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EP 7: Nate Guggia, Co-founder and Head of Brand - Before You Apply

Podcast Transcript

James Mackey  0:00  

Hi, and welcome to episode seven of Talent Acquisition Trends and Strategy. Today, we are welcomed by Nate Guggia.

Nate, how are you doing?


Nate Guggia  0:18  

Hey, buddy, it's good to be here.


James Mackey  0:20  

It's good to have you. And before we jump into some of the topics that we were talking about prior to this call, it'd be great if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself. 


Nate Guggia  0:29  

So I'm the Co-founder of a company called Before You Apply. We are a platform, we're a services company. In short, what we do is we come in, we ask teams that are hiring really tough questions. We package that up and consumable content. And we help those teams distribute out to reach hard-to-hire candidates. 


So we're very much like this combination of like a tech platform with creative services behind it. It's kind of an interesting combination, but it's caught on and it's been fun.


James Mackey  1:08  

It is catching on. It's definitely caught on. And you're making waves, and you're becoming very well known in the tech community. And I've definitely loved following your content over the past, I think I've been following your content probably now for at least a year.


Nate Guggia  1:23  

I've been posting geez, I started posting on LinkedIn, probably like two and a half years ago. Kind of become a thing. It's not what I expected. But it's cool.


James Mackey  1:35  

It's really cool. So we both work with a lot of startups and growth stage companies. And I think, from different points of impact, we have a very similar goal, right,? Which is,  how to help our clients hire, and attract, top talent in today's market, which is very competitive. 


I think to just start us off, I would love to just get a pulse on what you are seeing out there. What are companies struggling with? Maybe he's one way to answer that? Or what are the biggest opportunities right now is another way? I am just curious to get your thoughts on what you've seen out there in the market.

Nate Guggia  2:07  

It's great that I think we kind of share a common audience. Like the startup growth stage kind of tech space. And I mean, the thing that we hear, you hear is just like hiring is really, really hard. It's always been hard in this space. But it's really hard right now. 


So when our customers come to us, they need a way to show that they're different, or show their unique personality, or somehow differentiate themselves from all of the other startups that they're competing with. That's just the thing. The reality of this space is that we're dealing mostly with scrappy teams. They're small, they're often like, under-resourced. And they're like hair on fire, big hiring goals. And they're like, Okay, we want to be doing more of this content stuff. We believe in it, and we want to, like, get more branding, more messaging, more information out, but we just don't know how to do it. Can you help us?


That's like where we come in. And I know, like, that's some of the problems that you guys are solving yourselves. And so, it's a unique space, for sure. Because it's like this combination of like, openness to new things and like wanting to evolve, but at the same time being so busy. Like, how do you fit it all in?


James Mackey  3:54  

Right. I think just getting back too busy, particularly when it comes to some of what? I know your team is helping guide the strategy and execution of content for hiring teams. 


That is definitely something that companies I think, need additional help in terms of bandwidth for because who does that right? Even if you have an internal recruiter at an early stage, they're so busy just trying to keep the pipeline strong that maybe they don't feel based on the outcomes that they're expected to hit. They may not necessarily feel empowered to ok, let me hit pause for quite a while and work on developing these assets. 


Nate Guggia  4:38  

It's not realistic.  I mean, especially like at the earlier stages. Something that we've seen as a blade is that we're having more early-stage companies come to us. And it's usually the recruiter who is coming to us and saying, " hey, I saw you on LinkedIn or I found out about you through our VC or whoever it might be. And we need help because this is going to enable me as a recruiter when I'm reaching out to candidates to have like an asset to share, and be able to tell our story better, whatever it might be. And then so you have that, right, you have this busy thing., 


But then you also have the challenge of coordinating stuff internally, getting founders on interviews, getting engineering teams on interviews, like there are a lot of moving parts, and for that to just fall on our recruiting team is like, it's a really big ask. And so, figuring out how to do that, or leveraging somebody like us,  that's usually why they come to us. It's just like, "Okay, can we just bring you into, like, manage the situation and like to get things done for us quickly?


I have so much empathy for recruiting teams, I really do mean. That's a heavy lift.  Unlike sales, or unlike marketing, which like recruiting is a combination of both. Sales have marketing, and marketing has sales. But recruiting doesn't have anybody. This is where I'm gonna get like, you know, opinionated. But I think even for recruiting teams at companies that have, let's say, an employer brand person, or an employer brand team, or somebody with title recruitment marketing, I really don't think that those functions we can call them or those roles or doing anything to help recruiters these days, I really don't. 


I mean, I've talked to enough recruiters, and just ask them point blank, like, is Employer Branding, helping you do your job better? Or easier or faster? Or have better conversations? And they repeatedly tell me it's not? 


And so, I think, I mentioned this before we hit record, but my thoughts on this space have evolved quite a bit about this "Where does marketing, your company to candidates, and recruiting where does that lineup? Where does that align? And I think like, for the longest time, there's been this conversation of employer branding going on. And then this was this reality of recruiting. And it seems to me like those conversations have it going in opposite directions. And I think that what Employer Branding has done as an industry has been not serving the people that they claim to be serving, which is recruiters, and so recruiters are just tasked with like "we got to figure this out ourselves"


James Mackey  8:00  

So what does the disconnect look like? What are the biggest things that you're seeing right now that maybe people feel are impactful? But actually, they are not? It's not actually driving hiring outcomes? Or even really awareness?  Where do you see that's broken?


Nate Guggia  8:16  

Okay, so I think Employer Branding gets really stuck in strategy mode. Because I've actually been part of those projects. Before, "Before you apply", I was part of an agency. And we actually built our company inside of the agency. And that agency started off as a content studio in San Francisco, creating content for recruiting teams, and then it expanded its services into employer branding services. 


So, I've been part of these like, big, employer value proposition projects, and things like that. And they're very intensive, from a time-bandwidth standpoint. They were very expensive. And they just take a very long time. To not get to like, in my opinion, things that really matter to candidates, I think what you end up with in your employer branding, in general, is you end up with companies talking so much about themselves. And talking to themselves. 


It runs through layers of PR and approval. And the number of times that I've seen companies get caught up in like, what words are we going to be putting on our career site, or founders at like, prominent tech companies go in like, Oh, these are the results of like the internal discovery work that we've done?. Now. I don't believe that. That's not right. You know,  just things getting blocked over and over again. Meantime, months and months and months, and 10s, or hundreds of thousands of dollars are being wasted on this stuff. And the recruiting team is still sitting there going, like my job is still just as hard or harder than it was before. I'm trying to talk to engineers, like, What is going on here? And so that's where I see it.


Go ahead. Did you want to say something?


James Mackey  10:24  

Yes. I was just saying I think from what we're seeing for whatever reason it just seems so obvious, but I guess it really is not. You have to know the customer, you have to know the buyer. So for us, I think why we have a really high offer acceptance rate for hiring recruiters for SecureVision, which right now, a lot of people are saying hiring recruiters is the hardest role to hire for in this market. Yeah, and yet, we have a ridiculously high offer acceptance rate, I think it's around 95% for hiring recruiters, and we've actually had, we had several quarters where it was at 100%. And we've probably hired, I don't know, close to 20-something recruiters over the past several months. 


So we understand them, you know, we really get them at a very deep fundamental level in terms of what they care about, of course, everybody has different values. But within the largest segment of recruiters, we know ourselves, we know our culture. And we know that speaks to a fair amount of that recruiter community. And we're able to do everything from the messaging on our careers page to the content we develop with them in mind. 


I almost consider the careers page as this is our proposal, right? Just so you have sales proposals, right? This is our proposal to talent considering us. But it's like a core part of our culture too. And it really is what we believe in. Because when people interview with us, it's a very consistent message. Everything that they picked up on in terms of the content that we create for them, is aligned with what they experienced in the interview process and is then aligned with what it's actually like to work here. And then is aligned with the feedback that's posted on Glassdoor. And that's why I think it works. It's not just about giving lip service and saying this is what people want to hear. 


First of all, you have to know what people really want. You have to know what your culture is, those things have to match up. And then it just about from that point forward, making sure that like at each part of the journey, candidate employee, everything is consistent, and that it's a consistent experience that you're actually delivering on. 


Delivery is the hardest part. It can be right because it can require a structural change to how your company is organized and how you manage and lead and how you train and develop people and really push for that culture that you want. But, I'd say that's probably from my perspective, with the employer branding, and just general messaging and the story that you're telling, if it doesn't really resonate with the audience, and can you really deliver on it?

Nate Guggia  13:06  

Yeah, yeah, that delivery part, you're right. It's like, I mean, jeez, that's like a whole, that's like a whole other conversation. And, I mean, I guess for you know, some helpful context, too, is like, the things that I talk about, or think about the most is, is top of the funnel. And I think, like, there's like a whole other thing, like after, after a candidate is engaged in a process and things like that. And I think especially in tech, that's where Tech has a really, really, big challenge. 


I had this guy put a comment on my post the other day, and it was, so it was so insightful. He said, You know, the big challenge with tech is how do you move fast. You know, like the whole thing, move fast and break stuff, but like, how do you move really fast? And at the same time, be very intentional about the culture you're building. And it's extremely difficult.  I don't have a good answer to that. But it shows how made me think and because I think that's the dilemma that a lot of tech companies are in, you know., 


Because it's like, we got to move really fast. Things change consistently, taking on multiple rounds of funding, more funding that comes in, the more you have to hire, the faster you go, and it's just like that's the model. 


And at the same time, you know, like, I'll never forget this. The first time I heard this was, we were working with this big gaming company, and they were still young, but they had grown so much, you know, these companies, right? It's like they're three years old, and they have like 1000 employees, but they're still a startup. 


And so they said that they had grown so fast, that a lot of employees looked up at one point and we're just like, you So who are we now? Like, we're not the same company anymore, that we were when we were like 20 or 50 people. I don't know a lot of the people now at this company, but we're still so young that we're a startup. It's like this weird identity crisis that a lot of high-growth tech companies go through. And that it's like, it's just super challenging. I don't know how to solve that problem. But it's something I think about.


James Mackey  15:28  

Yeah, so one of the earlier episodes we had was with Steve Cadigan. And he was the first Chief HR officer of LinkedIn. Oversaw people and talent as LinkedIn scaled from I think 300, 400 people to a few thousand. And so he had some really interesting insights. And of course, there's a very high level, like big picture stuff. 


But basically, what he was talking through was the importance of really just having like, what a people-first culture means to him, which was that in leadership meetings, the first thing that was discussed is how do we build world-class teams and make sure we can continue to do that. And he basically just said that the culture was, if there were other problems, other things that were broken, but they didn't solve for that first challenge. First, they just want to get to the other stuff. Like the whole, every leadership meeting the first question they asked was, how are we doing building world-class teams? 


They made it a priority across teams like the entire executive leadership team. So I think it just comes down to at the highest level,  it's the culture of the organization, it's the value and importance that they put on people. And do they really believe that the people are driving the value, whether it's a product or a services company, that people are obviously driving the value behind the product? So how much and how high on the priority level is that? Are they optimized for that? Or do they see themselves as like a product lead or an engineering lead organization? And maybe the emphasis is on more so like, features or, whatever else? Product Roadmap versus just like, hey, how do we just make sure we have the smartest, like, most capable, most excited, best fit individuals working to help us solve these problems and build amazing products?


Nate Guggia  17:17  

Yeah, it's making me think that, especially, for startups, it's like, the one thing that's guaranteed is that things are going to change, like, it is. Something is going to change, whether that means product, or your market, or a combination of those things, or price, like things are going to change. But if you can keep that stuff, internal, and consistent, people are super cool to change that.


It's when things internally are chaotic, toxic, or unpleasant, or whatever they might be. And then you're at the same time dealing with like, all of this growth and stress and change on top of it. That's when things get super messy. But like when things internally, like you're saying like you have this like this thing that you're always pointing towards, and like, okay, no matter what, like we acknowledge the fact that like a bunch of stuff outside of this is going to move. But inside, we're super focused on this, because we know that if we can keep this stable, the other stuff is manageable.


James Mackey  18:30  

Right. When I think about LinkedIn too, right, with Steve Cardigan's examples, like one of the most successful product software companies in the world.  And this wasn't just, I mean, obviously, his role was HR people focused. But what he was saying is that no, this wasn't just an internal HR discussion, like this was how the entire executive team viewed the business, throughout that entire phase of growth. And I thought that was just really impactful. Okay. 


This is obviously a fantastic product, right? That has so many advantages and is doing so well. But from their perspective, it all came back down to the team, like people that are building the product and that are doing revenue, Product Engineering, and all the other important functions. The focus was on building that world-class organization. Really, really cool stuff.


Nate Guggia  19:24  

So back to, what can recruiting teams do?

James Mackey  19:32  

Yeah, that's where we kind of started right? So we kind of identified there's this disconnect. Right? When it comes to employer branding, and I guess, that kind of goes off into a separate space. 


So, I guess the recruiting teams that are getting it, right, just kind of like circling back to a more tactical level, like what are you seeing talent acquisition departments that are winning right now? What are they doing? What are they putting on an emphasis on currently?


Nate Guggia  20:00  

Yeah. So if I just like, even move beyond recruiting and just say, like companies that are doing a good job of this. I think what it comes down to is like, if you just look at behavior, and this is like why my thoughts on this stuff are continually evolving, it's because I think our behavior is evolving as consumers of things, whatever that might be, whether it's information or products, or jobs, whatever. And so I look at where we spend most of our time. I think we spend most of our time like, in some kind of feed.


I really thought about it one day, and I was like, "Okay, we as people, like if, depending on, we have our personal stuff that we do. And we're engaged in that, and then we are engaged in our work, but what do we do outside of those things? It's usually to pick up your phone, and go into some app, right? And then depending on your interests, maybe it's not exactly that, but it's probably something similar to it. Like, I know, like Jackson, my Co-founder, he always has Hacker News up in a tab because multiple times a day, he checks out Hacker News to see what's going on there. For some people it might be Reddit, for example, it might be something else. But it's, it's usually like in this structure, right of like, feed and information. And I'm like, that's what it is now, like, That's it. If we want to get the attention, become relatable, and have a level of, I guess personality or connection, we need to be showing up there. 


And then I thought about this in terms of hiring. And I just think that the industry of marketing jobs to candidates has been so stuck in this strategy mode of trying to make things appear to be a certain way, be positioned a certain way, have the right words, be like way too branded. And that's like, in opposition to the way that we behave as consumers when we're discovering stuff. So if we're going to discover stuff in, let's say, a feat format, then that's where recruiting teams, and that's where teams, in general, need to be. 


So, to me, what that looks like, my thoughts on this evolve. Before I was just like, I was firm on like, if you're going to be if you're going to show up in the field, you need to be like dropping knowledge on your industry, you need to be like a subject matter expert. And then I changed my tune on that because not everybody is that. And what I think is really most important is showing the personality of your company, and I came up with this term, I called it personality at scale. And I was just like, that's what it is now. It's like personality at scale, how can your company show its personality, in a feed, which provides scale? And, and go ahead,


James Mackey  23:30  

I was gonna piggyback on what you said. A lot of what I'm seeing, particularly in the recruiting spaces, a lot of the content that I think values, and obviously, itself, it becomes the most valuable content is getting the most engagement, people are saying yes to this, they want more of it. And it's so the most valuable content from that perspective of getting the best engagement, the most followers seem to not necessarily be focused on being a subject matter expert, but seems to be more focused on being relatable.


Nate Guggia  24:02  

It's relatable, that's what it is. I think you're dead on and this is like where, again, like I've kind of changed my stance on it. Because, as a recruiter, I see the kind of thing right now that we're talking about like content and distribution and meeting people where they are in this whole thing as like, recruiter enablement. That's what it is, you know?


This isn't about flipping some switch and suddenly driving qualified inbound software engineers to your careers, like come on, like that's just not the way it works. But what this is about is, that this is about doing things consistently, not just as a recruiting team, but as an organization. And again, let's face it, I mean if you have a 100-person company and you have 10 people doing this. That's a lot of people amplified on social media. I mean, you're doing it at like, with any level of consistency. I mean, you know, like, you spend as much time on LinkedIn as I do. And like the LinkedIn algorithm, I'm seeing posts from a week ago.


James Mackey  25:18  

I really liked that trend, by the way, we're surfacing content, it's just, it's good to see it. And that's the way it should be ultimately, in my opinion, I think it's better this way.


Nate Guggia  25:28  

Yeah. And so like, the ability to stay alive and out there and stuff. I mean, it only takes a little to be perceived as a lot.  So I think about this, like in terms of enablement, like, what is going to enable your recruiters to make it easier to have conversations with the right people? Or when they do reach out to somebody, it triggers that thing, like, oh, I recognize them or that brand, or their people or whatever it is, and like, they're relatable, and they're approachable, and they're normal people, and they're friendly and likable. All these, like different adjectives that we can throw on top of it. Bottom line is, like, cool, I began to talk to them.


James Mackey  26:17  

I want to tell you a little bit about what we're working on at Secure Vision. And kind of a core objective I have for our delivery team. So again, our delivery team is probably around just under around 30 ish recruiters right now, that work on you know, could be product engineering, revenue, G&A, really anything in between, for startups and growth stage organizations. 


One of the core metrics I'm looking at right now, of course, in addition to offering acceptance rate, is I'm actually honing in and focusing on time to coverage, like what time it takes to get to full coverage, which we define as for candidates actively in the process being considered. So we're not necessarily looking at the time to fill because our thought processes, like if we can accelerate the work in those first few weeks, then ultimately, that's going to set us up for success to have a competitive time to fill. So I'm really honing in on that first, what does that first two to four weeks look like? 


Nate Guggia  27:19  

Is anybody else measuring like that?


James Mackey  27:21  

I'm not sure. I don't know.


Nate Guggia  27:23  

I've never even heard of that before. I mean, it sounds very intuitive. It's cool. 


James Mackey  27:32  

Yeah, I think it's gonna be good for us. So, we want to try to figure out from a delivery perspective, how can we cut down on the time it takes to get to full coverage, which we defined as four candidates, and process, which we used to define as three candidates in the process. The issue with that, though, is that if two candidates get cut out, then you're down to one, and then you're basically restarting your entire pipeline. 


So we actually adjusted and now we're considering four people in the process. And at a minimum standard, we're saying that four candidates have to be in process, by the time you're one month into a search. Now, this taken into consideration, it might take six candidates introduced, right? Six candidates were introduced, and two were passed on, the net result has to be four or more candidates that are screened as qualified, real potential candidates that could receive an offer, right? So they're mid to down-funnel candidates basically. So they have to have been brought in, and they have to be at the hiring manager stage of the interview process at a minimum. 


So what we're looking at then is like, Okay, how do we go about cutting down on time to coverage? Like, what's the most effective way to do that? Well, one, there's always activity. But that's like everybody gets that. And the issue with that, too. It's like, it's so situational, right? So searches are gonna look so different. We do have some core, you know, company-wide kind of activity metrics. We're not an activity-driven company. We're a quality and outcome-driven company. But we still have some guidelines. So this is probably what outreach should look like over your first couple of weeks. Right? So we have that kind of stuff. 


But then we started thinking about how we get a little bit more sophisticated than most other companies out there, whether it's in-house or agency side. And we really started thinking about, what if we stepped back, and we were like, what are the top 10 positions that we feel for our clients? And in-house companies could do this too, like, what are the top five skill positions we fill consistently? What are we doing in terms of proactively creating and nurturing candidate pools for each of those positions, to develop awareness and value within those communities, so that when we need to tap into those communities, and we do our outreach, we can increase our response rate and acceptance rate so that we can then accelerate coverage so that we can cut down on our time to cover?


So that's kind of where it's led us to now. And so now we're going through the motion of like, let's create all these different basically candidate pools. And then how can we market to those groups specifically to build those relationships proactively? So I'm kind of curious to get your thoughts on that. I don't even know if it's really Employer Branding. But when it comes to your approach to outreach, like getting segmented into specific communities that you're going to be hiring for at scale, and reach out to them proactively.


Nate Guggia  30:34  

Yes. Just a couple of questions. Are these pools when you say to reach out to them? Is it like, you have email addresses and you can send them information via email?


James Mackey  30:49  

I think that could be part of it, but we don't want it to be salesy or just intrusive, we want it to feel really natural. So we're thinking about potentially throwing, maybe even having virtual events could be an option. I think email outreach definitely could be a channel, maybe even like InMail outreach. But if we could do so in such a way that, I don't mind doing outbound and, and reaching out to people, like I'm not totally opposed to it, but I just want to do it in a tasteful way that adds value at least. 


Nate Guggia  31:20  

Yeah, I love the idea of niching down as much as you possibly can, right? And then doing things that are just like, this is gonna sound like an obvious thing, right? But the funny thing is like, it's obvious, but in practice, you kind of see the opposite, right? 


So, I've joked about this in the past. Like, the talent pipeline is really just codewords for, like, an email list that I'm gonna blast, whenever I have a job open. That's not like a nurture campaign. That's not like any of these like words that get thrown on top of the realities. And so, if you want to create because, like for you, you know, that if you can, like, create enough value that like, that this audience can, like, consistently take things away, like valuable things away, that they will, like, automatically connect the value with you. 


You don't have to tell them anything. People are smart, like, they will go like, Oh, I learned about this through this, or I was introduced to this person through this person, whatever, you know, like, they'll connect those dots. And so I'm a big believer in this, like, fireside chat, like the idea. This, like real, like intimate kind of like conversation thing where, like, let's say you have a group of, engineers, for example, like, I'm not an engineer, so forgive me, but you're, you know, you can bring on somebody kind of well known, let's say like a head avenge at insert fancy tech company, or something, you know, somebody who's got some status. And like, maybe bring another person in who's got the, you know, or somebody to like, kind of moderate a conversation. And like, they talk about, like, a current trend going on, in like this aspect of engineering or in product or how they think about, like, designing engineering teams, or whatever it is, I mean, you could probably come up with like, 50 different conversation topics. And you just like, you kind of like host these, these, like, little like VIP events, and you go out to that community, but you don't make it accessible to everybody, you make it like, "hey, you know, we're gonna cap this at, like, 25 people, or something, because we wanted to be intimate, we wanted it to be a q&a, we wanted to be like, very personal. 


And so, the first 25 people who registered can get in whatever, you know, like, you kind of just like, make it special. You can mark it, that kind of thing across the board. And then I mean, I always think about post-production content and things like that. I mean, like, everything you do, you know, can be like, chopped up and distributed out and like, and it could be put into like, a newsletter for that community. And you could transcribe it. And it could be, I mean, there's all kinds of things you can do just like off of that kind of motion, you know, but I just think about that, like, I think about the how do you make something like I guess like special, and it seems to me like to a candidate audience. There's a lot of like, everybody, like, there's a lot of like, Oh, I'm gonna do like, just, you know, everything, and there isn't enough of like this curated experience.


James Mackey  34:50  

I agree. I personally prefer those highly curated. I was actually just talking about this with Nick, on the other side of the spectrum, demand gen, strategy for new business. And we were just talking about marketing and sales and everything tied to acquiring more customers. And we talked about how from an event perspective, that highly curated smaller group is, from my perspective, so much more valuable. 


Because you get through that initial conversation, everybody knows how to introduce themselves, they go through this pitch, essentially, like, Oh, I do this, all that kind of stuff. And then you kind of circle around the room, and then you do a few more circles, and then you have deeper conversations with people and you get through, you know, you're within that room with them for like, a little bit longer period of time. So, I definitely see more value as opposed to that kind of blast approach, where it's just like, let's just get in front of as many people as possible. It's like, how can we create these actually meaningful relationships? That it's a little bit more real and deeper, and then that's really, I think we're values created in so many different ways.


Nate Guggia  36:02  

It is, yeah. And then I mean, I think the goal, probably by now, you and probably the conversations you guys are having is like, Well, how do we become more of like a media company right? Like, how do we produce stuff that draws people to us and become known as like, the people with the ideas? And, you know, you start doing stuff like just now that you're thinking about these like, segmented markets, all of that can be turned into, like these little media properties. 


James Mackey  36:43  

Quick question. One of the things that we're looking at, I think I probably look at this once a year, and then I usually hold off. But now I'm looking at it, again, as LinkedIn-sponsored company pages. I don't know if you've talked to LinkedIn about that. But basically, you have a couple of extra tabs, and you can put video content up on there. And you can put just a fair amount of just different content about who you are, what the positions are, what it's like to work there. And you can, you can start to put that. 


They don't provide things like strategic guidance, necessarily, but it's like you can create, you know, based on a template to put this data in. And one of the value ads that I think LinkedIn is doing with it, is that they're driving impressions to the company page now like it shows up. So the company page essentially shows up as essentially like an ad in the corner of somebody's LinkedIn screen. And then you click on it, and you get a certain amount of likes, I think it's like 19,000 impressions per month, I noticed something like that. 


So I'm wondering if that's a good way to drive awareness. I mean, I was thinking about getting that. And then basically, creating a separate kind of page within the company page, like for product engineering, sales, marketing, G&A. And then basically having that specialized content for each of those segments. To just drive kind of awareness. Again, it's a little bit looser, it's not like it's, you know, the idea was shared with you earlier was it's like, there's a set list of candidates that were intentionally like nurturing that, we kind of know who they are. Versus this is like, just anybody on LinkedIn, kind of random people that kind of fit certain criteria, we'll get these little ad boxes, they'll go to the company page, they'll get a feel for who we are, we may not have something now, but it drives awareness and brand. Possibly.


Nate Guggia  38:31  

Yeah, so the stuff that you're doing, could go there. Right?


James Mackey  38:38  

It could, I mean, I think the LinkedIn approach is a little different. The person I was talking to earlier with the candidate pools would require, like manually, somebody adding candidates to the pool that they'd like viewed and that they've noticed, like, this is somebody that we'd love to work with, at some point.  


Versus LinkedIn, it's kind of like more of that blast, kind of what we were just kind of talking about, we don't know who's gonna end up viewing the page, there's like certain criteria I think we can put in to target it a little bit. But as you know, there's a big difference from what an algorithm could tell on somebody's profile, compared to a real recruiter that's kind of looking at all the pieces and putting them together at this point in time. You can do a better job at that. 


Nate Guggia  39:16  

So it's funny to bring this up because I haven't been paying enough attention to company pages until recently. I kind of moved away from it. And then there's been a few companies that I have become really, I don't know, intrigued with. So I've followed their company page, just to kind of see what's up, you know, and I've seen their company pages showing up in my LinkedIn feed with really creative stuff. And I've been looking at their engagement. And their engagement is really good.


James Mackey  39:54  

It's getting better. Maybe people are producing better quality content or maybe the LinkedIn algorithm is being a little bit more favorable toward company pages because maybe they're trying to drive sales on their sponsored page. I don't know. 


Nate Guggia  40:07  

Yeah, it's probably all of that. But I've noticed these company pages have personality. And then you see members of their team,  in the comments and stuff. And it just like, it kind of clicked. And I actually,  last night, I saw this one, I was like, Man, I gotta, I gotta be doing more stuff like this to my company. So I always say like, I think it's a good idea because I think LinkedIn has finally come around to the fact that like, company pages do matter.


James Mackey  40:40  

Right. They did the sponsored company. They've had it for quite a while, but I think it's starting to get better. And I think the newest iteration is intriguing. And it's the first one that it's after, like a 20-minute demo, I'm kind of thinking to myself, Okay, yeah, this might be worth the investment. But it's a big investment because it's not only the cost that it has to have the sponsored page. Then it requires a tonne of content development. And it's obvious it's got to be very good stuff. And it requires really somebody owning it and the salary of that person. 


So there's a huge push, and then they don't really have a tonne of data yet on what it really does. I mean, they didn't really understand, when I was asking the reps about conversions and what that looks like. But it does kind of align with the overall philosophy of, hey, let's produce valuable content. And let's have it go in front of relevant people that care about that. And that's going to have a return. Maybe it's not always the most immediate ROI, but just the logic seems sound enough, right? I mean, it's consistent with our philosophy on


Nate Guggia  41:52  

We'll totally and especially if you're basically like, repurposing or republishing content that you're creating for another group of people. Like why not, you know. That's the thing. Because I think what you're talking about with this, like, segmented more like a personalized approach with these different pools of candidates and audience that you have is super smart. And if that stuff there can just be repurposed and more like categorized, organized whatever, on LinkedIn pages.


James Mackey  42:30  

We're gonna try it for ourselves. And then, depending on how it works for us, we'll start to roll it out into our playbooks for our clients. If it works, we tell our clients.


Nate, we're coming up on time. I've really, really enjoyed this conversation. Thank you. And before we jump off, could you please tell everybody where they can follow you, and where they can find your content?


Nate Guggia  42:54  

Sure. So I'm active on LinkedIn. Nate Guggia. I also have a newsletter. That is essentially the same thing I posted on LinkedIn, it just goes to your email address. It's You can go there and check it out and subscribe if you want.


James Mackey  43:14  

Great, great. Well, Nate, thank you very much. This has been a blast. And for everybody tuning in. Thank you and we'll talk to you next time. Take care. 

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