Generative AI has been changing the way we work for several months. To help us keep up with the rapid rate of change, I invited Robin Choy, the CEO of HireSweet, back on the Talent & Growth podcast to talk about the advances in Chat CPT’s technology and how we can apply it to recruitment. Read on to find out how to keep up with the latest innovations in AI.  

What’s happened in generative AI in the last couple of months? 

Most of the products are still at the beta stage. What has changed over the past eight weeks is that everybody’s starting launching their own Chat GPT type models. There are a lot of new services, models and products emerging – it’s not just Chat GPT or Open AI anymore. The most major improvement I’ve seen are the plugins that allow for Chat GPT to communicate with websites. Expedia, for instance, has given it access to travel data. There has also been a big improvement in image generation, which is fascinating to watch. 

How can recruiters make the most of those improvements?

For recruiters, I don’t expect there will be a big difference in the use of Chat GPT. Most of the time, you don’t really see a big difference between GPT 4 and GPT 3. It has the same biases, and 4 is slightly slower but it gives you better results most of the time. Its results feel more like human products and it manages larger texts. That I can give it a podcast transcript and it’ll create a summary, which is something that GPT 3 couldn’t do. Something big for recruiters is going to be the plugins that are being developed. You can expect to have ATS plugins or Indeed and LinkedIn plugins fairly soon.

Where is Chat GPT taking us in the next 12 months?

Most software vendors will start integrating chargeability to their software. So in the next 12 months, you can expect to have much more AI powered functionalities in all the software you use in your ATS. If your ATS doesn’t let you generate job descriptions using Chat GPT, within a year, it’s probably time to leave your ATS because they missed that train. 

Unfortunately, I also believe there will be much more noise. There’ll be more articles, LinkedIn posts and outreach messages that are all saying the same thing. A lot of people are reporting that they’ve had a surge in applicants recently because people are use Chat GPT to fill in their application forms. We’ll have to find ways to cut through the noise.

I believe one of the results is that personal branding and company branding will be more important than ever. At least show that you’re a real person. Build trust. Do that individually with the candidates – meet them in person too, because in six months, you’ll reach out to a person and if they know you, they won’t know if you’re an AI or not. Personal brands will signal who candidates can trust. 

To learn more about using generative AI in recruitment, tune in to Episode 123 of the Talent & Growth podcast here

Hiring is one of the biggest challenges for companies in today’s talent shortage. This is a particular issue for startups who don’t have the same brand recognition or inherent candidate attraction that larger companies have. On Episode 121 of the Talent & Growth Podcast I spoke to Claudia Colvin, who is the Head of People at Happy Scribe. She has a really interesting background in scaling businesses and setting up processes at an early stage, so I tapped into her knowledge base on the subject. These are her insights on how to hire successfully in a startup business: 

The first thing to keep in mind is that compared to companies that have a reputation, you will receive almost no inbound applications. That’s because you’re not a company that people will have on top of their mind when they’re thinking about changing jobs. You need to rely really heavily on outbound. Most of the time it will be someone’s first time hearing the name of your company, so your outbound needs to be amazing. You can’t get away with having plain copy that doesn’t stand out, because your company name already doesn’t stand out. You really have to work super hard on having amazing copy that is very specific with no fluff words. 

Avoid saying: 

  • We are rapidly growing our shares
  • We’re disrupting and innovating

Instead, phrase it like this: 

  • We have grown by X% in the last quarter
  • We are using X technology to streamline our workflow

These are the specific things that will make your outbound stand out. 

Another thing to focus on is making sure that the email is about the candidate. We have a really high response rate of around 50-60%. That’s because we contact less people, but we personalise our outreach. We start the email with a sentence or two that really shows that we have read their profile, noticed a couple of things that stand out and make them a match. That really captures their attention. 

Secondly I recommend investing some time in doing PR work. Getting press visibility does a lot for hiring. Think about your strategic focus on who you need to hire, their profiles, where they hang out, what communities are they part of, what content they read etc. You can then use PR to put yourself in those places. For example, something that we did is we looked at what podcasts our target hires listen to, then pitched that our founders should go and speak on those podcasts. We got several applications coming through from that. When we were reaching out to the people after doing that, we started getting responses like ‘I heard about you on the podcast’. PR isn’t just about bringing in more inbound applications, it’s about increasing your brand recognition so that when you do reach out, they have actually heard of you. 

Another important factor in successfully hiring in a startup is getting your culture right. Building community is really important, and word of mouth is a very powerful way to get people to apply. We started hosting events and meetups for product designers, software engineers, and other people that we wanted to hire, so that they could see our space, meet our team and recognise us as a brand. We really believe that our team is amazing, and that’s a big part of what wins people over or makes them excited to join us. It doesn’t have to be people you want to hire, you can just invite people that you think are going to be cool to have a conversation with. It’s all about creating an atmosphere in the room. It helped us figure out what our ideal candidates to know about us and how we can make them aware of us. 

To learn more about how to create a hiring process in your company, tune into Episode 121 of the Talent & Growth Podcast here.

Are you looking to streamline your talent acquisition process with technology? Look no further than the insights of Reece Batchelor, Talent Acquisition Manager at tray.io. With over three years of experience at the company and a background in agency and consultancy recruitment, Rhys has a wealth of knowledge to share. I sat down with him on Episode 120 of Talent & Growth to discuss how we can improve talent acquisition with technology. 

What software do you use to test candidates during the interview process?

We’ve implemented a great platform called Codility and introduced it as early as possible in our hiring process. Our commitment to candidates remains strong as they progress through our process. In between interviews we provide 20 coding tasks, which take no longer than 45 minutes to complete. Candidates must finish the task before their call with the hiring manager so that we can provide feedback on both their code and interview performance. This process saves time by identifying fit early on. We’re not using Codility as a task-based exercise with no feedback or commitment from our end, we’re using it to ensure the right fit for everyone involved as early as possible.

What metrics are you measuring during your talent acquisition process? 

The metrics we measure depend on who needs them and why. We report some things to our clients and track different things for ourselves. To determine what to report to each business, we consider what they need and care about. For example, last year, I was tracking time to fill and time to hire, but then our head of talent told me that she only cares about hiring the right person, regardless of how long it takes. As a result we focus on tracking the quality of hire, which is difficult to measure until the candidate has been with us for six to twelve months. We track this by using a scorecard-based criteria during the interview process.

In addition, we measure interview efficiency by tracking time to source, average time spent in each stage of the process, offer acceptance rate, and candidate experience. These metrics help us understand our sourcing efficiency, how well we are calibrated with the hiring manager and how quickly we are moving candidates through the process. We also assess recruiters by the standards we believe our talent acquisition partners should meet. We track metrics such as 100 Outbound per week, 50 new prospects into the process per week, 20 recruiter screens per week, 60% pass rate at stakeholder screen, 90% offer acceptance rate, and 65% underrepresented hires.

We do not track hires per month, we measure performance. That helps us identify areas for improvement. If we are not making the hires we need, we work backward through the process to identify where things went wrong and what we need to improve. By focusing on these metrics we are able to ensure that we are hiring the right people as efficiently as possible.

Is your messaging sequence automated? 

We use an automated tool called Jim for our messaging, but that doesn’t mean our messages lack personalization. When we add people to a project, we use a templated email with tokens that allow us to add extra information based on what we find on their LinkedIn profile. For instance, if we see that someone has spoken on a podcast or received a recommendation, we add that information to the tokens. By doing this, we ensure that our sequences are efficient while still being personalised.

Is there anything else software-wise that you use and you find really useful?

Ashbee is an excellent tool for managing data and generating metrics. We use it to build various data dashboards that give us the metrics we need because its lifetime data is accessible, exportable, and shareable with hiring managers. 

For sourcing, we are big fans of Hired. It’s a platform where we find amazing candidates, and their customer success team is brilliant. We also use Try to automate some parts of our recruitment process, especially in HR and onboarding. Our own platform allows us to build up those automation features.

Although we love technology, we believe it should not take away the human aspect of the recruitment process. We value building relationships, which technology cannot replace. While some tools like Calendly can be useful, we prefer to keep the human touch by asking for availability during a call rather than sending a calendar link later. For us, technology is great if it makes things more efficient and automates manual processes that we don’t need to do ourselves, but it should not replace the human touch.

To learn more about using technology in your TA function, tune in to the Talent & Growth Podcast here

Racism is a prevalent issue in today’s society. On Episode 119 of Talent & Growth we spoke to Hannah Litt about how we can create equity in the workplace, covering topics like diversity and inclusion initiatives, white supremacy and business’s responsibilities to their employees and customers. Hannah is the Head of Equity, Diversity, Anti-Racism and Resourcing at MindWeaver, and her work is centred around creating a just and equitable environment, both in the workplace and wider society. 

What are the foundations of an environment of psychological safety?

It will be different for every single person. When someone joins my team, my objective is to make them feel safe. It won’t be 100% safe, and that’s not on the company, that’s on people’s past experiences and trauma, but we can aim to get people as close to 100% as we can. That is my ongoing objective. That means showing up for them, whether they needed something, whether they were unwell, or whether their family needed something. Whatever the reason was, it’s important that I’m showing up for my team in whichever way I can. Some people say, ‘I just treat all of my team the same’, but I’ve never treated my team in the same way, because my team are not the same people, their needs are different. I treat my team dependent on what they need. I’m not perfect, I will make mistakes. But I promise that I’ll show up the best I can when you need me, and hopefully that equates to safety.

You’ve spoken publicly about the importance of overcoming white supremacy in the workplace. What do you think are the most effective steps companies can take to create more equitable workplaces in that way?

White supremacy isn’t just in the workplaces, it’s everywhere. I think the most important thing is that people realise that this is a white problem. This is a problem that has been created by white people, and that will make people wince when they hear it because they think “It wasn’t me, I didn’t do it.” This is actually a white people problem to solve and dismantle because we, as the global majority, don’t hold the power. That is the first thing that white people need to recognise; that they hold the power. Then they need to remove the fragility that comes with that realisation. A lot of conversations that I’ve been having recently with white people have been, “If I do this, then what’s in it for me?” My response has been “This is about saving humanity and doing the right thing. This is about actually showing up for other people.”

I am well aware that I am South Asian, and I have been raised in a system of white supremacy too. I’m not absolved of being racist either. Anti-blackness is a thing in my community, so I have to do the work as well. It’s really important that people of the global majority are not absolved of this work either, because anti-blackness is a thing I have to work on every day as well. We need to look at who holds power as a whole, and who’s most likely to be writing the policies, signing off the pay, etc. A lot of that work comes from within, by removing your own fragility and doing the work.

How can we contribute to dismantling white supremacy, and what are some tangible steps we can take to make a difference? 

I always say Google is free. Google is there. There are so many creators of the global majority that are putting out free content every single day. So you have me, Elizabeth Lieber, Sharon Hurley, Shareen Daniels, A.B. Adamson… There are so many great people out there who are putting out great content for free, using their emotional labour. There are some great books as well by people like Saira Rao and Regina Jackson. They do have cash apps and stuff that you can pay them through if you want to contribute in return for that labour. 

You just need to read and digest and take the emotion away from it. At the end of the day, the black majority are living in discomfort. A white woman once told me that she likes to turn her phone away when she sees an injustice, because she can’t bear to see it. What I had to say to her was, “That’s your privilege. You get to turn your phone around and not look at it. When I go to the supermarket, I can’t turn the colour of my skin off. I still get the microaggressions when I go into the office and I don’t get to turn it off. The fact that you get to turn it off is your privilege, and that is where you’re upholding white supremacy.” That’s what people need to know. Everybody needs to confront those uncomfortable emotions to work through it together and make it better. 

What has been your experience with the intersection of mental health and racial justice in the workplace, and how do these two issues intersect? 

I didn’t realise that my mental health was impacted by racial justice until I started to unpack my own stuff about 18 months ago. It’s ongoing, but the impact that racial trauma has had on my mental health is huge. I had locked away what happened systemically through schooling. The fact that I was just written off as difficult when I actually have ADHD definitely has a racial element. Working in the organisation that I work in now, seeing the impact of the trauma that people have faced at the hands of managers and organisations, that people don’t even realise, has been really confronting. 

I still have moments now where I think of situations that I was in, where I go, “Hold on a minute, that wasn’t right.” It still comes back to me now that they were microaggressions which had been so normalised that it happened on a daily basis and nobody called it out. I actually went through an old WhatsApp chat yesterday with an old manager of mine, and I was like, “Whoah, that was not okay.” Even though we may have left organisations, we’re still working through the damage that racial microaggressions inflicted on us. There were things that we were just dealing with on a daily basis. That impacts your mental health a lot.

What role do white women have in dismantling racism in the workplace? 

This is a really important conversation. I’m not saying that white men don’t have a role to play, and I’ve had some really interesting conversations and experiences with white men. But, because everybody is focusing on gender equity, and the progress we’ve made there, white women fail to recognise the privilege that they have. They uphold white supremacy, and the harm that has been caused to the global majority by white women is massive. They need to acknowledge the role that they play in upholding white supremacy, because it often isn’t recognised. 

I had a conversation yesterday where a white woman referred to me as a commodity, which is not okay. It’s really important for them to recognise that, yes, we need to talk about women’s equity, but actually, they don’t support black women, trans women, etc. in those conversations. That’s something we really need to unpack.

It goes back to the tokenism side of things. It’s really important that the white women that are in the room are dismantling those patriarchal structures and paving the way for women of the global majority. What we do see is a lot of white women who are making quite a bit of progress in the gender equity space, but they are rolling the ladders up behind them. It’s really important to understand the role that white women played within white supremacy, slavery, colonisation, etc.

How can companies foster a workplace culture that values and supports diversity, equity and inclusion?

I feel it’s still a tick-box exercise. Ask yourself why you’re doing it. A lot of people are still doing it for the investors, because they feel they need to, etc. Diversity doesn’t mean inclusion. It’s about action. How are we still here? How are people still feeling like they don’t belong? How is there still systemic racism? We need to get to the point where people are actually looking at the systems and the processes, because bringing in more people isn’t going to make a difference. It’s got to be a huge shift in their policies and wider culture. 

To learn more about creating equity in the workplace, tune into the Talent & Growth podcast here