E353 Recruiting Community: Kathryn Minshew, The Muse CEO & Founder
Gerry Crispin, CXR
But that does cooking every few weeks together at night, you know, it’s an Italian thing.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:07
Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:08
And one of the members is going to have new years in Naples. My goodness, they’re going to try to replicate one of the Tucci sessions, going to the same places that he went to.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:27
I love that show. I really love that show.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 0:31
I know I think it’s hard for it’s hard to beat Italy. You know, they’ve got a few things figured out over there. Yeah.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:39
What it’s it’s finding Italy, right with Stanley to cheese. I think that’s what it’s called. Yeah. Yeah, I think we’re Gerry. We’re gonna take a page out of your book. I think next year, we’re gonna go to Tuscany. I think for for July, I think we’re gonna do it.
Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:54
Well, there’s a place I stayed in Tuscany for 10 days was place called Spanakopita, which was not spent. Yeah, it’s kind of competent. And it was an 11 century estate with six. So six farms on it and a castle built in the 11th century. And it we stayed in one of the one of the farm houses had three bedrooms, three bathrooms, all brand relatively brand new. The rest of the house was the 16th century. However, it cost the two couples myself and one other couple, like $1,000 for for 10 days total. And it was 10 minutes from Siena an hour from Florence. Two hours from Pisa. And, and it was to me one of those kinds of ideas is what you should do
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 1:57
Gerry, I need this recommendation. I feel like I just want to replicate your trip now because that sounds amazing.
Gerry Crispin, CXR 2:05
It was you know is a little bit primitive when you made it back but but you know, is a command center to go all these different, you know, hilltop places. And yeah, I have a long story about the most expensive meal I ever had was in Italy for lunch. Lunch went five hours. And and the end the waiter was he looked like an Adonis. He looked like something out of one of those Greek statues and both my wife and my friend’s wife were drooling the entire time we had this this dinner, and we kept on going What do you see in that?
Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:47
I think I think we need another version of the show where we just we just Gerry’s travels kinda like Gulliver meets Stanley Tucci.
Gerry Crispin, CXR 2:56
I know well, maybe Kathryn should come with us it to Israel in in May. Whoo. Oh, I’m taking I’m taking 12 right now. There’s 12 of us, including DaniMonahan from Google. We’ve got a few other characters interested in going. I think, once you find Adam Gordon from, from iCIMS. Now, Candidate ID in the past, and four or five heads of TA heads of HR.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 3:31
If I can make it work, I’d love to. I love it.
Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:34
I’ll send you I’ll send you a note on it.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 3:37
Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:37
You’re always welcome.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:39
All right. So the real purpose of us connecting, we’re going to talk about what’s going on in Kathryn’s world, the Muse So Kathryn, are you? Are you ready to jump in and start talking?
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 3:48
I’m ready to dive in.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:50
All right, let’s do it.
CXR Announcer 3:52
Welcome to the CXR channel. Our premier podcasts for Talent Acquisition and Talent Management listen in as the CXR community discusses a wide range of topics focused on attracting engaging and retaining the best talent We’re glad you’re here.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:22
Alright, everybody, I am superduper excited about our guest today who might have not actually spoken to in years it seems criminal I know. So I’m just gonna go through a couple of bullets here. I just want to remind you, you are listening to the recruiting community podcast. I am Chris Hoyt, President CXR. I am your host for the next 20 minutes or so. As my partner in crime, Gerry Crispin, and I dive in for what we call 20 minutes snackable segments with well just people that we like. And that’s kind of how we do it. So you can listen to this anywhere that you listen to podcasts and subscribe to your favorite shows. We are of course also typically found streaming mostly live on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube of course cxr.works/podcast Also, we don’t do advertisements on the show. There’s no sponsorship here. There’s no pay to play. If you’re doing cool stuff and we want to talk about it or you’ve got something on your mind, and we think other people need to hear it. That’s how we invite you on. I’ll add one more thing as a resource to check it out if you haven’t already. Unfortunately, a lot of recruiters going through a tough time being displaced over remind you cxr.works/jobs. That is a listing of recruiting jobs that come from organizations that are within the CareerXroads membership as of this morning, when when filming this as of this morning, I think we’ve got just over 200 recruiting jobs listed. There are global jobs out there. There are remote jobs out there, they run all the way from sourcing. I think we saw a VP job that was actually even posted there a couple of days ago. So there’s plenty of opportunities for you to check that out. With all of that. I’m just going to zip it up. Pull Gerry from the greenroom. Gerry, how are you?
Gerry Crispin, CXR 5:53
I’m wonderful. Life is good.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:55
All right, and I’m gonna bring in our guest, there is Kathryn, Kathryn hello.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 6:00
Hello. Thanks for having me.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:02
It’s good to see you again.
Unknown Speaker 6:04
It’s great. Great to see you, too. Both of you. And I cannot believe it’s been so long. I think COVID was a time warp for a lot of us.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:12
It was a slag, wasn’t it? It was just a difficult just, oh, I don’t even wanna talk about it. And let’s not talk about any quiet this or quiet that? And yeah, we’re not going to do that. But what we do have to do, Kathryn, for those who have not had the pleasure of meeting you before or may not have heard of you, I need you to give us an escalator pitch. Can you kind of give us the overview of who is Kathryn Minshew? And why should we care what you have to say,
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 6:36
I can. So I am the founder and CEO of a business called the Muse, which helps a between five to 8 million people every single month, find a career that aligns with their values. Most of our users are Gen Z and Millennial candidates. I started the company about 11 years ago, based on my own very winding career experiences. And my frustration, frankly, with a lot of the existing tools for job seekers. I felt like a lot of great candidates today, they want to know what is the company like to work for? What is the culture? What are the benefits, who will I be working with and for, and it’s really hard to get that information. The upside is when you actually give candidates better information, they make better choices, they stay longer, we also tend to have much more diverse candidate population than a lot of sites. So you know, I have been very active in the space for over a decade, I also wrote a book at The New Rules of Work, which was a Wall Street Journal national bestseller. And I speak frequently on everything from the war for talent, if we’re still even calling it that. I love talking to audiences about some of the latest trends we’re seeing with you know, the kids these days. And then I spend most of my time obviously building product and talking to HR leaders and trying to make better matches, which I think is a big part of why why a lot of us are in this space.
Unknown Speaker 7:52
I would agree with that. So so we’re into the new year this this goes out into the new year. Full disclosure, we’re recording just before holiday break. But this comes out in the new year, a lot has happened at the Muse in the last just the last couple of weeks and months. Can you share that with some big news Fairy God Boss? Can you share a little bit about what that is? I’d love to get your perspective on that and what maybe we could expect to see from the outside down the road.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 8:18
Well, I think it’s going to be a really interesting 2023. So as you mentioned, we announced two big pieces of news recently. In late September, we shared that we had raised fresh capital from a fund called MBM. And then about two weeks later, we follow that up with an announcement that the Muse was acquiring Fairy God Boss. So if someone who’s listening isn’t familiar with FGB, or Fairy God Boss, they are, I think the largest online career community for women. It’s about a million women a month who are coming to FairyGodBoss.com They can ask and answer each other’s questions, they can get a lot of help about, frankly, all sorts of topics related to work and workplace but especially things related to being a woman in the workplace, which is I think we all know is not always the same as being a man in the workplace. Fairy God Boss also has reviews where employees can talk about how their employers are for women, maternity leave, and parental leave benefits, etc. It’s a really great resource and community and I you know, it’s funny, I’ve been familiar with Fairy God Boss since really the day they launched back in 2015. I love the business from afar, especially because I don’t know if a lot of people know this. But when I first founded the Muse actually founded it as a career platform for women. And you know, there were a lot of reasons that we opened the Muse up to serve everybody. One of them was that it was excruciatingly hard to raise venture capital in 2011-2012 for a platform that was female focused. I had a lot of investors tell me I don’t think your target market is big enough. I was like women with jobs really. So that’s that’s a whole nother podcast episode is on point perhaps, but the Muse is always had a lot of men using the site as well. Even Today, we’re probably think the latest data was 63% women 37% Men who use the Muse, so I opened the Muse to serve, you know all genders. But I’ve always loved the idea of a female focus community. And so I got put in touch with Georgene, one of the founders of Fairy God Boss about a year ago, she was thinking about next steps. And as I got to know her in the business, I became just increasingly convinced that there was a massive opportunity to bring the two together and keep the consumer brands very separate and distinct, but centralize the employer offering so that the companies we work with have access to more talent, and kind of more specific types of talent. And then, you know, this is, this is maybe not a surprise, but we’re actually looking at potentially adding other acquisitions as well, through this this next year 2023. Because I think there are so many incredible communities within the talent acquisition landscape, that serve a different need a different type of job seeker, some of them are organized, functionally, engineering, sales, etc. Some of them are organized, based on demographics, or attributes, the types of things that parents might care about, or again, women, people of color, veterans, etc. But I think that, you know, for employers, it can be, frankly, really overwhelming to try and maintain relationships and independent contracts with, you know, one of our customers told us, he had 37 different relationships. And it also means that some of the smaller communities might get boxed out just because the buyer can’t add someone else. So I think there’s a huge opportunity, very excited about it, it’s definitely gonna be a lot of work. But that’s, you know, that’s, that’s the name of the game, I guess.
Gerry Crispin, CXR 11:46
I love the idea, I love the idea of keeping the brands alive. At least until you know that that they, you know, they mesh well together or not, you know, in relation to that.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 12:00
Absolutely. And even beyond that, you know, I think one of the interesting models that has been very common in other industries, but but a little bit less common in HR are these sort of networks or constellations of brands. One great example is what IAC did in dating, they owned match group match.com. But they also had Tinder, they had specific niche properties. For people who are interested in dating, single parents, certain religions, certain ages, some people from all of those groups just want to use match.com, or just want to use Tinder. And that’s great. But other people are looking for something that is more personalized, that is that is smaller. Similarly, you know, magazines don’t typically just have one magazine, for everyone, they have different approaches and different vectors, some based on gender, but a lot based on affinity or interest. And I think that, you know, we’re definitely seeing inside companies, that a lot of employees are gravitating towards employee resource groups, they’re looking for just again, more more personalized, more customized experiences, I think a network or a constellation of brands is a really interesting way that we can deliver that and do it in a way that allows these these really special powerful brands to keep growing. But again, centralizes, things that maybe don’t need to be replicated independently across every single company, like a sales team, or even, you know, some of the data around the jobs feed.
Gerry Crispin, CXR 13:27
So you know, one of the things that you just said, made me immediately think about I’m active with my college, Stevens Institute of Technology, about a third of the student body is female, but all are operating in some form of STEM tech, either sign of becoming scientists or engineers, etc. And their and their their interest, if you will, in being able to have a reasonable support in terms of career issues, especially at the at the early stages, when they’re sought after clearly at that stage. But they have no, they don’t often have the kind of coaching from the folks who’ve come before them. As opposed to, you know, some old white dude like me, whose perspective is missing, who’s trying to do what I can do. But the fact is, they really need someone who, who’s gone to three years before them. And we’re trying to set up alumni kinds of things with that. But it seems a natural match for for what you’re doing.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 14:34
Absolutely. I think so many people are looking for that mentor, that colleague, that friend who can help them out who can give them a leg up. And you know, it’s interesting because we also see that peer mentorship can be really helpful. Sometimes certain problems you can get a lot from other people who are in your shoes or like you said maybe a year two three ahead. So I think that’s a really interesting See change happening. It’s also fascinating because, you know, I think there’s a perception, a wrong perception, I would say, among a lot of large employers, hiring managers, etc, that, you know, quote, everyone is on these mass sites like LinkedIn, our data shows, it’s actually not true. In fact, about 40% of our users in a given month, haven’t set foot on LinkedIn, these are candidates across all ages and types, but especially Gen Z, and younger millennial candidates, who are frustrated and fed up with other platforms. And, you know, if you take that kind of five to a million range, there’s obviously a lot of seasonality we see. But that is, you know, two to three plus million people every single month, that are that are not being touched by folks that are just taking this very mass approach. And yet, you know, being part of every single micro community, is also really hard for a lot of employers to execute on. So I want to make it easier for companies to be to be aware that people are not just, you know, the the kind of large 800 pound gorilla platforms that we all know and love or have some sort of feelings for.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 16:14
They, you know, they get mixed feelings in our space, that’s fine. We can say that. Kathryn, I guess what’s interesting to me, so let’s say that I am, I’m a current customer of the Muse. How does this new acquisition of very varying constellations sort of impact me? Doesn’t my relationship at the Muse change any do the service offer Is there crossover somewhere? I mean, what, what’s in it for me if I if I’m a big company, and I’ve been leaning on the Muse for a while?
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 16:42
Yeah. So first of all, you know, we are continuing to invest really heavily in the kind of big areas that I see as our differentiators. We have a much more quality applicant flow, we’re doing a lot to make sure that applicants are just very informed, that they know what they’re signing up for. We’re not, you know, doing the sort of spray and pray approach that I think is, I would say, has been the goal of some of the other companies that we compete with. We’re very, very big on diversity. So the more we add diverse populations and, and you know, other communities, to the Muses family, the more kind of breadth and, and diversity we’ll be able to give employers. We’re also working to get better and better data on what happens to candidates after they’re hired. I think one of the most interesting things in the space is that if you talk to an executive, a leader, anyone who’s building out their team, and you ask them, What are you trying to achieve in a hiring process, they’ll typically say, you know, I want a great hire, I want the right hire, I want someone who’s going to be successful and stay with the team and grow and achieve big things. And people use a lot of different language, but they’re typically not like, I’d like to pay as little as possible to get a butt in the seat. And yet, that is how, unfortunately, a lot of our talent teams are goaled. They’re goaled on speed and cost, which by the way, they’re great metrics. They’re just incomplete. So we were able to do a study that tracked a group of hires made for the Muse, they were 20% more likely to still be at the company 12 months later. So we’re looking at taking some of the reasons that that’s true, rolling those out into these other platforms. And then for customers, you know, we are making it as easy as possible for them to try out and kind of expand their presence, their branding, their hiring in these other communities. So we have about, I think it was around 50 companies, at the time of acquisition, who were joint customers of the Muse and Fairy God Boss could have been around 45. But in that neighborhood, and we’re now speaking with a lot of others we’ve got, I actually don’t know the numbers off him. But I would say another maybe 20 or so businesses in the last two months since we closed the deal, that have come on board to that were a customer of one have come on board to try out the other end, we’re doing a lot of work behind the scenes so that we can also help employers sort of understand what jobs what employee testimonials, what information is resonating with different populations. Because while I think some people might feel like the Muse and Fairy God Boss, I mean, there’s obviously a lot of similarities in our founding story, our missions. But there’s actually again, only about 5% overlap in candidates between the two. The Muse audience tends to be again, it’s it’s gender mixed. It’s a little bit probably more startup tech centric, Fairy God Boss is I think, slightly older, exclusively women, both platforms actually are over 50% people who identify as a person of color, so very, very diverse in that respect. But we’re making sure that the individual site experience is still really rich for Muse candidates, regardless candidates, but that employers are finding it much easier to be part of both and over time to really understand from a you know, wider set of data, what’s working and also importantly, what’s Not working? Because I think that’s, you know, that’s just as useful.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 20:04
Well, and I don’t want it to feel like it’s a it’s a product pitch. But I have a question because there was a number that you mentioned 20% more likely to stick around. Early on in that so is your are you sharing any any reasons as to why that is or what may be sort of as the what you can tie that to coming, you know, for candidates that are coming from the Muse?
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 20:25
Yeah, we hear very consistently from our job seeker or candidate users, that they feel like they get a better sense of what a company is like to work for, via the news than other platforms. And, you know, I did a big study, I guess it was last winter. So we’re coming up on, you know, 1011 months, and we ask people about the experience of starting a new job. And realizing, you know, with surprise or regret, it’s nothing like you expect it. 72% of people have experienced this, we called it shift shock. The idea of, again, just your, you know, I don’t know if I can curse in this podcast, but it’s like, okay, and people like, oh, shit, I thought I knew what I was getting into. It’s nothing like that. So 72% of people have experienced shift shock at one point or another. The biggest difference, though, is this, this kind of up and coming generation 80% of them think it’s acceptable to leave a new job and under six months, if it’s not as advertised, if it’s not as expected. So what we’re seeing in the market, then, is candidates that have more information about what they’re, what they’re opting into, are more likely to stay, they’re also frankly, more likely to be happy. If you tell someone some potentially negative information. Frankly, I would say it’s true in dating, it’s true in most human relationships, if you say, Hey, by the way, this is a thing that is a challenge sometimes, or this is something that we’re working on. If someone still opts in, they’re so much more likely to partner with you to work with you to accept, you know, the effort and the challenges than if you try and sell someone on a perfect shiny vision. That’s not true. And so a lot of the tools that the Muse has developed over the last couple of years, are around tapping employees for their experiences, but unlike the, you know, one to five star Glassdoor model of, oh, this company is great, this company is terrible. I think a lot of companies could be great or terrible for you, based on what you want. Again, it’s like any human relationship, whether someone is, you know, an incredible partner and incredible friend, a lot of that is what do you want in that relationship. And so we are helping to illuminate the personality, the culture, the values, the benefits, so that people who have that information upfront when they do accept a job, they’re much less likely to leave in that first one.
Gerry Crispin, CXR 22:42
I’d argue that one of the things I would hypothesize is that this trend, the transparency that we’re looking for, in a job, especially young people don’t necessarily know all the questions that aren’t part of the job description, the way it’s presented, that they should be asking. And it sounds like some of what you are doing with the Muse is, even if they don’t ask the question, we’re helping them better understand some of the things they might encounter. So the expectations of what you’re getting into are more matchable, if you will. And so I go to the transparency issue that we have to have a better way of helping everyone at every stage of their career, ask the right questions. And that that involves a little bit of learning as well, because some people might be working for 10-15 years before they take on a new job, and then suddenly get in that job and find Oh, my God, what did I do wrong? You know, why didn’t I check that out? So we really need to educate people a lot more effectively. And that sounds a little bit like what you’re trying to
Chris Hoyt, CXR 23:52
set. But it also sounds to me, it’s like Kathryn makes a couple of references to relationships, right. And it’s kind of interesting, because my partner and I were able to talk the other the other night, and she brought up the fact that there’s a distinct difference between needing someone and choosing someone. Right, there’s choice, right? And I think that the same you can almost parlay that into from a job perspective, because it’s not that I have to be here. It’s that I want to be here I choose to be here. And so when you said 80% only 80 something something percent felt it was okay to leave if the job pulled a switcheroo and there was a What the f moment I’m shocked that’s only 80 something percent, especially with a younger demographic, I would I would think that they feel a little easier about you know what, this is not this is a bait and switch. This is bullshit. And just endlessly.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 24:43
Yeah, you know, I love that. Need someone versus choose someone dynamic? Because I think it’s something that a lot of folks in this industry have have been realizing over the last few years. You know, when I first started the Muse, there was this real dominant narrative of obviously not universal, but in a lot of parts of the hiring stack that, you know, people would be lucky to have a job. And that’s true of some sectors and some people, but a lot of us are competing for talented individuals who have options. And I think the more one of the things I’m seeing is that the companies that treat their candidates and their employees with respect, hey, you’re great at what you do, which is why you could go somewhere else, but we want you to choose us, here’s why. But if it doesn’t fit for you, and let’s find that out. Now, you know, if you’re not willing to follow our work from home versus in office policy, if the way that we do business and the values that we uphold, don’t work for you, if that’s not motivating, great, go find somewhere else. But if it is, you know, we want to tell you who we are. So you as sort of a respected counterparty can make that choice. And I think that is very different than the kind of old school model of like, people need us. They’ll take what we give them. And by the way, I mean, every time there’s a downturn, you see a little bit of that pop up, there’s always going to be tension in the balance. And you’re, by the way, always going to have employees that, you know, try and overreach or that they do get a bit entitled, I’m not saying that that employee should get whatever they want. But I think that the more we on the hiring side of things, realize that that people who choose us are likely going to be better long term fits more successful, and more motivated. They have to.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 26:34
Yeah. It’s not just you choosing us, it’s us choosing you it’s a relationship was the EVP right, it’s my promise to you your promise to me. Right. Okay, so Kathryn. So we’re sort of we’re sort of at time, sort of, but I want to ask you, it’s a quick question that we ask everybody. Before before we say goodbye on the podcast, if if you were going to write another book, about what’s going on in the space right now, doesn’t have to be a best seller. But, you know, if you’re gonna write another one, what would the title of the book be?
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 27:03
Oh? Well, it’s funny timing, because I’ve got a book editor reaching out to me about about wanting, wanting me to think about Book Two, I don’t know that I have it in me right now, at some point, definitely. You know, the title of the last big keynote that I gave was One Size Does Not Fit All. And it was talking about how to incorporate personalization and the different desires of your candidate in your employee base, to create a workplace that that works better for more of your people. So that’s the best I’ve got right now. I think I am also very interested in this idea of sort of the values aligned seeker. You know, we’re seeing consumers vote with their wallets around the values and principles that they hold, there’s a lot of interest in the investing space in how different values can be incorporated. Some very, very fascinated by how that’s showing up in the workplace and how that’s changing the employer employee relationship. So that’s a close second.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 28:12
No, I’ll take it was okay. So Kathryn, who you’re gonna give the first signed copy to?
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 28:18
Well, you all obviously, since I, since I generated the idea for the book, here.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 28:23
We that’s that’s our second person out of like, 52 that are even going to give us a signed copy. I know.
Gerry Crispin, CXR 28:29
That’s a good thing.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 28:31
No, I used to say, hopefully, I’ll be back on here. Well, before I write another book, because at some point, I have to tell you the saga of the last book, but I’m very grateful that I did very well, I’m so happy it’s done. At some point, I’ll write another one. But I think I mean, I love I love building companies. I love building communities. I like talking to people about what I wish were different in the world. And maybe a book will be a good, you know, step on that journey at some point. But I’m pretty happy right now in my kind of book free world.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 29:03
Well, it takes a lot to do that. I know it takes a lot out of you. And you’ve already got a lot on your plate. We love catching up with each other. And it’s so good. It has been way too long since we got to connect. So we’ll make sure that we make that happen again before the years.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 29:15
Amazing. I look forward to that. And thank you both so much.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 29:19
Yeah, thank you hang out in the greenroom for a second. I just want to say much, much gratitude. Thanks. I know you got a crazy schedule. We appreciate you cutting time out for us.
Kathryn Minshew, Muse 29:26
I loved it.
Chris Hoyt, CXR 29:27
All right. Good stuff. So hang out. Don’t go anywhere. I’m just gonna do the little Gerry was gonna do the outro. No. Put me in the green room. There we go. Gerry was really good to the green. Here we go. All right. Just a quick reminder, if you’re interested in CareerXroads, and the community that we’ve got going on over there, you just need to go to CXR.works, see if your organization qualifies. We’ve got a lot of things that are coming up. The calendar is up. We’ve got live events that are out there as well as virtual and Our monthly speakers we bring in monthly speakers to do a lecture series for these teams of our members and some of the alumni you can find that at CXR.works/lecture. The events are at CXR.works/events. And of course, don’t forget, always hit that subscribe button you can check us out at cxr.works/podcast I know that’s a shocker. So with that, we’re gonna say goodbye to everybody and we will see you next week.
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