Like Daft Punk, We’ve Been Up Many Long Nights To Get Lucky

We at HiringSolved are feeling lucky. Good things are happening. Most recently, we have been fortunate enough to be a Platinum sponsor at the upcoming SourceCon in Seattle on Oct 2nd and 3rd. I say it’s been great fortune because we can afford it, and because we have an amazing sourcing tool we think the SourceCon audience will love. By the way, for those attending or planning to attend, get ready for an incredible After Dark party presented by HiringSolved!

Source: This Song is Sick

 

Good fortune, though, comes with hard work. Shon and Trevor began this process long before I joined as the 3rd wheel, and put a tremendous amount of effort into building something great. Since that time (and still since I’ve joined), we’ve put tremendous hours to build something that is not just great but what our customer’s are asking for. You’ll hear this mantra around our office daily, “We value feedback as much as dollars.”

Many late night, bleary-eyed conversations about next steps, server fixes, and plans for attracting funding. It’s all paying off. We’ve secured our first round of funding in what we’re told is very short order and in Phoenix of all places.

It’s at times like the last few months that I’ve been drawn back to a quote I read from Steve Jobs. He seems to be everywhere these days, (and seems to have had a striking resemblance to Ashton Kutcher in his earlier days.)

“It’s hard to tell with these Internet startups if they’re really interested in building companies or if they’re just interested in the money. I can tell you, though: If they don’t really want to build a company, they won’t luck into it. That’s because it’s so hard that if you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up.”

Source: BusinessInsider

 

Another recent good moment happened when a leader on our sales team, Eric, recently reached out to a Fortune 100 company and everyone in their recruiting department knew about us. This is a big moment for a start up. Not only did they know who we were, but we were also asked to put together a presentation for the leadership team and to be ready to move to the next steps within short order. We’re elated by this news, but something interesting happened on that call. Eric was told that “people aggregators” have been all the talk.

I bring this up, not to take issue with this one conversation, but I’ve seen many companies that are similar at best to HiringSolved being lumped into the same conversation on sales calls, blogs, radio shows, and more. And, to be clear, many of these are fine organizations with worthy value propositions. And, no doubt, they’ve put in hard work to be where they are too. So, let’s examine what exactly do we all do?

We are often talked about in the same sentence as TalentBin, Gild, Entelo, and others. Here are the core offerings of the aforementioned three, as I understand them (I chose them because we hear them the most):

  1. Gild ranks programmers quality of code against an algorithm.
  2. Entelo ranks by probability of software engineers to move according to external hires.
  3. TalentBin like us, aggregates without ranking, but are specific to tech, particularly software engineers.

We at HiringSolved on the other hand crawl the web, capture unstructured data on all the worlds’ talent, and turn that into a profile of a candidate that can be easily digested by the user. We are not specific to “tech,” rather we aim to organize the information of all the employable individuals in the world. Our technology is useful for sourcing for any skill in any location in the world. You can use HiringSolved to source a Hadoop Architect in Austin one day, and an Executive Chef in Malaysia the next. No other sourcing tool or aggregator does that. We’re excited to be the first to organize all the world’s talent and we’re excited to hear your feedback on what we’ve built.

So, “people aggregators” are all the rage, and that’s good for us – and everyone else participating in the game. But, one should know that there are some stark differences before making the decision, which is best for them.

After all, we (along with the others) are lucky to be where we are. And, we should be acknowledged for what we’ve done, and our customers should know what it is that we all offer.

As Daft Punk says, “We’ve come too far to give up who we are.”

I look forward to meeting you all in Seattle in October for #SourceCon2013 should you be there.

Matt Ekstrom – HiringSolved

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An Intern’s take on HiringSolved

When most people think about the idea of an internship, they think of making coffee or running errands-basically starting at the bottom. What separates an internship at a start-up company versus an internship at a big company is the responsibility yet flexibility that you’re given. As a sophomore in college with a plethora of ideas about what I want to do in my future, this internship at HiringSolved has been just what I needed.  Not only have I learned a lot, I’ve gotten hands on experience in the field perfectly aligned with my college major – Business Communications.

 

NOT HiringSolved Source: achitectinperon.com

 

Something important I realized was that I didn’t know as much as I thought about social media. As a teenager in the 21st century, social networking is second nature to me. From this internship, I’ve learned that although I know how to use social networks, social networking in business is a lot different. At first, I didn’t know what to expect or what was expected of me, but I didn’t want to be bothersome by asking questions. This internship has taught me that asking questions is completely fine; you never know what you could learn. Something I struggled with the most at the beginning was trusting my work and judgment. Matt, Shon, and Trevor are “go getters,” they have a goal and work extremely hard to reach it in the way they feel most comfortable. They’ve mentored me with that same mentality; they give me a task and let me figure out how I want to accomplish it. Although it’s the most frightening part, it’s also been my favorite part. The trust they gave me concerned me at first, but the challenge was what made me grow, learn, and enjoy this experience so much. They’ve always given constructive feedback when they felt it was necessary and have always shown their appreciation for my work making me feel valued as a team member.

 

— Jenny Jensen

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An Intern’s Take on Gangplank

There is only one way to describe the atmosphere at Gangplank: relaxed and supportive. Casual Fridays are any day that ends in “y”; jokes are told both at the water cooler and across the office; a pirate flag is hung proudly in the office; and a Micheal Jackson song is played every Thursday at two o’clock. This is not the cubicle nightmare you hear about.

 

NOT Gangplank Source: probablyamonster.com

 

Although Gangplank might sounds a bit off kilter, it has been one of the most enjoyable places I have every worked. This small community tucked away in downtown Chandler is just that… a community. Having trouble connecting to the internet? Ask the person closest to you. Can’t figure out how HootSuite works? Someone in the office does: ask around.  Post something funny on Facebook? There WILL BE someone in the office who appreciates it. Now, don’t get me wrong, my fellow Gangplankers are hardworking. But, goals are achieved in this office wearing flip-flops and t-shirts (something I can get on board with). And, because the goals of one are celebrated by all, support is bred into all Gangplank workers. If I can take one thing with me from my Gangplank experience, I hope to take the “be dangerous” motto. A motto I have enjoyed seeing put into action everyday over the past couple of months.

 

— Lara Creaser

 

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“Big Data: Buzz Word or Big Deal?” a SlideShare

Is “big data” just a buzz word? As part of our overall effort to socialize i.e. develop a presence on social media. One of our up and coming superstar interns, Brandon Bett, has researched a topic I’m sure you’ll enjoy. A look at Big Data over time and its applications to talent acquisition in the present. Big data is a big deal, and will continue to be. Brandon takes a look at its applications in business, innovation, and now talent acquisition.

Big Data: Big Deal or Buzzword from HSsocial

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2013: A Sourcing Odyssey

What if humans were to function more like computers, and computers functioned more like the intelligent, intuitive beings that we’re thought to be?

Questions like this have been posed from time to time. Perhaps no more dramatically than in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

HAL HS

This cinematic gem is of course fictional, but certainly a social commentary of sorts. And, far, far ahead of it’s time.  The plot:

 

When apes rule the world, one particular group discovers a mysterious rectangular monolith near their home, which imparts upon them the knowledge of tool use, and enables them to evolve into people. A similar monolith is discovered on the moon, and it is determined to have come from an area near Jupiter. Astronaut Dave Bowman, along with four companions, sets off for Jupiter on a spaceship controlled by HAL 9000, a revolutionary computer system that is every bit humankind’s equal–and perhaps its superior. When HAL endangers the crew’s lives for the sake of the mission, Bowman will have to first overcome the computer, and then travel to the birthplace of the monolith.

 

 

The late Roger Ebert’s take is that Kubrick says to us that we became men and women when we learned to think. Our minds have given us the tools to understand where we live and who we are. Now it is time to move on to the next step, to know that we live not on a planet but among the stars, and that we are not flesh but intelligence.

 

Earlier this month Huffington Post noticed just how far ahead of his time Kubrick was thinking by looking at “eerie similarities” between the 1968 film and Apple. From HuffPo:

 

  1. Did The ‘Newspad’ Predict The iPad?
  2. Copywriter Vinnie Chieco is said to have come up with the name for Apple’s digital media player, inspired by the famous line “Open the pod bay door, HAL!” Eerily enough, the iPod was released in November 2001.
  3. HAL Is Just A Meaner Version Of Siri
  4. The sleek, black-and-white design found in Discovery One totally reminds us of all things Apple.
  5. Apple released the very first iPad on April 3rd, 2010. 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in theaters on April 6th, 1968. The two could have a joint birthday party!

 

Coincidences? It’s possible. Was Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” really made to coincide with “The Wizard of Oz” movie? We’ll likely never know. But, these questions regarding HAL and today’s programmers and analysts to design software that no human could do (certainly not with the same efficiency and accuracy) does lend itself to some thought with what is happening in all facets of business, but more to the point of this post: talent sourcing.

 

 

The clip above dramatically shows a turn in HAL’s personality to what is commonly thought to be a devious, evil computer. However, in my opinion, it’s showing that we can now develop technology that we can no longer control.

 

In my years of working in the human capital industry, I’ve seen small steps toward this. But, now, it’s becoming more and more prevalent. Amazing technology is being developed, yet certain HR individuals are reluctant to use it or adopt it at times. The reasons can vary from “being stuck in their old ways” to the paranoid feelings that “this technology will make me irrelevant.”

 

Instead of looking at the tool(s) that are being developed as machines that can “take things off their plate,” make them more efficient, and allow them to perform even better in other areas, they think: If I vouch for this, champion this, or buy this there is no reason for me to exist in my role or organization.

 

They, like Tom Smykowski from Office Space, are concerned that they will no longer have a function.

 

Smykowski

 

 

“Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don’t have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?”

No doubt, there are still companies out there hiring “The Bobs” to evaluate from the outside and downsize where it makes “business sense.” However, over the years, I have yet to hear one HR Person tell me they honestly felt they had nothing to do. In fact, from small businesses to enterprise level businesses, I hear time and time and time again how many hats they are wearing in HR. And, the focus of forward thinking organizations for years has been that they will only ever be as good as their weakest link. If they hire the best, continue to develop them, and give them the tools they need to do their jobs, then the business will prosper.

 

In fact, this thinking isn’t new, but maybe hasn’t been widely accepted. It dates back at least to Anne M. Mulcahy (who was ironically named CEO of Xerox in…wait for it… 2001):

 

Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”

 

Personally, I’m fortunate enough to be on the ground floor of an organization that promotes this thinking. And, it’s for this reason, I know we will succeed for as long as we want. I suspect many of you reading this do too, even if you aren’t certain of it. “2001” was ahead of it’s time. “Office Space” was a comedic commentary about it’s current time. Perhaps many HR people were getting their “professional legs” during the “Office Space” time period.

 

But, I’d suggest this thinking has changed, just as technology has changed. And, I’ll do you one better. I’ll make the bet that anyone reading this could take an idea to their boss that makes you and/or your staff more efficient, saves you money, and gives you a sustainable competitive advantage over your counterparts at other organizations, and you won’t be out of a job in 6 months. I bet you’d be rewarded. And, if you’re not, maybe the wrong people are signing your checks.

 

So, come on, take the 2013: A Sourcing Odyssey Challenge with us.

 

Life is short, live dangerously…

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Big Data’s Big Implications on Talent Sourcing

It’s not been talked about for that long, but long enough to have some serious discussions in boardrooms and some blogs written about it.

Big data in HR.

Huh, what?

For those new to the term big data – it generally refers to a collection of data sets that are so large and complex that it normally can’t be managed by the usual database management and data processing apps. Big data is naturally a moving target, but it can often exceed multiple petabytes these days. For reference, one petabyte is one quadrillion bytes. Yeah, pretty effin’ big!

So, how does this relate to HR and talent? To explain, we’ll need to start with the analysis of big data.

 

Wikipedia Big Data Illustration

 

Big data analytics is the process of examining large amounts of data of a variety of types to uncover hidden patterns, unknown relationships, and more.  When done well in business, this can create a HUGE competitive advantage. It helps organizations make better business decisions in every department these days. Most of what I’ve read, though, about the use of big data analysis in HR has to do with one of two areas.

 

  1. Looking at information and analyzing past events for useful insights on how to make future sourcing and hiring decisions
  2. Determining probable future outcomes of human capital decisions.

 

One of the best examples of this is with Xerox, and it was outlined in the Wall Street Journal last September.

 

“After a half-year trial that cut attrition by a fifth, Xerox now leaves all hiring for its 48,700 call-center jobs to software that asks applicants to choose between statements like: ‘I ask more questions than most people do’ and ‘People tend to trust what I say.’ “

 

Another example is what E-Quest, a robust job distribution company, has begun to offer. In November, the San Ramon based organization announced a service that leverages the predictive analytics gleaned from big data to forecast which job boards would be best to utilize for various requisitions.

These are very practical applications, no doubt. But, now, we at HiringSolved have a new application in which to use what information is not only in a company’s existing database, but where the biggest set of data in the world lives – the internet.

HiringSolved functions much like Google in that we have set up crawlers to scan the entirety of the Internet scouring for information. But, unlike Google, we are hyper- focused on talent information.

Going beyond traditional Boolean skill searches. HiringSolved finds the candidates you need wherever they are on the Internet automatically.

HiringSolved is revolutionary software designed to increase the productivity of talent sourcing specialists everywhere. Instead of needing to use extremely complex search strings (or even simple searches) on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Monster, CareerBuilder, etc. HiringSolved analyzes the big data for you and gift wraps it in a neatly formatted profile that includes a resume or online profile (or both), all of the links to sites where we found the candidate, offers 5 very similar candidates to each individual, and even provides a word cloud of the skill sets of the candidate built instantaneously to offer quick insight into the candidate profile.

 

 

Ever want or need to find a Bostonian with Java, SQL, and Unix experience in 3 100ths of a second?

Yeah, it's that fast.

 

Yeah, it’s that fast. 

 

This has been the missing link in big data for HR. Human Resources has long had access to some degree within their own data sets. Then they began to be able to predict the behaviors of candidates pre-interview. Then eQuest launched the tool that predicts the best placements for job ads.

What’s been missing is the obvious trend with candidates. With the advent of social networks and professional networks and Gen Y becoming a major player in the war for talent, paper resumes are nearly dead. A resume has become a living, breathing, growing document available on the Internet. The Internet, where we all live, learn, work, and play.

But, now, talent specialists can use just one tool that analyzes every potential candidate profile available on the net in fractions of a second.

It’s been said that the art of simplicity is found in a puzzle of complexity, and HiringSolved has pieced it together for you.

 

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HiringSolved Racing with the Machine

I have to admit. I’m a TED junkie. It’s a goal of mine to give a TED talk one day. For now, I’ll have to stick with local Toastmaster’s groups.

As part of my addiction, I came across the hotness that is this TED talk by Erik Brynjolfsson, the Schussel Family Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. With a string of titles like that, how can you not feel the need to soak up every word?

In case you don’t have time to watch (you should try to make time, though), I’ll try to sum it up with just one quote from the talk:

“The answer is not to try to slow down technology. Instead of racing against the machine, we need to learn to race with the machine.”

 

Source: inspiration.entrepreneur.com
Source: inspiration.entrepreneur.com

 

Well, it was a bit of coincidence that on that same evening I stumbled across a LI connection of mine pimping his “new” book.

“A quick and easy guide to finding free resumes and passive candidates on the web. Heavy on visuals and light on text, this book is written and designed for the short attention span of recruiters, sourcers and the companies that employ them.”

In this book, you will learn:

  • What you should do prior to sourcing resumes online.
  • Why you should use more than one search engine
  • How to find free resumes on Google
  • How to find free resumes on Yahoo
  • How to find free resumes on Bing
  • Secret search commands that are exclusive to Google
  • How to build resume search strings for finding candidates
  • How to find resumes your competition has overlooked
  • How to use Google resources to find passive candidates
  • Research data relevant to resume sourcing and lead generation of passive candidates
  • Strategies on how to manage your sourcing research
  • And more…

If you’re into this book, I also have a book that teaches you to search on Alta Vista I could loan you.

Point being, we at HiringSolved have a solution that is racing with the machine not against it.

This service WILL save you the money on the book, the time to read the book, the time to learn those 11 strategies and more, and most importantly the time (and implicitly money) spent building complex search strings and searching each search engine one by one.

Recruiters: What’s your time worth? Managers: What’s your recruiting teams time spent doing these things costing your organization in lost productivity?

Why not race with the machine with HiringSolved?

It’s our fault (though a young organization) that we haven’t gotten the word out, but this week HiringSolved has begun the process of going to market in a very aggressive way. Once we do this right (and we will), it won’t be long before you and everyone you know will know about HiringSolved and it’s capabilities. As Shon Burton, the brains behind this cutting edge technology told me the other day, “We’re going to the moon. You can hop on shuttle if you want.”

In the meantime, check us out. And, for a teaser search, try this. But, note that this is just that a teaser. Reach out to us if you want to see what the simplicity of meta-sourcing looks like.

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