Q&A with Jay: Olivia Vo, Recruiter, on Intentional Searching

On the journey to becoming a better technical recruiter, there’s a holistic blending of hard skills (such as JobDiva software) and soft skills like intuition and selling. In this interview, we talked with Olivia Vo, a Technical Recruiter for Donnelley & Moore Consulting in New York City. Listen here.

How were you first introduced to Jay Powell and his recruiting philosophies?

I’ve used many different applicant tracking systems in my career, and it’s always a love/hate relationship for many recruiters, applicants and hiring managers. In a previous company, I worked with JobDiva, which I love, so I was able to attend the JobDiva users conference, where I met the CEO, the Founder, and some of the VPs and others behind the scenes. And Jay was there. I met him in passing.

At the time, I was working in an agency recruiting environment, working heavily with MSPs and VMSs, and I wanted a change of pace. So I moved to Donnelley & Moore to do more technical staffing for the New York Tri-State area. And I was really happy to find out they also use JobDiva, so I could continue learning about that particular ATS. And I was even more pleased that Jay was their JobDiva consultant providing hands-on training.

What was the “value add” of working with Recruiting Factors?

I have received training from the developers of JobDiva, and they do a fantastic job putting out weekly recruiting webinars and doing training. But not at the depth that Jay Powell and Recruiting Factors provides. Jay’s training goes in depth about strategies that…

  • Manage your workflow
  • Set up JobDiva to be efficient for the way I work
  • Specific ways to set up a search strings

Particularly now that I’m doing more technical recruiting, the biggest advantage Donnelley & Moore has with our ongoing relationship with Jay is our accessibility to him and his availability to work directly with recruiters.

What surprised you about Jay’s training?

Without Jay, I don’t think I would not have been able to figure out JobDiva’s back-end technology. I knew how to put together a Boolean search string. But what Jay taught me was to be more intentional with our database by searching our internal candidates first.

Donnelley has been in business more than 20 years and has a huge database of candidate information. Jay recommended looking there before turning to job boards and pulling down more recent resumes when I didn’t have to.

What are other recruiting strategies Jay recommended?

Do the research around job titles! I was used to naming job functions one way. Jay suggested figuring out if people with the same job function may be writing or calling themselves something else. For example, Business Analyst seems very typical, very straightforward. However, there’s more than one job title that means the same thing and many ways people describe themselves.

The only way to understand the nuances is by researching; first in our database, looking at how people describe their roles, describe their titles, and then also doing research outside of JobDiva, via Google search or whatnot.

How have your searches become more intuitive?

I used to put every keyword into my search stream. Now I’ve learned to identify common denominators in a job description:

  1. Parse the job description
  2. identify the most important criteria
  3. Have a search to pull in different results, honing in on specific criteria
  4. Ask follow-up questions of candidates to make sure they have the particular application experience or development experience that the hiring manager is looking for

As recruiters, we tend to put everything into the search string. It’s really important to have a succinct search and not eliminate too many candidates.

How has this approach affected your work?

Jay has direct contact with JobDiva and the developers there. We give them feedback, through Jay, on our day-to-day activities. Jay advocates for us, “Hey you know, this question came up…can we create it?”

I like having Jay as an “insider” at JobDiva, so if we want to automate an “evergreen search” containing a certain keyword, for example, Jay can set it up to pull in anytime it’s found on the worldwide web.

I really appreciate Jay for setting that up on the back end, because as a recruiter, I would not have access to that. His insider status relationship with JobDiva to pass on feedback and create different functionalities for us is huge.

What takeaways would you give to other technical recruiters?

My previous experience with JobDiva was touch and go–very haphazard. When I came on board as a new technical recruiter, Jay really helped me go from a newbie in training to being a more efficient recruiter. I became more comfortable with the technical requirements, and even thought it was a whole new language and set of acronyms for me, I could see what the managers were visualizing their candidates would be doing.

Now I know when I log into JobDiva what the steps are I have to take, and it doesn’t change just because I get a new role. These are steps I follow, and I can experiment with my search using the strategies Jay taught me. I can always ask him for feedback or just ask, “hey, do you mind just taking a look at my search string? Is there something I should be tweaking?”

Having Jay on my team is a wonderful advantage so I can call him when I’m feeling stuck or like I’m not getting certain results. Often, it’s a simple fix that I didn’t catch, but with his experience, he catches it. Jay always says, “Recruiting is a repeatable, measurable hiring process.”  He drilled it into me! So I can just take these repeatable steps each and every time, and I will achieve successful results. No reinventing the wheel.

I started using job in 2016, and I really like using their platform. It’s constantly changing, and having someone like Jay be the go-to expert teaching and training us…JobDiva has been incredible for my career.



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