Podcast: Virtual Recruiting Platform Turazo Builds Relationships, Retention

Turazo Virtual Recruiting Platform


Mark Feffer: Welcome to PeopleTech, the podcast of the HCM Technology Report. I’m Mark Feffer.

This edition of PeopleTech is brought to you by Turazo. Its platform connects candidates and employers to build true, one-on-one relationships. Its virtual recruiting platform turns your entire team into energized career coaches, helping you evaluate candidates for better, and faster, hires. Learn more at www.turazo.com.

Joining me today are Pete Cipollone and Meghan O’Leary. They’re the CEO and vice president of Turazo—respectively. They’re both Olympic rowers, which tells you something about their self-discipline and sense of teamwork. And the idea of teamwork—of working with other people—is a big part of their vision.

Pete, Meghan, thanks for being here today. So let me start by asking you about Turazo. What’s the company about? What are the challenges that you’re helping companies solve, and what’s so different about your approach?

Sponsored Podcast: How virtual recruiting platforms nurture relationships to improve candidate quality, employee retention. @TurazoTeam #HR #HRTech Share on X

Pete Cipollone: Our concept was to basically take the power of technology and bring human to human, relationship-based recruiting to an area of the workforce that really hasn’t had that. And that’s early talent. So specifically, people graduating from college or bootcamps and things like that, entering the workforce for the first time.

And we do this by enabling those prospects to connect one-on-one with companies that are looking to identify great talent, but it’s all under the banner of the company’s brand. So it’s a one-on-one conversation that really allows these two groups to get to know one another and build a relationship before the prospect applies.

Mark: Meghan, did you want to add anything?

Meghan O’Leary: What we believe is the importance for a candidate, for a prospect, to be able to have that one-on-one engagement, that human connection inside the company. It creates an advocate inside the company to then help them navigate not only the recruiting and hiring process, but then to just learn the really important things, like a day in the life and what it’s like to actually work for said company. So we think we’re facilitating not only a great way for candidates to engage with the company, but that company to then in turn, share their story with the candidate.

Mark: Can you just tell me a little bit about how it works? If I were to look at the product, what would I see and how would I use it?

Meghan: The way our platform works, Pete touched on it, it’s fully branded and customized to the customer’s brand, logo, coloring, font style, everything, so that when that candidate engages with our platform, they’re engaging with the company. We’re very much in the background. And the user experience is such that they really drive the process. So they have the agency in terms of being able to determine who they want to talk to based on their interests, based on the area of the company they want to work with.

A lot of our companies use employee resource groups as a great filter in which the candidates can find, I want to speak to an employee that’s a part of their LGBTQ resource group, and what it’s like to be gay or lesbian, or bi at that company. And how would I fit in? And so that user can drive the process of finding the right person to talk to based on their interests, again, interest industry, area of the company, and then they can schedule a conversation.

We have calendar integration, so that it’s a one-click process that you don’t have to have an email back and forth of finding a time to talk. You literally book a session with that employee right away.

Mark: When did Turazo launch?

Pete: The company was founded in 2015, and then we had our first customers, let’s see, a couple of months later that summer. So we’ve been around for a while now by the tech companies standards, I think. Every customer that ever signed up, we have a 100% retention across our customer base, which is something that we’re very proud of.

Mark: You launched in 2015, but obviously the world has changed a lot here in 2020. So looking ahead, as companies start to adapt, the distributed workforce is growing, and I think most people expect that to continue. Some companies have gone fully remote and may stay fully remote even after the crisis passes.

How does all of this impact recruiting? And what can companies do to effectively share their values, their brand, how they operate, their whole employer message when the whole recruitment processes is virtual?

Pete: Great question. A lot has changed, and a lot has changed very quickly. I think that first of all, companies are starting to recognize that the field is expanded, that they can now recruit talent that may not be as close to the home office. And with that comes the challenge of actually, well, how do we start engaging with these prospects who could be anywhere? That’s one aspect of it.

But the other aspect of this is that with campuses shutting down and the historically traditional processes of going out and engaging with candidates, there are no real aggregation points anymore. And so that has to be recreated virtually. What we do is we provide that aggregation point for our customers, and it centers around their brand.

So essentially, if a company identifies a set of prospects, regardless of where they are, they can then engage with them deeply, just one-on-one without having to physically pack people up and send them out to a career fair or a job there in a city or something like that. So the fact that basically, geography has almost been taken out of the equation, at least for now is something that that’s a really big strength that we provide to our customers in terms of being able to engage anywhere.

Meghan: I want to push on that a little bit, Mark, too. I have one thing to add. Something that has come up most recently is that by removing those physical encounters, the conferences, et cetera, the companies, especially who are less of a household brand are really having to figure out how to be competitive. Everyone’s going to know of the Googles, the Facebooks, but now those companies who did rely on more of those on-campus events or those in-person encounters, really have to figure out how to differentiate themselves.

And that’s one thing that we’ve seen that the value we’re providing to our current, but also our newest customers is providing a place where they can be competitive, and they can showcase their company because maybe they’re less of a household name.

Mark: Are you finding a lot of interest from those companies?

Meghan: Yes.

Mark: Your customers are focused mostly on early talent. What are you seeing going on in that world? How are they having to adjust to their relationship building, and their whole recruitment process with that market?

Pete: I think first and foremost, like Meghan was saying, for these companies that are not the most sought after brands, that actually have to work to get their employer brand out there, the traditional way of doing things is gone, at least for now, which is you can’t go on campus because there’s nobody there, and it’s not safe. So being able to reach those prospects, regardless of where they are because they’re all going to be home now, so they’re completely distributed, that’s the first key difference.

Pete: Another thing is that with trying to recruit more diverse talent, companies are taking a hard look at, what are our actual requirements for these jobs? What are the skillsets that are required? Is a degree absolutely necessary, or is that just something that we thought it was because everybody did? And enabling our customers to reach into new pools of talent that are not necessarily campus-based, but are retraining programs or boot camps and things like that.

Mark: You mentioned diversity. That’s become a major topic this year. What are you seeing out in the market in terms of employer behavior? Are they changing the way they approach their recruiting to make sure that they’re talking to a more diverse set of candidates, and bringing on board a more diverse set of employees? Or what’s going on.

Meghan: Even the companies who have a really good reputation and have actually been really, really intentional and thoughtful about the way their DNI efforts and the way that they’re recruiting candidates and being able to source from diverse, not only regions and just schools if we’re talking about early hiring, but even then a lot of those companies struggle with telling that story.

And so we’re seeing not only the companies who have actually been doing the work, wanting to figure out how to better demonstrate to their prospects that we do have a diverse workforce, and this is how and this is why, but also the companies that do, they’re realizing and having that moment of realization and self-inspection that they do need to make some adjustments about where and how they’re hiring. And those are a lot of the conversations we’re having.

Under Armour is a perfect example. They actually do have a diverse workforce, but their reputation wasn’t such that you either had to be an Ivy Leaguer or maybe a former athlete jock to work at Under Armor. And that’s not the case. So what we brought to them with our platform was a way to demonstrate that authentically and genuinely to their candidates and saying, look, you can find and talk to someone that looks like you, that comes from a similar background, that’s had similar life experiences and see for yourself. And experience that for yourself.

That’s one use case, but I think the short answer is yes, long time coming. And so it’s exciting to see companies really step up and want to change, and make sure that they’re going about it the right way.

Mark: Can you give me an example of how a candidate for Under Armor might use Turazo to see exactly what’s going on at the company?

Pete: Sure. Let’s say, pick a student from, let’s say, a regional college who’s majoring in accounting. And they’re really interested to learn more about, what is actually a day in the life of someone who works in accounting and finance in a corporate environment? What’s it like? And by the way, I’m a first generation college student, so if I’m invited into one of these networks, the people that I’m going to want to talk to are going to be people in accounting and finance.

And, oh, I can also look at, say, first generation college grads and have the opportunity to have just a very personal conversation. So not an interview, but really an opportunity for both sides to present their very best. And then ultimately, to decide, is there this mutual enthusiasm that we talk about with our customers, that the idea is company says, wow, this person would be a great hire, and the candidate is like, I love the culture. I had an opportunity to talk to someone that I might actually be sitting next to, where maybe in my first year working for. Or something like that.

You’re not taking the word of the recruiter, you’re actually talking to somebody who is … that’s the experience that you’re likely to live inside the organization. And you can talk to multiple people inside the organization. That’s helpful for establishing clarity in the mind of the candidate, because I think a lot of younger people have these external expectations, whether it’s from family or friends or whatever, that this is what I should be doing. Instead of having the opportunity to really find out, well, what’s it like to do that and say, oh, that sounds really, really interesting? Whereas this other area that I thought maybe I was interested in, maybe I don’t think I would thrive in that environment.

Mark: People are always trying to figure out how a platform succeeds or how a solution succeeds. How do you, and how do your customers measure success? How do they measure the return on investment?

Pete: Most talent acquisition programs, I think a common metric is cost per quality application. So we take that a step further to, what is the cost per high quality engagement or conversation? And typically, again, in early talent environment, so people just graduating from college, or just a couple of years of experience and without a ton of work history. These are going to be done at on-campus events and/or job fairs that are within a day’s drive of HQ, something like that.

All that is very, very expensive in terms of the actual quality conversations. And by providing a platform that essentially allows people to do this from their desk, it enables companies to dramatically expand the number of whether you call them culture carriers or ambassadors or whatever, to engage in the process. But it allows them to have a significantly higher number of conversations at like 10% of the cost.

So essentially, they’re able to get much better data on a much larger pool of talent without having the cost of lost office time or travel, and things like that, and the limitations that go with that, because each event is incrementally expensive. Whereas in a Turazo network model, it’s a fixed cost and you can amortize it across lots and lots of engagement.

Meghan: And one thing to add, Mark: The long-tail success to what we’re seeing with customers who now are a few years in, is that retention rate. So if you’re making a more informed hire and that candidate is feeling either more informed about the company and making a decision based on better information from these conversations with employees, we’re seeing the likelihood of those early hires staying longer with the company.

And so we’re just starting to tap into that retention rate, which in itself, beyond the cost of quality application or quality conversation, retention rate, there’s a huge cost savings in not having to rehire, retrain and all the things that go with that as well.

Mark: Well, Pete and Meghan, thank you both very much.

Meghan: Thanks, Mark.

Pete: Thank you.

Mark: I’ve been talking with Pete Cipollone and Meghan O’Leary, co-founders of the recruiting recruiting platform Turazo.

And this has been PeopleTech, from the HCM Technology Report. This edition was sponsored by Turazo, whose platform connects candidates and employers to build true, one-on-one relationships. Learn more at www.turazo.com.

And to keep up with HR technology, visit the HCM Technology Report every day. We’re the most trusted source of news in the HR tech industry. Find us at www-dot-hcm-technology-report-dot-com. I’m Mark Feffer.

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Image: Turazo

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