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Success Story Podcast

Evan Sohn – CEO of | The Secret To Retaining Talent

By June 22, 2022January 18th, 2023No Comments

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About The Guest

Evan Sohn is Chief Executive Officer of He is a senior executive with 25+ years of experience in both Fortune 500 and start-up environments with a history of rapidly growing businesses, capturing market share, and multiple exits. 

He has always had an exceptional ability and proficiency in sales, market development, corporate and product strategy, marketing, and business development. He has extensive management experience in payments, enterprise software, wireless and mobile software, security software, managed services, and penetrating new markets for new technology solutions.

Talking Points

  • 00:00 — Intro
  • 04:19 — Evan Sohn’s origin story
  • 07:45 — What is the current state of
  • 10:17 — What is the current state of the job market?
  • 19:05 — What is the secret to retaining talent?
  • 22:38 — What is the model of recruiting used at and what would a perfect recruiting model look like?
  • 36:10 — What do candidates really value in a company?
  • 38:02 — With people jumping companies so fast, what are companies doing to tackle the change in retirement options?
  • 45:12 — Where can people connect with Evan Sohn?
  • 46:09 — What was the biggest challenge Evan has ever faced in his personal or professional life?
  • 46:59 — Who has been a mentor to Evan Sohn?
  • 48:16 — A book or podcast recommended by Evan Sohn
  • 49:11 — What would Evan Sohn tell his 20-year-old self?
  • 50:13 — What does success mean to Evan Sohn?

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What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures, and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas, and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their stories to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategies for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.


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Machine Generated Transcript


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Evan Sohn, Scott D Clary


Scott D Clary  00:00

Welcome to success story the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary. The success story podcast is part of the blue wire podcast network as well as the HubSpot Podcast Network about Podcast Network has other great podcasts like marketing made simple hosted by Dr. Jay J. Peterson. Now Marketing made simple brings you practical tips to make your marketing easy, and more importantly, make it work. If you’d like any of these topics, you definitely want to go check out the show how to write and deliver a captivating speech, how to market yourself into a new job, how design can help and also hurt your revenue, creating a social media ad strategy that actually works. If these topics resonate with you. Go check out marketing made simple wherever you get your podcasts. Today, my guest is Evan zone Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of, which is an on demand recruiting platform that combines AI and video job matching technology with the world’s largest network of independent recruiters. Evan is a frequent contributor to CNBC and Yahoo Finance, most notably for his diverse set of experiences, growing and building companies in various industries. He’s worked in Wi Fi, instant messaging, data security, customer relationship, management, and many more. He started his first company, his own mobile computing company in the 1990s that was acquired by Dun and Bradstreet, he’s aided a number of venture backed companies in growing their businesses. These companies have been acquired by the likes of Symantec, and Verifone, to name a few. He is also the co founder and vice president of the Sony conference Foundation, a cause that aims to fight pediatric cancer as well as other childhood diseases. He has an incredible track record of building a ton of different companies in various industries. And what he’s done is he’s taken his experience in tech and innovation, and used it to disrupt the recruiting industry with Some of the things we spoke about the great resignation, why workers were leaving on mass despite high unemployment and the changes employers can make to come out on top and find new talent, recruit new talent or retain talent. We spoke about the talent pool shuffle the changes companies have to make if they want to reach the best talent, they want to have the best people in the job, they have to start reaching out to the underemployed, they have to start reaching out to high school and college educated workers. It can’t just all be the traditional hiring process that traditional job candidate for certain roles, we spoke about the disruption that Evan disrupting the recruiting and talent acquisition world and how he built that successfully to be the largest independent network of recruiting talent combined with the technology play. We also spoke about the new world of work. So how recruiters and job candidates are seeing a totally different type of employer employee relationship in a post COVID world. And lastly, the tinder isolation of the recruiting industry, and why you should be swiping right on gig economy or On Demand recruiting and what it means for businesses, as well as the financial impact that this new norm of recruiting and talent acquisition is having on businesses in the US and globally. So we went into a lot of recruiting conversation for businesses, very tactical recruiting tips, as well as some commentary and some thoughts on what’s happened to the recruiting and talent industry throughout COVID. Considering the fact that five years ago, we were having the conversation is remote work right for us and will never be for it will always be against it. Fast forward to 2020 to complete one ad on that stance, obviously. So a lot of changes have happened. Let’s jump right into it. This is Evan Sohn. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of


Evan Sohn  04:19

Hey, so, thanks again, Scott, for having me on your show. My story is actually pretty fun. I’ve been very privileged and honored to work with some incredible people. I started my first company in 1989 right out of NYU business school in mobile computing. So I’m old or certainly older. Mobile in the 90s looked very, very different than what mobile looks like today. And grew that company over a decade with clients like Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb and Abbott Laboratories, American Express, TD Ameritrade, NASA, at&t, you know, all these really cool clients, and we got acquired by Dun and brown Straight in 1998, a lot of fun, stay there for a little while got pulled out by a venture capital company to go into the security space that eventually led to another company that was acquired by message labs. A UK based company that was stay there for a little bit, that company actually eventually got acquired by Symantec. Then left there went to a mobile company that got acquired by Verifone, spent some time in the payment space, left there went to a Silicon Valley company called Point poi and T and point was acquired by GoDaddy about a year ago. So that’s my origin story. Usually, on the operation side, you know, my background really is sales, I would call a sales product strategy, corporate strategy, you know, I have a really good sense of where the where I try to have a good sense of where the hockey puck is going, I’ll use that when I say hockey, I actually mean Canadian hockey, given that you’re from Toronto. And then, and then being able to run the ball down the field, you know, set the plays on the ball down the field. So that’s my background. And then I got involved with recruited combat three years ago, by one of the original investors brought me in really was a media company. So when you think of a media company, think of lots of social media, a lot of touchpoints. It had a rake, it has a RAID card for selling advertisements, etc. So companies like indeed, and LinkedIn actually paid to market their services to the overall network, we run four of the 10 largest LinkedIn groups. And I got involved to really transform a media company, like recruiter comm into a technology platform. And that’s really what we’ve done in the last three years. So a lot of fun. In June of 20, I know I’m getting long winded here. Scott’s a lot of fun.


Scott D Clary  06:49

No, no, I don’t need to talk. This is your story, you go for it. You


Evan Sohn  06:54

know, I’ll tell you a quick story later, um, you know, the in in June of 2020, really, at the height of the pandemic may act sorry, May of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, I sat down with the board and basically said, hey, look, you know, when this pandemic is over, you know, the job market is going to be an absolute shambles, disarray, whenever I didn’t know it’d be this bad. And you know, we’re going to be the company that really helps get things back on track, and I quit my day job. And I became the CEO, the CEO, who was the co founder, the company shifted over to the right. He became the CEO and president and I became the CEO, and the CEO. And we marched our way up to NASDAQ, we up listed on NASDAQ. this past July, our first day trading was July 2 on NASDAQ. And we’ve been growing ever since a lot of fun.


Scott D Clary  07:46

So what is it? So what is the current state of So what the hell do you do? What do you do now? What do you do now? So you said exactly what the hell do you do now? See, you did the media pieces. Yeah. And that was when you joined. And then now obviously, it’s it’s evolved since?


Evan Sohn  08:01

Yeah. So recruited are calm, or has this incredible, huge network of recruiters. Lots of small and independent recruiters. And our thesis was, let’s take these recruiters and get them on assignments specifically for companies that these recruiters have skills, that companies are going to have access to either on a full time basis or on a gig basis. And we call it on demand recruiting. So we started this, this path of on demand recruiting. And we now have, you know, hundreds of recruiters out on assignment, none of whom actually work for us. So you can think of it as like Uber for recruiting or Upwork, for recruiting all all levels of talent acquisition. And when you get into the talent acquisition space, it’s highly, highly specialized. You know, your recruiter that’s going to do work for you over in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, specifically for media is not the scientific recruiter that Pfizer would use to help find junior scientists to work in their location in Massachusetts. It’s a very, very, very, very specialized area. And it’s getting even more specialized, and in this whole remote work and work from anywhere in hire from anywhere and all these other things tied to it. So we had this on demand platform. And then we recognized that, you know, every company that comes to us really has an appetite for candidates. That’s really what they’re looking for. They’re having a hard time hiring big and small, hard time, different challenges, the bigger you are, it’s a different challenge than if you’re small. And we realized that the best way to make sure that the recruiters actually can do their jobs better than anybody else was to give them tools and we invested millions of dollars into an incredible technology stack. So we have full on AI search and engagement tools. 170 million profiles in our database are really amazing. So we have on demand recruiting software and on demand recruiters. We have some clients that self service on our platform. We have some clients that that just use our tools, some likes to just use our recruiters and then clients that use both recruiters and, and our software. So if our software is used to help build the candidate pipeline, then then you can hand that pipeline over to different levels of recruiters to do the full sort of hiring there.


Scott D Clary  10:17

Understood, okay, that makes a lot of sense. So you’ve, you’ve Giga FIDE, basically, the recruiter economy. So, let’s let’s talk about some of the let’s talk about some of the things that have come out of the past two years. And some of the things I missed, I’m assuming companies hire to actually solve for. So what is the current what is the current job market? Like? How many people are leaving their jobs is the is just as volatile as it was at the beginning. You know, you hear about the great resignation, everybody leaving on mass, everybody going virtual? What’s the current state? Because you’re in this? So you have a pretty good perspective.


Evan Sohn  10:52

It’s Yes. So there are three macro events going on today in the world. In the US, two of them are episodic, and one is systemic. So the first, the first one is really talent shortage, right? You had all these companies that furloughed their people or shut down totally. And now you have 4% unemployment, you have 10 and a half million open jobs, hard to get people to come back to work, salary increases wage inflation, you know, ghosting all these other things that you’re sort of hearing about, and that’s episodic, because that actually will get resolved, probably in the next year, 18 months, right. You know, the notion that this restaurant can’t open on on, you know, after 10 o’clock, because they can’t staff, they’ll find the staff, they’ll figure that out. They’ll get that balance between wage and quality life and all these other things. The second and by the way, we have a lot of clients in that manufacturing space and hospitality, space, etc, that are in that hourly economy side of things, the working work collar. The second really is the great resignation. Now what most people don’t recognize is that the US churn right there, 160 million working adults in the US something like that. The annual turnover is somewhere between 22 and 25%. So that means that every month people quit voluntarily quit forget the layoffs. Right, voluntarily quit.


Scott D Clary  12:17

So that was pretty close. That was just regulatory COVID release.


Evan Sohn  12:20

So in 2019, I think the average was 3.5 million people quit every month, 3.3 to 3.5 million people quit every month, there’s just a regular number. So what’s interesting is that, you know, and we reported this, we do a recruiter index every month, in November, in October, we said, the great resignation is upon us. And about two weeks later, they announced that 4.5 million people quit in August, you know, and it was like, Oh, my God. 4.5. The reality is, it’s greater the greater resignation, right? More people quit in August than before. Not every single No, it’s a million more. It’s a lot. But still, it’s it is. Yeah. But what’s interesting is that, that it’s the who was quitting then, right, let’s break out those numbers. Right. So what you started to see is the knowledge worker start to leave. Right? In other words, why? Well, guess what, I moved to Florida, I worked for a bank in New York, I moved to Florida because it COVID the bank says you have to come back full time. I said, I’m never going back full time. There are a lot of reasons. Grandma used to watch the children. Grandma doesn’t want to she’s too scared, I can’t work from I have to work remotely. I like working remotely, I want the work life balance. There are a lot of reasons why this is all happening. But we’re seeing these things. Like it’s never happened before this notion of work from anywhere is really fostering this great resignation of why people are leaving, I want, um, my priorities have changed. You know, we call it the great reevaluation, right, companies are changing the way they’re thinking employees are changing what they’re thinking that too, is actually episodic, right, we believe the greatest resignation will really slow up probably by the summer. So you’ll start to see those numbers come down of how many people are quitting slightly tickets down. What’s not changing, is what we call The Job Hopper economy. So pre pandemic, if you went to Silicon Valley, and you saw a resume of someone for 12 years, and they were at three or four companies in 12 years, you would say, Oh, my God, that software engineer is awesome. That’s an awesome software engineer. Have you saw and again, I’m generalizing to prove a point. But like 60% of all Millennials now have no problem leaving a company within six months. We’re hearing clients say, Yeah, an employee started. And two weeks later, they left because they got a better job from someplace else like incredible. So you know, we might have had parents or grandparents that said, Oh, you got to stay at your employer for at least two years or four years. That’s out the door now. So this Job Hopper economy is really fueling so much craziness on the the actual hiring and talent acquisition side of things, and I’ll let me explain. So five years ago, I don’t know where you’re working five years ago, but let’s assume you were For a company five years ago, right, and now you were going for an interview, let’s think about what was the interview like five years ago, you brought a suit to the office. Right? And you lied, right? And you told your manager Well, it’s my uncle’s wife’s died, and I gotta go to a funeral. It’s really sad, etc. And you took off the afternoon. The next day, there’s a headhunter calling you up. And you’re like, your boss is like, Who is that? Oh, it’s my mother. She’s really upset about my uncle’s wife’s like, it’s a whole cloak and dagger. And by the way,


Scott D Clary  15:30

you can tell when somebody’s leaving a company because they start, they start taking, they start taking days and they start walking out of the office or out of the cubicle to take the phone calls or whatnot. That’s


Evan Sohn  15:39

right. That’s right. You know, and look, we we knew that right? Oh, someone’s getting sick a lot. Gee, maybe they’re actually interviewing, right? So the expression finding a job as a full time job was would not be authored in February of 22. Right? It would just would not be offered now. Why? Because what’s interviewing today, interviewing today is a 15 Minute video interview. Right? It’s a zoom screen for 15 minutes. So let me get this right. If I could interview anytime I want. If I’m home, or I’m working remotely or hybrid, if geographically undesirable jobs don’t exist anymore. Right? Think about that, Scott, think about how many jobs you didn’t even look at, because it was geographically undesirable. So here’s the thing. Everyone in this country today is more valuable than they were three years ago, everybody. And the reason is that, again, it’s the it’s the factory worker, the dishwasher at a restaurant, the waiter, the Java developer, everyone’s more valuable. The reason is that, let’s assume you you want to work remotely, right? And but if I want you to work for my company, it doesn’t matter to me where you work, because I want your skills. So think about all of a sudden now I could work from anywhere. I could work at any company I want. I can interview anytime I want. By the way, how easy is it to apply for a job now it’s clicking on a, you know, it’s like piece of cake. So the only thing that was holding you back from leaving was the stigma of oh, I can’t just leave that company. I’ve only been there for a year. Once that’s removed, holy crap. And by the way, it’s gone now, it’s absolutely gone. There is no there is no longer a stigma of leaving a company. You know, Kevin O’Leary, Mr. Wonderful wrote an article about three months ago, begging employees, please stay at your company for at least 24 months, 24 months, that’s nuts. So you’re gonna see now people leaving companies at a far more rapid basis. So by the way, if the number if the number of the annual churn in the US, the annual turnover is 22%, if it goes up to 30%, and I actually think it’s going to go further 30% increase will actually cost the US economy $50 billion more in 22 than in 2019. And I we blogged about it I presented on CNBC a couple of weeks ago, you know, that’s an incredible investment that companies are now making into these things. And what this is really doing is really driving a tremendous demand for recruiters. And for HR tech is now hot, you know, but I’ll give you my soundbite is, you know, if it used to be that finding a job was a full time job, the today’s response is finding people is a full time job, it is no longer something that if you’re running a company with 30, or 40 people in it, and used to hire three people a year or four people a year, you’re not going to be hiring eight to 12 people a year. And that’s just to keep up with the people that are leaving. Now, if you’re hiring one person a month, that’s a job, that’s an actual, someone’s going to have to be doing that. And I actually predict the same way that we all take. We all outsource, you know, every company has something doing with security, whether it’s email security, desktop security, hosted VPN services, managed service providers, all the way up to a chief security officer, I believe every company of a certain size will be allocating money towards something and talent acquisition and retention.


Scott D Clary  19:04

Amazing. So that’s obviously a massive shift. And companies deal with the different ways right, of course now, like you mentioned, recruiting, recruiting as a service, finding some sort of way to spend money so that they don’t have to manage the tasks themselves. Because as somebody who hires people, that’s an incredibly time consuming task. Also there’s like, you know, gig economy and part time and contractors are getting more popular as well. But I think that the thing that companies are probably thinking as they’re hearing you walk through all these points is okay, so how do I retain how do i What’s the what’s the way that I actually keep people around? Because yeah, it can’t be a shitty company anymore because there’s so many other options out there and like all the reasons you just mentioned, there’s a lot of ways people to jump ship. Is there anything you’ve seen work in retaining talent so that because you know that you’re working in recruiting, right, you know, how long how much money and time and energy it takes to onboard anybody? Yeah,


Evan Sohn  19:55

yeah, it’s exhausting. And by the way you look at Starbucks is recent earnings numbers. We’re down because they spend more money and in onboarding, why? Because he used to onboard someone, and they would say, X number of months now they’re staying less than x months. The, you know, the answer is two things. One is, I think, I think every business owner needs to be thinking about their, their supply chain and pipeline, and they got to be looking at candidates on a regular basis and building a bench of them. The other is figuring out a way to get into more entry level, folks. Hey, so if you can have a role that is someone college great, because you’ll be able to get a college grad, you know, to stay a little bit longer, because you’re going to provide them the skills and training etc. Then the the from a candidate perspective, I think you got to show progression much, much more rapidly, right? You got to sit down with, you know, Scott, the employee and say, okay, Scott, here’s where you are today. Here’s where I want you to be a year from now. And here are the steps towards getting there. Because I don’t want you thinking about I want you thinking that if you look to leave, you’re going to miss that next milestone. And what I’m really trying to do is to keep you to the next milestone fee, if you know that, that you’re getting a promotion every six months, and you’re at month four, gee, I’ll wait two months, I’ll get a step up there before I start looking elsewhere. Now, that’s really for the small business. You know, one of our one of our clients, I was sitting down with the global head of talent. And I said, you know, you guys, you’re in position where you should be marketing that this is a 24 month position. Hey, Scott, work for my company. It’s a 24 month role, I’m gonna pay you a boatload of money to work for me for 24 months, but when the 24 months are over, you know, you’re free to go and do whatever you want. You know, so changing the language, you know, this is not, you’re not coming to work at a call center for a career, you’re gonna come and learn something. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal a couple two months ago, no one wants to be an assistant manager anymore. Right? No one wants to be called the System Manager. Now, what does that mean? I don’t know. But it means that we need to change the language of how we treat our employees.


Scott D Clary  21:58

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Evan Sohn  23:21

yeah, totally agree. So a, you know, fundamentally, hiring hasn’t changed. I don’t know ever, right? You know, you you post a job, you collect resumes, you screen the candidates, you interview them, you hire them, right? That is the process for hiring. Whether you put an ad in the New York Times, you know, 30 years ago, or you post a job on LinkedIn, right? That’s how you got the job, whether you mailed in your resume, or emailed it or downloaded it or got it via fax, right, then you screened the candidates, you interview them and you hire them. That process hasn’t changed. And, and I think it’s due for a change. And we’ll deal with that two years from now. The the end the fundamentally there are two ways to do that. You either do it yourself. So Scott, the business owner will post the job collect the resumes, you know, screen that candidates interview the candidates, or historically you hired or a headhunter a recruiter, and the recruiter got paid 20 to 30% of the salary for getting that done. Now, that made a lot of sense when hiring Scott was akin to your the rest of your career is going to be working for me. So I’ll pay someone to 30% of your first year salary because you’re going to be here forever. Okay, so 30 years, that’s easy. 10 years, I could still amortize it. But what if you’re only going to be at this company for a year? How in the world am I paying you 30% of a salary for someone who may or may not last a year to, you know, a year to 24 months. So I think that model needs to change. And what we started to do was to really capitalize on the giggy con Want to be from a recruiting perspective? And say, You know what Scott, you actually need if you’re trying to hire people in your company, why don’t you bring on a recruiter who works for you 10 hours a week, 10 hours a day, whatever you want in your specialty, and let them do the hiring for you. But pay them on a on an hourly basis. And that’s what we’re delivering on an on demand basis, you know, you could hire a driver, and pay the guy to pay your driver at an annual salary and a bonus, or you can go to Uber and say, Hey, take me from point A to point B, right? So you know, you could do the same thing. And by the way, think of all the other models that are doing that today, you have Upwork doing that, and Fiverr is doing it and is doing it. And by the way, we do that in our professional world, right? You have a let’s assume you have a bookkeeper or an accountant, does that account work for you full time or to use an accountant that you pay on a project by project basis, get even more granular, you’re doing the real estate transaction, right, you’re not going to hire a full time attorney to do that one real estate transaction, you’re gonna find the right attorney for that location, who knows it who’s licensed, etc, you’re gonna engage them for that assignment, when the assignments over, it’s done. That is where we see the world going in talent acquisition. And we’re doing that we’re capitalizing on this giant network of recruiters, getting them on assignments on a regular basis through subscription models, etc. And then adding the software to really make, you know, give them you know, the proverbial superpowers, right, give them the tools, you know, multi multimillion dollar tools now, not just that, we’re now able to do that from, you know, fortune 50 companies down to small businesses. So we actually launched a program called my recruiter, you can go to recruiter, and it is a full on subscription starts at like, I think $1,000 a month, there’s no placement fees, nothing, you get a talent, you know, a talent advisor working for you to handle your specific job. And it’s a monthly service. So it’s a new service that we’re offering, and no one else does that on the planet today.


Scott D Clary  27:08

No, okay. So this is what you when, you know, I’m reading through some of these some of these talking points, the tinder isolation of the yachting industry. Is that Is that what this is? Is this like the


Evan Sohn  27:20

magic? Yeah, so that’s gonna happen probably next year. So right now you’re in a very, very candidate centric market. Right? You don’t want to do anything that inhibits companies don’t want to slow that process out. They don’t want change anything right now. Right. So the the example I use in Tinder is ation of, of recruiting is if you are going to hire a comedian, right? You’re gonna hire a comedian for an event. You don’t read? Right? You’re not actually reading the paperwork, you don’t want to read the resumes of the of the comedians, right? You basically want to say, you know, what, show me all the comedians that are available in my area at this time, that are not raunchy, because here’s my audience, and you’re gonna get five, five comedians, and you’re going to see a 32nd, or one minute clip of their comedy. And then you’re going to choose that comedian based on which one you liked the most. And you’re looking at their paperwork, because by the way, their paperwork probably all says the same thing. Oh, they were starting here, they won these award, you know, their resume looks exactly the same. Well, if you are going to hire someone, for a front line, customer facing role, why go through the process of getting your paperwork, reviewing a resume that that all looks the same, to screen them to see what they are. Meanwhile, what you really want to do is say, You know what, I need a fill in the blank, I need this sort of customer facing role. Show me all the people that align with my requirements. Let me see a 32nd clip on who I want. And then hey, I’m going to shortlist you know, 10 of them. And then I’ll go into the paperwork side of things. And I think that is going to expedite this overall process. Hey, by the way, you know, you know, the the resume, the resume was invented by Leonardo da Vinci. And other than the font, and the fact that we put our email and mobile number, it might not have changed much since Leonardo da Vinci since one has a one page since what is a one page summary of who you are, you know, since when does that really make a lot of sense.


Scott D Clary  29:22

But it’s a way it’s a way to it’s a way to so this is what I never understood about recruiting, I never understood how a one page resume could encapsulate the entire person’s professional life and personal life and it just acts as like a screening tool when you have like ATS and all these other tools that look for these keywords. And then that sort of like filters everything out but still, I mean there’s probably there’s there’s much better ways to do this. I love this. So this is just to be a better way.


Evan Sohn  29:48

A better way you know, it’s it’s like it went from the personals. Like let’s go put an ad up in the New York Times from personal to hey, here’s my photo. Here’s a little bit about me, but only show the people that are interest To me anyway, like, in other words, there’s already a filtering process. Why are you looking at people who aren’t screened already? Like, why are you doing that? Why are you? And again, you know, there’s so much data out there on individuals. And so the other thing that’s really, really fascinating is, you know, if we’re in a Job Hopper economy, that actually means that more people are actually open to looking for a job than not looking for a job. And there’s some statistics now how many people four out of 10 people are looking for, you know, so that, does that mean that everyone is a passive candidate or an active candidate, like in other words, it’s, it’s pretty incredible to watch that. Right? That means that for the right opportunity, I can get you to leave your job. Because there’s no longer any stigma. And by the way, I was talking about this the other day with somebody, imagine you love Charlotte, North Carolina, right? You don’t live there, but you love it there. Why not work for a company in Charlotte, this is Hey, Scott, you get to come here every six weeks, I love that my my best friend lives there my in laws, right? So all of a sudden, now we’re going to leverage the hybrid environment to our benefit.


Scott D Clary  31:06

So if you are going to, if you are going to set up the perfect recruiting process, what would what would that look like? Like? If you could do it, if you could do it differently than the standard de facto way that we do it right now? What do you think that’s perfect processes?


Evan Sohn  31:19

I think let’s break it up. First of all, you know, I grew up in an either our world you know, Sony or Betamax, HBO or Showtime, you know, now it’s really, or Mac first, you know, PC. Now, it’s really, we’re in an an both world, right? So there’s no longer either or it’s an add both. I think for customer facing roles, I would actually start with the video, I would, I would hands down start with video with data on the video and analytics on the video. And I would say only let me just see the people that align with what I’m looking for. I want friendly, you know, friendly, friendly people with this experience, you know, who could do X and Y and Z and use. And that’s really what I’m talking about with the generalization of, of interviewing. And again, you’ll start with something nice and simple. By the way, you would say the same thing, looking at a Java developer, right? Not a video, but like, hey, just show me the people that scored over 95% On this test. Right? You know, don’t show me all the people that didn’t take the test. So hey, if you want to work for me, I’m going to build a giant curated pool of developers that have passed this assessment test, because that’s where I want to fish it. I don’t I don’t want to fish in anyone that hasn’t done that. So I think you’re going to start seeing because if people are moving around so quickly, there’s got to be a way that we’re looking at things differently. Now, by the way, look at look at, look at colleges, you’re a little young to have kids in college, but like the schools now, because it’s so easy to apply to colleges, they’re being inundated with applications. So clearly, they’re using some sort of, you know, to think that you know that a school is looking at every single application that comes in or reading every essay, like they’re just saying, hey, look, anyone that didn’t score at least this on their test, or this on their index, or read these words, don’t even look at it, just get rid of it. And one would say the same thing. Now.


Scott D Clary  33:09

Just want to take a second to thank the sponsor of today’s episode Now, you know if you’ve ever received a corporate gift or swag in the past, how many of those gifts did you actually keep? Probably not many, which is probably because the stuff that you got was not so great. I’ve gotten like a lot of stuff and trade shows, and from companies in the past that I’ve just thrown out the second I get it. So this is why you need checkouts., I’ve been on the receiving end of getting garbage gifts. I’ve also worked in companies, where I only had access to a really, really small inventory of stuff that I wanted to give my customers and my employees. And I knew that it wasn’t going to resonate, I knew that was going to suck. So what does Well, it’s like swag upgrade, it’s the best place to buy custom gifts and swag that people will actually want to keep. So they sent me a box because obviously they’re sponsoring the show and I wanted to see what it’s all about. You know, I’ve worked in businesses that want to make sure that the quality of their stuff actually was up to my standards, because I can tell you right now that when I get garbage, it goes right into the trash it like really goes right into the trash is that gonna get back from the tradeshow or the conference or whatever. So I received one of the custom swag boxes from I loved the unique packaging. So it was a beautiful unboxing experience. I love the actual products they sent me and there’s a whole bunch more that obviously they didn’t send me but the stuff that they did send was absolutely beautiful. It was very high quality. And I can only imagine that if I actually got this when I was working for companies, I probably would have actually use it and to be honest, I’m going to start using them for people that work on my show and in my company as well because I know it this isn’t just a novelty gift that somebody’s gonna throw. It’s stuff that they can actually use. They have so many unique and customizable gifts that I’ve never seen anywhere else. They have custom yoga mats They have custom Apple air pods. They even have branded kayaks, which I did not know, was a thing. So they carry all these premium brands like Northface, Yeti, Nike, and more. And it’s all customizable. With your company’s logo or artwork with, they take care of all of your swag at their warehouse, and they ship it to individual addresses. Or if you prefer, you can just send it to a bulk location in one single shipment, it’s easy to manage from their online portal, which you obviously get access to. So if this is something that you think would benefit you, if you have clients, or customers or a team, and you want to go the extra mile, and you actually want to give gifts that people appreciate, which is the whole point of giving these gifts in the first place. Go to for the perfect swag and custom gifts. Right now they’re giving everybody who’s a success story, podcast listener a special offer, it’s 10% off your entire order, but only when you go to and enter promo code success 10. Remember, for 10% off, go to and use promo code success 10. Yeah, no, that makes sense. And then that’s, that’s when companies are trying to hire but you know, flip the flip the script, when you have all these different candidates, what are candidates looking for? What do they value most in companies that you’re seeing?


Evan Sohn  36:25

Yeah, so what you know, what we’ve seen in the last, you know, three years or two years is really the work life balance becoming a bigger priority for candidates. Now, there’s something kind of novel about that. But also as a, as a, as a business owner, you know, we grew up with the expression, there’s probably very little money can solve. But now what if what if money can solve it? Right? I’ll pay you more money, but you want to work remote, I’ll pay you more money, but you want to, you know, only work four days a week. So I think this work life balance and the prioritization. And that’s really what’s happening. We’re seeing like candidates say, here’s what’s really important to me. And they’re finding companies that are aligned with what’s important to them. And by the way, remote work isn’t everyone’s priority. Some people want to be in person. And I think what we’re able to do now in this post pandemic world is not be all things to all people, let’s do the things that we want to do as a company, we’re only going to be virtual, or and if you’re virtually or only virtual, maybe you’re not getting entry level people, because training entry level people in a virtual environment is actually very difficult. So I think you’re seeing that from candidates. That’s the next question of where should candidates go? I think from a Kennedy perspective, figure out what skills you want to have when it’s over, figure out where you want to be when it’s over. What does that look like when it’s done? Right? If I’m working for Scott, what am I going to learn from Scott in a year or two that I can now take to the next, you know, to the to my next experience? What’s that experience looking like?


Scott D Clary  38:02

It’s interesting, because now with with people switching so quickly, now the question of like, pensions and you know, in Canada RSP contribution and all these different mechanisms for like retirement. That’s completely changing, too. So have you seen any companies tackle that differently? Anyways, so


Evan Sohn  38:25

yeah, the real Yeah, it’s really the biggest inhibitor to the gig economy is actually mortgages. So pensions are renters in Keene portable, right. 401 K is now portable, that one portable, you know, years ago, health care benefits. Now you have companies saying you you start health care on day one, I think there’s some statistic like 40% of all US adults are on some sort of government health care program anyway. The real challenge to the gig economy really is mortgage, you know, you can make a million dollars in your business, right as a gig. And, and I can make $50,000 as a W two salary, and I’ll have an easier time getting a mortgage than you will. Because the banking today they want to see a W two as if a W two is the be all and end all. That’s gonna have to change because that’s a huge inhibitor to the gig economy. I’ll give you another statistic, Scott 35% of all adults in the US have a side hustle at all, right. So I think what that really tells you is that whatever industry you’re in, you need to sort of make sure that that you could use your word, dignify a segment of your business because it’s out there. The other thing that we’re working on now, even internally is what I call the forfeits job, right? In other words, in this goal of work life balance, you know, when do you shut down, right if I send someone an email 11 o’clock at night, it’s not because I’m nuts and crazy. It’s because there’s something on my head that I want to email and I don’t want anyone to feel like they have this responsibility to reply at 11 o’clock at night. And the best way to do that is, hey, look, you know, I want to have a 4/5 job. So pay me 80% of a salary. And I’m going to make sure people work Monday, Tuesday, but then decide your schedule Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, but this way, you know, you could say, Hey, I am I don’t work Thursdays, I don’t work Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon, I don’t work Fridays. And the expectation is that, hey, I don’t work Fridays and not I’m going to email you. And I expect their response immediately. And things like Slack, and all these collaborative tools, actually, are getting people nervous. Right? Because, you know, it used to be that you’re at your desk now. Where are you? How come I could slack you. So we have the freedom to walk around and the freedom to work wherever we want. But yet, at the same time, this, this sense of responsibility to replying back, you know, synchronously, as these things are actually happening. So there’s some challenges there as well.


Scott D Clary  40:59

But the fourth fifth job is not going to solve for that. That’s that’s a psychological issue that people have managed to be cognizant of. Yeah. And that’s, that’s something that’s huge. And that’s why you see all these countries over in Europe, that are either trying to stop people from responding or communicating outside of your work hours, or making it or protecting rights by, you know, saying, like, legally, you don’t have to respond after a certain time. Right. So that they they’re almost like instilling like this psychological safety, so that people don’t feel to


Evan Sohn  41:32

work life balance. Yeah, no, I just think that, look, as a business, being able to attract someone who only wants to work, you know, four fifths of a job is actually creating a few things while you’re giving them that built in flexibility, that maybe other companies won’t. So you’re paying them last. But you’re I think there’s a lot of good things in doing it. Because you’re trying to attract people, right? How do you how do you build a culture? You know, when when you’re all working remotely? Like how do you do that? And those guys have


Scott D Clary  42:03

no idea. It’s very hard. Yeah, no, I


Evan Sohn  42:06

agree. I agree. You know, I was with another global head of talent. And he go, and he said to me, you know, Evan, here’s the challenge. You know, my office, if I left the company, my office didn’t change. My left my right. This is my right, I’m in a virtual office. But my office doesn’t change. I work from my home. So if I left the company, it’s not like I’m leaving friends. It’s not like I’m leaving the restaurant down the corner, or the best coffee or the best muffin, right? My my home office isn’t changing. My last name is my email addresses changing, but the rest doesn’t change. So it makes it just so easy. You know, did you have I had a job that I stayed in probably six months longer than I wanted to, because it was just so the commute was seven and a half minutes from my home. You know that that’s, but who would do that now? Right? Who would do that? I also had a company that they want me to move to Atlanta, and I had to leave, they wanted me to move. Again, that these these are all things that just wouldn’t happen in in 2022.


Scott D Clary  43:09

Very good. No, it’s very, it’s very interesting to just see, and I think that maybe you know, your comments on this as well. But COVID just move things along quicker. But like we were already going in this direction. Anyways, it was just like, it was a massive Excel. That’s


Evan Sohn  43:22

right. Do you remember, you know, five? Again, I’ll say five years, five years ago, we were talking about the efficacy of remote work. Yeah. Right. Five years ago? Oh, I don’t know. We don’t know why we were vehemently opposed to remote work. You know, all these things are like, we were talking about that five years ago. And now it’s like, do I make the even when it dies? I make them maybe one day a week? Like how do I do that and make it meaningful? Like, we don’t want to have zoom days. So come in, and it’s, you know, it’s only it’s pretty incredible that that’s really happened.


Scott D Clary  43:57

Okay, let’s, let’s, let’s wrap this up, I want to do a couple of rapid fire. But before I pivot, closing thoughts on future of work, future of talent, recruiting, and where you where you think the entry is gonna go, what you’re working on with in the future In the future. And then I also want to get from you like websites, socials, all that stuff, you know, check it out. Sure.


Evan Sohn  44:21

So, a lot more money will be invested in hiring talent in 22, than ever before, as the tightness of the labor market, the increase in hourly wages, the flexibility of the working environment, the ease of applying for jobs, online employees, desire for new experiences and work life balance, and, you know, this emergence of this Job Hopper economy. And, you know, as I mentioned before, we estimate that the US will be investing more than $50 billion in 22 over the amount spent in 2019. Just to hire talent line. And, you know, now really is a time a little self promotion now really is the time for And really for talent acquisition, you know, we are in the golden age of talent acquisition.


Scott D Clary  45:11

Yeah, very smart. Okay. Obviously is the domain, but where else do they go social and also for you too, if they want to connect with you? What are your preferred socials


Evan Sohn  45:22 Okay, I’ve given my mailing address, someone could actually send me a card like a written card like Mark if you want us to, like refer just to type something down with carbon paper, and then email it to me. I’ll give you my fax number. I


Scott D Clary  45:36

don’t I don’t know.


Evan Sohn  45:39

I’m not getting much on my I get my telex never my fax number. Yeah, You can go to You can join our we have a huge LinkedIn group, the recruit the LinkedIn group is like 850,000 people. Twitter, you can follow me at unsewn is my handle or I think we have like 49,000 Twitter followers. But really pretty, pretty simple to get in touch with with us that way.


Scott D Clary  46:08

Amazing. Okay, let’s do a couple rapid fire. Just pull it some last insights from your career? Biggest challenge that you’ve overcome in your personal or professional life? What was it? How did you overcome it?


Evan Sohn  46:22

Oh, that’s a really good question. I think the biggest challenge I’ve had a lot of interesting challenges. I’ve been fired, you know, so I think recovering from being fired. Is is never fun. It’s a huge, you know, blow to your ego, like how dare they. But when you’re in the sale, when you’re in sales, like it’s, you know, was an old CEO once told me you’re not really a salesperson. So you’ve been fired, you know, so I think those things all par for the course. But I think that was, you know, the first time that really happened, that was like a very, very serious blow. And recovering from that was, was pretty challenging.


Scott D Clary  46:59

If you had to choose one person, there’s obviously been many, but pick one person who’s had an incredible impact on your life. Who was it? What do they teach you?


Evan Sohn  47:09

So I’ve had, okay, so let’s talk I had a, you know, a mentor back in, in the 2000s, who incredibly gracious individual incredibly seasoned, why he spend time with me, I have no idea. Just really incredible. And, you know, the first time I met with him, he, I, you know, I walked him through a pre a deck, right? You know, here’s the deck, let’s walk through it. And he said to me, do you value our time together? I said, Of course I do. And he goes, you obviously don’t, because we spent the first 20 minutes walking through a deck. And instead had you emailed it to me, we could have actually spent the time in meaningful conversation. And I think what I really learned from him was really that like people that want to help get your materials together, don’t read from the slides. And then and then he was very, very into, you know, what are the metrics? Like, understand what your metrics are in what is the key thing to drive that metric? And if you don’t know what that one thing is, then it’s the wrong metric. So find out exactly what the metrics are and what do you do to change those metrics? So there you go.


Scott D Clary  48:15

Very, very smart. A book or podcast, you’d recommend people go check out that has had an impact on your life.


Evan Sohn  48:21

Yeah, so I was reading other than your podcast, I would say Extreme Ownership. You know, by Jocko, you know, former Navy SEAL, he does a really good job. There’s a lot there. I take that stuff like very, very seriously. So I really liked that a lot. I am totally hooked on This Week in Startups. I only wish he didn’t podcast every day because I’m always behind. And then my son loves that he hooked me up on on how how, how this was built.


Scott D Clary  48:58

Is that it? Yeah, that’s the guy Roz like.


Evan Sohn  49:01

Yeah, yeah, the NPR show. That’s great. That’s also really, really good. Great Podcast. I’m in the jazz are good. A lot. So I’ll podcast then I’ll listen to podcasts while I’m in the gym.


Scott D Clary  49:10

Smart. If you could tell your 20 year old self one thing, what would it be?


Evan Sohn  49:19

2020 year olds off Wow. Growing up that’s, you know, I’m 54 years old. That’s a very, very long time ago. I didn’t have a beard that clearly no gray hair, no beard, not married. I would probably say that. Make sure that whatever you do you do with a really good partner. You know, one of the companies that I had started I did it by myself really? And I think that was a real challenge. You know that you really want to have a partner in business and in life. You know, you need someone to bounce things off of someone that is aligned with you. Someone that actually has See priorities, and really the same objectives. And I think that employees are great. And they’re always good to have employees. But you know, their motivations are different than a true partner in life and in business. So I brought a lot to my 20 year old self.


Scott D Clary  50:13

Very smart. And then last question, what does success mean to you?


Evan Sohn  50:18

Success, I really measure success, not on the value that I create for myself, but on the value that I create for everyone around me that if I can make the people around me successful, then I know I’m doing a good job. It’s pretty easy to drive. Ironically, you know, to drive your own success, right to toot your own horn, but how do you make everyone else really, really succeed? In fact, you know, what I learned early on was like to great, you know, a member, I started a company pretty young, back in the days where you didn’t start a company really young. You know, one of the best, one of the best compliments you can give a CEO is to say to that CEO, your team is amazing. Right? Every person I met at this company is amazing. The the management that you’ve assembled here is just amazing. And when you do that to a CEO, you’ll watch their shoulders or drop and they’ll smile, because that’s the ultimate compliment. Calm is not you’re brilliant, and you’re really smart. It’s a look at look at what you’ve created around you. So for me, it’s really the measurement of success. And by the way, I would probably say, you know, I have a series of rules that I live by and one of them is never worked for someone who doesn’t want to see you succeed. Like if you’re working for someone who cares more about their own success and your success, your get out leave. That’s just not the right place for you.



What’s up, y’all? I’m David. And I’m justice and the doji podcast is now part of blue wire network. considering getting back with the ex want to know for pickup line work, or maybe you’re just stuck in a friend’s downshift as advice at no price, and we’re always gonna keep it real.

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