Episode 33

Using AI to Elevate Employer & Candidate Experience Strategies

In this episode of Good Data Better Marketing podcast, Jessica Jensen, Chief Marketing Officer at Indeed, discusses the innovation of matching technology, pay transparency, and elevating employer and candidate experience strategies with AI.



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Guest speaker: Jessica Jensen

Jessica Jensen is Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Indeed. She is responsible for brand, communication, product and acquisition marketing globally. Before joining Indeed, Jessica was CMO at OpenTable. Prior to OpenTable, she led B2B marketing for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other Meta platforms. She has held leadership roles at Apple and Yahoo! and started her professional career at the Boston Consulting Group.


Episode summary

In this episode of Good Data Better Marketing podcast, Jessica Jensen, Chief Marketing Officer at Indeed, discusses the innovation of matching technology, pay transparency, and elevating employer and candidate experience strategies with AI.


Key takeaways

  • When trying to find the right candidates for the right jobs, matching technology is imperative. It is able to employ deep specificity and find job seekers with stand-out qualifications and certifications. This technology also improves close rates on the employer side and personalized experiences on the candidate side.

  • Having data that is structured, accessible, governed, and used with human insight enables the right access for the right teams and that it’s used appropriately. You can avoid broken data pipelines and governance issues by being intentional about where the data lives and who has access to it.

  • When implementing AI, it’s critical to have humans in the loop to snuff out biases. Relying solely on what AI produces can lead to imagery and descriptions that are not inclusive of humanity, and will further replicate problems in our society.


Speaker quotes

“We have to be the ones who control the machines. Ensuring that we are creating the imagery and the descriptions that are inclusive of humanity and not just relying on what AI pulls and chews up and spits out, is something that we're really investing a lot of energy in. I really hope that companies are thinking very critically about that because if we let AI run rampant, it will reproduce the problems in society.” – Jessica Jensen


Episode timestamps

‍*(03:11) - Jessica’s career journey

‍*(06:51) - Trends in the customer experience journey at Indeed

*(10:53) - How Indeed is using AI to elevate employer and candidate experience strategies

*(17:28) - How Indeed uses matching technology to find candidates for employers

*(27:44) - How Jessica defines “good data”

‍*(35:42) - An example of another company doing it right with customer engagement (hint: it’s TurboTax and Virgin America)

*(42:00) - Jessica’s recommendations for upleveling customer experience strategies


Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn Connect with Kailey on LinkedIn


Kailey Raymond: The experience of finding a job or finding candidates to fill a role has always been challenging, a time consuming manual and frankly, emotional process. Now, AI has entered the chat and companies like Indeed are leveraging AI to better connect employers and job seekers. With AI, matching candidates to skills and employers' job descriptions is no longer like finding a needle in a haystack. As it turns out, when you're able to more accurately make the right introductions, response rates and close rates on the employer side increase and candidates enjoy a more seamless personalized candidate experience, a win-win. In this week's episode, I sit down with Indeed CMO, Jessica Jensen to discuss the innovation of matching technology, pay transparency, and elevating employer and candidate experience strategies with AI.

Kailey Raymond: I have Jessica Jensen, who is the Chief Marketing Officer at Indeed with me here today. Before joining Indeed, she was a CMO at OpenTable, and she's also led B2B marketing teams at Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, other Meta platforms, you've probably heard of them. Jessica's also held leadership roles at Apple and Yahoo and started her career at BCG. A wealth of experience. I'm personally stoked to talk to Jessica today because I started my career in career development and in the talent space for eight years, and my wife's a recruiter. So Jessica, welcome to the show.

Jessica Jensen: Oh, my gosh. Okay. It's a match made in heaven. We're destined to talk. That's great.

Kailey Raymond: I love it, yes. Just shared a little bit about your career, but in your own words, how did you get to where you are today as the CMO of Indeed?

Jessica Jensen: Yeah. Well, it's a long and winding road, so I won't take you through the whole process, but yeah, I've been in tech marketing of various stripes now for, sneaking up on 15 years, but as you said started in management consulting in the '90s when we wore pantyhose and was barely learning how to use PowerPoint. So a few things have changed. But I always consider myself a business strategy person at heart. But I was raised by a painter who was also an art director in advertising. My mother was a speech professor, so writing copy around the table at dinner was part of our family fun. So my dad always said, "Try to avoid the family business of advertising," but I was not able. So here I find myself marinating in the creative and storytelling world, but I'm also a math nut. So I think marketing today, as you're well aware, is the fusion of math and art, and it feels like a very cozy sweater for me.

Kailey Raymond: I love that, started out with some creativity from your parents and blending in your own personal interests and bringing that science aptitude into the equation. Very cool. I'm wondering, as it relates to customer experience at Indeed, how does your role as CMO, how are you furthering the customer experience?

Jessica Jensen: Yes. Well, so we have various types of customers. So we're a two-sided marketplace. We have over 350 million people coming to us around the world every month looking for jobs. So we serve a large various job seeker audience, and then we have over 3 1/2 million employers who are looking to hire talent. So our customer experience is both for the HR and talent acquisition landscape, as well as job seekers all over the world, which can be dishwashers, sales executives, accountants, nurses. We're an extremely democratic platform, so we serve all sorts of job seekers. And so, in marketing, we are obviously key to driving the awareness of our platform. And so, helping job seekers understand the opportunities that are available to them through Indeed and through our employer customer base, but then also helping employers find talent and screen and interview and hire people.

Jessica Jensen: But I think another part of the journey that people may not be as aware of is by virtue of the fact that we have so many hundreds of millions of people coming to us, we know a lot about the labor market around the world, trends, movements, industry segments, countries. We operate in about 60 countries. So we are actually a huge source of data and insight on labor and the world of work. So we advise governments, CEOs, media outlets. So a big part of the experience that I and my team direct is around the world of work and what we are saying about the world of work to people all over the world.

Kailey Raymond: That's incredible. The thought leadership opportunities, but also just the ability to influence and impact people's day-to-day lives is just absolutely immense. And thank you for bringing up trends. It was one of the questions that I wanted to ask you.

Jessica Jensen: Sure.

Kailey Raymond: And so I imagine macro is something that you're looking at every single day. I'm wondering if you can shed a little bit of light on how some of the macro trends right now, and you can take it here in the States or elsewhere across the globe, are impacting some of the work that you're doing at Indeed.

Jessica Jensen: Of course. No, I like to say it's a wild patchwork quilt out there. The labor market in Japan is not Germany, is not Canada, is not Singapore, is not France. So we are seeing really, I would say, great confusion and trepidation in the US labor market. Also the UK is struggling quite a bit, but there are pockets of real growth. And the healthcare industry is an example of something that with aging populations all over the world, that industry will continue to boom. But we see markets for us like Germany and France and Japan are growing well, but it's very, very different, and very different by industry and by country. Certainly the whole return to work debate or return to office in the professional services and tech sectors has been raging. I do like to remind people that only 10% of work is even possible to be remote or hybrid, and that the vast majority of people go to a hospital or a school or a police station or drive a bus or work in a restaurant.

Jessica Jensen: So we always try to help people understand that the hybrid and remote work economy is a very narrow segment of economies around the world, but that's a sample of the kinds of data and insights that we have access to that we can help people. And we spend a lot of time advising employers on things like pay transparency. As you may know, a lot of states now are now requiring companies to post pay ranges. We've been requiring them on our side for some time. So we advise companies on how to do that effectively, how to embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace to drive employee awareness and attention to jobs and companies. So we really play a consulting role on the work front quite a bit.

Kailey Raymond: You're speaking my language. I joined a company called Hired in 2015.

Jessica Jensen: Sure, I know that.

Kailey Raymond: Yeah. And certainly at the forefront of the pay transparency, we, from the very get-go, had mainly technical talent on our platform, put the salary that they wanted right on their profile and required employers to always send interview requests with that salary.

Jessica Jensen: Exactly.

Kailey Raymond: So, fully... Yeah, I am in New York right now. Of course, this is the pay transparency and it's going into effect.

Jessica Jensen: Required. Yeah.

Kailey Raymond: I don't see it all the time on LinkedIn posts if I am being really honest. So, where's the crackdown going to happen, Jessica? I don't know.

Jessica Jensen: No. Well, we're working on it. Yeah, I mean, we're really glad to see states stepping up to mandate this, but it is a big transition for employers. And so it's not like they snap a finger. And for large complex organizations, it's challenging, but I think everybody now finally understands that employees are demanding this and expecting it. You get better response rates and apply rates when you post salaries. It helps fight pay discrimination. So it is a social good and a business good. And so we're a big part of helping organizations adopt that.

Kailey Raymond: I love that. Yeah. It's one of the critical ways to help close the gender wage gap and any wage gap, frankly. That's great. And, you mentioned the consumer experience and the candidates on your platform that are having this demand to show their salary and it increases these conversion rates for the employer side. I'm wondering, that lets me get into this question around more of the top trends that you're seeing as it relates to customer engagement and customer experience that you're focusing on. Are there any things that you are working on that the trends are driving some of the strategies that you are implementing on your team right now?

Jessica Jensen: Sure. Well, so a lot of people don't know that our sister company is Glassdoor, and we are owned by the same Japanese holding company called Recruit. And we go to market partnering with Glassdoor. And Glassdoor recently did a major rebrand and has also integrated work communities into their site experience. So there's an Indeed community, Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, et cetera. And also women in tech, LGBTQ+ in tech. So there are industry sub-segments and company communities. And so we are very, very excited about, we don't want to just be a place where you go when you need a job. We and Glassdoor, we want to be career companions to workers throughout their lives, not just when they're a job seeker. And so we're very excited about this community integration on Glassdoor, and all of those jobs and all of the cross integrations between Glassdoor and Indeed, we are the jobs provider to Glassdoor.

Jessica Jensen: We work together on a lot of the matching technology between employers and job seekers. So that transition and that investment in a deeper, richer customer experience for job seekers also of course helps us with employers. So that's a big part of it. Obviously we and everyone else are embracing AI rapidly. In our own product experience, AI has been foundational to the work that we do to match job seekers and employers for many, many years. That's not a new thing for us, but we're obviously augmenting that in lots of new and exciting ways. We just rolled out a job description AI generator tool. So it used to take a hiring manager two hours to write a job description. Now you can give us some very basic information, location, type of role, responsibilities, and we will write the whole thing for you. And those are optimized to help employers find the right job seekers.

Jessica Jensen: So I think that's an awesome way that we're using it. And then in marketing, we are adopting AI for copy generation, headline testing, image generation. And the ability for us to go faster and do better personalized content and experiences is magical. And we're saving a ton of money in the process. And lest any marketers listening think that our jobs are threatened, human judgment still matters. We are using AI to free up the time of our teams to do more creative and strategic work while we are able to make our customer experiences more personalized and deep.

Kailey Raymond: I think everybody just had a collective sigh of relief there to talk to you, the expert in the talent market to say that you are using AI to enhance efficiency and not to replace jobs, certainly feels good.

Jessica Jensen: Not at all. We need as many smart, creative people as we can, and AI only helps us do the work better. It does not replace any humans in our world at all. Across the job market, there will be a number of disruptions and those are already happening, but in our experience so far, the humans are safe. [laughter]

Kailey Raymond: I love it. I like that the example, the first example that you have is community as well. I've seen this shift, which is really, just going back to something that's pretty old, I feel like community always, but community really, maybe in like the early 2010, 2011 was what a lot of people like tech companies were leaning into. And I feel like they're leaning back into that. Are you sensing that, too?

Jessica Jensen: Totally. I mean, everything old is new again. I think exactly as you say, people are more lonely, more separated than ever before. And finding people with like interests and experiences is, it's the human condition. And so, Reddit, TikTok, I mean, all of these platforms, there are different facets of types of community. And in the world of work, there aren't that many places where you can have an open and honest conversation about what it's like to work for company X, what it's like to be a woman in accounting, what it's like to move from Los Angeles and start working in London. I mean, there's so many rich experiences about work that we don't get to share a lot outside of our own individual networks. And so I think community is an old term that is more vibrant and important than ever.

Kailey Raymond: It brings into this idea of authenticity, which I think is something that, especially on the B2B side, I mean, you run two sides of this marketplace, but especially on the B2B side, I'm seeing more people lean into the idea of speaking with an authentic voice because, oh yeah, remember, you're talking to a human.

Jessica Jensen: Totally. I always say B2B marketing is B2P. We are not selling widgets to robots. We are selling software and solutions to humans who have emotions and fears, and good B2B marketing is emotional and human.

Kailey Raymond: I love that. And some of the AI use cases that you talked about are really thinking about career companions, same thing, building authentic relationships, building in a really personalized scaled way, which is something that we talk about a lot on this show, as you might imagine, as personalization seems to be this mega trend that a lot of companies are attaching themselves onto as it relates to customer experience and customer engagement. I'm wondering, this is a pretty in the weeds question, so, it's like a hearkening back to my Hired days, but with Indeed, you have a lot of unstructured data. You have these resumes that candidates are sending in, you have these JDs that employers are creating, you're trying to find matches between them. And you've probably been using machine learning and building syntaxes for a really long time. Can you just tell me a little bit more about how you do apply that matching technology to get the right candidates into the hands of the right employers?

Jessica Jensen: Yeah, absolutely. No, you're quite right. I mean, we've been doing that kind of work for a very long time. And I would say, we have invested a ton of work and are investing in skills taxonomy and the real specificity around types of jobs, types of workers, worker proclivities and desires and extracting from people, extract sounds like a surgical process, but there is some, there's some data surgery involved. But a nurse in Dallas, Texas, there are renal nurses, there are cardiac nurses. I mean, there's very... We have to get into very granular specificity around certifications and experience on the employer side and the job seeker side. And so, that is not a small undertaking when you're doing it at global scale. And we have massive teams dedicated to that, investments in LLMs and AI making a lot of progress. But it's hard.

Jessica Jensen: It's hard, deep work. But our tools are learning so much over time. These kinds of job seekers with these backgrounds apply at a certain rate, interview at a certain rate, get offers, and get hired. So I mean, the data not only about people's skills and experience, but then how they engage with jobs and employers is so critical. Time connectedness between job seekers and employers, I'm sure you've heard this term, the black hole of recruiting. Like a job seeker applies, the employer never responds. An employer reaches out to a job seeker, says, "We'd love for you to apply or interview this job," job seeker never responds. So trying to drive the actual responsiveness funnel is another major focus for us.

Kailey Raymond: Yeah. As you might imagine, my wife recruiter [laughter] talks about this a lot.

Jessica Jensen: I'm sure she marinates in that exciting world of challenge.

Kailey Raymond: Yeah. She is one of the recruiters that no matter what always replies, who is a rare breed.

Jessica Jensen: She's a hero. She's a hero.

Kailey Raymond: Truly.

Jessica Jensen: We need more of them. But listen, recruiters are overwhelmed too, and job seekers are applying to everything under the sun and it's challenging.

Kailey Raymond: Yeah, it seems, especially like right now in tech, it's been a challenging, confusing market, frankly. Things are open.

Jessica Jensen: Oh for sure.

Kailey Raymond: Things are closed. There's layoffs, there's massive funding rounds.

Jessica Jensen: And it changes so quickly. Right? Like 15 minutes ago all the tech companies are doing layoffs and then the AI explosion and now they can't hire. So the winds blow fast and furious. It's a lot to keep on top of.

Kailey Raymond: Absolutely. So you've mentioned a couple of use cases with AI already, you're using kind of predictive with some of these instant matching. You're also using generative by helping people create those JDs in a couple of different minutes.

Jessica Jensen: Sure, absolutely.

Kailey Raymond: I'm wondering what you think the future of AI and customer experience might look like. Any predictions?

Jessica Jensen: Oh, I think we're still trying to get our arms around it. I think that what you said about personalization and the ability to do radical personalization in a scaled, high quality, fast, low-cost way is kind of mind-boggling, right? I can see a world in which we are creating content and experiences for accountants in Munich and salespeople in Tokyo in a way that we could... Five years ago I would've been like, "That'll take 1000 people, $50 million and we'll do it very poorly." So the escalation of what we can do on personalization I think is totally mind blowing. I'm also really, really worried about bias in AI and we have to be the ones who control the machines. And as you and as I'm sure many listeners are aware, it's garbage in, garbage out. And so when you ask AI tools, "Show me images of lawyers, show me images of doctors," lo and behold, there's a ton of white men.

Jessica Jensen: And that's because humans have bias. The internet is littered with bias. And we are just repurposing and amplifying bias all over the place. So we are very committed to responsible AI development and use. And one of our core tenets as a company is helping people overcome bias and barriers to employment. So ensuring that we are creating the imagery and the descriptions that are inclusive of humanity and not just relying on what AI pulls and chews up and spits out is something that we're really investing a lot of energy in. And I really hope that companies are thinking very critically about that because if we let AI run rampant, it will reproduce the problems in society.

Kailey Raymond: You just put that in such an eloquent way. It is like a mirror amplified. It is a very scary proposition if you don't do it right. But there is a right way and the right way is to your point, to make sure that you have humans that can intervene and say like, "We're doing this ethically, we're reducing bias."

Jessica Jensen: Absolutely, we have to.

Kailey Raymond: And that you're not feeding it bad data and bad information to start with, right?

Jessica Jensen: That's right. That's right.

Kailey Raymond: I'm wondering if you've seen any challenges as you're kind of building these journeys to drive great customer engagement. Any of those like pitfalls for people to avoid?

Jessica Jensen: Well, we've had a challenge with AI imagery tools. We've tried to create imagery for ads and other uses and the bias that the tools return is shocking. So we've definitely had experiences with that. And you know, listen, people are moving fast and hard and I've seen people share things written by ChatGPT, that it's very clear that they did not actually read. And so we've had some near misses, but I think those are healthy because it illustrates how much responsibility that we have. I would say five or seven years ago, it was like making sure that all of your agency partners and your vendors were on board and knew your standards around DEI&B and we're walking the walk and carrying the water. And now I see we're doing that again with AI. Like we can't just trust other people, other companies and AI tools to generate things that may be dangerous.

Kailey Raymond: Are there any structures or policies that you're putting into place to make sure that some of this kind of goes into action? I get the sense that we're all testing a lot of different use cases right now for AI and there are some like emerging policies and things that I've seen, but anything that you've seen that's worked, anything that you're looking forward to implement next year?

Jessica Jensen: So we have published our responsible AI treatise or position, if you will, and you can go to Indeed and find that. So we are trying to be very upfront about what we're trying to address in our AI development and oversight. We are in constant conversation with our employer partners around what AI tools are they considering using in the HR realm, what questions do they have to be asking from vendors? What kind of oversight structures do they need to put in place? So we're in really active conversations in that realm. Our CEO, Chris Hyams is a very active speaker on responsible AI and so is participating in a lot of business forums around that. But I think this is an area where... And it reminds me kind of like the internet privacy oversight early days where we're gonna see an entire industry, government bodies hopefully fill that void in a productive way. But as one company, we're trying to be very public and transparent about what we're grappling with and how we're approaching it.

Kailey Raymond: That's great. And you're exactly right. We just mentioned government. The Biden administration implemented the executive order a couple of weeks ago on AI and kind of making sure that we're building the right infrastructure to be able to handle that in an effective way. So both of those things...

Jessica Jensen: Oh, it's so hard to keep up. It's like as a marketer, as a business person, as someone who advises other companies, it's a lot to process and try to keep up with.


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Kailey Raymond: I'm gonna kind of switch directions and we've been talking about AI, but as we both have alluded to, AI takes a good set of structured data to be able to pull anything useful out of. In the namesake of the show, I wanna ask you how you might define good data.

Jessica Jensen: So that's a very interesting question. The definition of good data, I think I would say it is structured, accessible, governed, and used with human insight. So as you and I have seen in the wilds of the business world, there are pockets of data and like this team has data on this and this team has data on that, but this group has no idea that that data even exists. And even if they wanted to get it, it's not accessible and there's no governance. So data pipelines get broken and data quality goes into the toilet and nobody's even aware that that happened. So the intentionality of where data lives, is it overseen, is it cleaned and can people access it readily and easily, but most importantly, they question it and they don't believe it when they get it because so much data is used inappropriately or I've seen this a million times, too. We need more data, we need all this data, we need to, we need all this data. And then the number of people who use that data is two, and they use it for the wrong purposes and in the wrong ways. People will say like, "Our data structure is broken or we have a data governance issue." And I'm like, "What data for what purpose from what source to make what decisions?" And the specificity around the use and the oversight is something that I have seen mishandled so many times.

Kailey Raymond: Oh, yeah. I like the questioning of basically down the lines of like prove it. Why? Tell me why. If one person's gonna use a dashboard, it's probably not worth building.

Jessica Jensen: Oh, my gosh. The number of wasted dashboards is criminal. But then, okay, this is another obsession of mine. What is the definition of good?

Kailey Raymond: [laughter] Oh, yeah.

Jessica Jensen: So let's say you get a dashboard and you get information and you say, oh, 127 people joined our webinar. Well, are they CEOs and CHROs? Then that might be really good. Are they generic job seekers? That's not worth our time. So I'm always trying to get people to focus not on the data itself, but on how will you know when you're winning.

Kailey Raymond: Yes.

Jessica Jensen: And that takes benchmarking. That takes research, that takes human judgment and that's the art that comes with the science.

Kailey Raymond: I love that. That's the pulling of insight out of this mountain of information, and I love that you're saying like everybody's saying to collect more data. I think most companies fall into that trap, and...

Jessica Jensen: Oh, yeah. Everywhere I've ever worked.

Kailey Raymond: And honestly there's a stat that came out from IBM years and years ago, and so at this point I'm sure it's even more than that, but in 2018, data was doubling every 18 months. It's gotta be more than that at this point, more than you can do anything with. And so to...

Jessica Jensen: To what end?

Kailey Raymond: Exactly. So to your last point, it's okay, how are we using it? Do you have a use case in mind? If not, why do we care? Right?

Jessica Jensen: Yeah. Exactly.

Kailey Raymond: Totally.

Jessica Jensen: And so often we don't know what we want to do with it.

Kailey Raymond: Yes, absolutely. So that brings me to my next question. Thanks for teeing that up so nicely.

Jessica Jensen: Sure.

Kailey Raymond: What are you doing with it? So how does the data that you are collecting influence your marketing at Indeed?

Jessica Jensen: Sure. Well again, there are so many different stripes of and types of data, right? So we're using copious amounts of data on job seeker activity on Indeed and employer activity to inform our economists who are doing reporting to governments and employers, et cetera, et cetera. We are using of course data on campaign performance and website performance and social media performance. We are collecting data on event marketing, which is a whole nother kettle of fish that we could spend an entire session on and which of our prospective customers and our active customers engage with what experiences and then what do they do after that, and that whole funnel. We have very elaborate and deep medium mix modeling, which is looking at the revenue and customer metrics lift driven by different channels in different countries for different audiences. So there are 1700 use cases of data in the Naked City and it depends on if we're looking at job seekers or employers or both at the same time. And we're very reliant on data partners around the company and the governance structure thereof to make sure that the data is clean and good and accessible and that we are using it in a responsible and informed way.

Kailey Raymond: Any programs or tactics that you wanna highlight that worked that you were excited about, that leveraged data that you were like, "Nice, that data actually gave me what I was intending for it to give me and this is the program that we're running from it."

Jessica Jensen: I would say that part our budgeting and strategic planning exercise, we are looking at not only our own audience, brand awareness consideration, trial job, seekers who apply that whole funnel, but then also market penetration. We have been doing brand and other forms of job seeker marketing in a variety of countries around the world for a while and we have very different levels of job seeker and employer penetration rates in various sectors. So I would say the fusion of market data with our own performance data and medium mix models has yielded some really amazing insights that are changing the way we do marketing.

Kailey Raymond: Anything surprising that you'd be willing to share that you found out?

Jessica Jensen: Well, we do a lot of, as you can imagine, we do a lot of job seeker insights work. And so I love learning about the different job seeking behaviors of different segments. It's gonna sound so obvious when I say it, but it actually was kind of an aha. Truck drivers don't have resumes, they don't apply to jobs on websites, they are on their phones. If you can't do things by text or in an app, you're out of the water. And so we are getting to a really micro level of understanding the job seeker behaviors that impact our product and our customer experience, but also how we reach people in a marketing context. A lawyer in London is not looking for a job the same way that a truck driver in Texas is. And so we have to really alter our message mix, our channel mix, and it's fun and complicated.

Kailey Raymond: That's a really great example. It's not something that I've ever thought of [laughter] before.

Jessica Jensen: Yeah, I don't think... When you say it it's like duh, of course. But we wouldn't necessarily think of it, right? That's the permutations of job seeker behaviors globally is endlessly fascinating.

Kailey Raymond: And threading the needle that goes back up to what we were talking about earlier with personalization. You are doing something how they want to.

Jessica Jensen: Exactly. How can you do that efficiently at scale? AI is transformative.

Kailey Raymond: Totally channel of choice. Making sure that the right message is hitting the person at the right time.

Jessica Jensen: Exactly. Yep.

Kailey Raymond: Who do you think is doing it right as it relates to customer experience, customer engagement, any brands that you look to?

Jessica Jensen: I mean, I have to say I love TurboTax. I think that they really have taken something unfun, annoying and made it super simple and clear and even injected humor into the experience. I really admire them for that. I will say I thought Virgin America was one of the best airlines ever created and their unification of online experience, advertising, airport experience, in the airplane experience, the through line of that brand and what you were supposed to feel about Virgin America was so clear and so well executed. I still mourn the passing.

Kailey Raymond: It was so cohesive, like you knew you were in the presence. Yeah.

Jessica Jensen: When you got to the airport and went to the Virgin counter and they were having a hip hop dance party [laughter] and the lyrics were of the song were on the TV screen and then you got on the airplane and it had that party atmosphere and then the safety video. End to end, it was brilliant.

Kailey Raymond: I did take a flight on Virgin once from LA to Vegas and it was exactly what you thought it was gonna be. [laughter]

Jessica Jensen: Oh yeah, exactly. Yeah. You were soaking in it from the moment you saw the ad to buying the ticket to flying on the airplane. It was amazing.

Kailey Raymond: That was quite a good experience 'cause across any channel, you understand who you're engaging with, you can feel it, the language is the same, the messaging is the same, it's building that really cohesive story.

Jessica Jensen: The emotion is the same.

Kailey Raymond: I love that yes. The emotion. Do you have a favorite campaign that's based on data that either you've run or that you've seen out in the wild?

Jessica Jensen: I worked on a program at Facebook when it was called Facebook before Meta called She Means Business. And this was a global women's small business program to help women unify with each other, learn how to use digital marketing tools and grow their businesses. And we worked in partnership with the UN and a bunch of governments and it was really tapping into the fact that women are small business entrepreneurs but often feel tech under-skilled or uncomfortable in the tech world. And so I think it was a really brilliant and emotional and motivating campaign, also super targeted and data rich. I still really admire that work. And then at Indeed I would say, so we've been in the Japanese market for 10 years and it is a hyper competitive hiring market. There are a million brands, very, very fragmented. We were doing basic name recognition and like go to Indeed to search for jobs for years, just trying to kind of land the plane on that.

Jessica Jensen: Then we did a bunch of research and discovered what are people's fears about changing jobs. And people are probably not super aware that historically people in Japan change jobs very infrequently. They maybe have two jobs over the course of their careers, and there's a really inherent fear in changing jobs and a lack of security. And then for women, helping women embrace the external workforce and see themselves in new jobs and new careers, we did a lot of really great research on that which allowed us to do more segmented marketing for women and people in various states of their careers. And we're really proud of the work that we've done there. We've also done a lot of marketing in Japan about LGBTQ+ rights. Japan is a company that is very, very far behind the US and other European countries. Marriage is not legally sanctioned for LGBTQ+ people in Japan. So we have really leaned into a big gap in society there to try to push employers to take a more progressive stance.

Kailey Raymond: I love this. A really common thread that you're pulling through too in a lot of your work is the emotional element. I love that, is like really talking to humans like they're human. And it reminds me, we did a campaign at Hired when I was there that was a micro documentary on wage inequality and we interviewed women about what it feels like to be paid less than a male peer. And it was just unbelievably powerful to watch a room of people respond to that and then have really productive conversation around how to fix it and you can fix it in a lot of different tactics.

Jessica Jensen: Super important work. Yeah. Which reminds me, we did a campaign called Dare to Share, which was around pay transparency. And so we interviewed a bunch of people, like people were...

Kailey Raymond: I've seen this.

Jessica Jensen: So we interviewed a ton of people and a lot of people were very reticent to share and they were super embarrassed. But then we brought people together in a group and we would ask them, "If you make this much, turn off your video camera. If you make this much, turn off your video camera." And so then people kept... It was a screen full of people's faces and people would drop out. And then the last people left realized that they were making tens of thousands of dollars less than the other people on the call. And it was so emotionally powerful to see the pain in their faces and realizing that they didn't know what they were worth. It was pretty magical and it really moved a lot of employers as well.

Kailey Raymond: Leveraging that candidate side data to showcase that to employers to make the change that they need to make.

Jessica Jensen: For sure.

Kailey Raymond: Super powerful. Last question for you. If you had any steps or recommendations for folks that are looking to uplevel their customer engagement strategies, what would those be?

Jessica Jensen: Well, I think the obvious thing is research, data and insights. And I think people invest a lot in that and spend a lot of time on that. I think using AI for testing, using AI for concept generation and testing is very exciting frontier. And figuring out how to do this hyper-personalization that we've talked about at scale is something we're really experimenting with and I think there's so much opportunity there.

Kailey Raymond: That's amazing. Jessica, thank you so much for being here.

Jessica Jensen: A delight.

Kailey Raymond: This has been...

Jessica Jensen: Oh, it was so fun.

Kailey Raymond: This has been really wonderful. I really appreciate your time.

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