Blood, Sweat & CPMs Podcast: Episode 3

Welcome to the Blood, Sweat and CPMs Podcast presented by Freestar.

Our hosts, Jeff Kudishevich and Andy Forwark are here to add levity and provide helpful pointers for anyone navigating the world of Ad Tech. Each episode, they will go through the top threads from the Ad Operations Subreddit and give their take on each hot topic of the week. They will also interview thought leaders across the industry to get their perspective on what matters most to them. Follow along on our Blog for show notes and associated links to each episode. Enjoy!


Episode 3

Veronica Salcido (AdTalent) on Marketing Yourself in the AdTech Job Market | US DOJ vs Google, Dealing with IVT, and Being the Solo AdOps Person

In this episode of the Freestar Blood Sweat and CPMs podcast, Jeff and Andy go through ad operations subreddit threads about US Antitrust regulation targeting Google, how to deal with invalid traffic, and the struggles of being the only ad operations person at your company. They also talk to Veronica Salcido, Founder of AdTalent about the trends in adtech recruiting in the past few years and how job seekers can better market themselves.


Listen to the episode on Spotify, now!



About Our Guest


Veronica has 15 years of recruiting experience in tech, with the last 10 being in adtech/martech. Through that work she has been through two career – IPO’s through acquisition. She was the Talent Lead at Adconion (which is now Amobee) and moved to the Bay Area to help build all of the revenue functions for TubeMogul (also now Adobe) through IPO. Over the last 5 years, Veronica has been leading her own Talent Agency, AdTalent, where she has been able to work both on advisory and placement of talent for tech start-ups in the space. When Veronica is not recruiting, she is an avid Mountaineer, Wilderness First Responder, and outdoor enthusiast. She has climbed 3 of the 7 highest summits of the world.  Her goal is to climb all 7, including Everest.

Find Veronica on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vsalcido/



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[00:00:04.980] 

It’s really quite simple, I think the number one thing, the number one job of any organization is people. If you can’t get that, like I don’t care how cool and fancy and relevant your product is, if your number one goal as an organization isn’t about people, you’re it’s it’s not going to be. It’s not going to be OK. Welcome, welcome, welcome.

[00:00:36.210] 

And thank you for joining us today on the Freestar Blood, Sweat and CPMs podcast. I hope everybody is having a phenomenal day to day. My name is Jeff. Could have seviche.

[00:00:47.190] 

And I’m Andy forwork. I’ll be helping us navigate through this wild world of edtech.

[00:00:52.440] 

Awesome. And I wanted to give everybody a rundown of today’s episode. For starters, we’re going to kick things off with our weekly read. It adopts threads to discuss. Hopefully we can add a little bit of insight and maybe a joke here or there. We also have a fantastic special guest today. Veronica Saucedo from AD Talent is going to be joining us.

[00:01:14.310] 

Yeah, Jeff, it’s a it’s great to have Veronica on with everything kind of going on right now in the world. There’s a lot of people that are unfortunately losing jobs. So, you know, hopefully we can get some insights from her on and some tips on how to get yourself out there and market yourself for these new jobs that you’ve got to find.

[00:01:33.330] 

Andy, I don’t want to just jump right into things without first asking you, how are you doing?

[00:01:38.850] 

Oh, you know, I’m I’m doing well, all things considered. I mean, I think I’m excited that, you know, there there’s hope that sports are coming back soon. So a little bit more of a distraction. You know, something to take my mind off things in the world other than just work.

[00:01:54.750] 

Yeah, for sure. For me, I’m I’m focused on a couple of things. Just generally speaking, my health. I’ve got some some pounds to lose. So doing my daily walks, getting my steps and I’ve got my goal of twelve thousand steps a day and trying to hit fifteen if I can, and just also watching what I’m eating, how much I’m eating and all of that good stuff.

[00:02:22.450] 

All right, Andy, now the moment of truth. Our time to break down the top rated ad ups threads of the week, in case you don’t know, which I would imagine most don’t. I actually started the add up sub, read it in twenty twelve and it’s now somehow become one of the leading arabs’ communities in the industry. What do you think, Andy? Yeah, it’s a great community. Happy to be a part of it. I’m excited for this segment to just run down all the different threads that we see over the weeks and give our opinions on it.

[00:02:53.280] 

Awesome. In our first thread, Andy, is do you hate sticky video players? This is a little meme from the Dave Chappelle Show. And then the the meme just reads, Y’all got any of them sticky video players? Personally, I’m not a big fan of that type of execution as a user, as a person who rarely actually goes on on many websites, to be honest and just looks at numbers all day. I am a big fan of the CPMs they might be able to bring, but that’s obviously the big part of it.

[00:03:32.940] 

Are you actually getting CPMs? Are you getting revenue or are you getting Phil? That’s sort of my take on on the stick video players, especially if you’re talking about them on mobile and they tend to agree they’re intrusive.

[00:03:48.030] 

But, you know, I like money. At the end of the day, the ads are going to be intrusive and and users are going to complain about all kinds of different ads. I mean, they may be this one is obviously one that stands out to the user. So it’s one that they’re going to complain about more, I think. But, you know, they might also complain about the different IIIB ads that are around your site, too.

[00:04:13.740] 

So you kind of have to balance, like whatever users are complaining about. And, you know, are there enough complaints to warrant, like, you losing out that revenue from it?

[00:04:22.380] 

And surely it’s going to vary for every publisher to. I think so. Depends on and in.

[00:04:29.610] 

Right. And it’s also sort of thing where if you wanted to, you could easily frequency copyright. You could say, hey, I only want this to serve once every day for a user or three per day or something like that. The other part that I do want to highlight is these are typically the types of units that you can determine what the traffic sources that sees those. Maybe you don’t want them to be shown to logged in users or Google search users, but maybe social users get it or if.

[00:05:03.950] 

You do any traffic acquisition, maybe those users get it, whereas the bulk of the rest of your user base doesn’t get them to. Next up, we have a thread called the US antitrust regulators are poised for a Google crackdown. This is an Adweek article that speaks to a Wall Street Journal expose, so to speak. I just wanted to read a little bit of of the article and then take it from there. So in the article, it quotes the Justice Department and multiple state attorney generals are probing Alphabeat own Google, which has become the dominant player in the near one hundred thirty billion dollar online advertising industry.

[00:05:45.280] 

My take on this is it’s sort of stemming from what we saw in the EU where there was the legal exercise and we saw Google get fined one and a half billion euros. I sort of see this as a necessary step in certain ways where the industry sort of knows that there are some concerns around the share of voice that Google has and all of the different products it offers. We obviously all work with Google, so it’s a little bit of a double edged sword there.

[00:06:19.510] 

And maybe it’s just the the Justice Department is sort of catching up on this and really trying to think about how big is Google, really? How many products do most consumers actually use of theirs?

[00:06:32.570] 

Yeah, I mean, I think being in the industry, we have really, you know, we kind of know how this works. Right. And a lot of us are using DFB or GAM for ad server, which kind of is the only way that you can run ATEX to the outside of the industry. They may not even be aware of that. So it sounds to me like this is just catching wind and maybe, maybe there’s some unfairness there or something.

[00:06:59.200] 

But at least in this world, we’ve able we’ve been able to use products like Pre-bid to give us a little bit more of a fairer auction, obviously, than what we used to do in the past with waterfalls where, you know, you were losing money.

[00:07:14.390] 

Don’t go chasing water. Sorry, Andy. I have to anytime you have to, every time we say it.

[00:07:21.940] 

But, yeah, it’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

[00:07:25.030] 

Is is when I want to see.

[00:07:27.130] 

Next up, the thread is entitled Rich. This is a cartoon. The user doesn’t give it credit. This is actually an ad exchange or cartoon. This is obviously very, very timely and topical. The cartoon, it’s people in a long street. They’re holding signs, some of the signs saying no justice. Some of the signs are Black Lives Matter. Some of the signs say no peace. Obviously, what ad exchange is doing with this cartoon in terms of the word reach.

[00:07:58.660] 

And then the cartoon here is sort of saying, you know, these protests are are having global reach and kind of getting the message out. Andy and I in in the company at large where we’re completely saddened and, you know, really feel the pain that we’re seeing in our communities and our in our country. Certainly, I can’t say I understand what it’s like to be a black person in America or but I think these protests and the exposure that a lot of these injustices are getting has been really eye opening for a lot of Americans and painful and and terrible to see some of the things that I’m seeing.

[00:08:44.320] 

I started listening to a podcast that I saw somebody recommend called Code Switch from NPR. I went back to the first episode of Twenty Sixteen. Literally, there was an episode about another incident in Minneapolis which had protesters to say it sounds any different from twenty sixteen to twenty. Twenty would be a lie. It’s it’s tough, it’s you know, we have Freestar where we’re trying to figure out what we can do as a as a as an organization looking at diversity on our team, finding ways that we can help in a professional way, whether that be professional mentoring or career development.

[00:09:24.950] 

We’ve reached out to some folks in the industry who we feel are better suited to lead those conversations. Right. I think it’s disingenuous for us to lead those conversations. But, you know, certainly something that that we want to get behind and and help in ways that we can, you know, we’re just trying to find opportunities to help. So, you know, if anybody’s listening and they have some ideas around, you know, what Freestar can do as an organization, what I can do as an individual, we’re all ears and and we certainly want to make an impact where we can.

[00:09:58.460] 

Yeah. And, you know, Jeff, I think the one thing that you point out and this just remains true is you you can go back. Hundreds of years, and you’re going to have the same types of things and, you know, even just bringing back an instance in twenty sixteen, you know, it’s it’s much more heightened right now. The pandemic definitely helps with that. People are focused on what happened to George Floyd should never happen to any human.

[00:10:33.340] 

I want to reiterate the fact that no, I’ll never know. But I’m here to listen in here to be whatever I can be for anybody. It’s tough. It’s tough to turn on the TV. And it’s a very tough situation because seeing the things that are going on in society is tough to it’s tough to stomach. You know, I think we’re all in this. Most of us are in this together. And we want to see, you know, a better outcome and a better place for all of us to live and grow as a society as a whole.

[00:11:08.050] 

Next up, we have a thread entitled Freestar versus Media, Vyn versus Ad Drive. Now, I was certainly a little apprehensive of talking about this thread, mainly because we’re obviously part of the subject matter. But I think we have an interesting perspective that we can talk through without feeling a little weird about it. First off, I want to sort of talk about our reaction when we first saw this. I think this was posted over a weekend, got it into slack, and there was kind of a buzz.

[00:11:41.050] 

People from business development, our publisher operations team, lots of people chimed in internally. Right. We we typically have a little bit of a buzz whenever we we get mentioned in whether it’s read it at Ops or an ad exchange article or whatever, whatever the case may be, we’re usually having internal conversations about that. So that’s that was the first thing I wanted to to kind of talk through. What was your first thought when you ran across this thread?

[00:12:13.990] 

Yeah, I mean, obviously I always look whenever I see our brand out there, I kind of want to find out what what’s the user asking? Why are they saying good things, bad things, questions, whatever it may be? You know, we we want to help them, too. And, you know, I think one of my takeaways from this is that, you know, we’re all very similar. Right. And what we do who do want to work with and you know, what what interests you about any of these three brands?

[00:12:46.470] 

I think as a publisher, you kind of have to look at all of them in a competitive market, you know, just as a good consumer would write, like I’m going to call around a couple of places and and see what might be might be best for me. And so while we all perform or have some similar services and, you know, we probably do things a little bit differently here and there, what’s going to be best for you is the question I think you need to ask yourself at the end of the day.

[00:13:14.450] 

Yeah. And I think ultimately piggybacking off of that, there’s going to be things we do better than other competitors. There’s going to be things they do better than us, vice versa. Ultimately, it all for me will always come down to who do I want to work with? Is there better performance from one versus the other? And where can I see myself grow? And we typically look at our publishers in a long term kind of lens. We want publishers with us for years and years and years.

[00:13:48.540] 

So hopefully that’s also part of the psyche is who do I see myself being able to work with indefinitely? Who do I see myself being able to deal with all of the different crazy shit that happens in this industry on a monthly, weekly basis and know that they’ve got my back and maybe wear it for you and maybe we’re not. And that’s that’s OK, right? I think there’s there’s plenty of help we can provide and certainly plenty of help that some of these other companies can provide as well.

[00:14:26.010] 

Moving on, our next thread is entitled Free Will, Vast Performance on in Stream Video. There’s a little bit of nuance here, so I’m going to try to sum it up a little bit. Basically, this user had or still has video pre-bid partners like AppNexus and some others, and they were testing with Freewheel. They had this theory that while Freewheel is owned by Comcast, so certainly knowing that they specialize in video, they should be outperforming vendors that they’ve worked with and they just sort of feel like, hey, what’s going wrong?

[00:15:08.380] 

Kind of my initial take is maybe nothing’s wrong. If you if you if you if you don’t have errors, if the setup is right, I mean, Andy, we see time and time again where Product A works for these 10 publishers and is terrible for the next story at the time.

[00:15:28.420] 

So lots of variety we even touched on earlier. It’s like with the sticky video player as an example, like it may not have worked for that publisher and but sure.

[00:15:41.080] 

Like this this publisher is saying, hey, AppNexus is working well. So, yeah, I would just encourage everyone to test and. Find out what is the best for you. There’s a lot of solutions out there, so test what you what you can and and try to learn from it and just use what’s what’s working the best for you. I think it’s great to ask the community if they’ve seen any anything similar, because, like, a lot of the comments are like, yeah, it’s the same for us.

[00:16:12.800] 

So maybe that speaks a little bit more to their decision making of saying, all right, then I can go back to these. Maybe there’s no other. You know, knobs, I can turn that that will fix this, right? Yeah, and and ultimately, if there’s no errors, right. And that’s maybe that’s kind of where they got where they came from, like, hey, this should be working better than it is, is am I doing something wrong?

[00:16:37.170] 

And I and I certainly get that sort of philosophical approach. But sometimes you didn’t do it wrong. And it’s just it is what it is just sometimes that that’s the way it goes. So maybe try Springsure or liquid Nexstar or. No to Lorianne Rubicon. Who knows, maybe there’s just a different mix for your for your site and your and your video ad content. And some of it just doesn’t work for everybody. And that’s pretty, pretty normal.

[00:17:11.160] 

I think maybe maybe they just wanted to hear somebody else say no. I think that’s what it does. It does help to hear it from another. I mean, especially if they’re just an individual and they don’t have anybody at their company to talk to. Right. Like, hey, I need to bounce this off someone. Yeah.

[00:17:25.860] 

And in many cases, ad ops is sometimes a very lonely role in a company where. Yeah, that’s the ad guy or gal and that’s it. There’s nobody the CEO might not know the product. People might not know. And it’s just sort of like all I can do is sort of research things and and use these resources. So anyhow, hopefully that hopefully that helps this user or anybody else who might have a similar kind of thing that sticks out for them.

[00:17:56.490] 

Last thread for us is entitled Lowering Price Floors May Harm Publisher IBT. Anyone else think this is a stretch and it links to an ad exchange or article written by the CEO of Premiss who we happen to work with. One thing I wanted to make sure to to spell out here is this is a very complicated article. Andy and I kind of reread it a few times and almost did like a whiteboard session to kind of understand what was being said. So I want to first explain what was written in terms that I think most people will understand.

[00:18:35.340] 

And then we can actually talk about the the topic. So what what’s being discussed here is that lowering your flaws could then actually. Get more of your inventory sold and the theory being that some of your worst inventory that might be plagued with IBT or invalid traffic could be that inventory started at the very bottom of the barrel. So the examples that were used in the article is, well, if you have a ten dollar flaw and ninety five percent of your traffic is clean and only five percent is kind of infested, so to speak, with IBT, then your ten dollar flaw would keep that five percent from being purchased.

[00:19:23.990] 

And then when verification companies are the DSP are looking at their data, all they’re seeing is your quote unquote clean traffic that was purchased versus if you lowered your floor or removed your fourth floor completely, then that remaining five percent of your inventory might get purchased and that might be the quote unquote infested inventory. And now instead of just seeing 95 percent of clean purchased impression’s, DP or other vendors will see the ninety five percent plus that five percent of again, I’m doing air quotes on a podcast, so maybe not the best that ninety that ninety five percent of clean plus that five percent of IB EBT traffic.

[00:20:11.990] 

So that’s what was being said.

[00:20:14.570] 

It’s, it’s a complicated article in the sense that there, there are a lot of things to read into here. And so. My my first takeaway was I read the headline and I probably just assumed what the article was about and I assume completely wrong. So I think it’s an important important to maybe two lessons here. Right. One, maybe the title could have been set up differently to make it not seem like what we all kind of assumed.

[00:20:48.090] 

Yeah, we had like this visceral initial, like crazy.

[00:20:53.550] 

What are they talking about? Right. So we got to read it. And that’s the other lesson is, you know, as a as a user in this world of headlines, read the articles you might find more to it than just what the headline alludes to. And I think that’s the case in all things. I mean, how many sports headlines do I see that seem like, oh, man, they’re really making this player look bad or something.

[00:21:17.910] 

And then you read it and it’s like, really, that was not a big deal.

[00:21:21.760] 

Yeah, so so now that we’ve at least explained and kind of given our feedback there, I then want to take a step back and actually address what he was writing here. So not adjusting your price or lowering your price floors to let in bad traffic. I get it in principle, but.

[00:21:44.270] 

Don’t you want to work on your bad traffic instead of having to sort of use an artificial price floor to keep your quote unquote bad traffic from being purchased and then, God forbid, gets you blacklisted or gets you on some sort of radar at an ad quality department at that SSP? Right. And you bring up a really good point. And this is, you know, I mean, you kind of hit the nail on the head, right? Like, why not take better precautions on your own side to to scan for that IBT and block it before it even gets to a floor that has to handle it?

[00:22:28.580] 

Right. And the other thing, too, is that could change. I mean, that could change this week for week or month over month. So I would be cautious about using a flaw to solve this problem.

[00:22:40.680] 

Yeah. So for invalid traffic, the small percentage of it that that occurs is is likely not intentional by the publisher. If you’re intentionally, you know, gate gaining traffic, that is from questionable sources that may be deemed IBT, then maybe try to think of a different strategy. There’s no way of avoiding it. Just stop doing it.

[00:23:08.450] 

You’re making the rest of us have to keep giving 10 percent to this verification company and five percent of this anti fraud and all of this crap and made all the industry out of it. That’s true.

[00:23:21.610] 

It’s it’s kind of ridiculous when you think of it on that spectrum.

[00:23:25.790] 

But, yeah, I mean, there’s there’s ways to acquire traffic to your website that are perfectly legal and will not, you know, get flagged for IBT.

[00:23:35.630] 

So learn about that stuff and and ask questions I think is the takeaway for me. All right.

[00:23:41.930] 

What do you say we switch some gears here?

[00:23:43.670] 

I’m always ready to switch gears and is a gearhead everybody OK? And now we’re welcoming our special guest, Veronica Saucedo from Ad Talent. Veronica is joining us. After having fifteen years of recruiting experience in tech with the last ten being an ad tech and Martek, through her work, she’s been through two successful career IPOs through acquisitions. She was the talent lead ad at Kohnen, which is now mobile and moved to the Bay Area to help build all of the revenue functions for two mogel, which now you might know as Adobe also through an IPO.

[00:24:23.060] 

Over the last five years, Veronica has been leading her own talent agency again called Add Talent, where she’s been able to work both as an advisory and placement of talent for tech startups in our space. When Veronica is not recruiting, she is actually an avid mountaineer, wilderness first responder and outdoor enthusiast. She’s climbed three of the seven highest summits of the world and her goal is to climb all seven, including Everest.

[00:24:50.360] 

Well, Veronica, that’s good. Yeah. Thank you for having me. Awesome. So let’s go ahead and jump right in.

[00:25:02.090] 

I’d like to know off the bat, sort of how did you get into ADTECH in the first place, Veronica?

[00:25:08.600] 

Yeah, I think like a lot of us, I kind of stumbled onto ADTECH. I, I stumbled onto technology first before I really ended up in attack. And I think what I really fell in love with is how technology transforms entire industries and then also at a personal level, how we may manage our day to day. So I actually started off my career at an online banking software company. I know. Really exciting, right?

[00:25:43.910] 

Yeah. We love we love banking software. It’s just the best.

[00:25:48.800] 

I thought banking was online. Banking was cool, but there was still a lot of the financial and banking banking piece of it. So it’s still a little bit buttoned up. Right. And so I went over to I actually went over to a publisher, an online publisher that was aggregating websites, buying blogs and negotiating purchasing of blogs to aggregate audiences and sell like these really niche audiences to advertisers and modern media.

[00:26:25.600] 

And all made a lot of sense to me. I’m like, this is brilliant. Like I understand why GM would be interested or an aftermarket part dealership is interested in a car enthusiast site, but not just one block. Right. Like an aggregation of audience. And then I started really asking questions around what is really happening behind the ads that were being served, like if you have an answer for that, let us know.

[00:26:55.280] 

We’re still not sure.

[00:26:57.260] 

I started pulling like the ad string questions, right, that we’re still asking.

[00:27:03.710] 

And I ended up, I would say the first true like introduction to true ad tech was going over to at Kohnen. But I will never forget the CMO did a presentation on the future of online advertising and attack. And the main things that I still remember were mobile video and automation.

[00:27:28.880] 

Those were the three words and I was hot and I said, I am going to go find a company that has pure technology or is building pure technology and has technology under their hood. And it is and is in video and mobile.

[00:27:44.870] 

So I, I packed up my stuff and moved to the Bay Area. I got offers from three of the top video mobile programmatic companies and I ended up at two mobile. Awesome. So that’s it.

[00:27:59.300] 

That’s the story.

[00:28:03.720] 

So I mean all of that. OK, it sounds like you’ve gone through a ton of challenges, but starting your own business, I mean, that is something that, you know, I don’t know if I could do myself. So what helped you kind of make that leap into starting your own and working for yourself?

[00:28:22.520] 

I think two things were the key contributor, contributing factors. One was having an incredible mentor. His name is Brett Wilson.

[00:28:35.840] 

He was the co-founder and CEO at the time of two mobile we IPO to 18 months after I joined the company. And we were working an incredible amount of hours.

[00:28:48.950] 

I don’t know that I have the stamina to do that again, but it was such a great like boot camp for business because I got to work directly with Brett and I learned an insurmountable, valuable amount of information around how to build a business. And then the second thing that happened is Brett really gave me the push to do that. So after the IPO, after two years of, like, running really hard, I decided to take time off. And buy a one way ticket to Peru and claim the Inca trail.

[00:29:35.580] 

I hope I’ve never like my girlfriend’s response to this was, you understand, you can’t wear heels to this.

[00:29:43.790] 

That’s why I was it was just the right reset that I needed.

[00:29:50.870] 

And this is all going to tie in like we’re in a massive restart right now, like how to find tremendous opportunities. And I think I don’t know I don’t know what got into me, but it was the smartest thing I have ever done was to go do something completely outside of my comfort zone. I had an incredible trust built with the organization. We did this together. And so when I decided to do that, well, Berettas is selling me.

[00:30:19.250] 

I’m not doing it, obviously, because, like, we can give you this role. He also was very supportive along the way. I see it on as a consultant and adviser to the organization. And he said, just make sure the first call when you’re done with whatever you need to go out and find is me. And I was after 90 days of traveling and doing all of this really cool, crazy outside of my comfort zone stuff, I called him and he said, you know, here’s a role we can offer you back.

[00:30:51.670] 

Right? And I’m like, Brett, I just did some really scary, crazy shit that sounds like I can do it. I need to lose her. I need to lose sleep over the next thing he said. Don, send me a contract. You’re now an entrepreneur.

[00:31:10.250] 

Congratulations. And he hung up, right.

[00:31:13.280] 

Incredibly shifting over to being your own boss. Right. Can you sort of talk us through what what your sort of personal philosophy is around recruiting and what what your take is around it?

[00:31:27.950] 

Yeah, it’s it’s really quite simple. I think the number one thing, the number one job of any organization is people. If you can get that, like I don’t care how cool and fancy and relevant your product is, if your number one goal is or organization isn’t about people, you’re it’s it’s not going to be it’s not going to be OK. Right.

[00:31:54.230] 

And so, I mean, the people are there to to push your vision. Push your idea. Right, exactly.

[00:32:01.820] 

And so I have been a part of organizations that, quite frankly, had a really shitty product.

[00:32:09.500] 

I’m just being honest. Right, with water names. But of course, they had the people part.

[00:32:17.090] 

And let me tell you, these teams were killer and they were they were very successful because they focused on people. And I’ll tell you let me tell you let me tell you an example, what that looks like on a day to day.

[00:32:34.550] 

It’s a CEO showing up on time for every interview I can tell you. One hundred percent like the CEOs from the top or the sea levels or the heads of department that are like taking hiring incredibly serious from the get go are creating a culture and a tone from the beginning that says I care about people.

[00:32:58.610] 

That’s that’s a really interesting concept. I mean, I don’t talk to a lot of recruiters. I’m pretty safe here at my Freestar job. And my boss is on this call.

[00:33:09.410] 

But I can definitely broadcast on your LinkedIn kind of along the lines of, like people in the in the organization.

[00:33:23.900] 

I mean, I have to agree, like people is a huge part of it. And how do you help like a company balance being lean versus like having the staff get burnt out? Yeah, so first, I think lean and burnt out get used interchangeably a lot of times, so life really defining what lean means and lean doesn’t mean burning out your stuff, right?

[00:33:51.510] 

Lean to me means being strategic around how you hire and how you build scalable teams. Right. What that looks like is this is what happens with most founders that I speak with is we got to go out and hire. We just got a round of funding.

[00:34:11.160] 

We need salespeople. We need people that handle once the sales come in. And we need like it’s very reactionary versus strategy. And once if you take a step back before even going to market and looking for that talent and really have a moment, it doesn’t take very long. Having a moment around how these who are the key people you are going to hire?

[00:34:38.220] 

How are you going to invest the the money that you just got from funding in terms of compensations and then you start prioritizing on this role is we cannot mess up this area. Right. We must hire an expert in this area and we will invest in hiring an expert in that area because it’s going to make a significant and not just today in our business, but the long term opportunity and growth of our business.

[00:35:07.680] 

Right. And then around that, you build the the talent that I called multitool user talent. Right.

[00:35:16.980] 

This talent that has a tremendous amount of potential, they haven’t done it.

[00:35:23.310] 

But through your interview process, you’re able to figure out that they have some of the intangibles to be able to come into your organization and do it.

[00:35:31.740] 

The one thing I wanted to touch on, you kind of mentioned the Multitool thing. And one of the things that I’ve been kind of curious about from your vantage point. Right. Are you seeing a trend in different types of skill sets that are more in demand now than maybe five years ago, three years ago, something like that? Like are there other things that are the the the things people are looking for now that they weren’t looking for years ago?

[00:35:59.670] 

Yes. So no one is you better know data if you speak data.

[00:36:09.870] 

I don’t know what to tell you. You better go for some data. Right. So like if and and same with talking to organizations like if they’re not, I have to say, I don’t know that we have a lot of companies that are in the data game already.

[00:36:26.910] 

Right. And so the same thing goes for talent. So, for example, from a from a tech talent perspective, you know, anyone who is a data engineer has done machine learning full circle on like even people coming from finance that are doing high transaction data driven algorithms and managing big data warehouses. Those are all like big skill sets in demand.

[00:36:55.680] 

And so across the board, across every single, including even talent data. If you can’t speak, if you can’t tell your story through data, you’re no longer relevant in the industry.

[00:37:09.090] 

I imagine you talk to a lot of sea level executives in various, you know, in the space. But do you see any common attributes or even habits amongst these individuals? Yes, lots of them.

[00:37:23.640] 

But I’ll narrow it down to if we could tell everything, get some of those stories off air.

[00:37:36.390] 

So I would say going back, I I’m going to drive this point like to the ground. People like these are people builders product is the casing around which they build these like teams. Right. And it’s all out there. So people focus, they know how to either move teams or build teams that move teams. Right. Those are the most successful leaders and the leaders that I’ve chosen to work with. And and the second piece is, you know, these folks are incredibly resilient.

[00:38:15.960] 

And we’re this is a great time to talk about that. All of those leaders believe that in great challenges is great opportunity. And they almost have this energy around. I’m going to be that one person who is going to find the one opportunity that’s going to. Distinguish us during a time of high challenge, and I’m going to bank on the fact that competitors are going to fall off the map.

[00:38:41.610] 

I love that. I think that’s that’s a that’s that’s refreshing to hear that those are some of the conversations that you’re you’re you’re having with folks that are looking to build businesses and move there, move their needle. I did want to kind of switch gears a little bit and talk about, you know, the people who are looking for work right now, knowing that kind of not in this very strange climate where we’re seeing large and really concentrated unemployment right out of out of nowhere, boom.

[00:39:17.550] 

Kind of.

[00:39:17.970] 

How have you sort of seen the work life change with the companies you work with and people who are looking for work now?

[00:39:26.430] 

Yeah, so I think similar attitude of having this be a tremendous opportunity versus, oh man, I’m going to be one of the people who gets kind of left behind. Well, that’s only going to happen if you have that attitude around it right now. But I would say the number one thing is you better become the best marketer out there. You’re no longer a job seeker.

[00:39:49.410] 

You we have. It’s always been. And when I advised advice with candidates, you’re not a job seeker.

[00:39:56.490] 

You are a marketer. You’re selling yourself. Right. And so we have you know, during the month of April, we offered free consulting services to advise candidates and have video conversations around their strategy, around finding work. And so a lot of our work has shifted into instead of placements. We’re actually doing a lot of talent and community engagement because when those floodgates, we I truly in one hundred percent believe that there’s going to be a lot of companies that are going to add new companies are in a pop up that are going to figure out really cool ways to monetize.

[00:40:42.730] 

This is a time to really figure out how can I monetize on this opportunity. Right, right. And so when that happens, there’s going to be a lot of specific jobs that open up.

[00:40:53.790] 

So our strategy at telling has been to keep our community of talent really engaged, really prepared for when that happens. Right. And that makes us and credit is sticking incredibly relevant to the marketplace.

[00:41:08.490] 

So you mentioned earlier, too, like that sign up with you because you’ll help people, you know, market themselves and do all these things to help them get jobs. So is there any advice you can share with us on the podcast here for the listeners that you know is helpful that might help them in this time?

[00:41:27.900] 

Yeah, I mean, we could make a whole series of podcasts on the subject here, but if I can narrow it down to like the top three walkaways, I feel like three’s a really good number. Number one, again, I think as a marketer. Right. So you’re no longer a job seeker.

[00:41:45.030] 

You are the best CMO of yourself. So that’s a start with today.

[00:41:51.030] 

And tech and ad tech. Your LinkedIn is your first line of defense. It’s no longer the resume. I can’t tell you how many candidates I speak to that want to jump into resume talk. And I’m like, what about your LinkedIn? There’s nothing on your LinkedIn. This is where I find no one source of hires is online LinkedIn. Google searches. Right. Do you have an online presence? Have you blogged how searchable are you online. You’re in tech.

[00:42:19.080] 

Right? So making sure that your online presence is strong, that it tells the story that you wanted to tell. Right. No tool is OK. Let’s talk about the resume. Right. So what I typically say, just like in advertising, whatever’s the top half of the first page of your resume, you better hok. Right. So don’t spend that space doing bullet points that I never want to read.

[00:42:44.940] 

I want to know where you have worked most recently. I want to know where you’ve worked most recently. And look, if your education is relevant to what you do and it’s worth telling at the beginning, tell it otherwise stick it at the bottom of the resume. But you have to hook me. I’m reading thousands and thousands of resumes and so are the hiring teams. If you don’t hook me in the first half of that page, you are done, especially in a saturated market for sure.

[00:43:12.540] 

I love that. I love that focus too, on that on that specific part of the resume, too.

[00:43:19.710] 

Yeah. And and finally, number three is once you get the interview is I would say the number one piece of advice is you’re interviewing them as well. Don’t forget that. Right. So do your research really take serious you’re really making a. Decision to go to an organization, these are the people you’re going to be working with. So what questions do you want to ask before you make a decision?

[00:43:42.870] 

So treating it as you’re interviewing them as well, they will greatly appreciate it.

[00:43:48.000] 

And secondly, when you’re answering questions and I won’t get in-depth into those, but when answering questions, give examples, give real examples, don’t say I am great at this. Tell them a story.

[00:44:02.970] 

Tell them a project you worked on that is going to give you a load of credibility and depth and you will be memorable when you walk away. So that’s my really high level three points. That’s awesome.

[00:44:16.800] 

Excellent. Thank you, Veronica. I think anybody who is listening will will take a ton of valuable insights from that. So we really appreciate you. You sharing that both from you from a company perspective as well as a potential employee perspective. Love, love to chat with you. And this was so much great information, really. Thank you for joining us today.

[00:44:46.050] 

Yeah. Thank you, guys. Thanks a lot. Well, that was fantastic hearing from Veronica.

[00:44:54.600] 

I know I learned some things and I hope you did as well. So, again, special thanks to Veronica Salceda from Ad Talent. Cheers to that. A reminder for everybody that the links for the Reddit threads we discussed will be in the show notes if you want to check them out afterwards. Thank you again for everyone who made it this far, for the Freestar Blood, Sweat and CPMs podcast. If you do have a spare moment, please check us out on Google Play or iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and leave us for review and subscribe to make sure that you get all of this high quality content directly into your ears.

[00:45:29.460] 

For feedback or suggestions for guests, you can reach us at a podcast at Freestar Dotcom Special.

[00:45:36.330] 

Thanks to Matt Heinlein for our music and to Caroline Romano and Paolo Battista for helping with editing and production and making sure that people know this podcast exists until next time. Don’t forget to add your macros later, alligator.


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