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What potential HR struggles can early stage start-ups encounter?

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With every great idea and every platform or app that promises to be the next great disturber, there is normally a common challenge faced by many SME’s and early stage start-ups, and that is hiring.

The hiring process can potentially be a long and drawn out process that is both time-consuming and expensive. Here are just some of the potential HR struggles that today’s start-ups face.

They neither possess the skills, tools or networks

Recruitment can be a fine art. Finding the right person is difficult enough and knowing where to look and having the appropriate networks to search for these people is a big initial challenge in itself. Then there’s assessment, in most early stage-ups, many of its senior officials will have to take on different hats and sometimes may have to go on instinct when looking to hire someone.

They don’t have the budget

In follow up to this point, with some early stage start-ups not possessing the appropriate HR skills, there may be need to call up on the service of others. This could be through posting on a job posting site, or hiring agency help which of course means investment. They may also not be in a position to hire a HR Professional full-time in their embryonic stage so don’t have a great deal of options. With Development as we know requiring huge investment, the cost of finding and hiring someone can be a daunting prospect.

They don’t have the time

A great idea can be just that and never see the light of day. Traction is key for the success of any start-up, and this needs to be almost immediate. Looking for someone to potentially hire can be a long and arduous process. Where you may get hundreds of applicants for one role, trawling through the many CV’s and profiles can be extremely time consuming and most senior figures will want their time and energy invested elsewhere.

They don’t have the control

All of these points lead to one issue, control, and the lack of it. Hiring someone is a big decision and something you feel you want to be a part of. Much like buying a house, hiring someone is something you want close control over from start to finish to ensure you’ve hired the right person and there’s no grey area or doubt left in mind. Leaving it in the hands of others isn’t something most start-ups are fond of but something they comply with due to their circumstances.

About the Author:

Chris Henry

Chris Henry-Reeve has 7 years of experience in online content marketing, social media community management, as well as experience in public relations and creative project management. Chris is a regular commentator on retail and experience led marketing, plus societal changes and their impact on industries such as recruitment. He was responsible for the launch of a new marketing insight magazine entitled HATCH which enjoyed a distribution of 10,000 copies and saw it stocked in premium airport lounges and private members’ clubs such as SOHO House, as well as enjoying a live launch event attended by over 250 industry professionals. Chris also has consummate experience in video development and production, being responsible for the management of several marketing video case studies and previously working with an online video focused start-up.

About iContract:

iContract is an online platform transforming the hiring process of contractors in the field of legal, finance and tech.

Talent seekers can be instantly recommended to relevant contractors based on the specific needs of their company and the contract they are posting.

Ensuring more transparency in the contractor market, iContract matches you to contractors that are tailored to your unique needs. Reducing the need for long and arduous assessment processes such as CV trawling, iContract connects you to the right candidate quickly and effectively.

Learn more here www.icontract.co.uk
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Referrals | The HR Tech Weekly®

What’s Going Wrong with Employee Referrals?..

We’ve been out speaking to HR teams about our new employee referral platform and one thing is abundantly clear — everyone thinks employee referrals are great! The problem is that, despite us all being more interconnected than ever, employee referral hires are, with a few exceptions, very low.

Do your referral hires account for less than 10% of your annual hires? Don’t worry, our research suggests you are firmly amongst the majority. Even if you’re getting more referral hires, unless you are securing 30% of your annual hires through referrals, we don’t think you are fulfilling your employee referral potential.

So, what’s the problem? We went out and spoke to employees across a range of industries to find out…

1. I’m not told about vacancies at my company

It was surprising to hear how many people cited a lack of visibility as a key reason. To be fair to the employees, there’s not much they can do if they’re not told about roles.

2. It takes too long to refer someone

What does that mean? Well, we weren’t sure either so drilled down a bit further.

Basically, a lot of employees said that, if they receive an email about a vacancy, they simply don’t have the time to draft messages and contact their network. They tell themselves they’ll come back to it later but, of course, they rarely do. Another common gripe was “archaic processes” to submit a referral.

3. No recognition unless a referred candidate is hired

There seems to be a feeling that, while it makes sense to only pay recruitment consultants if a candidate is hired, a company’s employees should be treated differently.

Ultimately, they feel that they have put a lot of effort in and recommended a strong candidate, albeit a candidate not hired for that role, and that should be recognised.

4. Companies could offer more interesting incentives

Are you telling me that a big fat referral bonus isn’t enough..? In fairness, it’s not as greedy as first glance suggests. The point made by a few respondents was that not everyone is motivated by money and their company could potentially offer other awards (e.g. a cookery course).

What’s the solution?

It’s pretty simple really. You just need to use our employee referral platform, Real Links.

While that may be a shameless plug, all the employees and companies that we have spoken to agree that Real Links goes a long way to solving the problems mentioned above and will increase employee engagement.

Find out how we can help you too by signing up for a free trial.


Source: What’s going wrong with employee referrals..? – Sam Davies – Medium

DevScore Introduces Developer Acquisition Functionality

Candidate_Notes

Finding the right software developer just got a lot easier for HRs, recruiters, & hiring managers.

DevScore’s new Acquisition functionality enables HR staff to easily source and vet talented developers that are actively looking for work.

Recruiters can now literally source, vet, & interview developers in minutes.

3 August 2017 — DevScore, the software developer skills-assessment SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) that launched earlier this year at HR Tech World, has introduced a brand new Acquisition feature — one that complements and works seamlessly with its existing functionality — bringing recruiters, hiring managers, and HR a complete candidate-matching, acquisition, assessing, and digital screening service.

Customers can now make targeted developer searches based on actual coding experience; an industry first — a feature that just didn’t exist before in HR tech. They can also filter results by skills, experience, and geographical location easily; allowing them to cherry pick the exact software development talent they need for their business’ individual requirements.

Sourcing_Results

DevScore’s unique and rapidly growing database contains millions of developers. The new Acquisition function finds and connects with those that are actively looking for work.

“In the fast-paced world of software development, acquisition, assessing, and hiring great people quickly is business-critical,” explains DevScore founder, Peter Cummings. “With the new Acquisition feature, recruiters can now literally go from initial sourcing to potentially interviewing a candidate in minutes.”

The Acquisition function is a direct challenge to job boards and candidate sourcing companies that lack the depth of understanding needed to make fully-informed hiring recommendations. These platforms largely use simplistic text-based matching software and lack any sort of advanced assessment and selection criteria. However, up until now coding analysis just hasn’t been available to recruiters.

Candidate_Profile

“There are loads of sites where you can hire recruiters and freelancers,” says Cummings. “But it’s important that you can qualify how good a developer is. There’s always a chance some will exaggerate their CVs, but without any form of code analysis, recruiters can’t get an accurate picture of what a developer can and can’t do. DevScore can literally see what the coder has created and assesses the quality of their code; which enables us to understand how they stack up among their peers.”

Within the Acquisition tool, users can create a customise specific search; filtering developer information by numerous criteria — including experience, flexibility, skills, and location. In addition, searches can be saved and lists can be easily downloaded by users. And where no exact data immediately exists for a chosen set of criteria, customers can create a notification that will let them know when there’s a specific match. Also, API integration makes it easy to pull in DevScore functionality to any job board or talent acquisition tool.

“Everyone who wants to be a developer, can be,” says Cummings. “It’s unlike most other jobs. Your contributions and experience are highly visible. The Acquisition module can help determine which who’s an expert and who’s a novice — reducing the time-to-hire and increasing the quality-of-hire.”

About DevScore:

DevScore enables recruiters and HR staff – even the non-tech savvy – to accurately assess and validate a developer’s skills and experience in an easy understandable format. No need to scan every resume anymore – now you can compile a shortlist with the right candidates in record time.

We scan code repositories across the internet, and analyse the code that developers have submitted. Using our analytics engine we are able to find out how many months the developer has actually used a language, framework, or a development style for. We then assign the developer a score – the DevScore – and from that provide a rank for the developer both worldwide and in the country where they live.

True Story

Through Their Eyes: Real Stories About Diversity in Tech

“I don’t even want to hear what you have to say.” Through their eyes: real stories about diversity in tech.

“I don’t even want to hear what you have to say.”

Estimations are that companies in the USA lose $64 billion a year — the cost of employees leaving their workplace — due to diversity and inclusion issues (not to mention discrimination). Of that figure, $16 billion is attributed to the tech industry alone (if you want to read more, download the full report by Kapor Center).

But these are numbers. Statistics. Behind them are real people, who have experienced actual events — and their feelings about it are very real. Part of solving the current situation is truly understanding it. We need to get down from our high horse, 1,000 feet above the surface, and feel what it feels like.

So, we decided to let them tell their stories.

The stories aren’t the goal. The goal isn’t getting support from people, either. The goal is to make those who don’t understand — to understand. And how do you do that? You’ll be surprised, but by using unconscious bias. If unconscious bias makes a person find solidarity and take a preference based on similarities (for example, a manager with an employee or a recruiter with a candidate), why not use it for good?

So, we removed all clues about the person’s identity from these stories. We kept only the story, so that people will use their own imagination, personal connections, and relationships to decide who is behind the story. You won’t know who they are, if it’s a woman, or a man, an Afro-American or a Hispanic, but they are real. So real, in fact, that they can be your spouse, your best friend from college or even the person sitting next to you at work right now.

This is the first story.

My story is one of disillusionment. When people ask me, I say that it’s one of the many stories I have (unfortunately), but that it is without a doubt the most defining story of my career.

Somewhere back in 2011, I took on the role of Director of Engineering for a tech company with 80+ employees, with only the CTO above me. I got into it quite quickly, thanks in part to my previous experience, but mainly because that same CTO left a few months later.

I successfully played the roles of CTO and VP of Engineering simultaneously while holding only the Director of Engineering title. I had experience in building and managing teams, but never to such extent. I grew the engineering team from 3 to 23, while hiring and matching the right people to the right positions. We launched several major initiatives, had the highest employee satisfaction rating in the company and always completed 100%+ of the features scoped at quarterly planning, in addition to new features that came in during the quarter.

This was the peak of my professional career. I felt e-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t*

Yes, excellent with an asterisk. During the two years and change in this role (more like 3 roles), there was something that bothered me. The more we succeeded, the bigger the clients. Seeing as I had experience with such large clients, I wanted the company to make use of me and to help make the right decisions — especially when handling contracts that I thought weren’t as good for us.

But, every time I tried expressing my opinion, the burden grew stronger;

“I don’t even want to hear what you have to say,”

was the CEO’s favorite sentence whenever I talked to him. He liked it so much, in fact, that it’s all I ever heard. I didn’t make much of it at the time and just continued working. This went on for over two years, during which I continued to do successful work (and I say successful not because I’m one to toot their own horn, but because this is what all of the company’s executives told me).

At some point

I noticed that all of my colleagues, in other companies, are VPs and CTOs and I thought to myself, “Hey, I do exactly the same work as my colleagues, I have the same responsibilities and even more — why can’t I be a VP?” Those same executives who I’ve mentioned agreed with me. Everyone thought I deserved that title. Everyone except for one person. Care to guess who?

I decided to (finally) see the CEO, encouraged from the support I received and the confidence I had in myself and what I had achieved over the past two years. Let me start off by saying that this was one of the first times he didn’t say “I don’t even want to hear what you have to say.” On the other hand, he said

“You’re right, we need a VP of Engineering. I will open the position to candidates and I will *let* you apply for the job.”

Remember that this is a story of disillusionment? We’re not there yet. The only thing that went through my head was ‘OK, I’ll apply.’

Several candidates, including myself, applied for the position. Since I led the development team in previous years, I was asked to interview the candidates for the job. I interviewed my competition. Sounds absurd? Not to me, not at the time anyway. I interviewed all the candidates, and they all had their pros and cons. Nearly all of them lacked a methodology or plan to keep momentum going or maintain cooperation with the team. One of the candidates even bragged about that time he fired half a department during his first week on the job — just to start with a clean slate.

I was feeling confident. I had support throughout the company, I was commended by all of the executives who interviewed me (some of them even BCC’ed me in the summary email they sent the CEO). When it was my turn to interview with the CEO, I was tasked with devising an entirely new strategic plan for how the department will be run under my new/old authority. Being the model employee that I am, I made one. I was feeling confident and worthy of the job when entering the CEO’s office and excited about going over and explaining my plan.

That didn’t happen.

That didn't happen.Instead, he pulled out a piece of paper — literally, a piece of paper — listing all of the bad things I had done over the last two and a half years on the job. My “interview” with the CEO consisted of a list of every mistake I had ever made and I had to justify each of them. No mention was made of any of the major successes I ever had in the role.

And what was on the list? That I didn’t say the right thing at the right time. Or that I wasn’t nice in one case and how he especially didn’t like how I talked to one of the employees (that employee and I weren’t on good terms. To tell you the truth, he wasn’t on good terms with anyone). I’m not perfect, far from it, but there was not one strategic thing on this list.

At the end of the recruitment process, the CEO (contrary to the advice given by all of the other executives) decided to hire another candidate. I only found out about it incidentally through HR. I could understand the advantages he had

over me — he had much more experience managing big teams of employees — but at the same time, I knew him and I knew that he had been fired, twice, from similar positions in the past.

3 weeks later, on a Friday, the CEO and the new VP asked me to work on a huge project during the weekend, saying it was needed for a new prospect by Sunday evening. I did it. I worked on it for two days straight, did the research, crunched the numbers and made it happen.

On Monday morning, I come into the office, after a very rough weekend, and an HR representative and the new VP are waiting for me next to my desk:

“You’re no longer needed in the company.”

When I asked why they said the CEO was “doing me a favor” because “clearly, I wouldn’t want to stay.”

I was confused. I never said anything like that. Quite the opposite, I spent the new VP’s first three weeks on the job supporting, helping and guiding him so that his transition would be as smooth as possible. I worked in several successful startups and tech companies, I was never fired, I never failed. I still remember the shock on everyone’s face as I walked out of the office.

Karma is a bitch.

50% of my team quit within a few months. The CEO was fired a year later. The company is still not profitable. I went on to get a great VP role only 3 weeks later, helped that company become very successful and recently founded my own company. That’s the moment of my disillusionment.

When I was going through it, I took responsibility for it. I was the one to blame — I was at fault. I was the blind spot. I know that others like me, who I’ve talked to, have this in common. We all took on the role of the ‘bad guy’ in the story.

No more.


Source: “I don’t even want to hear what you have to say.” Real stories about diversity in tech. — Joonko Blog

5 Machine Learning Startups To Improve Your Recruiting Workflow

5 Machine Learning Startups To Improve Your Recruiting Workflow

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This list was originally published on Product Hunt here. Below is an abbreviated version.

Sam DeBrule co-founder of Journal and voice of the Machine Learnings Newsletter has curated a list of top startups using Machine Learning to automate work-related tasks. I’ve pared this down to my favorites for simplifying recruiting and team building efforts.

1. Textio | Spell checker for gender bias and more

Job descriptions are often vague and unintentionally biased, which affects the quality and diversity of applicants applying to your jobs. By generating insights from your job posts, Textio teaches you how to better message an open job role in a way that is both non-discriminatory and eye-catching to applicants.

2. Slack | Real-time messaging, archiving & search

Slack facilitates quick, real-time communication using ML-powered search, allowing you to chat with your team and candidates without the lag-time between emails. It automates many internal status updates and meetings regarding candidates as they move through the pipeline. Additionally, with hundreds of groups, it’s a great place to source candidates and learn tactics and best practices from other recruiters.

3. Wade & Wendy | AI chatbot for engaging & interviewing candidates

Wade & Wendy has developed an Applicant Experience Chatbot, Wendy. She serves as a first-round interviewer and candidate engagement tool. By chatting with applicants at the top of the funnel, recruiters and hiring teams can spend more time building relationships with candidates and sourcing hard-to-fill positions.

Disclaimer: I work at Wade & Wendy! 😎

4. Grammarly | Clear, effective, mistake-free writing everywhere you type

With nearly 1 in 3 employees searching for new opportunities, many often communicate with recruiters when a few spare minutes arise while at their current job. When candidates have a small window of time, recruiters need to move fast with their communication. Grammarly is a seamless way to side-step embarrassing typos when quickly emailing (or Slack-ing) back and forth.

5. X.aiAn AI personal assistant who schedules meetings for you

Between, texting, calling, emailing and messaging candidates, it’s tough to keep your calendar straight. X.ai uses AI scheduling assistants to automate this process. Cc’ing Amy to emails eliminates the time-consuming task of scheduling phone calls, interviews and coffees with candidates.

Any other tools keeping your recruiting efforts on track? Drop them in the comments section.👇

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy is a conversational engagement platform for recruitment automation. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium and join the private beta list.


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Head of Catering Jobs in NYC

Google for Jobs: Opening the Door for Applicant Experience Chatbots

Google for Jobs: Opening the Door for Applicant Experience Chatbots
Source: TechCrunch

Recently, the Google Cloud Jobs API team unveiled Google for Jobs. By aggregating similar job titles into groups of jobs, job seekers can search and discover relevant jobs in a centralized location, rather than visiting multiple job boards and company career pages. Google says recruiters can expect “more, motivated applicants.”

Google’s entrance to the job search space, brings much needed innovation. In a recent blog post, Google for Jobs: Disrupting the Recruiting Market?, Josh Bersin, details today’s frustrating landscape:

“The bottom line is a lot of headaches and inefficiency in the job market: the average open position receives more than 150 resumes, more than 45% of candidates never hear anything back from the employer, 83% of candidates rate their job search experience poor…”

With Google doing what they do best — organizing information and making it searchable and discoverable, the job search experience will improve. This further catalyzes an already budding, industry-wide movement towards improved candidate engagement.

When coupled with the increasing pervasiveness of “Quick Apply” options, Google’s enhanced job discoverability has officially knocked down all barriers to applying. Recruiters will experience a massive increase in inbound applicants.

As applicant pools grow, recruiters’ needs will shift from, “How do I get applicants to apply to my jobs?” to “How do I engage this new and much larger applicant pool?” The application floodgates have opened and recruiters, already stretched thin, lack the bandwidth to engage.

Here’s where chatbots come in.

Chatbots engage on candidates’ schedules.

Most applicants and recruiters have tight schedules, which makes it hard to find time to connect. With narrow windows of time to communicate, recruiters and applicants often miss each other. Unlike recruiters, chatbots are not limited by time. Rather, they engage with applicants at their convenience.

Chatbots are patient and listen attentively.

In order to move through the ever-growing queue of applicants, recruiters often rush through the most important aspect of their job: building relationships with candidates. Recruiters strive to listen to candidates, to empathize with their situation and to provide thoughtful feedback and context about the job. Unfortunately, buckling under the pressure to quickly engage, screen and assess, recruiters lack the bandwidth to provide such a thoughtful experience. Chatbots, on the other hand, can be patient when recruiters cannot. Chatbots fulfill the outcome recruiters desire, but are too overburdened to achieve themselves.

Chatbots allow recruiters to make data-driven decisions.

Lastly, similar to “Quick Apply” applications, rushed interviews reduce the data available to recruiters. Short, distracted phone screens provide an incomplete picture of a candidate. Not only does this force recruiters to make decisions based on data they know is incomplete, but candidates are left feeling misrepresented. Chatbots patiently listen to applicants in order to gather a complete picture of their experiences and skills as they relate to the role in question — effectively replicating the outcome recruiters seek in the initial phone screen, but with more holistic data.

Candidates deserve a hiring experience that is un-rushed, attentive and personable. Recruiters want this too, but lack the bandwidth to provide such engagement at scale. The introduction of Google for Jobs further compounds this dilemma.

🙋 ️Enter Wendy.

Wendy is an Applicant Experience Chatbot. She automates the experience recruiters wish they could provide for every applicant. She does not seek to replicate the candidate-recruiter relationship itself. Rather, she replicates, at scale, the outcome a conversation between candidate and recruiter achieves. She aims to engage candidates in an attentive, empathetic way that makes them comfortable enough to open up about their professional accomplishments and career goals — just as a recruiter seeks to do.

What other implications do you think Google for Jobs has on the industry? Let us know in the comments or start a conversation with us on Twitter: @wadeandwendy.


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The Conversation Paradox: Why 100% of Interviews Are Biased

The Conversation Paradox: Why 100% of Interviews Are Biased

In a recent New York Times article, The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews, Jason Dana, Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing at the Yale School of Management, explores the biases surrounding the unstructured interview process. He observes that:

“…interviewers typically form strong but unwarranted impressions about interviewees, often revealing more about themselves than the candidates.”

Throughout the article, Dana cites, Belief in the Unstructured Interview: The Persistence of an Illusion, a study he conducted in 2013 with 140 student subjects. To test the effectiveness of interviews in predicting a student’s GPA, Dana broke students into two groups. While both sets of students used past GPA and course schedule to make predictions, only one group was interviewed. The results of the study showed that GPA predictions were more accurate for the students not interviewed. In other words, the interviews muddled the data and negatively impacted the decision-making process. 

Regression analyses of the accuracy GPA predictions

Conversations Are Biased

Something occurred during the interviewing process that led the interviewer to misidentify which interviewees were best qualified and thus most likely to succeed. This ‘something’ is the collection of biases that often come up through the course of conversation or what we, at Wade & Wendy, refer to as conversational bias.

Conversational bias is the set of biases that influence the quality and quantity of data extrapolated during the course of a conversation. At a high level, it includes two key components:

  • Set of biases refers to external factors, including everything from confirmation biases and preconceived notions to physical environment and mood, that influence how a person engages in a conversation.
  • The quality and quantity of data refers to the information learned during the course of a conversation and how helpful it is in facilitating good decision-making.

The data learned through conversation is inherently incomplete and/or misleading due to the external factors and biases that influence engagement and perception. This is clearly demonstrated in the study above, where subjects were better able to identify future success for students whom they had never met over students that they had met. While not explicitly referred to as ‘conversational bias,’ the issues it perpetuates have been studied time and time again.

Interviews Are Biased

There is information asymmetry between the data learned in a job description and the data learned from a resume. Former SVP of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock, says about this paradigm:

“[having] a taxonomy of skills and abilities that are hard to articulate, and resumes don’t do a good job of capturing them. Employers have a set of jobs, but are terrible at both articulating what they need, and actually filtering candidates.”

Essentially, the two forms (resume and job description) used to determine a job seeker’s ability to fulfill the requirements of a job both contain incomplete data. It is for this reason that a conversation — often in the form of an initial phone screen or a first-round interview — is necessary to resolve this asymmetry. This initial conversation allows candidates to better understand the requirements of the job and allows hiring managers to gather information not found in the resume.

It is at this point in the hiring process that conversational bias comes into play.

For example, imagine a hiring manager has a full day of interviews lined up. Throughout the day, he/she becomes increasingly fatigued and, as a result, asks poorer questions and takes fewer notes as the day goes on. Because the conversation and the subsequent data gathered about each candidate is different, it becomes impossible to compare candidate to candidate accurately.

The Problem

In Dana’s Belief in the Unstructured Interview study, GPA, course schedule and an interview were used to predict future success. Results showed that the assessments were less accurate when interviews were included in the decision-making process. In effect, the interviewers were counterproductive.

The Other Problem

To fill the information gap that exists between resume and job description, a conversation must take place. Applicants need clarification on the requirements of the role, just as hiring managers need to gather information not found within the resume.

The Paradox

These problems present two interesting concepts: 1) Conversations are biased and 2) Conversations are necessary. This is what we, at Wade & Wendy, call “The Conversation Paradox.”

Looking Ahead

While the very act of conversation has been proven to introduce numerous biases, it remains a critical part of the hiring process. To date, many solutions have been proposed, such as Dana’s suggestion to use structured interviews, but these solutions do not go far enough. Rather,

  • What if there were an artificially intelligent tool smart enough to have a conversation without bias?
  • What if there were an artificially intelligent tool agile enough to converse with 100% of candidates 100% of the time?

At Wade & Wendy, we are eagerly working on this solution. To join the conversation, chat with us on Twitter… We’re passionate about conversation, after all: @wadeandwendy.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium and don’t forget to join the beta list.✌️


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Solving the Job Application Black Hole with Chatbots

Written by Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy.

ATS Black Hole

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are not inherently bad — for the hiring manager. They are critical to managing massive amounts of resumes and establishing an efficient workflow. However, the candidate experience suffers. A survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that 52% of employers responded to less than 50% of candidate applications. With such little communication, candidates are left frustrated and unsure of where they stand. This is referred to as the “ATS Black Hole.”

By incorporating Conversational Intelligence into the existing process, better engagement, better communication and transparency can be realized.

Conversation with Wendy in Facebook Messenger screenshot
This is how a conversation with Wendy, our conversationally intelligent chatbot, begins in Facebook Messenger.

Here’s How the ATS Fails Candidates

When an individual applies for a job, his or her resume is sent into a company’s ATS. Through matching algorithms and keyword extraction, a shortlist of candidates is generated for the hiring manager to review. These algorithms fail to take into account spelling errors and deviances in word choice (explained in more depth here). Because matches are generated exclusively through one-dimensional data, hiring managers’ understanding of candidates is distorted.

The result: Very few qualified candidates make it past the ATS and to the interview stage.

This problem is further compounded by the ease of the application process. In response to mounting candidate frustrations with lengthy applications, many employers now offer “Quick Apply” or “1-Click Apply” options. While this significantly lowers friction for applicants on the front-end, they are actually worse off in the long run. Employers are receiving more and more resumes, but, due to the simplicity of new application processes, they now have less data from which to draw conclusions.

In a world where candidates expect engagement and transparency, they are getting less and less.

On average, a single corporate job opening receives 250 applications. With an influx of resumes to review and no uptick in resources with which to process them, hiring managers cannot possibly respond to each individual applicant. In fact, of those 250 applications, only four to six will be called in to interview. As a result, most candidates receive zero communication, experiencing what has ubiquitously been labeled the “ATS Black Hole.”

Here’s Where Conversational Intelligence Comes In

Conversational Intelligence transforms the application process from something static to dynamic. At Wade & Wendy, we believe artificial intelligence is at its best when used conversationally. Our two chatbot personalities are built with this in mind. By creating a space in which conversations can occur, chatbots have the power to drastically improve the application experience.

Chatbots can engage every single applicant at any point in time.

Immediately following submission of their resume, candidates are directed to have a conversation with a chatbot through either text or Facebook Messenger. This introduction allows for a much friendlier first point of contact. Rather than receiving a “Thank You for Your Application” message from a “do not reply” email address, you meet Wendy. Here, candidates can inquire further about the company and the job itself.

At Wade & Wendy, we have designed each of our chatbot personalities to be conversational and inviting. Conversational Intelligence has the power to make a notoriously stressful and automated process fun and distinctly personable, especially when emojis are involved 🙌.

Chatbots give every candidate an equal chance at landing an interview.

Chatbots provide context and depth around the static data gleaned from the ATS. Because every candidate can be engaged via chatbot, algorithm mismatches, various misspellings and differences in keywords no longer hinder a strong candidate from getting in front of the hiring manager. Chatbots, like Wendy, allow candidates to provide context to their resume; they have an opportunity to explain properly a successful project that would otherwise be summed up in a mere bullet point.

Candidate Chats with Wendy
Here, the candidate is able to give Wendy more details about her experience with open source projects.

A candidate’s experiences and skills cannot always be properly communicated in a resume. On top of that, the ATS responsible for gauging a candidate’s ability to do a job utilizes flawed algorithms and thus provides flawed recommendations. Conversational Intelligence allows candidates to best communicate who they are and what they can do, while also overcoming algorithm flaws within the ATS.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium and don’t forget to join the beta list.✌️


If you want to share this article the reference to Bailey NewlanWade & Wendy and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Most popular HR software: How location and business size affects app choices

Most popular HR software: How location and business size affects app choices

Written by Karen McCandless, GetApp.

HR Employee Management

Once upon a time, the HR market was dominated by a few big name players. The likes of ADP, Oracle, or SAP were the main choices available to businesses, large and small. This has all changed, with cloud HR solutions becoming mainstream, and a raft of new entrants shaking up the status quo.

To find out more about exactly what criteria small to medium businesses in different countries are using to select their HR solutions, we turned to data from GetApp users to find out which were the most popular apps.

We found that businesses of 1-50 employees favor cloud-based HR software from startups like themselves, that are new to the market but that promise innovation, and simple pricing plans – often with freemium option.

There is some continuity with businesses of 51-500 employees, with these size of businesses still choosing smaller HR outfits, but ones that have more of a presence in the market, such as Jobvite and Greenhouse.

As businesses grow, it makes sense that they would favor companies that cater towards that end of the market, and that is exactly what we saw with GetApp users of 501-1000 employees. Another interesting trend was this was the first learning management systems featured among the most used apps.

In terms of country HR software usage, British and Canadian users favored apps either based in their own country, or that had a strong presence there.

HR software usage trends

With this in mind, we at GetApp – a startup ourselves with an agile, cloud-based HR system – wanted to find out just whether this would hold true for for our users – whether small businesses in different countries are really choosing these new entrants to the market over the big-name brands.

To test this theory, we used data from the “I Use This” feature on the GetApp website (screenshot below) to find out what is the most popular HR software among our users. (For a detailed methodology on the way that we collected and analyzed this data, see the methodology section at the bottom of the article.)

The approach we took to this was two-pronged: we looked at apps used by different business sizes – varying from solopreneurs to companies of up to 1000 employees – and also at software used in different countries (the U.S., UK, and Canada) to see what insights we could glean.

We grouped together HR apps of all flavors – from talent management, to scheduling, to performance management, and more – to analyze the approach that companies are currently taking towards managing their human resources.

Key Findings:

  • Businesses with 1-50 employees favor newer, more agile HR apps, with lower pricing points
  • Companies with 51 employees and more look for more well-known HR names, combined with innovation
  • Businesses are still adopting point solutions for areas such as recruitment, rather than all-in-one HR apps
  • Adoption of learning management systems is much higher in companies with more than 500 employees
  • Outside of the U.S., companies favor local HR solutions.

Most popular HR software by business size

When splitting HR app usage according to business size, what became apparent was that there is no clear market leader for companies of up-to 1,000 employees. Each size of business had its own preferences, with no runaway leader in any category. This differs from other industries such as accounting, where a few big-name vendors dominate.

There is also no mention of the legacy HR heavyweights that were initially built on premise, such as Oracle, ADP, SuccessFactors (now part of SAP) – or newer cloud-based market leaders such as Workday. Halogen TalentSpace is the only HR app popular among GetApp users to feature in analyst firm Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for HCM or Talent Management, which are focused on the enterprise market. Businesses across the board (up to 1,000 employees) are favoring newer, native cloud software for the HR market.

Where we can see a trend start to emerge is in the type of HR apps used by businesses of less than 50 employees, compared to companies of 51-500, and then again with organizations of 501-1000 employees. We’ll dive into these trends in more depth now.

Businesses of 1-50 employees: startups for startups

When looking at the apps used by businesses of 1-10 employees and 11-50 employees, the most used HR software is consistent, with Zoho Recruit, Breezy HR (formerly Nimble HR), Workable, and Crelate Talent all featuring in the top five for both company sizes.

Delving more deeply to find out why this may be, we noticed that all these HR apps all recent entrants to the market. Breezy HR was founded in 2014, Workable in 2012, Crelate Talent in 2012, and while Zoho as a company was founded in 1996, Zoho Recruit was a more recent addition in November 2009.

All of these apps are natively built for the cloud, cater to small businesses, and market themselves as relatively straightforward and simple software.

Pricing options

Another similarity with the most popular HR software for businesses of 1-10 and 11-50 is pricing. Several solutions offer a free option with limited features, making them useful for startups and small businesses with budget constraints.

In terms of Zoho Recruit pricing, it currently (as of April 2017) offers a free plan for one recruiter with basic ATS functionality, such as scheduling interviews. Even for the most expensive price plan, it’s only $50 per recruiter per month. Zoho can also be seen as a safe pair of hands, with its long company history and large suite of products.

Breezy HR keeps its pricing plans simple, with all of them including unlimited users and candidates. The plans differ according to the number of active jobs. As of April 2017, for one active job, the HR app is free.

While Crelate Talent doesn’t offer free options, its pricing is affordable for small businesses.

Hiring platform Recruitee – one of the most used apps by businesses of 11-50 employees- doesn’t offer a free version, but has competitive pricing options covering the varying needs of different company sizes. It’s still a very new company – set up in mid 2015 – but has already been garnering a lot of positive coverage in publications such as Entreprenuer and Inc.

Workable doesn’t cater solely for this end of the market, but its simple tools, mobile-first approach, and raft of integrations make it an attractive choice for small businesses.

All-in-one HR

Zenefits is the only piece of software on the list (third most popular HR app by businesses of 1-10 employees) that isn’t strictly targeted at simplifying recruiting or talent management. While it originally focused on benefits management, it has since expanded to cover onboarding and employee scheduling. Despite experiencing several scandals and setbacks in 2016, Zenefits emerged as the most well-funded HR tech company in 2016.

Key takeaway: Businesses with less than 50 employees broadly go for the same kind of HR apps that are cloud-based, have affordable pricing plans (often with a free version), and are relatively new to the market.

Businesses of 51-500 employees: innovative new entrants

As the business size grows, the trend swings towards HR software that, while more established than the above startups, is still making waves in the industry due to its innovation and high-profile customers. The most popular HR software for this company size also caters for a wider range of business sizes than the favored apps for businesses of 50 and under.

Jobvite and Greenhouse are two applicant tracking and recruitment apps that are popular with companies of between 51 and 1000 employees.

While Greenhouse is a relatively new entrant to the market (founded in 2012), thanks to a raft of positive media coverage and some high profile customers (Airbnb, Evernote, and Pinterest), it has already made a name for itself in the recruitment industry. Part of Greenhouse’s strategy is based around having an open platform that easily integrates with any other tool you might use for recruitment.

Analytics-driven recruiting platform Jobvite has been around longer (since 2006), and is aimed at both small businesses and enterprises. The app also boasts an impressive client roster, including LinkedIn, Spotify, Etsy, and Verifone. Jobvite’s product offering aims to cover everything from sourcing to hiring to onboarding.

The company continues to innovate by partnering and adding new features, such as integrating with Accurate Background services to allow companies to carry out employment background checks, drug testing and verification services from within Jobvite.

Workable is the one constant across businesses all the way up to 500 employees, as it is another app that caters for a wide range of business sizes.

HR suite adoption

One trend that we see solely with businesses between 51 and 200 employees is a higher adoption of all-in-one HR suites, with BambooHR and Namely both ranking in the top five.

This contrasts with the higher adoption of recruitment and talent management suites among smaller businesses, and a focus on learning management systems in businesses of more than 500 employees (more on that later).

Key takeaway: Businesses of 51-500 look for software that caters for a wide range of business sizes, and that may already have well-known clients. They also put more emphasis on all-in-one HR systems.

Businesses of 501-1000 employees: household names

The trend we see as company size increases is to go for software from more established companies that have been on the market for longer. One example of this is Bullhorn, which is favored by companies of 500 employees and over. Bullhorn originally made a CRM for staffing and recruiting firms, before moving into applicant tracking systems.

Further evidence of this is Halogen TalentSpace, which is the fourth most popular app among companies of 201-500 employees. This software, which came to market in 1996, is regularly named as a visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for talent management. Testament to its success, it was acquired by Saba in early 2017.

Another data-driven recruitment app that is popular with larger businesses is JazzHR (fourth most popular among businesses of 501-1000 employees). Formerly known as The Resumator, it positions itself as a scalable recruitment system, suitable for small businesses but also applicable for growing companies.

Emergence of LMS

Learning management system software makes its first appearance in the most used apps among companies of 501-1000. Mindflash and Accord LMS’s appearance on the list at this points suggests that smaller businesses may be slower in their adoption of LMS.

Key takeaway: Businesses of 501 employees and up tend to favor more well-known and established HR software, and they also start recognizing the importance of learning management systems.

Most used HR software by country

Using data from the U.S., UK, and Canada across all businesses from 1-1000 employees, we found that Breezy HR and Zoho Recruit were particularly popular among GetApp users in all three of these countries.

Zoho Recruit was a favorite in both the U.S. and U.K. (even placing just out of the top three in Canada), while Breezy HR was popular among users from both the U.S. and Canada.

America first

Given the wide range of choices for apps headquartered in the U.S., it was interesting to see India-based Zoho Recruit there in addition to U.S.-based Breezy HR and Crelate Talent.

Canada’s choices

Looking at the choices for Canada, Toronto-based hiring solution Fitzii is popular among businesses in this country, suggesting that there is a preference for local software providers in the HR market, or at least those that have a strong presence there.

Further confirming this, Bullhorn is the second most popular HR software in Canada. While it may not be based in Canada, it has a strong presence in the country, through its partnership with Workopolis, which is Canada’s leading career website. It also already provides applicant tracking functionality to many leading firms based there, and has an office in Vancouver.

UK-based software

In the UK, aside from Zoho Recruit, Workable and Calamari leave management software are the most popular HR software in the country. While neither of these companies are British, both were founded in Europe and have a strong presence in London.

Workable was founded in Athens, but opened an office in London shortly after, before expanding to New York, Boston, and now San Francisco.

However, a plethora of British-based HR software companies such as CakeHR, CIPHR, WeThrive, PARIM, and Findmyshift just missed the top three position, further highlighting the preference for local companies in the market.

Key takeaway: In markets outside of the U.S., countries are showing a strong preference for local software to help manage recruiting and HR needs.

Conclusion

Our findings from analyzing data from GetApp users indicated that the original hypothesis was true: that small to medium businesses in the HR space are opting for new entrants to the market over the more-established brand names, and that they are choosing apps built for the cloud.

Our data also indicated that these companies prefer HR apps based in their own country, or that have a very strong presence there.

If, after reading this report, you’d like to invest in a cloud-based HR app for your business size or from your country, we can help. Here are the next steps.

From our list of HR apps, you can filter by country:

You can also filter by business size:

For a full list of the most popular HR software in these categories, or to reuse any of the charts above, please contact karen@getapp.com.

Methodology

To put together this report, we analyzed data from signed in GetApp users that had selected the “I Use This” option for a particular app on the site. We counted the number of individual users that had selected these apps and segmented according to business size and country. The sample size for each segment differed and we used absolute numbers on our graphs to represent the most used. We then looked into the three most used apps per country, and five most used per business size.


Source: Most popular HR software: How location and business size affects app choices (GetApp report)

How Conversation Bridges the Gap Between Job Description and Job Seeker

How Conversation Bridges the Gap Between Job Description and Job Seeker

Written by Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy.

From Ambiguity to Clarity, Through Conversation

Resumes, social profiles and job boards are two-dimensional tools used to present four-dimensional individuals. Each is incapable of communicating your whole story. You are more than a string of keywords and you are more than the templated “Experience” section on LinkedIn.

When people are boxed into these two-dimensional frames, valuable context is lost, leading to a series of frustrating interactions between job seeker and hiring manager. On average, it takes 52 days to fill an open position — a drawn out process wrought with miscommunication and missed opportunities.

How do you communicate the abstract in one bullet or less?

For any given bullet point on a resume, there are a hundred ways to say it. For example:

  • Used Java to build features for a platform
  • Supported a platform with Java
  • Chose Java to build a platform on

Each effectively showcases experience with Java. But, what is a job seeker’s relationship to Java and how does that exhibit what they can really do? Yes, the Java requirement is met, but what kind of person is best-suited for the role? The keyword “Java” falls short of showing how a job applicant and the job itself fit together. This form of static representation is fundamentally limited due to the job seeker’s inability to provide context around their skills, passions, motivations and career goals.

How can you land your dream job when using vague language to apply to an equally vague job description?

Job descriptions are two-dimensional and fall short of providing job seekers clarity around a position. To cast a wide net, job descriptions are often written with vague requirements — carefully crafted with generic keywords, so as not to discourage anyone from applying. Naturally, this results in unclear expectations. Another issue arises when goals and needs shift, yet the job description remains the same. Unfortunately, this kind of moving target is all too common.

This widening chasm between what a job description says and what hiring managers are really looking for in an applicant causes job seekers to create vague resumes and profiles to ensure they will not be overlooked.

By summing oneself up in a string of bullet points, laden with just the right keywords, context is lost and true understanding is clouded. Having to position yourself to meet a set of vague requirements, neutralizes the magic of you.

What can we do about this?

On both sides of the hiring process, there are fundamental flaws. Only by bridging the information gap that presently exists between hiring managers and job seekers, can we:

  1. Facilitate better understanding of a job outside of its description
  2. Better understand a job seeker outside of his or her resume

This is best achieved through conversation. Flowing dialogue and follow-up questions are effective mechanisms for drilling down and extracting the “Why” and the “Who are you really?” Going past the resume and job description allows both job seekers and hiring managers to make better decisions. We must go beyond the two-dimensional modes of expression. We must find clarity. We need better conversations.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium.


If you want to share this article the reference to Bailey NewlanWade & Wendy and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.