Show Notes: Episode 69 – SHRM Credit: AI in Recruiting
November 11, 2019
Divisiveness: Are We Embracing It or Encouraging It?
November 14, 2019

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This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors.

Susan 0:10
Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we talk about embracing humanity in the workplace. I’m Susan White, a national HR consultant. With me is my co-host, JoDee Curtis, owner of Purple Ink, an HR consulting firm, and author of “JoyPowered®” and “The JoyPowered® Family.” JoDee and I recently released our newest book, “The JoyPowered® Team,” with five other authors. Today we’re going to talk about artificial intelligence in recruiting, or “AI” as it’s more commonly known. has on their website a blog article posted in early 2019, entitled “9 Intriguing Uses of AI in Recruitment in 2019.” JoDee, why don’t we share those nine?

JoDee 0:51
Yeah, I like that word, “intriguing.”

Susan 0:53

JoDee 0:54
So, automated candidate sourcing.

Susan 0:57
Which is really using AI to analyze millions of social profiles to determine who matches job requirements and send personalized messages.

JoDee 1:05
Candidate rediscovery.

Susan 1:08
I like that, “rediscovery.” It’s using AI to mine the data you have on your past candidates to find those gems who just weren’t a match for a specific past opening.

JoDee 1:17
Candidate matching.

Susan 1:19
That’s where you’re using AI to track candidate behavior on your career website and send personalized information tailored to the roles that they appear interested in.

JoDee 1:28
Hiring remote workers.

Susan 1:30
Wow, there’s a lot, aren’t there? Using AI to power up pre-employment assessment tools and video interviewing has a hint of AI in it.

JoDee 1:39
Internal and employee referrals.

Susan 1:42
That’s using AI to mine your employee base and their contacts, if they allow you.

JoDee 1:46
Yeah, that’s an intriguing one for sure. Diversity hiring.

Susan 1:52
So this blog cited a study that 56% of applicants believe AI may be less biased than recruiters.

JoDee 2:01
Customized employee value proposition.

Susan 2:04
AI is soon going to be able to use assessments of personalities to tailor the value of employment at a particular company to each applicant.

JoDee 2:13
Who knew? Natural language processing.

Susan 2:17
Now this is where AI analyzes the words that the candidate uses. And as an example, they also do this in people’s resumes, like with the Boolean word search technique, right?

JoDee 2:27
And facial expression analysis.

Susan 2:30
Okay, this one does scare me. This is using AI when you have video interviews, or you’re videotaping the interview, so that artificial intelligence can assess your personality, your mood, your integrity. I’m hungry, it’s time to have lunch. I don’t know. It’s a little scary. JoDee, I love learning about AI and how business leaders and HR professionals really should start thinking about how to leverage it more, or at all if they’re not using it, but I’m definitely not an expert on this topic. So we’ve invited a couple of subject matter experts to talk to us today.

JoDee 3:03
I think that’s a good thing.

Susan 3:07
So our guest today is Keith Campagna. Keith is the founder of Lifework Integration and recently was with Jobvite as a Regional Sales Manager. He describes himself as an HR strategist helping leaders overcome today’s recruitment, retention, cultural, and employee development challenges. Welcome, Keith.

Keith 3:25
Thanks for having me very much.

JoDee 3:27

Susan 3:29
So Keith, tell us about what you’ve seen or heard regarding the use of AI in talent acquisition.

Keith 3:35
It’s a fascinating time in talent acquisition, just based off of the combinations between the use of technology as well as the need to keep it very personal. AI is making a move inside of talent acquisition, it’s got a lot of work to do, but it’s interesting to see the the, the evolution, so to speak, of where it is in HR today. Very, very unknown waters right now.

Susan 4:03
Yeah, I think it scares people and yet excites people.

Keith 4:06
Yeah, I think so too. I think that, you know, when we talk about HR, we’re not talking about the department inside of organizations that, generally speaking, are known for being progressive in their technology advancements. So it’s a lot of challenges, and that’s really where, you know, I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg for a lot of HR departments.

JoDee 4:27
Yeah, I agree. And Keith, how does Jobvite, and other companies like Jobvite, leverage AI in their applicant tracking system technology platforms?

Keith 4:40
Well, it’s an interesting, it’s almost a play on words, because candidly, I don’t know too many companies out there that are using artificial intelligence. There’s a fine line there, and there’s machine learning, and then there’s AI, and AI is going to be the way more advanced analytics component of it. I think what we’re seeing now with regards to the talent acquisition component of HR is the need to automate as much as possible. And when we look at the – there’s two categories for, at least so far that I can think of, there’s the talent acquisition piece, and then there’s the day to day operations outside of talent acquisition inside of HR. So automating all of those manual tasks is a very, very high priority for HR departments, because they need to address the talent economy and the talent economy means that there aren’t any unemployed individuals that bring, that are sitting around with skill sets. For the most part, those people already have jobs. So you have to leverage the technology so that you as an individual can engage people, build the rapport, because people aren’t just jumping ship anymore. They’re, they’ve gotten an employer that’s maybe trying to help them develop, they’re not necessarily going to call, or leave if you cold call them as a recruiter, so you need AI to, and automation to develop that, those touch points and make them happen faster.

JoDee 6:05
Yeah. I, I taught a couple of classes recently for SHRM on this topic, not specifically about AI, but we, or even technology, but we talked about it during the class as we were talking about recruiting. And I have to tell you, I was amazed how little people were using technology. I mean, we’re, we’re a small firm, and so we don’t have the latest and greatest, but I do think we’ve been very progressive about using technology that I almost forget that people are still using manual processes, are not using social media, or don’t have an applicant tracking system. So sounds like you see that more often too.

Keith 6:57
It’s fascinating and truth be told, you know, you mentioned I was recently with Jobvite. In May, I parted ways with them and I started two companies, one of them’s Lifework Integration, and the other one is a software called HROI. And the idea there, JoDee, is that so many HR departments, and there isn’t an industry or a size employer that is absent of this, and that is that they all suffer from not having experience in buying software. Because of that, they’re not very good at it. They don’t know how to build business case. Business acumen is a fleeting concept for most HR departments, and this isn’t an indictment. It’s the truth of their lives. They’re, they’re, they’re busy, they’re inundated, they’re, they’re manual, and there’s a whole mess that needs to be cleaned up before we could even start talking about how to effectively use AI in most HR departments, and part of what brings my passion to, to those two companies is the idea that HR needs help.

JoDee 8:02

Keith 8:02
So what HROI does is develop a vendor agnostic business case, using very basic high-level metrics that allows you to show your CFO, hey, as a pre-approval, we’re looking at this estimate return on investment. And the software produces that PDF for them so they don’t have to necessarily know how to make a clock work, they just know how to tell time.

JoDee 8:25

Susan 8:26
Nice. So Keith, you’d mentioned that some businesses are out there, and they’re using machine learning, but it’s more rare that they’re really using more sophisticated AI. For our listeners, can you give an example of maybe what we’d all identify with some automation that’s machine learning, versus the type of kind of cool different things that AI could be doing for us if we were really using it?

Keith 8:51
Absolutely, absolutely. It’s a good question. So when you look at chatbots for the most part, you know, chatbots are going to have machine learning that incorporates data and responds based off of what it is you say. So a good example might be when using Canvas, which is a phenomenal talent acquisition text messaging capability, phenomenal. What happens is you as an organization develop the answers for what could be the questions that somebody puts up. So if I’m texting and have I asked you, you know, what kind of benefit offerings do you offer? The system inherently here sees benefit, and then drops in maybe a PDF of my benefit overviews, right? That’s not a, that’s not AI, that’s just if A, then B, and it kind of spreads out that way in a, in a greater sense. Whereas there are companies that are and he’s gonna, he’s gonna kill me, but I can’t remember the name of the company. But in California, they have AI where, and it blows my mind. This is AI. They have, let’s call it 30 pixagram visuals on the screen, and you, the individual, pick the 10 that seem to be the ones you like the most. I mean, we’re talking about the most random of experiences, and from that, it grabs all these crazy data points from all over, and they bring to the front your skill sets, and they match, and your personality traits, and they match it with everyone else within your organization. That’s AI. Now we’re talking about pulling in massive amounts of data that enable you, and he’s gonna kill me because I don’t remember the name of it. It’s like mind blowing to see how it could basically level set and say, this guy might be a great match based off of the job. But he’s a better match based off of the team dynamic you have over here. So maybe we put him in a different role. And as we look to this new economy where you’re not going to be retaining, you’re not going to be recruiting people. What you’re going to be doing is reskilling individuals that work for you. It’s a phenomenal way to get ahead of the curve without having to let HR try to figure it out.

JoDee 11:03
Wow, that sounds crazy.

Keith 11:06
I’m gonna have to look and see if I can find the name of the company.

JoDee 11:10
And Keith, what do you think is better and what do you think is worse in the hiring process for employers who rely on AI?

Keith 11:21
That’s a good question. Every time someone asks me what I think is worse about the recruiting world, I have to sit back and take a couple breaths, because it could go in a lot of different ways. I think fundamentally speaking, human beings want to be engaged by other human beings. I think when we’re starting to evolve our usage with technology to make it more of a tool, not just something that just because it could do it, it can be done. And what I mean by that is technology in terms of the ideal candidate experience, what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard is, let’s use technology to expedite the downtime in between conversations. When employers start to use technology to do all of it, it winds up becoming too little interaction with the company or with the with the candidate. And interestingly enough, last year, Chip Cutter from the Wall Street Journal had put out an article on LinkedIn talking about how a company was using automated interviewing for the hiring process, and I responded by saying something snarky along the lines of, “Did you hear that sound? Question mark. That’s the sound of a lot of qualified, successful candidates hanging the phone up.” People don’t want, we don’t want to have, we don’t want to have technology talking to us. We want to have technology helping us. And subsequently my comment got picked up and Chip wound up putting it in his next article because it got enough attention in terms of people agreeing with that sentiment.

JoDee 12:58
Yeah, you know, it is – even when I think about technology, in, in other parts of my life, sometimes I’m, I’m fascinated by my own experiences, you know, if I’m shopping online and I have a question and there’s a chatbot, I go to the chatbot. I mean, I want a quick answer. And then, then sometimes when I want to make a phone call, and I can’t reach someone, I’m like, the technology is not what I need right now. I need a person. So I do think it’s a good learning and that, you know, having a combination of, of people and technology to help us through, whether it’s a recruiting situation or a shopping experience, or you know, a help button that we want to go to it’s, it’s what’s most convenient, or what’s most appropriate for the situation.

Susan 13:51
I think our expectations are different today. Right?

JoDee 13:54

Susan 13:55
So interestingly, I would love to hear from you Keith, what should our listeners, if, when, when and if they’re ever a job candidate, what can they do to optimize their attractiveness to a company who’s heavily using AI in their recruiting process?

Keith 14:08
You know, that’s a very good question. Before I go to that, let me just say that it’s Dotin. D-O-T-I-N, that’s the AI company.

Susan 14:15
Thank you. I know our listeners appreciate that, too.

Keith 14:18
Now, now I can go to sleep peacefully tonight. I’m speaking at, I live up in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, it’s the third largest metro region in the state outside of Philly and Pittsburgh, and I’m speaking next Friday at a Lehigh Valley professionals group. It’s a very well run organization, the leadership there knows what they’re doing. They, they really do their best to help people who might be in transition find ways to get above the noise, find ways to really, maybe expedite their transition, if you would, and they do such a good job. They have a serious alumni relationship where that is that people learn a lot, they wind up getting jobs, and then they come back to the organization to help. And what I’m talking about next Friday has to do with Lifework Integration, and it’s this idea that a lot of systems are breaking down. We, I am sure the two of you have had this conversation in the past, the definition of work is being redefined. We’re looking at the way technology, technology is disrupting everything. It certainly doesn’t leave any stone unturned. And when you look at the way that people are looking to get jobs, because of AI, because of software that’s coming in, you know, you got to ask the question, why? Why is all this software coming in? It’s because recruiters are underwater. You think about, I used to work with companies that have several thousand employees as prospects. And they were, they used spreadsheets, like they used technology from the early 90s, the mid 90s, literally, so that they can manage, you know, when, when they, when they put one job posting out there, they’re getting thousands, thousands of applications. So recruiters are no position whatsoever to be the most, probably the most effective way for anybody who’s sincerely trying to get in, because it’s just that status quo. It’s the bottleneck. And you’re leaving it to chance. I like to think of, you know, it was fun for me to get into the recruiting world because there’s this phrase that says recruiting is sales and sales is recruiting. So we see a lot of what I’ve done throughout my sales career translate into recruiting, and that is to say that you have to develop a rapport. You have to think in human terms, empathy, I love how empathy seems to be coming back more and more, but it’s – for part of my conversation next Friday is going to have a lot to do with, think of what it’s like being individual on the other side of that email. You need to think about ways to help them, you need to – if you could do that just a little bit, you’re going to brand yourself, you’re going to make – put a smile on their face, you’re going to stand out, maybe you’re not the best match, but if you go in thinking how can I help this individual, you know, and ultimately, I’m helping them by giving them my, my resume, but if you think in empathetic terms and recognize just how convoluted and chaotic the system is as it is today. There are other ways that they’re – it’s a, you got to go slow, you got to do like sales people do, progressive sales people, they’re not cold calling people and saying hey, buy my stuff, buy my stuff, they’re, they’re demonstrating an understanding of what’s going on in the, in the quote unquote buyer’s mind, in the buyer’s world, and establishing a relationship that helps them expedite the conversation. And that takes work, and that takes getting involved at LinkedIn, it takes putting your thoughts out there, pushing for networks, not just going to a networking event and, and, and pardon my French, b****ing and moaning about things, being proactive, and that’s going to be a big challenge for a lot of people out there.

JoDee 17:47

Keith 17:47
Tools are there. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t mean to scare anyone away. There are – the tools are out there. One of the most entertaining things of our day is Let Me Google That for You. You know, if you ever heard of Let Me Google That for You. And literally, I send it to my parents all the time, because my mother will be like, what time does the restaurant we’re eating at close? And I’ll just type in that and I send it to her. So she gets a kick out of it. The tools are there. The technology’s level set the playing field for most people, it’s, you got to take advantage of it.

JoDee 18:18
Yeah. I do think it’s fascinating, your comment about having prospects or clients with thousands of people who are still using spreadsheets, which I found, in my class, I was talking about that, I was teaching it’s not, it’s not always the the big companies that are the most progressive. I think even I mentioned earlier, too, about Purple Ink. I think we’ve been very progressive about technology, and I think part of that is because we have, we’re more agile as a smaller company. But when these big companies look at technology, they’re looking at hundreds, thousands of dollars systems, although I don’t think they have to be, they think of it as such a big financial investment, that is, they’re actually slower to change than smaller organizations. So.

Keith 19:13
Absolutely. And you know, I’m going to leverage my experience with regards to working with so many companies. I’ve had, I’m grateful for my software experience. I kind of fell into ADP in 2006 right as something called software as a service was beginning. Yeah. Dumb me didn’t know that I was becoming, I was getting a front row seat at the leading edge of business technology. And I did small business called Benefit Focus, which was benefit administration software. Then I went to Concur, which is finance, and they were acquired for a billion dollars by SAP, which is my way of saying they knew what they were doing. Managing culture, and that’s where I’m going with this. You see enough companies like I have, you recognize that the real – there’s a lot of symptoms to the problem. And in your example, JoDee, the idea is there’s no leadership inside of organizations, because we’ve had this talent, again, back to the, the bad guy in the story is the talent marketplace right now. And it has been for a while, because people are leaving companies every three years, maybe five years. There’s a growing gap of leaders. And it’s those leaders that are the ones that, generally speaking, are going to say, we need to fix this problem. This problem is slowing down my people. My people need to be able to have the tools to do more, but because there isn’t that connectivity between the leadership level and the company’s vision, mostly because the company doesn’t take advantage of the individuals as well as they can. Right. You see companies not being – they’re going one step forward, two steps back, one step forward, two steps back, and then, like I said, you’re agile, but that’s because you knew better when you came into this, right? I’m assuming you knew that you have to stay a step ahead, and in order for your people to do that, you got to give them tools.

JoDee 21:06

Keith 21:07
Blows my mind. I have all the empathy in the world when I talk to recruiters. I mean, I, I stood on a stage, I think five or six times last year, I went to seven or eight conferences, I shook hands with probably 1,000 and talked to 1,000 recruiters and to hear them talk about how, you know, the hiring managers are on their case and the CFO was on their case, and everyone’s trying to figure out why they can’t hire people. They almost have no audience. Nobody’s allowing them to build the tools, or maybe more importantly, they don’t know where to go to get help. Yeah, at this point, there’s either vendors that always come with, you know, the vendor stigma. There’s, like, people that you work with, but if they haven’t had the experience, you’re basically staring at a spreadsheet.

JoDee 21:52

Susan 21:53
So thinking about always staying one step ahead, Keith, what do you think is next for using AI in talent acquisition? What’s really getting traction? What do you think the next big thing is, or things, that we should be paying attention to?

Keith 22:06
Well, I think it’s just going to develop quickly. I think, just like any of the other technologies that have shown up in the last 10 to 15 years, you’re going to see the trickle down from the bigger, more progressive companies. You’ve got a lot of – yeah, I just saw, not to necessarily plug Workday, but here I am. Yesterday, a colleague of mine posted how Workday has the number one most used ATS, and it showed Workday, Taleo, which is a, that’s a punch line in all of itself, and…

Susan 22:42
As a former Taleo, yeah.

Keith 22:44
30 other applicant tracking software vendors, and you look at the integration of, of, of what they’re looking at, do you get to see a bunch of people migrate towards just getting the basics in. I think the technology is there. The bandwidth challenge is inside of HR. So I think by the time it gets to where AI has evolved to where it can be more easily used and ready will be the tipping point time for HR, because they’re going to need it, or they’re going to be in a big, big pile of you know what, because their competitors are going to have it. That’s the tricky part with all of this. If you don’t – sorry, a spider just showed up. If you don’t, if you don’t – I wonder what that means in terms of like, a…

Susan 23:34
Oh, what a web we weave.

Keith 23:36
Right? I, maybe I shouldn’t talk bad about AI. The truth of the matter is, is that HR, the gap between those who use HR or technology and those that don’t is getting vaster every day, and, and, and, and that gap is getting wider. And the companies, you know, I have – my mother is a retired nurse. So I’ve, every time I’ve walked into social services or healthcare, and you see how minimal their budget is to be able to do the things that will help them generate a culture to help them retain and recruit and educate. It’s, it’s, it’s sad. It’s sad to that extent. So, you know, I have this deeper sense of awareness trying to help people say, you know, you’ve got to act on this, because if you don’t, you’re going to be out of business. We don’t have the people laying around for you to just pick up and get more people.

JoDee 24:30
Yeah, yeah, I agree. So, Keith, tell our listeners about your podcast, which I’m gonna try to pronounce, “Geeks, Geezers and Googlization.”

Keith 24:42
The Geeks, Geezers and Googlization Show, yep. But for the for the sake of record, Ira Wolfe, who hosts the show, and I’m the co-host, he often stumbles on Geeks, Geezers and Googlization. He wrote the book in 2008, which is really where it all comes from. Ira and I were sitting next to each other at a Disrupt HR event. You’re familiar with Disrupt HR?

JoDee 25:07
Yes, we have that in Indianapolis.

Keith 25:09
Yep, yep. And yeah, my buddy Andre, from Jobvite has done it. I know Andre, a great guy, great guy. And so Ira was talking about this, was, and this, I want to say September of 2017, Ira was talking about this new book he just wrote called “Recruiting in the Age of Googlization.” And I haven’t gone through my personal and professional experiences up to that time, was literally getting on a stage to talk about why work life balance is dysfunctional HR policy and you need to replace it with life work integration, knowing that Ira was a writer, and I wanted to start doing something with this idea of life work integration. Him and I decided we were going to get lunch. And so before we could actually sit down, which was like four months later, I was already working with Jobvite, and here, Jobvite as a recruitment marketing software was a source of information Ira had in his book, so we instantly caught on to the talent acquisition world. And from there, we just started sharing ideas. He would have a half days, like, workshop. And I would use that workshop to promote to prospects locally, because again, my philosophy is to educate and evangelize, that will help people establish a pleasant enough experience where when they are ready to buy something, they’ll think of me. So it drove everyone together. And I just got the content down and, sure enough, he called me up one day and says, somebody said something about a podcast. I gotta do it, we gotta do it, you have to be my co-host. And I said, you got it. Let’s see what happens here. So it’s a, it’s about the future of work. We have a show every week on Wednesday. We just found out where, and I don’t even know if this is a good thing or bad thing, but since October, we found we have 10,000 monthly listeners, plus or minus. We can’t get like all of it, right? It’s like a gray line, you really don’t know that. Because like, that’s really valuable information from the, from iHeart and iTunes, so they don’t give that away. But the truth of the matter is, we feel like we’re doing a really good thing. We’re getting great guests, and the momentum is building. We’re actually thinking about doing, like, a G3 summit, where we’re going to have several individuals come on in a webinar fashion. And, um, you know, we’re going to theme it in terms of women in HR, progressive women in HR, thought leaders, having to do with specific elements. It’s really starting to take a life of its own.

JoDee 27:38

Susan 27:38
That’s great.

JoDee 27:39
Let us know if we can help with that.

Keith 27:42
Oh, for sure. And Susan, you got to come on. I know that’s how all of this started. We had to reschedule or something and then – we got to get you back on.

Susan 27:52
Thank you. No worries. We’re going to talk about our book.

JoDee 27:54

Susan 27:54
That’s great.

JoDee 27:55

Susan 27:55
So Keith, how can our listeners reach you if they want to learn more, either about Lifework or HROI, or just anything about AI?

Keith 28:04
Sure, you know, is there. Just fill out the information, let me know what you want me to talk to you about and get back to me – I’ll get back to you. The – my favorite marketplace of all time, LinkedIn, if you’re on LinkedIn. I guess I’m will work as well.

Susan 28:23
Perfect. And we’re going to have you spell that,, if you don’t mind.

Keith 28:27
K-E-I-T-H C-A-M-P-A-G-N-A.

Susan 28:33
Dot com. Perfect. Well, Keith, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate it.

JoDee 28:38
Yes. Such a pleasure. And you just got a new subscriber to your podcast, because I just subscribed.

Keith 28:45
Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Thank you very much. And I appreciate being on the show. I did a little research and seems like you’ve been doing this for a good while and you’ve got good momentum.

JoDee 28:56
Yeah. Thanks so much.

Susan 28:58
Thank you.

Keith 28:59

Susan 29:01
So JoDee, I’m excited about our next guest. It’s Zach Linder and he leads Canvas’s machine learning and analytics functions. Prior to joining Canvas, Zach led analytics and automation initiatives at several high growth companies, including his role as Vice President and Head of US Operations at Virtusa, previously Apparatus. So Zach, we are so glad to have you.

Zach 29:24
Hey, thanks for having us. Really appreciate it.

Susan 29:27
Do you mind giving our listeners a little background on Canvas? You know, when did it start? When did it become part of Jobvite? What’s its mission?

Zach 29:35

Susan 29:35
Yeah, please.

Zach 29:36
Absolutely. So a couple years ago when Canvas started, so it’s still very young in the business sense. But at our previous company, Apparatus, which was acquired by Virtusa, we, we were in high growth stage and we were going through lots of interviews, lots of hiring. And one thing we realized was, the IT space had made big strides, but the HR space, and the recruiting space in particular, hadn’t taken advantage of some of the new technologies and new capabilities. And it felt like we were still making phone calls like we would 20 years ago. If you think about, I barely even answer phone calls from my mom, I would prefer to text on those.

JoDee 30:16
Oh, I hope your mom’s not listening.

Zach 30:21
She knows. It’s okay. But if you think about candidates, and you want to find a good candidate for any position, you want to meet them where they are. And if they’re texting, it they’re messaging, and they’re not having phone calls, we need to meet them where they are in that text capability. So that’s, that’s the impetus of Canvas. That’s how we were created. And then then we kind of found a vein, right? It was, it was our secret for a while that we thought that we were going to make this thing happen, and come to find out that lots of other people felt like this was a great idea and we were able to quickly grow, quickly get lots of attention on a national scale from different media outlets. We landed lots of good, large name clients. Built a solid customer base. And I think more importantly than that, built a fantastic product, right? We had a great team, have a great team and built a product that people really love to use and has really made a difference in their day to day recruiting efforts. So that’s where we were. And, and because of this attention we started to have lots of partnerships start to get developed. And one of those key partnerships was Jobvite. And Jobvite is an applicant tracking system, of course, and they did not have a texting solution, and so what we were able to do is layer in Canvas’s texting capabilities and messaging capabilities on top of the Jobvite platform in a tightly integrated structure, and it just took off. The Jobvite sales team did a fantastic job in promoting Canvas. And we would get lots of new customers through this new channel that we created with Jobvite, so we had a tight partnership. And then Jobvite had bigger aspirations to figure out how to continue to compete and stay ahead of the competition in the market, and that’s what led to the acquisition of Canvas. And so the ultimate end goal was to have a end to end solution that provided recruiters and talent acquisition managers the capability to start from the beginning, from the referral and CRM point all the way down to the onboarding point. And through the acquisitions of Canvas telemetry and roll point, Jobvite was able to piece together those different parts of the solution. So now we, as a new combined entity, have that beginning to end solution to where a recruiter can advertise, post a job, post it internally to referral sources, and then follow that candidate and those interested parties all the way from the beginning levels of interest, all the way through onboarding at their new company.

Susan 32:46
Wow, that’s amazing. Zach, I have to tell you, when I first learned what Canvas did, I was, I thought you were brilliant. I really did. Because as the mother of two millennials, the times I do leave voicemails for them, I’ve never – they don’t call me back. I – maybe lucky if they text back and say, “you called?” Yeah, they, they will not listen to it. There are, I know colleagues out there who, when they’re working on an opening, they’ll leave voicemails and they wonder why someone hasn’t gotten back to them very quickly. I’m telling you, if they’re a millennial, they’re never getting back to you.

Zach 33:16
So I’m just outside of the millennial gap here, but I also don’t answer voicemails. In fact, I delete voicemails without even listening to most of them. It’s a, I feel, I feel like we have enough other communication mechanisms that if it’s really important that you’ll hit one of my preferred communication channels.

Susan 33:33
Yeah, it’s real. That’s real.

JoDee 33:35
Gosh. I have to tell you, I feel pretty progressive with technology, but I do still leave voicemails, so maybe that’s a good message to me. And most people don’t listen to them, so maybe I should give up. So. What – how do you and your team leverage AI to help businesses select the right candidates for the right jobs?

Zach 33:59
Yeah, absolutely. So this is a key focus for us. So we’ve got amazing data, right? We at Canvas, we know everything that you talked about in this interview, right? So if you think about all the interviews that have existed over time, we really don’t have much content from those interviews. We know that they happened, we know when they happened, we know who talked to them, but we really don’t know what was the content of that conversation. The beautiful part about Canvas is all of this is documented, right? It’s all back and forth, written in text form. And we’re able to mine that data and understand, what are the topics of conversation? So was this a logistics conversation or a scheduling conversation or an assessment conversation or a deep screen? So we are able to dig into and dive into that data and really understand who’s using the tool in what ways, and then that allows us to make sure that our features and capabilities are matching the needs of those people that are having those conversations without them even telling us about those conversations. So understanding the content and context is really big. But now, when you have, have not only the content of those, you’ve got all the metadata around this conversation. So I know when it started, we know who responded when, who the fast responders are, who the slow responders are, what’s the intent and content of those conversations. And when you mash a lot of that together, you can then get really amazing engagement scoring opportunities. So we score both candidate and the recruiter on engagement levels. And what we, what we intend to do is make sure that if a candidate is trailing off or started off very engaged and then has, has lowered their engagement score just through slower response times or not as thorough responses, those types of activities could indicate that they’re cooling to the particular position. And we want to make sure that we’re catching that as quickly as possible and allowing the recruiter to then make the decision. Is this a candidate that I’m really interested in? And if so, what can I do to better engage with this individual? Is that, is it that I need to communicate at 9am versus 6pm? So it’s not all about response times, right? It’s not a critical factor to respond quickly. But what is critical is to, again, meet candidates where they are, and if they’re at work at another job, and they can’t communicate at 9am, but we know that they’ve got a much better response rate and much faster response time around the 6pm timeframe, then we can allow that to happen and inform the recruiters in a way that they can modify their schedule to get the best output from each of these candidates. So that’s a particular way, and then, you know, how do we match candidates? How do we make sure that we’ve got the right candidate for the right job? Because there’s a lot, there are lots of candidates out there that are a great fit, but maybe not for this job, and that’s an okay thing. But how do we look at what are the important factors when looking for a job? So are you looking for someone that’s a quick to hire role? Are you looking for someone that’s an exact match? Are you looking for somebody that, you want longevity out of this particular person in this role, so how can we interpret that resume more for the the understanding around the resume, less of the exact words in the resume to understand what are the career behaviors and habits of these individuals? And how does that compare to other habits of other individuals that you’ve identified as ideal for this position? And then how do we take all that information, compare that to the job description, compare that to those critical factors that are important in making that hiring decision, and then provide you with a list of the most matched candidates at that point in time?

Susan 37:32
That’s great. Well, anything that we can do to increase the job fit, the better.

JoDee 37:37
Right. On both sides. For the candidates and the employers.

Susan 37:41
Yeah. You know, Zach, there’s been times that I’ve mentioned text based interviewing as an option to HR professionals that I consult with to pre-screen candidates. And then I’ve had reactions like, oh, that feels so impersonal, ugh. How has Canvas been able to personalize text interviewing?

Zach 37:58
Yeah, absolutely. So, first of all, I would say it’s all personal preference, right? When you deal with some financial institutions, you still have to send a fax, which seems really weird, but that’s, that’s definitely a requirement. Right? So like I said, some people prefer a phone call, some people prefer a text. And it’s not meant to be the solution, it’s meant to be another tool in your tool kit, right? But the way that we we personalize it is we, what we want to do is take that transactional work and make it as simple as possible for the recruiter. So if you think about, I’ve just had a career fair, let’s say, and I talked to 100 great candidates that I think might be fantastic for a new role or several roles that I’ve got opening. I can communicate with all 100 of those candidates at the same time with the same message with high levels of personalization. So we use things like merge tags, so “Hi [candidate first name], this is [recruiter first name] from [company],” and through that semi-code and script, which is very easy to do inside the UI of our application, how can you write that message one time, and then send it to everybody, and it feels like a very high touch, high personalized experience. And it took the recruiter the same amount of time to write the one message versus about 100 individual messages.

Susan 39:12
You just saved me eight hours of texting 100 people. Wow. Personalize it.

Zach 39:16
Absolutely, we’ve got this feature called saved messages, and, and it is definitely one of the most popular features. So what it is, is, for instance, when you want to start a conversation, there’s no reason to rethink about how you want to engage somebody, if you’ve got a great go-to line and phrase and series of sentences that, that you just know work and that reflect you and your company’s brand, then write that one and then make that your message and then watch that over time. Are you getting the response rate that you want from that message? And it goes beyond just that intro message, it goes to, let’s say that I’ve identified that this candidate is a great fit, and I want to move them to the next step and putting them in front of a hiring manager. Write that sentence and series of sentences one time, we’ll store it in our library of resources for you, and then when you hit that point, you just drop that same message in with a couple of clicks and move on to the next step. So what it is, it’s taking all those things and activities and practices that, that you know, work and you know, are effective. It’s putting it in the tool and then it’s having the tool serve these up to you to where you can more manage the flow, and less maintenance the specific transactions.

JoDee 39:16
So efficient. So efficient. Why do you think, you’ve mentioned a few of these already, but overall, why do you think using AI is critical in today’s talent acquisition efforts?

Zach 40:43
I think every everybody, definitely me, wants everything to be faster, right? Including employment opportunity. So how do we turn, flip the script on this and make it more of a pull method from the candidate’s perspective versus a push method. So if you applied to a job from a job board, and you sit there and hope that somebody is going to give you a phone call, right? How can we change that to where I’ve applied, and now as soon as the application is submitted, we put you through another automated bot-like process, right, to do an additional screen or maybe put an assessment in there? And then how do we put the candidate through these steps of the process, to where they can really pull in the way that they can make this happen as fast as they want and at a speed that they’re comfortable with? Because if we know that we’ve gotta ask these questions, if we know that this is the process that works for us as a company, let’s go ahead and automate that. Put those steps in place, and then allow the candidate to move through it at their own discretion. At that point, we can, we can still on the back end grade score, and eliminate the candidates that aren’t a fit, bubble the candidates that are a fit up to the top, and through all that process using automation. So where I’m designing the workflow for this particular open job requisition or this particular job that I’m trying to hire for, I automate that flow, and then it comes to us in the form of a calendar invitation to where it either goes to the recruiter or the hiring manager, whomever we deem as the correct next person. And the candidate has completely been automated through that point, to make sure that they’re pre-screened, pre-qualified, and a good fit for a real life conversation to happen. So it’s that nice handoff point to where not only do you get a pre-qualified candidate, you get the tangible artifacts of all of the results from the screening questions from the, any assessments that we might have done, from any front end sourcing information that we might have brought in, delivered to that recruiter and the hiring manager. So they’ve got the capability to read through this, really get a good understanding of why we felt like this was a qualified candidate, and then have that conversation in a very educated way.

Susan 42:53
What types of questions do you get from recruiters or candidates about AI?

Zach 42:59
It’s a hot topic not only in our industry, but I think globally, on what is AI and what can it do. And there’s obviously variations of different levels of AI. We’re not building Elon Musk’s neural link where we’re going to plug anything into your brain and and allow you to wirelessly share your thoughts. But what we are doing is we’re, we’re using your, we’re using what you’ve told us that you feel like as a, as a recruiter, that this is the way that I want things to work. And we’re using that data and combining it with output data to say that we feel like this is, you are improving because of the way you’re doing it or you’re not getting better. There are a couple things we could try to improve your engagement levels or your response times or your throughput or your time to fill. All of those metrics are now metered by other aspects of the application that they never touched before. So what I like to say is it’s more high end analytics, right, we’re not taking the job away from you. There’s no decision that’s being made that hasn’t already been pre-approved by the user or the recruiter, or there’s no decision that’s being made that doesn’t get that approval before it’s being made. So what we’re doing is we’re trying to use this very rich data set that we have to provide a more complete, full experience for both the candidate and the recruiter. And so when we have this data, we’re able to present it in a way that allows the recruiter again to manage the flow more of the actual transaction, right? So don’t do those tedious tasks again and again and again. Let’s, let’s figure out when we see those tasks as repetitive, and how do we come up with a solution using data and automation to make that an easier workflow type operation, to where the recruiter can manage many more candidates at a much faster clip than what they can in a traditional 15 minute phone screen type of conversation.

JoDee 44:59
That’s fantastic. How can a team or a recruiter help their teams and also their candidates feel comfortable using AI or this process in particular?

Zach 45:14
Yeah, so I think one thing that, that we’re highly focused on is making sure that nothing we do introduces unintended bias, right? We definitely want to kill the intended bias, but the unintended bias is what my bigger concern is, right? So how do we make sure that just because historically, this role is filled by a particular type of individual, how do we make sure that that doesn’t get tested to make sure that that, that historical trend is not the intended behavior of our capabilities. So every algorithm that we build out and every machine learning component that we’ve built out, has an anti-bias component to it, and that we’re regularly testing to make sure that it is adequately and accurately matching, presenting, and providing data in a way that is, is compliant in a variety of ways. So we want to make sure that when we present you with data, that you can know and trust that we’re providing you with a good capable decision, versus something that we’re just scoring and ranking and not doing any back end verification and validation that this is an okay response. So I think because of the care that we put into all of this, we know this is a highly sensitive issue, right? If I’m looking for a job, and I’m low on the matching list, why is that? What, what, what can I do to to get away from that, what can I do to present myself in a way that does allow me to be at the top of the match list? I’m not going to show up very high on a matching list for a nurse, and that’s okay, because I’m not a nurse, but I am an IT professional, and I do want to make sure that I’m doing the right things to show up there. So as we’re also developing these algorithms, we’re including the content of these algorithms in as transparent of a way as we can without exposing too many trade secrets. So that way we are, from the beginning, a transparent organization when it comes to algorithms and data collection and data sharing.

Susan 47:16
That’s wonderful. So Zach, what else do our listeners need to know?

Zach 47:21
Well, I think the, the world of recruiting and talent acquisition is about ready to go through a major, very positive overhaul in, in how we conduct, hire, and interact with, with candidates and even beyond the candidate experience, through onboarding and then employee engagement. And I think a lot of that is going to be driven with more frequent communication and more, more channels. So for instance, texting is one thing, but what about Facebook Messenger and Snapchat and WeChat and WhatsApp, especially as we globalize SMS, and texting is not as prevalent in many countries like it is in the United States. So how can we again, meet candidates where they are, and make sure that we’re able to interact and have a conversation with someone on a variety of different platforms. And then make sure that, that we have that overall process in place to get through those high quality, high, highly qualified candidates as quickly as possible so that we can reduce that time to fill, increase automation, increase recruiter and candidate satisfaction in a way that really is fundamentally different from the day to day transactional work that is being done by lots of individuals in these roles.

JoDee 48:38
Yeah, I love it. It’s so exciting.

Zach 48:40
It’s a really exciting time. Yeah.

JoDee 48:44
And Zach, how can our listeners learn more about Canvas? Or how could they reach out to you or the appropriate person to learn more?

Zach 48:53
Yeah, absolutely. So of course you can go to, our URL that will provide you lots of great videos and clips on, on what the actual Canvas tool is. You can also go to, that provides you insight into the Jobvite system, as well as telemetry, roll point, and of course, Canvas. So we’ve got a lot of points there for any sales opportunities or interest or inquiries, all that can be driven through those websites. And then if anyone would like to chat more about AI, ML, I love this stuff. I can really talk about it all day. It’s kind of unfortunate, but I’ve actually got to put some work in occasionally and can’t just sit around and chat about this stuff. But yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter and all the relevant places. And I’d be happy to have a conversation and learn more about anyone who’s interested in learning more about what we’re doing.

JoDee 49:43
All right. Well, that’s fantastic. And we’ll have a link in our show notes to those, to your website, so people can find that there as well.

Susan 49:52
Thank you so much for joining. It’s been very educational and enjoyable.

JoDee 49:55
Yes, it has.

Zach 49:56
Awesome. Well, I appreciate your time as well. And thanks for wanting to learn more about Canvas and Jobvite.

JoDee 50:02
All right, thank you. Take care. Bye bye.

Zach 50:05
All right. Thank you. Bye,

JoDee 50:07
Susan, we have a listener question today. Today’s question comes from Greg in Illinois. “I have an administrative assistant who has worked for me for years. She’s terrific. Recently, our HR manager noticed that my administrative assistant is one of the first people who arrives each day, around 6:30 in the morning, and she leaves when most of the staff does between 4:30 and 5:00. When the HR manager talked to me about the fact that she never sees my administrative assistant on the overtime list, I sure – I assured her that my admin doesn’t start working until I arrive at about 8:15. Her husband works an early shift, so he drops her off on his way. The HR manager wasn’t happy with my explanation, as she says she doesn’t want any employee at work off the clock. I think this is crazy. I don’t want to tell my wonderful admin, you have to find a new way to work that gets you here later. What do you think?”

Susan 51:13
Well, I gotta tell you that it – I can see both sides of it. And clearly the admin who has arrived to work every day with their spouse wants to get there safely and wants to get there whenever she wants to get there. And I get your point that you – she’s not necessarily working when she arrives. Here’s the thing, we have to all be very conscious when we have employees that are non-exempt, non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. And the fact is when you are not exempt in America, anytime you work more than 40 hours a week, you’re eligible for time and a half, depending on the state you’re in, that could be even, there could be more aggressive rules around that. For example, in California, if you work more than eight hours in one day, you’re eligible for time and a half, time and a half on every hour worked beyond that. So the HR manager here is concerned that the admin who comes in in the morning, if he or she is going to their desk, and they’re actually looking at email, they’ve opened on – signed on to the computer, going through yesterday’s letters, anything that they’re doing is compensable time. And so I think that the HR manager believes, if you’re going to allow the admin to be at that desk, if there’s even a chance she’ll answer the phone or do a piece of work, you’re better to make sure she’s logging in and you’re actually paying overtime, unless you take a different direction. And perhaps you’ve got a cafeteria in your building, you have some type of a lounge where she can go and watch TV, read the paper, we can truly ensure there’s no chance you can do work. I think that’s risk mitigation that she’s trying to help you get engaged in. JoDee, do you have any thoughts on this? Have you ever seen it happen?

JoDee 52:45
Well, I haven’t seen that happen directly. But I have had this question before, that – and I, I was going to advise the same thing, to keep them away from their desk somehow. A lounge, an outside area, you know, have them read a book or listen to The JoyPowered® Podcast maybe. But not being at their desk is certainly a better idea.

Susan 53:09
It’s too great of a risk.

JoDee 53:10

Susan 53:12
Alright, so in the news, posted an article by Lynn Cavanaugh on July 2, 2019 entitled, “Lying in the Hiring Process: How to Handle the Candidate.” They cited a recent study where 85% of employers say they have caught employees lying on their resume or job application. So does that surprise you?

JoDee 53:33
Well, I want to think it is, because I’m a bit naive, but yet I’ve seen some of those statistics before that. They say it’s true.

Susan 53:44
Yeah. When I look at a resume, I really do think of it as a marketing tool, and I do think people may tend to embellish a bit. It’s the job application where individuals sign off and they attest that everything on there is true and there’s no omissions. In that case, it needs to be crystal clear, absolutely true. On a resume, I would never promote lying, but I don’t – if there’s a job you were at for 45 days, you choose not to put it on there, or something like that, I don’t necessarily see that as lying. So I’d like to think if we looked at it that direction, maybe 85% is high.

JoDee 54:15

Susan 54:15
Who knows. So here’s Lynn’s advice: to be sure and have applicants attest that everything on their application is true, accurate, and there are no omissions. And that you really from a hiring perspective, never hire just off of a resume. Make sure you do have an application form that people do complete and they do attest to being truthful. She says then you need to be consistent in handling when you do discover that someone has lied or omitted information. You can’t pick and choose and decide you really like this particular software developer, yeah, they fudged it on such and such, but you’re going to take them, and then the next person you don’t do it, you’ve got to be consistent. Finally, Lynn encourages you not to act just on suspicion. Do a thorough investigation before you reach a reasonable conclusion that a person has lied. I think –

JoDee 55:06
Good advice.

Susan 55:06
Yeah, I think so too.

JoDee 55:37
Thank you for listening today. Please tune in next time. If you have missed any of our podcasts, you can catch all episodes for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts by searching on the word “JoyPowered.” If you like our podcast, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, and we’d love for you to rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps people find our show. If you have questions on any HR topic, you can leave us a voicemail at 317-688-1613 or email us at We are also on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter @joypowered. We welcome listener questions and comments.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily works behind the scenes at JoyPowered, helping to edit and publish the books, producing the podcast, and running the website and social media.

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