Advice for Employers and Recruiters

What technology makes sense for high volume employers that doesn’t for employers hiring in more normal volumes? with Mark Feffer of RecruitingDaily

Shelby Konkel AvatarShelby Konkel
November 21, 2022

Welcome back to another episode of the High Volume Hiring Podcast, the podcast that features news tips, case studies, and interviews with the world’s leading experts about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to high-volume hiring. 

The High Volume Hiring podcast

In this episode, host Steven Rothberg, College Recruiter’s Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, interviews Mark Feffer, the Executive Editor of RecruitingDaily. He is also the Founder and Executive Editor of the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights,, TalentCulture, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, and Staffing Industry Analysts. 

Mark joins this episode of High Volume Hiring to share his passion of finding new ways that technology can be better used by the recruiting community. He uses this passion along with his insight into the industry to discuss some current hiring trends. He predicts that the busy and frenetic energy we are seeing within hiring community will continue, especially as businesses start to hire more in some departments and cut back in others.

Hiring strategies for high volume employers

Mark delves into different HR tech solutions that he would specifically recommend for high volume hiring employers. And for those high volume employers who have tried utilizing tech in their hiring procedures, but haven’t had success, Mark offers some wisdom that you will not want to miss.

Subscribe here to follow the High Volume Hiring podcast and stay up to date with new episodes.


Steven (00:14):

Welcome to the High Volume Hiring Podcast. I’m Steven Rothberg, the founder of College Recruiter Job search site at College Recruiter. We believe that every student and recent grad deserves a great career. This podcast features news tips, case studies, and interviews with the world’s leading experts about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to high volume hiring. Today’s guest is Mark Pfeffer, the executive editor of Recruiting Daily. He’s also the founder and executive editor of the HCM technology report. Mark has written for Tech Target, HR magazine, SHRM Dice Insights, TL n, talent culture, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, and Staffing industry analyst. Whew. Best of all, he likes Schnauzers Sailing and my favorite too, Kentucky Distilled Beverages. Mark, welcome to the show.

Mark (01:09):

Thanks, Steve. It’s great

Steven (01:10):

To be here. I think it’s, uh, I think it’s really fantastic that we’re starting off the morning talking about Kentucky distilled beverages, but maybe that’s a topic for another podcast.

Mark (01:19):

Uh, why not both

Steven (01:22):

<laugh>, for, for listeners who don’t really know what that is a reference to, first of all, my condolence is because it means you aren’t really living life the way you should live it. But when I think Kentucky distilled beverages, I’m thinking bourbon.

Mark (01:35):

Me too. So,

Steven (01:36):

Well, um, I wanted to have Mark on the show because I, I don’t think that there are, um, many people in the world who, who know more, perhaps nobody does about the technology of recruiting. This is, this is Mark’s passion, one of his passions in addition to Schnauzers. Um, and, and it’s his beat. This is what he does day in and day out, is looking at technology, looking at recruiting, and trying to figure out, um, for his listeners, for his readers, um, how that technology can be better used by the recruiting community. So, mark, let’s talk a little bit about the state of the recruiting community here as we’re getting into the, um, late part of 2022. How would you describe the work that they’re doing right now?

Mark (02:26):

Well, I think they’re kind of frenetic right now, meaning they’re, they’re very busy, uh, having to run in a lot of different directions and deal with varying, varying types of economic issues. Um, you know, there’s, there’s some companies that are hiring a lot, uh, many of them high volume retail restaurants, et cetera. Um, but there’s other companies who are slowing down their hiring and letting people go. So recruiters find themselves in this, you know, odd position very often of, um, of recruiting for one set of employees, but not really recruiting very hard for other sets of employees. They’re being more stringent there in their, uh, in their criteria and, uh, more persnickety in their choosing.

Steven (03:12):

Yeah, and I, I suppose also there, there’s, there’re always those examples of employers laying off in one area while at the same time massively hiring another. And then I’m seeing some of that now too. Are, are you as well?

Mark (03:26):

Yeah, I am. I’m certainly hearing more about it, more and more about it from recruiters or even the, the media for that matter. Um, you know, companies have different rationales for doing that. Um, I don’t think the rationale matters so much to the recruiter, as does the fact that he’s got seats to

Steven (03:45):

Fill. Yeah. And, and, and to be clear, um, I think it’s entirely appropriate in, in many cases for a business to be downsizing in one area while at the same time staffing up in others. You know, customers come and go, products come and go. They may have had some massive technology build over the last three years that that project is now complete, and so they don’t need the headcount over there, but the results of that project might mean that they need to hire 30 more salespeople because now they have a product to sell. So I don’t think that either one of us are saying that it’s inappropriate at all, uh, for companies to shed in some areas while, while growing in others. Um, but speaking of growing, um, one, one of the things that I find really fascinating and why I wanted to start this podcast was that there are some really significant differences between an employer that is hiring, let’s call it a standard volume of people. You know, one rule, one person, maybe they’ve got five rules open at any given time, rather than the employer that’s looking to hire hundreds, maybe even thousands. So what do you see as some of the key differences between an employer doing standard volume hiring versus high volume hiring? Well,

Mark (05:07):

I think that high volume talent acquisition requires a company to be really buttoned down in, in terms of how they deal with all the information they have to handle. Um, you know, and you’re talking about a national retail chain or national, uh, healthcare company that’s, that’s hiring thousands of, of people. Um, they need to have technology that’s really going to help them keep that technology organized. I’m sorry, keep that, that information organized. Um, let it be accessible to their talent acquisition team. Um, and easy to use because talent acquisition teams, like any other part of a company, they expand, they contract. You have new people coming in and you don’t wanna, you know, spend too much time, uh, training them. So, you know, it does seem to me that I, I don’t wanna say that I, I talk to a lot of recruiters who are thinking about the company’s process, but they’re definitely thinking about how can they keep things, um, under control? How can they make sure that they, they stay on the right side of sanity as they’re trying to get through all of these job applications?

Steven (06:23):

<laugh>, staying on the right side of sanity is easier said than done. <laugh>. I’ve

Mark (06:28):

Been trying

Steven (06:31):

Yes, especially the last couple years, I think has been a, a challenge for, for most of us. But, uh, hey, if you discover the answer to that, I I’m sure that, uh, you’ve, you’ve got a, a new pot of Golda coming your way. <laugh>.


Yeah, exactly. Well, you know, that’s, that’s your next phone call is your intellectual property attorney. Hey, I just came up with a great idea. Um, so, you know, speaking of, of technology, uh, I’m a regular listener of your podcast HCM Technology report, and I think the, the tagline is that, you know, it covers the business of HR technology. So for listeners who haven’t, uh, tuned in or maybe haven’t for a while, it’s, it’s definitely a great listen. Um, some of the, some of the episodes are interviews, some of them are just news, but all of them are about the, the technology of, of human capital, uh, management. Uh, so it’s a, it’s a very well targeted podcast. And, and thank you for your, your contributions for that. Um, let’s talk, if we can, about some of what you’ve learned through that podcast and some of your other work in terms of the technology. What, what kinds of technology would you recommend to high volume hiring employers that you would not recommend to ones that are doing a more normal volume of hiring?

Mark (07:51):

Well, I think that high volume, uh, employers, and I, I touched on this before, but if, if they’re shopping, um, for technology solutions, they really have to pay attention to how well the, um, the solutions they’re looking at handle the information that’s coming in from candidates, handle the information that’s coming in from hiring managers and others within the company so that it doesn’t get out of control. Um, which it, it can do pretty easily when you, you’re talking about this number of, um, of candidates and, and hires and, you know, a company with, uh, with locations all across the country, suppose, you know, assuming, um, I think that that’s the, the most important thing. But I think, um, also they need to pay attention to essentially the intelligence of the, uh, of the, of the system. Um, it’s going to be scanning resumes, it’s, it’s going to be scanning possibly, uh, cover emails or, or what have you.


And you wanna make, make sure that it’s, it’s really identifying candidates who will fit with your company, who work well within the culture, who can do the job that you need to be done. Um, you know, that’s, that’s the whole crux of, of an ATS or, you know, any other kind of, you know, talent technology. But I, I, I think it’s one that sometimes people don’t quite look at as, as carefully as they might. Um, and then I think most of the vendors out there, uh, the, the producers of these, these packages would, um, would talk a lot about what they’re doing with, um, AI and data. Um, and I think the thing about that is that it, it’s very seductive and it’s kind of positioned in the industry in such a way that, you know, if you, if you don’t talk about it, you’re not cool. And if you don’t consider it as part of your purchasing decision, you’re not cool. Um, and you know, what these systems do is kind of cool, but it’s not always useful. Um, you know, if, if, uh, a vendor is making a big deal about their analytical capabilities and their ai, uh, but the results aren’t really adding anything to your process and, and helping you reach your goals, then it’s not really not such a big valuable part of the equation.

Steven (10:17):

Now, when you referred at the beginning of, of the answer, you used the word intelligence. Are you speaking about artificial intelligence or are you talking more broadly than that?

Mark (10:27):

I really was thinking artificial intelligence, but I think you could make the argument that, you know, any system that’s trying to identify candidates for a position has to have some kind of intelligence built in, uh, to be able to pick the right people.

Steven (10:55):

So for employers that are starting to do high volume hiring, or maybe they’ve done some in the past, but they feel like they’re technology tools, whether it’s their ATS assessments, onboarding systems, whatever piece of the text stack you’re talking about, if they just feel it’s not up to snuff, what, what process do you find that, that they should follow? Are they retaining outside consultants? Is that knowledge about the tools in house and then they do a bunch of demos with vendors? Like, you know, when you were saying that they should make sure that their tech does this, how do they make sure?

Mark (11:41):

I think it’s gonna vary from company to company, but you, they need to be able to, uh, feel comfortable with the idea of their, they’re going through some sort of at least quasi scientific process to evaluate any of the systems that they’re, they’re looking at. Um, you know, people who are on the front line don’t like to talk about procurement, but procurement often can serve a very valuable role in helping to set up and organize and evaluate, um, all of these processes to, to, to pick a new system. Um, and if procurement’s not gonna do it, somebody has to. So, you know, I think it’s important to have a single per person sort of heading this, not doing it by committee. Um, though of course there can be others involved and, and should be involved in, in the actual evaluation. But I think it’s important to have one point of contact who’s making sure that whole process works, that the candidates, uh, who are being considered are, are appropriate for that company’s, you know, recruiting needs. Um, some companies I think are very good at doing this and can do it in house. Um, I tend to lean toward getting some outside help for this because, uh, um, a consultant isn’t going to have any of the baggage that someone inside does. Um, oh, they should be vendor neutral. Um, and they should have best practices in mind for how things get done, and they can apply all of that to the, to the search for, for new solutions.

Steven (13:25):

Yeah, no, that totally makes sense. And you also then get the benefit of the wisdom that they’ve acquired working for other organizations. Yes. If, if you’re looking at an ats, it would be amazingly bad if that’s something you did on, on a regular basis, but those consultants are doing that on a regular basis. And so if they’re looking at ATS X today, and you had a conversation with that vendor two years ago, it may be very different than what was happening two years ago. But they should know the lay, A good consultant would know the lay of the land all the time, and they would be able to bring over and, and, and that, that benefit of that experience, you know, with at as a job board, we see some of that when we see a national retailer really struggling to convert candidates who are clicking to their ATS into applications, and yet a pretty darn similar other national retailer having a really high conversion rate. And we’re not gonna start to share, oh, you know, Walmart did this and Target did that, and Home Depot did this. But we can say to a client, Hey, we’ve seen with other clients that they do X, Y, and Z and that really helps. And I, I would imagine that’s what some of what you’re envisioning with, uh, with that high volume employer bringing on a consultant if they don’t have that expertise in house.

Mark (14:56):

Yes, you’re, you’re right though, what you’re, you know, what you’re talking about also brings something else to mind, which is, you know, as you’re doing your research and you’re looking around at other companies, remember some companies do talent acquisition really well and some don’t. And so the technology is not the, the reason for all of that. Um, it might be a, a part of the reason a company’s lagging say, but it’s not the only reason they’re gonna have organizational issues, managerial issues, and you know, what have you. So I think you have to bear that in mind as

Steven (15:31):

Well. Yeah, you don’t, if you have problems, um, it, you don’t wanna build those into your new, into your new system, be and then scale those problems up. That’s, uh, that’s not very helpful. Um, so Mark, for listeners who want to learn more about, uh, you recruiting daily HCM technology report, uh, where should they go?

Mark (15:50):

Um, the best place really to go is, is the, the two websites, recruiting and hcm technology Uh, both sites are updated, you know, every day, usually multiple times a day. Uh, and they both have information that you may not necessarily find at any of the other, um, any of the other outlets that are, that are out there that’s not meant to be critical. It’s just that, uh, in recruiting daily, um, the company is really was founded and has been built by people with real depth in talent acquisition and, and recruiting. Uh, and in terms of the HCM technology report, um, you know, I’ve been fortunate enough to develop relationships with a lot of people throughout the business who are willing to talk to me and share what’s going on in their company.

Steven (16:39):

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us today on the High Volume Hiring podcast. This is a co-production of Evergreen Podcasts and College Recruiter. Please subscribe for free on your favorite app. Review it. Five stars are always nice and recommended to a couple people you know who want to learn more about how best to hire dozens or even hundreds of people. I’m your host Steven Rothberg of job Search Site College recruiter. Each year we help more than 7 million candidates find great new jobs, our customers. I primarily Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale and advertise their jobs with us. You can reach Cheers.

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