Podcast: How Data Plays in Talent Acquisition

Digital Dynamic

Transcript to come

Mark:

Welcome to PeopleTech, the podcast of the HCM Technology Report. I’m Mark Feffer. Today I’m talking with Danny Wen. He leads strategic go to market efforts at the talent acquisition platform, Findem. We’ll talk about data and why it’s important, how the market reacted to COVID and why we build pipelines all on this addition of PeopleTech. Hey Danny, thanks for being here. Can you tell me a little bit about what Findem does?

Danny:

Absolutely. Findem is effectively a people search platform, as well as a matching platform. What we do is we break down candidates into what we call attributes. These are effectively search filters that get matched to the intent of the hiring manager or the talent organization, the recruiter, and what we do is we build pipeline, we guarantee outcomes and we deliver pipeline of qualified, diverse, and interested candidates.

Mark:

Well, Findem, reading the website and some of your marketing materials, it sounds like Findem’s about basically better searches. What makes them better from the user’s point of view? And then how do you do it?

Danny:

Great question. Great question, Mark. For Findem we like to pride ourselves in terms of how our approach and methodology in terms of finding actual people, and it really starts with attributes. Hari and Raghu, the co-founders of the company, we’ve built a set of attributes and they’re granular search filters, almost a wishlist if you’re a hiring manager. And what we do is we contextualize that with many, many different data sources at work, which allows you to search for, say, find me a candidate that’s worked at a startup and it has seen exceptional high growth in this sector or this vertical of a company. And that really allows the customer or the hiring manager to really search and express that in plain English versus how things are done today, which is very keyword centric, still that bullying approach and doesn’t allow you to find those folks with that type of level of granularity.

Mark:

Let me ask you this question, I think you may have just answered it, but how would you describe the difference between attributes and keywords? What’s the value of the attributes?

Danny:

It’s a very quarry centric approach. We have this massive data lake and you’re able to as an entrant express that in plain English. We call that the impossible search. It’s find these set of things that you can’t really express in a keyword centric platform like LinkedIn or some of the other ones that have involved or very incremental to what LinkedIn is today. So, that’s the secret sauce behind the machine and the engine, it’s this massive day lake. We contextualize a lot of information, we have crunch-based Kaggle, we have GitHub as data sources for instance, and it just allows you to search in plain English and to surface the right insights and the right folks that match that intent.

Mark:

And how is the system doing all of this? What’s going on under the hood, to put it another way?

Danny:

Hard and grew. They come from big data infrastructure background. They’ve built these large scale systems in the past. So for them it’s something almost second nature. They’ve been doing that for their entire career. And it really does start with the ingestion of these types of data sources. We have over 750 million profiles on the platform today. And then as I mentioned, we are overlaying that with many, many other data sources. And that’s the engine and the machine behind how we surface the right candidates at the right time.

Mark:

Not very long ago you raised 30 million in a series B round, what are you using the money for?

Danny:

We’ve actually made quite a few hires since that series B. It’s mainly to drive product, drive the good market function, as well as customer success. We are servicing some large enterprise customers today, so we want to ensure delivery as well as product invasion, product improvements, things just to constantly upleveling the organization. I actually co-led the series B and for me to now be here inside Findem, that’s some real conviction, Mark. For me I’ve had an interesting view in the company as a founding investor and then co-leading series B and actually jumping into full time earlier this year. For me, I’m extremely passionate about the HR tech space and solving this problem in hiring challenges that you see in the market today, so that’s exactly what I’m here.

Mark:

Now, data is obviously a big part of your platform, and can you talk about that? Where does data sit on the priority list of characteristics and what are your plans for it?

Danny:

Data’s incredibly important to the company, Mark. We have a data quality team on the engineering and product side that’s really driving those efforts. And for us we’re constantly building towards perfection because accuracy and achieving those types of results is incredibly important as we deliver these candidates to our customers.

Mark:

Now, I just want to shift gears a little bit and talk about the world. Everything seems unsettled right now, from your point of view, what’s the market like? How are your customers behaving and how are job seekers behaving?

Danny:

As you know, Mark, it’s definitely been a lot of turbulence more recently, but earlier on, on the onset of the pandemic that certainly caused a whirlwind of issue with multiple things at work. You had the Great Resignation, you have remote work, you have this whole concept of hybrid, and now, given more recently the market volatility, you’re starting to hear a lot of chatter about hiring freezes, improving the bottom line, cost reductions and so forth. We’re seeing a lot of our customers still practically hiring, especially mission critical roles. And for us, Findem does deliver that in a very efficient, targeted and a very productive way. So I imagine for Findem we want to work with folks that are very cognizant and very mindful of these things, and we’re excited to support them as we progress out of current times.

Mark:

And where do you think it’s all leading? We have the Great Resignation right now, you’ve got the economy unsettled, we have high inflation. In the context of your market, talent acquisition, what do you think is going on and where’s it coming to go?

Danny:

That’s a great question, Mark. I think there’s going to be a reshuffling of talent given market volatility and compression and valuations, as well as cost cutting measures. I think for us you’re going to start seeing this blend of the sourcer and recruiter role. Findem, what we do is we want to make these folks strategic, we want to eliminate and allow them to focus on more high value tasks. So instead of doing manual pipeline building, use Findem to actually do the sourcing. So I see that as a cost efficient, cost effective way and very strategic way of building pipeline. So these sourcers and recruiters are starting to focus on more strategic and high value tasks in the organization.

Mark:

Well, Danny, thanks for coming in today. It’s been great talking with you and I hope you’ll come back.

Danny:

Great. Thanks, Mark.

Mark:

My guest today has been Danny Wen, leader of strategic go to market efforts at Findem, and this has been PeopleTech, the podcast of the HCM Technology Report. We’re a publication of RecruitingDaily. We’re also a part of Evergreen Podcasts. To see all of their programs visit www.evergreenpodcasts.com. And to keep up with HR technology, visit the HCM Technology Report every day. We’re the most trusted source of news in the HR tech industry. Find us at www.hcmtechnologyreport.com. I’m Mark Feffer.

Image: iStock

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