An upside-down job board – flipping who pays – Job Board Doctor
In this episode of JobBoardGeek, we talk to Ric Burley of BintlHire. Ric has flipped the normal job board model by having employers pay the candidate to see their resume. On the other hand, employers post jobs for free. Jeff Dickey-Chasins of JobBoardDoctor and Steven Rothberg of College Recruiter discover how Ric – with a background in health care management – ended up building an unconventional job board that targets start-ups and small businesses. Jeff and Steven also discuss the recent announcement that 70 Million Jobs is shutting down – and why the announcement comes as a surprise.
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0:00:32.8 JD: Hello everyone, and welcome to Job Board Geek. It’s the podcast about the business of connecting candidates and employers. I’m Jeff Dickey-Chasins. I am the Job Board Doctor and your host. And with me is the mind-boggling Steven Rothberg of College Recruiter. He’s the co-host. Hey, Steven, how you doing?
0:00:51.2 Steven Rothberg: Hey, I’m good, Jeff. I’m looking forward to seeing you in a week. It’s been a while. But did you and your wife get your passports updated? Because you’re gonna be driving from Iowa to Minnesota, and I’m pretty sure that we check everybody at the border.
0:01:05.9 JD: Yeah, actually the only thing we really have to do is get rid of the corn just before we cross the border, and then pick up, I don’t know what you guys have up there, cheese or…
0:01:16.3 SR: Oh no, that’s Wisconsin.
0:01:18.2 JD: Well, it’s one of those states up north, so.
0:01:21.0 SR: Yeah. No, we have the… And this is true, we’re the World Headquarters for Spam, the company. Hormel is here, and you pass pretty close to the Spam… I hesitate to call it a production facility. It’s more of… Well, let’s not get into how Spam is made.
0:01:40.5 JD: It’s a construction facility, is what it is. But anyway, so we’re gonna have Ric Burley on here in a little bit. He runs a site called Bintl Hire. It’s really interesting, at least from the time that I’ve looked at it. But before we get started with that, I wanted to chat a little bit with you, Steven. You had actually sent me an article from Richard Bronson announcing that he’s shutting down 70 Million Jobs. And if you’re not familiar with the site, he started this back in 2016, and it’s aimed at people that have a criminal record and trying to reintegrate them back into the workforce, which was a great idea. I remember chatting with him about it a bit when he was launching it. He worked with Y Combinator, had a bunch of investors putting money into it, apparently was doing quite well, then the pandemic hit.
0:02:27.1 JD: As you know, we’ve talked to many job board operators that saw the bottom fall out when the pandemic hit. The same thing happened to him. For him, it got a little bit worse. He actually ended up having to lay off all his employees. He was putting money into the business from his own personal account, managed to scrape through, and then the business started coming back. But apparently… And part of this is the fact that his business is not just a job board, but sort of a staffing firm as well. He ran into a situation where the people that he was putting into positions and sending out would not stay in their job or they might not even show up for the jobs. And this is something I’m a little bit fuzzy on at this point when I look at this. It got in to the point to where he felt like he had to shut down the company. And the thing that’s fuzzy about it to me is that, if this was the case, I feel like all the staffing groups out there would be in a lot of pain right now. And some of them would have already gone out of business, same thing true for recruiters, same thing for job boards. And yet I’ve seen no evidence of that. So it’s sad that he’s shutting it down, but the reason just seemed kind of funny to me. I don’t know, what do you think, Steven?
0:03:33.9 SR: Well, this is one of the reasons I’m really grateful to have you as a co-host, because that was not an angle that I had really considered. We bring our strengths and weaknesses to this podcast, I enjoy your wisdom and you enjoy my beauty, so we’ll call that even. One of our developers sent me the link yesterday, and then I sent it on to you and to a couple of other people. The ghosting piece of it, with candidates not showing up for interviews, first day on the job. Initially, my thought was, “Well, that kind of makes sense in this labor market.” And then when you and I were talking about it, it’s like, “Well, that applies to just about every staffing company.” That would apply to Uber, that would apply to any kind of a marketplace where you’re gonna have people searching for jobs and hopefully showing up. So is there something significantly different about 70 Million Jobs than every other staffing company and every other job board and every other marketplace?
0:04:31.1 SR: One I think you hit on, they do focus on people who have recently been incarcerated. Is that population that different? I think it is different than the general population, but I don’t think it’s significantly different from what a lot of marketplaces have in with a lot of staffing companies. If you’re a staffing company specializing in warehouse work, manual labor, etcetera, I think you’re going to have a fair number of people who you’re working with who you’re helping to enter the workforce who were incarcerated. But we’re not hearing anything from those organizations about enough people not showing up that they’re gonna go out of business. Yeah, I wonder whether this is an example of an organization that ran out of investment money, and that the pandemic and the after effect was just enough to push them over, and that their investors just cut off the flow of cash. It’ll be interesting to see as this comes forward.
0:05:34.6 JD: Yeah, it was an interesting story. And just one other point I wanna make is, in my experience in working with sites that focus on this aspect of the workforce, people with criminal record, have been incarcerated, it’s actually the opposite. One of the points that they sell to employers is that these people very, very much want to be employed, and tend to be very loyal to the companies that employ them, and don’t tend to ghost the employers, don’t tend to… They tend to have a longer tenure, etcetera, etcetera. So the whole thing just, it just seems a little bit odd, but I’m sure we’ll find out more about it.
0:06:12.1 SR: And really disappointing and frustrating, because boy, is there a need for this kind of a source. We throw so many great people into prison in this country, and it’s, just it’s reprehensible.
0:06:24.2 JD: Switching tone entirely. We’re fortunate today to have Ric Burley of Bintl Hire on Job Board Geek. And Ric, welcome to the podcast.
0:06:35.6 Ric Burley: Hey, thanks guys. Thanks for having me.
0:06:37.2 JD: Yeah, yeah. Well, I appreciate it. I remember the first time that I learned about Bintl Hire and I’d reached out to you. And I was sort of poking through the site and it really made me curious about the whole thing. And then as I was prepping for the show today, I started looking at your background on LinkedIn, and that made me more curious. And I say that because before Bintl Hire, you were working for the State Department for a number of years. So anyway, why don’t you tell me a little bit about your background, how you got into recruiting, how you came up with the idea for Bintl Hire, and who is it targeted at?
0:07:11.1 RB: Oh, for sure. I just wanna say again, I’m really excited to be here with you guys. This is awesome to meet you, Doc and Steven. So I just wanted to thank you guys upfront for having me join this podcast and the Job Board Geek. This is really cool for me. I’m kind of a geek myself with job boards and learning about the recruitment process as I have over the last few years. And so with Bintl Hire, my background is actually in healthcare management, but I started with a non-profit back home in South Florida as their HR specialist. So it was a community non-profit that dealt with healthcare, but they needed somebody to help recruit and credential the physicians that they were bringing in. And that was my first start in recruitment and kind of learning the ins and outs of job boards. We used Monster and Career Builder at the time, this was around 2008. And so 2009, I moved up to DC and continued in healthcare, but more along the government contracting route. And I worked closely with recruiters with that organization as well, doing recruitment and filling jobs for these government positions. It wasn’t until about 2014 that my wife got a call from the State Department to move overseas.
0:08:36.2 RB: So really, the transition, this journey that my career has been on is really due in part to her. Because when she got the call to go to Southeast Asia, I went along, dropped pretty much everything and almost started fresh as a contractor with the State Department. And that’s not always guaranteed when you travel along as a spouse, so I had to apply and kind of learn a whole new field. I became a social coordinator, social media coordinator for the State Department and the US Embassy in Cambodia. So I was in that role for about two and a half years. And during that time, I would go back home on R&R and visit family. And people were still struggling even after the financial crisis. They were still looking for work and still looking for new opportunities. And so I got a lot of questions when I went back to Florida about what I’ve been doing, how I ended up working overseas. And so I built a job board from all the help that I thought my friends and people back home needed. That’s really where Bintl Hire started. It started as a generic job board. And the reason that I started it while I was overseas was because I was able to connect with the American businesses that were a part of The American Chamber of Commerce overseas.
0:10:06.1 RB: And so there’s a chapter of the Chamber in pretty much every country. It’s where American companies kind of get indoctrinated into the country that they’re trying to do business in. And so I had connections and I had some friends that worked for the Chamber. I noticed that they didn’t have a job board, and they often needed more skilled workers. So that in turn, it put me into this position of trying to connect people in the states with these organizations and companies overseas. And so that’s where a Bintl Hire began. It didn’t quite work out that way though, as things tend to go. It didn’t really work out. They had their own bubbles that each Chamber was already in, and they had their sources. And people kinda get stuck in the way that they’ve always done things. And as we know, we hear that a lot nowadays, like that’s the way we’ve always done it. And that’s what I encountered when I tried to bring this job board idea to the Chamber. And they were pretty much isolated in Cambodia. So in every Chamber, in each country, they don’t really talk with other chambers, which I thought would be something that I could change with this job board and kind of build something for people to get involved in and bring more Americans overseas and find more opportunities that way. I thought it would be big.
0:11:31.6 RB: But it didn’t work out. And as I did research, as it was starting to kinda sputter and not get to where I thought it should, I did research and realized that all the value that job boards hold come from these job seekers. And as we were mentioning, as you guys were talking before about the great people who come out of the prison system or who’ve been in jail, who have been incarcerated and come out, value is the same across the board for everybody. Everyone has value. Some of us are more skilled and some of us know certain field better than others, but we all have value. And that comes through on a resume. Whether it’s well-written or not, a resume has value. And so I wanted to try and build something that gave back to those job seekers during the job search process. Because there was a lot of pain in not getting a job. You feel kind of worth less in the process. And so that’s what started Bintl Hire on the trajectory that it’s on now where we are able to pay job seekers when they resume with you. The way that Bintl Hire works for employers, is that employers get to post all their jobs for free. In doing so, they name their price for the resumes that come from the candidates that they choose. So that’s really where I thought I could turn this job board into something new and something impactful, not only for the job seekers, but for employees as well.
0:12:56.6 JD: So just a quick follow-up on that, employers are naming a price. One of the things I’ve found that job boards that are trying to do something really different like you are run into is, like you said, HR people are, inherently, seem to be very conservative, “This is the way I’ve always done it, I only got 10 minutes to do this, and I’ve gotta deal with all this other stuff.” So how do you find employers that are willing to actually do the whole process differently, where they’re actually naming a price to look at resumes?
0:13:24.7 RB: Right, that’s a great question. We’re in the early stages of getting this rolling, but I reach out to people like Network, and there’s a lot of interest surrounding it. Where I think the most interest, where it can do the most good, is for these employers that post jobs locally. So when they have a region that they operate in, reaching the best candidates can be a challenge. Because on a national stage, a lot of these small businesses kinda get drowned out. And that’s when they turn to job boards to kinda get a broader reach. And there are so many opportunities out right now that I think it’s hard for them to get a foothold. So I’ve heard from a lot of local organizations, I’ve connected with local Chambers here. So that’s kind of where we’re headed. There are a lot of independent recruitment firms that I’ve spoken to as well that have posted jobs. We’ve had jobs in the past, and it’s something that I’m gonna go back to the well for, but I really wanna focus on providing local talent to these small businesses.
0:14:32.9 SR: As people who’ve listened to this podcast for a long time know, this podcast is an effort by Jeff and me to help our listeners explore different ways of doing business, and different revenue models in particular. Yours is definitely an outlier. And so it’s so fantastic when we booked you, and now we’re here talking about it. So from a nuts-and-bolts standpoint, Ric, maybe walk us through. You have a sounds like mostly small businesses, startups that are gonna be the employers who are posting a job. Without naming names, walk us through like a typical transaction, what do they pay? And follow the money. You don’t need to share with us the percentage that you keep. If you’re willing to, awesome. But it’s pretty clear that you’re gonna take some of that money that the employers are paying and pass along some to the candidates. So let’s follow the money. How does that work?
0:15:31.0 RB: When I created Bintl Hire, I purposely made it different. I wanted to be unique. And that was in part because whenever I create something, especially with business, I look at the competitors. And the competitors out there already have such a huge marketshare, when you look at the Indeeds and LinkedIns. And even the smaller job boards, when I first started out, they’re already ahead of me having jobs posted and candidates available. So I had to be unique. And how I differentiated myself was creating this process that’s totally different. And so what I did to kind of sweeten the deal for not only job seekers but also employers is that, I allow employers to name their price for resumes, but they start with a budget for resumes. So the budget can be as low as $10, so they add their budget to the job board and go from there. They can name their price for each candidate resume starting from $1 to send that to the job seeker. I take an admin fee as Bintl Hire. There’s an admin fee when you add your budget. It’s about 15% of your budget, so it’s kind of like a service fee. In turn, that’s really where I take in some revenue for the job board, to keep it running and take care of operational costs.
0:16:55.7 RB: We add a tax to the resume budget that employers include. So from that budget, they get to pay the job seekers for their resume and an included response. So there’s responses guarantee from the candidate, and they’re informed of this as they register from their end. Really, Bintl Hire is designed to do exactly what job boards set out to do in the first place, which is to connect employers and job seekers. And so it really puts them in control of the process. The employers compensate the job seekers and the job seekers feel empowered to provide their resume and a response to the offer. And so that was what I envisioned job searching should look like, so I created it. And that’s what we have now. It doesn’t get too much more complicated than that. It’s pretty straight forward. You add a budget, you start posting as many jobs as you want. And you can determine how much you give to the job seeker. And I do get questions from time to time about why not… When would it ever be necessary to pay the job seeker more than $1? Well, it may be a high-level executive role that you’re trying to fill, so maybe $1 isn’t convincing enough to somebody who’s at that level. Maybe it’s a really hard role to fill.
0:18:16.8 RB: So in that case, you might wanna reward the job seeker a little bit more, put a little bit more incentive behind it for their resume and for their time. Because the job seeker doesn’t have to respond. And in this case, we have a system where we’ll refund you if the job seeker doesn’t respond, if there’s any discrepancies in the resume or anything like that. All of that is taken into account. So we wanted to be useful not only for the job seekers, but for the employers too. So I’ve tried to cover all the bases in that so that Bintl Hire really does that.
0:18:57.6 SR: So the employer posts the job, the candidate sees the job, the candidate applies to the job. And then the employer gets the resume, and that’s when they pay for that. And then that payment, 85% goes to the candidate, you keep the 15% as a service fee.
0:19:15.1 RB: So we take a 15% service fee. It’s an additional service fee added to the budget. So the candidate gets the entire amount that the employer sends to them. So when they name their price, if they decide $2 is a good price for the resume and the guaranteed response, that’s what the job seeker receives. We’re taking a service fee from the employer. There’s an additional fee on top of the budget that they have for their resume, it’s about 15%.
0:19:49.6 JD: I had one last question for you, Ric, that I wanted to sort of throw out there. And this is mainly taken from me looking at the website, because I always… I’m very good at being a dumb candidate. I go to a job board and I look at it like I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I have to figure out exactly what you’re trying to talk about. So one of the things that you mentioned a number of places on the site is that the job seeker has… And actually, job seeker has an NFT as opposed to traditional resume. In practical terms, can you talk to me about the difference between a traditional resume versus the job seeker NFT, or is it just purely a technical issue?
0:20:28.6 RB: So what I explained to you guys just a moment ago was how the money transacts through the process. Job seekers, when they register on the site, when they register for Bintl Hire, they actually create a profile that provides their skills and their accomplishments, kind of like a summary of a resume, but it doesn’t provide any of their contact information or their identity. So that is withheld until the employer pays them for their full resume, which they receive. So what I incorporated that at one point with Bintl Hire was NFTs and that blockchain technology that had really, it seemed like it was going to really become of value if we could find somewhere to use it in an everyday use case. Because right now NFTs are primarily used for the artwork and things that we see on a designated marketplace. And so, really what it does is it assigns a receipt to anything digital, so that you can say, “I own this,” and here’s the receipt that says, “Wherever you find this online, I’m the owner of it.” And that’s basically what blockchain technology did and what NFTs are, a non-fungible token. That receipt can only be created once, and there’s no other like it.
0:21:53.5 RB: So on the backend, the technical side of this, is that the resume included in NFT. It included that number. My goal for that was to make resumes even more unique and add more value for the job seeker. Since rolling out job secret NFTs, I’ve actually retracted it, and we no longer use NFTs on the job board. Because NFTs and the nature of blockchain being that it’s decentralized, there was too much, too much noise about the unstable side of blockchain and some of the misuses of it, so that’s what people heard first. And when I introduced a resume NFT, it added another layer to the already unique process. And really, Bintl Hire actually does, it still pays the job seeker, it still provides a unique resource for employers without NFTs. And I thought it would be a draw in the beginning, but I’ve since retracted and we no longer use NFTs because not only did we not necessarily need them, the way that it had to be explained and separated from the other type of NFT was just a little too much to… It became a hurdle. So I removed it, it’s in the background for now. We don’t use NFTs, but if it would ever come up again, we could probably transition back to that.
0:23:18.2 JD: Yeah, it’s a good rule to go by when you’re doing any kind of business, but particularly with job boards. Well, well, listen, Ric, it’s been great having you on the show, and a very interesting project. I hope that you have a lot of success with it. I know it’s early days at this point, but I expect we can come back in a few years and you can tell us how it’s grown and where it’s gone in all that time. So anyway, if people wanna get to touch with you and chat with you about Bintl Hire or anything else, how do they do that?
0:23:47.7 RB: Yeah, they can find me on LinkedIn, Ric, R-I-C, Burley. And I’m also available through Bintl Hire. You can check out the job board there. You can get in contact with us at email@example.com. But yeah, LinkedIn is a direct route to get in contact with me if anyone has any questions.
0:24:08.9 JD: Well, thanks again for coming on the show, I appreciate it. And Steven, if people wanna get in touch with you, how do they do that?
0:24:16.8 SR: They can email me at steven, S-T-E-V-E-N @collegerecruiter.com. And Ric, I wanna thank you and your wife for all the service that you’ve provided through the US Department of State. It’s really important work. And thank you for paving this new path in the job board industry.
0:24:33.6 RB: Absolutely. Thank you guys for having me on.
0:24:35.5 JD: Yeah, excellent. Yeah, three job boards geeks. So that’s it for today’s… I gotta call it the way it is. That’s it for today’s episode of Job Board Geek. I’m Jeff Dickey-Chasins, the Job Board Doctor. I wanna encourage you to subscribe to the podcast via Spotify, Google, Apple, whatever you like. And remember that if you like the podcast, give me a thumbs up. If you don’t like the podcast, don’t tell anyone or give Steven a thumbs down. We will be coming back to you next time around. We are the only podcast that focuses on the business that connect candidates and employers. That’s all for now, and I’ll see you again next time. Thanks.