How to Hire a Product Manager

product manager

A great product manager is a truly rare thing. They are all parts artist, craftsman, and scientist. They have a highly-trained eye for market fit.

At a startup, they invent the conventions. They have to do every part of product execution. Ideation, launch, marketing, sales – all of it. And they usually have the fewest resources of anybody.

As a result, these professionals tend to be very resourceful with very little. They work closely with engineers and others to make the most of what they have.

The Visionary Product Manager

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

A great product manager is so much more than a spec writer. Design sense, communication style, user-obsession, and openness are all key. The product manager has a fair amount of management to do, so they know how to treat the team to get the best results, but it always comes back to the product consumer.

Project managers know that the business won’t exist without users so they are highly focused on customer experience with the product. They should have artillery for finding a user’s need. They have the rare mix of empathy and pragmatism that allows them to find what users need – which often isn’t what they’re asking for. They have a sense of what will serve their customers best before the customers know themselves. Just like how Henry Ford knew that listening to what transportation customers literally asked for would have led only to “faster horses” and not the next level.

One major logical fallacy of recruiters hiring a product manager is looking for a “spec writer”. This may be a skill in the product manager’s toolkit, but focusing on this is a recipe for mediocre candidates.

It all starts with vision. Product managers know who their users are, what their story is, and how important it is to share that story with the whole company. When everyone at the organization has a very good understanding of the vision, everyone is aligned. Marketing knows precisely what to say. Customer support knows exactly what their customers are going through. The language is widespread because of strong leadership from the product manager.

Product managers know how to discern which features should move forward on a product with a limited production schedule. Then they work with support to show how to use the features the right way. When they discover something delightful, they make it easy for users to discover it for themselves in a natural way that surprises.

Understanding the Customer

In product management, customer needs are tantamount to every action taken. Creating an experience that meets or exceeds those needs is all part of a product manager’s wheelhouse.

That means that the product manager knows what the product is capable of. Their deep product knowledge allows them to create unique experiences for customers that ultimately creates delight in their customers.

Product managers these days are often working with software, so their knowledge of the technologies behind it all is vital. Software product managers are exponentially more qualified when they have a background building software as an engineer in their history. This allows them to set reasonable expectations with their staff and to have a high-level sense of production costs.

While technical knowledge is very important, the most important thing for a product manager to be asking is “who is this for and why should they care?”. A good product manager can arrive at answers to these questions and leverage their success.

Process is key with product managers. Leadership and technical skills are foundational, but having the right methodology to pull it all off is their greatest feat. They could never do this without a process.

The product manager is nimble regardless of their team’s limitations. Every product team is unique, but a powerful product manager knows how to get the most out of any ensemble.

Ideally, the right product manager hire will be an expert in your domain. It’s not completely necessary, though. If they are strong in other areas they should be able to learn your vertical and get up to speed quickly. Some product managers are effective because of their process alone.

Part-of-the-Whole

Ultimately, Product managers are part-of-the-whole. They can’t exist at a company that doesn’t have the right talent beneath them. That means the right mix of engineers, support, marketing, and sales should be in place before bringing in a product manager.

These people are leaders. They are not usually the craftsmen themselves. They tie everything together. If the craftsmen aren’t present, then there is no need of r a product manager. As long as the other pieces are in play though, a product manager can greatly amplify the output of a team and rocket your organization to greater heights.

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HiringSolved Identifies Top Skills and Backgrounds That Make 2017’s Most Wanted Tech Employee

AI recruitment platform provides a snapshot of this year’s ideal Silicon Valley job candidate, serving as a hiring resource for both job seekers and recruiters

top skills tech employee

CHANDLER, Ariz. – April 24, 2017 – HiringSolved, a technology company that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve problems for talent acquisition practitioners, applied this technology to identify the most in-demand skills required for the 2017 technology job market. As the industry becomes increasingly competitive due to a larger supply of qualified talent than available roles, recruiters are on the hunt for the idyllic candidate whose resume demonstrates they have the skills and background to help maintain the company’s competitive advantage.

The aim of the study was to identify which skills have the highest market value in the technology jobs market by analyzing the candidates who were hired or promoted to new roles in 2016 and early 2017. This provides a transparent look into what characteristics these hires possess – which is more telling for prospective job seekers than a standard employer job description. It offers a first-hand view into which specific skills are most in demand, what high-tech recruiters are looking for in applicants, and what schools these candidates typically hail from.

Using RAI, HiringSolved’s proprietary artificial intelligence software, the company aggregated data from over 10,000 public social profiles to paint this picture. Analyzing candidate backgrounds with varying levels of experience, from new-grads to experienced hires, HiringSolved has created a valuable guide for both new graduates and more experienced jobseekers in 2017, as well as a resource for enterprise recruiters who are looking for the best candidates for their organization.

[metaslider id=1814]

The research suggests that if a recruiter could build the ideal technology job candidate for the 2017 hiring season, they would possess one or more of these top ten skills:

  1. Python – A core language for data science which continues to be a mainstay for backend web application development
  2. Java – Consistently one of the most used languages in e-commerce and business applications as well as the foundation of Android applications
  3. Cloud Services – This meta skill allows for building and maintaining cloud-based applications that can be deployed quickly and scaled elastically
  4. Linux – The preferred operating system for engineers and programmers, Linux is the backend of most of the top 100 websites
  5. JavaScript – The language of interactivity on the web, with more lines of Javascript written each day than many of the top languages
  6. SQL – The standard for storing and retrieving data in an application, the Standard Query Language is the main pillar of the relational database systems that most apps are built on
  7. Matlab – Devoted to applied mathematics and used heavily in science and engineering
  8. HTML – All webpages and many apps use HTML, making it a required skill for doing almost anything that touches the web or displays web formatted information
  9. Perl – A staple and versatile scripting and data extraction language, it’s traditional popularity and presence in legacy web code is a reason why it’s still a requirement for many jobs
  10. Go – A relatively new language created by Google with a reputation for low latency

HiringSolved also compiled the leading alma maters based on volume (of all levels of hires) made by the top 25 Silicon Valley companies in the past year. The top ten include:

1. University of California, Berkeley 6. Georgia Institute of Technology
2. Stanford University 7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
3. Carnegie Mellon University 8. San Jose State University
4. University of Southern California 9. University of California, San Diego
5. The University of Texas at Austin 10. Arizona State University

 

With graduation around the corner, aspiring applicants are brushing up their resumes and may not know which skills and internships to highlight that will make them stand out. HiringSolved examined which skills are the best indicators of successful entry-level job placement in 2017 tech:

1. Python 6. Verilog
2. C++ 7. JavaScript
3. Java 8. Linux
4. Algorithms 9. HTML
5. Matlab 10. Gem5

 

HiringSolved predicted the most likely job titles for new graduate applicants entering the tech space:

1. Software Engineering Intern 6. Member of Technical Staff
2. Software Engineer 7. Business Analyst
3. Business Development Consultant 8. Brand Ambassador
4. Research Intern 9. Marketing Intern
5. Product Specialist 10. Financial Analyst

 

“Our research suggests that in addition to specific skills and educational backgrounds, Silicon Valley is looking for a strong fundamental understanding of the basics of technology in their new hires” said HiringSolved co-founder and CEO Shon Burton. “Often what separates say, a good engineer from a great one, is a knack for understanding the baseline ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ of how things work – the physics of the technology. Having a deeper, more well-rounded comprehension makes a great engineer because they’re thinking creatively and when the technique fails, they have the ability to fix the issue. This is the key to a desirable Silicon Valley job candidate.”

About HiringSolved

HiringSolved makes it faster and easier to find the right person for any job. Our people aggregator gathers data from across the web and filters the most relevant information into a database of candidate profiles. With global coverage, all skill sets, the most advanced search capabilities on the market, and jaw-dropping speed, users are able to source the perfect candidate in seconds.

 

Media Contact:

Jeremy Roberts

(972) 591-1541

Jeremy@hiringsolved.com

 

Jenna Saper

(646) 571-0120

Jenna.saper@diffusionpr.com

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How to Hire a Network Engineer

network engineer

Network engineers are vital to any organization that handles a lot of sensitive data in-house. Network engineers are planners and they are often referred to as “network architects”. According to a recent study we will release later this month, Network Engineer is the #17 most likely job placement for 2017 tech hires.

Network engineers handle everything about local- and wide-area networks (LAN and WAN). These professionals typically handle the entirety of a private computer network. Scaffolding and execution. They should be able to handle storage of various file types like documents, customer data, and images as well as larger file types like audio and video.

An ideal candidate understands wireless networks very well. Not everybody needs a network engineer, but in IT and Telecommunications they are vital.

Anatomy of a Network Engineer

network engineer

The makeup of a quality network engineer is a combination of education, skill and experience.

Network Engineer Education

College internship programs allow students to gain practical experience in the industry. Tapping into these can help you generate relationships with budding network administrators that are the primary talent pool for network engineers.

Graduate programs are likely to have candidates with the right training for a network engineering gig. Common degrees for network engineers include a Master of Science in Computer Networking or an MBA in Information Systems, but the typical candidate has an undergraduate degree in computer science with some experience as a network admin.

Network Engineer Experience

The best network engineers have done their time as a network administrator. Oftentimes, candidates spend years as an administrator before they are ever considered for an engineering position.

Aside from the tolerance to sit in front of a screen for a long period of time, network engineers should be able to scaffold the structure of a network before executing the construction of it. That means they have planning skills. They can execute the plan, but they know beforehand how they will be capable of supporting the infrastructure. Networks aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it job and require maintenance that they know how to deliver.

A great network engineer should have an overall understanding of these vital components of a network:

  • TCP/IP
  • OSI Layer
  • Routing Protocols (BGP or OSPF)
  • Subnetting
  • Linux Commands
  • Cisco iOS Commands and Configuration
  • Layer 2 Protocols (STP, VTP, VLANs)
  • Router commands and configurations

Some organizations require certifications since they can be decent indicators of talent. Industry vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, and Red Hat typically dole out certifications that are respected by the industry. The certifications require applicants to study and take an exam so they serve as evidence that the candidate didn’t decide yesterday to become a network engineer. That said, they are not required and many very talented network engineers don’t hold such certifications.

Masters of the In-House

If your organization depends a lot on in-house data, a network engineer is pivotal. They architect your LAN or WAN and help you determine how reliable access to all of your company data will be. Ultimately, a great network engineer will help your organization’s data to be air-tight and free from vulnerabilities or data getting into the wrong hands.

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HiringSolved Adds 82 Million Profiles in Last 30 Days

additional profiles

HiringSolved Growing More Rapidly Than Ever

It’s faster than ever too.

The data center team has been doing extra hours with the development team to make the user experience on HiringSolved better than ever. Their most recent 30-day project added 82 million profiles to the site while increasing the search speed by 2x. TalentFeed’s overflowing data became more bounteous and blazing speeds were set further ablaze.

The additional profiles were constructed using professional data on the web, user-submitted content, and predictive algorithms.

Along with the addition in profiles, engineers performed a refresh on the hundreds of millions of existing profiles. Now everyone’s data is completely up to date.

To double search speeds, the data center team worked diligently and replaced all spinning drives with solid-state flash drives.

The search engine just had it’s most major upgrade ever, and the team is just getting started.

 

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How to Hire a Great Intern

internAh the intern. They provide equal potential for both success and major disappointment. Hire an intern to get ahead in the office, impart sage wisdom, or utterly waste your time.

Hiring interns is a fantastic way to get your hands on young talent. In engineering particularly, the competition is so manic that tech giants will go for college freshmen to capture talent as soon as possible.

Depending on their field, hiring an intern can be a very cheap way to check some company duties of your list. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep in mind that their hourly pay is accompanied by a cost in time.

Training and teaching an intern can be a considerable burden, especially for smaller teams. And especially if your intern needs a lot of training.

Internships have the benefit of being a trial-period for employees without breaking the bank. 90% of them desire to work at the company they intern for after their trial ends.

Good and Bad Fit

There are some practical considerations when deciding if a potential intern is a good fit. You must start with a basic idea of what duties they will take on. Usually it’s good to start with assigning a non-priority task that nags you enough to divert your attention from the primary goal of the organization.

For instance, perhaps you need someone to file trademarks because it’s important for your next round of funding, but you won’t immediately sink if it’s not done right.

Or, you could have an engineering concept that you want to try without overburdening your existing development team. Try assigning it to an intern.

It’s usually best if both parties benefit from the internship. Interns should get training and knowledge to make them more valuable on the market, and you should get a head start on some lagging projects.

Your company must actually have the bandwidth to structure a plan for the intern to produce meaningful work, or you won’t get any.

Alternatively, you can screen for an intern capable of structuring themselves, but this person is sadly rare.

Try to ensure there’s enough work for the intern to do in the hours you employ them. If you’re lucky and they can create their own, you don’t have to worry too much. If that’s what you’re looking for, expect to say goodbye to a lot of interns before finding the self-starter.

An anecdote

Once there was this girl working for a company a few seats away from me at a co-working joint. She was diligent enough when her employers told her exactly what to write about, but she was hopeless on her own. If her boss didn’t tell her anything specific to write, she would sit at her desk the entire day chatting.

Once I overheard her arguing with her boss with the defense, “you haven’t told me what to work on next!” as if that made sitting and doing nothing ok.

She didn’t last long.

Some people can’t ideate on their own. They expect dictation on everything they do.

For a lot of engineering teams, the word “how” is absolutely forbidden.

A strong intern can self-supervise and produce.

What to Communicate

Whether you have the time or not to answer a myriad of intern questions, make it known early. If you don’t have the time resources to train completely, coach, mentor or even talk with the intern, let them know on the outset.

I worked an internship that had a rule where any question that can be Googled is off limits to ask. I ended up being pretty quiet since every question can technically be Googled if you Google hard enough. The team had extremely limited resources at the time, but the intensity of this rule wore off after working there for a year or so.

The Recruitment Process

Write a job description that resembles the typical responsibilities and expectations you’d expect on a regular job post. For an intern, you can afford to be nebulous about requirements, and encourage multiple disciplines. In a startup environment, it’s good to have someone that can pick up slack in many departments, so varied skills are a good thing.

Keep benefits like prestigious experience, graduated pay, or personal branding evident in your offering.

Where to Look

  1. Check in all of of the resources your department already has access to for recruiting. You never know which database will have hidden talent that will fit your niche needs. Don’t forget that most interns won’t have a huge digital footprint with professional information so you may need to go to the sites they gather in to for more personal interactions.
  2. Social sites, like Facebook, with groups of students interested in a particular career field, can be a great source. Use this search tool by Intelligence Software to search Facebook. Once you identify the talent, use a tool like PROPHET to get contact information.
  3. College Career Services are a good place. Many classes offer credit to students for taking on an internship. Some schools require it for the student to graduate. There is already a robust infrastructure for siphoning students into internships like yours. Reach out to any school’s career services for help here.
  4. Word of mouth is excellent too. One of our most recent interns was found through our network built through conferences. He turned out to be one of the most talented individuals we have come across.

Paid v. Unpaid

The going rate for bachelor-degree-holding interns is $16.21. Usually you can expect these types to deliver work with substance and see a direct impact on your company.

If you can’t afford to pay someone, know that the duties you assign to an unpaid person cannot be highly substantive by US law. Unpaid interns are prohibited from doing most of the bread-and-butter work that’s most valuable to you. Think coffee runner.

Conclusion

Internships can be a wonderful thing for both parties. They can also be an awkward disappointment.

Or, they can be an incredible success story like that of Nasdaq’s Adena Friedman who rose from intern all the way to CEO. My advice is to roll the dice.

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How to Hire a Great Physician Assistant

physician assistant

A Physician assistant is a vital element of the urgent care ecosystem. They help doctors and medical professionals power through the doldrum and monotony of office paperwork so they can get back to doing what they do best – helping people.

They are in charge of the basics of care. They measure patient vitals, assemble medical histories, perform injections and more. Some of their duties rely on skills that are traditionally ascribed to doctors. Many Physician Assistants aspire to be doctors in fact. Others are more interested in an administrative career. Generally, they are referred to as PAs and play a huge role in the hospital.

PAs can handle a huge amount of the workload normally ascribed to Physicians. Overwhelmed physicians can do more. Surgeons can perform more surgery and anesthesiologists can induce more anesthesia when a physician assistant is there to handle all the hospital medicine needs.

There are 15,000 of them training in the United States at this moment. The question is, how do you pick the good from the great?

Top-Indicator of a Great PA: Team-Oriented

PAs are incredibly important to the team at any hospital. As such, every action they take needs to be taken with the team in mind. A Physician Assistant could be extremely efficient with his or her own metrics, but to be effective in a team means having great communication and aligned priorities with your team members.

Physician Assistants’ knowledge is variable. Their expertise is dependent on the scope of work they encountered with the doctors they’ve worked with.

Where to Find Great Physician Assistants

Get Involved With PA Programs

PA Programs are the best way to screen for high-quality Physician Assistants. Students from these programs cost hardly anything except your time. While the opportunity cost of training student Physican Assistants can be high, they will usually be placed in the hospital where they were trained. This gives you a cheap way to try out a Physician Assistant before pulling the trigger on a new salaried employee that may not mesh with the team.

Take Advantage of Rumors

If you’re hiring for a Physician Assistant, let the news slip in your medical community. The rumor will spread and you can make use of some word-of-mouth.

Contact AAPA or Respective PA Organization in Your State

Every state has an entity like the AAPA that represents Physician Assistants. They’ll know where to start advertising to get in the ear of your target candidates. As an added bonus they’re a great resource on how to navigate the credentials work that’s nuanced for every state.

PA Training Programs

It’s unusual for a Physician Assistant training program to not have job placement as a huge focus. They pretty much all have them. Get in touch with training programs in you desired geography and offer yourself as a resource in their career program.

Conclusion

Healthcare is constantly changing and Physician Assistants help keep doctors from being overwhelmed. They learn about the constantly-evolving healthcare environment so the physician doesn’t have to. That way they can get back to helping people with their health without worrying about tending to the many administrative duties required in healthcare.

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HiringSolved Selected as iTalent Competition Finalist

HRO today

HiringSolved has been chosen as one of six finalists to participate in this year’s HRO Today Forum iTalent Competition, on May 4th at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.

During the competition, candidates have exactly 7 minutes to pitch their product innovation before a live audience of global RPO, BPO, MSP, and HR leaders from the world’s biggest employers.

The judging panel consists of HR Technology experts, industry analysts, recruiting leaders, and technology investors from leading VC firms.

italent

Our presentation will focus on new game-changing features coming for PROPHET, The upcoming 5th release of our Talent Search Engine, TalentFeed, and unlocking the hidden power of any ATS with OneSearch.

“We’re thrilled to be in the competition. We successfully compete every day with billion dollar giants. There are a lot of formidable challengers this year but In terms of innovation, I believe we are the clear leader.” says Shon Burton, CEO HiringSolved.
We are very excited about being selected and look forward to bringing the heat in Chicago this Wednesday.

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5 Recruiting Stories for Sourcers to Have Lunch With

lunch pail
We have a fresh cut for this today’s luncheon reads. We put together something for an easy brown bag digest. We found the most important thoughts of the last week and put them in an easy format for you to sink your teeth into. Dunk your eyes into these hot reads before they get too cold to enjoy.

These 5 stories are our top picks for you to stay informed and sated for the rest of the week. This week is brought to you by precision, order, the human touch, and novel thinking.

#1 Editorial Calendar Tips, Tools, and Templates

This article by Jodi Harris covers the struggles of working in digital marketing and calendar tips to plan effectively. Since more recruiters are adopting a content-based approach to their recruitment schemes, we thought this article would help them find out how to make time for this.

It begins with a discussion about content ideation for some basics, but is primarily focused on ordering your days and setting appropriate publishing expectations.

The main section is great because it covers all the bases and provides a framework that anyone can implement. It helps to give content creators and managers a chance to think through each step of a content marketing campaign with a checklist including channels, format, assets, calls to action and more.

Best of all – it provides a calendar template you can totally rip off. After reading this piece, we’re already adopting some of the organizational parts that it recommends.

At the end It ties everything together with a pretty bow by providing some ideas on keeping your calendar happy and filled.

#2 Typpos Happenn

This is a short-and-sweet piece by Aaron Lintz for the sourcecon website that goes over typos and searching.

It has awesome tips on how to integrate typos into your search strings and even shows you a free typo generator tool to do it. Succinct and effective – this one won’t waste your time.

#3 Warning: This is Not Going to Work!

This piece reiterates the theme in recruiting lately which is to shift focus from finding the right people to engaging the right people. It’s kind of reminiscent of the conversation about candidate engagement from our recent hangout.

The common wisdom is that boring doesn’t work.

This piece is focused and compartmentalizes the key features of quality engagement into bite-sized chunks that are easily understood.

It includes elements like employee value proposition (EVP), personalization, storytelling, and face time.

It’s a good piece for recruiters who feel pride from hearing a candidate say the reason he joined the company was in large part due to YOU.

#4 7 Ways We Created the Current Talent Shortage

We love mavericks. Kevin Wheeler certainly meets the criteria in this piece about the assumptions that are widely part of hiring rhetoric today.

Wheeler argues that talent shortages don’t come from the commonly-held assumption that not enough people are in STEM.

In the article, he attacks the unnecessarily-high standards of common job requirements. He cites metrics where 39% of network support workers hold degrees while 60% of job postings require them.

He says that being overly-focused on academia for skills, GPAs as filters, and STEM specifics are holding us all back.

We’re too picky and lazy. Picky about the school someone must come from or the age a programmer must be, and lazy about teaching people on-the-job.

Biased decisions are driven by deluded status evaluations and everyone’s technophobic. Wheeler explains it all in this must-read piece.

#5 Wish You Were Here: Candidate Sourcing in a Fishbowl

This was not picked for Derek Zeller’s use of Pink Floyd imagery or even the quote from comedian Steven Wright. I must admit that Zeller has great taste however.

This piece starts with Zeller’s musings about new recruiters and the wisdom that comes with time.

If you don’t understand the restaurant tirade at first – stick through it. You’ll catch on. Keep your eyes on the fishbowl.

This is a story of how Zeller became the restaurant fishbowl kingpin on the surface, but there’s a larger lesson underneath.

Conclusion

This week continues to focus on engagement but plays with some discovery tips as well. It comes with the reminder that tips go stale after a while. Seasoned sourcers give warning to new people on staying sharp about inventive ways to acquire leads. Also: what we should be doing to keep our own biases in check and overcome some of the limitations that start with the self.

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Augmented Reality, Our Data, and Your Face

Inside Robocog Labs

At HiringSolved, we’re exploring how our existing technology can be adapted into a real-world Augmented Reality product. We’re in a unique position because of our potential to bridge our capabilities in people aggregation with augmented reality.

We’re pushing through a brand new frontier in talent acquisition products. Our goal is to develop a device that seamlessly integrates with the natural networking experience. With AR, we can amplify any user’s sense of “who’s who”.  

We’re jumping into uncharted territory to build something that has never existed before. Given our system’s capabilities, we are in a privileged place that gives us major leverage to become a huge player in the game of facial recognition ID.

Using our unmatched, massive structure of social, resume, and skill data, we have the power to identify people using facial recognition and overlay that information about them in real time.  

That means recruiters will know literally at a glance what a person’s skills are so they can determine professional fit on the fly.
AR Drawing

Imagine being at a crowded conference and watching everyone’s professional details populate before your eyes in mid-air.

Bad with names? In this world, the anxiety surrounding forgetfulness is a non-issue. You’ll always know who you’re talking to.

AR Overlay

Challenges

Building facial recognition software for a real-time information overlay is not without it’s challenges. We’re still very early into our ideation phase but already our engineers have brought up some concerns that surround the project.

One of them, Matt, is the skeptic on the team. After some initial research, Matt feels that to build a reliable system we would need assets from the database that we just don’t have at the moment.

For example, systems that accurately ID people based on facial features often rely on things like the distance between a person’s ear to the edge of their mouth, their eye and the angles associated with each. All of this is used as a kind of fingerprinting since they allow for enough variation that allows for highly accurate detection even when pulling from a large pool of people.

These systems usually rely on recording 180 degrees of a person’s face. That means a headshot won’t be enough for a reliable system. Often it would mean a user would have to voluntarily scan their face in a 180 degree photograph that our system could use for ID purposes. This is a major adoption issue that is unlikely to be resolved easily without some major incentive for people to do so.

Some technology companies have found workarounds to use related technology without requiring a user’s input. Facebook for example created a working model that uses multiple photos from a user’s profile to simulate the effect of a 180 degree picture.

Still – this solution wouldn’t be totally viable for us since we rarely have more than a headshot.

Another one of our engineers, Tyler, is more optimistic about what we’re capable of with our available resources. His idea involves something similar to Google’s reverse image search.

Just for kicks, Matt the skeptic did a crude test of Google’s existing technology and found that a shot of his male caucasian face returned a young Korean woman in the search results.

AR drawing 2

Unfazed by the demonstration, Tyler insists that we could build something that works by capturing a live image and desaturating it – essentially making it black and white imprint. Using features of the altered image, we will compare it with other images using pixel similarity and find the most similar image. This would make it very possible to develop something that works with what is already available.

It would use a different algorithm than the one Google uses. This one would focus more on known facial regularities. It would function like a Google reverse-image search except it would be hyper focused on what makes our faces so different. This would eliminate the need for a scan and be a major breakthrough for our system to leverage the power of our database.

Devices

Since we’re still in the ideation phase of this project, we’re not in a rush to acquire the most expensive technology on the market. We think we can keep things relatively inexpensive by leveraging low-cost products like Google cardboard.
AR test

Even if we got our hands on exciting dev kits like HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Microsoft’s HoloLens, we would still have a lot of the same initial problems to solve. Problems that can be fixed cheaply before we need to get any new toys. Since we all carry a very capable device in our pockets, there’s no urgency to invest in new tech quite yet.
AR Drawing 3

That’s not to say we’re not watching those offerings very closely. We’re geeks who love to nerd out on the possibilities the new tech presents. It’s definitely an act of restraint for us to not expense a headset for everyone on the team. We’re testing our capacity for discipline for sure.

We salivate over the devices just as any nerd does. Procuring a device like the Microsoft HoloLens might be a great investment for us at this time. It’s a device whose focus is primarily on practical AR experiences which is more in our realm of ideation.   
AR test 2

We’re also imagining the style of our device too. For people to adopt this device eventually – we need to keep our image-conscious consumers in mind. That’s why a high-powered top-of-the-line device like the HoloLens may not be the best choice simply based on how it looks with its large protruding brow.

Even though Shon (CEO) likes to talk about a device that operates like Iron Man’s helmet, we all know it’s impractical for a professional to be seen walking around a conference with a giant helmet on their head. Or even a Google Cardboard for that matter.

Addressing style is still quite a ways away for us – but we’re making a point to think about it early on.

 

AR Drawing 4
Hand gestures will be a feature of our final build.

 

For now we’re working to ensure our on-going aggregation is running smoothly and scaling well. It’s a monumental task, but it’s what makes the whole facial recognition device worth it. Our eureka moment will be the time when we link the data in this virtual world to the real one. All the upcoming features in our software like detecting willingness to leave a position, culture fit etc. are all pieces we expect can be used in real time.

Other AR Devices on the Market

tesla AR

Eventually, our device may provide a heads-up-display resembling the one Tesla uses with Google Glass to help their auto workers to get inventory information faster.

skully AR

Another commercial product out there that has shown promise in AR is the Skully motorcycle helmet. It provides a display for motorcyclists that includes turn-by-turn GPS, MPH, and a 180-degree blind-spot camera for eyes in the back of your head.

Uber AR

Uber recently implemented facial recognition technology to deal with fraudulent driver issues they were facing. They partnered with a company called faceplusplus which relies on a user electing to provide their facial fingerprint.

Conclusion

Until the unlikely event where 180 degree scans of people’s faces are the norm and are made publicly available, we’re working on solutions in the interim. It could be a matter of aggregating more photos to simulate a 180-degree scan like facebook has done – or perhaps we’ll perfect an algorithm that can determine identity from head shots alone. Our exploration has just begun.

 

Want to hear more? Learn about AR in recruiting on our latest podcast!

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Weekend Reads for Sourcers and Recruiters

coffee

image credit – Daria on Flickr

Staying fresh on what’s happening in recruiting is imperative for a good sourcer. Finding the time to organize what’s worth reading and what isn’t can be a pain. Since you have better things to do, we went ahead and compiled the most important pieces from last week for a nice weekend read. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy

We wanted to recap 6 of our top picks from the week so you can stay informed without the hassle. This week was brought to you by refining your technique, examining your shortcomings, raging against machines, and patting yourself on the back.

#1 Bots Will Disrupt Recruiters in Four-to-Seven Years

Start packing recruiters! Your days are numbered!

According to blogger Mark Farmer, it’ll start when the bots take your pizza orders – then they’ll take your jobs.

Seriously though, this piece offers some inventive thoughts on how advances in bot technology could impact the recruiting field. The statements Farmer makes about the future of recruiting technology are bold (and by nature unverifiable). But that doesn’t mean they’re unfeasible.

(Aside: As an employee who sits right next to the engineers who work on machine learning tech including bots, I know what kind of colossal undertaking this project would be to resemble anything remotely to what Farmer discusses. Don’t hold your breath – but then again: don’t count it out.)

For skeptics, Farmer makes the comparison to what baseball recruiters used to tell Billy Beane, the Moneyball guy. They once said you could never replace the judgement and insight of a seasoned recruiter with spreadsheets. Try telling that to the Red Sox nowadays.

#2 Talent Mining

As a counter-balance to the “bots will take your jobs” article, Glen Cathey’s Talent Mining piece discusses some of the limitations of current recruiting tech. His breakdown of the five levels of sourcing offers a peek into the many challenges engineers must somehow overcome to even remotely approach what a seasoned sourcer is capable of.

This article goes over the many levels of sourcing – with techniques ranging from simple keyword searches all the way up to social engineering. Cathey heavily emphasizes the idea that algorithms are still very far away from being able to do a lot of the deeper sourcing techniques that make for a master sourcer. He cites how their strict aggregation techniques end up cutting a lot of qualified people out.

No offense taken.

Cathey then introduces the theory of “talent mining” and the many forms it can take depending on individual skill. He recognizes how “capital data” can be used to predict interesting things about a candidate’s intentions, but argues for a more hands-on autonomous approach.

He then breaks down 5 categories of sourcing in order of increasing skill. “Level 1 sourcing” is the basics of taking terms from a req and using it for a boolean string. “Level 2” introduces synonyms, “level 3” is a reverse type of search using the “NOT” operator, “level 4” explores semantics and “level 5” is an engagement strategy based around social engineering.

The backdrop to this piece is motivated by the idea that even though technology is getting better for people aggregators, recruiters aren’t suddenly able to become lazy in their methods. They still need to think critically and abandon the belief that an algorithm can do everything for them. Self-sufficiency is key.

#3 Announcing the 2016 SourceCon Fall Agenda

This piece is a good lead-in promotion for the upcoming Fall SourceCon that goes from September 22-23.

It outlines SourceCon’s philosophical focus on collaboration, sharing, and learning as the center issues for the upcoming event. The article relays how SourceCon intends to provide techniques you can implement right away which cover areas like rejection management, sourcing on Slack, email marketing and more.

#4 The 5 Biggest Mistakes Recruiters Make

This week we have another Matt Charney article to tell everyone what they’re doing wrong. In this article, Charney discusses overly-broad searches, excessive resume-reading times, and the problems that come when you believe everything you think.

My favorite part was the end when he discusses how recruiters should “ignore all blogs”. I get it – it’s reverse psychology right? Kinda like a Looney Tunes exchange between Blogs Bunny and Recruiter Fudd.

Blogs: Read my blog.
Recruiter: I don’t wanna read your blog.
Blogs: Read my blog.
Recruiter: I don’t wanna read your blog.
Blogs: Read my blog.
Recruiter: I don’t wanna read your blog.
Blogs: Don’t read my blog.
Recruiter: For the LAST time. I will read whatever blog I want – whenever I want! Now hand it over!

#5 A Better Prophet

In this article, Jackeye Clayton points out how recruiters unanimously love free tools. She goes a step further to validate that by saying they love free tools that work.

RecruitingTools was a major part of the initial product launch for the Chrome extension PROPHET – so it’s only fitting that they would have the inside scoop on the latest upcoming features.

Clayton explains some of the new features coming out in the next few weeks include a built-in “mini-ATS” feature called Lists and a way for recruiters to put out rewards for information with a feature called Bounties.

#6 12 Recruiting Fist-Pump Moments

Last week we ended with a vitriolic diatribe about hiring managers, so I wanted to end with some positivity this time so we’re giving off the right vibe. This feel-good post is meant to remind you of all your successes in your recruiting efforts.

Enjoy this post (try not to get a seizure from all the gifs). We often spend a lot of time focusing on what needs fixing that it’s easy to forget to step back sometimes and pat ourselves on the back. Since we’re all so bad about this, now is as good a time as any to congratulate ourselves and celebrate our successes.

Hopefully this post reminds you of some of your personal recruiting victories so you can write them down for some much needed self-love. Go easy on yourself! The world is filled with enough obstacles and critics to get in your way – there’s no need to add to it.

Conclusion

A lot of great tech and techniques were mentioned in the last week – as well as events like SourceCon on the horizon to look out for. Also, feel-good exercises are good for your mental emotional health. Take time to remind yourself of your successes and your low-metric grind-days won’t feel as heavy. We look forward to next time!

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