Tony Allegretti - S1E8

The one about Jacksonville, Fla.

Tony Allegretti is the President of Allegretti Consulting. Allegretti Consulting has three main foci: Development of the Urban Core, Arts & Culture Advocacy and Support, and Advancement and Growth of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in organizations. Tony Allegretti served as the Executive Director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville from 2014 to 2018. During this time, the direct economic impact of the Cultural Service Grant funded organizations served by the Cultural Council grew from $58 million to $83+ million, and from twenty-one organizations to twenty-seven. Since the Cultural Council has adopted its Cultural Equity Commitment under Allegretti's leadership, African American board participation at Cultural Service grant-funded organizations has increased by 400%. In 2018, 69% percent of those organizations increased African American participation. More than 150 students of color have completed the curriculum of Career Pathways to jobs in arts and culture. More than 90 students of color have completed Cultural Service Internships (paid) in Cultural Service organizations. Previous to this position, Tony was Director of Downtown Engagement for JAX Chamber. In 2004, Tony won the individual award from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville for his work establishing the First Wednesday Art Walk with Downtown Vision. He was also the Founding Director of the Riverside Arts Market and created Community First Saturdays Downtown. He is a stakeholder and entrepreneur with his partnerships at Burrito Gallery, Uptown Market, and BREW. Tony has served on the Board of Visit Jacksonville, Downtown Vision, Any Given Child, United States Urban Arts Federation (Executive Committee), Urban Education & Policy Center, Jax Chamber Board of Governors, as well as Jax Area Legal Aid and was a founding board member of the Downtown Investment Authority (Jacksonville). Tony lives in Lakewood with his wife Tammy, one young vocalist, and one young soccer star.

In this episode, Dave talks with Tony Allegretti. They talk about how Jacksonville, Fla. has been the birthplace of a lot of HR tech.

Dave and Tony started a job board during the Y2K boom. They’ve experienced rapid change within the industry. From old school job ads in newspapers, to job boards, to open domain, and now the internet.

Tony and Dave will also discuss job advertisements, branding, and finding the right job for you – ethically and reputation-wise.

Tony joins Dave to talk about:

  • HR Tech in Jacksonville
  • Having passion for what you do
  • The importance of embracing your community and giving back
  • ...and much more!
RecruiterCast on Apple Podcasts
RecruiterCast on Google Podcasts
RecruiterCast on Spotify
RecruiterCast on Stitcher Podcasts

Tony shares how community service helps to shape your career. Tony and Dave will also discuss how to find a job that you’re good at and passionate about – even if that means leaving in your current job. This is a great episode full of great advice, no matter your current role or title.

"Your DNA, what you do is really who you are. So, what you're doing is important and you need to make sure that those things, whether it's online or in practice, are lined up with what you want to be and who you want to be."
- Tony Allegretti
"Once you get into the workforce, you're going to have a brand new reputation that you're going to establish by showing up to work on time, doing what you're supposed to do, doing the right thing, saving your company money, not embarrassing your boss, making your boss's job easier, definitely getting that foot in the door, getting the opportunity to prove who you are on a day to day basis. You have to differentiate yourself somehow."
- Dave Webb
"In one way, we're just blasted with so much information, it feels overwhelming that there's so much available to us, but in another way, actually helps us sort out these relationships and being able to pick what lane you want to get in."
- Tony Allegretti

Links Associated with this Episode:

Show Notes:

Dave Webb:              00:03           "I’m Dave Webb and you're listening to RecruiterCast."

Tony Allegretti:        00:09           "I think we had the best product in really what  shown to be the best model, just the worst timing. We were way ahead of the game and we can go into some of the details on that, but for the city in this area, I think the best way to explain why our staffing DNA is so strong is because we're so diversified."

Dave Webb:              00:31          "That's Tony Allegretti and the city he's talking about is Jacksonville, Florida. Now, stay with me a minute, a lot of HR tech has been born out of Jacksonville, and our conversation is going to apply to where you live as well. Recruiting is a global economy and it helps us all know our history, but we need to know where that history came from and in this case, I'm sorry, it's Jacksonville, Florida. Now, Tony and I go way back. "

Background noise:      00:56          "How far back Dave?"

Dave Webb:             00:58          "Let's just put it this way, we started a job board during the Y2K boom, or maybe even at the end of the boom at the bus."

Crash noise:           01:06

Dave Webb:             01:07           "We've seen things in this industry and we've seen them change rapidly, old-school job postings and newspapers, the first job boards having crazy ideas like information being open and shareable and how the internet has blown it all wide open. Here's Tony again."

                                                Transcript for RecruiterCast Episode 8 with Tony Allegretti

Tony Allegretti:      01:23          "The idea that if someone has a job available that gold that's something that can improve a company, a community, it's a quality of life and then someone needs a job. That is another thing. Those two, there're really, and I think the internet has shown that if there's a barrier to growth, whether economic or otherwise, the internet is going to figure out a way to get rid of the barrier."

Dave Webb:             01:51          "We're also going to talk about job advertisements, branding and finding the right fit. Tony has seen the waves go up and down with companies trying to be hip with their workers."

Advertisement:         02:00         "Bring your dog to work, free snacks. Let's try to find an impoverished area of the city and get free ride to work. Yay! (laughs)."

 Dave Webb             02:10        "A lot of times it works, but you need to find the right fit for you ethically and reputation wise, it truly does matter."

Tony Allegretti:       02:17          "Whatever the company stands for,  that's how you get to the door and you're knocking on the door. If it's a company that has a good reputation, you're much more likely to answer it. If it's garbage or has questionable practices or something then it's a much tougher self."

Dave Webb:             02:36         "Let our shared history help inform you about where you need to go in the recruiting industry, as Winston Churchill famously said in 1948."

Repeating of Quote:    02:46         "Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it."

Dave Webb:             02:52         "Now, I apologize for our British accent. That was somebody else in the office, it wasn't me, but you get the point. I'm Dave Webb, CEO and co-founder of BrightMove. For over 25 years, my job has been to learn all of the ins and outs of the recruiting industry and then write the software that makes it all happen. I know who to talk to and what to ask them. We have the information that you cannot get anywhere else. So get ready to learn the secrets that will give you an advantage as a recruiter, job seeker or business owner. It's time for RecruiterCast."

Advertisement:          03:26        "RecruiterCast is brought to you by BrightMove, the most innovative applicant tracking system built with a recruiter and candidate in mind. Learn"

Dave Webb:              03:38         "My guest today is none other than Tony  Allegretti. Welcome Tony."

Tony Allegretti:        03:43        "Hey, thanks for having me. "

Dave Webb:              03:44        "Hey, no problem man. I really appreciate you coming into the studio with us today. So me and Tony and Drew are going to do our best to give you guys 30 to 45 minutes of excellent content about the recruiting and staffing industry. Now, I've mentioned that I've been doing this for a long time. Of those 25 years, I've known Tony for 20 of those years, and we started off actually working together in the staffing industry way back in the Y2K days. Some kids say we started our job board at the worst possible time in the history of the internet because it was kind of like during the end of the boom in the beginning of the bubble.  We miss the everybody goes public party by a couple of months. But I think what's important, and the reason why I brought Tony in today, is because we had a vision and some people that we worked for, even back in the 1995 had some visions about using the internet as more than a way to check email and we saw it as a tool, a way to find people employment. And that's why I've asked Tony here today. So, it's weird, the HR companies, both tech and process that have come out of the North Florida area, and I know you've done a lot with the city of Jacksonville since we parted ways 18 years ago when we closed down the job board job, There's nothing there, don't go to that domain name but that's what it was called. So, you've done a lot with economic development. Why is Jacksonville been a hub? And it seems like Jacksonville and Boston produce a lot. What do you think about that?"

Tony Allegretti:       05:15        "Yeah, thank you Dave, and I would say we did have horrible timing for our exploits in this, but I think we had the best product and really what shown to be the best model, just the worse timing. We were way ahead of the game and we can go into some of the details on that, but for the city in this area, I think the best way to explain why our staffing sort of DNA is so strong is because we're so diversified. So, if you go and the chamber of commerce has all these councils and so there's a tech council, there's an insurance council, there’re all these segments of our workforce and it's very diverse and so, that leads to executive needs across the board, and I think we had with our staffing sort of background, a lot of it kind of points towards ACU Staff and that company and forgive me for forgetting Kessler, I think.”

Dave Webb:             06:17          "Yeah, I believe so."

Tony Allegretti:       06:18          "Kessler, she was the first woman to take a company public so that was huge. That was a big deal in ACU Staff, obviously, had the huge building downtown. It was a massive company, and I think that was a good spotlight on what was happening. And then of course spin-offs in her own family became household names into that sort of type of business. Some of it being HR back end, some of it being later the internet with us and some of the work that we did. But I think it all goes back to those good jobs. There are not recruiters for crappy jobs (laughs) sadly, Recruiters are really going after folks that are highly sought after, and we need them here in Jacksonville with the growth that we've had population wise and business wise. This blistering hot, I think we passed Austin for fastest growing area to our seven counties did right now. In fact, we're in St.John's County, which is like literally white hot, fastest growing County."

Dave Webb:            07:23            "So you mentioned ACU Staff, late 80's, early 90's, people I knew coming out of high school were going to work for AT&T Universal Card off of Bay Meadows Road and ACU Staff was how you got into there, and I wonder if AT&T opening up that big call center facility on Bay Meadows Road, which was  brand new at the time was kind of a catalyst for the demand that created the staffing companies and obviously ACU Staff was the big elephant to be dealt with. But even here at BrightMove, a couple of years ago, I hired a young man and his parents moved to Jacksonville in the 80's because they worked for AT&T Universal Card. So now we have the second generation of employees and in the North Florida economy and it's kind of come full circle."

Tony Allegretti:     08:05          "Well, so yeah and so my wife is in HR and she's at railroad, but she has done work several years with Florida Blue, Winn Dixie and so yeah, that becomes, again, it's a hub and I think also when AOL, we were one of the AOL,  whatever, they had a massive outfit here out on Amazon. It was big. Did you ever go out there?"

Dave Webb:            08:31          "I went out there four wheeling before AOL opened up the call center."

Tony Allegretti:     08:34          "Okay. Yes, that thing was really impressive, a huge hanger outside, part of the airport or something, I don't know what, but tons of people that worked at that call center made a lot of money, and I think a lot of those were because they had that first sort of sniff of the internet before the internet. I think a lot of them got into tech and web stuff and so I think that helped a lot. But yeah, it's all those things are city. There's a lot of those big corporate employers here now that are doing big things. I think we're the logistics capital of whatever U.S so we've got tons of recruiting for that. In fact,  I got here in late 96 I believe, and I was recruited. I was actually living in Daytona and recruited for a job, a software job in sales and office was in Orange Park. I had literally commuted for a little while  I commuted from Daytona to Orange Park and I would get there before people from the beach to Orange Park which I just remember that was cool, but we were working on a Recruitmax, which the logo was kind of weird so I always call it Recruitymax so if I  regress and start saying that, that's why but anyway, that's when I really started dipping the toe into placement and recruiting and that kind of business and science. I want to also say that's 20 years, 20+ years ago, and I've not been recruited since, so I may have peaked."

Dave Webb:            10:02          "That's the barometer of how if you're a good employee, you usually have your next job lined up before you lose or quit the one that you have or you find yourself in a situation, you make one phone call and people are happy to recommend you. So that's good."

Tony Allegretti:     10:16            "Yeah, oh, thanks. Yes. I'm a consultant now doing area quote and those formative years, was really amazing. Just talking to you on the phone to set this up was a real fun trip that works because we were on the Vanguard. I remember, I mean The Recruitmax and that kind of stuff that I was doing, I think predates maybe a little bit by us working together but those things like even old dinosaurs like hot jobs and stuff, those things didn't even exist. There was like dice and I remember dice you could get jobs faxed to you which is really interesting and that's how Recruitmax, that's their claim to fame was to OCR and so you would fax in a resume, it would read it and then put it in the database, which kind of started the party."

Party sound playing    11:06.

Dave Webb:             11:10           "To my knowledge, the true applicant tracking system, Recruitmax to their credit, was one of the first ones, and you could see where it grew out of the need, right? ACU Staff grew. They needed software to automate and become more efficient and the ATS was born out of that. Now, I know from other jobs that I had before we connected, that other large staffing companies were developing all of their own internal, what they called CRM's or sales trackers at the time, but all of those were at the core, the applicant tracking system like BrightMove is today. The job boards are merging. The ability to advertise and publish jobs at a large scale made that necessary because now instead of people seeing a "help wanted" sign or an ad in the, and you're getting 10 job applicants, you were getting hundreds or thousands depending on the market that you were in. It was necessary."

Tony Allegretti:      12:00           "Yeah, and so back then, the reason that you had sort of this fly paper to get resumes, you had used traditional methods, so there was no job boards. You did I guess newspaper and different ways of attracting candidates. At the time, Recruitmax was really just kind of the front end. People soft existed and they worked. I remember them working really hard to tie into custom back end,  internal systems but also other softwares and all that. They really concentrated on a server-based product at the same time. Mike at Recruitmax and I had a little, I had remembered Derek giving me some autonomy to be able to work on pro hire, which was our online version of that, and that was a real fun time because that stuff really kind of didn't exist yet. And then companies to add to the sizzle, in the excitement, companies were getting funded, not necessarily here in Jacksonville clearly, but  out West and things were, things were happening. It felt like, if we got a couple of good breaks during that run, something awesome might happen. But then we work together as well with Jim in computer work, and that's  where, forgive me if I'm wrong, and we probably need to talk to Mike Brent and find out how this all happened because he would probably remember, but I feel like he was the guy that connected me with you and Jimmy. You and Jimmy were definitely together by the time I found you and we work with Jim. And I think Tammy, actually my bride actually worked there for a tiny bit of time."

Advertisement:        13:42             "RecruiterCast is brought to you by BrightMove, the most innovative applicant tracking system built with the recruiter and candidate in mind. Be sure to check out BrightMove on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn @BrightMove. Visit us on the web at

Dave Webb:            13:59             "Tony's mentioned a lot of names and it's true, a lot of us were given opportunities and saw some opportunities on how to web-enable what was otherwise client-server closed down software. We'd done it with ComputerWork and we'd done it with a couple of other sites and it just made sense with all of our backgrounds and recruiting and staffing, that was the next thing to do. I'm just going to shift a little bit more to the national and international scope of what we're doing because while it's cool to know that all of us came from this little kernel of or this little spark of industry knowledge in North Florida as we all went out into our different career paths, things that we did definitely touched the population as a whole just like BrightMove as an international, technical software company today with an ATS,  six continents. I've lost track of the countries."

Tony Allegretti:    14:48              "How many continents are there?"

Dave Webb:            14:49            "Seven, no staffing in Antarctica yet. We keep sending."

Tony Allegretti:     14:53            "We have a banner down there though. There should be, they're hiring, I'm sure."

Music Paying:         14:57

Dave Webb:            14:59            "What I want to talk about is when we work together at jobgorilla, and  we had an internal struggle. I know at times because we had money to get the things started and we were writing the software and you were  responsible for marketing and you've believed wholeheartedly that the information of a job being available and the resume of a candidate wanting a job was free open-domain information that should not be taxed by a job board. We didn't disagree with you so much as we just wanted to feed our families at the same time that we are doing the business model. But I think that the freemium model, I think that you came up with it way early on before it was even called 'The freemium model.' We obviously didn't have what it took to get that mass, that critical mass where people are investing in how many eyeballs are looking at your site versus how much revenue you're generating. So, I mean obviously you were doing a lot of brainstorming trying to get our company off the ground and you were thinking about it from a humanitarian point of view I think. So, how did, how did that kind of come about?"

Tony Allegretti:      15:58             "Maybe even more economic development than  humanitarian although there were some of that there and  bless up all the investors that we had early in that. It was a  really interesting time because so much was happening so  fast online.  I might've come up with freemium before it could be successful so that's like that in the subway token will get you a ride uptown. The solution was how to differentiate.  So, the things that were brilliant about that time is that you and Jimmy had created a really great search functionality search back then with brand new. I mean you guys were doing things that Yahoo is doing. I don't think Google was even around yet, right. So, I mean we're like early days and the idea that if someone has a job available, that's gold. That's something that can improve a company, a community it's a quality of life and then someone needs a job, that is another thing. Those two there're really, and I think the internet has shown that if there's a barrier to growth, whether economic or otherwise, the internet is going to figure out a way to get rid of the barrier, and the problem for us was that the model that had been proven successful, which was a sales and marketing model, they would buy eyeballs and then sell job postings. So if you were massive and had the most eyeballs, you could charge the most for your jobs and I think half of it was we needed to be different because there was no way we could compete marketing-wise, but also that ethos that this is information that really doesn't need to be taxed. It needs to be distributed for free and we're pretty successful in it in that and you guys were also doing something that's the model now, which was going out to other places and grabbing jobs and putting them up. And we had relationships with most, if not all of the job boards, especially all of the ones that weren't the massive ones charging tons of money. They allowed us to push their jobs and it meant more traffic which meant more satisfied customers because they were placing more people, and so, it was just ahead of its time. And I think it was the right thing to do clearly now because it's basically what indeed and Simplyhired and Google jobs, or ZipRecruiter is doing and I'll feel good about some of it. I think even our revenue model, which was advertising in your category. So if it was an aviation job, McDonald Douglas could be the sponsor of it. That is literally what it is now. When you go to any of these things, those top jobs would come up. We had it just like that, 23 years ago. Anyway, high-five. "

Dave Webb:              19:10              "Yeah."

Tony Allegretti:        19:10              "That we were so smart but."

Dave Webb:              19:12              (Laughs).

Tony Allegretti:       19:13              (Laughs) the.

Dave Webb:             19:14              "It wasn't on purpose."

Tony Allegretti:       19:15             "No, but it's."

Dave Webb:             19:15             "We're just trying to figure it out."

Tony Allegretti:      19:17             "Right."

Dave Webb:            19:17            "And it made sense."

Tony Allegretti:      19:17            "Yeah, yeah."

Dave Webb:           19:18            "And time has proven that our gut was right. We were just the wrong people to take it to the world. "

Tony Allegretti:     19:25            "There was an internet conference in New York and I remember talking to Internet World, which was a magazine which just kind of cracks me up."

Dave Webb:           19:32            (Laughs).

Tony Allegretti:      19:33           ( Laughs) "There was a magazine called internet world and I talked to one of them."

Dave Webb:            19:36            "And it would look like a film book every month."

Tony Allegretti:      19:37            "Yeah. Their editor asked about, our model, and I remember that guy just thinking it was the craziest thing because our competition by then was been an off in public doing Superbowl ads, doing billboards. I remember billboards being just like, you would drive by one and just cringe because you can't compete with that. But we did creative things. We did what we could with. We had a little radio show.

Dave Webb:            20:06            "Yup."

Tony Allegretti:     20:07           "That locally, that was a lot of fun, and we had an underwriter for that. And then we had little cool screen gadgets. None of us was a huge fan. We had one partner that was a fan of the cartoon yeah."

Dave Webb:            20:21             "Yeah."

Tony Allegretti:      20:21             "Like donkey Kong thing that you could get.

Dave Webb:            20:23            "His name is Joe Go."

Tony Allegretti:      20:24             "Joe Go."

Dave Webb:            20:24             "Joe Go, the gorilla."

Tony Allegretti:      20:26             "That's right."

Dave Webb:           20:26              "And he danced around on your screen. Today, they call those viruses.

Tony Allegretti:     20:29             "Yeah   (Laugh)."

Dave Webb:           20:32             "You made me think of something that was an early internet problem. It was, so we're a job gorilla, and I don't know if you remember this or not, but you just talked about all of the gorilla marketing tactics that we had to use with our limited funding and of the things we found early on is that people couldn't find the site because they were misspelling the word gorilla, and we didn't know how that could be possible, but we actually had to go by jobgorilla."

Tony Allegretti:     20:56            "Hmm, mm."

Dave Webb:           20:56            "Like the freedom fighters in Central America."

Tony Allegretti:     20:59            "Right."

Dave Webb:           20:59           "And have that one-pointed to the site as well because we were losing half."

Tony Allegretti:     21:02            "We."

Dave Webb:           21:02             "Half of our traffic to spelling."

Tony Allegretti:     21:04            "And we were getting a lot of mercenary resumes."

Dave Webb:          21:06              (Laughs).

Tony Allegretti:   21:07              "I know which is not ideal."

Dave Webb:         21:09               "I think John Rambo might've even posted his (laugh) resume at some point."

Advertisement:     21:14                "Be sure to check out RecruiterCast on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn @RecruiterCast. "

Dave Webb:         21:23                "You mentioned some names of some companies and, and I've seen this pattern over and over again. Companies get a lot of money. They staff up, they write the software, it's free. They have a differentiator like Indeed's was scraping your jobs against your will and having every job known to man on their site. And then once they hit that point, they got to start turning a profit and then they start charging the people who made them, who they are in the first place. So, I don't know how connected you are to the industry like I am right now, but that's still going on. There's still going to be that churn in my opinion. There's going to be another emerging job board, you know, ZipRecruiter's kind of the one, right now."

Tony Allegretti:    21:59              "But how are they getting there?  Because at  ZipRecruiter, you can't turn on the radio, TV. There's probably a ZipRecruiter bowl coming up. I mean it's the same thing over and over again."

Dave Webb:           22:09               "Yeah. They have some paid services that you don't have to use." But it's kind of like, some of them, not ZipRecruiter because they're a great partner of ours, and we really enjoy working with them, but I'll just say some of the ones in the last 10 years, they just turn around and they get you dependent upon it and they do a good job. They build the value. Staffing companies have to use them to get the job applicants and the resumes, but then they kind of make it cost-prohibitive for the new people, the new staffing companies, the one, two-man shops that are trying to get off the ground to use the service. And in that way it kind of limits the overall growth of the staffing economy but I'm with you. I think the internet will prevail and it provides a platform for people to affect the change that they want."

Tony Allegretti:     22:53                "I would think the trend is to better define what your culture is, what your job is, to have a better sort of name recognition for what you're trying to do as a company or a recruiter, and the internet. It's kind of funny because in one way, we're just blasted with so much information, it feels overwhelming that there's so much available to us, but in another way, actually helps us sort out I think these relationships and being able to pick what lane you want to get in. So, I think with LinkedIn how hidden really are the perfect, If you have a job and you're trying to find the perfect person, I don't know for sure that it's impossible to find that person. What might be impossible is how to connect with that person. And so, there're all these tools and you can come up and, and see names and maybe even get to the person's resume if you got the right subscription or the right alerts or whatever. But at the end of it, that person really to pick up the phone when it rings, or to answer an email or whatever, they've got to have some motor comb of trust or respect for who you are and what you're doing. So, I think a lot of it comes into now is folks brand, on both sides."

Dave Webb:            24:22                "Yeah. And you are an excellent brand builder. I saw you embrace social media before anybody else in my network, which kind of infers that I was also there. I guess I had to be in some way connected to know that you are doing it. I saw you embrace all the platforms and bring that consistency and that repetitiveness. So you're a great brand builder, Tony. Since you brought that up with the companies, that is a recurring theme that we have here is that you have to attract talent, not just mine it. I mean you have to do both, but those passive candidates that aren't looking for the job, how do you get into their inbox or how do you get them to see your company or something and say, 'hey, I want to be part of that so much so that I'm an excellent employee where I'm currently at, and I'm going to leave.' Talk a little bit about what do you think a good job advertisement looks like? Like a job description, we've established on this podcast that doesn't cut it anymore. It has to be an intentional marketing effort. So what makes a good job advertisement and how could you, if you're starting from the beginning, how could you establish that brand the right way?

Tony Allegretti:      25:22         "Well, so I would start by even backing up a little further out and saying, what's your reputation as an employer or as a corporation or a small business or whatever. How do people think about you? That to me, especially jobs where we're talking about recruiting, right? Those are really meaningful usually, higher wage, high responsibility jobs. Those you can make really great descriptions. You can have snacks in the break room, you can bring your dog, but everybody has that now, right? Everybody's kind of done the perk. We've gone down the massive Silicon Valley to get a free ride to work stage. We're into now, I think is what does the company stand for that's how you get to the door and you're knocking on the door, if it's a company that has a good reputation, you're much more likely to answer it. If it's garbage or has questionable practices or something, then it's a much tougher sell. So, when you get to the I would say this, when you get to the job description, I think it's got to leverage what the best part about who you are is about what your culture is about, what the good that you're doing in the world is and hopefully you're doing something good and that'll be easy to sell. But especially with the clutter, social media, I'm like I appreciate you saying nice things about my social media, but to be honest, it's been a journey for me. I like, I quit Facebook during lent three or four years ago and it's been awesome not being on it."

Music Playing         27:06

 Tony Allegretti      27:07          " I'll have people tell me. It's one of the reasons probably that I got the last big job that I had is because I was so active and I was a good connector of things. I think the value now we have access to so much stuff, the value now is to what's going on in your heart that's happening that you're doing right as a recruiter or how do you sell if you're working as a, do you still have a lot of users that are like third party recruiters trying to find it or are most of your customers or all of your customers inside a company recruiting?"

Dave Webb:            27:41           "All of ours are inside."

Tony Allegretti:      27:42          "Right.  Like tech companies still do recruiting."

Dave Webb:            27:45         "There's still third party and really the new thing is RPO."

Tony Allegretti:      27:48           "Hmm, mm."

Dave Webb:            27:48           "The newer model is out."

Tony Allegretti:       27:49           "That's like leasing, what's R.P.O?"

Dave Webb:             27:52           "No, PEO is the employee leasing."

Tony Allegretti:       27:54           "Yea, okay. "

Dave Webb:             27:54          "RPO is recruitment process outsourcing. That's where like."

Tony Allegretti:      27:58          "Okay."

Dave Webb:             27:58          "Public says, hey, this."

Tony Allegretti:       27:59          "Yeah."

Dave Webb:            27:59          "HR department is costing me millions of dollars a year."

Tony Allegretti:      28:02           "Okay."

Dave Webb:            28:02           "Why don't I just pay when I need to hire or when I have some attrition."

Tony Allegretti:      28:05          "Okay."

Dave Webb :           28:05                "And they outsource the whole thing."

Music Playing:        28:06

Dave Webb:             28:08                "I don't know about other parts of the country, other parts in that world, where we live here, kids have to do community service to graduate from high school. I tried to talk to the young people that I interact with around town and one of the things that's really important to them is social responsibility, which you brought up. How important is a social responsibility program, (a) that it exists, and then choosing what you're going to do because I know that some of these things are very important to you?"

Tony Allegretti:       28:31                 "At the cultural council, which was my last big job, one of the things that we found out was that, for Jacksonville is about 30% African American, when we looked at the board members of our grant-funded, so city funding, our grant-funded boards, only 4% of people serving on the boards were African American. That cannot stand, we're using city money. I mean everybody pays taxes. It's just absolutely unfair and so."

Dave Webb:              29:03                 "So you're talking just about equal representative?"

Tony Allegretti:       29:05                  "Yeah, exactly, right. Yeah. This is a passion of mine. so when I'm looking for job descriptions and somebody makes a big difference for me. If a company is interested in equity and justice, so this was a terrible equity situation that we are in, but also we had an issue and by the way, we changed it. When I left African-American participation went up 400%. So, yeah, it was already at 16. It's probably still growing. Another side of it though was that staff was way underrepresented too. And so, staff is harder because you have to go to school for it and understand it and so I would go to middle schools with junior achievement and ask kids, we had 26 grant-funded orgs, a symphony, Comera, MOCA, MOSH, etc. I would say of these, which have you heard of? And most kids hadn't heard any of them. I mean, we're talking couple miles from where their school is really, so they didn't even have awareness of jobs in the art. So we took it from awareness to preparedness for jobs in the arts. I started a thing called the Cultural Service Internship Program, still going. Probably one of the biggest in the country paid internships as, the other thing it’s got to be paid. White kids can get an unpaid internship, it'd be fine. But some kids can't even afford to take the bus to an internship. So, we also had bus passes, but, the point is some of those kids now, it's been a couple of years, some of those kids are working full time in the museums. So we introduced them, now we're preparing them. So a lot more access and awareness of jobs in the arts that way but that part of it is responsibility of the orgs, of the corporations to do the work, to make sure that folks know that hey, we are really interested in. In fact, I have a book that I have not published yet. It's very close. It's more like a workgroup on how we change, how we improved board participation and the crux of it, I'll give away my book right now, but the crux of it is discussing it. When you're in your governance committee or your nominating committee for new board members, the most important thing is to say, 'hey, we need representation from all types of people in our city. We have a beautiful diverse city', and if you talk about it and you have that conversation, it literally happens. You realize, 'oh yeah, I know a guy that would be great for this and I'll get feedback from these orgs that was like there's no one there or it's the same five people, African American people that get asked all the time and I'm like, well, 300,000 African American, so you can't tell me just statistically, you can't tell me there's not someone who would do this board work with you and fulfill all of the obligations that they're not out there because it's mathematically impossible, and everybody loves art and we're just not communicating. And so having that conversation, I'm on a bit of a tangent, but it's so important. I think it's very similar though on being able to, if you're in a company, you're better if everyone feels like they can come along. And if you've got the type of reputation as someone's that’s out there, doing things, treating people fairly, making, and I don't want to say sacrifice, a lot of people think of it as some sort of hardship to have these discussions. It's only hard that first second until you start talking because there's not one person out there that would be like, 'Oh, you know, I really don't want this to happen.' They do want it. They just don't talk about it because that first second, it's uncomfortable. once you get over it, man, things happen."

Dave Webb:           33:01                  "Easiest way to prevent a bomb from going off is to diffuse it. Not waiting until it goes off and cleans up afterwards. So, if you have a hunch that something needs to be addressed, the best time to address it is a long time ago. The second best time to address it is right now."

Advertisement:       33:16                "RecruiterCast is brought to you by BrightMove, the most innovative applicant tracking system built with a recruiter and candidate in mind. Learn"

Dave Webb:          33:28                " You know we talk about it on the podcast, your job advertisement should be about 20% technical and then 80% about what you are, your company culture, and obviously a social responsibility is just one part of that. We don't want you to think you should just go focus just on that and leave anything else behind. We talked about your marketing, how it relates to corporate brand. Let's talk about, because I've seen you market yourself very well, right. You are your brand. You've actually told me that before you said, "Dave, I'm my brand. Quit saying mean things about me on Facebook or I'm going to unfriend you. "

Tony Allegretti:     33:57               "I am, it's my favorite subject."

Dave Webb:           33:58               (Laughs).

Dave Webb:           33:58               (Laughs) "So as a job candidate, now let's flip the coin to the other side. We had another guest who's a data scientist, talked about getting through the ATS with your resume and tailoring your resumes for the job you're trying to get being very intentional from that marketing perspective, like especially on the new guys entering the workforce, right- the younger generation. What do you see that kind of makes you cringe thinking about how everything that's ever published on the internet is indexed? It doesn't matter if you delete it or not, it's still there. Somebody knows about it and maybe some advice for them in marketing themselves and then how you've seen companies kind of adapt to fit the newer workforce entering the economy?"

Tony Allegretti:     34:39               "Your formative years are high school and getting your community service and you get a great background. My daughter is heading off to college and she's overloaded with community service hours because she was a counselor at Theatrejax. Your DNA, what you do is really who you are. And so, what you're doing is important and you need to make sure that those things, whether it's online or in practice, you need to make sure those are lined up with what you want to be and who you want to be. And so we talked about social justice. I'm a big fan. I'm a huge fan of place making so I've done a lot of things, I've tried to make my efforts, some I get paid, I have in the past and some I do on my own because I think it's something we need. That kind of signature on what you are is what people are going to look for, and I think it's also what's going to put you over the edge. So, if you have a certain tech skill, that skill is going to be there just like the next dude who has it in the same letters and hyphenated the same way and all that but if you're deployed your technology in a hospital in Africa with the peace Corps five years ago, that might put you over the edge. So, it's part about being human and telling all of the things and why did you go into the Peace Corps? What made you interested in helping others, that sort of thing? So, and I don't know, I don't think you have to be saintly.  I feel also like I'm not a missionary. I just think though, people, even folks that don't volunteer all the time are, a lot of folks, if they thought about it, they are doing things that are interesting and that could be a differentiator when somebody's got to otherwise same score, resumes."

Dave Webb :           36:47             "And once you get into the workforce, you're going to have a brand new reputation that you're going to establish by showing up to work on time, doing what you're supposed to do, doing the right thing, saving your company money, not embarrassing your boss, making your boss's job easier, definitely getting that foot in the door, getting the opportunity to prove who you are on a day to day basis. You have to differentiate yourself somehow."

Music Playing:         37:10

Dave Webb:             37:12             "All right, so let me try to sum this up for you. Tony and I got paired together by some people who we knew 20 years ago when we started working in this crazy job board industry, and you just never know when you're going to be working with somebody or you're going to be working on the next big thing and you're just 10 to 20 years too soon. There's no way you know, but just kind of embrace what comes your way, embrace the synchronicity that falls into your lap when you're trying to find your first job or someone gives you an opportunity. You can only learn from it. You can only get better at your job, especially if you do it with passion. Tony and I had no way of knowing that there would even be an ATS market. The ATS hadn't even been invented yet or wasn't even publicly available when we were working on job boards in 1999. We had no idea what was going to be happening in 2019 so it's kind of cool that we were even allowed to have this conversation today. One thing we learned at jobgorillas, don't let these big fast burning, well-funded companies get you down. They're going to come, they're going to go. You might come and go too, but that's okay. You can take that knowledge that you get and carry it on to your next venture, whether it's as an employee of another great company or as an entrepreneur, starting something for yourself. Finally, I'd say embrace your community. Tony sure has embraced the city of Jacksonville, Florida. He's done so much work in the downtown area to try to bring it back to the life that it was 50, 60 years ago, and I commend him for that. And if community's important to you, if you like where you live and you think you're going to stay there a long time, I think Tony would agree with me that trying to find a company that reflects the community that you live in and that you work in is probably a company that's going to last and a good company to work for."

Music:                     38:48

Dave Webb:                 38:50           "Tell me what was your most awkward job interview and why?"

Tony Allegretti:           38:54           "Oooph."

Dave Webb:                38:55            "And it can be either."

Tony Allegretti:         38:56             "Oh, oh, I got a good one, yeah."

Dave Webb:               38:57             "As the interviewer or the interviewee."

Tony Allegretti:         38:59             "Yeah, so this is, I think this is a good one. I was not qualified, but I applied for."

Dave Webb:               39:09             "Good start."

Tony Allegretti:         39:09             "Yeah."

Dave Webb:               39:10             (Laughs).

Tony Allegretti:         39:10             "Yeah. I applied for a job at WJCT, right."

Dave Webb:               39:14             "Okay."

Tony Allegretti:         39:14           "The local NPR and PBS, and I had done it because I knew a lot about public radio. I helped start Electro Lounge.  I've done some things. I've had little shows and different things, but I also knew the board was a grant funded org that my old job would grant too, and so when the executive director job came up, and they got this guy that's amazing, he liked with PBC, he has a home here in London, he's awesome. But when I went in to interview and I probably got an interview because I knew board members, et cetera. There was a person that worked there that had been there for 20 years, and they asked me like, you have no experience in running a radio and television station."

Dave Webb:               40:07            (Laughs).

Tony Allegretti:        40:08            "Why do you think you could do it? And I said, well, your VP has 20 years’ experience of doing this, so combined we have 20 years of experience (Laughs). "

Dave Webb:              40:20            (Laughs).

Tony Allegretti:        40:21           "So that was probably more cringe for them for than it was for me, but I thought it was kind of good."

Dave Webb:              40:27           "And people do that combined experience thing all the time."

Tony Allegretti:        40:29           "Yeah right."

Dave Webb:             40:30            "200 years of experience."

Tony Allegretti:        40:31           "Exactly."

Dave Webb:              40:31           "So there's a hundred of you."

Tony Allegretti:        40:32           "Uh."

Dave Webb:              40:33           "That have been doing it for two years."

Dave Webb:              40:34           "Okay."

Tony Allegretti:        40:35           "So."

Dave Webb:              40:36           "Nice."

Tony Allegretti:        40:37           "Yeah."

Dave Webb:              40:37          "Did you get the job?"

Tony Allegretti:        40:38          "No."

Dave Webb:              40:39          "Okay."

Tony Allegretti:        40:39          "Clearly."

Dave Webb:              40:40          "We always have to ask that too."

Music playing:          40:42

Dave Webb:              40:43           "All right, last one. I got a list of kind of a crazy job description and I'm going to give it to you and you've got to guess what the title is."

Tony Allegretti:         40:51          "Oh yea".

Dave Webb:               40:53          "Bring a little rain into the lives of flood  victims.

Tony Allegretti:         40:58          "FEMA."

Dave Webb:               40:59          "Government debt collector."

Tony Allegretti:         41:01          "Ooh."

Dave Webb:               41:02         "Was that one harsh?"

Tony Allegretti:         41:03         "A little bit, yeah."

Dave Webb:               41:04          "All right."

Tony Allegretti:        41:04           "That's a real one?"

Dave Webb:              41:06           "I guess so. How you."

Tony Allegretti:        41:08           "What do you mean you guess so? How?"

Dave Webb:              41:09           "Heidi gave me the list. I just."

Tony Allegretti:	41:11 	        "Where's Heidi?" Yeah, I'm just joking" They must   be."

Dave Webb:              41:13           "When they"

Tony Allegretti:        41: 14          “Heidi wouldn't make it up."

Dave Webb:              41:14           "When they want me to leave they'll go, "you're just the talent come back later ", and I'm like, "you guys have it all wrong if you think I'm talented.  I'll give you a couple of couple minutes here at the end and kind of top three pieces of advice that you'd like to share with the audience."

Tony Allegretti:        41:27	       "Pick your ethos, pick what you believe in and what you to do and stick with it. Don't settle, like that's one of the things in terms of HR, one time, my mom gave me a picture frame and it had all my business cards of it and she's like thinking that this is amazing. You're 30th, you have had 80 jobs. And I'm like mom, gosh, but it really is because I.”

Dave Webb:             41:56	       "Do you still have that by the way?"

Tony Allegretti:       41:17           "Yeah, somewhere."

Dave Webb:             41:57           "You got to send us a picture to put on the website."

Tony Allegretti:      42:00           "I'm sure it's in the garage somewhere and I probably have 40 new business cards to add to it but it's because I'm not going to do it if I don't really believe in it. It's not that I didn't believe in those, but I want to work on what I want to work on and I don't have any bad relationships from places. I have new opportunities, I stick to my heart. The second thing that I would say is always have a mentor or multiple mentors. I have a, a partner in my restaurant group that before I got injured, we would get up at 4:30 in the morning, we meet at 5, we'd walk and we'd talk and I don't think he knows. Hopefully, he's not going to listen to me maybe he will, I don't know. I just get so much out of him. I mean, there's like a massive amount of information. He's super successfully. He's in multiple different businesses and I wouldn't trade those talks and I can't wait to be able to walk again to be back out there. So mentorship is super and sometimes mentors can be younger than you. So as we get older, one of the things that I really like is find a new people, sometimes they're younger that have a real kind of grip on something that I might not. So, the second is having a mentor. And then I think the last thing that I will say is that I think it's really important to spend time, some people, for some people, maybe it's meditation, but spend time doing something, it can be creative like maybe like to do watercolor or maybe like. I remember thinking to myself fairly recently that man, I haven't really listened to new music.

Music:                43:49

Tony Allegretti:      43:49             " In forever and I used to love discovering something and I'm a big sort of music guy. And I thought to myself, man I'm going to dedicate a little more time every day to listen to the jams. So sometimes when I'm in my car, I won't take it off NPR ever and then I'm just like, wait a second, I need to start discovering some new creative things. So give yourself on the things that you like, give yourself a little time to enjoy it because work and rat race sometimes you can forget about those things. Go to the museum, go do things."

Dave Webb:            44:35              " If people want to find out more about you and what you're doing now and how to get in touch with you. See if your services are something that they'd be interested in, how would they do that?"

Tony Allegretti:      44:35              ", it’s a very rudimentary site, but there is easy ways to reach out to me via that. My Twitter is @theurbancore, so really any social is theurbancore. I've had that for a while, but yeah reach out."

Dave Webb:            44:55                "That's a wrap for this episode of RecruiterCast. Big thanks to my friend Tony Allegretti a.k.a biggyT for talking with us today. We tackled Jacksonville, our history of job Boards and startups, marketing, branding, ethics, job advertisement, who you want to work for and who you don't want to work for, and so much more. Tony is just a breadth of knowledge when it comes to working with people and the recruiting industry. This episode was full of useful information, use it, learn from it. We're here to help you, and more importantly, we want to help you. Remember to hit us up on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. We are @RecruiterCast. Check out the website We have forms for you to submit questions, request guest and contact us. You can even call us.

Female Speaker:        45:43              “(905) 525-8134."

Dave Webb:              45:47             "Thank you again for listening and as always I'm your host Dave Webb, happy recruiting. RecruiterCast is an original production produced and recorded in St. Augustine Beach, Florida, and it's hosted by me, Dave Webb. Our executive producers are Andrew Seward and Heidi Green, original music by Dave Webb and Andrew Seward.”


Thank you for your interest in RecruiterCast. To best route your inquiry, please select one of the following:

Guest RequestSponsorship InformationEpisode Idea
Follow Us
Call Us