Paradox Chief Marketing Officer Josh Zywien breaks down the positive business impact of software that works in the background.
Chief Marketing Officer, Paradox
Josh serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Paradox, responsible for driving the company’s brand, digital, and experiential marketing efforts, while also supporting sales enablement and product marketing.
Jason looks to broaden executive mindset to rethink how to better design and deliver employee services that exceed the expectations of the workforce and the needs of the business.
Head of Brand Strategy, Leapgen
Former recruiting practitioner and HCM solution provider.
Transcription was automatically created. Please excuse any filler words, punctuation errors, or misspellings. Review and updates are in progress.
Jess Von Bank (00:06):
Jason Averbook (00:10):
It's my unreal.
Jess Von Bank (00:11):
Howard knew the song.
Jason Averbook (00:12):
37. Oh yes. CCR.
Jess Von Bank (00:15):
Jason Averbook (00:16):
<affirmative>. Hi Suzanne. How are you? Hi, Tilly. How are you? Michelle, Renee, Leo, John, Chuck. So glad that everyone, Steve Tracy, good to see everyone. Dorothy from Brussels. Good to see you. I love how Dorothy always has. She's from Brussels. So great to have everyone here. anyone new. Let us know if you're new. Friday, June 10th. Holy Hannah. what are those things on your dress? Jess cherries? do those cherries significant? You know what I'm trying to say?
Jess Von Bank (00:58):
No, I felt summary today. Okay. Very summary here in Minneapolis. But if I had to make a connection, I guess we do have the famous cherry on a spoon in the sculpture garden outside of the Walker Art Center. That's a visual most people make to Minneapolis, so there you go.
Jason Averbook (01:18):
Nice. Bob Romper room. Holy cow room. Wow. yes, Steve, you're the opposite of new. That's right, Suzanne. I'm glad you're here for the first time. I, or the second time. I hope the first time is good. Tracy thinks your dress is retro and cool.
Jess Von Bank (01:39):
I think, I mean, I might be kind of retro. I don't know if that's cool. <laugh>.
Jason Averbook (01:45):
so you guys we
Jess Von Bank (01:46):
Back Chicken rock. Yes.
Jason Averbook (01:48):
We always start these meetups every Friday with a question. Well, we, excuse me. We almost always start with this question unless I forget it. which is, how are you probably the most important you can ask in question. You can ask in life. three responses. Green, yellow, or red? Green. Great. Feel great today. It's great. Week yellow and soso red. Not so good. so just love for you guys to type in the chat. 2,165 people <laugh>. how you are today. We've got lots of greens. Look at these greens rolling in.
Jess Von Bank (02:26):
Ugh, I love it.
Jason Averbook (02:28):
Green, green, green, green, green, green, green, green, green, green, green. Wow. We have a lot of greens.
Jess Von Bank (02:38):
Nuance green. Leo, I love it.
Jason Averbook (02:41):
yes. You want, want me to say something funny now?
Jess Von Bank (02:43):
Jason Averbook (02:44):
Has anyone looked at the stock market today,
Jess Von Bank (02:47):
<laugh>? No. I'll answer for them. No. If they're great <laugh>.
Jason Averbook (02:51):
Cause that would be the opposite. That would be the opposite. Which I, I'm totally cool. Not talking about
Jess Von Bank (02:57):
Jason Averbook (02:58):
Oh, I'm sorry. Sorry. Tracy. round three of Covid.
Jess Von Bank (03:01):
Jason Averbook (03:02):
Ugh. Sorry to hear that. I think I, I was telling him we had a little happy hour last night. and I was telling some people last night that after my first round of Covid, I don't care for it. So the fact that it's third, yes, we are all playing the long game. Good way to say it all. Playing the long game. I just happened to, as I was logging in here, I happened to check Google Finance, and when I looked at it, I was like, holy cow. Not the good not the not the best day. anyway, all good. we've got lots of greens, which is great. free weekend of nothing. Oh, Jackie, where are you? Do you wanna do something?
Jess Von Bank (03:47):
<laugh>, but you don't have nothing. You have a whole lot of baseball. Well,
Jason Averbook (03:51):
Yeah. I, I mean,
Jess Von Bank (03:52):
Jason Averbook (03:53):
Jackie, if you wanna coach some baseball that would, yeah. Five games of baseball and coaching between this aft or this evening and Sunday afternoon and then flying to New York Sunday night. So but all good. All all good. It's a great way to spend the weekend. And you're doing summer stuff, right?
Jess Von Bank (04:12):
Oh my God, my kids are, so, my kids finished school. Many of you, all of your kids are wrapping up school, right? Depending on where you are. Mine wrapped up on Wednesday and summer mode could not be full on, like we are full on. I'm getting texts from the pool. Can we go to the cabin? Can we do this? Like, there, like freedom, freedom, summer, <laugh>. so my, my weekend will probably look like a whole lot of, you know, summer mode and two dentist appointments. I don't think they know that yet. <laugh>.
Jason Averbook (04:47):
So I have an interesting question to get us started before we bring on our guest. It, it's, it's you Jess, you look like you don't trust the question. You're, I'm not, it's not a goofy ass question. S gotcha. some of you guys may have seen this morning, it's one of the reasons the stock market's doing what it's doing that with the inflation number announced inflation, inflation, excuse me, rose, 8.6% in May which is the highest rate of inflation rise since 1981. So some of you think that 1981 wasn't that long ago. 1981 <laugh> was actually 40 some years ago. which is a long time. In fact, in fact, it might be older than some of y'all. so when, when you think about that and you think about inflation number rising, what does that do to you?
and when you think about, when I say, what does it do to you? What does that actually do to you in your job? So what impact do you think it's going to have on your specific job? and I just bring that up because, you know, when we started this community you know, the, the, the now not at Holly. I mean, the, we're all together, so we're gonna stay green here, my friend. But, you know, the now of work is designed to not just look at c which we're still in, but really looking at everything that's going on around us and starting to say what is the impact of what's going on now to our jobs to our industry. And it's really important to talk about. so, you know, I'd love to, you know, besides gas price, that's gonna, you know, all of the other things.
But like Michelle, it's a great example. we will be pushed to review compensation for workers more than once a year. Like it's the 1980s. So that's an interesting observation slash prediction. you know, John, inflations on the rise worldwide. Acyclical got that. but what's going to be the impact to hr? Does it make HR more important? Does it deemphasize hr? Does it change spending on hr? These are all really important questions for us to think about, especially as we get into, you know, you Yes, I'm gonna say it. It's not even halfway through the year, starting to build budgets for 2023, which is what's gonna happen. Steve. Great prediction. Love it. Good working. Will continue to rise. If you don't mind typing in the chat just for everyone's sake, I'd love for you to say why you feel that way. but that's a great, great one. I should ask Michelle to say why she thinks compensation's gonna be reviewed, you know, more than once a year. Also. Jess, anything come to mind for you?
Jess Von Bank (07:46):
Oh my gosh, so many things. I do think we know that a lot of our investments and strategic planning and people priorities are driven in some part by market conditions. The, the economy drives the talent economy or vice versa. And so some of this, yes, everything is cyclical and some things will ebb and flow or sort of, you know, revert back on themselves. I do think over the last couple of years, there was so much significant change for a sustained period of time. We reached to the point of no return on a whole lot of things. So some things will not slide back even if, or even beyond a recession. Some things are not that dependent on market conditions or the moodiness, I call it like there's moods, right? But we totally reach the point of no return when it comes to wellness in the workplace. Inclusion and equity experience as a mandate. I mean, there are some things, flexible work, hybrid work models.
Jason Averbook (08:54):
I mean, John said with gas prices and more people push to work from home you know, Musk is on the wrong track. John said Andy said, one of my clients is not able to move forward with some aspects of a reorg. Changes are being held to cost neutral and headcount neutral restaurants are raising prices. Mom and Pops are messaging their customers to make sure that they're okay with the price changes. it's another stress on our people. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> health and wellness will continue to be important. organizations will have to revisit their priorities to put some initiatives on hold. Rec loads will start to flux. The dreaded hiring freeze will be thrown around that target, as we've seen Target retails bloated with inventory. you know, other companies will start to look at that heavy pressure from employees to increase merit budget which tends to hold steady. I think that's a good one. You know, Chuck said, we're gonna see prices continue to change. you know, Holly said employee engagement and experience will continue to be important. I think all of that stuff is true. you know, and you know, one of the things that we're seeing more and more is companies putting headcount freezes on, but yet having a lot of cash to spend.
Jess Von Bank (10:10):
Jason Averbook (10:11):
And that's not a surprise, I don't think to anyone that we've seen, you know, organizations hoard a lot of their profits, quote unquote, in the form of cash, and they're putting headcounts on freeze. And I think that's why I think earlier Steve said, the gig economy or the gig work will probably pick up mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because people are able to, you know, spend money, quote unquote, they're just not going to hire people into roles.
Jess Von Bank (10:37):
Agility, agility is the name of the game in, in conditions like this.
Jason Averbook (10:41):
Kyle said that mental health conversation has always been important, but has to become even more important this year. Not just for employees, but for families. even greater polarization in the US politically, which is going to impact business overall. hopefully boards will look at executive comp. You know, I think all of those are really, really great. you know, besides just little things, well, I shouldn't say little things you know, but besides you know, some of the other issues that we have going on, you know, I just had a one of our, one of our members of the community sent me an email last night. they just put a link in the chat you know, CEOs for gun safety.
Jess Von Bank (11:27):
Jason Averbook (11:28):
with which a whole coalition of organizations, including Leap Gen has signed to really start to think about how do we drive, you know, more safety around Yeah. Months. So, I mean, there's lots of issues going on, and we're not gonna unpack all of them, you know, in this conversation, but I wanna make sure it's something that we continue to talk about as a community and really think about, about the impact of it on HR tech. Because, you know, today we happen to have one of the leaders, you know, in the space when it comes to automation. And I said that, you know, the way I said it on purpose automation. So, you know, when we think about organizations having to, you know, maybe change the way that they quote unquote higher, and maybe there's a hiring freeze, that doesn't mean that there's not a need for automation. It, it needs that
Jess Von Bank (12:22):
Jason Averbook (12:23):
Yeah. It means there's a bigger need for automation, because I'm not gonna get the ability to, to add people. So, yeah. as we bring on our guest I'm gonna go ahead and bring him on. I have to start a little music here real quick
Speaker 3 (12:41):
As I bring him on first. Find him on this. The list keeps bigger and bigger. It's harder for me to direct every single every single week. But he's here. Somehow I see it. So he'll be here in a second. But we're gonna talk a about automation today. And maybe you wanna, while he's online,
Jess Von Bank (13:09):
I'd love if people can hear
Speaker 3 (13:10):
Josh Zywien (13:15):
Jess Von Bank (13:15):
Oh, you like that? Walk on.
Jason Averbook (13:17):
Josh Zywien (13:17):
The best. It's honestly the best. It makes me so happy.
Jess Von Bank (13:20):
Oh my gosh. Welcome, welcome, welcome.
Josh Zywien (13:23):
Thank you. What's that again?
Jason Averbook (13:25):
I said nice to see you.
Josh Zywien (13:26):
Yeah, great to see you too. It's been a little while.
Jason Averbook (13:28):
You're looking very yeah. It's Holly. I do need a producer. Josh. You're looking queen shaven professional.
Josh Zywien (13:35):
Like, if you had, if you had seen me about like, I don't know, maybe two hours ago I had this really strictly beard and I had, yeah.
Jason Averbook (13:42):
I was like, dude, do not know. This is like, anything goes on this show. You're supposed to be yourself. You're not supposed to be on.
Josh Zywien (13:47):
Jason Averbook (13:48):
The most, I think he's the most buttoned up guest we've ever had.
Jess Von Bank (13:51):
Josh Zywien (13:54):
That's Friday too. I should have, I should have rather go.
Jason Averbook (13:57):
Yeah. Which is really rare that he's buttoned up,
Josh Zywien (13:59):
But that's true
Jason Averbook (14:01):
Josh Zywien (14:02):
Yeah. Great to see you too.
Jess Von Bank (14:04):
How are kids driving me insane? I was listening to, listening to you talk earlier. I'm getting the same request. It's they wanna do a thousand things and, and seem to have forgotten that I still have a job and have to do some things during the, the work hours. So it's great. I love loving their death. I've got 12 12 year old twin girls. They're going to summer camp. They're all punk forward. Today was the, the last official day of school. But they were there for two and a half hours. It came romping into the house and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, destroyed everything, set the dogs off. So it was, it's been, it's been fun.
There is something kinda, go ahead, Jason.
Jason Averbook (14:39):
Oh, I was gonna say, so Josh, as a, wow. Do you see how I like to just move on past all the fun shit and <laugh> Well, Josh has so much to say. I don't wanna waste any time. I
Jess Von Bank (14:49):
Know, I know.
Jason Averbook (14:50):
I do care about, about your girls. Sorry, I care about the girls. But at the same time, I wanna talk about what we just talked about in the chat in the, as a group before, you know, and as a, as someone who I think is a true leader in this space, you like what are your thoughts about what we're seeing with inflation, the economy you know, not post covid, like, there's so many things. Yeah. Like to read you know, the signals going on. You know, I'd love your thoughts on some of the things going on.
Josh Zywien (15:24):
First of all, I appreciate the kind of words. I wish I was smart enough to figure out everything that's happening and how to make sense of it all. I think we're all struggling to try to understand how bad this is gonna get and how long it's gonna last. I think what's pretty clear to me is we're, we're very much in recession territory at this point, if not in a full recession. And, and I don't know yet what that means for us. you know, we're, we were talking about this last week, but you're starting to see companies lay off employees. Unfortunately, that's affecting talent acquisition disproportionately as it usually does. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. you know, the thing that I've seen recently that I really hate is rescinding offers that have already been extended to people like that. That's where it starts to feel.
And, and look, I, I empathize with the employer or the recruiter who has to do that. There's obviously something bad happening within the business that would lead somebody to do that. it's either that or they're just a really horrible person. <laugh>. But, but those, those things are scary. I think, you know you know, we'll get to the automation piece of it, but I think in Jess, I think you mentioned agility. Like, you hear these, like buzz words thrown around. I think to me, agility is the ability to respond to this stuff quickly and appropriately. And I, I think more companies are starting to care about that. So that's, that's my thing. It's part
Jess Von Bank (16:44):
Redeployment of resources. That's the other thing. When I think about agility, it's redeploying on a dime. Could that offer have been extended for like, not, not for something else, but like, was that a great candidate for the business? Right. That's the other thing that always drives me nuts about recruiting. It's the one to one. We don't look, think more broadly. We don't think about skill set to business need. So of course, you're resending cuz you only looked on a one to one basis. If that was viable talent for the business, how else could you use them potentially? And all those recruiters that you're considering riffing, they're talent champions, could they help you redeploy other talent in the organization for different needs? Like, I just, I would challenge everybody to think as broadly as possible and think about that kind of agility at this.
Josh Zywien (17:32):
I think that's right. Like, I think you know, when people talk about automation, they get scared sometimes. Like, is it gonna take my job? And in some cases it has. Like if you look at industrial environments and, and manufacturing there are jobs that no longer exist because robots can do them now. mm-hmm. <affirmative> now, I, I think like that can be a scary thing. But if you really look at it on a macro level it's also created jobs that pay better are better for the human being that create opportunities that didn't exist before. So my grandfather worked in a factory my wife's family worked in, grew up in gm. they built cars and they used to have to crane their body into, like, under the, the hood to screw a little nut in. And it was bad for their bodies.
They worked long hours and nobody really loved that work. now they're robots. They're automating that work. And it's, it's, yes, it replaced the job, but it also created new ones. So there's somebody who has to program that robot and monitor that robot and take care of the robot. So, mm-hmm. <affirmative> back to your point, like, I, I think automation will come in and it will change work, it will change jobs and it will change what we do. I think it's also gonna create opportunities specific specifically in talent acquisition, recruiting for recruiters to kind of transform themselves or recruiting coordinators that transform themselves. you know, it's, there are different things and different parts of the process that, that still suck and, and people are gonna be an important part of that process. there, you know, I work for an automation company, but there's things that automation and, and technology shouldn't be doing and can't do. Okay. and so I'm not one of those people, I think you guys use the word human nation, but it's, it's that combination of like, how do you combine the two and, and just make things exponentially better.
Jason Averbook (19:14):
So, so I know that at Paradox, you know, during the you know, I'd love for you to talk about paradox just for a second, if you don't mind. But as you know, as beyond that, you know, as the pandemic, you know, has been around, I know it's been a digital accelerant for a lot of the automation type activities that you do at Paradox. you know, I think that, thank you for using the hands head hearts, Holly. I appreciate that. but I think that, you know, the question is, is do you see automation slowing down as part of a recession? Or do you see automation increasing? I mean, I think the answer should be that we use this time to increase. Yeah. Especially as if hiring does slow down a little. It's definitely time to, okay. It's easier to change the wheels on the bus if the bus is going a little bit slower.
Josh Zywien (20:07):
Jason Averbook (20:07):
It's going full speed ahead. But at the same time, I know organizations start to say, whoa, maybe we should cut back. So love your thoughts. Maybe first of all, tell us about Paradox, but second of all, love your thoughts on the whole automation space.
Josh Zywien (20:20):
Yeah. I'll give you a quick spiel on paradox and that, I think just answering your question will help tell a little bit about our product or cutting how we think about things. paradox our mission has always been to give people an assistant at work. the ultimate goal is, is to help people spend more time with people, not software. And that's, that's always kind of been our mission statement. it's a paradoxical thing, which is why we name the company Paradox. Like we're a software software company that don't, we don't want you to actually use the software. In a perfect world, the software just works in the background and gets stuff done for you. and in, in a recruiting context that allows recruiters to actually have conversations with candidates and to host better intake meetings with hiring managers to manage onboarding better to communicate with candidates better.
Like I, we fundamentally believe, and I fundamentally believe my wife is a talent acquisition professional that recruiters play a critical role in in a company's success. But also, I mean, when we hire people, oftentimes they don't join Paradox because we're the most amazing company with the most amazing product. It's because they had a great experience in the process. They felt valued, they felt appreciated they felt respected. And a great recruiter can make all the difference in that. So, you know, and part of the reason we think that our recruiters can do a good job of that is that Olivia, our product is helping them do the stuff that they don't wanna waste time on, which is scheduling interviews, screening resumes for basic requirements. I think that's an important piece here. Like we're not some sentient AI that's trying to like subjectively decide whether or not a candidate is good or not.
we do screen on whether or not you have basic requirements for the job. So in an hourly world, that's are you 18 years old? Are you qualified to work in the United States? Can you live 50 pounds? And if those those are yes, then pass them on. for higher school roles, it's, you know, a little bit more complicated. But in nursing, it's do you have the right certification and licensing to be a nurse? and engineering, it's, do you know a certain code? Can you program a certain code and do you have x number of years of experience? So you, you take those things off the plate of a recruiter and, and all of a sudden they've got a few extra hours in the week, and, you know, if they use that time appropriately there's, there's enormous value that's added to the process.
So that's kind of, kind of what we are. Back to answer your question, I think we saw this with Covid. So when Covid hit companies stopped hiring in some cases were mass layoffs. and the big message back then was do more with less. and that's an easy thing to say. it's a really hard thing to do for the person on the front line. So if you're a recruiter and, and you're told do more with less that's hard to process when you're already managing 50 recs <laugh> and you have no time and you're working 60 hours a week and you're working at 10 o'clock at night just trying to post a rec and review candidates. So when you're asked to do more, when you're already doing more that starts to feel like quite a burden. So we, we view ourselves as playing an important role in, in trying to relieve some of that pain and that work from recruiting staff, hiring managers, you know, everybody involved in the hiring process. and if we do our job well then the, you know, the people that we serve world and they do their jobs better too.
Jess Von Bank (23:32):
There's a really important part to what you said, speaking as a former recruiter, <laugh> and TA professional helping recruiters isn't giving them another tool. Yeah. And that's often what happens in talent acquisition technology. We give them a CRM instead of actually giving them a way to build talent pipeline. We give them a chat bot. You know, we give them all these tools that they, and and literally the reaction is, oh my God, I have to figure out something else. Yeah. I have to figure out how to use something else. What you said is so critical, it should just work.
Jason Averbook (24:08):
Jess Von Bank (24:09):
and the tool itself shouldn't be a burden to figure out to adopt <laugh>
Jason Averbook (24:14):
Jess Von Bank (24:14):
To drive value out of. And it certainly shouldn't diminish the experience or actually deteriorate value. I mean, the outcome needs to be the outcome, which is speed to talent, beautiful candidate experience, assisted recruiter experience in hiring manager results. That's how you know you have a good solution.
Josh Zywien (24:32):
That's exactly it. Like and we've all scheduled meetings and scheduled interviews. Like it sucks. It sucks to have to look at your calendar, look at the open times that you have, send it to somebody, wait four hours, hope that by the time they send you back the time that they wanna meet, that your calendar's still open. sometimes it's not. And then rescheduling and, and all that stuff is, is a pain. So to your point, Jess, like we we're not trying to get a recruiter to live in another system. In fact, that is the complete opposite of our goal in a, in a perfect world, either Olivia's working in the background and visibly, or it's integrated into an applicant tracking system to where it's a simple status change, right? So mm-hmm. <affirmative> when you're ready to schedule an interview, you move a candidate to that status and then the recruiter is done.
Olivia's often taking care of the work from there. So it's, that is the goal. I've, you know, I, in marketing, I manage probably looking at my open tabs on Chrome right now, I probably have seven pieces of software that I manage every single day. And I would love to have one yeah. Where just everything lived. And, you know, that's, if we can get to that place, whether it's Workday or SAP or Greenhouse or whatever, we're, we're not necessarily trying to be the system of record in these huge companies. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. what we are trying to do is make the experience with those tools better and, and make it simpler for the recruiter to where they're not living in Workday all day, every day mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they can just talk to candidates and then some of that stuff just gets automated while they work.
Jess Von Bank (25:52):
Jason Averbook (25:54):
So, Josh, a question for you is, where do you see organizations today? Like what types of organizations do you see focusing on this? I mean, you know, I think unlike payroll,
Josh Zywien (26:06):
Jason Averbook (26:07):
Everyone has to do payroll. <laugh>, please don't want no one tweet me and say that pay, I'm saying that payroll is the same for everyone, but you know, in, in the space that you're in today, like where do you see most of the traction? Is it retail? Is it high volume, is it hourly? Like, where do you see most of that traction where people are trying to get that relief? I mean, you remember the time in Scottsdale when we were together and I was talking, we were talking about that word assistant, you know, and just went back and forth and the word assistant, like, let's use assistance. Yeah. E A N C E as the example. Where do people need assistance today? Most? Yeah. What type of industry?
Josh Zywien (26:51):
I think so, so to your point about traction, I think high volume has been has really taken off for us as a business segment. So I think we all can relate to this. I went to take my daughters to I won't name the the restaurant, but it's a, a quick serve Mexican restaurant that was closed at 6:00 PM on a Friday because they had no staff. wow. And that's crazy. Like, that's, that's real. It's not only a bad experience for the customer, cuz I had actually ordered on the app and then I went to go pick it up and found out that it was closed. So I paid, oh,
Jason Averbook (27:24):
Doesn't sound familiar. That was our lunch experience yesterday. I had an executive team meeting here in Minneapolis this week where we ordered on the app, I'm looking at the restaurant right now. We went across the street to pick it up and they canceled it because they said they didn't have enough people to make the food.
Josh Zywien (27:39):
Well, so even worse than canceling it. Like, I got there and there was a piece of paper on the door that said, if you want a refund, you have to call this phone number. So it was like, okay. oh my God. So it's like now, now I'm just never gonna order from there again cuz I Well,
Jason Averbook (27:53):
That's what I was asking you. What's that impact like, that you basically, they lost a customer for life, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
Josh Zywien (27:58):
Right. And, and like, I think I don't blame the the restaurant, like they are dealing with unbelievable strain. there are real dynamics in the talent market that mm-hmm. <affirmative> that are, that are out of their control. But I will say like, it's a problem across all high volumes. So whether you are Taco Bell or McDonald's or Wendy's or FedEx or ups, you're kind of hiring from the same talent pool. largely somebody who's working at, at Taco Bell could go and, and be a package handler for FedEx. so like everybody's fighting for that same pool. Back to your point, Jesse, the, the phrase that you use quite a bit is speed to talent, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So the, the, the company who gets to that person the fastest, who responds the fastest, who gives the best experience usually is the one who, who makes the higher the quickest.
and sometimes the, what we've seen, at least those employees tend to stay longer cuz they feel like that's a company that supports them, that values 'em, that, you know, makes things simple. so high volumes taken off for us because we've been able to take in, in a lot of high volume roles. you know, it's anywhere from 14 to 20 days to fill a position. we've gotten it down to about two for a lot of our clients. In some cases it's same day hiring. So and, and like, you know, the, the, the key there is just remove the waiting time. a lot of times it's back to your point about assistance. Who who are you assisting in that market? the person doing the hiring is the store manager. There is no recruiter at this Mexican restaurant down the street.
There is a store manager and that's it. so that store manager is responsible for inventory, scheduling taking care of their employees, making sure they take care of customers. There's a thousand things they have to do. Recruiting happens to be one of them, them. So in that world, it's about taking as much off their plate as we possibly can. and in some cases we are acting as the system of record for some of those, those high volume employers. but then there's the, the kind of high skill corporate professional you know, engineers and marketers and sales and, you know, those types of roles in that world. We, we've taken off as well because it's about recruiter experience. it's about what we just talked about. How do you take the menial tasks that nobody likes doing anyway off of a recruiter's plate so that they're not doing it in the evening over a glass of wine <laugh>.
and, and, and frankly missing time away from their kids. my wife again is a, is a TA pro for General Motors. it's not uncommon for her to be up at 10 o'clock at night sitting at her desk posting requisitions and you know, communicating with hiring managers. So mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's a hard job already that's already demanding a ton of hours from, from those people. It, if you can just remove some of the work and make the process simpler for them it's better on the candidate side too. It's, we've all seen what it's like to apply to a, a typical applicant tracking system. it sucks. and so if you can make that process simpler for, for candidates, then you tend to see higher conversion, more candidates through the funnel, less work for recruiters, you fill the job faster. So it's, it's, it's kind of both. I, you know, back to your question, Jason, where is this all going? if there's a hiring freeze, the nice thing is we can pivot pretty quickly to be about internal talent if we need to. It's just
Jess Von Bank (31:13):
Take you there,
Josh Zywien (31:14):
<laugh>. Yeah. Cause then it's, you know going back to Covid, one of our clients when Covid happened had to think about how they're, they're gonna move their workforce around. So there were some business units that were just stadiums and, and entertainment venues, you know, are gonna get shut down. So all the employees that were servicing those venues were either out of a job or they needed to find a new one within the organization where things were taking off. So healthcare, health services you know, that kind of stuff. So it, it's how do you take the employees that you either gotta lay off or you gotta find a new home? How do you actually shift them over to the business, the part of the business that's taking off? That's a hard thing to do. it's a hard problem to solve. But you know, with us it's, you know, you can send out a text message communication to say, Hey we have these other jobs open inside of the business would you be interested? And if they say yes, then it's a quick job search and applied process. So
Jess Von Bank (32:08):
And we forget that onboarding applies for internal and upward, you know, transfers too. So don't forget to cross board people. Like it's not the same job, thank goodness it's the same company, but like, they deserve that experience all over again too.
Jason Averbook (32:22):
Well, yeah, yeah, exactly. One of the things I wanna get to is Frank's question because I think it's I, I think it's well fascinating. So Frank said, when will these people challenges start impacting brands to where the CEOs start paying attention to it? It's not just an HR TA issue. and Frank, I was gonna say, I think that we're there. but I truly do. I mean, the, the, I've never in my long time in this space, I've never had so many CEO conversations about talent in my life. yeah. So I mean, I think we're there. I don't think everyone's there, Frank. Yeah. But I think that I, I mean the initiatives that we're working on, you know, as an organization with HR organizations are CEO driven, they're not HR driven. gosh, if you're seeing that in, in your customer base, but
Josh Zywien (33:17):
To, to the point where, and I'm sure people on this call can appreciate it if they're in the profession. The amount of movement that I've seen in TA roles, so people actually switching or, or getting, getting promoted is incredible. And I think what it speaks to is, is exactly what you're hitting on. Jason, CEOs, CFOs, CEOs care more about hiring than I've ever seen in my life. and it's, you know, you see it on earnings reports and investor calls and it's in then media everywhere. So what an opportunity for the, the talent acquisition leaders on this call because, you know, how long have we been talking about a seat at the table, right? Like it's just been it's been one of those things that, that has kind of lingered forever. So yeah.
Jason Averbook (34:07):
So that all that being said, you know, when you start to think about that and you start to think about automation and the thing that, oh, where did Josh go?
Jess Von Bank (34:17):
I know, I can't see.
Josh Zywien (34:20):
I'm, can you hear me?
Jess Von Bank (34:21):
Jason Averbook (34:22):
I just lost the video. Maybe you can refresh your refresh your screen there. Yeah.
Jess Von Bank (34:27):
You don't have to tab out, just refresh it and you'll come back
Jason Averbook (34:30):
In. See pop back on.
Josh Zywien (34:32):
Give one second here. Yeah, yeah.
Jason Averbook (34:33):
Jess Von Bank (34:34):
Crowdcast can be moody. Speaking of moods. <laugh>.
Jason Averbook (34:37):
Yeah. so, you know, the, the question I had for Josh around that gets us into like, oh, there you're back. Awesome. Like, you know, and Howard, you said, how long have we've been talking about strategic hr? Yeah. The thing that I think about is oh, and by the way, I don't know if you saw the note from Suzanne. She said she loves the info on the paradox site.
Josh Zywien (35:04):
Oh, thank you, Suzanne. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I appreciate that.
Jason Averbook (35:06):
Thank you. Always nice to hear positives, right? In marketing mm-hmm.
Josh Zywien (35:09):
<affirmative>. Yeah, absolutely.
Jason Averbook (35:10):
<laugh>, but nice to hear positive once in a
Josh Zywien (35:13):
While. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Jason Averbook (35:15):
but the the thing that I wonder is like we're, there's not just gonna be a bunch of 15 to 25 to 30 year olds that drop out of the sky Yeah. ready to do these jobs.
Josh Zywien (35:27):
Jason Averbook (35:27):
You know, if anything, as a parent of two of them they don't, they're not gonna do these jobs.
Josh Zywien (35:35):
Yeah. Oh, I'm <laugh> job again.
Jason Averbook (35:39):
Yeah. Okay. So, you know, would love your thoughts on just, you know, do you think that's changing? I mean, do you think that's somehow gonna magically change or, you know, you see the stuff on Taco Bell Defi, you know, that's going on in the chatter and, you know, taco Bell opened up a, you know, drive through only automation heavy restaurant here in Minneapolis this week. You know? Do you think that these orgs are just gonna have to change their business models drastically. The Starbucks across the street from my house is closing June 30th to July 14th. And I was like, what are you guys doing remodeling? They're like, you know, we're taking away the inside. I was like, what do you mean you're taking away the inside? Like Yeah, it's only gonna be drive through. Yeah. Why? Because I don't have the people.
Josh Zywien (36:27):
Yeah. You guys can still hear me. Okay. Right? I know I'm not, but you. Yeah, I, I was talking to my wife about this the other day, like, I think there's a future and I, I think it's closer than we think where when you go and you already see it when you go into McDonald's restaurant they have these huge tablet screens now that you just touch and you order. you know, a lot of people now, these fast food restaurants have their online ordering and and app based ordering has accelerated. So, you know, you need, you need fewer people at the register taking orders. And I don't think we're far away from the people who make the food probably becoming less relevant. especially at a mc, McDonald's or a Taco Bell. I can't speak for 'em. I have no inside knowledge, but I don't think we're far away from fries and burgers being cooked by machines.
now what I would say is like, there's still, there are other jobs that will be created from that. So back to our point about automation. If, if a fast food restaurant were to completely automate every part of the restaurant experience, and there's not a single person in there for when, when an order goes wrong mm-hmm. <affirmative>, then they're gonna, they're gonna, it's gonna go south quickly. Like your, your customer experience is gonna be horrible. you say what you will about Chick-fil-A, I'm not gonna get into their politics, but like their experience when you go there is always consistent. it's positive. You walk outta there with a smile on your face. And that's not because their food is good, it's because their people are happy and they smile and they treat you, they treat you well. So like, I think there will be companies that overdo it on automation and go too far. And then I think there will be ones that find the sweet spot between like, let's not get rid of all the human beings in our restaurants. Let's find different roles for them so that we can, we can make sure, you know, when someone goes through the drive through that there's an actual person who hands in their food with a smile on their face and says, thank you for coming. that I think is powerful and, and won't disappear. But, you know, I think there will be companies that over automate and, and probably overdo it.
Jason Averbook (38:20):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, another question I have for you, Josh, is do you think that we're finally over the day where people say that they're not gonna talk to a bot to apply for a job?
Jason Averbook (38:34):
What made me think, think of it was Howard's point, he just put in the chat about hiring retirees back into the employee pool. I had this conversation with my 81 year old mother, which is why it's top of mind cuz she's like, maybe I should get a job. And she's like, it's really interesting when you go into places like you don't see the applications laying around. Yeah. And I was like, well, yeah, they don't do applications anymore. And she's like, well, how do you apply for a job then? Like, and she's like, I just see a QR code, but I don't even know to use a QR code. So it's fascinating for me to think about like, we're talking about box, you know, yet we're also talking about retirees, which not every retiree can't use technology by the way. I realize my mom's well past retiree age, but like what are your thoughts on that?
Josh Zywien (39:22):
Yeah, I think there's gonna be a period in time where, and a lot of our clients don't don't come to paradox and then cut off all their other traditional ways of, of applying. So, okay. while I think like going all in is a good idea because I do think for the vast majority of the population that knows how to send a text message, that's a better experience than sending 'em to a traditional ats, you know, create a username and password experience. I, I, you know, I think you have to be aware that some people are, are less technologically savvy and I don't necessarily think it's an age related thing either. I've got you know, cousins and uncles and aunts who are in their forties and fifties who should be more technologically adept and aren't so I don't think it's a bot problem.
I think it's a bad bot experience that is, is a real risk. Like, I think it's part, it's, you know, we, you and I talked about this when we were in Arizona. Why do we call Olivia an assistant and why did we give Olivia a name? a Olivia is our founder's wife, so we, we named her that because there was some kind of connection there. but we thought it was important not to trick. We're not trying to trick the candidate into thinking they're talking to a human. We're trying to make it feel like more of an engaging experience. So it's, it's that piece of it then it's the actual technology behind it. there's real sophistication in, in how Olivia understands what's being asked. So mm-hmm. <affirmative>, is she gonna be, is she gonna be able to answer every question? No. Is there gonna be, are there gonna be times where she doesn't answer the question correctly?
Yes. but there's more of a conversational experience to it to where someone feels like they are being engaged by something that cares and something that can help them. we've all called into call centers with you know, kind of the dial trees, right? Like the yes, no, press one, press two. where we get frustrated, I think is when I wanna actually press three, and that's not an option. So like, one and two didn't satisfy what I need. What about 3, 4, 5, and six? And so what we kind of figured out early on was that you have to make it feel more open-ended to where the person can ask the question or, or ask for the thing that they want in the way that they want to, to ask it. And then our job is to interpret that question and try to deliver the best possible response.
I think that creates, well, not, I think we're seeing it. we, we have about a 99.7% satisfaction rate from candidates, which is like, it's mind blowing because I, I don't, yeah. Most hiring technology does not get that level of positive response. So yeah, I don't know Jason. Like, I think there, the risk to paradox is that there are a lot of bad bots out there and we get, we get lumped into that. and so we're, we're, we're constantly aware of that and trying to make sure that our experience is 10 times better so that when somebody gets to see it for the first time, they're like, oh wait, that's, that's different.
Jess Von Bank (42:17):
you know, whenever we, when we talk about solutions, whatever, whatever it is, whether it's a chat bot or anything else, if it's good and well designed and produces the right outcome, it's nothing more than help. And part of help, part of helping people is offering accommodation. And so please, I'm always like putting my DEI hat on cuz I never take it off. Right? Imagine the opportunity to better communicate what the interview process is to candidates upfront so they know in a transparent way how they will present themselves for consideration. And then simply asking, do you require any accommodation to complete this process successfully and to show your best self? And what is that accommodation? And like, imagine like that nobody is doing that, that even that is a mind blowing step forward when it comes to creating more inclusive processes and experiences. So even that, again, just think of this as help, this is just good help for people to get to the right outcome.
Josh Zywien (43:17):
That's exactly it. Yeah. I think, you know, we tend not to think about it in terms of you're not gonna see paradox talking about fancy machine learning and Wang algorithms. Like, I don't think any of that stuff matters. and not only does it not matter, it's kind of a negative to the candidate. They don't wanna feel like there's some again, sentient machine that's making decisions about them. they just wanna feel like they can get to the information that they want and that they can get the thing done that they want to do as easily and quickly as possible. And so I think help is a great way to, to kind of frame it cuz it's, it's not just for the candidates, for the recruiter and the hiring manager too, like the people, the people who are involved in the process.
Jason Averbook (43:54):
So the other thing I want to get to just in the time we have, and it's a, this is a controversial topic but I know we can tackle it is what are your thoughts on assessments?
I mean there are so many people, I mean, and I'm talking about assessments in this world that we're in right now, not assessments, like where have they come from, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But like, where we're at to right now where it feels like, you know, I I was sure I look out this office window and I see all of these retailers, like it seems, seems like they'll take anyone. are we still, is it still valuable to do assessments? And, you know, I've been having some conversations with some people, like, you know, if the assessment isn't embedded with the bot, it almost it becomes impossible to get someone to do an assessment they abandon before they're gonna do that. yeah, yeah. I'd love your thoughts on that in general.
Josh Zywien (44:55):
Yeah. There are two big issues with assessments. a is they, they tend to be disconnected from the experience. So it's a, a separate email that gets sent to somebody and now they gotta create a separate username and password. And so it's just friction upon friction upon friction. number two is they take too damn long. So most of them, most of 'em are 30 plus minutes. and very few people are gonna be giving you that amount of time right now. so especially in the high volume space. So in, in high volume, forget it, if you're trying to to hire somebody to your restaurant and you're gonna put a 30 minute assessment in front of, they're not gonna do it. So drop off is gonna be exponential. I would add a third piece of it, which is, I think assessments sometimes are used.
Again, where I think it gets really dangerous is when it's hiring decisions are automated based off of that. So if we're, if we're gonna say that you know, you're gonna take an assessment and we're gonna give a score to a candidate and then we're gonna make a hiring decision without a human being ever seeing it based off that, that scares me a little bit. as a hiring tool I think they can be really effective, but they've gotta be frictionless. They've gotta be fast. And then I think it has to be a tool that either helps the recruiter, the hiring manager run a better interview or make a decision between candidate A and candidate B. I think it can tip the scales in someone's favor if you know that you're trying to hire a cashier and you know that extroverts tend to be better cashiers because they like talking to people and they engage someone when they're checking out, that's a good thing.
if candidate B is more introverted, maybe you try to find a different home for them within the organization, but it might not be a sales role or a or cashier role. Now I'm generalizing, I think. Yeah, I know lots of, I know lots of great salespeople in cashiers who are introverted. I'm introverted myself, I know how to fake it and be an extrovert when I need to be. so I'm oversimplifying, but I think you know, assessments work when they're easy for the candidate, they're quick to complete and they're not misused in the process as a, as a selection tool. or maybe the selection tool, I guess.
Jason Averbook (47:07):
Josh Zywien (47:09):
What, what Steve said right there too.
Jason Averbook (47:10):
Yeah. Using assessments for selection should only be one data point in the decision. I haven't found one that does it all for making a hiring decision. Yeah. Test certain salaries, neurodiverse friendly, which I think Kyle is going back to some people don't test well. Yeah. and they got weeded out. So, I mean, I know that's part of what what paradox does is the assessment piece or a, excuse me, an assessment piece. Yeah. so I knew you'd have some interesting thoughts on it and I'm, it's, I mean, it's an interesting discussion. You know, Steve's question here, like it's real, I'm really curious about it. Josh, I don't know if you have any data on this, but what percentage of smaller companies, small, midsize actually use bots or assessments?
Josh Zywien (47:54):
That's are great question. Yeah. I, I don't know that I can give you like a, a quantifiable answer here, but what I can say is you know, just thinking about the high volume world franchise is a, is a small business. So we, if you think about McDonald's and Wendy's and five guys, a lot of most of those companies own very few corporate owned stores, most of the stores. So McDonald's is a good example. They have 13,000 restaurants in the US I think they only own 750 under McDonald's corporate. So it's, it's a very
Jason Averbook (48:25):
Josh Zywien (48:26):
Yeah, exactly. So it's like, and, and each of those franchisees are small businesses, right? So it's in that world, they don't have huge, huge HR departments. They don't have huge recruiting departments, and so they need tools that can help do some of the work for them. so we actually see a lot of success there. And then I, I think too with growing companies, so a lot of times we'll work with companies that are four or 500 employees that plan to go to 2000 and they can't either can't hire recruiters fast enough, or it's not in their budget to hire enough recruiters. And so it's, it's about kind of creating an extension of their team because they're, they're planning to hi, hire at a high volume for high skill roles. so yeah, I don't think it's a size of company issue. I mean, again, there's, there's so many people in this call who've been in this profession for so long, recruiting in HR has always been under resourced. so I don't care if you're a 50,000 person company or a 50 person company you know, recruiting in HR tends to be the, the thing that companies think about last in terms of giving resources. So you know, that's, that's one where I think we can go in and solve some problems there regardless of size.
Jason Averbook (49:33):
The other thing I just wanted to, so I had in preparation for this start at Jess to be asking all the questions. The other thing that I jotted down was just candidate experience.
Josh Zywien (49:45):
Jason Averbook (49:46):
Which, you know, the number of people that continue to talk about how do they build a website, <laugh> you know, that focuses on the employee brand and that's the, their candidate experience. Yeah. you know, I think it's very narrow thinking yet it's still in the norm for a lot of people. Yeah. You know, I'd love your thoughts on just how we're, you know, I, I don't want people to think of bots as the candidate experience either, but how are we really trying to create an experience that combines, which is why we called the session automate to Humate, bringing out the human side of a company, you know, let infusing it with, with automation and not just a website that lists the company values. yeah, I love your thoughts on that.
Josh Zywien (50:35):
Yeah. So I have a ton of thoughts on this just being a marketer. So I love everything. The, the general movement around employer brand and the importance that's being placed on recruitment marketing and, and actually, you know, putting yourself out there I think is great. the focus on de and I and the stories that companies are starting to tell about their people. So don't put like, don't gimme your values about how much you care about de and I show me your employees who live it every day. like the, the work that some of these companies are doing to actually go inside the organization and tell that story is powerful. where I think a lot of companies fall short is that they think about their career site as something that and I'm guilty of this as a marketer. I know every page on my website, I know where all the content lives and I know how to find it.
And I'm willing to go through 17 clicks to find all the different content. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the average person who comes to your site, whether it's you know, the paradox.ai site or it's your career site, are not gonna give you that. And, and their patience for multiple clicks to dig through and find content is, is really low. So I think what we've tried to solve there is we have a product that we call experience. And the idea is that we can take all the content, all this great content you publish on your site, all this information about benefits and how you treat employees and tuition reimbursement and work life balance and all this stuff. And we pull it into the conversation so that if, if a candidate is talking to Olivia and they ask about that stuff rather than point them to another page or just give some generic answer, we actually pull that content into the experience.
They can watch the video as they're talking to Olivia. They can read a PDF about tuition reimbursement and how they handle that. what sort of benefits you offer employee resource groups that you've established to help with you know, issues around equity and inclusion, so, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, that's where I think we've tried to solve it is like, you know, for years we've talked about personalization and creating like one to one experiences. I think it's a little bit of a pipe dream. you know, everybody like creating something that's truly, truly personal that I want, like everything is right there at my fingertips is really hard to do. But it's kind of the, the thing that we're marching to is, it's great that you have this career site with 30, 30 pages and all this content, but put it, put it in somebody's fingertips when they ask for it rather than making 'em go out and find it.
Jess Von Bank (52:53):
Yeah, totally. It's not a, a house. Your website should not be a house that I have to walk through all the rooms and explore all of the rooms to see what I, I, I want the thing and it should, I actually should never probably see all of the pages, at least the ones that aren't relevant to me.
Josh Zywien (53:12):
Yeah, I totally agree.
Jason Averbook (53:15):
Awesome. Well, this is a great conversation. Thank you so much for being here. Jess, I'll let you wrap, wrap this part up.
Jess Von Bank (53:21):
Actually, I'm gonna, Josh, you wanna play a quick game?
Jason Averbook (53:24):
Oh, a dream
Josh Zywien (53:26):
Jess Von Bank (53:27):
I know, I,
Josh Zywien (53:28):
I'm gonna, I'm, I'm gonna refresh too and see if
Jess Von Bank (53:30):
I can Yeah. Refresh really quick,
Josh Zywien (53:32):
Jess Von Bank (53:34):
Jason, you don't even know what I'm up to right now. Do you like this? I No.
Jason Averbook (53:37):
Flip an idea, but a game. I can't wait. Don't leave you guys or play. Don't.
Jess Von Bank (53:42):
Jason Averbook (53:43):
Is everyone playing the game or just Josh?
Jess Von Bank (53:45):
Just Josh. There he is. All right. Okay. The rest of you answer in the chat. You ready? This is just rapid fire Jay-Z.
Josh Zywien (53:53):
Oof. Okay. All right. Go.
Jess Von Bank (53:54):
This, this or that. Okay. That's the game. Everybody answer in the chat. Josh? Remote work or in office?
Josh Zywien (54:03):
oh man. I'd say in between remote work,
Jess Von Bank (54:06):
Standing desk or seated
Josh Zywien (54:09):
Standing. Even though I'm seating
Jess Von Bank (54:10):
<laugh>. Call or text.
Josh Zywien (54:13):
Jess Von Bank (54:14):
Remote or in person events.
Josh Zywien (54:18):
Ooh, in person all day.
Jess Von Bank (54:19):
Yeah. Yeah. Set hours or flexible work.
Josh Zywien (54:24):
Jess Von Bank (54:25):
Look at all these answers. Hybrid call JC k. You want people to call you on this thing? This ring. I'm like, what is happening? Oh my God.
Josh Zywien (54:34):
I'm gonna call, I'm gonna call a little bit of a BS on Jenny. I get like paragraphs, texts from her and I love it. I love
Jess Von Bank (54:42):
It. Okay, here's another one. Four hour work day or four day work week.
Josh Zywien (54:50):
Ooh, that's a good one. I'd say four day. I don't mind like long work days. Sometimes like, I actually want to keep working just to get the phone done. So four days is good.
Jess Von Bank (54:59):
Be like focused and immersed and then yeah, camera on or off during Zoom
Josh Zywien (55:05):
On, even though I disappeared for some of
Jess Von Bank (55:08):
This <laugh>. I know that's ironic. take the risk or live comfortably ever after.
Josh Zywien (55:15):
I work for a startup and I joined it when it was 40 people, so I'm gonna take the risk guy.
Jess Von Bank (55:19):
I love it. Jason, any of those surprise you?
Jason Averbook (55:23):
It surprise. Are you making all this up as you go? Did you just make up all those questions or did you like that was what I was like, I was like amazed that you were just rapid firing those. That's that's gonna be a new feature.
Jess Von Bank (55:36):
I know. I was testing it today. What do you think?
Josh Zywien (55:38):
That was super impressive.
Jason Averbook (55:39):
Yeah, I really, really, all
Jess Von Bank (55:41):
Right, that's all I have more, but I have an assistant, Josh, that's Jason. That's how these came up. <laugh>,
Jason Averbook (55:51):
Thank you for being here. we, yeah, thank you. Look at the call to action below you see Follow Paradox on LinkedIn. please do that. they're doing some amazing stuff in the space. Some of you've always heard me say that, you know, we have the best technology in the space we've ever had. one of the reasons is because of what Paradox does. So thank you, follow along, follow along with what they're doing. They're doing some great, great stuff.
Jess Von Bank (56:18):
We have a lot of risk takers in this group, by the way. I love it. Thank you for playing.
Jason Averbook (56:22):
I didn't even get a chance to, to, I'm gonna have to go back and look at
Jess Von Bank (56:24):
All I know. Next time I'll slow down a little bit. That was fun.
Jason Averbook (56:27):
<laugh>, Josh, thank you for being here. Everyone, thank you for being here next Friday. we have a really fantastic topic as well as a really special gift. So everyone in the community's gonna get a gift next week that I think you guys are gonna love. So don't miss it and I hope you guys have a great weekend and we'll see you next Friday.