Welcome to the highwall recruiting insights podcast.
I’m your host James Hornick partner at higher. Well, joining me is the CEO of interview stream, a Chicago based technology organization, dedicated to helping companies manage their hiring and recruiting processes with emphasis on remote. Video based interviews. Everyone, please welcome Ron Wilson.
thank you, James. Appreciate it.
So, , that’s about as formal as this will get. So it’s all downhill from here.
I guess the first question I have is, I always want like to give her one context and kind of lay some groundwork and whatnot. what’s your, what’s your background ultimately? So tell me about yourself. And the one thing I was really interested in kind of looking at your background ahead of time is you had a very kind of diverse, where you kind of came from how you came up in your career, lots of different areas.
but secondly, Make sure to give everyone some context on interview stream. Cause I’ve talked about you guys quite a bit and what you do, especially when the kind of COBIT first broke out, but I want to make sure people kind of hear from you directly.
sure. Sure. So I was, born and raised in California. So I’m a Southern Southern California kid, you know, proud to have been born and raised there, but it’s happy to not live there anymore. as I say, great place to be from, but not, the best place to live, great place to visit but, kind of grew up on welfare, other side of the tracks, everybody, my family and the trades business was the first, person in my family lineage to go to college.
Went away to college with the intent to come back to LA and be an entertainment attorney and switched up those plans pretty early on, but double majored in accounting and finance and got into management consulting, got recruited out of management consulting into my tech world and, started doing tech early on in my career, specifically, around FTNA, applications.
So accounting, finance apps, and then moved into the networking and security world. started, like I said, doing consulting then got into sales and running sales. then I left and went to work for one of my clients and ran their it organization. And at that time we were a $300 million company and grew, in three years to a billion dollar company.
And we were a software company and this was posted the.com bus. So that was a fantastic experience. Got to spend three years in Silicon Valley. Meet a lot of folks and then made a life decision, moved to the Midwest where my wife is from and wound up, working with, another big software company here in the Midwest called Compuware and led their cloud strategy.
When, cloud first came out. So a guy got some interesting experience there ran product management, did some strategic business development. Then then started getting into the customer success world, continued to go into sales, marketing, those areas, the revenue portions of the business been in HR tech for the last two years.
overall been in tech for about 30 years. And, you know, as you mentioned, I’ve done are run almost every function in a, software company other than running engineering. But when I ran product management, engineering, , built the products that, we created a division for.
So, you know, just a, purposeful, career and purposeful experience to get me to the position now where I’m at now to become CEO of a company. And, I couldn’t be more proud and grateful for the opportunity that I have. I’m somebody who’s very passionate around people and organizational behavior. I’m to the point where when I was 20 years ago, when I was 30, was going to pack up my career and go back to school and become a professor and teach, and basically talk about the, impacts on technology, on the behavior of organizations.
So to get into the HR realm of, of technology, which is traditionally been a laggard, as far as what we’ve been digitizing over the last three, four decades, from a business process or function perspective. No, the HR, area has been a laggard, but it’s an exciting area. I think people more, than ever realize that.
people are what make organizations different and better. and they’re the ones who create the unique cultures. And so being part of a company that’s focused on people and helping candidates be successful, helping recruiters be successful, helping hiring teams be successful and ultimately helping the businesses that they’re all working with in forward be successful.
That’s something that, excites me. I’m a person who wakes up every day looking to make the world a better place. I get a, an immense amount of gratification and satisfaction, helping people personally and professionally grow and be the best versions of themselves. So it’s an exciting time given what we’re doing, obviously with the market conditions, the socioeconomic conditions and things going on in the world right now, what we do is more important than ever.
And what we’re doing to help enable organizations continue to move forward is as important as ever. And so I’m excited and grateful to be serving my organizations, our customers and partners with, with what we do on a day to day to day basis.
So another thing is it’s kind of a mute. I guess if you can consider these things I’m using, what’s it like to start as a CEO of a company one month before something like COVID happens immediately thrown into the fire.
Well, , it was good. I was able to just go to my bookshelf and pull off the, CMIO pandemic playbook. And, I just I’ve been following it ever since. It’s just, you just go through chapter by chapter and it’s pretty, easy. No. in all seriousness, it’s been, a wild ride, but.
You know, what am I saying as my team knows is I go, , my doctor seems saying his light’s about ups and downs and twists and turns and so his business, and certainly we’re seeing some big ups and downs and twists and turns today. certainly didn’t anticipate what we’re experiencing, but.
I knew people and culture were important. And I wanted to lay a foundation of the importance of our people and culture right away. And so in my first 30 days, I started on February 10th and my first 30 days, I made it a point to meet with every single person in the company. One-on-one and get to know them on a personal basis, have them get to know me on a personal basis.
And then me talk to them about my people’s strategy. And what I expect around our culture and what we’re going to be doing and where we’re heading and what it’s going to mean for them personally, to be part of this organization and the opportunities that that’s going to create and the purpose that we have as an organization.
So I was able in the first 30 days to really establish kind of where we’re at today and where we’re going tomorrow. And then on March 12th, I made the decision to close our offices and. That first 30 days, and that opportunity to meet with everybody and lay that foundation of what the future was going to look like this particular situation, closing the office, managing through the, COBIT pandemic allowed me to demonstrate what I was actually talking about.
The world of a startup is like, You know, quick pivoting changing as fast win, fast fail, you know, unpredictable, , so we really got to live it from that point forward. And I’m so incredibly proud and grateful of my organization leaning into that opportunity and reacting to it and enabling organizations to be successful that we work with, during these trying times.
I was going to say, talk about the organizations you’re working with during all this, what new challenges, I guess, were you helping them work through, like, what were companies doing are really hung up on? What are some solutions you guys are? In what ways were you helping them specifically get through that?
well, obviously video interviewing is something that we’ve been doing for quite a while. I mean, you know, decade plus. So the notion of doing interviewing over a video channel is not anything new, but as we know, most organizations still did not adopt it pervasively throughout their hiring process that used it sporadically or opportunistically.
And so most organizations have had to adapt completely to this new world order of no face to face interviews. And, and how do we engage the candidates and how do we engage the hiring teams? Throughout that process. So I think, , a lot of organizations have struggled with how do, how do we bring this all together?
Very quickly, obviously very tactically organizations were able to leverage a WebEx, a Skype zoom to facilitate the interaction between folks, but those aren’t platforms built for interviewing those are platforms built for, live meetings. And so there’s a lot of other things that have to go on in an hiring process.
To be effective. And what we’re, what we’re focused on at the end of the day is driving effective hiring, you know, most organizations that we compete with are focused on driving efficiency in the process. And unfortunately that’s very shortsighted and table stakes. We’re focused on the effectiveness of the, of the hiring.
And, and I think a lot of organizations have been short sided with that and how to leverage technology to be effective. And so they had to quickly pivot. And so we’ve been helping them quickly pivot into this new world, better educating and training the, candidates, the recruiters, and the hiring teams around the processes and what to expect.
And then being very purposeful around the actual interview and what they’re doing and what they’re asking during that interview process. So I think we’ve been able to help several organizations mature quickly around leveraging technology to create a better automation and a better experience, but also demonstrate the opportunity around creating more objectivity through the process and creating better outcomes, more effective outcomes at the end.
Got it. and that was actually something I want to ask you too. Cause we’re doing a zoom right now. a lot of companies probably just take what they were doing and adding it to the zoom. But if you were gonna say, I guess more specifically to a company who. I’d never heard of you guys before and the video interviews.
Okay. I got that cover. We use zoom. We’re already doing something like that. When you talk about kind of educating and train the recruiting process, is there anything more you can, I guess this is your chance to really kind of pitch your extra value proposition, what you guys do more granularly, you know, we’ll give you that opportunity right now, just in case anyone’s tuning in doesn’t quite get it, and understanding kind of how you guys can help further than just the video interview part.
Yeah. Like I said, the video interviewing parts of simple part, there’s no real rocket science around that and multiple organizations doing some aspect of video. but it’s the bangs around that that you need to do.
And we believe it at first starts with preparing the candidates. So recruiters today. Typically aren’t afforded the opportunities to prepare the candidates that they’re sourcing and bringing forward to the hiring manager and hiring teams to do their best in the interview process. And that’s something the recruiters should be doing, but they’re not afforded that time because they’re spending way too much time being administrators, coordinators, schedulers, and, all other sorts of things, you know, not being a recruiter.
The other thing. we enable organizations to prepare their candidates for the interview process, practice feedback, things of that nature. the other thing that we’re doing is preparing the hiring teams. This is another big mess, like my favorite questions I ask people.
It’s like, when was the last time James you’ve actually been trained on interview?
yeah. It’s a great question.
yeah, I’m asking you the question. When was the last time you’ve been trained on it?
Meet formerly trained.
I mean, it’s very much school of hard knocks. I mean,
yeah, there are people that are, cause we’re varied enough in our backgrounds where some of our organization came from internal. where they had that background.
Some people just kind of came up from a work traditional sales track. But, I’ve picked things up from other colleagues and organization, but like, Solid recruiting for internal hiring. I’m probably the there’s there’s people in the organization. Way better than I am at that. Let’s put it, keep it to that.
well, I would submit that even the folks that came from a recruiting background in HR background probably never really went through training either. And if they did it was long ago so the point is there’s a lot of subjectivity. In an interview process. I think there’s a lot of biases that we naturally have as humans and most people just aren’t aware of those things.
So what we’re trying to do is make hiring teams more effective at interviewing. So we, so they ensure we get the right outcomes of the candidates. And, a simple example I use is. as an extrovert. I know it’s probably hard to imagine, but as an extrovert, I’m naturally going to have an affinity towards other extroverts.
And if I’m interviewing somebody who’s highly introverted, I’m going to look at that person go, Oh man, I don’t think they’re going to be a good fit. Well, that person may be interviewing for a role where introversion is perfectly fine for that role. And so, as a person on the hiring team, I need to understand those things.
And so, again, we believe, we’re enabling recruiters to prepare the candidates and the hiring teams to be more effective in the interview process, so that they ultimately create better outcomes. The next thing we’re doing is ensuring that people are very purposeful in the interview.
Too often interviews are loose. They’re uncoordinated. People don’t know what their role is and what the purpose is. And so we believe organizations should be starting with job descriptions and scorecards that drive the evaluation criteria that are going to be used to determine, to validate the candidates, experience their education, their capabilities, or interpersonal skills or cultural fit.
No, you need to start with that. You begin with, still cubbies, saying, begin with the end in mind, starting with the evaluation criteria. Then you use that. We have the technology to do that. Then you use our technology to build the interview guide. What are the actual questions we’re going to use based on the role, based on the level of the role and based on your organizational characteristics, what are the types of questions we need to ask to answer those questions that it’s about experience, capabilities, education, et cetera.
then what’s the format. We want to do that in. And who needs to do that? Does this need to be live? can we do it on demand? Does this need to be group based? That’s need to be serial. Can we do things in parallel sequentially all in one day? I mean, there’s all sorts of permutations and the challenge around scheduling and coordinating all that is where we see recruiters spending way too much of their time.
And so we’re automating all of that process as well. And then providing the insights throughout that entire interviewing process into, how well it’s working and ultimately, what’s the ROI from the overall experience that the candidates, the recruiters and the hiring teams are having throughout that entire process.
I can also say, back to the first point about people have been trained and working with lots of different organizations. I think the default for most companies not only is not having training, but also, having something they thought worked wants, or having a perception of that and then sticking to it without having kind of any, empirically-based.
and to your point, like a lot of biases get kind of baked into things. Once you kind of, it’s the way you always did it, the way you feel comfortable doing it, the way you continue doing it without actually taking a step back to understand if that was actually effective or is there a better way?
So I digress, but yeah,
yeah, no. And we believe effective hiring is more of a long tail VO. It’s not about time to fill in time to hire those just shoving people in fast. Isn’t the right thing. You need to get the right people in the right role. So you have longevity and everybody, has an, a creative, positive experience from
Yeah. And I think too pivoting slightly on that one. And I think effective hiring is also, building an organization. People want to work for, you know, it’s also making more attractive and I guess maybe relating this back to you guys, what do you do or how have you built interview stream in a way where, it’s an organization people can be proud to work for, I guess
so it’s a great question. as I mentioned, people and culture is something I’m incredibly passionate about and so. it starts with the type of people that you bring on board. And so I have a lot of favorite authors, but Patrick Lencioni has a great book called ideal team player.
And so I look for these characteristics in people. I look for people who are hungry, humble, and smart. I also added resilient, recently just in the last three months. One can imagine why. but also people who are passionate and committed. And when I think about hungry, what that is, is people who are self motivated.
Self-driven, want to be the best versions of themselves. Understanding that it’s a journey, not a destination. No people who are humble, they realize they’re imperfect. They make mistakes, are willing to, admit their mistakes, learn from their mistakes, understand others, make mistakes and are willing to help them, , be at their best as well.
And then people who are smart, that means they’re pragmatic. They have good situational leadership, good emotional intelligence. It doesn’t mean they have a Mensa level. I, if they do, that’s great. people who are resilient, people who are able to adapt to change, roll with the punches, be flexible, agile with what they do.
That’s an important characteristic in today’s world and, moving forward. And then people who are passionate, they care about what they do. They’re very service oriented and then people who are committed, they’re very dedicated to everything that they commit to and are purposeful with the things that they commit to.
And so I believe. When you bring an organization together of people who are hungry, humble, smart, resilient, and passionate, and committed around your vision, your mission, your values, and your people. There’s no obstacle. That’ll get in the way. There’s no opportunity. You won’t, take advantage of, there’s no challenge you won’t get around, that’s what makes amazing companies.
And then culturally, I’m focused on what, with Daniel pink kids called the amp. So, enabling autonomy, fostering mastery and being very purposeful with what we do. And so with that said, you know, I talk to everybody about, you know, with all due respect and I love the military.
We’re not the military, this isn’t a command and control hierarchy. We’re a very open environment. I don’t call folks that lead people, managers, I call them coaches, we’re all coaches, we’re all coaching. Each other I’m in coaching is a two way street. So, we’re really about, enabling autonomy, giving the freedom to individuals to be their best and to work in a manner that works best for them.
To drive the aligned outcomes that we’ve mutually created, then the next, piece of the puzzle is a mastery and something that I talk about, I talked about earlier on the call was. I’m very focused around people’s personal professional growth.
And the most satisfaction I get out of life is making a positive impact on someone else’s. And, I typically get to do that most often through the context of work, because that’s where I’m spending the predominance of my time. And so I tell everybody, Hey, we’re here to help you grow. whatever that looks like, be the best version of yourself, whatever that looks looks like.
And we’re going to create an environment for you to do that. And if that means at some point. That means you growing out of the organization because we can’t keep up with, what you’re doing and where you’re going. That’s okay. We’re going to enable that. So it’s really about just, helping people be their best and then being purposeful, let’s get aligned around that vision.
That’s get aligned around the mission that we have and believe in it. And if you don’t, then this isn’t the right place. And so I talked to everybody about being very binary when it comes to the people and the organization. if you’re not hungry, humble, smart, resilient, and passionate, and committed around our vision, mission values and people and the startup world.
Doesn’t excite you, the unpredictable chaotic, world, doesn’t excite you because of the amazing growth and being a bigger fish. In a smaller pond, doesn’t excite you, then this isn’t the right environment. So, not everybody is fit for the startup world, the type of organization that we have.
And so , I actually focused on making sure. You know, we folks that are likeminded and that doesn’t mean we’re not, you know, we’re a very inclusive, diverse environment, and I know that’s what makes us better. So we’re going to continue to focus on those things, but ensure that we have like-minded folks and it philosophically give people the autonomy they need, to be their best and deliver their best, and then help them continue to grow and then continue to be very purposeful and service oriented in what we do.
Let’s switch gears here because I want to make sure we get into some of the stuff about what you’re seeing in the market with companies. who’s doing really well with hiring right now. what companies, what industries, like what can you tell us about what’s working, I guess for companies bringing people on
it’s interesting right now we’re in a heightened state of hiring within K-12 and the universities. , they’re all preparing, they’re winding up. they’re spraying. activities and they’re gearing up for a fall. And so there’s a tremendous amount of activity going on and in K-12 and in the university world, now with that said, I think there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty in the longer term around what happens in those areas because of, the cascading effects of the federal and state funding and the lack of taxes because of businesses being shut down and things like that.
So, we’re being very mindful of watching, not just what’s happening today, but, looking at what we think some cascading effects may be in the future, but those markets in particular are certainly, very active and we’re seeing growth in those areas. We’re starting to see retail pick up a bit as well.
healthcare was also still strong. as an industry overall, and then we’re seeing some manufacturing and also that start to kick in more, as folks are starting to get back to work those areas.
In terms of best practices for companies that maybe hadn’t done a ton of remote hiring. is there anything you’ve noticed That’s helped, companies that are having to do this for the first time and saw some early successes or were able to make a few tweaks, what are maybe some takeaways you can give people.
Along those lines.
Yeah. I mean , you need to build structure and, your process and you need to rethink what you’re doing, because of, the technology of location and your inability to be in person. I think communication is incredibly important. I think, , we, haven’t been doing a great job communicating between, the candidates, the recruiters, and well, the candidates and recruiters often have decent, but, you know, recruiters, hiring teams.
In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to keep people up to date. And, especially the candidates, there’s a lot of uncertainty going on right now. It’s important to keep the candidates up UpToDate and communicate, better than you have previously. And another thing is making it easier to actually facilitate and do the interviews.
And so, you need to consider is, the live interview, the best interaction for that stage in the hiring process, would an on demand interview be a better solution? Should you be providing resources to the candidates to help them prepare and practice beforehand, , bring these things to bear, to help people be more comfortable because again, a lot of folks are now having to experience doing video.
Where they’ve never done that before. And, that’s the case for the candidates and people on the hierarchy. So you need to be very aware of the discomfort that people can have and look for ways to, create simple icebreakers like I said, what we often do is give people the opportunity to do an on demand or, a one way type interview first.
And practice those things and experience those things a few times before they have the live interaction so that they can, , be the best that they can be and understand some of the nuances that occur when you’re on a video call versus an in person. So, , the background on what you’re wearing, the noise around you, your body movements, expressions, things like that.
How do you see, I don’t know if you’ve guys started work on your reentry plans, for getting back to the offices, but how do you see, I guess, how are things going to change again? And are they going to change much? I’m not really sure we’ve got some return plans in place where it’s only a few people right now.
We’re not in a hurry to push anyone back, you know? I’m not really sure, when we can all expect to be back, but, do you foresee any new challenges? I guess as some companies start going back and going partially back and how that may also change
so, yeah, it’s an interesting question. COBIT first occurred and we shut the office down, I jokingly started telling some of my friends short commercial real estate because the work at home remote worker movement has just reached its tipping point.
And it’s never going back. the good news that we were an organization, , folks located all around the U S a third of our organization was already working remote 100%. We also had a work from home culture where we supported people working from home multiple days a week.
so for us, ourselves, the pivot , was very easy and relatively seamless. The biggest issue I had was, Oh, wait, somebody has got to go get the mail because people are still sending us checks and bills and we gotta, facilitate those things. But I think overall for us pivoting, was rather simple, I think for other organizations, a lot of organizations had an anti work at home and anti remote worker, culture, that obviously has changed rapidly.
I think many executives and leaders are, are understanding that people can be incredibly productive. Again, back to autonomy. People want the freedom, to do what is in the best interest for them to be productive and perform. And it’s not always the same for everybody. And so I think this movement has, I don’t think we’re going back.
And so I think what this is going to do is one. This is going to enable organizations access into a lot more talent that they never had because the notion that everybody had to be in the office or in a centralized location is over as I like to say, leadership transcends geography.
So there’s talent all over the place and all over the world.
And now organizations I think were realized like we can leverage talent everywhere now. Like we never have, but in order to. , attract that talent and engage that talent. You’re going to be doing it remotely, and you’re going to need to be leveraging technology in order to facilitate those things.
and you can do that. then I think a lot of organizations are going to realize, having to fly people in and, , spend all the travel time and travel costs. And manage all the logistics associated with that. It’s unneeded,
we can still have a fantastic experience, get to know people and ensure that we’re being effective at our hiring without having people physically together.
Now that doesn’t mean we still won’t have people physically together because we will, and that’s still important. and at times there’ll be certain circumstances where, you’ll absolutely want to do that. I believe today, obviously that, organizations more than ever can facilitate their entire hiring process in an automated online digital experience that creates better outcomes for the candidates, the hiring teams and the organizations that they’re part of.
So we had some questions because questions come in from some viewers, one person showed me some questions ahead of time. You kind of touched on it right here, but I wanted it to kinda expand on a further, with companies being able to hire, Virtual and do everything kind of remote. Have you noticed, have you had any clients like talk about that’s actually helped them diversify, or have a more diverse workforce?
so interesting lately, I was actually on a call yesterday with an organization that was focused on how you’re driving more diversity and inclusion and trying to figure out, okay, how can your technology enable that? And we, actually talked about what I just talked about is well, leadership and diversity and inclusion , transcends the geography.
And what we’re seeing in the world today is now you can have people productive and contributing even more so than ever, working remotely then in the office. And that’s going to give you access to the talent, that diverse talent that you hadn’t had before. And. part of this conversation was a third organization that we’ve used in analytics and data science to help organizations identify areas for them to recruit, to promote their diversity and inclusion recruiting.
And so we are actually talking about how we could all work together to facilitate that moving forward. So a very premature early, conversations, but I was very impressed with. how they’re using artificial intelligence to gather information around getting diverse and inclusive channels into the mix more so than, than we’ve ever done.
That’s really interesting too, because when you think, I hadn’t thought about this way, but, I guess geography, no matter where you’re based , you’re always going to have certain limits on the amount of diversity you have, even if it’s within a certain part of Chicago, like the suburbs or certain area, some places are going to be, closer to certain populations farther from others.
So opening that up obviously makes things a lot easier too, which is pretty interesting. are there any challenges for virtual interviewing or virtual hiring that companies haven’t thought of before? Have you seen anything come up where, it’s another kind of question from a, viewer, surprising challenges that , companies might not think of, but need to account for.
well, you know, getting the technology to work, you know,
As, as we’ve had so far today.
as we experienced.
Right, right. I mean, you need to give yourself adequate time. There’s a lot of moving parts. I know, people get frustrated all the time. Like I can’t believe the internet or this isn’t working. It’s tell people, having learned technology from the bits and bytes level, Now tell people I go, it’s a miracle that, that you turn that computer on and it’s working, we’re talking right now, physically dispersed and it’s like real time. And it sounds good. And the quality is amazing, but , technology doesn’t always work as expected.
so you need to be prepared for that and you need to be prepared, to understand the implications of the technology for the candidates, for the, hiring teams for the organizations, making sure you have. The environment set up for people to actually operate, the technology, facilitate, have the right rooms, backgrounds, and things like that to facilitate the conversations and interactions that they have for the interviews.
But other than that, practicing is important. Being prepared is important, doing your homework, but these are things that are common sense, things that you should have been doing, whether you’re in an in person or a video So at the end of the day, there’s not a need for Y changes in processes and approaches, as far as what we’re doing by just enabling by leveraging technology to enable the interaction.
another question from a, from a viewer? I don’t know if you guys actually play in this space or something, but if you, can apply it on this one as well, too, sometimes there’s tension between, internal mobility, meaning promoting someone from within.
Versus hiring someone from the outside. Sometimes people internally are interviewing for positions. Do you guys get involved in that space? And do you have any, do you guys facilitate internal interviews too?
And I don’t know if you have any process around how the companies might sort out that and you know, are we going outside?
Are we going inside? Are we comparing one against the other? I dunno if you have any thoughts on that whole space or whatnot.
yeah, so that our technology can be, leveraged for internal or external candidates. So we, obviously enable organizations to do it either way so wherever they post their jobs, so if they’re using internal postings, they would leverage our technology. Often what we see is for a job posting you click on a link.
if you’re interested in, the job, there’s a description. There’s an immediate on-demand set of interview questions. Tell me why you’re interested in working with interview stream. Tell me why you believe you’re qualified for the sales role. tell me what excites you about, interviewing as a solution, common questions like that.
So there’s, ways in which you can do some screening and pre-screening. Of candidates, whether they’re internal or external. So we’re proponents for organizations leveraging us internally and externally. And, the person who submitted it, probably understand a lot of times the focus on.
the technology is all external and people aren’t using it internally. So we make sure we let people understand the importance of using our technology internally. we’ve seen people use it for references, internal references when there is a role, let me, submit a quick, on-demand summary of.
Why a I’m referring James in for this opportunity, cause he’s a great candidate. And here’s what I know about him. And boom, that goes off to the, recruiter or hiring manager and while they move on. And so people should be using the technology for both internal candidates and external candidates.
And obviously, I believe it’s important to give your internal candidates. just as much of a fair shot, as anyone for the opportunity.
More questions from viewers. is there any use of AI in a restrained technology?
the short answer is no.
the long answer is the long answer is, I’m a fan of artificial intelligence being used, To help automate, but I am absolutely against artificial intelligence having any role in the hiring decision. So we don’t use any artificial intelligence, in our product to focus on any contextual aspects of a candidate.
So I believe, recruiters and hiring teams need to focus on the content. Of candidates. And so any opportunities we have to help enrich the content of a candidate by leveraging AI, we will, today we’re not, we’re going to be, at this stage agnostic from an AI perspective, one aspect where AI gets used heavily in the interviewing process, if you will, is through assessments, doing a personality assessment, and aptitude assessment, some type of gamification assessment, whatnot, , there’s all sorts of permutations of assessments.
We’re also going to be agnostic with assessments because we believe, the type of assessment you may or may not want to do will vary based on the role and, the level of role that you’re hiring and where you may want to use it in your hiring process, also berries. So we’re going to just be completely open and, enrich what we’re doing.
Throughout the interview process with assessment, but we are going to stay away from that. And as far as using artificial intelligence to have any role in video interviewing our decision making today, we’re steering clear of all that.
So glad you said both those points. Cause I could have ran on both. I just think as a now AI there’s too much of a possibility of bias getting into the AI. And it just drives me crazy that AI machine look there’s buzzwords. Right. You know what I mean? So many things get thrown around and, I get nervous because I’ve seen way too many instances of bias getting baked into decisions because once it’s baked in there, you don’t really have the ability to take it back out or take an objective, look and realize, Hey, we actually did the wrong thing.
And then you’re talking about assessments. I really like what you said about having different assessments for different levels and different. I know a lot of companies that, they had a good experience with an assessment. Then they decided, you know what, we’re going to use this assessment for everyone in every level, across the organization.
And if they don’t hit this exact number and they completely punt on any kind of human or decision making based. Situation. And they end up making things harder and more unfair because they made a decision once to go with an assessment, but they never thought, okay, was this the right decision?
Is this right for this position? Is it right for this level art? Was there just because we got to write one time with this, does that mean, did we get lucky or does that mean, this thing is like magic and we need to use it every time. And I think that’s the, challenge is that there’s more and more of those products coming out and.
They do exactly what they’re supposed to do. It’s the execution of them and the misuse of them, biologic companies, trying to throw them and shoehorn them in every situation because they want to punt on actually having to refine processes and make better decisions.
there’s definitely roles in artificial intelligence and machine learning and intelligent automation to all enrich and improve things. But, I totally agree. These buzz words are getting overused. And, the reality is humans create the algorithms and the technology that AI and ML and I all use.
And we’re imperfect. And like you said, we have our objectives or our subjectivity and biases that exist, and those often can come out in that. Yeah, there’s ample, you know, I’ve not met one recruiter yet who told me that they’re excited about using AI to meet kind of.
Yeah, there’s plus I feel like people don’t watch enough scifi movies. Like aren’t there been a million where they just Minority report
like and everything else where it just shows you how you can’t predict these things. Anyway, I digress. another questions. So in the current environment, looking future, do you see any value for job seekers leveraging a prerecorded interview available as part of their application value proposition, which I think you guys actually do, right?
Yeah, absolutely. I think I touched on this a little bit, but from a prescreening process there’s a, great opportunity to do that. there’s also, there’s companies today that are doing , video resumes. So the, you know, the concept of video resumes or, a video summary of yourself is not the new.
And I think that’s going to continue to catch steam because it’s easy to consume, in two minutes or less, you can, kinda meet somebody, have somebody talk about themselves and give you the essence of who they are and their experience, their education, their capabilities and whatnot.
and I think that’s a, good thing. And I think there’s probably going to be more proactive opportunities for job seekers to leverage technology, to do that proactively. And we certainly are seeing more organizations leveraging us from the apply stage, using the on demand to, get to know candidates.
And again, where we would leverage AI machine learning in that would be to transcribe the audio down into tests. That then allows people to search through that text for key words and phrases to determine, is the content of what the candidate said, resonating with what we’re looking for. If so, move forward, versus, yeah.
So that’s how we’re leveraging AI.
Okay. I like it. I think that was all the questions we got from viewers is there, anything else you wanted to highlight? I guess I want to make sure that if you had any kind of final words, I also kind of ask like, what’s next for you guys, but I guess, are there any best practices or kind of key.
Takeaways or people should know whether they’re interviewing, whether they’re trying to hire people. before we kind of let you go here.
yeah, be yourself most importantly, be communicative no matter who you are, if you’re a candidate, ask about the interview process, ask about the technology, that’s going to be enabled, ask how they can help, you know, ask the recruiter how they can help you prepare and be your best in the, in the interview process.
If you’re part of the hiring team, , ask the recruiters what they could be doing to better enable you. ensure you begin with the end in mind, have the evaluation criteria be purposeful around the questions that you’re asking, make sure people are prepared when they’re in the interview for their role, what are the things you’re going to focus on?
create objectivity and how it embraces to. the surface, the bias, the natural bias and subjectivity that we all have, make people aware of those things before they engage in these processes. And I think you’ll start to create better, more effective outcomes for everybody along the way.
And so no embrace the technology it’s here to stay. And this is the way of the future. The good news is, people have been doing video Snapchatting, Instagram, social posts, We’re in a society today where people are more and more comfortable using these types of technologies. And so I’d say embrace it.
but , be different too. It’s a, it’s going to be a competitive world. there’s going to be, , in low unemployment, it was a competitive world. in high unemployment, there’s going to be a lot of candidates, for different roles. It’s more important than ever that organizations, recruiters, hiring teams are, more effective.
Than ever in their hiring to ensure that, they create the competitive advantage that their people, deliver for them.
The last question. So what’s next for you guys? What’s next for interview stream.
Yeah, so we’re excited to continue building out our platform and better integrating our platform, creating a better user experience and user interface, modernizing it a bit, , really creating the linkages across the entire interview lifecycle from the beginning of preparing and educating all of the constituents along.
To then be more purposeful around the evaluation and the guide building. Leveraging the common video technology enriching, the scheduling and delivering more automation around that, freeing up more time for the recruiters and then providing actionable insights throughout that entire life cycle.
And then finally linking all of that information and data back into onboarding performance management, ongoing employee engagement to really show the linkages. with effective hiring and how those are creating competitive advantage, driving profitability and, driving the objectives of organizations and in creating longterm long lasting relationships between the employees and the employers
well, thanks for, uh, thanks for coming on. I love what you guys are doing. Um, I don’t even think we mentioned, I love the fact that you guys were giving your product away, you know, uh, parts. I can wait for the first couple of months, which was very commendable. Is that, are you still doing that?
I know it was like the first month or two, .
Yeah. another thing I never anticipated , coming in on the job, but we pivoted immediately. we wanted to help the economy, keep moving organizations, keep moving, help people quickly adapt. , understanding of our technology is very simple and easy to adopt and use.
So immediately we opened up for free access. Saying, Hey, anybody who needs to continue facilitating their hiring process, you can leverage our technology. We had hundreds of, of organizations reach out to us and take us up on that. we’ve still got, numerous organizations still working with us on it.
We’ve extended it for, for several organizations, moving forward. And so, we’re continuing to do what we can to help the broader community, continue to move forward and continue getting, people jobs and, make sure organizations are being effective at their hiring. So we’ll probably look at winding that down, but, I’m anticipating based on the success of that, we’re going to wind up doing some free offerings moving forward.
Haven’t quite figured all, that out yet through my marketing team, not right now is, well, what did he just say?
I’m going to get a message from a Negro right after this.
. I think I just got a virtual kick from Monique. Yeah. It’s like, what did he just say?
Please don’t ask Ron questions like this again.
Great. We’re now, now what is he adding to the play? No, but I think we have a great opportunity to open things up and we’re really looking at creating a community around interviewing, and I’m really passionate about helping everybody be prepared, whether it’s high school students, doing interviewing college students, our military veterans coming out into the job market.
, skill-based hourly workers, professional, you name it. Everybody has the opportunity to be better prepared and create better outcomes, more effective outcomes from their interview experiences. And so that’s what we’re passionate about and that’s what we’re going to be focused on. And, it’s exciting stuff and anything we can do in the short term as we’re all.
No adapting and working through, the pandemic and whatnot we’re going to continue to do and be flexible and ads out. And we’ve got a longterm view of this. So we’re not shortsighted in what we’re doing.
Awesome. Well, Hey, thanks for everything you’re doing. I know all the companies you’re working with that, especially the ones who were kind of a need with all that stuff, and you were able to help them out and it was a. great for them as well. and I appreciate you coming on, the podcast here.
So, I’m gonna read this outro text. I usually butcher it. So see if I can get through it. thanks everyone for listening to higher Well’s recruiting insights podcast. If you like what you heard and want more insights from our recruiting experts, visit dot com slash recruiting dash insights. And remember to subscribe to the podcast on Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify, or YouTube.
See you soon. Thanks Ron.