When I was leading the People & Culture team at the REA Group, my new CEO was passionate about Values, and the central role they play in defining your culture. Following a successful change program to evolve new Values that mirrored the desired Culture, one that would set the business up for continued growth and as a talent magnet, she asked me how we were going to embed those Values through our people processes – who we hire, who we promote, who we reward etc.
It couldn’t be a screen saver pop up or posters on a wall. The values had to be really heard and felt. At the same time, we also had a business that was hiring in the hundreds each year so scaling culture means getting this right.
These are two distinct notions when it comes to hiring: hiring for values and for culture. One should stay pretty fixed, and the other should be dynamic as your business context is always changing. If a company’s values are its bedrock, then a company’s culture is the shifting landscape on top of it. Hiring purely for culture is a recipe for self-reinforcing hiring, aka hiring that is biased. As we all know, innovation comes from the diversity of background/thought/etc, so by hiring only for the culture you can decrease, or even stifle innovation.
Celebrate that just as your product is always evolving, so will your culture. That means people who were great when you were a team of 50 may not be the right person for when you get to 500.
At Sapia we work with our customers to ensure their values are embedded right from the chat interview. This takes many forms, including
No recruiter could ever get that feedback data at the scale and speed to improve their recruitment process. But using Sapia we make a hard decision easier, meaning you can focus on hiring the right people to grow your business, at scale, without sacrificing the candidate experience. And if the VP for a global business focused on connecting people to opportunity can’t recognise bias, it’s a sure sign we need to pay more attention to who, and how, we hire.
“Talent is really distributed very evenly in the world, and opportunity is not.”
So, what do you think? Is your hiring values-driven, or based on the ever-intangible ‘culture-fit’? How do you scale hiring based on values? And how can we in HR, Talent Acquisition and Recruitment support hiring managers to grow innovative, diverse teams?
You can try out Sapia’s Chat Interview right now, or leave us your details to book a demo
Right now, you’re probably focussing on how to get more of the best talent into your funnel as the global talent shortage squeezes hiring teams.
That’s why we’ve made some small (but significant) improvements to our experience, to make it even easier to access and use our platform, both for candidates and hiring teams.
Standalone Video Interview
Last year we created a world-first frictionless hiring experience, enabling incredible speed and immediate efficiency gains for our customers. An automated workflow that interviews every candidate using Ai over chat, and auto progresses the shortlist to a non-Ai Video Interview.
Our customers want to empower Hiring Managers to make the final hiring decision while eliminating wasted time that manual screening processes create, and giving every single candidate an empowering experience with their brand.
The results have blown us away. When combined with Chat Interview, Video Interview has achieved the following outcomes for our customers, across 30k candidates:
“This interview was really great since I had 5 chances to record my responses, and that I had time to prepare my answer. The interview was not rushed and I was able to say everything I had to say”
“I like that this system gives people the opportunity to express how they really feel, and streamlines the interviewing process.”
Given the market demand for asynchronous video solutions, we’re delighted to announce that Video Interview is now available as a standalone solution.
We remain committed to hiring that minimizes human bias and always recommend using our Ai Chat Interview as the first step in your main recruitment process. It’s fair, engaging, and the most efficient way to assess your candidate pool.
However, this development suits the following scenarios:
In both of these scenarios, candidates can still have an engaging experience with your brand by completing a Video Interview for your hiring team to review, in their own time.
For customers wanting to interview non-English speakers, or provide reasonable accommodations for candidates unable to provide written responses, you can now offer Video Interview as a standalone assessment stage.
To be clear: we always advocate for our Ai Chat Interview to be used as the main assessment stage in your standard hiring process. It’s faster, fairer, and a more engaging candidate experience at the top of the funnel.
However, for scenarios where it doesn’t work to use an English language written interview, now you can offer Video Interview on its own.
Ethnicity & Gender Source visible in DiscoverInsights
To be able to measure diversity through the funnel, and help you to pinpoint bias across your business, we report on the ethnicity and gender of candidates.
The source of this data comes from two places:
Now you’ll be able to see the percentage breakdown between these two sources, to better understand the overall accuracy with which these data points are reported.
Ask questions using video in Video Interview
To create an even more engaging Video Interview experience, customers can now pre-record the questions asked in video format, so your candidates have more of a ‘conversation’ and get to know your team.
Our Customer Success team manages this process, so if you want to use this feature, just get in touch.
Edge 3 MFA token timeout increased
We take security at Sapia seriously. The use of MFA is key to keeping our customer’s data safe, however, some customers were having some issues with the 5 min token timeout.
To address this, we’ve increased the time limit to enter your MFA code from 5 to 10 minutes, to make it easier to log in to our platform, and to give some slower email delivery systems time to get your code to you.
Planned delay in sending My Insights reports ⏰
Our Ai is fast.. Some could say, too fast!
To set a more human cadence of communication, we’ve introduced a planned delay of around an hour in sending My Insights reports to candidates after they’ve submitted their Chat Interview responses.
All in the spirit of creating a human, intuitive experience with our Smart Interviewer.
A few weeks ago, I confessed my imposter syndrome on social media. That I was, and still am, the least likely candidate to run an Ai tech company. I am a former CHRO, I am female, I am neither an engineer nor a data scientist. I also have no sales experience, and yet I find myself spending 80% of my time in sales (although we don’t call it that of course).
When I was Head of HR at BCG back in the noughties, the firm was going through a growth period. Due to the way teams were sold into engagements, having senior people who could execute on complex change programs in areas that were quite new to the firm (digital, etc), meant looking externally for ‘lateral’ hires.
These were people who could be trusted to uphold and amplify the firm’s strong values and bring much-needed expertise by virtue of their seniority and transferable skills. It was hard.
‘Organ rejection’ is a term I learned in my next gig, as CHRO at the then-largest digital company in Australia, the REA Group. Organ rejection is what happens when a lateral hire fails miserably – for both parties.
So, here I am 2.5 years into my current role. The one I feel professionally ill-qualified for when I realize I’m a lateral hire. But despite my self-doubt, there hasn’t been any ‘organ rejection’.
When I reflect on my life and the things that mean I might (there’s that imposter syndrome again) make a great CEO, I realize that so much of what I bring to this job is what I experienced outside of education. Born out of a need to be resilient from a young age, and a bit of serendipity.
In 1980, when I was 10, my family immigrated from Zimbabwe to Perth, Australia. We arrived, a family of six, with little else than each other. Anyone who’s done it knows the uncertainty of immigration. Most of us do it to risk a better life knowing very little beyond what is a glossy brochure-like version of the new land we are sailing to. It wasn’t as easy as we had been sold, but we survived and adapted to our new home country.
At 18, I moved to Melbourne from Perth to study my undergrad. Not because I wanted to make a bold move again, but because I wanted to get as far away as possible from my stepmother. My mother had tragically died at a very young age a few years after we immigrated and my dad remarried within 10 months.
I took law as my undergrad because a friend a year ahead of me was doing it and she seemed to like it. I then took a wild punt on doing an MBA and managed to get a full scholarship. Which meant I could take my time to figure out what exactly I would do with an MBA.
Fast forward three kids, and a divorce in the middle. I decided I needed to be in a creative environment. So I took an executive role in the arts knowing nothing about the two areas I was responsible for nor the sector.
I accepted an opportunity to be Deputy Chair on a board because someone believed in me. Not because I had a grand plan to build a portfolio career. I’ve never planned my life really, but I have often taken a punt. After all, I found my home by knocking on the front door because I just loved the look of it from the outside and thought ‘what the heck?”
I landed in this job because a close friend recommended me. I found the whole idea of figuring out how you find the best lateral talent so fascinating – without realizing until right now, I was a good example of just that.
I’d say that very little of my formal qualifications and work experience has really equipped me for the rough and tumble of being the CEO of a startup. The sheer unknown of building a new product in an emerging market, and the stress of checking the bank balance daily to make sure we can make this month’s payroll.
Most of what got me here came from the lessons I learned away from the workplace. From immigrating, losing a parent when I was young, leaving a city that I knew well on my own, learning to follow my whims, take chances, and constantly look for meaning.
None of that makes it onto my CV.
My mission is to make those things matter the most when it comes to finding the right people for the right job. I’m also making peace with my imposter syndrome by accepting that it’s the different perspective that I bring to the table that makes my contribution so unique.
I’d go so far as to say we should all hire “industry imposters” if we can. And I’m here to help you find them.
Barbara Hyman, 03/08/2020
To keep up to date on all things “Hiring with Ai” subscribe to our blog!
You can try out Sapia’s Chat Interview right now, or leave us your details here to get a personalised demo.
This is a line credited to Peter Drucker, a well-known management guru. Organisations have been selective on whether they use quotas or targets in the diversity space. It is still a hot political issue for many. Targets are said to help align organisational investment and effort to achieve a given goal. Whether it be a sales target or an internal promote target. But any good Sales Director/ CEO will tell you, you need the data to track it, and that means ‘lead’ not just lag indicators.
When it comes to bias around hiring and promotion, its mostly unconscious bias we have to worry about.
With AI enabled interviewing and assessment, there is now no excuse. The bias is trackable, visible, at the micro level, so your CHRO can hold the mirror up to every manager to show their bias. A game-changer for changing behaviours. Something no amount of bias training will give you.
Given that we do not collect the above demographic details from our candidate, we use an external service, NamSor, to derive ethnicity and gender from candidate names. NamSor is one of the leaders in name to gender, ethnicity and origin classifications.The ability to measure bias is one reason to use AI based screening tools over traditional processes. Growing awareness that AI can be fairer for people prompted the California State Assembly to pass a resolution to use unbiased technology to promote diversity hiring. Not all AI tools are equal however. The US is shining the spotlight on video interviewing with HireVue. This AI-driven recruitment company, recently taken to the US Federal Trade Commission claiming unfair and deceptive trade practices in their use of face-scanning technology to assess job candidates’ “employability”.
One US state introduced legislation this year, the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act. This requires companies to secure applicant’s consent to use AI. It also imposes limits on who can view an applicant’s recorded video interview and requires that companies delete any video that an applicant submits within a month of their request.