S4E21: Finding what's next, with Evan Sohn (CEO, Recruiter.com)

An episode of The Impact Multiplier CEO Podcast

S4E21: Finding what’s next, with Evan Sohn (CEO, Recruiter.com)

Evan Sohn (CEO of Recruiter.com, which is disrupting the $120 billion recruiting and staffing industry) speaks with Xquadrant's Founder Richard Medcalf. Recruiter.com combines an AI and Video hiring platform with the world's largest network of over 27,500 small and independent recruiters, to help businesses of all sizes recruit talent faster.

We are continuing our season "CEO Success Formulae" where we explore how top CEOs create the impact they do.

In this conversation, you’ll discover:

  • The mistake most leaders make in creating a gap between vision and execution
  • How to distinguish temptation from opportunity
  • How Evan deploys KPIs to give everyone real clarity about how they can most contribute to the corporate mission
  • The 'dark side' of Evan's high energy and passion - and how he's learned to deal with that

"Never do anything you're not being measured against."

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You can watch this episode and discover more videos on strategy, leadership and purpose over on the Xquadrant YouTube channel.

Transcript

Richard Medcalf
Hi Evan, Welcome to the show.

Evan Sohn
Thanks so much for having me really appreciate it.

Richard Medcalf
I'm really excited to have you on today you are the chief executive of Recruiter.com, which seems to be incredibly fast growing an interesting business disrupting the recruitment market. So we're going to get into that a little bit but I also want to scratch the surface and find out about your formula for creating impact. I know you founded your own business, you've you've had a string of roles in different areas, and now you're leading up to this very exciting opportunity. So why don't we kind of just take a step back and give us a quick summary of like, what's your journey been? And how did you come into this role as CEO of Recruiter.com?

Evan Sohn
Sure, a little long winded story. So brace, brace yourself. So I'm 54 years old. I started my first company, I was a programmer through college, and I started my first company right out of I was in NYU business school in mobile computing. So 1989 Mobile looks very different than mobile today and really professionalize the mobile application side of things. So we really worked with some really just fantastic companies, American Express, Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb, Roche Abbott, TD Ameritrade grew that company over a decade and got acquired by Dun and Bradstreet in 1998. left there was pulled out by a venture capital firm to come work in the security space was there for a little bit, that eventually morphed into got acquired by message Labs, which was an anti virus anti spam provider stay there for a little bit, that company got acquired by Symantec, then I went back into mobile, got acquired by Verifone in the payment space, spent about a decade in the payment space, left Verifone after a bunch of years there and joined a Silicon Valley company called point point, recently, about a year ago got acquired by GoDaddy. So other than my first company and 89, I really played more of a sales, sales marketing sales strategy sales role in in these other companies. So love the sales process, love the sales asked aspect of things and about three years ago, was talking to an investor friend of mine, hey, I want to get involved in a public company in a small public company. I want to use my sort of background and experience to really move that move that peanut forward. He introduced me to a company that's now called Recruiter.com. Recruiter.com was a media company. You think of a destination site media company, you know, it makes money selling sponsorships and advertising, right? That's kind of how you look at a media company but a media company had, you know, the largest LinkedIn groups in recruiter is 850,000. Globally 3.5 million social media touch points, almost 50,000 Twitter followers, you know, really just 42,000 recruiters on our platform alone, all these other things and my thesis was gee, let's now actually add software and turn these recruiters as an expert network for talent acquisition.

Richard Medcalf
Okay, so you have the eyeball. So you have the you had the audio

Evan Sohn
And the eyeballs and I'm like, let's turn this into a, an expert network. I love expert networks and let's turn an expert network for talent acquisition and so GE, we looked at the gig economy and also, you know, I love I've been involved in new industries and I've been involved in reinventing existing industries, reinventing existing industries is actually much, much easier. Zoom is one of our clients, we didn't convince zoom to spend money on talent acquisition, we're just convincing them to spend money with us. You'll I looked at this industry from a financial perspective, and you know, completely right for reinvention, right, it's a $76 billion and that was some 2017. It's probably more now, you know, huge industry, made up of 1000s and 1000s, of 1000s of small and independent recruiters. On one side, you have all of the digital talent, you know, candidate identification led by guys like zip recruiter, indeed and LinkedIn but that segment alone is about a $26 billion space and they're probably doing let's say three something billion dollars. So there are lots of lots of parties in this space and really just wanted to, you know, take our take our capture our segment of that market.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, so you saw an opportunity in that right. It was under exploited because it had this massive reach. Yeah, but it hadn't got the service and the filtration.

Evan Sohn
I think the other thing, Richard, is that, you know, having been on the investor side a few times. Every time you raise money, you would say to the investors, hey, we're going to spend about 30 really a 30% of that money on brand identity, right brand identity and lead generation, well, we're ready recruited calm, like we have that brand. Um, we we get four and a half million dollars a month in organic traffic. So we get a ridiculous amount of organic traffic, we have this presence already. So the opportunity to not have to allocate dollars to actually brand brand building, it's actually, you know, a real, real serious asset for the company. You know, they're not many domain brand names out there. You know, you think of booking.com and hotels.com, and realtor.com. So there's recruited calm, and I think there's really just this great opportunity and then to make the long story slightly longer in in May of 20. So I first came on as chairman of the board, Executive Chairman of board, raise a little bit of money, put things together. And then really in May of 2020, I sat down with the board of directors and I said, you know, if you think about the shutdown, stocks of peloton and Netflix and DoorDash, gee, what's going to be a reopening stock? And I said, Look, when this whole pandemic is over the job, market's going to be an absolute disarray and we're going to be there as recruiters calm to really reap the benefits, if you will, of helping companies hire better, stronger, faster, I had no idea to be in this disarray and you know, I said, I'll put my money where my mouth is, when I quit my day job, and I became CEO, the CEO would go over to become CFO. We raised some more money hired investment banker, and then we got on NASDAQ this past July. So we're, we are roughly, I think, eight months in on NASDAQ now, and growing really nicely.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, fantastic and so if you look back at that career, it's really interesting, right? I mean, you you create you entrepreneur, you into corporate, you have had all sorts of transactions along the way. You, you identified Recruiter.com, you got involved, you raise the money, and then you became CEO. So it's a fantastic trajectory and what's your secret sauce? Right? So if you identify one off, you know, 123 factors that have driven you impact, what would they be?

Evan Sohn
So my secret sauce, good question. Is my superpower, right? So let's not say super, let's use the word super, but is really getting excellent clarity on what's next. Right? So most people tend to focus on things that are 10 steps away. Now, that's great and all but that's not what's in front of your face and it's a little salesy oriented, right, you know, go get the signature on the paper, nothing else matters and getting the signature on the paper, don't talk doesn't matter about what's going to happen next, and how we're going to delete none of that matters, right and I really learned that for some from some very exciting salespeople that I've I've worked with, but you know, business is the same, get very good clarity on the priorities and really, what's next in that priority. You know, what has to happen to get there? You know, I, early...

Richard Medcalf
Can I interrupt one second? Because I want to make things...

Evan Sohn
I'm a New Yorker, Richard, you can interrupt me anytime you want.

Richard Medcalf
I wouldn't have guessed that you're in New York, Connecticut, just get it comes out fast. What I was gonna say, okay, I can help out fast talking with people. So we'll see. I always say that the brain is a broadband device in the mouth, narrowband device, right. It's really hard to get your mouth and your brain sometimes. I was gonna say when you talked about what's next, I thought you were talking around the seeing round corners, kind of looking beyond the horizon. But what I'm hearing is, is actually, like, what's the very next thing that we need to do to?

Evan Sohn
That's right. I'm actually really good at where the hockey puck is going. That's the that's the US expression, right? It's not where the hockey puck is where it's going. That's an old Wayne Wayne Gretzky line but I think that, you know, I've worked with CEOs that would, you know, years ago, they would draw two circles on a line and go see I solve the problem, right? You know, you're at a, you're at Stage A, everyone knows what's the Z looks like? It's global domination, you know, and it's a billion dollar valuation. Right. So that's easy, right? Here's we are in a, there's the Z, the real challenge is really what is B look like? And how do you get to B? And then how do you get to see that? How do you get to D. And by the way, the mistakes that we make along the way in my mind mistakes are that jump too quickly. GE, there was a stage B, I went from a to c, I really need to go to B and just getting really good clarity on what's next and what's next and what's next and by the way, you know, translate that really from a sales perspective, right? You know, there's a process in sales that's just incredibly pure. You made your presentation, the customer is interested. Let's get so what's next? Well, next is let's go get a formal contract in place. What's next? Let's review the contract. What's next? We're going to get there read line that now you're not going to say kind of get the signature until you get a red line because everyone's gonna read line something, you know. So okay, we've got your red lines, Great. Now let's schedule a color. So there's a, there's a sales process, a repeatable process but all the businesses like that, you know, what's next? What's next? And getting really good clarity on what's next?

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, so how do you do that? Like, what's How do you? What's your thought process? If you're going to a new business or new business unit? Or you're given a new challenge? How do you break that down? I'm just curious to kind of get into the inside.

Evan Sohn
Yeah. So I do what's called a I do I do what I call an asset test. Right, your typical asset test was, you know, assets on one side liabilities on the other and I would, I would generally look at companies, I've been in a number of like, in situations, high growth, not just high growth, but like startup companies trying to conquer the world and you basically, right, here's what we are today, here's what when you want to be and you look at the gap there, and then you have to, you know, do the real serious look in the mirror, you know, here's what we're selling, and here's what we could deliver, let's make sure we could deliver what we're selling, and really alignment there along the way and move that process along the way. That's really, you know, you just got to get really good clarity on what you got what you are today, and what you're going to be in the near future, talking about, you know, we talk about, okay, let's go charge recruiters, you know, some sort of membership fee to be on the platform? Well, that makes a lot of sense. And you have an incredibly good value proposition that will that they must have like an Amazon Prime functionality or software that is just so easy to use, or something that really makes sense there. So if you're not there today, stop talking about it. Right? We'll get there. You know, what, we will get there when we're ready. Right? Uber doesn't charge the drivers to be on their platform, right? They make money for their drivers on the platform. Now does one day Uber say, hey, look, we charge an extra dollar a month in order to do XY and Z, maybe, but that's not their problem today, you know, so I think you have to get really good and honest with what you are. And I think when I've run into CEOs, you know that that this is a real CEO show, really knowing what you are not just the aspirational side of here's where we want to be, but really being identify that, you know, CEOs, we're all cheerleaders, right? We're all constantly cheerleaders, we're pumping everybody up. We're telling everyone how amazing we are, you know, but at the same time, we got to look and go, Look, here's what our challenges are. And here's are the areas that we need to improve.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, no, I love it. Yeah, exactly. A lot of people either they jump into the vision, and then they get frustrated that people don't know how to go from A to B, or those people were so stuck in the, you know, not to say CEOs, but you know, people can be stuck in the present without a sense of where we're going. And I think you're right, that to bridge the gap, build those bridges, I think is really what you're saying and have those phased approach of? Yeah, what's the capability sounds like? What's the capability that you need to build? Right?

Evan Sohn
Yeah. You know, a little more, I had this phenomenal mentor in the 90s. Sorry, to early 2000s, that really focused on KPIs, you know, what are your what are the the things that you're going to measure the most? Right, what are your biggest KPIs get really good clarity on what those are? And then what are you doing to move those KPIs? And then every month, how are you doing? And what do you what's the plan to adjust those KPIs? What's the, if it's how many new customers you adding a month? Great, we want to be adding six new customers a month? How are we doing? What's the plan to do that, etc. And when I look at a management team, for me, it's, you know, the more the more people that have one priority, the better. Right? You know, if you have one thing that you're doing, and one thing only, that's just incredible clarity, right? You're not going to get into this, you know, I call them the distractions, right, you want to minimize the distractions, because you wake up a year later, and you say to your subordinate, hey, what have you got done? And they go, Well, look at all the distractions I had, I had a whole year's worth of distractions. Right, you know, but that's not what you're being measured.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. So just just to come in on that, I mean, one of the one of the biggest things that I see with CEOs Yeah, well, leaders of all levels, actually, you know, is, is they can create chaos in their organizations because they throw somebody they push, they get an idea, they throw it in the organization and it actually create, you know, it actually creates chaos and no momentum because people don't know where to focus and they feel everything is now a priority coming down from above and it really distracts people. I don't say there's a time for strategy and a time for execution, you know, so you need a time where you do wrestle with all those priorities but then you also need a moment when you say, okay, lock and load for...

Evan Sohn
Yeah, I agree and expression I learned years ago. From a CEO that I worked with one of the companies that that acquired us, you know, the greatest, the greatest challenge for let's call it a high growth company is to know the difference between a temptation or an opportunity. Right? You know, a temptation will kill you an opportunity will three thrill you? And, you know, that's the challenge is, is this an opportunity? Or is it a temptation? The challenge as a CEO, is that you, as you just said, Richard, you have so much control, you could wake up coming to the office or virtual office and say, hey, look, folks, we're opening up a pizza store, today, I've been dropping you doing, we're opening up a pizza store, or, Hey, we must get this article out, this is a new feature we must have. And all of a sudden, everyone is, as you said, you're creating chaos. And what you want to teach your managers to do is to really, and I tell them all the time, like guys, you know, I work for you more than you work for me. And what I really want you to do is to say no, that's a great idea really, really is. But here are the three things that I've prioritized, right? These are the three parts. Now, if you want me to add that as a as another priority, something else is going to have to give, or it's going to have to wait. And by the way, that is a great look, you know, you're not trying to ruin my energy, but at the same time, you're being realistic, right? You just can't do all things at the same time. And it's really about prioritization.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, it would be fascinating when leaders actually almost assumed that everybody only had a capacity of three priorities, right? Rather than, Oh, just add this to list, you know, is now...

Evan Sohn
Right, right and by the way, it is frustrating, right? Because, you know, you had this great idea, you had this epiphany, and, you know, you want everyone motivated around it, but like, look, they have KPIs, and, you know, I have a number of rules I live by, you know, one of them is, you know, never do anything you're being measured against. Now, we always are doing things that we're not being measured against, but you're trying to avoid those. And so reality is, if you're talking to your head of product, your product person is supposed to get product out the door, this was to have a level, a level of bugs or a level of some, you know, five nines or whatever, whatever the functionality is. And so that's their, that is what you're measuring them on out how many times they stopped what they were doing, to answer your, your new idea. Right. But you know, there's there certainly is that balance there?

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, well, there's many places to go that I want to go back to temptation versus opportunity. How do you define the difference? What's the difference between those? How would you know which is which?

Evan Sohn
Um, it's hard. Right? You know, so I would probably say it always, look, it's very situational. Is it in your core competence? Would you be acquired because of that? Is that going to drive shareholder value? Right? Is that is that a core thing that someone is going to know, you know, is going to say, Gee, Richard's now doing this, that makes sense that those to me are the opportunities. The Temptations are things that gee, they, they're sparkly, and they smell really good, and they look really shiny. Let's go do that. Now, by the way, sometimes temptations, you know, sparkly, things are good if you're looking at a short term, but acknowledge that, hey, Richard, I want to go down a detour because I need to do something for March that's different than why I'm want to do an April but I'm just acknowledging that this is a, you know, a sparkly one off. But that's it. You know, I always I always look at you know, we get called and ideas for different things. And I'm like, we're recruiting calm, you know, we have the benefit, Richard, we know who our market is, right? Our market is we're recruiting com or destination site for talent acquisition, and all things recruiting, etc. So that's what we are, there are things that that means that here's what we're not, we're not no recruiter, we're not doing without a recruiter, we are recruiters calm. So I think that you have to be true to yourself on what you are. And, you know, not be afraid to say, Gee, that works and that doesn't work.

Richard Medcalf
I love this, this idea of I love to focus on KPIs and keen keeping focus and the idea of like, one thing per person is, is a strong one. My question is, how do you how do you create collaboration and avoid silo mentality, right? You've got your executive team, if everybody's focused on their own piece of this intercom, interdependent feedback system that is a business. Yeah, how would you pay me 100 Get people pulling together?

Evan Sohn
I am incredibly transparent about our corporate objectives. You know, so I sat down at the beginning of 21. And I said, Look, by the end of the year, we're going to get to, you know, around $3 million of monthly revenue per month, we're going to be up on NASDAQ with cash in the bank. And I want to have an understanding of what we need to do to hit profitability. Right now, you know, and build a great company where people want to work, you know, so get very good clarity on those things and make sure everyone understands how their piece fits into that. And so my priorities now gee, if we're talking about We're talking about scalable revenue. All right? Well, how does that translate across the rest of the company who's involved in scalable revenue will scale the revenue means not just that you're signing customers? So that sales, but also means that you're not churning customers? And that's on the customer success, side. margins and profitability are all about how good is your product? How much product? How many? How many hands? You know, do you need to hold the product? Well, the more the fewer hands holding the product, the better your margins are going to be. So I think those things also relate to each other. I'm really just making sure everyone understands, you know, their role in the company, you know, what are you doing that is making a difference to the company itself? You know, what's your impact? What role are you? Are you playing in there? And what I liked it, you know, the other way I structure things is that the lower you get in the organization, the more clarity it should be. Right? So you know, there's certain people you got to go look, they have one priority, you get to a certain level, or you're gonna have two priorities, growth and churn, like maximizing new business and keeping the churn down, right, because you're gonna have two people that work for you, one who's focused on growth, and one is going to put, you know, focus on limiting churn, you know, so I think as you get higher and higher, higher up, you start to have those things I balance for four primary priorities. Right. So even I did on the CLI, I'm entitled to actually balance those things. And I get to decide, you know, what, what I'm working on, you know, how does it fit into those things?

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, yeah, I'm with you. I guess I'm curious because there's, for example, in that case, the guy is driving churn my sorry, my driving growth, you might do might recruit a whole bunch of customers which to churn, right? That's right. So that was a natural tension in the system. If you over index on anything, you're gonna create an effects.

Evan Sohn
That's correct and so if you have your head of revenue, who's really, hey, the more the fewer customers that churn, the easier it's going to be to grow your revenue. So the two are really the same. Right? You know, you don't want to be on a mouse wheel, you got to just keep replacing the mouse, because you're bringing out the mouse and, you know, I think the other thing that I really think about is problem identification, problem solving alternatives and problem resolution, right? And so you have people in your company that can identify this problem, right? They have to be told that there's a problem. There are people that can identify a problem but can't identify possible solutions. And you have to help them navigate them solutions. You have people that could identify your problem, say, hey, look, I could either go choice A or B, what do you think? And then there are people who could foresee a problem coming like, Hey, I'm, I believe now that there's going to be a problem. One of the things I learned in Silicon Valley that lives with me, you know, every day is that they have this expression, a trend starts with a single data point, you know, over here on the on the east, you know, a customer complains about something, and we'll say, Alright, let's see if it happens, again, maybe was a one off, let's wait, let's see what happens on the West Coast. And certainly in Silicon Valley, it's, you know, one of one company complaint, you should assume that 10,000 companies are going to comply. And so it really led to you going back to what you said before about the hockey puck, it really lets you identify, gee, is this a trend? And you really get to identify that incredibly, incredibly, incredibly early. If you assume that everything that happens is a potential trend.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Love it. Yeah, that data point can be a trend and often it is because you get you're getting one instance and you haven't seen all the other infinite.

Evan Sohn
That's right. That's right. That's right. And you have to say yourself, gee, you know, bring it back, bring it back to recruit calm, you know, we got called by a law firm, small boutique law firm, probably 30 people in the company. They're like, hey, we can't find you know, we can't hire paralegals. You know, like, what, you know, you put an ad out and you get paralegals. They're like, Yo, we got 1000 of them through LinkedIn. But none of them were paralegals. You know, people are just applying to jobs applying because it's easy to apply. And I'm pulling my hair out, what can I do? And we came up with this my recruiter product, which really is a subscription service, specifically for company SMB, so small companies, you get a talent advisor who works with you on what your hiring requirements are, they have full access to our AI software, you know, everything like that. But that all started with a single data point. Gee, this happened once. Let's see if we can actually replicate it.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, yeah. Really, really fascinating. So I want to just turn over the turn of the phone of the...

Evan Sohn
Average like I got to plug my company.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. Okay. Well, you know, anyone who's a buy Yeah, I would be I'd be surprised if we didn't talk about it at some point in this conversation. That's good. I want to I want to ask about the dark side right and what's the dark side of your your strengths right being this very numbers driven, focused, you know, focusing on what's next getting people laser focus or you know, these things, what have been areas where you know, you What do I what do I stumble But what have you sucked out? Perhaps? Yeah. Yeah. How does that play out? Right? Yeah.

Evan Sohn
So, yeah, my weakness? Is there a few things one is I am a very very, very high energy. passionate individual.

Richard Medcalf
Come on, come on. That sounds like something that you will your your candidates putting on their CVs? You know, my weakness...

Evan Sohn
No, no, no, yeah, that's right. You know, and so when someone challenges mine, when someone wants to slow me up, I might initially action is to get very, very angry. That's my initial reaction is to get like very, very upset. Why are you trying to slow this up, um, you know, I'm, I'm bearing down the highway, and you're putting up you know, speed bumps, stop putting up speed Bob, stop being a naysayer come along for the ride, etc. So that's a little bit more on an emotional side. But But actually, I'm really not good at, like, I don't like a great legal agreements, I don't like you know, really detailed paperwork. It's, it's the ADHD in me, you know, that kicks in there. So, again, it's also a sales thing, you know, when I go in there, and if I pitch to you on something, and I'm, and you're, you're blocked, you're done, I'm finished, I want to go on to the next one. I don't want to be now working through agreements. So let's go on the red line, you know, that just pulls my hair out and what I what, you know, I really follow the methodology, even inside the organization is you focus on people's strengths, not on their weaknesses, right. You know, so if Richard is great at these five things, and you're not as great on these two things, why would I want you to improve those two other things? Let's just focus on the things you're great at and find other people to do the rest and so that's kind of my that's kind of my...

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, that's. Yeah, it's interesting. The I mean, does the strength based leadership thing? I mean, I think it's it is it is really important, I tend to say to people, though, you know, it's like, you need to be careful about the saboteurs. Right, you know, the things which trip you up, which undermine your influence? And yeah, so I don't say if you put a bit of effort on those just to make sure that they're not going to undermine all the good stuff, then you're free to kind of let rip?

Evan Sohn
Yeah, that's right. That's right. You know, it's, I've been involved in a number of nonprofits, I ran my kids school for a while I was the president there, you know, and I would always tell my kids, you know, they're two people, the two types of people that are on boards, those who want to move things forward, and those who want to stop things from moving at all. Right, and you know, that, and they're just very, very binary and very binary, individual, you know, helping or hindering, and etc. So you look at those things and it's like, you know, getting people along the way and getting buy in, and I should probably do a better job getting buying along the way, it'll probably serve the purpose better. So good. Good lesson itself says starting March, starting March 22, Evan will start doing a better job getting buying in. So thanks, Richard, I learned a lot coming out of something good.

Richard Medcalf
But actually, let me you when you talked about getting angry when people try to slow you down, he reminded me of a story. One of my clients has a large, very large business in many countries and one, he was leading a transformation initiative as CEO and he came to me on one of our coaching sessions, and he said, you know, Richard, so my team, you know, he is not with the program, you know, he's everyone else is okay is, you know, like with it, and this one person need, like, just being negative and all these reasons, it's not gonna work. They're not really engaged. And we kind of talked about it. And conclusion actually was, you know, what, just made me realize he's actually the most engaged member of my executive team. Everybody else is easy to go. Yes, boss. Yeah, right. But this guy, he's actually got the challenge, the courage to like, actually come up to me and tell me and actually put issues on the table. And so he went back and talked to this guy, and he realized, oh, yeah, actually, he does want this thing to succeed. He just does see a whole bunch of IT issues, right, that he feels could come up and bite us, bite us, and, you know, cause it not to work. And so he suddenly realized that this person he saw was a naysayer, that actually was a strength because it's like, well, he's actually motivated to make it work. And actually, we can iron through some of the issues with my my brilliant plan, you know, perhaps not so brilliant and I thought it was a fantastic turn around to reposition this person. He thought thought was almost like covered leave. He suddenly embraced him and it's been really getting value from that interaction.

Evan Sohn
Yeah, you know, we have three primary culture sort of initiatives. Be human, be bold and be an owner. Take ownership, take ownership of your situation, problem solve, own the situation, own the problem. Be bold, take you know take more shots on goal try things but also stand up to when you're not seeing that things are the right way. Right that's been bold, you know, tell And that, hey, you're wrong, and that's fine. Or, hey, Evan, you shouldn't have said it that way, you know, and you don't appreciate that you're certain ways to your tone, etc. And then be human. Right? We're all about people. We're in the people business. And so there is a you know, at the end of the day, here we are, our fundamental belief is recruiting and talent acquisition is always about people. Right? No one comes to work for Richard without actually speaking to Richard bots, AI, all that other jazz, you know, you're not going to work at a company and put from the dishwasher, to the Chief Product Officer without actually speaking to somebody.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So perfect. Well, let's move on. Just for sake of time, one hit us hit you with a few quickfire questions, which I'm sure you'll be good at, given your Quick Fire way of working. So first one is a favorite quote, what's a quote that's really influenced you or it's something that you live by?

Evan Sohn
Quote that I live by? I have so I have so many. So that's the problem.

Richard Medcalf
Or something like that?

Evan Sohn
Yeah, you know, I would, I was quoting an old CEO of mine, Ryan Brown, who said, you know, the hardest thing is to know the difference rate of temptation opportunity. I think that's a great quote. But I actually do a theme every week at the at our company all hands on, there's a quote every single week, okay, there's always buy some really, there's just, I'm inundated with inundated with great quotes. And so I will go with the Steve Jobs, quote, write dumb people, hire smart people and tell them what to do the smartest people, smart people, hire smart people and listen to that. So that's just the paraphrasing. And I think that's really what you got to do. Make sure you're surrounded by just really smart people, align everyone on objectives and let them run.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect. What's your favorite app on your phone?

Evan Sohn
So I would say I'm a slack. I'm a big, big slack user. I, you know, I can't start the day without wordly. But I would say slack, you know, after email and text and sort of your basic applications, you know, I'm a real slack user. So I'll check out slack a lot.

Richard Medcalf
Okay, great. What about a book? What is the book that has influenced?

Evan Sohn
Yeah, I would say Extreme Ownership. So that's a very cool book, Extreme Ownership. So really good book. The lighthouse effect is a book written by one of our board members, Steven pepper, 10. Great book. phenomenal story, individual, but also a great book. And I'm old school. So I've done like all of the Tom Peters, you know, all the all the old guys, if you look at my shelf, it's like, packed with, even with business, business books, etc. That are also you know, pretty exciting.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect. What advice would you give your 20 year old self to go back in time?

Evan Sohn
Yeah, great. Um, I would say maybe, you know, no matter what you're doing, make sure you surround yourself with really good partners. And I mean that, like, you know, you got to have really good partners. If you're going to have KPIs, and you're going to have objectives, sharing those objectives with people who are totally aligned to your to your share your shared goals. And that only comes from a partner, right? It's not employees, right? Employees, they have their own self, whatever that is, etc. But in life, you need to have a partner that's totally aligned with the way you know, you want to get with yourself. And in business, you have to have a partner, and make sure that whatever you're doing, you have an absolute partner to balance off you fight with challenge without any arteria motives. So to me, that really is what a partner, there's no ulterior motive, other than the benefit of the partnership.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, perfect. The next question, final quickfire question really is actually around. Who inspires you? Right? Many of our best guests on the show come from referrals, right? CEOs who inspire other CEOs. So I'm always curious, you know, is there an inspiring, impactful CEO, you know, that you personally know you've you've worked with or you've encountered you know, who you are, who inspires you who might be a great guest for the show?

Evan Sohn
Great, um, you know, I take in my personality from multiple CEOs and people that I've worked with, so there's the, you know, singularly focused driven individual, which was a Silicon Valley salesperson, probably one of the best biz dev people I've ever met with in my life. Could you know if I'm, if I'm an elephant Hunter, you know, he's a dragon slayer. If I'm a dragon slayer. He's a, you know, a world conqueror. But then I've met great CEOs who are incredible storytellers. You know, they just build this incredible story. No matter of don't the world is falling apart and they'll go, Look, isn't it amazing how the world is really able to now be rebuilt and new and Just incredible, you know, just absolutely amazing storytellers. And I just watched these individuals who know all their numbers. And there's, there's the operational folks, etc, who just know everything that's going on in the business. And it's really great to watch each of them succeed in their own way and learn from them. You know, what it takes to actually move things to the next level for yourself, and you're gonna have to embody, you know, those elements and those characteristics into your own persona.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So my final question is really around your next level, because one of my mantras is, no matter how much we've achieved, there's always a next level to get to if we can reinvent our own success formula. So first of all, what is recruiter.com? Go Go from here as a business, you know, what's next for the business.

Evan Sohn
So the fun part of recruiter.com is we are a public company. So we have a business, I'm in the business of the business, right. So as opposed to well, every company sort of has both sides, there's the operational side of things. And then there's the business of the business, when you're a public company, it's a little bit more pronounced. So we're continuing to grow, you know, you know, we did, we did, you know, 2 million in 2019, we did 8 million in 2020, we'll do over 18 20 million or so in 21, we're going to double that in 22. So we're really just growing very nicely, very pleased with our growing, just want to continue to really expand on our business, make a lot of money for recruiters do a great job with our clients add more clients, we're over 300 plus clients now, just adding more and more and more every single month, and continuing to deliver on our mission of recruiting talent faster and better. We've got some great software. So you know, as our software gets better, it'll get easier. I think our my recruiter product is really the cat's meow. So I think that's going to be exciting and watching that really unfold. So I think we're really at the Golden Age of talent acquisition. And, you know, three years from now, every company of size, you know, 25 plus people are going to have are going to be spending money on an individual who's helping them manage their overall talent, acquisition and retention. Very much the same way, Richard, that every company now is spending money on security. You know, we take that for granted. But we didn't talk about security. In the 90s, no one did security meant the guy at the front gate, Who let you in with your badge, you know, and Michelangelo came around, which was an antivirus, you know, which was a big virus, and now everyone has a anti virus, anti spam and network protection and network intrusion. And we, the big companies have a chief security officer, et cetera. And I think that every company is going to have someone focused on, you know, talent, acquisition, and retention, and we're going to be one of those companies to really benefit from that space.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect. And how about you, Evan? How you going to need to do things differently to multiply your own impact?

Evan Sohn
It's a great question. You know, the reality is that we're in mult, we have multiple facets of the company. And really just making sure that we have great team members and continue to hire great people truly run those areas of the business, you know, we have a great software product, we have a great on demand product, we have all these things that get tied together, and really ensuring that we continue to be very transparent to our own company, to our shareholders, and we're headed to and really continue that overall growth itself. I have my own demons, I have to, you know, improve along the way, but really continuing to surround myself with just great people, as we, you know, look to really build the company that we all know we could be, you know, I run around here with the thought Richard that you know, recruited comm is a billion dollar company, we're just not there yet. Right? We really have the opportunity to be a billion dollar company. And my job is to help shepherd the company to get there. That's it. Yeah, simple.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect. Well, I was gonna say where do people get in touch but I think in terms of getting in touch with recruiter.com, I guess you get a recruiter.com.

Evan Sohn
Yes, you go to Recruiter.com. Yeah, it's Recruiter.com. I welcome the opportunity to talk to anyone in your audience. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn, I got a nice profile there too. You can reach out to me on Twitter and zone you can email me at evan@recruiter.calm and if you're interested, you can go to Recruiter.com. We got plenty of information here to look at.

Richard Medcalf
Evan, hey, it's been fantastic. Thanks a lot for this tour de force as we've explored so many fascinating topics. at a pretty high speed, right, it's been covered a lot we've covered you know, being bold, being human being an owner data point is a trend. We've covered this whole question of temptation versus opportunity. You know, really figuring out what's next and getting good on that and, you know, we've covered the whole story of google.com You know, in the process, so I think we've covered a lot of ground it's been really rich conversations thank you for taking the time.

Evan Sohn
Richard, thank you for having me on your show and looking forward to doing this again.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, Many thanks. Take care, Evan. Bye bye now.

**Note: This transcript is automatically generated.
Please excuse any errors.

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