Salary transparency: Should you encourage or even mandate the display of salary range in all of your postings? with Lana Shumyn of Aspen Tech Labs
October 25, 2022
Create, manage, and work with Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces.
Each week, Steven Rothberg, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of College Recruiter, and Peter M. Zollman, Founder of the AIM Group, along with guests from the world’s leading job sites, analyze news about general, niche, and aggregator job board and recruitment marketplace sites.
In this week’s episode, our hosts are joined by Lana Shumyn, Director of Sales & Marketing at Aspen Tech Labs, a global leader in web data management services and recruitment technology solutions.
Lana shares how Aspen Tech Labs is working to support partners in getting salary information updated on job postings. While employers may be resistant to this change, it’s evident how important salary transparency is to job seekers as it ultimately drives more traffic to job boards.
Tune in to hear about Aspen Tech Labs’ sales and marketing approaches along with their unique job index product, which has over 9 million jobs worldwide and can be specifically tailored to a customer’s niche.
Subscribe here to follow the Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast and stay up to date withnew episodes.
If you would like to contribute to Steven Rothberg’s initiatives to raise funds to support displaced Ukrainians in war, feel free to donate here.
Speaker 1 (00:15):
Welcome to the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast. I’m Stephen Rothberg, the
founder of College Recruiter, Job search site at College Recruiter. We believe that every student in
recent grad deserves a great career.
Speaker 2 (00:28):
And I’m Peter Oman, founding Principal of the AIM Group. We’re the leading global business intelligence
service for marketplaces and classified advertising companies. We consult with recruitment marketplace
companies and we publish AIM Group weekly, Recruitment Intelligence, and a free weekly digest. We
also host the annual rec Buzz conference.
Speaker 1 (00:52):
This is the podcast for you to learn more about how to create, manage, and work with general niche and
aggregator job boards and recruitment marketplaces. Hey Peter, it is great to be with you again.
Speaker 2 (01:07):
It is good to be here for a change, actually, not for a change. We’ve been doing a lot of these recordings,
trying to get a little ahead as we launch the podcast and roll it out.
Speaker 1 (01:18):
We have to quit me digging like this. People will start to talk.
Speaker 2 (01:22):
Well, you know, if they start to talk, it all depends on what they’re saying, but good things are bad
things. Something about there is no such thing as bad publicity or one of those lines.
Speaker 1 (01:32):
Call me anything you want, just call me. I think was the is is the line, but ,
Speaker 2 (01:37):
Yeah, call me what you want. Just don’t call me late for dinner, you know?
Speaker 1 (01:40):
Oh, is that what it is? Yeah. That, that could be . So what, what stories in, in the recruitment
spaces aim following right now?
Speaker 2 (01:49):
Well, we’re looking at as revenue growth slows, revenue’s not slowing down for many places that we
see, but as revenue growth slows, we’re trying to watch and see if recruitment sites, job boards,
marketplaces are cutting back on spending, are laying people off, snag a job laid people off. A few weeks
ago we heard it was about 80 people. Mm-Hmm. which is a lot of people I have not seen
yet news of any others, but companies are being very cautious as growth slows and the threat of a
recession looms. Although we have postulated in a marketplaces report that for many marketplaces a
recession might actually be a very good thing in terms of revenue growth and adoption.
Speaker 1 (02:52):
Ex explain that. How, how would a recession be good for a job board or a re a recruitment marketplace?
Speaker 2 (02:59):
Getting people to be more focused on what they’re spending, how they spend it. Mm. And moving
people more towards cost per action. Cost per apply, cost per higher and away from the old models of
duration based pricing. That’s a two edge sword as you know, even better than I do. But that for the
long term, everybody or most people agree that’s a, that’s a step in the right direction,
Speaker 1 (03:34):
A scary step, but the right step. We, when we made the migration from traditional duration based to
performance based pricing, we saw revenue per posting plummet, but we didn’t really care because we
look at revenue per customer and that’s skyrocketed. We, we, we sell, we generate a lot more revenue
per customer with cost per click than we ever did with duration based pricing. Well,
Speaker 2 (04:02):
The hardest nut to crack is clearly going to be long term cost per hire, pay per hire. And it’s not a new
model. Executive recruiters and recruiters have been doing it literally for decades. But when it comes to
recruitment marketplaces and job boards it’s a much tougher model to evolve into
Speaker 1 (04:30):
Loads of resistance. But as the board said, resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Well,
Speaker 2 (04:37):
Not only resistance, but just challenges. Very difficult to attribute a hire to X recruitment marketplace.
Yeah. And then pay them for it. And also very difficult for x recruitment marketplace to be able to say to
a company, You hired that woman through our platform, now pay us. It’s just a complicated change.
Very, very, very complicated change. But in five years we won’t be having this discussion anymore.
Speaker 1 (05:14):
Hmm. Okay. I, I, I sense a wager coming. . So we, why don’t we dive into today’s topic. I’m really
excited about our guest today, Alana Schumann. She leads the sales and marketing team for Aspen Tech
Labs. They are, I think what most would consider to be an, an absolute global leader in web data
management services and recruitment technology solutions. And then you’d might think I lifted that
from their LinkedIn profile and you’d be right. Aspen provides job boards and recruitment marketplaces,
including college recruiter web scraping data, business intelligence and analytics. And they also host job
boards through their job mount job board platform. Lana, it is great to welcome you to the inside job
boards and recruitment marketplaces podcast.
Speaker 3 (06:11):
Hi Steve and Hi Peter. Thank you for inviting me today. It’s a pleasure.
Speaker 2 (06:15):
It is good to have you aboard. Now where are you physically located? Because I know you’re a
Ukrainian, We know, we know that you’re not in Ukraine these days, thank goodness. Where are
Speaker 3 (06:28):
You? Yes, so I am located in tall Estonia, which is kind of Eastern Europe, quite Norris. So we have all
those we don’t have Northern Lights, but we do have quite light summers and I do have still family in
Ukraine, but luckily they are on the bus turn side. So I would say we did get lucky because there is
nothing much going on there, thankfully.
Speaker 2 (06:54):
Well, our thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone in Ukraine for peace and prosperity, which is
going to take a very long time to restore. We fear and everybody have just a peaceful ending to this
Speaker 3 (07:18):
Thank you. We hope so
Speaker 2 (07:20):
Too. So tell us about, if you would, the sales and marketing approaches that you are taking at Aspen
Tech Labs and how you’re working with recruitment marketplaces on their data issues.
Speaker 3 (07:38):
So I started with Aspen about three years ago, and it took me some time to learn about recruitment
technology space because I was coming eventually from outsourcing software development. So it was
quite a big change for me moving from services company to product company. But learning more about
what Aspen offers, learning more about our 400 plus customers that we serve at the moment, learning
their challenges and what’s going on there, helped me to understand this market better, helped me to
deep dive in the problems that our customers have and that our prospects have and to kind of tackle
this market better. So we do, we do have two different approaches to sales at the moment. So of course
we have a lot of leads coming through word of mouth from people like you guys. We work with AIM
Group, we work with college recruiter, we work with job boards, doctor, job board, Secret Secrets.
We work with other partners that always recommend us cuz we, as you mentioned, Steven, we are one
of the leaders in the market. At the same time, we of course do a lot of, of outbound campaigns. So we
try to go to different conferences, we outreach to people, y Linden, we send emails and we make some
calls, et cetera. So we do kind of both approaches. And whenever we get a prospective client who is
interested in our data or who is interested in job scraping service, business intelligence, or whatsoever, I
would say the first step in this process is to understand what their actual pain point is. And if we can
solve this challenge for them, because of a company has this approach, we try to actually solve
challenges, solve people’s problem. And if we feel that we are not good feat for this specific challenge,
we’d rather recommend additional partner or someone we know well that can help resolve this issue.
So we, so when we understand the problem better, that’s when we start to see, okay, so here’s the
product that might be a fit. Maybe we use a combination of few products and so on and so forth. So let’s
say someone comes to us and tells, Hey, we want to actually get some high quality organic content on
our job board, but we are not sure. We, we do have a few customers that we want to scrape data from,
but we want also to get more jobs and we, we just don’t know where to get them from. So we try to
work as a consultant and to understand, okay, so what kind of jobs are you interested in? And maybe
it’s, I don’t know, maybe it’s data jobs. Like we have this job board called only data jobs or maybe it’s
just recruitment, you know, roles or maybe it’s nurses jobs.
So we try to understand what is the niche they are working in. We try to understand their needs and
then we, what we do, we build the feed for this client and how we do it. We’ve been collecting a lot of
jobs data for many years, and we’ve built this great product called Jobs Index, which at the moment has
about 9 million plus jobs worldwide. And what we do, when we know, when we understand the problem
of customers, we start like building the feed from these jobs tailored to their specific niche. And then if
we need to add some scraps, we do that too. So in the end, what our customer gets, they get high
quality organic jobs, content tailored to their niche, which is updated daily. And then they get some
specific scrapes that we monitor closely because they work with a bunch of companies directly and they
want to ensure that these jobs are scraped daily and that they get all the content from these specific
jobs. So that’s how we kind of tackle this sales approach here.
Speaker 1 (11:49):
Oh, that’s, that’s awesome. I’m, I’m often asked by job boards that are new to the industry, they’re,
they’re, they’re just starting out or perhaps they’re entering a new market and there’s always the the
chicken and egg problem. How do you get candidates to use your site if you don’t have jobs? How do
you get jobs if you don’t have candidates? And I think a mistake that a lot of job boards make is that
they, they go to their best potential customers and they say, Give us your jobs, we’ll run them for you
for free. And the problem with that is that that then sets an expectation in the mind of that customer
that they should never have to pay to post jobs to your site where a product like, like jobs index, they
can get a critical mass of job postings in their niche, whether it’s a country, whether it’s an occupational
field, whatever. And they don’t have to go to that potential customer, that employer, that staffing
agency, whatever, and essentially price their product at zero. So I love that idea. One more quick
comment, then I have a question for you. I, I can think of no higher praise for any business than a
referral from an existing customer. And we’ve referred literally dozens of, of customers to, to Aspen.
Not, not all of them ended up signing up.
Speaker 2 (13:13):
He’s asking for money.
Speaker 1 (13:14):
Well, you know what I am asking? What I am asking for is the next time we see each other at a
conference to have the, to have Lana buy a free drink from for me that the conference organizer will pay
for. And that organizer will be Peter and his team at AIM Group. And so Lana, you’re cool at that. You
can buy me a free drink.
Speaker 2 (13:34):
We’re, we’re, we’re buying the drinks for sure, for everybody who’s there, and I’m looking
forward to seeing you and Lana
Speaker 3 (13:41):
And Michael is there too, who’s our founder. So we can all four of us or anyone else, we can just get at
Speaker 1 (13:50):
Together. I’m thinking Martinis are on Peter and and Am group at at Reba Amsterdam. We’ll be back
right after this break.
Welcome back to the Inside Job boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast. One of the things that’s
been a pretty hot button issue for a, a lot of folks, I think, especially over the last few months since
Indeed announced that effective January 1st you’re posting on Indeed will have salary information,
whether it’s actual salary information that you as the employer provide or whether it’s estimated that
they provide. College recruiters been doing this for a couple of years at Z’s, been doing this for, I don’t
know, 7, 8, 9 years, something along those lines. I don’t know if they’ve been doing all postings or just
some, but it’s not new. But I think we’ve reached a tipping point where salary transparency displaying
the salary range, actual or estimated in every posting on the job board is going to become
commonplace. It maybe not most sites, certainly not every site, but common what is Aspen doing to
support its job board partners in gathering that salary information and then for that salary information
to get onto the posting? So
Speaker 3 (15:28):
First of all, when the Colorados Equal Pay for Equal Work Act went into effect in January, 2021, and we
are a Colorado company, so we come from US and Colorado. So we started closely monitoring what’s
happening, first of all in Colorado, in New York City who put the mandate on salary to be posted by
employers. We started tracking that information and collecting some insights. And as we build our jobs
index product, we scrap all this data from public sources. And at the moment we monitor more than
60,000 career sites globally. So we started collecting this information and we sought, okay, so we have
all this data, what do we do with it? Shall we build some business intelligence reports? And that’s when
we decided to implement Google Look Tool and build some analytics and visualizations on top of this
data. So for example, in April, 2021, we saw that only 27% of jobs in Colorado actually include salary
information, despite the fact that that mandate was already in effect at the same time we run in as a
And this month this number went to 32%. So it’s getting better. But we see a lot of resistance from
employers to publish the salary information. And of course it’s understandable because they want more
negotiations powered. They want, they don’t want to share salaries information for current employers.
They want, they don’t want to current employers to feel that they are underpaid. And there are a lot of
reasons, and I dunno if you remember, Nike actually refused to hire people in Colorado when this
mandate was into effect because they thought, okay, we are not doing it. We don’t disclose our data. On
the contrary, we see that Microsoft told recently and publicly known that is they gonna publish all jobs
with salary information starting from January, 2023. Now we see that zip recruiter takes step into that
direction too. And they have huge job board, huge aggregator, and they now have a tool where
candidates can actually select the salary range on their platform.
So if I’m looking for a job potentially with a specific salary range, and as employer don’t pose it
information, your job even won’t show up in the search. Which also makes sense because what, what
candidates want a, they want salary information to be displayed and B, they want to have transparent
communication with recruiter on the next steps, what’s gonna happen and so on and so forth. So we can
see definitely a trend when there is a lot of things going on in terms of salary transparency, and a lot of
other states they try to implement this mandate as well, like California, Nevada, Washington Connect,
Good and others, they are making steps toward salary transparency. But as we analyze this data, we still
see a lot of jobs without salaries. Like in California, only 9% of jobs are with salaries at the moment,
which is kind of low amount.
But again, it looks like as Microsoft and other employers kind of going towards this direction, it’s gonna
be more people going there. So we encourage, as a company, we encourage employers to pose the
seller information and we see that it might be actually really helpful because as an employer, you know,
you save time because you right away cuts the candidates that are not willing to accept the salary you
are offering for this position and so on and so forth. So also what we noticed that Google schema job
schema, when you have job with a salary, Google kind of prioritizes its jobs. So whenever you have a job
board and you want additional traffic to your jobs, you definitely want to encourage your employers to
pose this information because it will help to drive traffic to your job work. So that’s kind of the trend we
see. And again, we keep analyzing the salary data. We keep publish some insights on our
email@example.com. So if you’re curious to see what’s going on, you can check it out. And
again, we are working on this business intelligence tool to analyze this data and to provide more insights
on request. And we are really trying to kind of follow this trend really closely because we believe as a
company that this should be transparent, salaries should be transparent and employers should kind of
follow this direction.
Speaker 2 (20:21):
Let’s talk for a minute about how your team ADA has adapted over the past few years. How many of the
people who work for Aspen Tech are living in Ukraine? How many live in the states? How many live
elsewhere? And first there was Covid then there was the invasion of Ukraine. Been through a a lot. How
have you adapted?
Speaker 3 (20:48):
Yeah, thank you for that question. So we do have about 55 employees at Aspen Tech Labs. And at the
moment we have people all over Europe as well as in the US and in Ukraine. So I would say majority of
our employees are in Ukraine, but we never had team members in Eastern Ukraine, which is a great
thing. So we only may have had people in cave and Lavi as well, which is Western Ukraine. So once the
war started, we relocated a lot of people to Western Europe and we now have employees in Portugal,
Slovakia, Poland as well, and Western Ukraine. But we still do have some people who came back to Kiev
and try to, they do a lot of volunteering, they keep working for Aspen Labs and I think they are doing a
great job. Cuz to be honest, since the invasion sorted, we didn’t lose a single customer.
And our customers are great, to be honest. And even used to even thank you for that co one page, it
was amazing for you to provide the support to Ukraine. And we had, you know, like we felt like a lot of
our customers, they were more worried about our team in Ukraine versus their business in a way
because all the questions that we got, Hey, how is your team members? Are you safe? Are their family safe? So it was incredible how, you know, how our customers reacted, how our company and Michael
reacted as well, who actually took all financial responsibility to relocate people, be, you know, we kind
of covered the cost for moving people around, helping them to get the safe place, et cetera, to support
their families. So, so that was, that was great. And I would say that we didn’t have, again, we didn’t have
any lost in customers. We only kept doing great job. And I think because people needed to have some
destruction, they even worked more harder in this matter because they needed get destructive from
Speaker 2 (22:49):
Let me just mention briefly that Steven and College Recruiter have been actively supporting Ukrainian
humanitarian efforts. I have personally in the AIM group have has as well. And Stephen currently has a
GoFundMe for thermal clothing for Ukrainians to be distributed. Because winter is coming and winter in
Ukraine can be very cold. So Steven, how do people find the GoFundMe? And he didn’t set me up for
Speaker 1 (23:26):
Well, thank you. And also Lana, it’s, it’s very easy for the folks at College Recruiter and millions
and millions and millions of others to, to support the, the Ukrainian effort. Your, your people, your
country are fighting for, for our freedom and for theirs. And, and we, we are eternally grateful. If
anybody wants to, to help raise funds, donate themselves, just get the message out, just shoot me an
email and I’ll send you a link to the, to the GoFundMe page. My email is stephen s t e v e n college
recruiter.com. Well, I would love to continue but we are kind of reaching the end of the, of the, of our
time allotment. Lana, thank you so much for sharing about Aspen. Talking a little bit about the the
generosity and the just, you know, the, the ceo Mike Woodford just doing the right thing for his
employers employees. I wish more employers would just be so instinctive like that, like of, of course I’m
going to help my, my coworkers, my employees. I, I don’t think that knowing him, I can’t imagine he had
a, a, a moment of hesitation. And Peter you wanna take us home today?
Speaker 2 (24:55):
Well thank you very much for Lana. We appreciate it and we appreciate what you are doing and look
forward to seeing you and hearing from you again. Thanks very much and we look forward to having you
join us for the next edition of this podcast.
Speaker 1 (25:15):
And on, if people want to reach you or find out more about Aspen, what should they do?
Speaker 3 (25:19):
Yeah, so, so they should definitely was spiderman.com, which is our core website, and then can reach
out to melana dot s aspen tech labs.com.
Speaker 1 (25:29):
Awesome. Thank you much.
Speaker 3 (25:31):
Thank you so much. Bye guys.
Speaker 2 (25:35):
Inside job boards and recruitment marketplaces is a co-production of Evergreen Podcasts College
Recruiter and the AIM Group.
Speaker 1 (25:44):
Please subscribe for free on your favorite app, review it five stars are always nice and recommend it to
a couple of people you know who wanna learn more about job boards and recruitment marketplaces.
Speaker 2 (25:55):
Special thanks to our producer and engineer, Ian Douglas. I’m your host, Peter Oman of the AIM Group,
the leading global consultancy in the field of marketplaces and classified advertising. Find out more
about our reports on recruitment marketplaces, job boards, and classifieds, including our new
recruitment marketplaces annual at aim group.com/reports.
Speaker 1 (26:21):
I’m your host Steven Rothberg of job search site college recruiter. Each year we help more than 12
million candidates find great new jobs. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1000 companies,
government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale and advertise their jobs with us. You can
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