Diversity and inclusion drive innovation across organizations. Everyone in the HR field is turning to technology to solve the skills and diversity gaps within their organizations. Until now there has not been a solid solution to meet these demands. Using AI to hire and nurture talent can create a high-performance organization and enable business outcomes. It can further assist socially conscious organizations to meet their strategic diversity-improvement goals.
A robust AI platform applied to HR can develop a deep understanding of your organization and its goals which it then uses to create ideal profiles for each job/team/candidate based on skills, education, capabilities, experience, and background.
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About the presenters:
– Mihir Gandhi, Head of Marketplace Operations, Eightfold
– Jason Gray, Director of Sales Engineering, Eightfold
– Russell Williams, President & Founder, HR Global Link
Mihir: Hello, and good morning from the Bay Area. Thank you for attending the third and final webinar series focused on innovating the candidate experience. My name is Mihir Gandhi. I’m the Head of Marketplace Operations here at Eightfold.ai.
As a hiring manager for nearly two decades myself, sourcing, hiring and retaining talent has been a central theme in my career. Managing at hyper-gross companies like Lyft where I was the first general manager for their Flagship region in northern California, I acutely felt the pain of hiring rapidly and hiring right. I’m thrilled at how Eightfold is addressing these challenges and so much more. Specifically, today, we’re diving deep in strategies for recruiting and talent acquisition with a focus on diversity and inclusion. We’re joined by an esteemed guest. Russell Williams has exceptionally robust content to cover, but first a little bit about Eightfold.
At Eightfold, we’ve created a talent intelligence platform for enterprises that leverages artificial intelligence to hire, engage and nurture talent. Talent-centric applications built on top of this continuous learning platform enables enterprises to manage the entire lifecycle from prospect, candidate to alumni. With over 100 customers including Tata Communications, AdRoll, Hulu, Grand Rounds, Nutanix and more, Eightfold has helped companies vastly improve their talent acquisition, talent diversity, and talent management capabilities. Why was Eightfold created?
Historically, Legacy products like ATSs were developed to replace tracking paper resumes and as such provide similar workloads. Now ubiquitous and onerous online application processes that companies require from applicants is unduly hard both on applicants and on companies simply replacing paper problems with digital ones.
Eightfold was born in the AI era specifically to address and solve challenges with employment in today’s society. More information than ever is being communicated about jobs, companies, and candidates. These reside on job boards, career pages, social profiles, professional profiles like GitHub, Dribble. More and companies have more information than ever across multiple systems like ATSs, HRISs, CRMs, et cetera.
As hiring managers have specific visions into the skills, experience and knowledge and culture they’re building, recruiters are simply overloaded with information. More data isn’t necessarily better. It just means that there’s more places to find and dispread the information to try to cobble together and get a holistic view of the candidate.
Is it humanly possible to take in all these data and identify if candidates fit let alone their potential to excel let alone their career trajectory let alone do that across thousands of candidates and hundreds of jobs? The short answer is no. Those were rhetorical. This is where Eightfold’s talent intelligence platform comes in. Eightfold was designed to improve the lives of candidates, recruiting, HR, hiring managers, employees and alumni. The platform aggregates and digests multiple sources of data marrying internal data like your ATS with externally available information to create an enriched talent repository. The Eightfold PIP platform uses these data to help surface what candidates are good at today and what they’ll be ready for in their next career steps driving better talent strategy and execution.
Once the Eightfold platform has ingested robust data from Legacy and public profiles for each person, we create a rich profile of each candidate and calibrate each open role according to the specific needs of the organization. We drive improvements for recruiters and hiring managers to an improved intake experience, provide an instant pipeline of qualified candidates for each open role, improve the overall candidate experience, improve the employee referral experience and ultimately drive retention to improve internal mobility.
After our discussion and before our Q&A, Jason, Eightfold’s Director of Sales Engineering will give us a brief demo to bring some of these words to light. A quick note, as we get into the actual presentation section, please feel free to submit questions to Russell and to me via the questions from the audience, that section in BrightTALK. I want to give a couple of examples to bring to light what Eightfold has done for a couple of our customers.
First, Hulu. Hulu was using a host of tools to assist recruiting which was Jobvite, LinkedIn Recruiter, agencies, job boards, sourcing tools, homegrown tools, et cetera. They were receiving more applications than their team could keep up with. Given their hot trajectory, the volume of applicants and the number of tools they were using, they found that they were missing out on highly qualified candidates simply slipping through the cracks. When Hulu implemented Eightfold which aggregated data across all of these tools and sources, they were able to have a single view across the entire talent network.
On average, recruiters saved four hours per day and quickly stopped using in-mail because their talent pipelines were full of highly qualified candidates. At Tata Communications, as we heard on Tuesday, they were similarly overwhelmed with massive inbound. Hiring processes were in line with what you would expect from a 10,000 plus company that was experiencing explosive growth. Hiring managers were spending time interviewing candidates that weren’t the right fit. There was constant recalibration across what a right fit looked like.
In general, the processes were inefficient. With Eightfold, Tata was able to immediately rank, sort and prioritize candidates who were the best fits for each job. Recruiters and hiring managers were able to calibrate needs in real-time grabbing more efficient hiring manager’s time during interviews, 50 percent fewer meetings and in that a four to six-hour save per person, per day. Now, almost two-thirds of all of Tata hires come from Eightfold.
As I mentioned earlier, Jason will be giving us a demo of the Eightfold platform to demonstrate how both Hulu and Tata, amongst other customers, have been using the platform. Now, let’s get into our conversation.
I’m very excited to welcome our featured presenter, Russell Williams. Russell joins us from HR Global Link where he is the President and Founder. With over two decades of experience in the talent space, Russell’s thought-leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion is monumental.
In today’s conversation, we’re looking forward to hearing how Russell has seen the evolution of the talent space, where it’s been, where it is now and where it’s going across a series of content areas. I’m also specifically excited about this because, Russell, even though you’re a highly strategic thinker, you’re also unique in your ability to get into the weeds and actually talk through real-life implications.
Let’s get started. Russell, the primary goal with recruiting, quite simply, is hiring. It’s a timeless challenge. It’s time-consuming. It’s demanding. It’s never-ending. I know you have a very specific approach in framework. Can you share your framework around hiring talent with us?
Russell: Yeah. Thank you, first of all, for inviting me and providing an opportunity for HR Global Link to engage in a conversation. I first want to take a few moments and help give a mindset and give a framework for the conversation.
My approach comes from a strategy and business approach. What we want to explore today is looking at the culture of an organization and looking at the role of diversity and building a winning team. It’s very important to realize and I think we all know this is that the nature of business today is global. The challenge of business today is bringing in talent to all of our organizations at the right time.
The challenge that we have today is making sure that if you look at the talent management process, if you look at talent acquisition, talent development, redeploying that talent once you’ve brought it into the organization and you have identified new ways in which to optimize that resource, you want to have ways to do that. Then if the talent decides to become alumni, you should have a very efficient and effective way of still utilizing that resource for the betterment of your business because of the investment in both the candidate and the company.
The first point that I want to make is that the Eightfold profit using AI technology is at the forefront of the transition and transformation that all companies are in today. What’s central to an organization being successful is hiring. What’s essential to understand here is that culture and hiring play hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. One of the core principles that we want to help people understand this morning is that what makes for a best practice software application? It needs to be transparent. It needs to be mobile. If you have an internet connection, you take the deep level of knowledge with you all the time. It’s on-the-go. It’s on the move. Then, finally, it needs to be customizable.
Each of us in our different companies, in our different mark niche, we have uniqueness. The Eightfold application, because of the technology capability, enables you to custom-build your profiles and your searches. One of the things that immediately it brings to the hiring process for professional staffing people is it helps you with if I can have that additional four hours a week or ten hours a week, how would I use that? Will that enrich my process? The answer is yes.
If I have uniqueness in the profile that I’m seeking and the talent that my organization needs, does the application help do that? Yes. One of the challenges that you face in identifying candidates is your own personal bias. We have a masking technique that enables you to build in more objectivity on the frontend.
In addition, as you use the application, we have the masking capability to mask the bias of the hiring manager. What, in effect, you get is the ability to reach out into the available global talent market based on the partnership that you build with AI and identifying the sources, where you’re going to pull potential candidates from. You pull out the bias in the process. That’s really critical because one of the challenges that we face is how do you have access to a greater and greater talent pool? Our application here at Eightfold, the application at Eightfold does that.
Mihir: What’s interesting, Russell, when I hear you talk about bias, bias is a loaded term. It typically has negative connotations. The way you describe it is simply something that everyone has. Once you recognize that it is simply a part of a daily routine, it sounds like you’re saying we need tools to help overcome that.
Russell: Yes. One of the things that we all face is to make diversity effective, you first have to adopt the mindset of inclusion. For the talent pool, that’s a great asset. If we can say our search geography is in this area, we don’t want to exclude anyone. What’s the goal? The goal is to bring the best talent to the business. In order to bring the best talent to the business, you have to have capability that can identify, match, rank and organize the data. We can’t do that as a human. We need to have a tool that enables us to gather the deep knowledge about the candidate pool. Artificial intelligence is the stepping in this transformation of if you’re going to win a war in talent, you need intelligence about your competitor. You need intelligence about the talent that’s being brought into the organization.
We cannot do that on a 1980 or a 1990 or a year-2000 methodology. The only way that we can compete effectively in today’s world is to be the best at intelligence, at the information gathering that we have. What we know today, that is one of the key boxes you need to check, if you’re going to be a winning organization, is that your intelligence has to be better than your competitors.
Mihir: That’s right. As you talk through that process, the way you laid out the prospect to candidate to employee to alumni, that’s a really long process. It’s one where the employee and the company get to know each other exceptionally well that lasts well in perpetuity. However, on the frontend when we talk about nurturing talent. That process is typically much more transactional in terms of introducing yourselves to a company, introducing him or herself to a candidate, the candidate learning more, going through a pretty rough interview process. Then, they start. All of a sudden, it’s one of the biggest decisions in their lives. Can you talk a little bit about nurturing talent and what that looked like on the frontend at the competitive vantage pool?
Russell: Some of my experience was that there’s a significant time-constraint in the front end of the process. We have different databases that we’re gathering information, gathering input and gathering profiles. Then, we have to sit and read through all of that process, all of that data.
The solution at Eightfold is that the machine, the brain of the technology does that for us. What would normally send inefficiently now is done by automation, and I get the output of that? Now, I can spend my energy and my focus in looking at the short list of candidates that our process has now produced. Based on my partnership with my hiring manager, determine who should be moved forward in the process of deciding whether or not they pass the first step in the selection.
Mihir: You know, we had lunch last week, Russell. One of the topics of conversation was how the front end of recruiting is a high effort, low value and that candidates move through the funnel. It starts becoming more targeted, less time spent and maybe more value. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Russell: Yeah. Going back to where we are in the process, there are two things that the professional staffing organization can now do. Your capability has now changed with the use of artificial intelligence. You not only have the shortlist but now if you think about this in terms of business, the reduction in time that you’ve not spent, those are dollars. The ability of the companies now or the hiring organization to spend less dollars puts more money and financial resources available for other projects across the hiring organization or in other areas of the business. In effect, you are now contributing to gross margin.
Every CEO wants every function in the business to contribute to profiting gross margin. It only makes sense from a business perspective if you understand that your survival depends on growth and profitability that you would embrace this kind of process change now. In addition, on the backside, what you get if you can be responsive to candidates, then they develop a perspective that says, “They’re really interested in me.”
If you have this short list of potential candidates, you can do something else. You can now initiate a campaign. Whereas in the past, you would not maybe have time to initiate a campaign. What we know is that from our experience with current customers, they’re getting four to ten hours a week in additional time. You have a choice of how to invest that gained time.
Mihir: Yeah. You know, the investment time as I hear you talk about that can go a number of ways. Certainly, I think the approach around nurturing talent, it’s very few people will apply the moment you reach out to them as a recruiter. The second, third, fourth outreach as they really get to know you a little bit better drives much better results. It’s a pretty ubiquitous approach here.
Russell: That’s one of the unique solutions within the Eightfold product. It enables you to customize your campaign. It enables you to change, in real-time, the unique aspects of the profile so that you get the right kind of matching that you want. All of that’s very important. It really emphasizes how important execution is in the talent management process. Each step of the process, the key to success is can I execute timely? In order to do that, your intelligence, the information that you have needs to be really, really accurate and, most importantly, timely.
Mihir: One of the things that I am particularly interested in hearing from you as you talk about execution, it’s not just execution for the sake of execution. What you want to do is hire rapidly and hire right. You know that when you have a high-performance culture and a high-performance organization. Can you talk a little bit about how you have thought about building high-performance cultures and how the frontend on the recruiting side really is the gateway to it?
Russell: Historically, I think the success of how management has been more focused on operational excellence, time to hire, cost of hire. That’s become our mantra. I think the gap in that whole thinking process and that whole tactical execution, we left that strategy. We only focused on what we needed to do.
The key is what and how because the how is embedded in your culture. It’s embedded in what we believe, what we think, what we do, all of that. In terms of the hiring and talent management process, the shift today is hiring– talent management needs to be holistic, systemic and strategic. What that means is, from an organization development standpoint to grow the business, you need talent.
The only way that you’re going to get there is if you have an organization development strategy. Talent management is the heart of organization development strategy. In fact, execution of your talent management process is the key. You need to be very proficient in each phase of that process, acquisition, development, deployment, alumni.
What we know is that the difference between a winning organization and organizations that are climbers, tumblers, and losers is that winning organizations are strategic. They have the following components. They have a strategy. They have a structure which is how we do things. They have a culture. They have the ability to execute. They have leadership. They have strategic partnerships with core customers in their marketplaces, and they’re innovative. What did I forget? Talent. You can’t do a darn thing without talent. That’s why it’s so critical for today’s professional staffing organizations and professionals to really have both an operational perspective which is important.
More importantly, you need to be strategic-minded. You need to focus on what are the needs and concerns of the business in terms of growth? The only way you do that is by garnering the best talent for your business and your markets and your customers. That brings direct value to internal stakeholders and external stakeholders. Talent is the key.
Mihir: It’s interesting as you mention that and talk through challenge and the process of doing so historically operations, execution, time to hire, cost of hire, none of that takes in quality. Quality is really driven across a series of qualitative components. As we all know, we’ve all had the experience where we’ve reached out to a company proactively and maybe never heard back or was told we’d hear back within a certain period of time and then never did. That’s never a great experience from a candidate perspective. What I think I hear you saying is that in order to get the best talent, you’ve got to be on top of your game from before that first communication let alone after the first communication.
Russell: I think from a talent management standpoint and if you invest the time to look at the capability of the Eightfold solution for your business, you’ll find that you’ll end up with better quality in your process and in your candidate selection and in your hiring. You’ll be more timely in executing every phase of the process. It will be cost-effective because there’s an emphasis on execution using time properly.
The other thing that you get, what we understand in today’s world is that information and intelligence is power. If you have that basis where your decision-making and problem-solving, you’re sort of ahead of the game. This tool enables you to have that timely information to make the right choice at the right time and bring that resource to your company and deploy that resource. It’s innovative. It’s best practice. It’s transparent. It’s seamless. It integrates. There’s no significant, deep changes you need to make to your existing architecture and configuration from a systems standpoint.
More importantly, if recruiters and professional staffing people and hiring managers are effective in bringing talent and utilizing talent in the business, that will automatically lead to better inclusion. Of course, you have done the masking for the key people in that process. You will start to bring more effective people in the business who are a better cultural fit in terms of values, norms, standards, all those kind of things that we look for in terms of what is the capability of this individual? More importantly, what is the potential of this candidate? That’s the other hidden gem in this AI solution.
Not only do you get the broad matching from a big universe, potentially, talent but you get the ability now to send some of that additional time that you’ve gotten. I know you can do this position coming in. What we know is that your attrition rate is ‘X’ and the probability of this person staying longer than that, you need to have a plan for that. That’s why talent management is part of the strategy of the business because you need to have a succession plan. Every employee should have a succession plan. Every manager should have a retention strategy for their people. The way that retention strategy works is with deep knowledge. You have that capability, but it’s a tool.
Mihir: We talk so much about recruiting. Retention is arguably much more important to an organization’s performance and especially to their culture. Can you talk about some of the retention approaches and the impact on culture once you’ve brought someone in?
Russell: To have a winning company, you need to have a winning culture. What we know is that every company is unique and different, and that’s great. That’s one of the beauties of our universe today is that most organizations no longer work in a very confined space. They look globally for talent. That’s the heart of diversity.
When you think globally, inclusion and diversity are no-brainers because you want the best people. You’re reaching into geographies where maybe your competitors haven’t looked, and there’s some great people there. You now have that capability. The key point, I think, is engagement, how you engage people in your talent management process. The Eightfold artificial intelligence platform enables you to be more proficient in that process because there are some mechanical steps.
Mihir: I think when we talk about broadly-speaking diversity initiatives and the integration of diversity initiatives, most companies’ first step is with existing employees. Can you talk about how we can bring something along the diversity inclusion parameter into the recruiting?
Russell: I think there’s a relationship between recruiting the population that you want in your – the best population in your organization to execute the business strategy. One of the things that happen when you engage Eightfold in a conversation about their solutions, it’s a very collaborative process and not only does it touch talent management and the various phases of the process from hiring to alumni. When you bring a person into the organization, that person comes in with some understanding of the principles and philosophies and values and how things work. What’s really core to having that person be successful is the performance management component of the process.
The performance management component ranges from performance appraisal to coaching to learning, building new skills. At the end of the day, people stay motivated when they’re learning and they know that there’s additional opportunity from their starting point or from the plateau that they’re currently at, and so performance management is really key. What that means is that means that you need to explore the potential.
Potential translates to more capability. Potential translates to more value for the business in terms of being able to do more, contribute more because the knowledge base is now greater and skill base is now greater. The way you get there is through intelligence, knowledge, information. That is translated in the dialog that the hiring manager or the individual manager has with that staff person. That’s really core because that will address the fundamental needs of the candidate. How do I get from where I am today to here knowing that the possibility of hitting that attrition point? That’s another way to build efficiency and be more proficient in what you’re doing.
Mihir: You think of recruiting as a strategic partner, as a strategic business partner. Can you talk a little bit about how AI is a catalyst for creating an ideal proficiency and candidate-matching? If you think about depths within an existing organization, there’s a hiring manager. I like people with these types of profiles, with these types of skills to really round out my team at my organization. How do I describe that to a recruiter that can then go help bring people in quickly and efficiently?
Russell: I think we all understand that the process starts with some definition of, “Here’s what the job is. Here’s what we want to accomplish.” We sort of build a specification, a profile. We would typically run with that. What we’ve learned over the years is that there also needs to be some understanding of what are the competencies from a skill standpoint, from a behavior standpoint, from an execution standpoint? What are the real competencies that an individual needs in order to be able to execute this role in a very high-performing, very proficient way? That needs to now be built in. Then, you want to make sure that the recruiter’s and hiring manager’s biases are masked. That’s one of the features of the application, so we have that capability.
Now when we reach out to the potential candidates, we bring that data in. Then in addition to that, we can rank those individual candidates based on the ranking criteria. You end up with a very focused candidate pool.
One of the other beauties of this solution is that it’s real-time. You don’t put in a report and wait for it. It’s real-time. It’s mobile, and it’s customizable. Once you have that data point and you have this short list and this dynamic, time is moving. Maybe something happens in the marketplace that changes that. Now, you can immediately go back and adjust that data set and bring forth the true candidate list. Then once you get that information, you can say, “How should we approach each of these candidates? Do we do a campaign? Do we reach out to them?” Part of what’s really transformational and really current, state-of-the-art here is that we can now take jobs to people. We don’t have to let people come to the job. We have that capability. You have that additional time now to do that.
Mihir: As you talk about the evolution and the static nature of how we currently do things versus the reality which is much more fluid and evolutionary, candidate-matching and needs of an organization will evolve if not minute-to-minute, certainly month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter. As we know, sometimes recruiting cycles can take significantly longer than that. I’d love to hear a little bit more about how you think we can improve the way that hiring managers and recruiters engage and collaborate to do that.
Russell: One of the words – I think this is a very exciting time for hiring professionals and anyone involved in the talent management process. For hiring professionals, for internal hiring professionals, I think it’s a great time to be in that role because you’re in a transformation from operational perspective to strategic.
We’re in a period of time in the information age where information is power.
Power is influence, more capabilities to influence the business. That means the staffing professionals are in the part of the business that has to do with organization development. The heart of organization development is answering timely and effectively the question of, “Who is the best person for this particular opportunity in our business?” In order to make that decision timely and more accurately than we have done in the past, automation is the key.
What we know today, artificial intelligence is the best available tool that will influence providing our ability to have more time to make the right choice, to make the right decision. That’s very disruptive because as humans, we like to be comfortable. The next generation of our business world globally is that things need to be faster.
Winners need to do things faster, more accurately, more timely that delivers value to your own business as well as any customer. The end game is how do we compete effectively in this marketplace? We do that through talent. We do that through continuous improvements in each phase of the talent management process. The only way you can do that is by being a strategic thinker and openly accepting the premise that once I have the information, I need to make a decision. I need to be action, strategy, execution-oriented.
Mihir: I’m going to read a little bit into what you just said. The current modalities are truncated and frankly siloed between recruiting, organizational development and then alumni relations. I think what you’re describing is something that is a much more continuous process from that first outreach through the alumni phase.
Russell: Yes. The AI technology, the application that’s been developed here, I think and I was struggling with this a while back in terms of where are we in this transformation to this new set of operating principles and way of doing business? That’s why I think it’s so exciting to be at this point and have access to this kind of opportunity and building a partnership with Eightfold. It’s moving the technology, and it’s moving our capability as individuals and as companies and as stakeholders. It’s the momentum that’s driving this. We aren’t going to go back at this rate.
Mihir: I don’t think anyone’s going to be collecting paper resumes any time soon. That sounds so archaic in this day and age. Even an electronic resume is, by a definition, a truncated reflection of someone’s experience, skills and capabilities let alone their performance review. Each one of these becomes deeper and deeper in terms of their richness of data and information. The richness and depth of data is frankly impossible to comprehend without the tools to do that.
Russell: Just a quick comment to hitchhike on that, you mentioned in their performance appraisals and all the different tools an organization uses today. You don’t necessarily do away with any of that with adopting the application here. The application seamlessly integrates with your current processes.
Obviously, there is conversation around does your process need now to change some? If so, how does that need to change and getting into the implementation of that? That component – we just don’t bring you an application off the shelf. We bring you a product and service that fuels your business growth that drives profitability that drives business excellence and drives personal excellence so that from a personal excellence standpoint, the individual has a way of being more inspired and sustaining that inspiration so that they are constantly at a level of job satisfaction that’s future-oriented. Most people will want to know what’s next.
Once you put me in this seat, I want to know what’s next. In order to help that individual work through a process of being entrepreneurial and deciding what’s next for them is the manager, the coach needs to have deep knowledge. The tool solution here provides that deep knowledge in the performance management part of the process.
Mihir: Russell, there is so much more, I think, that we need to get into. We are running on time. I want to make sure we save a little bit of time for Jason to be able to help bring this life a little bit. As we dive into this and we’ve already received a couple of Q&As, there are questions from the audience, a quick plug here for more attendees.
If you have questions for Russell, please feel free to drop them in. You and I will be digging into this not only in the Q&A but well beyond that as well. Right now, I’d love to turn it over to Jason. Jason is the Director of Sales Engineering at Eightfold. He’s going to give us a demo of the Eightfold platform to give us some tangible examples on how Eightfold partners have been able to use the platform to drive forward their business. With that, Jason.
Jason: Thank you, Russell. Thank you, Mihir. What we’ll do now is if you’ve been – this is the third part of a three-part series in the webinar. I’m going to switch it up a little bit and really focus on deconstructing bias and promoting diversity. Through this demo, we’re going to look at how we can smooth bias as it relates to the recruiter’s conscious and subconscious, a bias that they generally have. Also I’m looking at hiring based on meritocracy so matching candidate records for those hiring managers, also matching skill diversity.
It’s important to have a diverse team with varied skills yet a lot of similarities as it relates to those skills. Then, how can we nurture previous applicants and target, perhaps, gender and/or skills to promote further diversity as we hire on? Without further ado, we’re going to turn right into the application as if I’m a recruiter and I’m sourcing and screening and working with my hiring manager.
To that effect, what we see here on the left-hand side here, software engineer. I jumped in there but open position, and I’ll quickly go back. What I’m seeing is new applicants and also previous applicants and ones I’ve saved to a pipeline here. I even see three likely to respond. There’s AI being surfaced there where this is based on people who have been in the position for probably longer than the average, or they’ve moved many positions over time up the ladder. These are people that are likely going to respond to a reachout. Let’s dive into the open position.
When I go into the screening process previously, before Eightfold, I was going through various job boards and looking for candidates and looking for specific colleges because now I like to recruit two or three colleges for our open software engineer positions, thus my subconscious bias or conscious bias by showing that. With the automated, deep AI matching of Eightfold, there’s already a list of new applicants, 167 that you see here that are all based on the fact that they match, 91 percent match rate. Nine out of ten of these matches. If I were to do this before without Eightfold, I might get three out of ten because I’d be ignoring six of them that would have matched previously. Because of the matching and looking at like universities that have strengths in places that I used to recruit from, I’m getting a much more robust list of candidates. I can sort on them too.
If I was looking specifically around diversity for women because my current team is heavily skewed to men, if we’d like to smooth that out, I could make that happen. Also now as I take that off, I could drill into the top match here and I’m going to see the relevance. I’m not going to have to worry about the university. I just know this is a great match thanks to the AI that transpired. I can see that he has been quite the climber. He’s the top 30 percent of senior software engineers. What that means is that it only took him four and a half years to get to a level where his peers took about six and a half years so over-achiever, always executing.
I can also see publicly available data like GitHub. Does he have followers? Does she or he answer questions on Stack Overflow? Do they pertain to this position, other personal info, recruiting activity and what not? Now, I’m going through this list and setting up phone screens, perhaps. This has helped me tremendously to get the right candidate into the hands of my hiring manager. Also, we could look at this as a mass profile.
When I take multiple candidates and I send them forward to my hiring manager and they click on the email and they come into the system like I am now, they see Ankur as AG. They’re not getting bias from that ethnicity, perhaps. I don’t see his school. I’m strictly looking at the meritocracy, that he was an up and comer. He had tremendous growth in his last two positions. I can see blue boxes that match those skills. We pulled them right from his text for semantic analysis.
Those algorithms match into the actual job calibration that we see. This is tremendously helpful. The hiring manager, I can just add to pipeline. This person looks great. That whole concept is promoting diversity through just the fact that what did they experience? What did they promote and execute on rather than me stuck in as a hiring manager or a recruiter with those things that I think always worked for me in the past? Now, the next piece here I like to think about is how does this all work?
If we come back here and look at this software engineer role and we go look at the calibration and we think about matching, diversity is not just ethnicity and gender. It’s also skills. We need a diverse set of skills.
We go into the calibration of this particular opening. You can see the job description. Sure. That’s showing on the website. On the left-hand side are these different, ideal candidates we’d like to target and find people that are somewhat similar, then also keywords or skills.
For example, how I can bring this to light for the audience here is natural language understanding. That is a skill that we want from this developer. If we put natural language understanding in their CV, we pick them up. What we might be missing on is related skills of natural language understanding.
If you look on the right-hand side where my mouse is circling, there’s things like computational linguistics, text classification, knowledge representation, semantic technologies. These are all like skills, related skills to natural language understanding. If I have CVs, resumes that talk more to semantic technologies and knowledge representation, I would have missed them before as a human reviewing it. With this deep learning, training set and matching, Eightfold’s also pulling these other diverse candidates in terms of skills. We could have a team made up of a variety of disciplines that are also very related to one another. This is another aspect of promoting diversity using AI.
Finally, we’ll go to campaigns. Campaigns is an area where there’s market automation essentially embedded right in the Eightfold application where I can create a campaign targeting individuals by maybe specific diversity or alumni. Maybe I just want to share a blog or webpage because I’ve got future openings for machine learning, so I’d love to be able to match the blog to those people in my applicant tracking system, my passive applicants. I want to reinvest in the things that I’ve already spent money on such as a recruiter of 140,000 people in the past.
Let’s go and grab that blog post around machine learning that we identified that they’d love. I’ll enter it in here. All of a sudden, the target audience estimate goes to 10,600. Those are the people that are going to be into this article. Furthermore, I want to promote diversity because I have a team that’s skewed heavily men towards women. I’d like to add – really target women in this case. Sure enough, I’m now down to 1,800 of the 140,000 that really match well from a diversity perspective. Think about it. We’re parsing this blog post. We’re looking for related and identical skills to machine learning, so we’re promoting diverse team matching as it regards to skills.
Then, I’m looking for women because I want to balance this team that we’re building of the future or right now. I go ahead, review the emails, send this out and lo and behold, I start seeing the opens. The engagement click-throughs come in. I’ll show you this specific one that I already ran where I sent to 30,000. Where our customers are seeing anywhere from 50 to 70 percent open rates, I can see the top locations that these people are responding from, the diversity element. Are they coming from competitors, schools, referrals, et cetera? This herein lies my ability, again, to have a diverse reach out based on passive applicants. If we come back here to what I was talking about at the beginning is this deconstructing bias and promoting diversity through smoothing the bias during the sourcing process. Recruiters are getting all the best candidates and not just those that they have leaned on in the past, hiring based on meritocracy so that hiring managers are really looking at the experience and attainment of these individuals and then matching the skill diversity, matched skills that foster team diversity so you have a robust team, finally nurturing previous applicants by targeting gender and skills.
I’ll turn it back over to Mihir. Thank you very much for letting me show some of these things that, Russell, you have been talking about.
Mihir: Jason, I know – thank you for your time. I know you had a 3:30 AM call today, and you’re running off to another one. I appreciate you taking the time to show us how the platform works. We’ll dive into some that, again, in the future. Russell, we’ve got a couple of pretty hard-hitting questions that are coming in the Q&A. I want to dive back into those. I think you’re particularly well-positioned to take these. The first is around the definition of diversity. The question is gender and race are the primary definitions to diversity today. What will it take to move beyond?
Russell: That’s an excellent question. That’s a very complex question. I think it’s a conversation that’s still in play today. I don’t think we have reached a concluding answer to the solution to that. What I would say is the following. Gender and race is very critical because I think if we looked at our own individual ethnicity, that’s part of our fundamental, human quality and characteristic. That’s critical and important to each of us as individuals.
I think when we move beyond ourselves as an individual and we start to envision and see ourselves participating and functioning in the broader society and in the broader world that we live, then I think that begins to influence how we view things, what we believe, how we come to terms with what do we need to do as individuals to be successful in this larger participatory environment? Race and gender does matter because, obviously, we have a history.
Our history has been significantly influenced by those two variables. If you take a step back and say, “What really makes the difference in my world today,” I always say start with yourself. I think one of the things that makes a difference whether you’re poverty-stricken or you are wealthy is merit. What are you willing to do? Everyone has to make a choice. I think the significance of diversity from a race and gender standpoint in terms of influence on change and transforming our individual environments in our larger society where we participate is that you need help from others.
We talked about diversity in terms of being inclusion. The opportunity to have an organization that’s representative of our broader culture is really important. To me, I think that’s one of the bi-products of the Eightfold solution is that it doesn’t say that race and gender aren’t important. It sort of gives you a more objective way to begin to influence the change and the transformation that’s here. Someday, perhaps race and gender will be in its proper place. Today, it isn’t. What we do know is that there’s a significant voice in our individual communities where we live and around the globe in terms of this particular aspect of the human condition. It will get better because I think there are people who are willing to take on the accountability to use it in a very positive way as opposed to a negative way. That leads me to something very specific here.
What is the value proposition of diversity and culture? If we look at diversity as a way of bringing more capability into your organization or into your community, it’s increasing the talent. It’s increasing the participants, in that community, their capability. In our organization, once we bring that talent in, we need to develop that talent regardless of their race or ethnicity or whatever the components are. The commitment to being a winning organization is in the performance management process and this broader talent management process, succession planning and all of those things focused on action strategy.
Then, finally, I would say in terms of this question, culture is the collective capability which drives possibility and growth, execution of organization development strategy and job satisfaction for talent. Race and gender does matter, but it’s in a collective sense in terms of inclusion.
Mihir: I love that. I feel like maybe we should have a webinar specifically focused on that, so we can dive deeper. Unfortunately, we’re running a little bit short on time here. Russell, I want to thank you so much for your time, your insight and bringing your experiences to bear for us and for our audience. We’re in the early days of AI in the HR tech space and the talent tech space. I think it’s pretty exciting. We’ll see what the few years will bring.
We, at Eightfold, are looking forward to partnering with you, of course, with our current customers and with the future partners to bring some of these capabilities to bear across the industry. Audience, I want to thank you so much for your participation and your attention. As you know, this is the final of a three-part series. Please, check out our other two webinars with Ashish Mediratta, the Head of Global Talent from Tata Communication, then Amit Prakash, of course, the Founder of ThoughtSpot.
Thank you for spending your time with us, again, today. I look forward to connecting with you very soon.