Zao.com - Online Referral System - Totally Wild Show

A few weeks ago I received a marketing email from Zao.com. I replied to say that I wasn't interested but that I would be happy to have them on my show if they wanted exposure. The CEO, Ziv Eliraz, told me that he would like to come on., I warned him that it might not be the best venue for new technology. His interest was not diminished, however, and so we arranged a show date.

I sent him my info package for the show. You can find it at AnimalShowBasics.com. It's quite thorough. It explains the protocol and warns people that the show can be rowdy. I even have a section advising them how to be interesting.

The key is to come loaded with stories that illustrate whatever points you want to make. I drove this point home with him in additional emails and I felt so strongly about getting the message across that I was very blunt and heavy-handed in making my point.

But do you think that made a difference? No. First he absolutely refused to sing the easiest song in the world, "Happy Birthday" for Amy Ala. Then, he started talking in general terms so I said, "Come on, give us the title of a specific role that was filled with Zao and tell us the story step-by-step." He ignored my plea and I kept repeating it until we had a show-down. He said he was going to hang up and leave the show. People on Twitter were telling me to let him go but instead I just sat back and let the crew take over and this time they didn't let me down. I thought it was an interesting show.

I have to salute him for sticking with it but I absolutely don't know how to get my point across about coming prepared. I really tried to establish very strong guidelines here and totally failed.

Comments From TwitterSteve -- Blake  --  Derek -- RaeDawn -- Amy -- Kelly -- Betty -- Betty -- Amy -- Kelly -- Tom -- RaeDawn -- Blake -- Blake

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Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on June 5, 2013 at 4:54pm

A new "bell" and "whistle" to cut out the middle man.  Actually, come to think of it.  Why hand out menus at restaurants?  Who needs them?

Comment by Ryan Leary on June 5, 2013 at 5:35pm

This might be one of the worst shows I've heard...The show would have been much better is the focus was on the value of employee referrals, industry trends etc. rather than the arguing.

Employee referrals in the corporate world are a big deal and the data shows that referrals have significantly longer staying power in an organization.

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on June 5, 2013 at 5:41pm

The problem was that the CEO of the company couldn't paint a SIMPLE picture of the FABULOUSNESS of his product in 60 or 90 seconds.  As he kept speaking (softly I might add), question marks kept spilling out of everyone's head.  The show was a bit of a mess.  However, Animal got a bunch of high marks this time.

Comment by Recruiting Animal on June 5, 2013 at 5:57pm

@Ryan, the value of employee referrals was a secondary issue. Zao is a sourcing tool and the key issue was how it worked and how well it worked. Then, we could discuss the quality of the candidate and his or her length of stay with the company. I had information about this ready to go but referrals in themselves were not the topic.

Comment by Ryan Leary on June 5, 2013 at 6:32pm

I thought Zao was just a referral tool? It's not a sourcing tool is it?

Comment by Recruiting Animal on June 5, 2013 at 6:53pm

Isn't the systematic use of referrals a method of sourcing? These guys get the client's staff to give them access to their personal Linkedin networks and the software looks for people who match the jobs the company is trying to fill.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on June 5, 2013 at 10:16pm

who the hell knows what it really is. All I know is the guy acted like a spoiled frat boy who didn't like being questioned by people who might actually buy his crap if he could illustrate it's value. It's the bitcoin of recruiting.

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on June 6, 2013 at 2:38am

Whaahhhh! The birthday girl and I are confused about the product/service and have no clue what the heck is going on with the LI access situation. Why was that not explained? Simple questions? We need info! 

My LI is my LI. I joined, connected. I built my network. I advocated on behalf of LI to the point of being accused of getting commission from them to add new accounts... (Don't I wish!?!) I contributed to discussions, created/managed groups, posted content, interacted with others, etc. So, you wanna have my login? I say GTF outta here DB!!! 

I'm all for referrals but is technology needed to make that work? No. Is $ required? No. Give me something useful and I will put it in place. Otherwise, referral only matter when you have quality people willing to refer other quality people with or without a monetary incentive. 

Maybe dude has a swell system, but he missed the opportunity to get some major advocates onboard. More questions than answers on this episode. But, it was interesting because of the weirdness of that issue... 

~ KB @TalentTalks

BTW: Happy B-Day to Amy!!! She rocks & is a super cool chick! Never met her IRL, but just know that from the that internet thingy, RBC blogs, twitter and stuff. 

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on June 6, 2013 at 7:19am
What KB said!! And thank you so much for the birthday wishes :) from one cool chick to another!
Comment by Will Thomson on June 6, 2013 at 9:40am

I haven't listened to it yet, but will.  

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