S5 E16 | CXR Podcast: Angie Verros talks Sourcing at Scale

Angie Verros, CEO and Founder of Vaia Talent, talks with Chris Hoyt about sourcing at scale and average requisition loads for recruiting talent.

S5 E16 | CXR Podcast: Angie Verros talks Sourcing at Scale

Angie Verros, CEO and Founder of Vaia Talent, talks with Chris Hoyt about sourcing at scale and average requisition loads for recruiting talent.

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 1:23
All right, everybody, we’re back with another show. I’m so happy to welcome our live viewers and podcast listeners. I’m Chris White. I’m president of career crossroads. And if you’re joining us live on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or CXR. works. I think we’re broadcasting there live today. And it won’t be too dangerous for you to text or type. Go ahead and drop a quick hello in the textbox the chat bot there and let us know that you’re dialed in. Feel free also to add any social profiles that you might like to share. And where you’d like to connect with other listeners, maybe you’ll not only learn a little something today, but you might also make a new friend over the next 20 minutes. So with that I’m super excited about this week’s guest because well, I’m a fan. And quite honestly, I have not had a chance, an opportunity to really catch up with her in what feels like ages. So let me welcome Angie Verros to the show.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 2:12
Well, hello, Chris. I was dancing in the background when I heard that music.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:16
You know, we go back and I keep should we get a new podcast intro? That is really the question because we’ve got that. Like, it’s got it’s kind of catchy.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 2:27
It is catchy. It’s good. And the voice is great to the voice

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:32
Voice over talent. You can think you can think Fiverr for that. That’s great. Yeah, I think $34 He does a great intro highly recommended. You write the script, he nails it. That’s what happens.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 2:43
Good. Good.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:44
Well, look Angie for those who don’t know you, right? And what an incredible force you are CEO fan of, of asparagus sourcing princess. Why don’t we Why don’t you give us sort of an escalator pitch on who is Angie Verros and why is she Why is she somebody we should be listening to today?

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 3:07
Well, thank you for the kind words and for being a fan. I’m also a fan of yours, Chris. So who am I am a my escalator pitch. stockbroker turned sourcer. I’ve been in the sourcing business for almost 20 years. Wow. Seems kind of great. Probably about as old as Gerry’s beard. Man, well, maybe a little less older than Gerry’s beard.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:30
And berries in the green room. By the way, he could pop in at any second.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 3:34
He could pop up. I’m a big fan so he could pop in anytime.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:37
You might just be warning Gerry. So it makes sure he has his pants on.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 3:43
And I’ve been again sourcing for about 20 years. Absolutely love, love what I do. I am a big fan of asparagus as well does good for your, you know, does good for you, all things, all things, all things good for you. And I just absolutely love it, especially in today’s environment that with the rate that people are hiring. And it’s just fun, you know, sourcing right now for me and for what we do here at Vaia, is just a lot of fun. And so I’m thrilled to be here with you today. And talking a little bit about sourcing at scale. And yeah, it’s exciting.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:19
So when you talk about sourcing at scale, when we use that phrase, right, like, what, what does that mean? Is it just mean you’re just super busy? Like, what? What does that phrase even even supposed to conjure up for us?

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 4:30
Yeah, well, you know, when when we said we were going to do a podcast, I thought, well, what can we talk about that’s a little different and unique. And I thought, well, let’s talk a little bit about what we do. So if you think about it, Chris, people have companies are hiring like crazy. I don’t know what the amount of you know, open roles are for each industry. But at some point there were over 300 and something thousand recruiter jobs more than software engineers. I think it was a trend on on Twitter and on Facebook and on LinkedIn. And so Think about how many reqs a person can carry a recruiter can carry? Can they? Can they work on five? Can they work on 10? Can they work on 20 at the same time and be successful at doing that? I don’t know. And I would tend to say probably not. So sourcing at scale, I I’ve developed at least I think I’ve developed a different and unique model where we segment the responsibilities of what a recruiter does. And so we source and that’s it, we have a team that sources and sources and research and sources and adds people to CRM. And then we have a team that just engages with candidates and reaches out to them. And then we have a team that just manages the whole process. So if you think about getting, you know, having 10, or 20, or 30, or 50, requisitions, you provide all those roles to a sourcing team, and they go out and they just find and they’re they’re specialists, they’re just finding those people. And then the engagement team goes out and reaches out to them. Personalized using technology, of course. And then you’ve got the project managers who are managing the managing the process and working with, you know, working with the hiring teams. And then we also have the screening team, I forgot to mention that. So you’ve got sourcing, engagement screening, and then you kind of package the whole deal up and share with share with the hiring managers, you could do that at scale.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:24
So So okay, so let’s come back, let’s come back to that. But pull up put a pin in that statement for just a second. But what I think I hear you saying is not not diluting the responsibilities or spreading the responsibilities across an entire recruiting team. But actually segmenting the work, right? And putting it in these buckets with these dedicated team members in them. So you’ve got a lead gen sourcing team. So all they do is fill the funnel, correct research and funnel. And then I think you said you’ve then you’ve got folks are doing the screening. Correct. And then you’ve got the folks who who are what closing the deal during the interviews and closing the deals.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 7:01
And so no, so you’ve got the people that are filling the funnel. And then you’ve got the project managers and who are also engaging with the candidate. So let’s say for example, I’m managing, I’m managing a project, and I’ve got 10 roles, my sources are going out, and they’re finding all the folks and then we’re putting them through an engagement, whether it’s reaching out to them via LinkedIn, whether it’s reaching out to them, you know, through different channels, emails, whatnot. And then we ask our candidates to actually book time directly with our screening team, and then they screen the candidates. So it’s source source, engage screen, present, source, engage, screen present, and it’s kind of like a production line. And you could, you could do it, you could do it at scale. So you figure you’ve got 20, Sourcer’s, and all they do eight to 10 hours a day. I mean, they get breaks too, but eight to 10 hours a day, they do their sourcing. And you know, then you’ve got the rest of the team that’s reaching out to them. So they don’t have to go look for the talent, we already have the talent because the sourcing team has already found them. And then they’re getting booked directly on our screeners calendars. We do use technology. And they they get booked, you know, we get 30-40 screens booked per week, we screen the candidates, and then we put them all together in a nice report and the client, the client gets a chance to listen to their screens, and decide whether they want to move forward or not. You still you see still seem confused? Or maybe I’m not explaining it right.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:27
No, I’m not confused. I’m gonna turn on the chat because there’s there’s some people dropping questions in there. So I want to turn it on. But I do I do want to ask a question. I’m probably going to pull Gerry out of the greenroom for this one here. Because this is one of the topics that we talk about. From time to time, there’s probably not a month that goes by I don’t actually know how to make you guys the big picture. Sorry about that. There’s not there’s not a month that goes by that somebody does not ask Gerry and I, how many wrecks should a recruiter hold before it’s too many wrecks? Like what what is the average volume hit? See Gerry knows what I’m getting what I’m getting at? What’s the average number of wrecks that a recruiter should handle or a sorcerer should handle? And so Angie, I’m gonna ask you first and then I’m gonna get I’m gonna get Gerry to win because I know he’s got an opinion on average. Is there? Is there a magic number for your team, your organization where you say, oops, I need more people or I need to stop taking on the work?

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 9:21
Yeah, no, absolutely. So I don’t know what the perfect number is for one recruiter to manage a certain amount of reqs full lifecycle? I don’t know, I really think it depends on the seniority or the x the experience that the recruiter has. I mean, I know for example, I can manage 10 I have no problem but someone else can manage 20 Someone else could manage five. So we do put together some mathematics behind it. And we look at and we look at the the roles and we say okay, right now we have 150 positions as a team that we need to fill. And then we look at, well how much output do we want to get to the client, if the client is expecting 30 qualified screened candidates per week, how many people do we need to source? And so we kind of go back a little bit to Glen Kathy’s, you know, Boolean blackbelts funnel calculator. But we also put

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:14
Glen love to we got to bring some Glenn back to the show.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 10:17
Yes, yes. Glen. Glen is lead is fabulous. I just talked to him last week. And so we look and we say, okay, so if we need to, if we need to send 30 qualified, screened interested candidates to client a, we probably need to source I don’t know, 1100, I’m just making up that number. I don’t know exactly what the number is off the top of my head. But I do have a spreadsheet happy to share it with you. And you know, we can, we can definitely talk about this at some other point. But there’s a mathematical number, a percentage of how many candidates we anticipate to come back to us as interested. And then of those interested candidates will some of them book a time to talk to us some will drop off, sometimes our calendars will get full, we also look at that percentage of how many people will come through. And so based on the math, then we determine how many profiles generally do our sourcers source per hour. And then we decide how much work we can take on because if we know that we source let’s say, 12, I don’t know, 15-18 profiles per hour on average. And our response rates are 5 10 30 80%. You know, it really will vary on the industry. And then on the type of role. We’ll look at client by client and industry, by industry role by role, you know, depending on the niche, and then we determine what what the outputs are. So does that kind of help? Does that answer a little bit of the question?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:38
Well, it does. Gerry said, So now for you. I want you to weigh in Gerry on the on the idea of how that gets calculated that average?

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 11:46
Oh, wait, Gerry we can’t hear you, Or is it just me?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:53
He’s doing interpretive dance, he’s gonna have to do the interpretive dance Oh, no. Somehow somehow,

Gerry Crispin, CXR 12:06
Ah found the mute button. It was great. It was great. No, I love this. And so So let Yeah, let me weigh in. But Miranda also has something that that I think is important for this. So you, you talked about assembly line, essentially. And if you think about it, because if you go back to when they, you know, made cars, and somebody, some team made one car at a time, the entire car, they couldn’t really scale, until Ford figured out how to create an assembly line and use math to really understand what it costs for each piece to be done if you could focus on in on it. And so part of it is dividing the whole process up in manageable segments that can be measured and observed. And then applying that math to figure out how many how much people can do in a given timeframe. So all of that works, to a point. Because when you scale and you put that many people into it, and as you scale, you, you begin to realize that that group of people focused in on an individual act may in fact, burnout itself themselves in relation to the lack of diversity, if you will, in what they do. And so the challenge, then, in managing that entire process, is how to keep those individuals engaged, continuously learning, and, or learning other aspects of a process. So they appreciate what they’re delivering to, or what they got from. And so all of those become then the management challenge that eats in a little bit to the product, the perfect productivity, if I was willing to work eight hours a day, every day, all year long, etc, doing one damn thing. That’s not going to work, you’re going to turn people off at some point. So you’ve got to figure out how to use some portion of that in a way to engage and manage them in a way that you maintain retention, you know, you limit mitigate turnover, etc. And that’s, that is a long term problem. We all have as you scale.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 14:32
No, no, absolutely. And so to solve that problem, you’re right. I mean, me personally, if I could sit in source eight hours a day I would I love to source I love to dig if you just if I have 84, open tabs and some music on in the background, no interruptions, I love to source right. Some others may not. So that’s why we have cross functional teams. And we also segment our teams to particular clients because you’re right, you’re not going to want to you know some was not going to want to sit on the phone and screen people day after day after day, right? So they joined the project teams, so that they can learn a little bit more from there. We do have training, we have all different areas, we invited, we invited one of our newer gals that joined us who’s on the screening team to join one of our sourcing jam. So once a week, we have a sourcing jam where all of our sources get together. And we you know, we do play some music in the background, and someone requested Justin Bieber the other day, we have a I know what

Chris Hoyt, CXR 15:31
Was it that song we think about Doritos,

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 15:33
right? I don’t know what song

Gerry Crispin, CXR 15:37
It’s constantly innovating in terms of being able to say, did I, you know, did I segment these processes in a way that they can be done at scale? And then how much do I invest in keeping people engaged around what they’re doing at this particular juncture, but also, you know, incorporating the learning and incorporating all the other things that make them want to be there. It may be for some people, the social opportunities to, to build relationships with people at work, and others just want to be in a dark room where they can do what they do, you know, forever and don’t bother me, god dammit. It’s that kind of thing that I think makes, you know, building a business like what you’re doing not only challenging, but interesting. And obviously, you’ve gotten away from doing that individually, because you start to enjoy the managing of this process.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 16:40
Yeah, I mean, sorry, Chris, you’re gonna say something?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 16:44
Yeah, I got stuck in that, you know, when he’s got no internet connection face like, Well, nobody’s No, I was just gonna ask. So Angie, I don’t? How big did the organization get? Right? If I had talent that you’ve put together before you really start looking at to Gerry’s point like about the engagement and the growth of your own people? While you’re trying to balance that with the requirements of your customers? like at what point? How often do you dip in to say, they’re at capacity, it’s time to add more resources, or it’s time to sort of dial down some of the expectations or deliverables?

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 17:16
Yeah, no, that’s a really good question. So we right now we are a team of 35 and we started looking at this type of model, actually, from the very beginning, because we just thought it would, it would just be easier. I don’t want to say easier, it would just allow us to scale and I’ve always wanted us to grow. So we look at it regularly, Chris and Gerry, we look at what we have as far as our resources and capacity every day. There is a you know, a financial and operational professional that we hired who works closely with us on on taking a look to see how much capacity we have. And can we take on new projects, we also offer where it sometimes some clients don’t want us to screen candidates and they want us to just find find candidates for them, and make sure that they’re interested and then pass them along. And then they’ll they’ll do the sell on their side. And then they’ll walk the you know, the walk their candidates through their process. So we do offer it at that point. Sometimes we push for that when we know we’re not at capacity, or when we know we’re at capacity, or we’re just about to get to capacity. And and then we just were hiring. I mean we’re hiring we on boarded, I think six new people in the last week, we’ll onboard six more if we have one more 12. More if we have I mean, there’s a big demand for what we’re doing. And typically, once we start an engagement, and we find and get candidates engaged, within two to three weeks, we start seeing people that come back as interested and our calendars fill up with bookings. So when we see that our calendars are getting full, and we need to add on additional resources than we do. The other nice thing about you know, separating it in this area is that you don’t need a recruiter to manage a project. You need someone who can manage a project. They don’t necessarily have to be a recruiter, but they have to have people skills, talk to clients. It’s great if they have a recruitment background, but you don’t necessarily need that. And then from a screening perspective, we don’t need recruiters to screen I mean, any business professional call center, anybody who’s got some kind of business acumen, I mean, one of our top one of our top gals who has been screening with us for the last three years, was, you know, stay at home mom for a couple of years. I wanted to get back into the work environment and she gets on, you know, she talks to candidates and they absolutely love her. So that’s how we see that that it does it does move that way and scale. But again, the mathematical piece is quite interesting. It is it is really interesting. And the numbers have to be correct. If they’re not correct, then you’re you’re you’re gonna fail.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 19:49
Yeah, you’re hosed. Yeah, well, I want to call back out the question. So Miranda Thomas had a question that came in and she I think what she’s asking is what what what’s the experience with job satisfaction or retention been when someone’s job is just lead gen, or just screaming all day, that satisfaction piece.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 20:07
So here at via we’re a step up culture. If you don’t want to just screen all day long or source all day long, raise your hand and let us know what you want to do. Do you want to help with something else? Great. Do you want to manage a project? Great, we’ve had people that have joined us as sourcers who’ve learned the sourcing who wanted to engage more with candidates who then screen who wanted to engage with clients who then talk to clients who wanted to move into other different capacities, you know, lead some of the teams that we have. So you’re you’re going to get bored, you know, Miranda, and to Gerry’s point two about if you’re doing that all day long, some people do like that some people like to source all day, some people like to screen all day. But there are other aspects of the job, you’re not just sourcing all day long. You have meetings, we’ve got, you know, our company meetings, we’ve got game nights, we’ve got other things that we do to you know, to collaborate as a team. And the moment you know, I tell my team, the moment that you get bored, or you want to do more, raise your hand step up, you want to take something else on, let’s do it. Because if you don’t want to be screening all day long, I mean, I personally can’t i can’t screen all day long. I just can’t, I could source all day long. But someone else likes to screen all day long. The other thing too, about screening is you manage your own schedule. We’re a global company, I think we’re in 12 different countries. So you manage your own schedule. And you say I’ve got availability every day from 12 until two and five until six, great. If someone pops the screen on my calendar, I’ll take it, but the other time when go walk my dog play with my kids do whatever I want. Right. So flexibility. And, you know, just let us know what you want to do. And do it, we’ll do it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 21:39
Well, and I think that plays nicely in corporate, if you’ve got that freedom also right to be able to let people you know, raise their hand and lean in and talk about that satisfaction.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 21:48
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 21:50
With 12 countries, you will, you must know is that what occurs to me is you the class of worker then probably ranges from freelance to full time to something else in relation to that. So you have to deal with all of the different ways to deal with privacy deal with paying them deal with whatever. What what resources do you use to kind of put that all together?

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 22:22
Yeah, so we hired a CFO, COO, and he joined us who is fabulous, his name is Steve. And if he’s listening, I’m not sure if he’s listening, but he’s our mathematical whiz. And he takes care of all of that. So we use, we use a couple of different tools. Now that you mentioned how to deal with all of that shameless plug, we do use a platform called DEEL. And that takes care of all of our compliance, all of our documentation, all of our payroll, it all gets handled there. But you’re right, it is, you know, when you’re working with 12 different countries. You know, you’re you’re paying people in US dollars, you’re paying people in euros, you’re paying people in rupees in Forint, I mean, all different types of currencies. But that’s where we have Steven, I did it in the very beginning when it was like, you know, me and three other people. But after that, it got a little complicated. So, yeah, you bring on a professional to do all of that for you.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 23:14
Cool. Yeah, it’s definitely a good move. Well, Angie, let me ask you one thing, obviously, look, you’ve volunteered to send the spreadsheet over. So we’re gonna make sure that we badger you to get a hold of that after this. And I’ll share that with all your calculations and all your leads are generated.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 23:31
And in return, in return, what are you going to send me Chris?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 23:35
We’re going to do a new graphic overlay for you. It’s gonna be beautiful, you’re gonna love it. But so take us away with like, one piece of advice you’d give to somebody, whether they’re, whether they’re in an agency running a boutique or big time or their enterprise, about sourcing to scale, what would be 111 little nugget of wisdom, you’d have to walk away with?

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 23:57
Yeah, I just think you know, that, at the rate that our economy is growing in the end, and the need for hiring so many people, you just have to be creative, you know, think a little bit outside the box, you don’t have to do the traditional I own my own desk and I source full lifecycle and you can right, it works. But if you do want to source for multiple and you have too many positions, I recommend it you know, we tested it, we just thought let’s try it out and see how it works. If we segment the teams and again, sometimes it gets it, it just it works. So I would just say be creative and think outside the box and try something new and you’ll be surprised at how it works.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 24:42
Well, it’s good stuff. I like that. Alright, so I’m going to take us out, hang out hang out in the greenroom Angie because I definitely want to catch up with a little bit afterwards. I think we’ve got some planning to do with some asparagus cook off or something like that, but maybe we’ll pull Allison Kruise back for that. Yes. Look for those of you who hung in there with us. So, stayed on board ahead, we have a new CXR lecture planned. We’re bringing in Bruce Hood for that. And he’s going to be talking about dealing with adversity. You can find more information on that and all the lecture series that we’ve done, we launched that this year we bring in a new professional speaker every month we’re excited about that. It’s at CXR.works/lecture. Also Book Club, which is open to absolutely anybody we’re talking about the great hack. It is a Netflix documentary. If you haven’t seen it dial in you still got time to join the meeting at cxr.works/books You guessed it was easy one. And then sort of following in step with Angie. Next week on the show he we might pull you back in just to try and put you in the greenroom. But we have AmyBeth Quinn, whom I have known for, well, a really, really long time. But she is now the right hearts, nothing but hearts. She is now the global sourcing leader of her ServiceNow. And we’re going to talk about career paths for sorcerers. Are they supposed to be recruiters after their sources? Where do they where did they go? Where did where should they not go? So she’s gonna bring in a methodology that they’ve been playing with. They shared that on our sourcing meeting last week and it was just a big hit. So we thought it deserved a little attention. You can watch that you can hang out with us at CXR.works/podcasts next time. Angie, thank you so much for being on the show Gerry. Thanks for jumping out of the greenroom.

Angie Verros, Vaia Talent 26:18
Thank you for having me.

Announcer 26:20
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