It's the same process, it's still up on sourcing, but they use that as another way to get good engineering candidates in their pipeline.


James Mackey  36:24  

What percentage of hires comes from Dice sourcing versus LinkedIn sourcing? For them?


Julia Arpag  36:30  

Well, the minority probably I would say, maybe 10% come from Dice.


James Mackey  36:34  

Okay. That's just borderline just enough for it to like matter, right?


Julia Arpag  36:38  

Pay for one seat on dice just to like, keep it alive. But obviously, the focus is mostly on LinkedIn.


James Mackey  36:44  

So in terms of time allocation is it aligned where like, 10% of your time is on Dice and 90% is on Linkedin, or


Julia Arpag  36:53  

So, for this client. They only have their internal recruiter source on Dice like we don't use Dice at  SecureVision. So I'm not sure how she allocates her time. But she said the same thing where she finds a lot more success on LinkedIn.


James Mackey  37:05  

And just so the audience knows this is around like, 100 person growth stage customer, right? 


Julia Arpag  37:11  

Yeah, they are at 120 right now.


James Mackey  37:13  

Okay. Cool. Just so people have a context too. And then on the revenue side, Stephanie, if you can answer this one. Is it primarily outbound LinkedIn sourcing? Do you see any other tools making a significant impact right now, where are most of the placements, hires,  coming from right now for revenue roles?


Stephanie Quinn-West  37:32  

Yeah, for referrals, I think just the market that we're in, it's a lot of the outbound sourcing on LinkedIn. I do, however, have one client that gets a lot of inbound folks. And I think it's just I know, and I was surprised to find that out as well. Not for  BDR roles, but for sales directors or AE roles, but I think they're in an exciting industry. And also, they're a fantastic company. Like they really are, I think they have tons of great Glassdoor reviews, which you can always take with a grain of salt. But usually, if they're good, then you're probably looking at, like, you can trust those versus like it being one angry employee that ruins things, you know. But yeah, so is in terms of revenue rolls, again, usually outbound, but this one client, they've got a lot of inbound's.


James Mackey  38:27  

So for that one customer that has the inbounds.  I mean, obviously, from the candidate perspective, are a lot of those inbound referrals? Or is it really just that there's a tonne of content generated not only through glassdoor but on the company's website? The branding looks really clean and nice. I mean, what do you think is the differentiator there that allows them to get more inbounds than other companies that you work with? Yeah, you said the industry piece, though. I know you already said that piece, though.


Stephanie Quinn-West  38:57  

Yeah, no, but you're right. It's true. It's because they're in the social influencer space. And so with that their branding is amazing, right? And they're also exciting right now, just given that it's going to be a $16.4 billion industry by the end of 2022. So it's really booming at this time. It's relevant. So I think it's a lot of that, but also, they did a fantastic job with branding. 

They have a tonne of info about what it's like to work there on their page. Like, I think those kinds of things are super important. So it really spells it out. People aren't wondering, they're not just seeing a website that's built for clients or prospective clients. It's actually built for prospective candidates as well. And I think that really helps.


James Mackey  39:49  

Okay, and are they getting a lot of referrals as well? Or is it primarily just people that are independently finding them online?


Stephanie Quinn-West  39:57  

Some referrals, I would say again, that's really, maybe 10-15 % of what's coming through. But overall, it's really folks finding them, and just applying and their job posts end up on LinkedIn. And that you can see where they come from in the greenhouse, for example. And they're coming from like folks applying through that job post that's on LinkedIn. But I think some of the things that get them excited to apply are on the website or in their job description in the job posts that are there.

James Mackey  40:30  

And are the job posts this customer is using? Are they sponsored? Or are they basically just posting them online? And then LinkedIn is scraping them and putting them on the page? 


Stephanie Quinn-West  40:35

Yep, the ladder. 


James Mackey  40:42

So they're not even paying and still that's generating inbounds. That's great. And what ATS are they using? Is Greenhouse? 


Stephanie Quinn-West 40:56



James Mackey 41:00

Okay. So LinkedIn, as far as I know, unless it's like the limited postings like the LinkedIn will scrape from certain job boards from Google and basically push it to the company profile. It's not always consistent, or sometimes it'll be missing some, or something like that. But I think overall, it's usually pretty good. I don't think a lot of people realize that. If they post a position on the greenhouse, like a lot of times LinkedIn will just scoop it up and put it on their page. Yeah, really cool. So I think we're coming up on time here. But this has been a tonne of fun. I think we covered a lot of good topics. Is there anything that either of you would like to discuss real quick or bring up before we jump off?


Julia Arpag  41:30  

Guys, I feel like we talked about everything. On it, like we can solve it. Good job team. Nothing further.


James Mackey  41:40  

Yeah, this is super helpful. What we're gonna do to the episode is we'll timestamp. Let's say people are like, okay, what are top recruiters doing in tech specifically for tech recruiting? Right, and they can go specifically to the later part of the episode. So yeah, we covered a lot of important stuff. So yeah, this was a tonne of fun. Did you guys have fun? Did you enjoy this? 


Julia Arpag  42:07  

Yeah, I would do this anytime.


James Mackey  42:09  

Okay, cool. So maybe we just put on a recurring episode where maybe once a month we jump on and we just do this.


Julia Arpag  42:16  

That's cool. I'm here for it. Yeah. Did you have fun, James?


James Mackey  42:20  

Oh, yeah, I had a great time. This was good. I like it, it's nice. We have a lot of really cool guests on the show. And we've had several CEOs and senior-level executives, which is a lot of fun. But a lot of the conversations that we have been focused on transitioning to a remote culture and like all these types of things are just the very big picture. 


And so what's fun about this conversation too, is that it's like this is boots on the ground, moving up into, talent leadership, how to get great outcomes for your clients specific, you know, tactical things that people can implement is really helpful. So yeah, this was a tonne of fun. 


And for everybody tuning in. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time. 

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