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Interview: RecTech Media Talks Skills with HiringBranch CMO Live From Unleash

published by
Chandal Nolasco da Silva
May 29, 2024
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Interview: RecTech Media Talks Skills with HiringBranch CMO Live From Unleash

The HiringBranch team returned to the Unleash Americas 2024 event for another amazing experience with our friends and colleagues. We’re talking custom jerseys for the Chad-Cheese crew, an insane amount of booth traffic, ice bars, a tear-jerking performance from legendary Magic Johnson, and so much more. 

The Unleash Americas event brings together so many of our favourite industry faces and influencers. We were delighted to run into RecTech Media host, Chris Russell, recording interviews directly from the tradeshow floor - we haven't seen Chris since last August. Our CMO, Beth Thouin, had the opportunity to sit down with Chris and talk all things skills-based hiring. Here’s a look at how that conversation went or you can listen to the interview on our LinkedIn

Interview Transcript

Russell: I’m at the Startup Pavillion Floor at Unleash Vegas 2024, and I’m here at the HiringBranch booth with Beth Thouin, and she’s going to talk to us today about skills-based hiring, so how are you, Beth?

Thouin: Good morning! I’m good, thanks, Chris.

Russell: Good to hang out with you at the ice bar. Let’s talk about skills-based hiring. How do you define that for your client base? What’s the HiringBranch version of skills-based hiring?

Thouin: So it can actually mean different things to different people because there are so many varied hiring processes out there. The main concept and theory is hiring candidates based on their skills first, versus their resume, experience, academia…that sort of thing. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be the only criteria for hiring a candidate but [it has to be] a leading criteria.

Russell: Ok, so the resume is probably still going to exist in the future. Are there other ways we can move towards a skill-based process for companies?

"skills data lives within any one of your many systems. What do those skills define? And then what insights do they provide for you"

Thouin: Yes of course. UKG held a skills summit yesterday, and it was fantastic. They walked the HR practitioners through all the different processes deep dive to how to know where your skills data lives within any one of your many systems. What do those skills define? And then what insights do they provide for you to action on them – and there’s so many! So I’ll just widdle it down to one part of the lifecycle where skills can live and be actioned, which is with assessment, what HiringBranch does. Segue to a shameless plug (laughs)!

Russell: Spoken like a true marketer.

Thouin: Exactly! 

So, a resume comes in, and it has a candidate’s claims for what they can do, what their experience is, and what their skills might be, and [the recruiter] they’re obviously trying to match them to the job they’re applying for. Where we come in is, we have an AI assessment that measures a candidate’s soft skills using free speech and free chat tasks…so to speak. So really it’s AI, communication skills, and soft skills being assessed with an open AI format. What that does then, is with a 99 accuracy, it can tell a hiring manager this candidate has this skill and this skill. Let’s say you’re hiring a salesperson, it can say this person has excellent negotiation, they’re able to build rapport very well, and they’re an excellent communicator, you should hire them. 

Then those skills can be transferred into whatever system this employer is already using and then those skills can keep living on whether it’s for internal mobility, whether it’s for training, so having a source for skills is important. But also what our job is, and what we’re trying to help people do is really evaluate the skills and the proficiency, and to put a number or a data point to it so people can use it.

Russell: Very good. So you have a study of 5000 candidates and you reveal your top three findings. Walk us through that if you could?

Thouin: Absolutely. So we took 5000 candidates who were hired through HiringBranch, and then we looked at the performance of these candidates and correlated it back to their skills. Imagine how insightful that could be when they understand what skills led to what performance! So that’s what we did. 

"the top quartile of skilled folks were also in the top quartile of performance four months after being hired."

Then, we looked at the folks who had the top skills in specific roles – where did they land in terms of performance? And of course, the top quartile of skilled folks were also in the top quartile of performance four months after being hired. So it makes sense. 

Russell: HiringBranch works.

Thouin: Exactly, exactly, exactly!

The other wild insight was on attrition. So for every top candidate hired in a customer service role (there were many roles we looked at but let’s just look at customer service), for every top-skilled candidate hired 27 bottom-skilled candidates attrited after four months. Meaning they’re all skilled, everyone that’s hired can do the job, but there’s top and bottom and so the insight there is how can we hire more top people? So we get in more top people, and then of course how can we take those medium folks and level them up to the same proficiency as everyone else.

Russell: Very good Beth. Hiringbranch.com, thanks for your time!

Thouin: Thank you!

Image Credits

Feature Image: Via RecTech Media on LinkedIn

Image 1: Property of HiringBranch. Not to be reproduced without permission.

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