A Data-Driven Approach Towards Talent Acquisition with Mike “Batman” Cohen

The clear, data-driven approach to Talent Acquisition

This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.

In this episode of “The Shape of Work,” we welcome Mike Cohen, Founder/Sourcer of Wayne Technologies. It is an advanced recruiting company finding efficient candidates through the use of technology.


Name of the guest: Mike Cohen

What he does: Founder/Sourcer, Wayne Technologies

Find him on LinkedIn.

Get Smart: “There are a few different things to think through before going remote- what is the intent of you going remote? Is it to save money because you can hire people from less expensive areas around the country? Just understand, you are probably going to get beaten by your competitors, who are willing to pay the same price as they have been paying, regardless of where somebody sets.”


In this episode, you will get valuable insights into:

  1. Something about sourcing that most people don’t know.
  2. Fundamental gap in terms of how the recruiters are judged.
  3. How often should recruiters be looking into AV tests?
  4. Ensuring an optimal experience to the candidates.
  5. Challenges does remote work bring in sourcing.
  6. Changes in the field of sourcing in the last 12-14 years.


Something about sourcing that most people don’t know:

Most people are unaware of the fact that there is way more data involved than they are collecting. However, there is no tool to collect more data unless it is done manually. The first thing to figure out is what data is and isn’t.

Mike has done a couple of sessions on the difference between metrics and KPI. He explains how these two are very different things. KPI tells you what and where the data is. While metric tells you what exactly is happening through the data. Metrics offer the efficiency of that data. It provides a complete analysis of the input VS output.

“KPIs are numbers, metrics are percentage”

Once you understand the data, you delve deeper into the topic.

Furthermore, Mike mentions how he always looks at response rates instead of numbers. It is important to know how effective these responses are and how many will convert into phone calls.

He feels that recruitment is an interesting blend of art and science behind marketing and sales. The art of marketing is based on the displaying of things. The art piece of sales functions around how to interact with humans to elicit a response. When combined, they offer the foundation for a good recruiting structure.

Is there a fundamental gap in terms of how the recruiters are judged?

There is a fundamental gap in the understanding of what a recruiter does by the recruiters themselves. Mike asks plenty of people regarding the job of a recruiter in his own podcast. According to him, these recruiters put themselves into a box and think they should fit in instead of performing their actual role. 

Now the question is, what exactly is the role of a recruiter? It is a two-directional pipeline of data. They take data from the company and bring it to the market, and vice versa. The only goal of the recruiter should be to help people assess their data and assist them in other possible areas. Their job is not to weigh their opinions on another person’s decisions.

How often should recruiters be looking into AV tests?

Mike says that they look into their AV tests everyday. He encourages other companies to follow the same process as well. People are more often worried about how the product is going to position on the shelf. However, he feels that there is no point worrying about it if they don’t have the raw materials to make the product. Furthermore, Mike gives a picture of how the stack for a recruiter looks like when they try to solve similar problems.

How can the professionals ensure an optimal experience to the candidates?

A good thought process goes into a good candidate experience. According to Mike, companies should try to understand more about the person they want to hire and less about the skill set. Organizations can teach skills to an individual. However, training them to have a specific outlook or attitude is not possible. Moreover, forcing it is unfair to the candidate itself. 

What challenges does remote work bring in sourcing?

Mike feels that a remote work facility is not a challenge for good recruiters. However, there are a few things a company needs to think through before going remote.

In addition, the companies need to consider whether they want more candidates or better candidates. Mike wants to operationalize synergistic interviews. He feels that companies are over-using video interviews. The entire process of video or face-to-face interviews needs to stop. It is an completely different style of communication over video. Mike also has proven data showcasing why video interviews do not work. Furthermore, it does not matter how the managers or coworkers present themselves. According to him, video interviews serve zero purpose except to add a level of bias. This process would help companies telecommute the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) strategy that they claim to have as well.

Changes you have noticed in the field of sourcing in the last 12-14 years:

Mike talks about several changes he has noticed in the area of sourcing:

  1. The acceptance of technology: More people have started learning and accepting different tools.
  2. A trend towards content and data: Many people want to either put out or receive content. And it is providing a way for organizations and individuals to interact with the community at large.
  3. The gap between sourcing and recruiting: This gap is reducing. It has become a lot less ambiguous and is shaping itself.
  4. Work-life balance: Mike talks about the line between work and home becoming more and more blurred. At the same time, companies have realized that who you are as a person is more important than how you show up at work.

Dhristi Shah

Hi, this is Dhristi, Content Writer and Editor at Springworks India. I am a keen learner and am passionate about everything related to writing.

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