For years there was a lot of talk in the recruitment industry about mobile, matching (of both skills and culture) and big data. Now we have not only moved from talking to doing, but to building useful and impactful products, that will lead us ever closer to recruitment automation. As an example, here are four companies that stand out from last week’s TruLondon:
PreHash describes themselves as “an online coding platform to help technical hiring managers attract more developers with real-world coding challenges”. In other words, developers are being asked to display their actual coding skills, so that the hiring manager can ascertain if they are up to the standard of problem solving and coding that is required for the job. So people get hired for their coding skills instead of their interviewing skills. Mind Candy (creator of Moshi Monsters) is apparently considering using one of PreHash’s coding challenges.
PreHash, with the feel of an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), provides challenges that are being communicated via both their own and the client’s social media channels. The results are ranked not only against all the recipients for this company, but the market as a whole. Apparently, the challenges are taking on a viral nature with developers passing them on.
I really like the approach, as it assesses the actual skill levels instead of the interviewing skills and replaces the traditional job ad with a coding challenge. It takes away bias and discrimination. It allows the hiring manager to assess the candidate but also the candidate to assess the company. Are they really as good as they both say? It works both ways. Everybody gains, and only when both – the company and individual – receive something equally useful will a service and product be successful. It will be even more powerful when the hiring manager can review the actual code used by the developer and set time limits, only then a real assessment of quality and working under pressure can be made.
At the moment PreHash position themselves very much around acquiring new talent and helping build and communicate the employer brand. It would be better for PreHash to alter this and focus more on talent screening and build their argument on reduced time to hire and increased productivity (even though some companies already have their own tests to assess quality). Additionally, it will be a more challenging sale, because the actual buyer won’t be the recruiter, but the line manager/IT lead; participation from both is required to make this successful. Whilst both want the same outcome, they respond to different messages and have different needs and motivations. Clearly building the community will be crucial for this, as it will give PreHash credibility with the IT audience.
There are several companies offering matching with no obvious distinction between them. Most of them focus on the recruiter’s needs. JobandTalent are different: they start with the jobseeker in mind. This is the best place to start. The job seeker provides JobandTalent with their resume and then receives jobs that match. This happens with ”the algorithm – which behaves like a virtual recruitment consultant – identifying and recognizing linguistic patterns within the structure and phrasing of both job adverts and CVs. These patterns are then converted into data points that match candidates with suitable job opportunities, even if they do not match a candidate’s or recruiter’s specification word for word.” Everybody needs to test this for themselves. JobandTalent have certainly developed traction, not only because of the recent funding they received but also because of the uptake by job seekers and companies.
JobandTalent are what I would describe a second generation aggregator – combining the advantages of aggregation with a focus on matching candidates to relevant jobs via their own bespoke matching algorithm and putting mobile first (very nice app).
Herein also lies their challenge: The first generation aggregator business model of cost-per-click (cpc) is not sustainable when matching becomes very accurate, as it results in less clicks and therefore less revenue, unless cpc sky-rockets. It will be interesting to see how JobandTalent develop their business model and if a move to Cost per Acquisition/Application will really prove more successful, especially as integrations into the workflow of both recruiter and financial controlling might make the adoption actually more difficult.
It shows that Bill Fischer and Howard Robinson have been working on big data solutions for several years now. Their products are multi-layered, well thought through and certainly benefit from having access to the vast and detailed data of Dice Holdings.
The one that caught my attention this time was the knowledge – or skillsgraph by company. By assessing the publicly available profiles of employees, Workdigital can provide a detailed breakdown of the skills of a company. This is a much faster way for a company to know and update their knowledge about the skill sets of their employees instead of tracking and updating it manually.
Additionally, it allows companies to compare their skill base against that of competitors and answer questions such as “Do we have the right skills and the right amount of people with the skills to realistically compete with the market leader?” The current skill base can be compared against development of skills in the wider workforce and plan the workforce development accordingly to compete in the future. It would also be a neat tool for any investor to assess if a company really has the skills they claim to have and assess any future plans against available resources. The question is how and to what extent it can be monetised beyond just spot purchases.
This is by far the most exciting product I have seen since looking at TheSocialCV. eiTalent “identifies patterns that naturally occur in written communication, providing insight into the personality and culture fit of candidates.” They do this by identifying the core values of a candidate by analyzing their resume with their algorithm and comparing them against the core values of the company, therefore identifying candidates that fit the company culture and resulting in higher employee engagement.
It is fascinating stuff and applicable to so many different scenarios:
- It could inform the interview process.
- It could be used for brand building: Does the employer brand really match the core values of the employees? Is it therefore a real brand or fiction? How do departments differ?
- It could be used to identify changes in employee engagement (via scanning electronic communication) and therefore positive measure could be put into place before a drop in employee engagement has a negative impact on productivity.
- It could help individuals identify their own core values and show them jobs at companies with matching ones, therefore increasing satisfaction.
- It could be used to change a company’s or department’s make up by injecting people with different yet desired and required core values for the future plans and success of the company.
- It could be used to assess the core values needed to compete with companies in a different field.
These are only some of the applications within talent acquisition and planning; the parent company themselves is working on some other areas such as forensic analysis for law firms and it would be beneficial for marketers and brand builders around the world. So far, one very famous online retailer uses ieTalent, but everybody involved in employee engagement and employment brand building should have a look at it. It opens up completely different possibilities as well as accountability and performance measurement. The immediate challenges for ieTalent is to stay focused, build re-sales channels and support demand, the longer term one is how to use this for global brands with multiple cultures, locations and nationalities.
These four companies are great examples of the direction in which the industry is developing. They show that the whole conversation about automating recruitment isn’t so far fetched, especially when looking at them in combination. Having identified the skills his/her company lacks with Workdigital, the hiring manager uses a PreHash challenge on JobandTalent to understand the skill level and analyses the communication to understand the cultural match via eiTalent. What is the role of a recruiter in this scenario?
It also shows that virtual teams will more and more dominate the world in which we are working and that work location and home location do not need to be the same. We can now recruit from anywhere, assessing the skills and the cultural fit and with enough tools in our hands and understanding of human performance to ensure that productivity and engagement increases when working remotely.
Whilst we now have working, useful and impactful products of mobile, matching and big data, there is one topic, often discussed and warmly embraced, that hasn’t produced any real offspring yet: The gamification of recruitment. I wonder why that is, or if we are soon going to see a first meaningful application.