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Distilling a complex SaaS into a pithy placement line

See behind the resume

I was lucky enough to work with HRMatches – an Amsterdam-based SaaS for recruitment and hiring.

The product

The heart of HRMatches is a complex algorithm that assesses candidates’ personalities and behavioral characteristics and matches them to a client’s winning employees.

Say DKHardware.com wants to hire a new technical sales specialist. Traditionally, they’d write a specific position description and then do one of two things:

  1. Post the job on LinkedIn and Indeed and everything else. Receive an absolute blizzard of candidates (mostly unqualified), recruiter solicitations, bizdev solicitations, and other irrelevant stuff. Then spend hours and hours looking through the resumes at previous employment, set up a few meetings, decide which candidate they liked best personally, and make an offer. (I call this method of hiring resumancy — trying to predict the future based on resumes.)
  2. Contact one or several recruiters with the job posting. Then spend only a few hours interviewing a handful of highly-prequalified candidates, make an offer, and pay anywhere from 10%-25% of the new hire’s annual salary as a finder’s fee. (I call this method of hiring expensive, har har.)

HRMatches lets DK Hardware’s existing technical sales staff take a battery of personality and behavior tests. Then, the hiring director can send those same tests to any interesting candidates — and interview only the ones whose results match the profile of existing high-performers.

Pretty cool, right?

Here’s part of the HRMatches overview from AngelList:

A mismatch, followed by parting the organisation early, is still one of the largest expenses within recruitment. This is usually linked to the person ‘not fitting’ the job and/or your organisation. HRMatches offers the possibility to reduce this risk by using online integrated professional assessments. Next to knowledge and capability, your applicants are automatically judged and selected on culture, work style and personal features.

source

Even better, HRMatches had been adopted by some places in Denmark, so they had data demonstrating a significantly higher conversion rate (hires to interviews) and a higher retention rate.

Seems like it works!

The problem

HRMatches came to me with value propositions all over the place. Like:

  • no more piles of CVs on your desk or in your inbox
  • easier to distinguish different quality levels of the candidates
  • save a lot of time and drop administrative processes
  • you can fully focus on the right candidates
  • A mismatch, followed by parting the organisation early, is still one of the largest expenses within recruitment. This is usually linked to the person ‘not fitting’ the job and/or your organisation [in terms of corporate culture, work style conflicts, etc.]
  • Next to knowledge and capability, your applicants are automatically judged and selected on culture, work style and personality.

The process

After understanding the product, I needed to understand the customer. What are the pain points?

It really came down to three points:

  • Recruiting is time-consuming
  • Outsourcing to recruiters is expensive
  • Hiring is risky

I started brainstorming placement lines along with video scripts.

Video outline: “Sometimes, it’s easy to know who NOT to hire…”

VO: Sometimes, it’s easy to know who NOT to hire…

[pic of professionally-dressed candidates but one guy has a homemade superhero costume on and sappy grin…]

VO: Other times, it’s not.

[five identically-dressed candidates. Like a law firm job. At first glance it’s hard to tell them apart.]

VO: That’s where HRMatches can help. Our patented… 500 psychographic data points… Empowers you to see beyond the resume and select the candidate that fits your corporate culture — seamlessly. 

[handshake — payoff]

VO: HRMatches — because you already know who NOT to hire. 

[close-up on guy in superhero suit. ]

Video outline: “The RIGHT people…”

What makes a business? It’s not just four walls and a desk. It’s people. The right people. 

The world is full of people. But how many of them are the right match for YOUR business culture, needs, and ___?

You know they’re out there — but where?

We help you reach millions of candidates. All so you can find the right one. 

Three simple steps:

  1. Post
  2. Assess
  3. Match

HR Matches goes beyond finding candidates. With our proprietary sciencey blah, we discover the ideal candidate for your business needs — so you can see behind the resume. We help you stop recruiting and start hiring.

Stop recruiting, start hiring. 

The results

I kinda knew all along that “You already know who NOT to hire” was a bust — I liked it because I thought we could have a lot of fun with it as a placement concept. Oh well.

The client hated “Stop recruiting, start hiring” — feared HR professionals would take it as an insult, or a challenge.

What about…

PEOPLE ARE COMPLICATED 
DATA IS SIMPLE

HIRING IS COMPLICATED
DATA IS SIMPLE

The client thought these statements were true but not sufficiently empowering to the end user.

So the client chose my least favorite of my concepts:

See behind the resume

We made a video (my script, co-storyboard with the incredible Eliot Scarpetti). I think we captured the essence of “people are complicated; data is simple” without saying those exact words.

Overall, it’s a compromise, like all agency work is. (Just wish we could’ve had a single homemade superhero costume…)

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