Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
The Speed to Hire Show - Grease the Recruiting Machine to Facilitate a Smooth Hiring Process

The Speed to Hire Show – Grease the Recruiting Machine to Facilitate a Smooth Hiring Process


Episode 10 – JD Conway, Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer has grown to offer simple, accessible, and affordable legal services internationally. It has proudly helped millions of people obtain legal advice and representation by reducing legal fees and the complexity of finding and hiring great lawyers. With a mission to expand its reach and make legal services available to individuals, families, and businesses everywhere, Rocket Lawyer must keep its recruiting and hiring processes just as smooth and efficient as the legal services it offers.

This episode of The Speed to Hire Show features JD Conway, Head of Global Talent at Rocket Lawyer.

Key Takeaways

  • [3:34] Get into the sandbox and try new strategies – don’t be afraid to trial and error new processes and tools in an effort to make better hires.
  • [14:03] Learn from mistakes to improve recruiting and hiring processes – take on challenges and use what you learn from mistakes to inform future hiring strategies.
  • [16:21] Audit hiring processes and tech for efficiency and effectiveness – don’t grow stagnant and accept something is working or not working. Dig in and look for ways to keep improving.
  • [18:33] Make time to save time by building a more efficient process – schedule in time to investigate hiring outcomes and strategize improved processes.
  • [26:29] Make information accessible to candidates to streamline hiring – build a strong brand that leads talent into the funnel through transparency and a positive experience with every interaction.
  • [31:38] Reduce friction to improve your speed to hire – you need to grease the ‘recruiting’ machine to make hiring more efficient. Look for ways to streamline each step of the process by improving communication, branding, technology, etc.

Video Transcript

JOSH TOLAN: So JD, let’s kick it off, man. Tell me a little bit about yourself, your background, and where you’re at now. 

JD CONWAY: Well, I’m JD Conway over here, actually, out of the state of Utah but working fully remotely for Rocket Lawyer right now. I’m excited to have just started there last, wow, six months. Six months feels both very short and very long. And maybe that’s every job in a recruiting gig, it feels, man, I just got here. 

At the same time, I’ve been here for six months. How did that happen? Kind of like — excited to be here, though, after seven years of being at BambooHR and helping them grow in scale, and at previous SaaS companies before that. 

I started a career in third-party recruitment. It was a really weird time to do that. It was right before the economic crash and the Great Recession and everything. And so we had to pivot. It was just me and my father, and he had to pivot his firm to gold mining industries and precious metals because that was the only industry that was going up when everything else is going down. 

So we decided to focus on that for a few years, a very weird niche. This is pre LinkedIn days so it’s hard for people to remember what that felt like usually, I think. So very interesting niche, kind of industry focus. But I, as far as how I got into it, it’s really random. It’s because of the familial relationships and realizing that I actually liked that over time and realizing that I had an aptitude for it. 

Whereas before that, I thought I was going to be a professor, Josh. I thought I was going to teach Egyptology or assyriology or something. I thought I was going to be Indiana Jones, I don’t know. But [LAUGHS] I had a lot of interest. About three years into my undergrad I said, I’ve made a terrible mistake. 

And recognized a lot of things that would not be good for me long-term as far as — I tip my hat to everyone doing that. But 10, 12 years of grad school and the amount of writing you have to do in that like I just — I felt the itch for the private sector. So, yeah, so landed in recruiting and didn’t realize just how much I would love it, so. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah, that’s awesome. And you and I, obviously, go back many years, mainly back to your days at BambooHR. 


JOSH TOLAN: When you started there, how big was Bamboo? 

JD CONWAY: Yeah, it was about employee 140. Yeah, 130, 140. Something like that. 

JOSH TOLAN: And then you were at Rocket Lawyer, you came from Bamboo. So when you left Bamboo, how many were you guys at? 

JD CONWAY: 10x, just little — I think we were about 1,350, something like that. So it was a really, really cool experience to have to watch it — to watch a place like BambooHR grow in that way. They were very deliberate about how they grew and everything. And I was able to see a lot. When you’re closely with the founders, and see a lot about how they did things. And it was a lot of wisdom in how they grow. 

JOSH TOLAN: For sure. And I imagine you got so much exposure there just — I mean, just given Bamboo’s presence in the HR space as a vendor and the number of HR practitioners that use the software, that combined with you guys growing 10x over the time you were there, I can only imagine how much you were immersed in with all things related to HR and talent acquisition. 

JD CONWAY: Absolutely. 

JOSH TOLAN: Looking back on it, what do you feel, if you had to choose one thing, was the biggest thing you learned while you were there. 


JOSH TOLAN: It’s a loaded question. 

JD CONWAY: I was like, oh, jeez, Josh, what are you doing to me? 


I would say, so I had — especially the first five and 1/2 years there, I had a unique opportunity to have a sandbox to try things that other people haven’t tried before. And that’s what — there’s something that’s unique about learning. It’s that in the industry there are not enough opportunities or people are not seizing those opportunities to truly reinvent something in hiring, to do things entirely differently, and to try it differently. 

And I think we get bogged down and lost in old metrics that hold us back as an industry, and we don’t look at other metrics we could be measuring or we don’t look at trying new things. We want to try new things, but whether there’s no time or no help from executives or from the people leaders or something like that, whatever it is, I think a lot of people can get held back. And there’s really — if you have an opportunity to innovate, do it as quickly as you can and test it out, so. 

JOSH TOLAN: And how do you build that trust with leadership to get that permission to innovate? I talked — I actually talked to another talent acquisition leader at a different company a few days ago. And one of the things she was talking about was just your point, is what makes their brand unique on the talent acquisition side is she’s given that leeway to try new things and take risks and make bets on things. And that allows them to explore different avenues. But I’d be curious from your perspective, how do you get that trust, that permission to do those types of things? 

JD CONWAY: Yeah, I– maybe I’m being a little bit too realist or pragmatic on this, but I think if you’re in a larger organization, I just don’t see how you can make strides there and get enough attention for something to pull through on the other end. At the same time, a lot of those groups, if you’re big enough, they might have incubator groups that are trying to test things out so maybe you end up on a team that does something like that. 

It tends to move slowly to get your data even in those environments. But one recommendation is to be it a smaller company. Be in a smaller organization that has good growth before it, and you can test out a lot of theories. The closeness with the owners and them– their ability to see what you’re doing day to day, that actually — the amount of time I spent with Ryan Sanders — the co-founder over there– it took him a little while too. 

A lot of people think just like, trust was thrown out there into the wind. No, no, no, it didn’t take a little while. He was like JD, what are you doing? Why are you in the engineering manager meeting? Just chillax, I’ll explain later or I’m trying to get there. 

But then you start seeing the outputs of it and you start seeing, oh, every time we need to hire somebody, we have a talent pool full of people that had such a good candidate experience that they will just come over when we call them, whenever that is. And that’s powerful. And most of the time, you don’t have a sandbox to do that, to build an apparatus that can service an org that way. So, yeah. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah, for sure. And it gives you the leeway to be strategic versus firefighting and just trying to plow through applications and be more reactive to your talent acquisition needs, versus being proactive with strategies. So that’s great. You’re at Rocket Lawyer now. You’ve been there six months. What made you come to Rocket Lawyer, and what are you excited about since you’re so new in the role? 

JD CONWAY: Yeah. Well, I would say seven years is a long time to be at any organization. I guess unless, of course, you founded it, so I don’t know [LAUGHS]. But I think it was just good timing. Like I could sense it coming anyway. 

We were getting to that point, and I felt great about — I mean, our recruiting team grew to 25, including operations and everything like that. And so I was able to see a lot of scale. And I just was looking for another opportunity. I felt a little bit more of the itch to help build somewhere else. 

Had a connection that got me connected to Rocket Lawyer. I was familiar with Rocket Lawyer. I really, really love the mission and what they’re trying to do. And that if you can democratize or if you can make legal services more financially accessible and just generally accessible, holy cow, you can service a lot of people that they didn’t even know how much they need in this arena or how much they can get. Usually, if you don’t have a family lawyer, what are you going to do? You know, that kind of thing. 

So, yeah, so it’s– I really love how they’re bringing legal services to the masses, essentially. And not only that, I like where Rocket Lawyers at as far as our growth in the next where I knew we were going to have a little bit slower year this year, probably about 5%, 10% growth. Future growth, probably — I don’t know — we’re hoping about 20%, 30% kind of thing. So it’s kind of a pullback here, build more foundations, revamp some things, and then go. 

It’s been really cool. One of the things that pulled me over to them, in particular, was the executive team that I interviewed with. And they owned some certain mistakes that they make. We could have done this way better, JD, and we could have done this better. And that’s rare. It’s too rare in interviewing. And I love hearing that from executives because it means their heads  and hearts are in the right places. So those are a few. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah, and it gives you perspective when you come on board that there are no egos, we can get in the room and we can admit mistakes, we can agree to disagree. We can have productive conversations. 


JOSH TOLAN: And it shows you the opportunity that there is for you to make an impact. If leadership is coming to you and interviewing you for a head of talent role, and they’re saying, hey, here are all the areas where we felt like we could have done better in the past, it kind of gives you a roadmap of things immediately that you can go and address when you come on board. 

JD CONWAY: Precisely, yeah, yeah. 

JOSH TOLAN: And so now that you’ve been there for six months, what are some of the biggest priorities for you right now? I know you mentioned you’re building that foundation for, let’s call it, 20% to 30% growth in 2024. So what is– what does that process look like for you? 

JD CONWAY: Yeah. Oh, great. A lot of Gantt charts [LAUGHS] that we can put together, basically. When you look at the initial first six weeks was just analysis, trying to figure out, OK, what is the state of the state, really? And I would say even eight weeks, given the fact that it was Q4 and things got a little crazy. 

And you know the state of the state from what people — you know the sentiment from hiring managers, from leaders. But you don’t really know how the apparatus is working. And so I was able to just pull back the curtain a little bit more, uncover how the machine is working, what parts need to oil, what parts need to be replaced, what part needs just tightening the screws, that kind of stuff. 

And when I was looking at it a lot of it was areas that in most organizations, they actually don’t make a lot of time for or they don’t know what to look for. And that’s ensuring that you’re indeed — postings are showing up the way they should. 

Or are you really taking advantage of a job wrapping that one of your vendors could do? Whether that’s LinkedIn or Dice or whatever it is, are you taking advantage of the services that they have that are available? Are you asking about it? What are your– what else are you doing to optimize your job ads, your postings, your traffic, your click-through rate? Everything like that. 

Your branding, are you keeping things generally clean and in the right fonts? Those very basic things are the things that really slip through the cracks, especially organizations that are trying to grow really fast or trying to mitigate their turnover. They get a lot of turnovers, they’re just trying to keep their head above water. These are the issues that they don’t — they’re not even looking at most of the time, and I lament that. 

So I came in and did an analysis of that, looking at our future for employer branding and what we need to do. There are a lot of stories to be told here, and just no one with the focus and the ownership in the past to come in and find the story, tell the employer story, and the employee story as well. And decide what channels they need to move to, and so on and so forth. 

So it’s a long list, but I’ll say a lot of it is operational, optimization. And I will get one more thing. I think I undervalued — while I was at BambooHR — I undervalued something that we started a lot earlier on, which is hiring manager training. 

And the unification of the view of how this organization does interviewing. And what does that mean, and what are all the vicissitudes of the difficulties of hiring? And how can you manage bias? And how can you do x, y, and z? So even just to have unification, that’s one of my main priorities coming up here pretty soon. 

JOSH TOLAN: And how do you go about that? I mean I imagine there’s a large number of hiring managers that you got to wrangle and get trained up on the way you want to do things. So what are some of the first steps you take? 

JD CONWAY: Well it’s interesting. I found that first, you need to ask what their actual pain points are because if they’re going to be bought in, they need to know that you’ve bought into easing their pain. And that’s the biggest — the biggest story to be told is, hey, we can do things over here that will ease your pain. 

Like, what if instead of having to replace this job every nine months like you have the last three times, you didn’t have to replace them for three years? What if — it’s just giving them these scenarios of, I mean, what if you had 10 candidates and that’s all you needed. And you interviewed everyone you needed to, and there were no problems or anything else. And we wrapped it all up in 18 days. 

If you can just give them something, a lot of times they’re looking for people to ease their pain. They’re very busy folk. And if you can help them as a true partner there and you’re speaking to it and you’re listening to their pains, they’re going to opt-in and listen to your solutions, so. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. And I love that because what you’re starting with is, what’s in it for them? Right? I think oftentimes talent acquisition or HR leaders, they’ll start going to hiring managers with, here’s what I need you to do to help me. Versus the other way around, which is how you build a true partnership and trust, which is going to them and saying, what problems do you have? How can I work with you to help solve those? 

And if you start there and you work on those things, you build trust because you’re tackling the things that are most important to them. And then they’re like, all right, what do you need from me? And then you’ve got that bidirectional partnership for “life,” quote unquote. 

JD CONWAY: Because they really do feel it. And there’s just — there is this opportunity that you have with hiring managers. For you to be flexible also, I would say be vocal but flexible. So one example I often give is a manager over at BambooHR where he was very insistent on doing things a certain way. 

And I said, OK, I just want you to know that if we do it that way, I’m going to have way more phone calls so I’m going to be able to do fewer other things for you to help you out. And I’m going to have x amount of interviews I’m going to have to pass through. So the pipeline is just going to be big, bulky, and it’s going to be a big drain on your team. Up to you. 

And I basically just kind of prognosticated what the pipeline impact would be. We did it his way, that’s totally fine. That’s his choice. And then right after that he said, next time let’s try it your way. It’s just because I was able to say, this is going to be painful, I was able to prognosticate that and say and still be flexible. And then he said, let’s try it your way next time. And he found out it was much better, much easier for him, so. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. And I think that goes back to the point you made about the Rocket Lawyer leadership team and what you attracted — what attracted you there was no egos. And I think when you’re working with hiring managers and being in a talent acquisition leadership role, you’re going to have to communicate with a lot of people in the organization. 

You’ve got to be flexible. You can’t be too rigid. You can’t have an ego otherwise people aren’t going to want to work with you. And if you can’t get buy-in from people throughout the organization, you can’t be successful until the acquisition. 

JD CONWAY: Yeah, when you pull across — 

JOSH TOLAN: That’s like — that’s the price of admission, right? 


JOSH TOLAN: I also like what you said about oiling the machine, and optimizing different operational things within the recruitment process. I’ve found in talking to you over the years, that seems to be one of your strengths, is building the machine, for lack of a better term. 

What do you see most organizations struggle with when trying to build out a machine-repeatable system that can lead to sustainable success? Versus — we mentioned earlier — the firefighting conundrum where it’s like you’re just trying to keep your head above water. 

JD CONWAY: Yeah. You know, I feel like I see in smaller organizations that maybe have a smaller recruiting team or function or maybe a one-person show, running all of recruiting or running recruiting and HR, they’re not necessarily giving themselves time to audit and to make sure that things are working the way they should. 

It’s surprising how many organizations — I’ll find out from just colleagues at other SaaS companies how much are you spending on this vendor, and how do you know whether it’s working or not. And they’re so busy, they’re not even getting the right answers. 

And so even coming in and just cleaning up a couple of things, that you have to know what to look for. And there’s not that many people that know what to look for. But if you can identify them, if you can pull back the curtain and really, really do your research on what should be my conversion ratio from this vendor to this type of position, how many applications should I be getting? What about geo-targeting, what is that — like, what does that do? What is that — what about my search engine optimization for my job ads? 

Just asking the right questions over time and giving yourself time to audit is the problem because it’s really hard to give yourself time to audit when you’re just– when there’s a talent acquisition manager, it’s got two people reporting to him, and they’ve got a full desk themselves and full-cycle recruiting to do, I would say, say no to more requisitions and do your auditing. And it’s going to make everything run smoother. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. I think that’s the challenge when you’re on an under-resourced team, no matter what department, talent acquisition, marketing, sales, whatever it is. When you’re on an under-resourced team and you’re expected to be a strategic visionary for where your respective organization needs to go, but you’re also expected to be a doer because you just have to because there’s too much stuff going on, you have to find the discipline in yourself to set aside time to do what you just said, audit and plan. 

And so one thing that I often recommend to leaders no matter what team they work on is just put the time in your calendar. Whether it’s a full day or a half day every other week, so twice a month, you have dedicated time where you’re in a coffee shop, no interruptions, no meetings. I am auditing. I am planning. I am laying a roadmap for what’s to come for my team. 

It allows you to pull yourself out of the weeds and really think holistically about taking a step back. What do we really need to do to move the needle in our domain? And I think that’s really important. And it’s hard to get that discipline. Like, I get it. 

It’s very easy to start the week and be like, so much to do. I don’t have time to block a full day off this week, 20% of my work week. But you also don’t have a choice if you really want to build the type of machine that you need in order for your organization to thrive. 

JD CONWAY: And it’s no wonder that we feel like, too often, that we keep digging but we’re not actually getting any deeper. We’re not doing anything different. Or what are we actually digging for? I just feel like I continually dig this trench to what end? And it’s because we’re not giving ourselves time to solve really systemic problems. Things that come up just because bugs happen, one platform or vendor or another. 

Sometimes it’s you didn’t know what you didn’t know. And so you needed to go in and find out just what you need to know from the vendors you’re working with. Sometimes it has to do with just making sure that your automation is working the way it should. 

Maybe being a candidate or asking a friend to apply to your company and pretend to be a candidate, we’ve gone through that as an audit. And I’ve heard many people do those kinds of things. Testing your candidate experience, and testing the way things look – it just takes time. 

And it’s ironic because if you start building that apparatus as well as more of just a presence for your company, it’s much more cost-effective and time-effective for you to just hold up a lantern and have people fly to you. As opposed to the amount of headhunting that we often find ourselves needing to do and sourcing. I love sourcing. It’s one of my favorite things to do, Josh. It’s, like, the headhunting just gets me like, I will find the person. 

JOSH TOLAN: It’s back to your roots. 

JD CONWAY: Oh yeah, it does, it does. It’s like — 

JOSH TOLAN: Finding gold miners back in the day. 

JD CONWAY: I think that’s what it is, yeah. [LAUGHS] It’s a Moby-Dick kind of situation where I’m like, hey, I’m looking for my white whale and I will find him. But maybe it’s not that time effective. And that’s the consideration is, if you’re able to build a machine that just works well that people will remember, that people will engage with, they’ll either come back, they’ll refer friends. And you can build a machine that pulls people to you. And it’s just more time effective. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. It’s pulling people into your gravitational orbit. It’s much more sustainable too versus, we just got to spend more on Indeed or spend more on LinkedIn, or spend a ton of our time sourcing candidates one by one and sending messages. 

Those are still motions that you need. You still need to be spending here. You still need to dedicate some time to sourcing. But optimizing where you spend your time and energy towards things that are going to produce those long-term sustainable results makes your job much, much easier in the long run. 

And I think the other point you brought up is like, it’s very easy to mistake activity with progress. We’re digging and we’re digging and we’re digging, but where are we actually getting ourselves? So, again, take a step back, audit, plan, and figure out what you really need to do to move the needle. 

So that brings me to — back to Rocket Lawyer. You’re six months in. You mentioned there are a lot of things around optimization. You also mentioned — and I think this is, to your point of building that gravitational pull towards Rocket Lawyer — there’s a lot of stories to be told, and there’s a lot of employer branding work to be done. Can you share some more details on what that is, and how you go about kicking that off? 

JD CONWAY: Well, I mean, the good news is coming over here, you have a lot of other people who feel the same way. So you have a lot of other automatic buy-in from members of hiring management teams or the marketing team, or something like that that are actually pretty excited that somebody else is also worried about the same things they are. Like, man, we have such a cool story that’s not being told. 

And so they love the fact that somebody is coming in and owning that. Part of these stories that need to be told is finding the platform. So our careers page needs to revamp. There’s just a lot more room to be had. And we’re in the middle of doing that. I’m pretty excited about what the team has put together. So that’ll be coming out in the next six weeks? Six weeks, cross your fingers. I don’t know. 

But it’s been cool to work with internal teams and just listen to why they’ve been here so long or what drew them here. Everyone’s got their own story. And it’s interesting to see how they see an impact day to day or what — there’s somebody on my team, very junior in her career, but the mission is so resonant. 

And every time she talks to somebody, they care about the mission inside the company. And that’s not that common. That’s not everywhere that you see that. They may go, yeah, I mean, it’s good. But they’re not necessarily saying, no, this is one of the reasons why I really wanted to come here specifically. 

So even telling that story and having, whether that’s careers pages, your employer branding pages– which I would say, of course, Indeed has their pages, Glassdoor has their pages, so on and so forth — that’s part of our roadmap right now. It’s just utilizing what is already there and what’s already free for companies. And if you’re paying for it, good gracious, yes, optimize that as quickly as you can to get people to come in there. Tell your story. 

Like, we’re spread all over the place. We’re international. We got a UK office, a Brazil office, and five states that we’re hiring in, mainly four key states. But we’re spread all over the place and so it’s hard to get these organic pictures that everyone has. So utilize the opportunity to maybe use other formats. It doesn’t need to be beautiful all of the time. It’s just doing something different makes an impact. 

And one example is we didn’t have an internal system to use video or to shoot video, so I used my own — I just found a vendor that I could pay $20 to or something like that. $20 a month subscription. And I threw up a quick video into some of my email communications when I went to hire a contractor. 

And everyone gave feedback saying, this was so helpful. This is really cool and engaging. Thanks for doing something different. Just that in and of itself is a brand movement. Every time you try to do something different and they a different experience, that’s a brand move. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah, makes you stand out. And I think also it’s just consistent with the way people want to consume information, they want to learn about companies and products and services. They don’t want to have to go digging. They don’t want to have to go through three steps in your hiring process to learn about the mission of your organization. 

And so being able to use that content, whether it’s scattered across the web on these different outlets where people find you or it’s you putting a video in your email to candidates right in the beginning of the process. Those are ways that you get people the information that they’re looking for, and you make it really easy for them to consume it while doing it in a different way. And that just makes you stand out so much more than other employers that they’re potentially talking to. 

JD CONWAY: And that didn’t take that much time. I mean, you look at the time spent on something like that and then the aggregated impact of it, it’s, like, this yields dividends for a while, so. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. Yeah. That and it tells you when you can do something in a very lean way and produce some minimum viable productized version of it. It also tells you where you might want to invest more. Like, hey, we did this on the cheap, and it was amazing. What if we actually now applied some more resources here, imagine what we could do. 

JD CONWAY: Precisely. 

JOSH TOLAN: So that’s kind of like the sandbox you’re talking about where it’s like getting to experiment and try things is also part of the process, and figuring out where you should invest moving forward. So tell me about, you’re doing employer branding, you’re trying to pull people into your orbit. 

I don’t think a lot of folks often consider how that ties back to time to hire, and moving the hiring process much faster. How have you found that putting out content and really focusing on employer branding has actually helped speed up the hiring process? 

JD CONWAY: Ooh, yeah, this is great. I’ll go back to some of the times that for what we were building at BombooHR, the — I just call it the exposure umbrella. And when you have an exposure umbrella that really basically is higher, it covers more ground. The higher it is, the more people we can cover, and the larger the umbrella can expand. 

But when you have an exposure umbrella that’s pretty vast, you get a faster response rate in your sourcing because they know of — they know about you. Oh, yeah, my friend used to work there, and said good things, whatever it is. Just being top of mind is a place where people think of you to go to apply to your company as opposed to just hoping that something happens on Google. 

For the optimization itself, you also want to cover your bases over on Google as well and say, are we posting in all the places where Google search engine optimization pull is going to yank us to the top of the pack when somebody searches xyz job? Are we using the right terminology for that job? That’s going to expand the blanket of exposure itself. 

But, really, when you have — I’ll go back to something that it’s hard for a lot of people to swallow this term, Josh, in our industry because it is so nebulous and I get it. People talk about candidate experience a lot. And, gosh, darn it, what does that mean, really? What does it mean? What does candidate experience mean? And how have you even shown that it had an impact? 

Really, you start getting massive amounts of referrals from people you even decline if you are really architecting a great experience for folks. And you’re building relationships as you go. I’ll know something that I think — Matters Site, I think, was the source for this in like– it’s a while ago, probably 2018. Said, four out of five people will choose one company over another based on relationships made in the hiring process. 

So that is — what your brand is what people think about you when you’re not in the room. What’s the instant thought about you? Well, what are they going to think about you? Are they going to say, that is a company that I want to look at or not? Or what have you heard? 

I heard they’re not — they don’t treat their people very well or they’re not doing so well financially. Whatever comes to their mind, you need to influence what is the first thing that’s going to come to their mind. And one of the most powerful things you can do is build relationships as you go. It’s the reason why people choose companies over them. And so it ends up being a cost-effective competitive advantage. 

It makes things go faster and greases the wheels because when I have five people that I could call, that I interviewed for the last time that we did front-end hiring, front-end engineering hiring, and all of them said, you just call me when you’re ready to hire me, time to hire is zero, Josh. It’s zero. And we found probably 15% of our hires at BambooHR by the end. 10% to 15% were all just boomerang applicants, boomerang people from our talent pools, time to hire was zero. 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah, and I think it’s a great point because people often think about time to hire and how can I speed that up. And it’s all about how do I just move faster? How do I just make more out of my day? And that’s part of it. But what you’re saying is that by having that content out there, by building relationships, by pulling people inbound to you guys, they’re much more informed applicants or candidates. And, therefore, are much more likely to progress much more quickly through your process. 

Just like if I’m going to buy a pair of shoes because I saw my buddy wearing them and I thought they’re really cool. And I say, hey, how are they? Are they comfortable? Do you like them? Whatever. And they said, yeah, they’re great. Best pair of shoes I’ve ever bought. I’m going to go on my phone probably right then and there and just buy them. 

If I had never talked to my friend and I didn’t have that information, I’m probably going to do some research. I’m going to look through reviews. I’m going to try and do all of that on my own. And that slows down my buying process. That’s friction. And so by building relationships, by putting out quality content, by letting candidates apply and find you the way they want to apply and find you, you’re eliminating that friction and, therefore, improving time to hire. 

JD CONWAY: Isn’t it ironic that statement, slow is smooth, and smooth is fast? And that’s where you can’t– we can’t get enough recruitment teams or talent acquisition functions of teams, in my mind, to just create smoothness. You can do a lot of things that create smoothness and it makes it go way faster than you think. All of a sudden you’re like, wow, that was nine days. How did that happen? Like, we had to close down the posting in 48 hours because there were 1,000 applicants or something. So just– 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah, and to use your machine analogy, it’s greasing the machine and making it run smoother. Versus cranking it to move faster or work harder, is just greasing it to run more smoothly. So I love that. I love the things that you’ve — I’ve always been a big fan of what you’ve done at Bamboo and now at Rocket Lawyer. And I think you’re off to an amazing start there in six months. 

I feel like this was extremely helpful for folks. I think there are a lot of takeaways that people can start applying to their organization right now to improve the time to hire, to build a candidate experience, and just ultimately achieve better hiring outcomes. So I really appreciate it, JD. This was awesome. 

And it’s always, of course, great to connect with you. We haven’t been able to meet up in person over the last couple of years for obvious worldwide pandemic reasons. But hopefully, we’ll see each other a little bit later this year. 

JOSH TOLAN: Great to see you again, Josh. Thanks, again, for having me. Always great to chat with you about these topics anytime, anytime. 

JD CONWAY: Yeah. I love jamming with you, man. All right, cool. 


Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.