Steven Smith


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Meet Steven

HRCI & SHRM Approved Speaker

Steve will be the first to tell you that recruiting is marketing. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance at Brigham Young University and started his career in recruiting in Feb 2005. In 2008, he took a risk during a recession to help start a new company with Ryan Kohler, called ApplicantPro, an applicant tracking software platform for small to mid-sized businesses. With 11,000+ clients and close to 300 employees, ApplicantPro has made the Inc 5000 list 10 years in a row, a feat accomplished by very few organizations in the country. Steve is SHRM-CP and PHR certified, and currently serves as the Utah SHRM State Director. He loves to volunteer! His book, The Hiring Tree: Laws of Applicant Attraction, has helped thousands of organizations across the country rethink the way they approach hiring. One of the hottest releases on Amazon in 2023, The Hiring Tree will help organizations understand the principles and role of SEO and marketing when it comes to attracting job seekers.

If you are looking for an engaging presenter for an HR or hiring related event, then Steve is your guy! Steve is fun, approachable, and has extensive knowledge when it comes to the world of hiring. He's spoken at many previous events all around the country and loves to help people up their hiring game.

Steven is able to offer SHRM and HRCI credits for his talks if that is something you are looking for. Below are some of the topics that have been presented at past events and can be presented at future ones. Want Steve to speak at one of your events? Let us know!

Interested in Steven speaking at an event?

Tell us a little bit about you and the event.

“Yesterday's presentation led by Steven Smith from ApplicantPro was amazing! I don't think I've ever been on a virtual call where I saw everyone taking such copious notes!”

Brandon W.

Vice President of Aon

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“Steve's presentation was easily one of our top presentations in recent memory. The current and very applicable strategies he armed us with has given us a leg up in the competition”

Will C.

Director of Talent Acquisition at BYU

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Topics Steven is Ready to Speak On:

the hiring tree slide cover

The Hiring Tree:
Laws of Applicant Attraction

How many companies have experienced a dip in applicant flow in 2022-2023?

What if a recession hits this year, how will your organization pivot?

The biggest mistake 80% of employers make is the use of a job description as their job ad. New job board rules are being enforced due to Search Engine Optimization practices (SEO), Artificial Intelligence technology, and an influx of scam artists during the pandemic, forcing many employers to make changes they are not familiar with.

In this session we will cover the analogy of the Hiring Tree and discuss specific branches of the hiring process that will provide immediate results to attracting top talent, regardless of a recession on the loom.

In The Hiring Tree, too many employers rely heavily on one core channel for hiring. The challenge with this is like a tree with one single branch, the tree branch will topple over as it begins to bear fruit due to the weight. It creates an awful experience for applicants. 20th century recruiting methodologies are slowly being replaced by new technologies, which means employers need to stay on top of what is happening in the market more than ever before.

A truly balanced tree has multiple branches, a solid trunk (application process) and firm roots to produce award-winning fruit, which means any hiring strategy must include multiple channels and have the right foundation. From the roots to the trunk, extending out the branches, this presentation will help attendees understand how to develop a sound "Hiring Tree" that will produce fruit (applicant flow) in ANY market, regardless of unemployment rates, recessions, layoffs, pandemics, ghosting, & quiet quitting, which all plague employers today.

become an hr ghostbuster slide cover

You've Been Ghosted:
3 Steps to Becoming an HR Ghostbuster

Ghosting is an issue that has plagued employers for years, but recently, this phenomenon has seen the disapparation of more applicants than ever before, almost reaching a new high of 28% in some industries. While many employers are blaming the rising generation, laziness, lack of respect or professionalism, etc., what if part of the problem was the employer's fault?

In this session we will cover how to become an HR ghostbuster by looking at three specific areas where ghosting occurs the most. Understanding why it occurs is the only way to potentially mitigate the issue and give your organization the opportunity to attract applicants, while keeping them interested and engaged to avoid losing them along the way.

Finally, you will learn a bit more about quiet quitting, and how ghosting is related to this underlying issue.

What would you do if you learned that quiet quitting is sometimes a call for help?

Come learn to be an HR Ghostbuster, and you will have applicants and employees alike answering the question:

Who you gonna call?

Why, HR, of course!

job ad writing workshop

Job Ad Writing Workshop (2 hours)

Did you know for every 1 applicant you see in your inbox, there are 100+ potentially interested and qualified candidates who didn't make it through the application process?

The challenge is that over 80% of companies admit to using a job description as their job ad, which limits their online visibility and searchability. In some cases, descriptions are also scaring applicants away. It is true that job descriptions can help identify particular skills or abilities that are necessary for a position or describe the environmental pressures that apply to the position. The job description can also help an organization stay compliant based on certain legal standards.

However, a job description was never meant to be an actual job ad.

The primary goal of your job ad is to create a consistent flow of applicants. It should be written as a means to better explain why a job seeker should want to apply to your job versus what they are doing currently.

In a hyper-competitive talent market, you want to stand out from the crowd rather than blend in. This workshop is designed to educate attendees on the history of recruitment marketing from the newspaper days to the evolution of smart technology, which was designed to simplify the hiring process. Understanding this technology and the role everyone in the organization plays in this process is crucial to success.

In this 2-hour workshop, those attending will have the opportunity to follow 6 fundamental steps, better understand search engine optimization principles and practices, and be armed with the right questions to help gather details from hiring managers to build a solid foundation for the job ad itself. Finally, they will learn how AI technologies like ChatGPT can help facilitate this process, making it that much easier to follow the right steps for success!

employee referral program

Employee Referral Program:
The Leader Branch of an Organizational Hiring Tree

In his book, The Hiring Tree: Laws of Applicant Attraction, Steve uses the analogy of growing an apple tree and describes a fundamental part of the tree: the leader branch. This branch, when taken care of properly, eventually becomes the core branch from which all other branches will rely. This dependence on the leader branch is the only way the other branches can receive the right nutrients to produce quality fruit.

The leader branch is your organization's Employee Referral Program, commonly known as an ERP.

Without an effective program in place, other branches of your organization will suffer, producing poor quality fruit, less fruit, or no fruit at all. In our analogy, the fruit represents qualified job applicants for your open positions!

In this presentation you will learn the six core concepts that are the foundational principles for an effective Employee Referral Program. You will learn how this ERP can have a direct impact on all other branches of your organization's Hiring Tree.

Communication, social sharing features, your rewards program, and the metrics you track, all are important elements of your program. This session will empower you to make some fundamental changes that will produce increased employee participation and better quality job referrals, creating the most cost-effective employee referral program you've ever had!