Indeed Interactive Live! Malcolm Gladwell and The Power of Storytelling

After last night’s exclusive performance by Gary Clark Jr, Indeed Interactive resumed this morning. Once again, the Indeed Band was on hand to blast out an eclectic (and funky) mix of tunes to kick things into high gear as Senior Director of Field Marketing Kevin Walker introduced another day of insight, networking and discovery. Anticipation was high for Malcolm Gladwell’s keynote in the afternoon, but there was a lot more to explore before he took to the stage.

For those who couldn’t make it — or if you were here and want a recap — here are some of the highlights. (And here is a round-up of yesterday’s sessions.)

Morning on the main stage

Indeed Chief Economist Jed Kolko got the second day off to a thought-provoking start with his keynote on the theme of “The Good, the Bad and the Machines.” After warning us that economists have a tendency to look on the dark side, he posed the question: What does “humanness” mean — and how much of it do we actually want in the workplace? Jed then delved into some of the latest research from the field of behavioral economics to weave together a fascinating talk on the pros and cons of human behavior, while also reflecting on where machines can help us, and where they have limitations. “Humanness is good and bad” said Jed — but algorithms can never replace us. Human judgement remains essential.

Next up was SVP of Sales Nolan Farris, who sat down for a fireside chat with Senior Director of Field Marketing Kevin Walker. In a wide ranging talk, Nolan reflected on his eight-and-a-half years at Indeed, during which time he has expanded the sales team from a core of 15 people in a single office in Stamford to a global team of 1900 focused on educating our clients about a greatly expanded (and expanding) product suite. Nolan discussed how he has managed such dramatic growth, the importance of the relationship between sales and Client Services at Indeed and how our mission continues to inform everything the sales team does. “Indeed deserves our hard work. I think it’s a social mission you can rally around: We are helping people get jobs every day. I’m lucky to work for an organization so cleanly focused on the right things.”

Breakout insights

Diversity and inclusion are good for business: “Diverse companies are 35% more likely to have returns above their industry average.” Donna DeBerry and Carmen Bryant, Fresh Perspectives on Inclusion: How Diverse Talent Drives Innovation.

Just how widely used is Indeed? “76% of US job seekers search on Indeed each month.”  Lauren Kort, Data Diving With Indeed Labor Dynamics.

Three tips for getting the most out of your budget: “Segment it to maximize ROI, invest in what works — and automate whenever possible.” Stefan Barr, Budget Bootcamp: Maximize ROI with Smart Campaign Management.

How you treat job seekers has a big impact on how you are perceived. “Candidates share their positive recruiting experiences with their inner circles 81% of the time — and they share the negative ones 66% of the time.” Olga Kazakova, Mapping the Emotional Peaks and Valleys of the Hiring Journey.

It’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. Software engineers are connected three times as often as other candidates on Indeed Resume, so how do you catch the attention of in-demand candidates? Look beyond the resume to their other accomplishments, speaking engagements, even school mascots — and personalize. Kerri Mills, Using Personalization To Uncover The Human Behind The Resume.

Indeed Works

This year at Indeed Interactive we are showcasing new products and the work of our teams in the Indeed Works space.

At the Indeed Targeted Ads booth, product manager Niek Smit was on hand to explain how this product can help recruiters — and especially those with high volume hiring demands who are always looking for more candidates.

“A targeted ad is a display ad that typically shows up once a jobseeker has applied for a job, offering other openings the candidate could be a good match for,” said Niek. “It can help you reach qualified candidates you’re not getting today, while adding a little more custom content to engage job seekers.”

“For instance, let’s say you’re hiring sales people and you’re getting good quality candidates from sponsored jobs but you want more volume from that target audience. Indeed Targeted Ads can give you people who are actively searching for sales jobs, but also people whose profile and search behavior indicates an aptitude for sales — so you can tap into a new audience.”

Afternoon on the main stage

Next, Indeed SVP of Human Resources Paul Wolfe took to the stage to explore some of the themes we’ve been discussing throughout the whole event. Paul cast an eye backward over the key data and insights shared over the course of Interactive. He had three main takeaways: When it comes to technology — humanize it. When it comes to the candidate experience — personalize it.  And as for the role of storytelling in hiring and your company brand — embrace it. Why? Storytelling not only helps capture the attention of candidates, but it can help create an emotional investment in your company and build a personal connection.

Then it was time for acclaimed author Malcolm Gladwell’s highly anticipated keynote, Humanize Your Hiring Through the Power of Storytelling. As Gladwell took to the stage, any sense of the hustle and bustle of the city outside melted away, and soon the audience was in the palm of his hand as he led us on a subtle, insightful, yet completely unexpected journey into human nature — and why too narrow a definition of what we are looking for in a candidate can leave a lot of talent on the table. Along the way he shared the principles he looks for when hiring an assistant. What was #1? “I don’t want to know where anyone went to school. So I tell them to remove the titles of all of their schools from their resume, and I tell them that if at any point in the interview they let slip where they went to school — they’re out.”

It was left to Indeed CEO Hisayuki “Deko” Idekoba to wrap up Indeed Interactive 2017, which he did in his own inimitable style. Deko showed attendees an image of an Indeed “get a job offer” button, inspired by the Amazon Dash button. “The idea is that when you push it, you get a job offer,” said Deko. “You might think I’m crazy, but I think we can make it!” However, as he drew his talk to a close he stressed the things we will never be able to build a button for: No matter what technological advances we make, human connections and a sense of belonging will always remain beyond the reach of machines. “This week we have explored how important personal relations, a sense of purpose and belonging are,” said Deko. “These things are so important for someone to accept a job. We cannot build a button for that. This is why I believe that the human side of hiring is becoming the biggest and the great differentiator.”

And that’s it from Indeed Interactive 2017. We thank all our attendees for spending this time with us and hope to see you all again in 2018. And if you weren’t able to make it — come join us next year! We look forward to seeing you.