Case Study: Increasing job exposure and cutting time-to-hire among the healthcare talent crisis

According to recent numbers, more than 1.1 million of seasoned physicians and RNs are expected to retire within the next few years. When you combine this with the notoriously high turnover rate healthcare workers, the industry is on the path towards a massive talent crisis. For many healthcare providers, it may seem like this shortage is already here and the pressure to overcome it is a challenge they face everyday.

This was the case recently with Stanford Children’s Hospital. With over 500 positions open at any given time, the hospital’s small team of recruiters was regularly tasked with finding highly specialized candidates for open positions that require special certifications, education and pediatric experience. With the additional hurdle of practitioners needing to be licensed in California, the odds are often stacked against the recruiters in their search.

Among other roles, the hospital’s team had a particularly hard time finding Genetic Counselors– the absence of which was heavily slowing down patient flow and affecting doctor intake numbers. The position was also part-time, which made the search that much harder for a highly competitive profession. The agencies they had turned to in their search were unsuccessful in generating any candidates.

With the help of Uncommon, the hospital was able to maximize the exposure of its open  positions via access to niche and high-traffic job boards. And using Uncommon’s automated screening process, they were able to cut down the time spent sorting resumes manually.

The results? Significant success in hiring candidates that met all of their qualifications within the first 30 days of their search.

  • 40% increase in job exposure
  • 60% decrease in time-to-hire
  • 90% decrease in cost-per-hire

How will your company future-proof it’s recruiting efforts and offset the growing gap of critical, but unfilled healthcare positions? Contact Uncommon today and see how we can help deliver the same success to you, as we did for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

How the Programmatic Approach Is Revolutionizing Recruiting

About 150 years ago, the brilliant and successful merchant John Wanamaker said, “Half of my advertising budget is wasted; I just don’t know which half.” John was a visionary who invented things we take for granted today like the price tag and the “money-back guarantee.”

John noticed that at least half of the ads he bought appeared in front of the wrong audience. And for 140 years that was what marketers had to live with: Pet food ads were displayed to people with no pets and car insurance ads appeared in front of people who didn’t have a vehicle.

There are many similarities between marketing and recruiting, and if John were with us today as a recruiter or head of talent, he’d probably say, “Over 90% of the money I spend on recruiting is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which.”

CPC is at the heart of the problem.

Our industry currently runs on the cost per click (CPC) business model. The problem is that these pricing models have no notion of quality or fit. When you pay for clicks, that’s what you get—tons and tons of clicks, with no accounting for their quality.

In a typical recruiting marketing campaign, if you spend $100 at $1 CPC, you get 100 clicks. From those 100 clicks, 20 people apply. You spend an hour reviewing those applicants just to find 4 or 5 who are qualified. In this scenario, employers receive hundreds of unqualified candidates, spend substantial time reviewing them, and pay for each one. As a result, employers are only willing to spend a small amount per click.

Introducing the programmatic approach.

The word “programmatic” gets thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? In a programmatic system, a machine is programmed to make decisions that maximize some objective that was set by a human. And because machines can process more data—and make decisions more quickly—than people, they often can do a much better job, at a much lower cost.

In advertising, programmatic systems use huge quantities of data about individual users’ demographics and preferences to decide automatically which ads to show to which users in just a few milliseconds. As an advertiser, you can place your ad only in front of relevant people.

Because systems like these provide superior results to human-optimized campaigns, the programmatic approach took advertising by storm. It grew from zero to $30B in less than 10 years, transforming an industry that was based on relationships to one that is very efficient and data driven.

What programmatic means for recruiting.

In the next 10 years, programmatic is going to transform recruiting. It will make qualified talent available to you, anytime, on demand, while cutting weeks from the hiring process. And it will make the job search experience more human and rewarding, allowing candidates to quickly connect with interested potential employers.

Qualifications are the often ignored part of the job description, but they’re also objective and can be assessed accurately and automatically with artificial intelligence. Using qualifications as the language, I can set actions and prices, guaranteeing that for every position I get only qualified candidates at prices I set in advance. This might sound complicated and futuristic, but it’s already happening today. Let’s see it in action.

Meet Megan. Megan is looking for a new job. She’s visiting her favorite job site and uploading her résumé. The site, after a simple integration, is using a programmatic technology partner to extract the merits profile from Megan’s résumé. The profile includes detailed information about her work experience, industry, hard skills, soft skills, and education. The profile is then sent to employers with matching requirements. The employers, using a simple tool, set the bid for this type of candidate. Megan is then presented with open positions from the most interested companies. She selects the companies she’s interested in, and the employers receive an “Interested and Qualified” candidate.

It’s only the beginning.

We are still in the early days of the programmatic recruiting revolution. This is an exciting time to be a recruiter. We’re about to see a major shift. The next stage of programmatic recruiters will use smart tools to design requirements and find the perfect candidates. They will make a real human connection with high-caliber candidates rather than spending time on those who are irrelevant and unqualified—and this approach will have a tangible impact on their companies.

So what are you waiting for?

Leave the CPC inefficiencies behind and join the programmatic revolution. You won’t miss the piles of unqualified résumés—I promise.

The Secret to Identifying Skills That Aren’t Listed in a Resume

We’re all familiar with the job description—it’s one of the most essential tools in the recruiter’s toolkit. This versatile document helps you to come to an agreement with your hiring manager about what they’re looking for, publicize a role to the outside world, and get your hiring team aligned on a candidate’s suitability for a role.

A typical job description includes things like the required qualifications and experiences, as well as a list of desired skills the candidate will possess. In some cases, these skills are listed in the external job description, and in some cases, they may be listed internally in the company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS). But one place that you will almost never see these skills listed out explicitly is on the candidate’s résumé.

There are a number of reasons for this: In the case where a company maintains the list of skills privately within their ATS, candidates won’t know which of their skills are most relevant. And even when the skills are listed in the job description, candidates may not always think to write their skills out on their résumé, either because they’re not sure if this information is relevant, they’re trying to save space with what they consider to be the most important information, or they may not have even thought of describing their abilities in this way.

But skills do matter to employers, and that’s why we’ve created a way for recruiters to easily uncover a candidate’s skills—even when they haven’t been explicitly spelled out in a résumé. Here’s how it works.

We used a large set of data, 6 million job descriptions and the skills that employers asked for when hiring for certain positions along with 50 million résumés, and built a broad coverage model that connects companies, positions, and skills. We trained the model on job descriptions, but it can now be applied to résumés to create an accurate portrait of a candidate’s hard and soft skills.

When a candidate uploads their résumé or LinkedIn profile to our system, it will automatically generate a list of skills. Some of these skills may be explicitly listed on the candidate’s résumé, but some of them are educated guesses based on our model.

We like to think of this model as a really smart career counselor who has vast knowledge about different roles and industries. As a job seeker, you might go to this career counselor and say, “I’m not really sure what my strengths are,” and she would tell you, “Well, you worked as a developer at Microsoft, so you’re adept at problem solving and collaborating towards a shared goal.” Then you would say, “Oh, that’s true! I do have those skills.”

For candidates, this is a huge win. They don’t need to make any changes to their existing résumé. Based on the information contained within their résumé, our system will generate a list of hard and soft skills. This includes things like technology or coding languages as well as soft skills like communication and attention to detail. Candidates have the ability to edit this list as well, to adjust their level of proficiency with skills or delete skills they don’t want to list.

By providing this list of suggested skills, we can help candidates better understand their strengths. It’s been shown that certain groups tend to over-report or under-report their abilities, so by proactively creating a list of suggested skills, we can help put candidates from different backgrounds on a more even playing field.

Recruiters can see a comparison between what they asked for and which skills the candidate has, which makes it easy for them to assess candidates on relevant criteria. It’s much more meaningful for a recruiter to know whether someone can handle a lot of tight deadlines than where they went to school, for example. This also gives recruiters a much more complete picture of the candidates they’re evaluating, and increases the likelihood of moving qualified candidates through the pipeline.

We’re excited about how this technology can better connect candidates and recruiters. Candidates will have a better idea of their strengths and find more relevant roles and recruiters will find candidates who are a better fit for the roles they’re looking to fill.
Want to see for yourself? If you’re a candidate, you can upload your résumé here. If you’re a recruiter, you can get in touch to request a demo here.

How programmatic is enabling recruiters to make visible impacts on their company

Recently, Uncommon got together with Greenhouse and Susanna Frazier, Head of Strategic Sourcing, Talent Acquisition at Universal Music Group, to discuss how programmatic is shaping the future of recruiting.

Listen for expert tips on how to:
  • Increase your pipeline with interested and qualified applicants
  • Decrease your spend on advertising open positions
  • Reduce time wasted on reviewing unqualified candidates

Celebrating Our Launch in Vegas!

It’s hard to believe that we were in Las Vegas just a week ago, celebrating our launch at SourceCon 2018. It was instantly clear as to why this event has so many devotees that return year after year to soak up the innovations, wisdom and excitement from our industry.

Our team brought back countless amounts of new insights thanks to the sessions, keynotes and of course, the folks that stopped to chat at our booth about sourcing methods, pain points and what recruiters are wanting from their tech in 2018.

Thanks to ERE Media for putting on such a productive, valuable and lively three days! We welcomed a ton of new friends into the Uncommon community, and we’re excited to continue learning from all the thought leaders and sourcing wizards that we connected with.

Here are a few photo booth pics from the SourceCon kick-off party that we had the pleasure of hosting on the first night:

Follow us on Twitter to see more friendly faces throughout the next week!

Why it’s so hard to hire and get hired

There’s a single number that sums up all of the difficulty that candidates and recruiters face in the job search process: 250. Why is this number so significant? It’s the average number of applicants per job. And it’s growing. Only five years ago, it was less than half that number.

This number has skyrocketed in recent years because applying for a job online has never been easier. In fact, in many cases it’s as simple as the click of a button.

But the simplicity of the online application process masks the complexity of hiring. Let’s look at some of the ways that a large number of candidates can be problematic.

It’s bad for the candidate

Anyone who’s applied for a job online has felt this pain. It feels impossible to cut through the noise and stand out among hundreds of candidates. Job seekers have learned that they can’t expect a call or email, they can’t expect an opportunity to express their interests and qualifications, and they definitely can’t expect feedback of any kind. Three out of four candidates never hear back after submitting an application.

It’s bad for recruiters

When you look at what’s expected of recruiters, it’s not hard to see why they have such a hard time following up with candidates. In-house recruiters are often responsible for 20 or more open positions. So if we consider that each of those roles has an average of 250 applicants, we can quickly calculate that they need to examine thousands of applicants at any given time. And since 98% of job seekers are eliminated in the résumé-screening phase, that’s a lot of work upfront for very few candidates to move on to the next stage. This creates a process that’s time-consuming and emotionally draining—not to mention wasteful. Plus, building a talent pipeline is expensive since you need to pay for every candidate, whether they’re qualified or not.

You get what you pay for

There’s one reason for this market failure: Interests are not aligned. In order to attract a wide array of applicants, companies use multiple vendors to list their job openings: job boards, search engines, and social networks. Through these mediums, pricing is usually on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. The problem? When you pay for clicks, you get clicks. Large quantities of them! But not qualified candidates.

We are here to help

Here at Uncommon, we see a simple way to solve this problem. By connecting recruiters with only qualified applicants, we’re setting both groups up for success. Candidates get the chance to shine and get fast-tracked through the initial screening process. In fact, 65% of our qualified candidates are contacted by recruiters (compared to the 2% industry average).

We are here to make every recruiter a hero. Recruiters are the gatekeepers of quality, culture, and diversity. They are responsible for building their companies, and for that reason they need the best tools. We are here to make recruiting what it is meant to be: an impactful role that is rewarding and exciting, focused on people and opportunities.
We are here to empower companies and people to grow.

Try us out for yourself at

Finally, A Better Way to Connect Jobs With Talent

Teg Grenager_launch

When you think about it, the recruiting industry hasn’t really changed much in the past 100 years. Employers write job descriptions and pay to advertise them. Job seekers read job posts on job boards, decide if they are qualified, and apply. Then the employers have to read through all the resumes and make subjective decisions about who to talk to.

It works, but it’s badly in need of an upgrade. Job seekers end up applying for jobs they’re not qualified for, recruiters waste lots of their precious time and money reviewing unqualified applicants, and the process lacks objectivity. Having personally felt the pain on both sides of this dysfunctional equation, we got to thinking: there’s got to be a better way.

That’s why today we’re launching Uncommon IQ, the industry’s first qualification-based talent marketplace. Uncommon IQ fundamentally changes the way that employers find talent and people find jobs, and paves the way for a much-needed industry transformation that will bring efficiency and objectivity to all parties. Here’s how it works: with Uncommon IQ, job seekers see which jobs they are already qualified for, and apply to them with confidence. And employers get access to a stream of 100% qualified applicants for their position, guaranteed. This saves recruiters a lot of time, and – since they pay only for qualified applicants with the industry’s first Cost per Interested and Qualified (CPIQ) pricing model – it also saves them a lot of money!

We’ve spent the last year working hard to build Uncommon IQ because we want to bring efficiency and fairness to the recruiting process. And the response from our beta customers has been extraordinary – this is clearly the programmatic platform that the industry has been waiting for! That’s why today we’re delighted to put it in your hands, and finally give the recruiting industry the upgrade that it so badly needs – and deserves.

Happy hiring!

Teg Grenager, CEO