• Smart cities

    Machine learning in recruitment isn’t coming, it’s here

    When we started Elevate 7 yrs ago, we had a vision for what we thought might be a simple app that connected people with jobs. It is easy, it’s a simple problem right: here’s some jobs, here’s some people, away we go, and boom, we’re all successful internet entrepreneurs…little did we know!

    Fast forward to now, and we have a very large Enterprise software application on our hands; it is responsive, has mobile apps, and incorporates the latest in machine learning and data science-led research.

    We realised around 4 years ago that purely having a route to attract candidates wasn’t going to cut it. The recruitment industry, whilst it has its many detractors, is a tough industry to succeed in,  because the art of being a successful recruiter – and it is an art – is a hard one to master. As someone who’s been in the game for almost 20 years there’s a lot I take for granted about how it works, and there’s obviously been many changes during those time.

    In 1998 we used to fax CVs; you’d have to wait in the queue to send them to customers – now we’re building automated recruiting bots that can interview people, transcribing voice to text and then running some NLP across the answers to create a set of scores.  Quite a leap.

    Total Talent Management (TTM)

    We needed more than simple matching. We needed to deconstruct the mind of a recruiter and tell the customer who’s the best person for the job; in the same way a recruiter would. Which led us down the data science path and eventually, in 2017 onto the pinnacle of the whole application, TTM.

    Total Talent Management or TTM, is a phrase we first came across around 3 years ago. It’s been widely used since but the number of firms actually attempting to do something with it has remained very minimal, until now. We see the next 12 months as an awakening moment where organisations are finally starting to realise they have so much data to hand, often in disparate sources, but by connecting it and energising it, they can start to streamline talent in a way that’s never been done before.

    Until now, what’s happened is customers have “reacted” to demand; we need a body to fill this space, and more often than not the 1st route is to look externally. That’s changing. It’s often said that people are the most important part of an organisation which is mostly true, so we found it hard to understand that once an organisation reaches a certain size, they lose track of what those same people actually “do” and more importantly “can do”.

    By using a much deeper skills and experience profile than you’d get in a traditional ATS or HRIS, firms can start to uncover the hidden skills and talents that exist within their organisations before they even need to consider going external. If there truly aren’t the skills in house, then you’ve a validated approach and justification for looking for a new hire. Using data, firms can now judge whether a role should be a full-time or contingent hire, based on actual population forecasts, backed up by real data. See what the market’s paying, and review all the potential applicants, build an external talent pool at the same time as an internal talent pool, blending the results to give a truly holistic view of who’s the best fit for a given piece of work.

    We’ve had many hundreds  – possibly thousands of people find work via Elevate through a plethora of clients, ranging from small 1 man band startups to global corporations and Government.  Faster hires, high quality and based on statistics, not guesswork. This is the key. We now have 35 staff across 3 locations, a smart new office in a cool part of town, and for the first time, a ping pong table – corny I know. We even had to pay someone to come and put it together. We can build a machine learning algorithm, but we can’t put a table tennis table together. Hmmm.

    We’re excited about the next 12 months; some significant change is coming to the recruitment industry and we’re proud to be helping drive the change


  • Contingent Workforce Technology Webinar

    How can your Contingent Worker Program benefit from VMS & FMS technology?

    Firstly, let’s run over a brief definition of what an FMS (Freelancer Management System) could be – quite simply in business terms it means sourcing your contingent workers directly rather than them being supplied through vendors. How does this then fit in with my VENDOR management system (VMS), if there’s no Vendor?! Well, there is a vendor and in simple terms, the FMS becomes the Vendor replacing the agency supply chain, or at least offering your organisation a way to “Direct Source” first, before using your vendors as a back-up.

    The benefits of using an integrated VMS/FMS approach are numerous, but for me, it seems the biggest win is building out that engaged talent pool; for every vacancy you place on the VMS, the FMS could direct source and store ALL the applicants that are interested in that vacancy, so when future vacancies come up, your talent pool may already contain people that match and can apply automatically. As time goes on, your talent pool becomes significant in size and is more able to deliver across multiple areas of your programme. It’s proven that direct applicants (especially referrals) tend to enjoy longer tenure, and are often of a higher quality than vendor sourced. With measurable data points on re-utilisation, how soon before the system can decide who you should hire, based on all your previous hiring patterns?

    It’s still early days for FMS’s and I like to think of Elevate as sitting squarely in the onsite contractor space. We’re used by organisations that are looking to bring in Contingent talent for longer periods of engagement, 3-12 months typically, often within IT or specialist skills areas. We don’t supply remote workers in other countries based on ‘star’ system validation. How do you know whether the validator has anything in common with your organisations values, and thus whether that 1-5 star validation is relevant to you? We also don’t expect customers to pay for their workers on a Credit Card or upfront either, the model is essentially the same as vendor sourced staff, monthly consolidated invoice, all time and hours either stored in the VMS or Elevate.

    And, we’ve yet to touch on cost reduction; typically anywhere from 35-80% reduction on vendor spend. You do the maths on how much that could save your programme, and what kind of bonus that might mean for your team!

    On September 23rd, I’ll be exploring these topics above on a webinar with Bryan Pena and Peter Reagan of ‘Staffing Industry Analysts’.  The webinar is entitled Contingent Workforce Technology – What defines state of the art and why does it matter? if you’re an SIA buyer, be sure to tune in by signing up below.


  • Contractor Signup

    Elevate & HiredByMe – What Our Partnership Means for Clients

    Hiring… is a pain

    Don’t get me wrong – I love people. I love working with them. I love the process of personal development. I love working in teams and seeing all the different skills and personalities come together to deliver a fantastic end result.

    But the process of hiring is really painful. Writing a job spec. Reviewing CVs. Weeding out those who are a poor fit. Interviewing. Interviewing. More interviewing. The interminable wait to onboard someone after you’ve selected them. And then finding that after all that you’ve often still not picked the right person.

    It’s even more painful when hiring contingent staff (contractors, freelancers and interims) because the hiring process goes faster and the problems are magnified.

    I’ve worked in banking, technology and consulting for 25 years, and experienced all these problems. We decided that there had to be a better way.

    HiredByMe solves two problems in the contingent labour recruitment process – Selection and Onboarding. Or to put it another way, picking the right candidate, quickly, first time; and getting them on a desk and working fast.

    On Selection

    We start from the premise that the best guide to future performance is past performance. So we collect rigorous, honest feedback on contingent staff from previous colleagues, and make it available to recruiters and new clients to view (crucially we give legal protection to assessors, which enables them to be candid).

    This rich dataset provides a powerful insight into what the worker is good at – and what they’re not. And this delivers three key benefits for organisations: Faster hiring (because you can prioritise the best candidates); reduced effort (because you waste less time with unsuitable candidates); and better hiring (because you are using actual, observed on-job performance, not just interview or test results).

    On Onboarding

    We shorten the cycle by removing the time taken to do pre-employment screening. Instead of screening candidates when they sign a contract, we allow candidates to go through employment screening when they start looking for work and not when they find it.

    As a result, by the time they sign a contract their screening is complete, and candidates can onboard immediately, rather than the usual 2-4 week delay. Not only that, but because we keep the data from role to role (and allow candidates to just “top it up” rather than fully screen each time) the candidate experience goes from “painful” to “easy” – providing a strong incentive for the best candidates to sign with you.

    On Integrating with Elevate

    Our partnership with Elevate is a win-win for both sides. What we don’t do is source candidates – we provide data on a candidate once they’ve been identified for review or interview. Elevate’s sophisticated algorithms can take the place of a traditional recruiter, seeking out candidates and providing a best fit based on published data. Adding the HiredByMe piece allows organisations to access a rich dataset to help final interview and selection of elevate’s top-ranked candidates; and to onboard those selected in the blink of an eye.

    Development of our integration is underway, and we look forward to rolling it out in the Summer.

    Simon Bichara, Founder HiredByMe

  • iqn-intergration

    IQNavigator Integration – What Does it Mean?

    Elevate IQN Partnership

    Our original vision for Elevate; to connect Contractors with Jobs directly, cutting out the middleman is beginning to become a reality. Up to now, the majority of our customers have been small agile companies, with very little barrier to entry for us. They’d happily come along, sign up, and more often than not, have success, make a hire or two, in some cases a lot more, and generally quickly get to grips with the system. These smaller companies typically could afford to invest that little bit more time and effort into the selection and recruiting process. Through a lengthy feedback loop exercise we’ve begun to understand just what functionality we’d need to appeal to larger firms.

    One of our main projects this past year has been applying a Machine Learning approach to all the Data we have.  We worked out we could quickly build organisational level hiring patterns to give us a Cultural fit score, showing us definitively where companies tended to hire Contingent workers from, what skills they tend to have, and thus what “good” looks like for that organisation. Large brands are attractive to Contingent workers; they tend to offer stability, lengthy contract’s, the work tends to be interesting and they look good on the CV, plus crucially they tend to pay good market rates. We understood therefore that when a large branded advert went out to attract job-seekers it attracts a LOT of response. You might think this is great for those brands that want to Direct Source, but it actually creates a big issue – thousands of direct applicants that need to be filtered, reviewed and either engaged or rejected – All the while keeping an eye on Brand engagement.

    So, we built a ranking engine.

    This system understands and reads the CV’s. It understands where people worked and what they did, what skills they’ve been using and for how long. It allows us then to rank applicants as they come in on scale based on previous hiring patterns. So, those thousands of direct applicants all of a sudden become ranked by suggested best fit, cultural match, skills and more.

    Corporate customers of IQNavigator can now take advantage of using their own brand to attract and filter candidates on scale, bypassing the need for Vendor suppliers to source and filter. This means we can cut out the majority of the vendor spend % which all comes from sourcing activities. Firms using an onsite MSP can retain their services for administration and payroll of activities, or take advantage of the Elevate eco-system, which include Pre-Employment Screening, Vetting, Payroll and more.

    It’s still early days for the emerging FMS (Freelancer Management Systems) technology companies, but at Elevate we firmly believe the technology is now here to allow this type of complex transaction to be made easier and give larger enterprises control back of their brand and drive direct applicants, thereby reducing spend on vendors and gaining far more insight, through intelligent data into their contingent workforces.

    Dan Collier, CEO & Co-Founder, Elevate

  • Contractor Signup

    Elevate New Release – Improved Integrations, Interfaces & Candidate Matching

    Elevate new release

    London, 12th January 2015, Elevate is pleased to announce our most recent major technology release on to the Elevate contractor recruitment platform.

    In line with our vision to empower independent workers, and aid employers to maximise their contingent workforces, the recent improvements focused heavily on improving the candidate & employer experience in addition to introducing the next evolution of our candidate matching & ranking algorithm.

    Better Integration

    The first of the major improvements in this release was to provide more advanced jobboard integration leading to improved candidate attraction and experience.  Candidate applications are now accurately parsed directly from jobboards into the system leading to improved application conversion rates for employers, as high as 80% and we’re still working on the other 20%.

    Better User Experience

    The second major improvement is to the user interfaces, for both contractors and employers. We have focused on ease of use for both sets of users resulting in easier navigation with a fresher more vibrant look and feel.

    Better Candidates (and quicker!)

    We saved the best improvement till last though.  After months beavering away in the Elevate Labs, our data scientists have refined our candidate matching technology further by incorporating employers’ previous recruitment trends into the process.  We look at a lot of data to do this and the results allow for more accurate matching between a job and suggested candidates, making the job of searching through contractors far less time consuming. Plus we now rank your applicants based on these recruitment trends so you don’t have to review long lists of candidates, the best ones are always at the top.

    What’s on the Horizon for 2015?

    Another big year of technology developments and service improvements beckons…….

    Better Recruiter Experience

    In the early part of 2015 we’ll be releasing a complete redesign of the employer side of the app. This will include redesigns of the candidate review and recruitment workflow screens allowing you to analyse and compare more relevant candidate info, quicker and more intuitively.

    Even Better Candidate Matching

    Our upcoming Q1 release will include further improvements to our candidate ranking algorithm providing enhanced filtering and more in-depth understanding between job titles, skills, and employer jobs.

    Better Communications

    Messaging between employers and candidates will be improved ensuring the best possible experience and response times for all users.

    Better Insight

    We’ll be providing tools for employers to enable them to view in real time what skills are in most demand. You can then scope and plan accordingly and work out, for example, if are you paying too much or too little for a certain skill.

    New Working Model

    Already rolled out across a couple of clients, Elevate will soon be announcing a new working model. This involves utilising an onsite resource to ensure clients maximise the benefits of Elevate as part of their contractor recruitment strategy

    And last but not least!………..Some BIG Integrations

    We’ll be updating the market on these exciting major integrations soon! They are a bit hush, hush for now.