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.✌️


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

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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.

New Tech Tool Nixes HR Hassle Of Hiring Coders

DevScore
Perplexed by Python? Confused by C# and C++? Jangled by Javascript? DevScore ends recruiters’ ‘baptism of fire’ when hiring tech talent Online platform cuts the time taken to hire software developers by 80%

LONDON: 16th March 2017 — DevScore, a new online HR platform, aims to reduce the time, cost, and confusion that recruiters experience when hiring software developers. The smart SaaS tool checks any coder in the world and helps to cut the time these business-critical hires usually take by 80%.

As software development becomes increasingly important to all kinds of businesses, there’s never been a better time to be a coder. Unfortunately, other than specialist recruiters, those tasked with hiring these highly skilled individuals can quickly get lost, particularly if they are unfamiliar with development – which has a pretty steep learning curve.

“A lot of companies know they need a software developer, but they don’t know enough to hire the right coder for the job,” says DevScore’s founder, Peter Cummings. “Consequently, the hiring process becomes long and drawn out, as recruiters vet-as-they-go – sifting through CVs before assessing skills through coding tests and other time consuming tasks. DevScore puts an end to this by simply collating the information recruiters need, when they need it.”

DevScore functions like a search engine, recruiters enter the email address of the developer they are interested in and through Continuous Source Code Analysis (CSCA) DevScore finds clearly defined information about them. Listing their level of experience, skills and employment history, helping recruiters quickly create a verified shortlist of potential candidates. DevScore also has an API so it can integrate with other HR platforms – like LinkedIn, freelancer.com, and others.

“Companies want developers that can hit the ground running,” Cummings explains. “DevScore not only details a candidate’s proficiency in a given programming language, it also shows what kind of development experience they have, whether they’re a frontend, backend or mobile developer. DevScore helps recruiters better align skills with business needs.

“DevScore is a quick, easy, and cost-effective way of finding the best people for your company, and validating their expertise.”

DevScore is launching in the UK and becoming a Code4000 partner, EMEA expansion is scheduled for Q4 2017.

Don’t miss DevScore at HR Tech World London - 21-22 March (Stand 012).

For more information visit https://devscore.io or email Peter Cummings peter@devscore.io

Capabiliti launches Wizards to ease the problem of technology adoption for training & assessments by SMBs

Capabiliti launches Wizards to ease the problem of technology adoption for training & assessments by SMBs

Wizards allow companies to tackle specific problems with DIY tools – rather than adopt a complete platform. Available for Single Use and subscription.

New Delhi, 17th January: Capabiliti – the platform promoted by Qustn Technologies has taken a completely new approach to solving some key problems faced by SMBs and Enterprises, and launched Capabiliti Wizards, a technology based device-agnostic platform that allows companies to put up their content seamlessly and train anyone on-the-go.

Elaborating on this development, Mrigank Tripathi, Founder and CEO of Qustn Technologies said, “There are many users who are evolved and comfortable with terms like LMS, mobile learning etc., but there are 10 times that many who just want to get their training problem solved. By launching Capabiliti Wizards, we hope to take away the need for anyone to be bothered with technical jargons or systems, rather just focus on solving your specific problem. The first wave solves the problems of sales, product and compliance trainings, as well as allows conducting critical ready-to-use assessments, surveys and feedback internally. We will continue to add more Wizards to solve other relevant training and engagement problems of SMBs. We have kept the product very affordable, and have been getting some great feedback on it”.

This decision has been taken post studying the data gathered through a research conducted across 1294 SMB decision makers. Over 987 of those surveyed didn’t use formal technology systems and weren’t very conversant with it. 523 of said they wanted to explore technology, but didn’t know how it fit in their present scenario. Two key findings came out very strongly.

Firstly, training the sales force on the product or offering – how to sell it, and how to communicate the features-advantages-benefits of the same in a manner that remained consistent down to the last mile. The second was standard or mandatory assessments that needed to be taken by multiple users. A third ancillary problem that came out was about the prevalent pricing model that hindered technology adoption. Almost every product uses a subscription based approach – and that’s sometimes a deterrent. With Capabiliti Wizards, you have the flexibility of using the product for a single use in case the requirement is sporadic, or taking a subscription approach.

Talking about the need for such a product, Abhishek Joshi, a Capabiliti user and Head L&D of IndiaMart, said, “I used to always struggle with trying to figure out how to update my sales team or conduct mandatory assessments – and till now, it used to be over phone calls and web demos, which didn’t always work given the need for everyone to be available at the same time. Further – it didn’t allow me to track every individual user. It was more like face to face training, without the actual understanding of who is ready to sell and who isn’t. Capabiliti Wizards solves all of that and provides reports on the training progress.”

Sachin Grover, CTO and co-founder of Qustn Technologies said, “Platforms use a linear approach. Input, Processing & Output. What we came to realize is that most people needed help in performing these critical tasks. Also, there are barely any Google searches for technical solutions – but there are many for specific problems like ‘Sales training’ or ‘product training’. People need assistance, and that’s what Wizards is – an approach to remove the problems that are faced by SMBs to conduct trainings and assessments.”.

About Capabiliti

Capabiliti is used by companies of all sizes to enhance their productivity by ensuring the sales and service teams are consistently trained, assessed and engaged, through its mobile-first platform.

Backed by marquee investors such as 500 Startups, Rajan Anandan, Kunal Bahl and Girish Matrubootham; Qustn Technologies launched Capabiliti in 2015.

Awarded by Gartner, NASSCOM, IBM, Microsoft, and YourStory, Capabiliti is used by leading  enterprises including Flipkart, Indus Towers, Airtel. For more information on Capabiliti, visit capabiliti.co.

Contact

To learn more about Capabiliti, please contact

Ankit Sindhi
Digital Marketing, Qustn Technologies
+91-98181 03682
ankit@qustn.com

The first investment of 500 Istanbul in 2017 goes to Peoplise

Peoplise

BIG NEWS: The first investment of 500 Istanbul in 2017 goes to Peoplise!

500 Istanbul, a micro-fund focusing on Turkish startups within the San Francisco-based 500 Startups, has invested in Peoplise.

This investment is catapulting Peoplise to the next phase, accelerating our global expansion, especially in the UK and US markets.

500 Istanbul started 2017 with a Series A Round investment in Peoplise.

Peoplise, with its innovative digital solutions for recruitment, improves the existing talent acquisition processes, creating a more effective candidate experience. After identifying the candidates within the desired criteria on social media, Peoplise offers a unique, employer branded solution to assess the selected candidates quickly and efficiently with a monthly subscription model.

Companies achieve significant savings due to the optimization; they are accelerating the talent acquisition processes 10 times with their social media, analytics and video technologies while still keeping the human-touch.

Our digital platform, has evaluated over 500,000 candidates, serves more than 50 corporate clients, including global giants in a variety of industries. It provides a solution that is complete, intuitive and easy.


Source: The first investment of 500 Istanbul in 2017 goes to Peoplise!

 

Announcement: Social Media Search management buy-out and merger with Candidate.ID

SMS Announcement

Social Media Search, the talent brand & talent pooling company is to merge with the talent pooling & pipelining tech platform Candidate.ID

Social Media Search, the talent brand and talent pooling company founded by Adam Gordon in 2009 is to merge with the talent pooling and pipelining tech platform Candidate.ID (which Gordon co-founded) this month having completed a management buy-out from Norman Broadbent plc on 30th December. The new group (to be known as ‘Candidate.ID Group’) will also include Candidate.ID co-founder Scot McRae’s marketing automation consulting firm McRae & Co. Gordon becomes CEO of the combined group while McRae becomes COO. Gordon said: 

“These three businesses fit together perfectly. SMS provides candidate research to build talent pools. McRae & Co is one of the world’s leaders in deployment of marketing automation technology and Candidate.ID offers the most sophisticated candidate marketing automation and insight-generation in talent acquisition.”

“The world’s leading and fastest growing employers need to create and nurture talent pools including everyone they might hire now and in the future. The competitive advantage this generates includes reduced cost and time-to-shortlist and increased quality and diversity of shortlist. As a combined business, we now offer both the service and technology to help employers to do this with world-class results.”

The combined group includes 18 people and will add a further 10 after closing a Seed fundraising round in Q1. The group’s existing clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Quintiles, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Weetabix and the company has also announced a new partnership to provide talent brand and candidate research to Mondelez in the Asia, Middle East and Africa regions throughout 2017.

Candidate.ID was launched in September 2016 and was acknowledged as one of the 10 most disruptive startups at the HR Tech World Congress the following month. 

Contacts for Enquiries:

General: emmabaxter@socialmediasearch.co.uk

Investors: adam@candidate.id

Product: scot@candidate.id 

Website and Social Media Links:

www.socialmediasearch.co.uk

@SocialMedSearch

www.candidate.id

@Candidate_ID


Source: Social Media Search MBO and merger with Candidate.ID : Social Media Search

Make Difference with Startup Transformation

Startup Transformation: If Not Now, When?

Well, understanding a difference between a startup and other business entity is important these days as most of the startups are getting lot of external supports from the regional government, startups hubs, accelerators, business incubators and other investors & mentors. Why there is so much engagement and focus on Startups?

Startups – Growth and Success

“An entrepreneurial venture which is considered as new, fast-growing business, with scalable business model and that target specific markets by offering an innovative product, process or service”  – a typical definition of a startup.

But we should be aware that a newly founded one does not in itself make a company a startup unless it is capable to grow fast and that is the most important aspect for a startup. There are some typical terms like Unicorn is a startup company valued at over $1 billion. A Decacorn is used for those companies over $10 billion, while Hectocorn for companies valued over $100 billion (An Unicorn Map of US from CBInsights).

The growth is not at all easy without a proper startup ecosystem, which consists of individual entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, mentors, institutions and organizations, business incubators and business accelerators. Startups usually need to form partnerships with other firms to enable their business model to operate for sure.

Startup Ecosystem

A startup hub usually provides such platform for connections and collaboration and usually operates on regional basis. Recent startup hubs Europe‘s overview for startup ecosystem across Europe is shown below.

Recent startup hubs Europe‘s overview for startup ecosystem across Europe

Take a look around some world’s best startup hubs to know more.

There are a lot of efforts and contributions from business incubators and business accelerators for the startups. Many entrepreneurs or startup founders often turn to a startup accelerator or startup incubator for helping other startups.

Accelerators programs usually start with an application process, but most of them are typically very selective and usually have a set of timeframe in which individual startup spend, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months working with a group of mentors and experts to build out their business. Startups are also given a small seed investment, and access to a large mentoring network in exchange for a small amount of equity.

Startup incubators begin with startups that may be earlier in the process and they do not operate on a set schedule. Some independent incubators also can be sponsored by VC firms, government entities, and major organizations.

business-accelerators-and-incubators

Difference on Business Accelerators and Incubators shown above is taken from Help for ACCA and CIMA Studies.

Startups – Slowdown and Failure

We cannot ignore the facts and statistics on the startups, which is an important part of the economy and startup scale-ups definitely effect on the economy, society and innovation in the world. But, while 40-50 percent of startups are dying within first five years of their inception, it could be a wrong conclusion to make about the economy on the basis of the number of these startups. And yes, because of this there has been already a slowdown in economic growth as well, once such clear indication is from US where is the highest number of startup ecosystems.

Statistics also says that 80-90 % fails are ‘in genera’. In other word nine out of ten startups are failing on consistently.

There are numerous articles publishing regularly on the failure of startups, lessons learn from failures. Even one can get through many of the startup failure stories, after all failure is the path to success. Learn from your own the failure is definitely sounds rigid but learn from other’s failure is not so easy for sure. If we try to collate all the failures reasons, stories and analysis from post mortem, we can definitely capture some major and common concrete challenges, as shown below.

Success vs. Failure

There are lots of post mortem done on startup failures, one can see from Quartz and CB Insights to analyse more.

If one start considering the failure percentage, they could realize that, it’s overflowing and it is indeed necessary to find some real valuable solutions or barrier to bring down this failure in the future. But the story is still going on the different path

In spite of so many potential entrepreneurs involved in startups, so much outside encouragement, efforts and helps, startups keep on failing. Business accelerators, incubators, grinds, the whole startup ecosystem is behind the supports, doing incredible efforts for their success; trying to help the startups, building them, nourishing them, mentoring team, teaching them but the results remain the same for last few years.

Why? We keep asking this for long time now. If we need to consider startups as a significant part of economy, this is the time we need to rethink.

Startups – Transformation

If we take a close look into the post mortems, reasons does not looks too complex; so what is stopping us currently? There are a lot of efforts from the startup ecosystem on education & learning, mentoring, networking, funding (one of the major constraints), investing, supporting in all major respects.

But there are limited or no such efforts in place to work together with those 90% startups, who are making magnificent effort in their journey but because of some trivial mistakes, (major reasons mentioned before) they get failed. Why not transforming those startups completely so that they keep on succeeding in their remaining journey?

For sure there is a necessity to have something or somebody who can helps transforming these startups not only through education, mentoring, networking and funding but also follow up with their experiences, working closely together with these startups in their businesses to face the challenges and crack them.

In this era of transformation where all the organizations are in the process of transforming their processes, business, people; there is also a need for a transformation for the startups, working together for getting the right strategic vision, focusing on customers, products, markets and other challenges. Also being able to anticipate what are the customer expectations and what is the best way to achieve it. For a complete successful journey, these startups need advisory in every aspect, in every part of their experiences.

Idea of introducing Startup Transformers during this stage could be a solution to some extend; for avoiding such circumstances which can lead to a failure. A startup transformer helps a startup to transform completely into a successful business unit; work closely with them, collaborate for them with partners, customers and other peers, helping them by resolving challenges and gradually reform them in achieving the success.

Typical activities of a startup transformer could be varied, but majorly need to be centralized on overcoming the challenges and there should be also a strong focus to provide a platform for networking, community, events and collaboration. Below shown such activities of a startup transformer.

Startup Transformer

Instead of only analyzing the failures; instead of only learning from the other successful startups; instead of only following successful business guidance and mentorship; it is also necessary to start working together with these startups in their journey to make them completely successful. And this can only be achieved when one can start engaging with them not only in their initial stages but in their entire journey, preparing them to avoid the mistakes, work together to overcome challenges, choose a right path for these startups and transform them to be a successful business unit.

A lot of collaboration is needed with different relevant partners, advisors, customers; a lot of efforts need to be put in understanding market & strategy, right business model with scalability, knowing competitors, to develop ideal product and services; making better relationship with customers, better managing team and funds.

Another important factor where some strong efforts need to be in place, is the lack of innovations; the benefits of being innovative in the journey of a startup, it’s growth and scalability of its business is solely depend on the original business model not on a cloned one. It is also crucial for us to keep innovation alive as it is essential for fostering economic growth.

Idea does not work by itself; the reality is only possible whenever one take some initiative from that.

Startup Transformation is no more an idea yet, HRTech Conscience, a venture project on Disrupt HR (majorly engage and focus with HR Technologies) has taken a step forward by applying these concepts and idea for meaningful and valuable results. Currently collaborating with several startups, partners and customers from a diversified portfolio and already become the first Startup Transformer. There could be a success or a failure, but gaining a great experience from this journey of unknown disrupt transformation is definitely valuable for the future. Let’s help changing the world into a new direction with contribution from all of us!

About the Author:

Soumyasanto Sen

Soumyasanto Sen — Blogger, Speaker and Evangelist in HR Technology who try to think Out of the Box!

Professional Consultant, Manager, Advisor, Investor in HR Tech. Focusing on Strategies, Mobility, Cloud, Analytics, UX, Security, Data Protection, Developments and Integration in HR Technology & Digital HR.


Source: Make difference with Startup Transformation – HRTechCon

Why I Created BetterSkills: A Founder’s Vision

Transforming Today’s Workforce to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow

Transforming Today’s Workforce to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow

I started my new company BetterSkills Inc. because I saw firsthand, over the course of my career, that employers were struggling with ways to grow, develop and retain their best talent. They would spend a significant amount of time and money upfront in the recruitment phase of searching out and hiring the best candidates but very little was being done once they were onboarded to ensure that their overall growth and professional development was being cultivated.

I was thinking, as I took a look at retention reports, attrition numbers, and the average length of time an employee remained with a company, which in today’s market appears to be around the 2 year mark, if we put more focus on the employee and their continuous development could we make a significantly positive impact here? Could we increase their job satisfaction by providing them with pathways for growth and learning within the company? Would this alleviate them from having to look outside to fulfill this need? Could we break down the working in silos mentality and get teams working together cross functionally through job rotations? Would this increase retention and the overall robustness of a company’s workforce?

With these thoughts in mind, I decided to bring all the best practices I had learned overtime from the fast pacing organizations I worked at before, to all companies that were taking an intrinsic look at their workforce and deciding how best to enhance and grow their most important asset, their people. BetterSkills was born to meet this need.  

In 2015 The CEO of the Conference Board, a non-profit research organization working for the public interest, interviewed over 1000 global CEOs on “What challenges keep them up at night”. Unsurprisingly, the challenge that came at the top was human capital and talent. Following a dip in the ranking from 2009-2010, due to the global recession,  acquiring and retaining top talent was again number one on the list of concerns.

Even though it’s common knowledge that an organization is really made up of only 2 pillars Capital and Human Capital, most CEOs struggle to get basic answers of what and who makes up their workforce. Most business leaders do not have access to real time information on how many people work in their organizations at any given time, what is their overall retention, and how does that compare to the retention of last year  – not to mention comparison to similar organizations in their industry. According to the Brookings Institute “Human capital is one of the least measured and analyzed investments, despite the fact that more than 70% of company costs are labor related”.

In the modern economy, HR leaders should be working hand in hand with CEOs and other executives on the company’s talent strategy. To effectively succeed at this, they should have real time visibility into what makes up their workforce – who their employees are and do they have the right skillset for today. They should be able to discern what employees have the competencies to become their next leaders and what strategies should be employed to motivate their workforce to keep learning new skills. Being able to answer those questions ahead of time produces loyal employees who will choose to stay even when tempted with a higher compensation offer by another organization. Working proactively to retain your talent produces real dollar value savings to the bottom line. It is estimated that it takes anywhere between $25,000 to $100,000 to replace a productive employee or about 25-30% of someone’s salary. What makes up this math is the cost to hire an employee plus the time to make that employee productive which is a sunk cost when he/she leaves and can never be recouped.

Growing the right skills in house and retaining our best employees has never been harder and more important. Culturally we also have to be ready to attract a new type of worker, the Millennials, who want to be continuously challenged in developing new skills and enhancing their proficiencies. According to new Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau data, Millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the US workforce, making them more than 1 out of 3 workers in 2015. Today employees, especially Millennials, decide where to spend their workdays choosing primarily one company over the other because of the 3Ps: People, Product, Professional Growth, even when there are compensation differences:

People – Candidates would like to join a company where they know they can fit into the culture, where they are compatible with the people and the atmosphere. They can tell within the first few minutes of conversation whether this company is the right fit for them in the long run – whether the interview happens over video/Skype vs. a traditional phone call, if they take a skill based test vs answer standard questions such as your self assessed “biggest strengths and weaknesses”, if the company has open office with collaborative spaces vs the traditional cubicles or if they do creative team building outings vs the annual summer BBQ. This is one of the easiest and most gut like methods a candidate will use to decide where they would like to spend their time building their career.

Product – The second P relates to the connection a future employee has with the Product or the Service the company provides. The more they can establish a personal relevance to the core offering or the industry the higher the chance that this candidate will accept the position. It’s easier to explain to your family and friends that you are working for a brand that they already recognize such as Facebook or Microsoft. That’s why start-ups have to work extra hard to attract top talent by not only explaining why they are different than more established names but also making it personally relevant to the candidate they are trying to recruit.

Professional Growth – According to most employees, especially ones that are about to embark on their first job, the third P – Professional growth is the most difficult to assess from the outside but the one that has the most weight. Candidates want to know that if they invest their careers into the company, the company will invest back in them to achieve their career aspirations by augmenting their existing skills and developing new ones. Fringe benefits like free coffee and snacks, unlimited PTO and happy hours take a back seat to whether they will have an opportunity to acquire new knowledge through company sponsored training, by being mentored by fellow accomplished employees and by being challenged with new responsibilities in other departments in a job rotation opportunity.

Employees of organizations that are rated top 5 best employers to work with on Glassdoor, a popular employer ranking site, often cite the reasons for that ranking of the company having “best people, best culture, best training”, “incredible focus on learning and mentoring”, “heavy emphasis on employee growth across all divisions”. In today’s workforce these employees demand answers on what’s their career advancement opportunity, what skills they need to move to the next level, how is the company supporting them in their efforts, who is their mentor/coach, can they try another person’s job to gain new skills or see if they are interested in taking on a new role. Organizational leaders that provide an ecosystem which can address these needs and support continuous learning, mentoring and professional development ultimately create the most successful and profitable organizations in return. This is where BetterSkills comes in, as we provide the map, the infrastructure for this professional development to help bring about this work culture transformation.

Through management of an employee’s growth continuum, we can track their current achievements and skillsets and match them to opportunities for further enhancement which they can chart over the course of their career. They can create a professional development plan inclusive of mentoring opportunities, job rotations, training and courses, and with input from their managers and peers, continue their progression to meet their long and short-term learning and career goals. At the same time, companies reap the benefit of having a robust workforce that is in a state of continual growth and value add. It is my belief, with all this considered, that BetterSkills is poised to be a significant catalyst and change factor in the coming years, to really put the focus on shaping the employee centric ecosystem and creating work environments that provide the means and ways for continued professional development.

About the Author:

Tanya Bakalov, CEO and Founder of BetterSkills Inc.

Tanya Bakalov, CEO and Founder of BetterSkills Inc.

Tanya has had 10 years of experience in the high tech industry. Her career has included a variety of leadership roles in business operations, go­ to­ market strategy, corporate development, organizational hiring, SaaS and enterprise, and software solution selling.

In 2005, Tanya co­ founded SevOne, a successful digital infrastructure management company, and most recently in 2016, Tanya became the Founder and CEO of BetterSkills Inc., a dynamic company which develops online software to help organizations manage their employees’ talent and professional development.

Tanya was named a Silver Stevie Award winner for Female Executive of the Year in 2016, UDE Alumni Excellence Award winner for 2016 and the prestigious E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner for 2016. She was also the Silver Stevie Award winner for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.


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