EP 53: Hitting hiring targets in hyper-growth. Scaling talent acquisition like a revenue org w Rahul Yodh
James Mackey 0:00
Hey everyone, this is James Mackay. Welcome to Talent Acquisition Trends and Strategy podcast.
Today we are joined by Rahul Yodh and we're very excited to jump into some topics, we're going to go over some more details in terms of running talent acquisition, similar to a revenue org, and all sorts of cool stuff about running talent acquisition systems and a data-driven approach.
We're going into some other topics, including annual planning and how to report to other executives within the organization, just high-level philosophy on talent acquisition, and how to ensure that you're set up for success to hit hiring goals. As we all know, there are so many times when we have this goal in mind, and then six weeks into the year, we basically, were already behind. So we're going to be talking about how to prevent that. And then for everybody tuning in, you know, thank you for your consistent support and doing so you know, we've run Season Two of the show, we've had over 50 episodes. And it's been really incredible to see the progression into the number one spot for talent acquisition. So, you know, we're updating the content, we're creating it more valuable. And you're gonna walk away from this conversation with a lot of what you need to put together an effective annual plan and to be successful in 2023.
Rahul, welcome to the show. Thanks for joining me today.
Rahul Yodh 1:42
Thank you so much for inviting me to be here, James. I'm so glad that we were able to connect on LinkedIn. And you just posted something that really kind of struck a chord with me, you know, running TA like a revenue org.
James Mackey 1:57
Yep. It's a growing movement. Hopefully, we're accelerating it through the work that we're doing producing this content. You know, I had a great conversation with Brandon Metcalf,, he developed a tool called Talent rover, which is specifically focused on the staffing industry. But it was like an applicant tracking system that was built on Salesforce. And so like, you could actually optimize and put together a tech stack leveraging revenue tools for talent acquisition. And I think you mentioned you heard, we brought him Into the show for season two, he was the first episode of season two, and he's building a new ATS that can be leveraged for staffing or in-house. And it's built off the Salesforce backbone, which I'm incredibly excited about. So that kind of ethic inspired the posts that you saw.
Rahul Yodh 2:45
I loved hearing what he had to say. And I'm interested to see what comes of the tools that they're building on Salesforce because we are definitely a very Salesforce-driven organization. So something that I will be keeping, you know, keeping my ear to the ground fork.
James Mackey 3:02
Yeah. Love it. Love it. So before we jump into these topics, I want everybody to have a clear understanding of the environment that you work in, and your role, because it's important for people to understand your perspective and where you're coming from on these topics. So do you mind taking a minute or so to tell us about you, the type of company you worked for, the type of hiring you do, and stuff like that?
Rahul Yodh 3:26
Yeah, no, absolutely. So I'm Vice President of talent acquisition for New Western, I'm responsible for TA strategy and results and oversee a remote and distributed team of 18 really talented and hardworking recruiting professionals. And I want to say 10 Different metropolitan areas in six different states. And I started my career in recruiting with staffing with Robert Half, moved into a kind of retained executive search, and eventually founded a boutique search firm in 2009, which, in hindsight, was probably the worst time ever to take that leap. But that experience forced me to be really more strategic, bring more value to my clients, and go beyond just that transaction, which was, you know, a body in a seat. Eventually, my firm was named Best up by some leading industry publications. And I said to myself, I think I've done what I set out to do and I exited via acquisition by a national staffing firm. And so after my exit, I said, you know, I really want to go in the house.
That's where I haven't been, I want to see my impact from start to finish. No matter how deep I got with my clients, it was still just a small slice, right? And so I worked as an advisor in private equity doing transactional due diligence, and operational advisory and eventually I made my way to New Western two years ago. So early 2021 New Western operates a marketplace for investors. To find homes to rehab we buy a house every 13 minutes. And we only own that asset for about 90 minutes. So it's high velocity. It's fast-paced. And we're headquartered in Dallas, Texas. But we have offices and team members in 22 states, I think, and over 40 markets. And just for some perspective for the audience in 2022, we onboarded 937 new team members ranging from C suite and directors all the way down to the lifeblood of our team, our organization New Western, which is our field agents who buy and sell residential real estate assets. And we also expanded into six new states and 15 new markets. Overall, it was double the amount of hiring that we did in 2021.
James Mackey 5:43
That's incredible. And I think that this is why you're such a perfect guest to discuss running talent acquisition, like a revenue org, understanding the importance of process, and technology, having a data-centric approach, and having a sales-bent recruiting organization. And I do have a bias toward I think talent acquisition leaders that come from an agency background. I think that there are problems in the agency model with it almost being true to the sales bent. Yeah, I like to focus on objection handling versus quality of hire. So for everybody tuning in, that doesn't have an agency background, I understand the challenges. I just think from a foundation perspective, it's very valuable to have at least a couple of recruiters from that background because when you bring them in-house, and you teach them this strategic skill set, they're incredibly well-rounded. And you can learn how to increase the quality of hire and increase vetting skills. But having that persuasion, and hustle that comes from an agency background, I feel like is incredibly valuable. Yeah,
Rahul Yodh 6:49
I always say I can, I can train recruiters on how to evaluate talent and how to work the process properly. But I can't teach them how to hustle, you know that is something that is in you from an early stage in your career. And that's how you are as a professional or how you are not. And, you know, I think that's where my agency background gives me a really strong foundation in things like pipeline metrics, and just grit and hustle, and just comp, you know, the competitive attitude and mindset that you need to win.
James Mackey 7:24
Yeah, I think so. I mean, you know, for everybody tuning in, again, that doesn't come from that background, of course, you can have that hustle and grit. I think it's without the agency side. But I will say, when you're hiring for your team, you're more likely to get a recruiter that has that mindset, because if they were successful in staffing, it means that they had that hustle and grit versus if you hire somebody, maybe that's a career switcher. Or maybe somebody that you got directly from the university, it's kind of a gamble whether or not they're going to have that kind of sales bent, competitive background. And so when I look at, you know, your staffing companies are taking that risk. So I'm not saying you need a full team of agency recruiters, but it really does, I think, lower risk to have a higher performing team, personally.
Rahul Yodh 8:15
Yeah, absolutely. And as James said, it's all about you know, it's all about Hana. A few people like that, right? Because that culture then kind of permeates throughout the team. And so if you've got a few folks with that agency background, they understand they get it, and they're able to kind of drive the culture a little bit.
James Mackey 8:34
Yeah, yeah, I think so. You know, let's start at a high level and just like the importance of running, like a revenue org, how it's impacted your ability to basically I think you more than doubled in size last year. So I think like, can we just get into how this approach has allowed you to achieve the results that you need to?
Rahul Yodh 8:57
For sure. So, you know, my background I feel like I've been a revenue org leader, right? I was a business owner, I built a business. So that is that that says revenue org leadership as you can get. And, you know, ultimately, what we in TA deliver to an organization, which is people and talent, especially organizations like ours, where we deliver sales talent, we have a direct impact on revenue. I was just talking to one of our co-founders earlier this week, and I think he said it best he said, you know, marketing is driving lead generation. However, hiring more sales talent also drives lead generation.
James Mackey 9:35
Right? Yeah, I totally agree. And so, when you're thinking about like when you walked into the environment, how much was the organization already kind of operating from this philosophy or what were Can you walk us through that process like Okay, so you get the role at your new position? How do you go about evaluating the way that things are currently done? And then how do you go about taking In steps to initially make that transition to running it more like a revenue org,
Rahul Yodh 10:06
I think first and foremost was, you know, when I was evaluating the position, knowing that this was a top-down initiative, right, that higher recruiting talent acquisition, acquiring talent was the number one priority for the company. And so knowing that gave me a lot of confidence, right? And then, initially, it was all about, Hey, I gotta get in there. And I've got to really get a read on the situation I've got, understand where we are and where we need to go. And so the first order of business was, I got to dig into the data. Like, first of all, what kind of data do we have? And what can I see? And what kind of insights can I get from it? Because you know, without data, you're just kind of going by the gut, right? It's like going out in the field and drilling for oil without any kind of Geological Survey or map or anything like that. And you're just you're like, Okay, I think I've got a gut feeling that this is the issue. But with data, you can really figure out where the issues are, where the strengths are, where the weaknesses are, and then and then drill it into those things.
James Mackey 11:14
Yeah, for sure, for sure. And I think, too, it sounds like when you're evaluating the role, it's making sure that talent acquisition truly has a seat at the leadership table, and is a priority in terms of talent strategy being at the top of the priority list, right? Because obviously, the value, the value, the individuals working on the team are driving value for every department, whether it's revenue, or you know, if it's a tech company, Product Engineering, you know, the best people best-fit people, I should say, are the ones that are going to be able to drive the best outcomes and most value exponentially for the customer base.
So, you know, could you give us more insight, like, how did you evaluate the culture, if you will, like when speaking with the executive team, making sure that you had a seat at the leadership table? Because I think it's right, like you could always like, you could try to convince a leadership team to change. Yeah, but sometimes that's not possible. So like, my advice is similar to what you're saying, like when you're evaluating the opportunity, getting on a leadership team that sees value in what you're bringing to the table as an executive function that's driving business outcomes. It's not just something that funnels up necessarily into HR not saying that you know, sometimes that is the right thing to do. But depending on the CPO leader, you know, I think it's just making sure that you're gonna have a seat at the table to make sure that you can understand the company's objectives and work backward to build a hiring plan to ensure they can hit that. So can you tell us more about how you, you went about evaluating the culture and the leadership team and what things you look for and other leaders within the organization to feel confident that they're going to, you know, empower you to, you know, have control over the things you need to have control over in order to generate the outcomes they need you to generate?
Rahul Yodh 13:02
Yeah. For me, it was pretty easy, right? It was asking some of the right questions, and really speaking to the key stakeholders, right, the ones that would be driving that top-down strategy. And in our case, it was our two co-founders, and I had a chance to meet with them before taking on the role. And, you know, they left me with really no doubt that recruiting was a priority. Recruiting was important. There was a significant business need to acquire talent. And, you know, I walked away from that conversation saying, no issues. This is an organization that's good, that is going to allow me to operate and execute a strategy without really, you know, holding me back in any way.
James Mackey 13:56
Yeah, for sure. And I think, you know, there's the other reason I think that you know, what we talked about ta leadership needing a real seat at the leadership table at the executive level is because Todd acquisition impacts all departments. Right? Like, we need to be part of the conversation. I mean, the biggest expense within most companies is payroll. And so it's directly going to be correlated to the success of every department, and being able to not only influence that but understanding that time acquisition is under a very tight deadline. And sometimes, you know, HR professionals, maybe aren't maybe their philosophies on something different. I mean, what are your thoughts on that, like, you know, in terms of making sure there's alignment between TA and HR and making sure that it's not acquisition as the ability to move fast and yeah, but not.
Rahul Yodh 14:50
So I think it starts with, I'm fortunate enough to be part of our executive team. So being in the room allows me to be proactive instead of reactive, right? And then, you know, in talking to a lot of my peers in the TA in the TA spit in the TA space. You know, a lot of us struggle with being part of an HR people department, right? HR ta have two different skill sets, goals, and stakeholders, HR is very much a people function, you know, responsible for nurturing and engaging, developing talent, and Ta is, is sales, it's a sales function where the strategy and approach to acquiring a new hire is so similar to acquiring a new customer. And now you layer in that hyper-competitive talent market where you need speed and urgency and efficiency. And you can see where there might be some friction between TA and HR in many companies. And I think we're starting to see a slow shift in the market where organizations are starting to separate HR and TA with TA reporting into the business side, which is directly impacted by TAS results. And that's where I think I'm pretty lucky to be at an organization like the Western where we have that top-down talent strategy, and our people and TA teams are very much aligned, we have buy-in and, and we operate kind of with that same mindset of we all know that, that acquiring talent is, is critical to our, to the success of our company.
James Mackey 16:23
So what I post a lot of content about on LinkedIn is that my talent strategy and belief is that this comes from literally working with over 150 companies to help them hire. So it's been doing that for the last eight years. So this is not just based off some, you know, opinion, that's an assumption, it's based on a lot of experience that my company has helping companies hire, I believe that every leader across an organization should have a key performance metric being their hiring plan for the year because as a talent acquisition leader, there are so many things that we cannot control. And so we can put in place the best process and tech stack and reporting and transparency and visibility, you know, options available. But we can't ultimately control that, for instance, like a VP of Engineering is going to actually deliver on those best practices, or if they're going to reschedule with a candidate, three times in a row to the point that candidate drops out of the process. Right. So I think it's, you know, curious to get your thoughts on that. Obviously, companies can be effective without it. So like, if your team doesn't do that It's not like, you know, throwing a jab or anything. But I'm curious to get your opinion on that topic. If you think it's a good idea. And if you have anything like that in place at your company,
Rahul Yodh 17:44
Yeah, no, absolutely, it's really, really important to have that alignment and have that accountability. Right. And that's one of our core values is accountability. And, you know, each of our hiring managers has a hiring goal that they need to hit. They're held accountable to those goals by their managers, we give them visibility into the hiring pipelines and dashboards. And then we have regular meetings with hiring managers and their leaders on progress toward those goals. Because, again, accountability is one of our core values, and people are open to those conversations because they understand that, that's, that's how we operate.
James Mackey 18:25
Right, right. It's just so like, let's just recap the success that your company has had implementing that because I really want to drive this point home. So like, can you tell us again, about your, you know, your headcount last year growth?
Rahul Yodh 18:38
So? Yeah, so, we were able to hire to x the number of people that we hired the year before. And so in 2022, we still got a week left in the year, but I think we're done. It's two days before Christmas. So I think we're done with hiring this year. But I think we're going to end with 937 folks that we've hired this year, all the way from like I said, the C suite down to our field sales, field sales agents, who are the lifeblood of our company. And not only were we able to double our hiring, not only were we able to scale, but to me, scale is not just increasing production, but it's also maintaining or improving efficiency. And we were able to scale by doubling our size, and we were able to stay just as efficient and in many cases even more efficient than when we were doing half the production that we were doing last year. Right. And so to me that goes back to things like a tight process and you know, having that optimized pipeline and the tech stack and all those things, but it starts with the buy-in from the hiring managers, and it starts with the process.
James Mackey 19:57
That's brilliant, and that's why I wanted to slow down on that point and really drive that home. I mean, what you're saying about scale is just it's you're right. I mean, I, you know, I see this a lot in tech, right? I mean, that tech is notorious for hyping up raising money, but running at a significant loss, and basically just talking about raising money to scale or hiring people to scale, which is total BS, right? Like, if you raise money, you've just taken out a, like obligation, right? Like, you know, you're just right, it's right, or, you know, at a minimum, it's like, you're, you're not actually achieving scale in terms of generating more value to the marketplace. It's not a direct correlation. I mean, there might be, you know, obviously, like, it gives you the opportunity to build better products and go to market. But, you know, I think the focus should be on like, Okay, what does unit economics look like at scale? And I think that that should be the same philosophy that departments take, it's like, okay, if it's, you know, whether or not it's a go-to-market team or a recruiting team, it's, can you scale a relatively similar cost per hire? Yeah, you know, when you. And then you have to look at scalable channels, like, you might have a channel that's producing, you know, a certain amount of hires, but it might be taking up like a huge amount of bandwidth for your talent acquisition team. So you might need to say, Okay, we are generating hires, but it's our least efficient, lowest converting, hiring source. So we would do better off just putting this all together, and then allowing our recruiters to work on the most efficient, most scalable sources. And so I don't think enough companies within talent acquisition are really considering it from that perspective.
Rahul Yodh 21:34
And it's not just it's not even the sources, right, like, sources is one thing, but you can look at efficiency and how the recruiter works, right? Like, what responsibilities does the recruiter have? And is there time best to use doing those things? Or can we, you know, continue to build out the TA organization and bring somebody else and offload some of those responsibilities? And, that was one thing that I had seen was, was, you know, our, our recruiters were spending, probably a third of their time focused on things that we're taking, taking them away from, you know, interacting with a client or with candidates, right. And so, I mean, their best, their best, they're their most talented at interacting with engaging with and, you know, talent, right recruiting. And if they're stuck behind the desk, and working on reports, and data entry and all that stuff. And it doesn't make sense. So bring in, it's not just efficiency in our sources, but it's also efficiency in how you work, and how your TA organization is built out.
James Mackey 22:38
Oh, totally, totally. And I think that that's, there's just so much to be learned for revenue orgs when it comes to efficiencies when it comes to tools accessible to SDRs. Yeah, actually, you know, like, how many talent organizations are running? Like STR tech stacks? Right.
Rahul Yodh 22:57
I won't say any, but it's few. Right. And that
James Mackey 22:59
isn't the right yet, but it feels like not at least the conversations I had, it's like, yeah, might as well be.
Rahul Yodh 23:05
Absolutely. Part of that is, you know, let's give our teams the tools that they need to succeed, to succeed. Yes, there's going to be a cost of implementing those tools, but eventually, there's going to be a huge return on investment in terms of savings and production. And, you know, we looked at our you know, why evaluated the tech stack when I got here and we said, okay, what are where are some inefficiencies in our tech stack? And we said, you know, our recruiters are using their personal devices to send text messages to candidates, right? Like and that's how candidates communicate is through text message a lot of the time and so we were losing all that data right all that activity was on a personal device and in a different state that we had no visibility into and we you know, we could not it was not keyword searchable it wasn't you know, it wasn't usable to us right and so I said let's just bring that all into the ATS Let's bolt something onto the ATS that allows us to do that and so now we've got that in place and we send text messages to our candidates directly from our ATS all the SMS communication is inside our ATS its keyword searchable, everybody get everybody has visibility into it and just made us that much more efficient.
James Mackey 24:22
Yeah. And what ATS is using?
Rahul Yodh r 24:28
We're on Lever. We've been a lever organization since before I got here. So that was already in place. And it is. It is one of the leading ATS out there for high-volume recruiting, which is what we do.
James Mackey 24:43
Which plugin do you use for text messaging?
Rahul Yodh r 24:46
So we use something called grayscale for text messaging and it plugs into lever levers got it and open API so it allows you to bolt on pretty quickly and easily. With very little effort. All
James Mackey 25:00
right. So you also one thing we talked about is having a data stack on top of having a team of data analysts. data visualisation analysis, a team helping with that, and kind of a, you know, a data stack on top of lever to to get better reporting, can you tell us more about you just the evolution of when you started to where you are now and how you're thinking about the future and leveraging a tool like that, and a data analysis team, just I would love to get your, your, your personal experience and what you've you've seen as a progression over the past couple of years, and over the next year?
Rahul Yodh 25:37
Yeah, no, absolutely. So when I got here, I distinctly recall that we had almost zero visibility into the recruiting data, I really had no easy way to find out even how many people that we had hired the previous year or further back. So we were at kind of the bottom when it came to how much insight we had to data. Our ATS reports were flawed because there wasn't a lot of consistency. And it wasn't because we didn't have the ability to do it, it was because the recruitment function had been decentralized. And it was handled by a lot of individual field offices and hiring managers. And so there just wasn't a lot of top-down strategy. When it came to that, right? And whatever reporting that we did have was a super manual that was, you know, literally put into an excel sheet weekly by somebody on the recruiting team, right?
So the data was there, but it was spread across tonnes of different systems and departments. And there wasn't that consistent logic to use for reporting. So, you know, step one, as I said, was, I needed to know what I was dealing with. And so I wanted to build a dashboard to visualize that pipeline, right? And that's where I turned to our very talented Business Intelligence Team. And, these guys are so incredibly talented, that all I had to do was really paint the picture of what I needed. And they were able to take it from there. And about six weeks, maybe even less, we had our first kind of data visualization tool, which was a dashboard that visualise the pipeline, including time metrics, right, like at time to hire super important, we talked about how important speed is right, so time metrics were built into it as well. And then it became really easy to get insights from that right to see some patterns developing and see, you know, have my beautiful mind moment and see all the numbers flashing before me and say, okay, okay, this is, this is where I see data smoke. And so I know that there's a business fire there, right? So and then and then that we then evolve that into so much more. Now we have dashboards that visualise the right recruiting data for each of our audiences, right, hiring managers have a dashboard, executives have a dashboard, our individual recruiters have a dashboard, and our recruiting leaders have dashboards, right? So we've gotten kind of dashboard happy, we recognize, the importance of it, and the importance of that it brings accountability. And now, you know, moving into 2023, we're going to, we're going to blow all that out and get even better with it.
James Mackey 28:17
Okay, so tell us about that, like, you know, your current stack, and then, you know, what your, I suppose the limitations thereof, and then what you're going to move forward with?
Rahul Yodh 28:28
Yes, so right now we're Google Data Studio, right? And that's really, it's driven by manually kind of importing data into Google Data Studio, and then it is then displaying it. And it works great. It delivers what we need. But, you know, with all the data that we're running, and the volume of data that we have, and not just in recruiting, right, we're a sales organization. So we got a tonne of Salesforce data and all that stuff, right. So I want to say that our BI team is moving towards 2023, we're gonna move towards snowflake for our data cloud. And then thought spot. On top of that, right, which is going to be a thought spot I don't know if you know about it, but it's a very search and AI-driven analytics platform that allows you to get really granular with literally billions of rows of data, right? So it learns from usage and we can ask it questions, and it'll give us answers and insights that we couldn't dream of, with the manual Google Data Studio process. So I'm kind of excited about that. Yeah, to nerd out on it.
James Mackey 29:43
Well, hey, when you implement it, like you got to come back on the show to tell us how it's going. I mean, I would love to hear about the implementation process as well as the results that you're generating, like, is it actually doing what you need it to do? So? Maybe this time next year, we will And I'd maybe I'll bring
Rahul Yodh 30:00
my, my peer from the BI team who's Yeah, who's the brains behind all this. And his team is the one who's doing all the implementation. And Seth, Seth Mitchell. And he is, his team is just like I said, super talented. And they are passionate about data. And they really understand the business. And they really understand each business unit's kind of needs.
James Mackey 30:29
Oh, I love that. I love that. In fact, if Seth wants to come on sometime in the next month or two, I mean, if he's open to it, I'd love to have him on the show. And then like a year from now, we have both you guys on just talking about the process. So just give him a little Oh, no, I'll give him a call. Yeah, let him know. I want him on the show. So yeah, we haven't actually had somebody that'd be it come on the show yet. So I think that a lot of the talent leaders today again, would be really interested in that. So yeah, we already looked at this doing one, podcast, and we already got two more lined up.
Rahul Yodh 31:03
I'm building on building out your content catalog.
James Mackey 31:07
I appreciate it, man. Anytime I have some really good insights, I try to how can we extrapolate this and add more value. So I think just to like, let's just say we're talking a lot about optimization of data, different tools to optimize that. Let's get into what specific metrics you are tracking. And then as indicators of success, and then I, and then I also, I'm just going to ask this now, so I don't forget, but you don't have to, like I'll say this again. But I would like to also get into like, Do you do any segmentation in terms of like region or department? So there's, like different workflows or different, you know, approaches to monitoring pipelines and stuff like that. So I'd like to, again, I'm I got to stop doing these two-part questions. It's something I always do. But like, first getting into core metrics, and then segmentation by either region or department would be interesting to dive into.
Rahul Yodh 32:04
Yeah, no, absolutely. So so core metrics, right? What we look at right is, are we trying to visualize? It starts with the pipeline, we want to visualize our pipeline, we want to see the raw activity numbers, right, like, how many candidates did we have? And how many phone screens did were scheduled? And how many were conducted? And how many first interviews were scheduled? And how many actually happened, you know, just all the way down to the offer? And the offer acceptance rate, all the way to higher, right. And then we track the time between each of those stages. And, but you know, and then we look at a lot of the kind of the ratios between the two, right? So really the metrics between the stages, right? Like, what's the conversion rate between a phone screen and a first interview? And how many offers are being signed? And how many? How many people are actually showing up on day one, after they sign an offer? What's our drop-off rate? You know, knowing all those things, helps us again, really spot issues that we can, that we can triage and fix pretty quickly.
James Mackey 33:22
Yeah, I love it. And so when you're looking at conversion rates and pipelines, do you use segment by department, because I would assume like for sales roles, you're gonna see different time and stage and conversion rates.
Rahul Yodh 33:32
So on the sales side of the house, you know, we've got two roles that we're primarily recruiting for and hiring for, right? And so we'll segment between those two roles. And then, as I said, we've got 40. You know, we're in 22 states and 40 markets, we've got 70 Something hiring managers just on the sales side, right? And so we can break it down by each hiring manager by each team as to what their individual metrics are. Now, some of that data is not as reliable because you got a smaller sample size. So we always want to kind of go back up to the up to the, to the main data set, but it gives us some insights, right? So if, if a conversion rate is way off and for one hiring manager or one region, then we can spot it and we can say, What, what's the issue there? Right, like, let's, let's talk about it, let's figure it out. Let's see what we can do to fix it.
James Mackey 34:31
I love it. And I think so we're coming up on time. I want to give some more tactical takeaways on town acquisition leaders and how they can think about the budget allocation for the next following year, I think about how to present to other members of the executive team. And so my first question is when you're looking at evaluating your budget and determining where your spending is going to be most effective. Do you have any tips on how to go about doing that? When you look at okay, what do you know, what channels? Should we be investing in the most? You know, it's not as straightforward as just like simply looking at one metric, right? I mean, there's probably a lot that goes into making those decisions. So I'm curious to get your thoughts on how you think about budget allocation and how you're going to spend and invest in your department.
Rahul Yodh r 35:26
Again, it goes back to the importance of knowing your data and, and having that data-driven mindset and building that data infrastructure early on, so that you can then make these decisions, right, and you can trust the numbers, right, that's really important that you trust the data. And, you know, I, for example, I know that for a specific type of role. I need X amount of applicants to get Y amount of hires, right? So I, you know, when we're, when we're planning for next year, or when we're planning for the future, I'm going to look and see, well, how many of those types of individuals do I need to hire? How many of those positions do I need to fill in the next year? And how many applicants do I need to generate in order to fill those? fill those positions? Once I have that number, then I can go into ADS. Okay, where am I going to get those applicants, right? So I need Y amount of applicants, where do I find them, that's where I then go back into the data, and I'm looking at our different data sources, not a data sources, our applicant sources, our candidate sources, and figure out where they're going to come from, and that's where the investment goes, right. And we've got to balance things like, yes, there might be some sources that are more, that are more costly, but they might produce a higher quality candidate, and there might be some sources that are really inexpensive. And, and, but they, they cause a lot of extra work and a lot of, you know, they bring in a lot of junk. Right? And, the pure dollar to generate that applicant might be much lower, but it takes a lot more work to nurture them and close them and bring them along and weed through all the trash. And so it ends up adding to the cost.
James Mackey 37:15
All right. And I think that's just a slow down on that, I think that that's actually something that data acquisition leaders really need to be aware of is you the, if you have an inefficient channel, it's going to be much worse at scale. So if you have an inefficient channel, and you're a 100-person company, if you don't, right, you know, if you don't change that, when you get to 200 people or 400 people, it's going to continuously make your team less efficient. And it's going to continuously increase your cost per hire. And so one of the things you have to look at is not just the percentage of placements, but you actually have to get into what are the resources going into that channel. And are we actually predicting? Are we actually collecting an actual cost per source, cost per hire per source? Because, you know, maybe something is accounting for 20% of your hires, but it's accounting for 50 or 60% of the recruiter's time. And so you have to understand that time ratio, as well as you can as well. And I think that that's a problem that maybe it can be hard to diagnose. And so that's, that's why I wanted to slow down on that just to make sure everybody.
Rahul Yodh 38:22
Yeah, no, it can certainly be hard to diagnose. And I'm, I'm lucky enough to be working at a kind of a level of scale where we can, the data can give us a lot of information very quickly, because there's a lot of it, right. But if you're in an organization where you're responsible for hiring 50 or 100 people a year, maybe you might not really have a big enough sample size of data to just completely trust it. So that's where really understanding the process and open, you know, open communication lines with the recruiting team and soliciting feedback and things like that matter because that fills in the gaps that maybe the data can't write to give us the context of the data.
James Mackey 39:05
Right. So by focusing on that is like, how do you go about tracking the ratio between time spent and hire like the number of hires made? Because I think that that's an important stat. It's like, again, what if like, somebody's spending 60% of their time on something that's producing 20% of hires, and 40% of their time on something that's producing 80% of hires? This is, you know, just a high-level thought experiment. So how do you go about identifying those types of challenges?
Rahul Yodh 39:42
Yeah. So I'll go back to what I said earlier, right? Where there's data smoke, there's a business fire, right? So I'm looking at the data that may be Steve, there's a kind of an indication of that happening right? Is there a hiring manager or a rat or a recruiter that is less productive, you know, is kind of off the baseline, right? And that's the data smoke. And that's where we then dig in and kind of examine, investigate, and figure out what's wrong, right. And, you know, again, it's knowing your people and knowing your process, right? So that's why it's really, really important for any talent acquisition leader to really be in the trenches and understand exactly what happens from start to finish.
James Mackey 40:31
Yeah, and I think you're right, I think that comes down to like the line managers, people, management director level that just understand their team. They're collecting feedback. It's not only about the data, but it's digging in there and talking to people. I think one interesting thing to be determining, depending upon how big the talent acquisition team is, is maybe segmenting channels by the recruiter. So not everybody's working on the same channels, but you have a certain team of recruiters or recruiters working with one or two channels and another recruiter working with a couple of different channels. So then you can kind of separate performance on a per-recruiter basis and see what's producing better outcomes, versus blending everything together across the entire team. What are your thoughts on that?
Rahul Yodh 41:15
Well, you could definitely do that. But again, I think that might be a manual solution and then maybe not a scalable solution, right? And so that's where I love my dashboards, right? Because in my dashboards, I can, I've got dropdowns for not just different locations and regions and all that but individual recruiters, and recruiting sources. And, then, and then position titles, right? And so then I can, I can run a query and I can say recruiter X, using Source y, what's there, you know, what are the pipeline metrics there? And then versus recruiter x using Source z? What are the pipeline metrics there? What's the difference? And you can, you can diagnose things pretty quickly, without having to kind of have that manual workaround of segmenting out your recruiting team and, and whatnot.
James Mackey 42:14
That makes a lot of sense. I think this is probably a good stopping point. This has been an incredibly insightful episode, this is gonna guide talent strategy, I'm very hopeful that everybody tuning in, you're going to take this episode, you're going to drop it into a Slack channel, you're going to share it with the CEO, you're going to share it with the VP of talent acquisition, your chief people officer, your VP of HR, whoever you need to, because this is the type of stuff that actually moves the needle and empowers you to reach your hiring goals. As much as we love talking about other very important topics like culture, D&I, things that we have to keep top of mind. There isn't enough coverage on this type of content, which is usually a huge blind spot for a lot of organizations, not all of them. But you know, there's obviously great talent leaders out there that know this stuff. And that's the ones we invite on the show so that we can educate the other, you know, other people in the market. So just make sure that you're taking this to heart, and that you're sharing this with your team. And I hope this has been helpful. And Rahul, I thank you so much for coming on this show and giving us a masterclass on this topic. This has been a lot of fun. Thank you so much.
Rahul Yodh 43:20
You're very welcome. And you know, really the only parting wisdom I have for any of my peers listening is you know, really understand that you have an impact on the bottom line of your business and, and, and it's much more than just hiring people you are, you're helping to grow the business, you're helping to drive revenue.
James Mackey 43:43
I love it. I love it. And if people want to engage with you online, maybe they want to just connect with you just for future purposes or whatever else. Is there a way that they could potentially get in contact with you?
Rahul Yodh 43:58
Yeah, no, absolutely. My LinkedIn is probably the best way to find me. That's how we met each other on LinkedIn. So I'm definitely there. And James, I think you're gonna drop a link to my LinkedIn, in the description or the bio or wherever in the podcast. And so find me on LinkedIn, and send me a message, happy to engage, happy to answer any questions that anybody might have, and just happy to connect.
James Mackey 44:25
Love it. Love it. For everybody tuning in. I wanted to let you know that if you are getting value from this show, we'd really appreciate a review on Apple podcasts, as well as on Spotify or whatever streaming service that you use. And coming up in the new year we're going to be even more organized. Taking the show to the next level. We're going to be posting at consistent times and bringing a little bit more structure to certain parts of the show to make sure that you're getting the maximum value. Also, make sure to check this out at ta trends.io. And you can also share with folks who want to apply to be aghast or if you'd like to apply as well. If you're a VP of talent acquisition or a CPO, we'd, we'd love to hear from you. So thank you so much for joining us today and we'll talk to you next time. Take care!