Best Practices In Direct Sourcing The Contingent Workforce

Harnessing AI & Talent Insights Into Your Strategy

Dec 2, 2021 1:30 PM2:30 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Hiring the right person for your company can be difficult. Is there a simple way to sort through the dozens of resumes that wind up on your desk?

Have you considered using AI? A talent intelligence platform can scan through resumes, taking note of details and qualifications much quicker than people. Leveraging AI technology can help brands attract talent and use matching algorithm functions to select and deliver talent efficiently. So, how can your company take advantage of this new branch of HR?

In this virtual event, Greg Irwin is joined by Aashir Shroff from Eightfold and John Poore from PRO Unlimited to talk about the future of HR technology. They discuss how the algorithm works to match candidates with your company’s needs, how it can save you time and money, and share advice for hiring and recruiting outside of technology.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:


  • Aashir Shroff explains how AI can help companies find the right employees
  • John Poore shares how PRO Unlimited’s partnership with Eightfold helped one company solve their recruiting issues
  • How does AI fit within your company’s overall recruiting program?
  • The process of submitting and showcasing candidates
  • How do Eightfold and PRO Unlimited stack up in terms of cost-savings and talent quality?
  • Aashir describes the deep-learning matching algorithm that allows AI technology to sort through thousands of candidates quickly
  • Advice for hiring managers to speed up the hiring process outside of technology
  • Finding candidates outside of the usual platforms: current employees’ networks, former interns, and more
  • What data do you need to use an AI talent intelligence platform?
  • Great recruiting starts with great retention
  • The pandemic’s impact on hiring trends
  • The difficulties of wage inflation
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Event Partners


Eightfold is a developer of a talent intelligence platform used to help companies find, recruit, and retain workers.

Guest Speakers

Aashir Shroff

Product Director of Talent Acquisition and Flex at Eightfold

Aashir Shroff is the Product Director of Talent Acquisition and Flex at Eightfold, an AI-powered talent intelligence platform. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneurial product leader in business development, product management, design, AI, data, and marketing functions. Previously, Aashir was the Global Head of Product - Global Innovation at EY and the Global Product GM - Product, Design, and Data at GigNow.

Greg Irwin LinkedIn

Co-Founder, Co-CEO at BWG Strategy LLC

BWG Strategy is a research platform that provides market intelligence through Event Services, Business Development initiatives, and Market Research services. BWG hosts over 1,800 interactive executive strategy sessions (conference calls and in-person forums) annually that allow senior industry professionals across all sectors to debate fundamental business topics with peers, build brand awareness, gather market intelligence, network with customers/suppliers/partners, and pursue business development opportunities.

John Poore

Vice President, Client Services at PRO Unlimited

John Poore is the Vice President of Client Services at PRO Unlimited, a global SaaS organization that provides contingent workforce management and consulting services. He is also the Principal and Founder of Overlook Consulting Group. Previously, John was the Regional Vice President for Onward ITG and Onward Search and the Account Director for Aquent.

Event Moderator

Aashir Shroff

Product Director of Talent Acquisition and Flex at Eightfold

Aashir Shroff is the Product Director of Talent Acquisition and Flex at Eightfold, an AI-powered talent intelligence platform. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneurial product leader in business development, product management, design, AI, data, and marketing functions. Previously, Aashir was the Global Head of Product - Global Innovation at EY and the Global Product GM - Product, Design, and Data at GigNow.

Greg Irwin LinkedIn

Co-Founder, Co-CEO at BWG Strategy LLC

BWG Strategy is a research platform that provides market intelligence through Event Services, Business Development initiatives, and Market Research services. BWG hosts over 1,800 interactive executive strategy sessions (conference calls and in-person forums) annually that allow senior industry professionals across all sectors to debate fundamental business topics with peers, build brand awareness, gather market intelligence, network with customers/suppliers/partners, and pursue business development opportunities.

John Poore

Vice President, Client Services at PRO Unlimited

John Poore is the Vice President of Client Services at PRO Unlimited, a global SaaS organization that provides contingent workforce management and consulting services. He is also the Principal and Founder of Overlook Consulting Group. Previously, John was the Regional Vice President for Onward ITG and Onward Search and the Account Director for Aquent.

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Discussion Transcription

Greg Irwin 0:18

My name is Greg Irwin, one of the partners at BWG. And this is basically my living of moderating these, these forums, that we follow a basic model. It's no sales pitch, basically, sharing stories. We believe what I've been in product management for a long time product marketing for a long time, is, you know, learning from others who've kind of walked the path before you. And building you know, your own trusted network. And it goes a long way, you'll certainly hear from vendors, throughout, you get lot of trusted sources, I claim better than hearing from others who've, who've tried different models. So I have a, I have a request of everybody, everybody on the line here, please venture to make one new contact across across this group, all of our emails have the names of everybody who's joining, you can all go through LinkedIn, or just connect through Greg or any of the others here at BWG, we'll be happy to connect people but you know, irrespective of Eightfold, or or PRO Unlimited or BWG, look across the group and try and add one person to your personal network. I am thrilled to be here with John over at PRO Unlimited, Aashir over at Eightfold on go out these guys introduce themselves in their companies, they do some remarkable things. And then we're going to start our conversation with with these co hosts. But then, as I said, we're going to go around the group. And I'm going to try and get everybody involved to share some stories, what's working, what's not working, in terms of in terms of recruiting techniques and processes. So with that Aashir. Do us a favor, or give a given intro to the group.

Aashir Shroff 2:17

Yeah, perfect. Let me start it off. So I'm Aashir Shroff I run product for our talent acquisition and talent flex product lines, at Eightfold. Eightfold is a talent intelligence platform with a bunch of different areas that we help customers and partners like John over there at PRO Unlimited, to enable finding the right career for everyone.

Greg Irwin 2:42

What is Eightfold? So I've gotten to know you guys, but what give us give us the elevator soundbite of what Eightfold is?

Aashir Shroff 2:52

Yeah, so, the elevator pitch for what Eightfold is it's a talent intelligence platform that enables recruiters hiring managers candidates to find opportunities and employ enables employees to upskill rescale themselves. And it's essentially a technology platform that makes it easy and intuitive to use deep learning AI to navigate your career path.

Greg Irwin 3:20

So basically, as I understand it, you're letting companies use their own databases, their own existing employee bases and recruiting within or from known from from known cohorts.

Aashir Shroff 3:35

Yes, that plus. I mean, we've got a swath of other other functionality and allows you to bring in career sites, referrals, internal employees, to build up your talent pools. And then addition to that, right, once you are an employee, how do we enable these employees to grow and mature their career inside their organization?

Greg Irwin 3:56

I'm a huge fan. I know we do a lot here on HR tech. And I've been thrilled by the customer stories that you guys have brought forward. We'll hit some of them here today. Before we do that, John, grab grab the mic and give a give your give your intro here PRO Unlimited.

John Poore 4:14

I’ll try to keep it quick. So I am I'm John Poore, I'm the Vice President of Client Services for PRO Unlimited. PRO Unlimited is a global managed service provider with a BMS technology. And as part of my remit, I oversee the curation function for our direct sourcing solutions. PROpartnerships are has a unique partnership with Eightfold, where we leverage their technology to really help clients leverage their brand effectively to attract talent. And then certainly some of the matching algorithm functions to help them selected deliver that talent efficiently. And in some cases where we're really looking at servicing inclusivity or other sort of hiring needs within the contingent sphere. That APR enables.

Greg Irwin 5:04

I mean, it’s your you're a service provider here, right? People, people are gonna come to you, you're going to leverage these best resources, best tools and help people fill fill jobs.

John Poore 5:14

We do we really work closely with our client base to help them establish how to expand their brand identity so that it is attractive to contingent workers, but distinct from the FTE. So that's kind of the consultation piece. How do we do it in a way that's effective? How do we do it in a way that's compliant? How do we set the right goals? And I’m sure Aashir will tell you that, that's one of the really critical things is, as our clients think about direct sourcing that you'd have to talk about is what is it we want to achieve, and whether the you know, cost, efficiency, time efficiency, inclusivity, or a combination of the above will help with the goal setting and then leveraging technology within our BMS won. And we, we also own the curation function. So once those candidates have have been identified as having an interest and match to a job, we want to make sure that anybody who has expressed interest is knows about what you know, knows that it's a contingent workforce. Job knows a little bit about the culture of the company what to expect. So it's that human element that helps move candidates from the technology directly into jobs, we're curators

Greg Irwin 6:27

awesome stuff. John, I'm going to start with you on the stories. But as we do that, I want to remind everybody listening in, there's a real reason why we set this up as a Zoom, and not a webinar. It's because we're driving on the community and driving not just on the stories of PRO Unlimited and Eightfold, but of everybody, including the accent, the good and the bad and the ugly, we want to talk about what some of the realities of challenges that people are dealing with, and how people are addressing them. So I'm going to ask everybody to share some stories. But let's get started with the chat. The chat is really helpful in this format, just as a back channel. So I'm going to ask everybody on the line, Dave, Jolie, Mitu, Terry, Casey, Karen, Helen, drop into the chat. One thing you want to hear from the one challenge you and your organization might be having the you want to hear how others have have addressed it. And let's see if maybe we can come up with with an idea or two that might be that might be useful for you. Also, I don't want to forget it. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and the holidays, we're going to do a spin the wheel and a charitable donation to a to a charity of your choice. So at the end of the call, we'll drop everybody's name into the random we'll name generator, it's my favorite web app that I've ever found. And and we'll pick a pick a winner. Okay, John, let's talk about stories. Take for us, one, one organization, what their challenges were around expanding their contingent workforce, and what truly you were able to achieve?

John Poore 8:13

Yeah, you know, I am going to be obviously somewhat careful with client names here. So forgive me leaving that part out. Um, and I think one of the more recent experiences that we've had that that we found kind of an interesting use case for is we work with a large, very large, global technology and insurance firm. And as we launched their direct source program, that we've fortunately had a talent pool that was somewhat developed, that we were able to help, you know, continue to develop, not the not the cool part of the story, but a little bit of context. And, and as we were spreading that message within the organization, we were approached by a group manager for this organization said, hey, you know, John, interesting question for you. And as a result of our brand, we get lots of unsolicited resumes from second level, third level, fourth level and unknown contacts. Couldn't direct source potentially be a solution for these folks. So we had a meeting, we sat down and said, you know, what is it we really want to achieve? And he said, You know, I'm very committed to my organization, I see some great talent floating through my desk and those of my managers, but they don't really fit the needs that I have yet. I think it'd be good for our organization. Sorry, sometimes it's hard to self edit there. And, and so what we talked about is how you sitting down with each of these managers really kind of understanding how these resumes came to them. And, you know, whether or not they Yeah, they had been, you know, solicited, if you will, and what we said is, like, look, we you know, from a compliance standpoint, we cannot reach out to those folks. But if you would like to point them to, you know, our program and they opt in, we'd be more than happy to, you know, connect with them and reach out from that group, we had a manager give us 18 candidates 18 folks that he had reached out to that were interested in the program. And, and I believe within, I want to say it was within five days, we'll say, five to seven business days, we, we had actually placed 14 of those at the very significant cost savings to the client. But more importantly, well, I won't say more importantly, importantly, we we gave a great experience to these folks, you know, they tried to come in the front door, there wasn't the right opportunity. And somebody got the right idea, we were able to leverage the technology and find them the right jobs within the organization and what feels better than, you know, being able to find a job with within five or seven days of opting into a program. So that's a best case is it was a use case we hadn't expected. And but, you know, between the curation, the ability to really sort of consult with the client, and then the technology platform, the matching to be able to quickly find opportunities within the organization for them. You know, that's, that's like the textbook case study example that, you know, that you want to have

Greg Irwin 11:11

put that into context in terms of how that addressed the open wrecks that they had? I mean, did this make a meaningful dent in in their pool? Or is this now part of the ongoing process? You know what I mean, it sounds interesting in terms of, here's a great example of filling 14 positions and finding opportunities for 14 professionals. But how does that fit within the overall the overall recruiting program?

John Poore 11:37

It's a it's a really good question, Greg. So you know, the initial response is really positive, you're talking about a client that in any given week, probably has between three and 400, open positions. So 14 is silly, large number, but within the context of, you know, the larger pool. The win for us, though, is, hey, we've identified this use case. And as we've had more conversations with this client, lo and behold, we're finding that managers have these informal networks of candidates, and they now have a mechanism to point them in the direction where they know they're going to get a touch, even if they don't get a job, they know that somebody is going to respond to them, they know that there's the potential for these folks to end up in the overall talent pool. But as part of that, what we've seen and I can't I don't have any placement data on this. So I can't tell you what the end result was on, I believe that original group of 18 that we received, all referred another, I want to say 20 candidates, and I know we've placed a portion of those, I don't know which portion. So will it have a long term impact that's meaningful? Yeah, we absolutely. So if you're, you know, if you're handling 20, to 40, positions out of 300, in any given week, over time, you're gonna see that delta of unfilled positions drop. But we also feel like it's a situation where success begets success. If you give candidates a really good experience, the likelihood that they will bring more talent to your talent pools is is much higher. And fortunately, the matching algorithm within Eightfold allows us to very quickly assess where there's opportunity, and where we can make an impact both on the client side, but also with the talent.

Greg Irwin 13:15

I have to ask, is there a referral fee involved in that program?

John Poore 13:19

In this particular one, there is not. But we have other ways that we I can't give away too much here, it would go against the company's guidance on providing a reward, but we found other non monetary ways to reward people. Okay,

Greg Irwin 13:33

is that important? By actually just conceptually, outside of this one situation? mean, everyone kind of thinks, hey, I need to put $500 $1,000 $1,500 to a referral program? Or is that standard course for the direct sourcing programs you see, or maybe maybe it really doesn't have to be there.

John Poore 13:53

I think every organization makes their own choices there, Greg, you know, in some cases, you're going to have financial guidances, that you cannot reward and that that was the case with this particular. In other instances, it doesn't matter as much. Our goal with you know, with is is to be as cost efficient as we possibly can. But we're not afraid to reward folks either. So it really comes down to just matching the needs and the culture of the company as to what you decide. But what we're finding is, generally if you give people a great experience, the expectation of a monetary payout isn't that it just isn't there in quite the same way.

Greg Irwin 14:32

A big thanks to Mitu for dropping the first question and but I'm going to again, let me ask everybody, take a moment, drop a question or maybe let's try this. The one thing you're working on the one thing you're thinking about that you want to hear from others, maybe it's your you know, what's involved in it, how much does it cost? How much time does it take? You know, what kind of success have people had? ask you a question here about expanding these programs, and I promise it'll make the it'll make the forum. Well, we'll cover the questions that you care about mes, that's probably the most important. Can we cover? Mitu question, John? Yeah. So you showcase that candidates?

John Poore 15:15

Absolutely. And need to? I'm going to give you a little bit of context here, because I think that's going to be important to the answer. So PRO is a vendor neutral managed service provider. What that means is we're not owned by a staffing firm, we don't favor one staffing firm over another, those staffing suppliers are our partners. And we take that very seriously. So when we are submitting candidates in in this particular case, with this client, they were competitively bid. So these also went out to other staffing suppliers. In this instance, the only way the receiving manager would have known that these came from the referral pool is the fact that they came with a fairly significant cost efficiency. So and I'm using round numbers here, you know, instead of seeing it an expected $40 An hour bill rate, they're seeing a $22 an hour bill rate. And so that kind of tips off like there's a difference. But in this case, we actually don't make a point of differentiating candidates. So they want it on their own merits. Big thumbs up for the APR matching algorithm there. But, you know, we have other clients where the expectation is that we do highlight that these are coming in from the talent pool. And at the end of the day, though, Mitu clients are going to our my experiences, managers are going to pick the best fit for the job within a small tolerance of you know, of rates. So when you highlight them, rate can be important, but more often than not, it's it's the candidates experience. And you know, that the other functional elements of their CV that that really help them end up in the job more so than anything else.

Greg Irwin 16:57

John, John, thank you. Let's let's go over to Aashir for a moment. Aashir, tell us a little bit about how you can talk in a little bit more of a macro level? Yeah. So in terms of direct sourcing and the programs that you see, what's typical in terms of the ranges of cost savings, talent quality? I mean, do you have some? I mean,

Aashir Shroff 17:23

yeah, no, so let me give you let me give you a little bit more background about myself. So prior to Eightfold, I ran a kitchen platform, that direct source and focused on direct sourcing. And I'll take even one step before that. So one of my frustrations I used to hire a lot of contractors, worked with a lot of staffing firms. And, you know, one of the things that I always struggled with was, there was no good way to find the best talent unless the individual knew the staffing firms to sort of come in through, there was no, you know, career site for contingent labor, there wasn't any of those opportunities. And so I think back to 2014 2015, when I was looking at this, this just didn't exist, right. Direct sourcing, I don't think was even a coined term at that time. For for contingent. And so in 2016, I had the opportunity to sort of build up a startup around this area, that really started to prove out this used to send for a large consulting firm, we were able to demonstrate that direct sourcing does make sense that your brand recognition in the marketplace really places you in a good opportunistic situation, to find folks that not only want full time opportunities, but contingent opportunities. And then from there, being able to provide, you know, first class service, like John just referred to, to those candidates on the contingent side, really made it possible for that organization to hire almost 80% of their contingent needs through direct sourcing. And, you know, again, there's going to be situations where you want the needle in the haystack, and there's a staffing firm that provides that exact sort of talent. But then, you know, again, when we looked at the Broad requirements, it was really sort of moving in that direction. And so we were able to see, you know, significant savings, somewhere between 50 and 20, to 25%, and all dependent on the roles and the opportunities there. But that was only a part of the equation. I think the other part of the equation is just like John said, right is you know, when people refer people in, they have a sense of what quality looks like inside their organization, right. So they want to push good candidates forward. So we had an ability to see improvement in quality of candidates. We saw improvement in conversion from contractors to full time employees. And so those are some of the benefits that we are starting to see At Eightfold, right, as we are pushing these solutions forward with folks like John, into the marketplace that you see, you see an increase ability for an organization to control their destiny around contractor hiring. And I think that that is becoming so important, especially when organizations are 3040 and 50%. contingent..

Greg Irwin 20:28

We have some great questions coming in. You know, we can read them off here. But you know what, Dave, I'm going to put you on the spot, and ask you to ask your question yourself, in terms of with a little bit of context about the challenge mind.

Dave 20:47

Sure. So I am a counselor served with Samsung research America. And so it is a subsidiary of Samsung global. And so they provide all the design and innovation across all the Samsung product lines. They hire very specific designers from all over the over the globe, they have lab labs, in Seoul in San Francisco, Dallas, Milan, elegant country. So that's one of the labs. The second lab is a neon but neon Lab is a fairly new lab. At neon, we have launched a human avatar. So we're going to use the avatar to for instance, retell, the human avatar will be replaced her be contingent labor for a salesperson where they can give specifications for the most technical consumer, or give a demonstration. So needless to say, Be human avatar, for instance, I'm hiring very, very nothing but research scientists, experts in computer vision, behavior, graphics, minimum master's degree, PhD, often PhDs. And they will have, in the beginning, were wanting to bring bringing talent directly as a cohort to be PhDs still finishing their doctor. The next iteration of neon, we're hiring experienced people. So what I'm out there finding some great talent, but they every process, we're submitting them, and they will sit in review forever, and a great candidate that's been direct sourced, they lose interest, we get contacted by so many companies that and we're great brand. We're one of the top places that people want to work in the world. And it's fantastic. It's a blessing, we truly have a great, great brand. And we're very blessed, and very fortunate. But even us. Even we have difficulty sustaining interest with a protected interview process.

Greg Irwin 23:27

Let's take that. Let's take that Dave because I think we hear it, you try and automate the process you put steps in? And does that basically, you know, do you lose candidates in in trying to automate some of that process? If it's okay Aashir, what do you see when you start putting in some of these automated steps? What's What are some of the given takes you've seen?

Aashir Shroff 23:53

I think it depends on how you how you how you implement these things in my mind, right? Automation provides a strong value to speeding up the process. The other part of this that I look at is if these candidates are good fits right. And you know, the challenge I see right is oftentimes when you open up an application for a role, you got hundreds, if not 1000s of individuals that show up. The challenge that I see here is that most people don't know how to navigate that, right? If if their ability to walk through each one of those resumes, it's going to take time. So what we've done from our end of it is really provided a deep learning matching algorithm that not only identifies who are the best fits against this but allows the recruiter to have a lot of control set what we call our calibration that enables them to determine what does good look like in their organization. What what is the need for good, what are the skill sets that are required for good and then how and then that sort of shortens that List write gets you to the right people quickly, and then keeps the other people warm, engaged. So we've used things like SMS and chat bots and various different tools and mechanisms to keep them actively going. And passive candidates for another opportunity, then they fit them much more, much more precisely. That's a few of the ideas. And actually, you know, again, Samsung is a customer of ours on the fold side, the Samsung X team, well aware of, you know, again, some of the guys face. And I think I look at it as there are a set of tools that you any recruiter or sorcerer has in their their toolbox that can be leveraged to provide a warm and engaging experience to any candidate that's out there. And that can either be done through human intervention, or it can be done through automation or our communications.

John Poore 26:00

If I can build on that, I think what you're saying is right on day that the challenge that you have in the market right now is that you know that the difficult to find candidates are the most sought, after all the things that Aashir are saying is correct. But when I think back to my recruiting days, and those very tough to engage talent, you know, there's, they typically won't join an organization because of the brand, they typically won't join an organization because of dollars, it comes down to asking a better question. And in my mind that question is, you sit down with the hiring manager, and you say, how are you going to define success in this role 90 days in? And how are you going to define success at six months? And if the assignment is different? How are you going to define of the year? What are the deliverables you expect this person to bring? Being able to articulate to a candidate where they look at it and say, Hmm, I've been looking at, you know, I've been working in the computer vision space for a long time. The applicability at Samsung is much more interesting to me than applying it at Walmart or any other company that's in that space. That allows you, I think, to be able to articulate better to the client, or to the candidate, why, you know, it's taking so long why they want to wait for it. So that's the operational part of it. But I think what Aashir, you know, brings to the table too, and we've certainly done this with Eightfold is, you mentioned the credibility in the quizzes and the interview panels. I'm a data driven guy, I know Aashir is as well. One of the best things that I've ever done with hiring managers is given them a side by side comparison, here are the candidates that you hired. Without that here are the candidates that you've hired with it. Let's look at performance. And let's look at whether or not they fulfilled their contract. In most cases, there are aberrations, so this but the data is so close, there's very little difference. And that's where you walk back some of those things, right? Do you need that panel interview, if the candidate understands what it is that you're asking to be delivered, and can speak to that in a regular view? So without thinking all the time, I think there's I think there's a technology solution to this, that you marinate with just a different approach to the market. They'll give you the results

Dave 28:06

you can ask a question though. First, the follow up question would be how do you get a PhD in apple? Who has three years of experience working with humanoids? Because they have a project as well. But how do we get someone like that, to sit through an interview process that includes a core guilty, a quiz, some of the hoops that you make new PhDs in candidates with no industry experience, go through how to get them to do that the buy into that process

John Poore 28:46

As you probably have different response to me. But as a recruiter, Dave, I, I subscribe to the thought that people will change, when the pain of change is less than doing the same things that they've been doing every day. So when I engage with folks, as a recruiter, I like to find out what they like about their job, but the little death by 1000, paper cuts things that they hated about the job. There are plenty of apple that are well known and I won't disparage them. They're, they're, you know, they're a great partner to PRO. But what it doesn't matter who the client is, I think it's taking time with the candidate and really understanding what it is that they want to change. And that's what you focus on. Right? Like, yes, it's gonna take longer, but think about these things that you'll forego in the future.

Dave 29:27

Okay, very good. Thank you

Aashir Shroff 29:28

I'll just have one last point to write, you know, my advice to most recruiter sources in the space is, look, if you see a candidate that meets all of your qualifications, right, and they're, you know, four and a half, five stars, right? bypass some of the steps, right, get to get them in front of the hiring manager that's going to be excited from their perspective. And, you know, don't let process hold you up. And, you know, I will put one other tinge on this right I mean, we were doing some things in my previous This role where we were, we were hiring people to be gig workers from from universities, and you know, they already have a full time job, but they were willing to come in and do five hours or 10 hours of subject matter expert work. And, you know, being able to sort of dangle that for them, right? That's where I think contingent starts to be really interesting, right? Hey, come in, be a consultant for us, provide us some of these insights. And once they get a taste of the organization, they are more apt to sort of lean into it right. And then jump jump ship

Dave 30:33

Gotcha. Okay. Very good. Thank you.

Greg Irwin 30:37

Let's, let's keep going here. I want to thank Karen for questions Jolie for questions. And I'll, again, invite everybody drop your questions in. And we'll know we're focusing on the right on the right points here. And for those who joined a little late, at the end of the call, we'll do we'll spin the wheel and and pick a winner. All right, let's go to to Jolie, do you have information about the average amount of time a candidate will be on a specific job? And coming back to how many times your services can be provided to a single candidate? That's interesting. I don't know. John, do you want to? Do you want to take that one?

John Poore 31:15

Yeah, I'm afraid I have a not very interesting answer. But, um, in terms of when you're working in contingent workforce, most of our customers have a length of stay policy, and then they have a break in service policy. So how long can they stay, it's going to be dependent on the length of stay policy that a given client has. And then how many times we work with them, you know, I don't have a single client that says that you can't bring people back once they've completed a break in service. So you know, ostensibly, you could do this as often as the candidate wants to keep coming back. And as long as there are opportunities for them to go back to

Greg Irwin 31:51

what why don't we do this, but in terms of, you know, a fortune 500? What have you seen in terms of typical length of stay policy? Policies

John Poore 31:59

18 to 24 months, with more clients starting to just get away from them all together? Oh, is that right? Okay. Got it.

Greg Irwin 32:11

Let's go. I love this. Karen. Thank you for your question. I, where do you find maintenance candidates outside of the common platforms? I think, frankly, I think this is the essence that you can replace maintenance with other roles. But where do you find candidates maintenance, we'll use that as a starting point. Outside of the common platforms, let's let's talk about some ideas. And I would love other people to share some ideas about alternative sourcing. Alright, John, you first to share and then and let's talk about some of the creative creative channels.

John Poore 32:48

Yeah, I’ll certainly be the first to admit, I don't know the maintenance space. But I think you know, basic recruiting is basic recruiting you, you start with what you know, right, like, candidly, I would go to the maintenance team that I currently have, what do you like about your job? Do you know, you know, do you know other people who do what you do, and I'd be looking at building sort of a referral pool there. Internally, at an organization, I find the more you put things in front of people, the more they they will finally you know, sort of React or interact and respond to it. So, internet company newsletters, I'm a big believer in you look inside first, because I know most organizations, there are informal talent networks all over the place. And aside from that, I think, you know, a really good approach is to sit down and talk to that maintenance team and say, you know, if you were out looking for a job tomorrow, where would you go? And, and, you know, I think oftentimes, you're gonna hear like, oh, I would call this person or that person, their, their, their referral network, and then you key in on those referrals again, but they may turn over and you know, a place that you haven't thought of, or they may know of an organization that's having difficult times and their people people leave. I mean, there's so many permutations. But I think it starts with just talking to the folks that are doing the job today and really understanding and how they, how they search for opportunities.

Aashir Shroff 34:14

I mean, I think what John said is, I mean, spot on. I think, you know, again, I look at it from the macro sort of approach, right? Suppose a couple things that Eightfold has done in the last year and a half was we've actually struck up some good government relationships. So with unemployment groups, and states, so New York State and Indiana State are both customer of ours, the talent. The Hoosier Talent Network is one of those examples, where we see a ton of retail opportunities, we see construction opportunities, we start to see these individuals. And so now we are actually enabling companies and organizations to place their roles against these folks that you typically wouldn't have found elsewhere. And because it's tied to some of the unemployment benefits and some of those other things, people are encouraged to go in there and look at that. Now, I'm not saying that's going to solve the the maintenance, worker shortage that probably is going around all over the all over the country and all over the globe. But that is some of the other tentacles that eat us to sort of expand the networks.

Greg Irwin 35:35

I want to I want to build on it in terms of It's an earlier question, but the idea of you go to the referral networks, that that makes a ton of sense. And I'm thinking about past employees. So it you know, to what extent are you seeing companies reach not just to their current employees, but to their potentially very large roster of past employees whose situations may have changed?

John Poore 36:02

I think it's one of the first place, you know, as we've implemented these with a few clients, I mean, one of the very first places we talk about looking is former employee. But I think one of the, you know, for knowledge worker positions, I think one of the most overlooked sources are previous interns who weren't offered a full time opportunity, particularly in the contingent space, right, that's somebody that spent time at your organization, they are obviously attracted to the brand, they know what you're doing. There may be just wasn't an opportunity for them as an FTE, right. So those silver and we call them Silver and Bronze medalists, and that are candidates, you know, who have interviewed for a full time job didn't get it, but love the brand and are looking at contingent now that's contingent, specific. But you can look at that through the same lens as an FTE, right, like a former intern in many cases, is going to make a good FTE because they've had a year to grow, or they've gotten some new experiences, those silver and bronze medalist, if you've got a good place that you can capture, track and catch them, Eightfold, and a great way to curate them over. And, you know, there's, there's tremendous opportunities just in those talent pools of people that are already attracted to your brand and already know a little something about organization.

Aashir Shroff 37:16

And I think, especially on the contingent side, right, just playing a little what John's saying, right? The ability to resurface people that have even worked past gigs with your past contracts, right? So they came in, they did a six month contract with you. And you know, there wasn't a need at that time. The ability to resurface those people, they're part of your talent pool, they're part of the experience, makes it so much easier. And again, I play back to my old strengths. And, you know, we we used to hire about five to 6% folks from that had already done one or more contracts with us in this previous organization. And it was, you know, it would streamline the time to fail, because you already had some proof points about whether or not they were going to work out, you had some good data points to really analyze. And so, you know, that alumni referral or those, you know, past past, contractors are always a good sort of starting point, to really move forward.

Greg Irwin 38:24

I have one thread I've got and do me a favor, folks, please layer in more questions. It could just be follow up. Or it could be a different thread, whatever, whatever you like. Aashir, Eightfold, I think it's right in the title or mission, it's about AI. I think there is a little bit of a people taken with a bit of a grain of salt, in terms of what AI can achieve. So the question I've got for you is, how is AI really brought to bear here in real terms, and how sophisticated my first thought is, you know, maybe I don't have the organization to handle all the crap to really prepare to take advantage of, you know, sophisticated algorithms and number crunching. So what does it mean to actually be applying AI in real terms to some of these searches? Or?

Aashir Shroff 39:20

Yeah, so I'll I'll give you a sort of a lens and right this is not the 20 years ago, right, that most recruiters and Sorcerer's have been burned by. This is a deep learning model based on the about a billion and a half profiles. It's focused on million plus skills. And it really enables you to have a real strong context into what you're hiring for and what you're looking for. That's one part of it. The other part of it is not getting away from the human component of it, and the insights that a recruiter or sorcerer As in this space, and what does again, I go back to what does good look like. And defining that, right? So we make it as simple as a look, if there was a past candidate, or someone that works for you, right now, let's pick that person as the starting point to allow the AI to start to frame around. Or, you know, these three people really worked out, well, let's use those individuals. And so those are the things that we're starting to do that sets us apart from the rest of the world, when it comes to this, and, you know, we built this from the ground up using some of the, you know, some of the smartest folks I would say, in the, you know, that had built up Google search and YouTube beads and and Facebook feed, right to really ensure that we are getting the right data points to move forward on it

Greg Irwin 40:53

So what kind of data do you need to make use of it? I mean, is it as simple as you know, here's my, here's my recruiting system, here are the resumes entered in and you go or what?

Aashir Shroff 41:07

Essentially that right, I mean, we'll take as little or as much as you are willing to give us, right. So plugging in and on top of your ATS, logging on top of your hrs, plugging in top of your BMS, and then being able to not only see where people have been hired, the decisions that have been made, who stayed there, and what their tenure has been. And all of those data points sort of inform what is the right fit. And then I think the last bit to this is right, this is not a black box, right, we, when we do show which candidates are are good, and why they're showing up at the top of the list, we explain, we do a pretty good job of saying that it's based on years of experience is based on past individuals that have fit this routes of roles, it's based on these sites, the sorts of skills that were preferred or require. And so not only from the recruiter standpoint, but even on the even on John's career sites that he's hosting for all of all of his customers, they it tells the candidate as they're applying for the role, which ones they're a strong match against which ones they which skills they have, what what to expect when to come aboard, right. So it gives a lot more context than black box, black box magic.

Greg Irwin 42:29

i What I'd love is a metric that says alright, if I typically am standing with, you know, 1000, open racks. And I go before, that's before Eightfold, and I'm doing all the normal stuff. And then I go through the investment, the steps, the processes, and I like that, that process run with direct sourcing, what kind of improvement Do you normally see?

Aashir Shroff 42:54

So we’re seeing, you know, again, some of our larger customers, and some of the folks that we've been modeling this for, we've seen somewhere between 20% On the low end and 50% on the high end of improvement in time to fill or time to hire. And, you know, again, it's it's a combination of, you know, empowering recruiters and sources to have the right information, automating the steps that you know, take time. And, and then using things like communications, you know, getting in front of the candidate as quick as possible, engaging the candidate using campaigns and other things, to keep them warm and active, that you can effectively make decisions as soon as possible.

Greg Irwin 43:45

Excellent. I have a question for the group. I think the buzz and marketing and discussion of the great resignation and difficult difficulty to fill, I think is fair if that's that's part of the normal dialogue right now. My question is, is it getting better or worse or is it just basically established so do me a favor drop into the chat? Your your Are you seeing your time to fill expand get get worse meaning now where we ended the year versus where we were six months ago? I'm just curious if from this group's experience we're seeing any any change so getting better getting worse or no change over the last six months? And drop your Drop your comments in and John, I'm going to ask you what you're seeing are things getting better or worse or no change

John Poore 44:43

you know, Greg I hate broad answers because I think no matter how you answer it, you give people hope in some cases view dash it and others it's like anything else. I think you're certainly seeing certain market segments where it's not getting easier to talent at all. And you know, I think You know, anything in anything in a leading edge space, machine learning AI, computer vision, and a lot of the technology positions are not getting easier to build. That said, I've seen an increase from our side. And again, speaking to contingent of the sort of Biz Ops, roles finance, HR customer service, certainly that seems to be loosening up a little bit. And, but I'm, my hesitation is, end of the year, and lots of you know, lots of bills to be paid. Is that kind of what's freeing things up? Is it the volume of positions, you know, I think it's just such an individual thing. That part of this is a bit off topic, but part of good recruiting starts with great retention. And and I think that that's, you know, that regardless of what happens over the next three to six months, with a great resignation in the market, overall, I think talent is going to be challenging, defining every supply chain in every sense of the word is stretched as far as it can be. So the right strategy is, you know, work internally, continue to find new ways, I think, to try and reach the talent that you're looking for. And more than anything, make sure you've got an outstanding retention policy so that you're, you're filling less positions. And, you know, that's my own philosophy on it. But I think you know, it, I can't say from a blanket statement that it's getting better or worse, better in some segments worse than others.

Greg Irwin 46:35

Not Aashir macro, what do you say?

Aashir Shroff 46:41

Yeah, so I mean, I think what's interesting here is actually think contingent plays a strong role in in the great resignation, right? So, folks that have been in an organization for 1234 years, you know, can see now opportunities around both direct sourcing and contingent as a way to build up their skills rapidly, right. So I've talked to a lot of millennials, Gen Z folks. And one of the things they really like about the gig economy was the ability to jump into a role for six months, get a set of skills, get a sense of the organization, and then be able to shift and move to another organization or another role inside that organization without all those things. And so then when you take that into consideration with the the great resignation that we're starting to talk about, you know, folks now have mechanisms. And they didn't traditionally rely on staffing firms to go to these places. They look at, you know, going to career sites, LinkedIn, indeed, Glassdoor, but find opportunities, and now they can find short term opportunities that, you know, give them a sense and a taste and an ability to understand the organization, what skills they can build there and develop. That's what I'm saying. But again, it doesn't give you a number. No.

Greg Irwin 48:02

I, I tend to follow it along. I think there is a Dave sorry, John, your comment that maybe holiday bills are gonna pile up. We don't quite have the reimbursements that we had in months past. Maybe, maybe it'll get better into the new year. I've heard that in a number of channels a number of ways. So similar question, but now rolling it forward. Do you have any expectation or have you heard a narrative that you've caught on in terms of your expectations going into next year

John Poore 48:37

Every indication that I'm getting at least from the contingent labor standpoint is that we're going to see an increase in enrolls across the board, I don't have a single customer whose forecasting down what I generally find is that there is a corollary between contingent and full time. One is typically a trailing indicator that being contingent. So I think, you know, anywhere you're seeing significant FTE growth, you're going to see contingent growth in those same areas. And probably with like, roles, and so, you know, from my expectation for the next year, I'm really expecting to see somewhere in the neighborhood of, you know, 10 to 15% growth, you know, barring some massive impact to the to the economy.

Greg Irwin 49:25

All right. We have, obviously, a whole new wave of, you know, of COVID that we're discussing now. And I'm curious, let's, we don't know how it's gonna play out, obviously, but let's just pretend it's Delta, like, where it sets us back. Does that change in your mind that that outlook?

John Poore 49:52

Um, I, you know, again, I think the context here is that typically the worker population I'm working with is is knowledge Workers and I would say from that end, no, I'm not expecting to see any, you know, massive impact there based on people having to work from home or, you know, the potential for restrictions on on travel or or being out of doors. And within the, you know, the roles that require on site attendants, the, you know, there could be an impact. But I think, you know, I think globally, we've kind of figured out ways to safely work in a COVID environment. And, you know, I guess the, the armchair scientist in me sort of hopes that the, the latest variant is a bit like all other virus variants that it gets maybe more transmissible, but less deadly. And ideally, that, that keeps us from having some of the big lock downs that, you know, that really slowed us down in early 2021.

Greg Irwin 50:51

You know, I, I heard that a similar thread yesterday on that, where it this made might actually be a silver lining, where this fast moving variant actually provides a form of immunization in in its own right. So I'm, I agree, knock knock on wood, we don't know, we'll see how it plays out. All I know, is everyone's ready for this thing to be over. I don't know anybody who's not frustrated, and just tired and ready to stop talking about it. Aashir as you look forward here to next year, and you're talking about hiring programs, for some of your clients, what are some of the some of the things you see for the plans for next year?

Aashir Shroff 51:44

So I think so, you know, again, if you take you in, even into consideration, this this current variant and all the other things that come along with it, right? I mean, we've seen robust, hiring trends from from across all of our customers, right. And it's, I think, what you'll notice, and I think, both on the retail side, and on the knowledge worker side, that we're, it's going to continue to scale like this for 2022. Right, and that the war for talent is going to be real, and that, you know, organizations that really engage the talent, keep them warm and excited, and you know, when there's a right opportunity for them, convert them are going to be successful. And when, you know, I don't think this is going to be 2020, where, you know, everyone was trying to figure out what's going on here, do we need to slower businesses, all those sorts of things, I think everyone is we must continue to hire, we must continue to meet the needs, we must continue to deliver against the expectations. And we were set back already. And now this is the 2022 is going to be the the acceleration path. And so I think it's a great time for candidates, I think it's a great time for organizations that you know, really leverage their brand. And, and have focused this past year on, you know, retention, and now really driving for new folks to come aboard and to a new New World Order. And really sort of take it forward. So I have a pretty positive outlook minus the the last few days. And what what has shown up but I think that it's going to be more 2021 than 2020.

Greg Irwin 53:27

One more thread, and then we're going to wrap it up. And we'll let people get back to their days here. The labor cost. Obviously, in light of all of the all the demand, we've seen wage rates go up pretty significantly. Same question here for both the John and Aashir. As you look ahead and you talk to your clients about their planning, how willing are they to continue to drive up hourly rates for contingent workers to to fill those jobs, and therefore, at the macro level? What are we seeing here? What are your thoughts in terms of wage inflation over the next year?

John Poore 54:10

You know, I think it’s a fairly Yeah, I think it's a fairly simple equation, as long as demand remains high. Salaries are going to remain high with Ed. And I think, you know, with with my customers, a lot of what we're focusing on is to the total cost of, of contingent labor. So if we can't create an efficiency in the, you know, in the compensation, where else can we create efficiencies, you know, can we create efficiencies in time to fill can we create efficiencies in the amount of labor that's required to engage talent? And so long, long winded answer of saying I don't expect there to be changes where there's high demand for talent, both geographically and from a functional, you know, job responsibility, but I do think, you know, I do think organizations are pretty well pretty accepting that that's the case, if you want the best talent, you've got to pay for it. And so you look for other ways to create efficiencies in the in your overall cost to acquire labor.

Greg Irwin 55:12

Excellent John. Aashir, any any any additional thoughts here in terms of wage inflation?

Aashir Shroff 55:18

I mean, again, I think that, you know, we'll continue to see this trend happen, right. I also do think that with providing access to candidates on what opportunities are available both on the full time and the contingent side, they now have decisions that they can make, that also take out some of the additional costs that are sort of baked into that the old model of contingent. And so as a result of that, you can, you know, I look at it a few years ago, we were able to pay a higher wage to the actual contractor, and still win for talent, because, you know, we disintermediated the challenge in between. And so, you know, that's some of it. But I mean, again, that doesn't solve all of it. Right? I think that, you know, going back to John's point, there are folks that are going to provide you the best talent possible, and they're gonna come in a premium. And that premium is, is what you want, because that's what you need to move your business forward. And then it's really about, you know, the efficiencies of that individual drives to your bottom line.

Greg Irwin 56:26

Excellent. Guys, one more question here from Dave, community for research scientists are short term. Any ideas.

Aashir Shroff 56:37

So I again, I'll play back, what we what we had done in my previous life was we, we started working with all the, the colleges, and actually starting to create, you know, five hour 10 hour programs, where PhDs and research scientists and that sort of folks could come in, take contingent work, and, and have the flexibility. And again, that was sort of an avenue that actually made it really easy to start to build up at age subject matter base on some of these areas. But, again, that's that's one mechanism, I think there probably some others that, you know, can be leveraged.

Greg Irwin 57:21

Alright, guys, we're gonna wrap it up here. Any closing thoughts for our group that we haven't covered? And let's spin the wheel? And, and we'll call it a session. But any any closing thoughts? Aashir, John?

John Poore 57:36

No, I'll just say, you know, really appreciate the opportunity to speak to this group. And, you know, hopefully, for the group here found it helpful to what they're trying to achieve. And I think like, you know, I think Aashir tell you the same thing. We can tell you the basics of how to get it done, but every everybody's experienced will be slightly different. So take what we say with a grain of salt.

Aashir Shroff 57:59

mileage may vary, right? Yeah.

Greg Irwin 58:02

Recruiting is not easy. I think we all know that but it's nice to have some tools and resources at your disposal. Hey guys, thank you very much in place I'll just you know, impress on everyone. really consider Eightfold and PRO Unlimited as you're as you're thinking through some of your planning for next year. Let's spin the wheel here. And okay, Jolie you got it will follow up with you in the in the in our reminders and direct that to charity of your choice. Thank you all for joining in everybody. Have a great day. Thank you so much.

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