What is Candor, and who is it for?
“Candor helps tech professionals negotiate a higher salary. Founded by Niya Dragova and David Chouinard in 2019, we’re a venture-backed company headquartered in San Francisco.”
“Most people don’t negotiate their salary, or if they do, they don’t know the right things to say. If you jump on the phone with Candor, one of our salary negotiation experts will coach you on the right things to say, help you prepare, so that you don’t leave money on the table.”
“In many cases, we’ve gotten people $50k, even $100k+ more, and you don’t pay a penny unless Candor gets you an increase on your offer (from which we take a cut).”
What is one thing you want customers to take away from your business? What are you genuinely selling?
“We’re all about salary negotiation, but there’s this wider mission to be your ‘man/woman on the inside’ — someone who knows the economics of how companies work, who has negotiated many deals, who can give you candid advice on how to navigate difficult career decisions.”
“Companies have this unfair advantage because they negotiate salary every day, and employ people to execute these common tricks to get away with paying you less. That sucks, because then only the people who know how to play the game get paid more, and the very best employees who don’t like to cause conflict, get paid less.”
“We’re fighting for the undervalued talent, and helping them get paid what they’re worth. It’s ultimately what the companies should want, too — they don’t know who the best candidates are. If a few hours with us can make them feel more confident in communicating their value, then we’ve helped both sides build a much better, more sustainable relationship.”
When did you join Candor?
“I joined as VP of Growth a month ago after leaving a marketing agency I co-founded called Ladder. It’s great to be client-side and part of a wider mission — often, I’ve found the most technically gifted people I’ve worked with have earned the least because they don’t know how to ask for more.”
“Candor’s mission resonated with me. I thought it was a great resource that needs to exist, particularly for outsiders, who don’t understand the economics of tech companies. Often, they are just happy to get a job offer when they could be earning significantly more if they play the game the right way.”
Why do you use Fomo?
“The main thing we use Fomo for is our new hiring freeze list, which shows all the companies that are freezing hiring or laying people off from Coronavirus in real-time based on user submissions.”
“We created it as a side project just to help out friends, and it became this whole other thing. We got over one million page views, 8,000+ database submissions, and it was featured in the press... it escalated quickly!”
“David, our CTO, wanted to set something up to make the page “feel alive” as we were continually live-updating it. I recommended Fomo, and he went and installed it the same day.”
Have you tried any of our competitors? If so, why did you choose Fomo instead?
“My team at Ladder used Proof as well as Fomo. I think it comes down to personal preference, as I’m not aware of what advantages if any Proof has over Fomo. I never did a straight comparison — I just wanted to solve a problem fast, and Fomo was a quick way to do that.”
“I mostly now just follow him on Twitter. He’s one of the most productive people I know, so I always find it interesting to see what he’s working on. I recommended Fomo a bunch of times to various clients and strategists on my team, and have always heard good things.”
What are some of your favorite tools for increasing conversions?
“We actually do a lot of this in-house. David, our CTO, has built a great, modern tech stack based on Node, React, and Gatsby, so I’m often working directly with engineers to code up changes to the site.”
“However in my past role at Ladder, we used a lot of tools, Fomo being one of them that consistently got results. We also used Sumo for email popups a lot, and at one point was the largest user of Sumo anywhere in the world.”
“And I use Unbounce when I don’t have time or resource for building landing pages in-house. The drag and drop builder makes everything pretty easy for non-technical users to test changes.”
“Other than that, we're mostly looking at Analytics (I like Amplitude) and user behavior (Hot Jar) to see what’s working or not. I’ve been a big user of Google Optimize since it came out, and VWO and Optimizely before that, but to test anything big, I tend to work directly with engineers.”
What are a couple of specific conversion-related problems you’re experiencing?
“At Candor, we have the problem that not everybody who is coming to our site has a job offer in hand. We can only really help you negotiate when you have an active offer, but with our growth initiatives and content, lots of people come to the site for other reasons.”
“For example, when we released the hiring freeze list, the page got over 1 million page views but there was no direct way to convert that traffic to conversions.”
“Many of these people don’t have job offers yet, and it might be a long time before they get one. They can’t use our service right now, but we’re hoping that when they do get an offer, they’ll come back and convert because they remember we helped them out with our list or the content we write.”
“Or maybe the people coming to our site already have jobs, but if they like our mission and find value in what we do, they’ll hopefully refer that friend that comes to them for negotiation advice.”
“All that is pretty hard to track, so we have to do a lot of it on faith — work hard to put valuable content out there, and it’ll come back to us.”
“So instead of tracking conversions directly, we instead try and optimize to people who find value from the content we produce and go from there.”
What other methods did you try to address those issues?
“I’ve only been at Candor for a month now, but most of our conversion focus has been on the homepage and signup form — optimizing that so that it’s super easy for someone to book when they do have an offer.”
“It’s hard to get the messaging right — our service is essentially promising you free money over the internet, with no risk or downside. Getting across how good a deal that is, without making it sound like a scam, is pretty difficult.”
“So most of our conversion initiatives are around answering 'how to do we build trust so that you’ll trust us to help you negotiate your salary?'”
How are you tracking Fomo conversions?
“We’ve tried a few things, but we’re struggling to figure out the best way to track the value. Right now, our Fomo notifications are only on our hiring freeze page, and they just link directly back to that page.”
“My opinion is that showing them makes the page feel more dynamic and “alive” as David wanted. We’ve had a tonne of people commenting on the use of Fomo, and the hiring freeze page itself has been a wild success, but I didn’t manage to figure out a way to tease out the ‘view through’ value of Fomo, other than it looks awesome on the page.”
Please share some of the quantifiable ROI results that demonstrate how using Fomo has benefited your business.
“It’s hard to quantify, but the hiring freeze page hit over 1M pageviews, with 76% of that as direct traffic (so it’s people sharing the list with friends or colleagues).”
“You have to think a significant portion of those people wouldn’t have done that without the FOMO that Fomo brought to the table. When I see those notifications pop up, I feel like, 'Wow, something is happening here, some company just laid off people.' It’s hard to get that with any other conversion tool on the market.”
“We also got over 8,000 user-generated submissions to the database — I feel like we wouldn’t have gotten as many without people seeing Fomo and thinking, 'oh, I know a company that just announced layoffs too’ and submitting it to the list.”
What are any changes you’d like to see made with Fomo?
“I’d love to see more tracking than just when people click on the notifications. I think most of the value of Fomo is seeing the notification and taking action without clicking on it.”
“If you could track view-through conversions, and do some deprivation or lift testing out of the box, it’d be much easier to prove Fomo drove significant value.”
“So, for example, if you didn’t show it 5% of the time by default, you could compare the sessions where you show it versus didn’t show it, and work out the uplift.”
“You could fire an event into Google Analytics (or other providers) for shown/not shown, and then we could even see in our analytics what the uplift was in terms of more time on site, lower bounce rate, or other key metrics.”
Do you have any advice to other Fomo users?
“Don’t do what we did and redirect clicks to the same page. Think of the next best conversion event you want to point users to, and link to that. From my later discussions with the Fomo team, that’s the part we went wrong on.”
Any other stats you’re proud to share?
“One million page views is pretty cool, especially a few weeks into a new job! But the more significant thing is we’ve had hundreds of people message us saying they found a job through the list, or it helped them plan their approach to getting hired again. That has been a really great thing about it.”
How long have you been using Fomo?
“I guess a couple of years. I never actually used it personally, it was always a member of my team setting it all up when I recommended they check it out. I’d describe it as “do you know those bubbles on the Booking.com site that pop up to say ‘Dave from Michigan just booked this hotel room’? — it’s that but for any social proof.”
Thanks to Michael from Candor for sharing their story on the Fomo blog. If you or someone you know has an offer on a job, make sure to give their site a visit. If you don't yet, make sure to head over there when you do!