Wade & Wendy: making HRtech a pillar for diversity and the hiring crisis
Author: Jérémy Bourhis
3rd November 2020
Wade & Wendy is a recruitment platform that uses conversational intelligence to help recruiters and their candidates find the best next role with less effort.
Given their particular perspective on the industry, we spent a little time speaking with Chief of Staff Dave Mekelburg about his thoughts on HR tech, his experiences with Cronofy and his mission to truly help solve the hiring crisis.
Why is scheduling in HR such a big deal?
There are two main areas for this.
One: it’s time consuming, and it’s time consuming in a disruptive way.
People aren’t on their email 24/7 — so when somebody offers availability, you might have a very small window to respond. Otherwise, you could be waiting until the next day for more times.
It’s a really messy use of time and it blocks any further progress in HR workflows.
The other side is the experiential side. What I just described is painful for people. It’s not a nice experience for either side of the equation.
If you’ve just sent a message to somebody who’s the perfect fit for an opportunity and then your first human interaction with that person is:
“Oh, actually, tomorrow doesn’t work, how’s Thursday?”
“Okay, Thursday doesn’t work — how’s next week?”
“Actually I’m on vacation next week can we do the week after?”
What could have been a moment for powerful human connection instead devolves into this immediate negative interaction.
What else do you think is important in the industry today?
Our first core company value is trust and it has been the first since before the product even existed. Because this is among the most important decisions that people make in their lives and that companies make in terms of who they bring in.
If people don’t trust their recruiter and the experience, the flow of information actually gets disrupted. When people trust the process and know that, hey, if I give you this information, it’s going to get heard, it’s going to get synthesised, it’s going to get understood — people want the opportunity to tell their story.
And if they trust that story is going to be heard, it’s going to make for not just a better experience, but actually they actually give more information and they give better, more relevant information because they’re able to tell their story in a way that’s specific and unique to the job that they’re talking about.
Resumes don’t do that conversation.
When people are coming together armed with more data and information about each other, the conversation is almost facilitated, it’s more of a warm introduction.
The other side of it is that humans are deeply flawed and almost always biassed in the decisions that they make. Technology grapples with how to mitigate bias and it can bring a level of data and insight that enables a more equitable hiring process.
For example, textual analysis tools like Talvista can help mitigate bias through things like understanding job descriptions. I think how you build that equitable candidate experience and the language that’s used throughout it is something everyone should think about.
How hard was it to get this experience right on the technical side?
One of the things that we were really excited about when it came to Cronofy was the out of the box functionality. So we just had to implement it and then turn it on and people connect their calendar with a click of a button. And then all of a sudden scheduling exists natively in our platform.
But the other side was the ability to customise and further develop to our specific client needs and workflows. That covers everything from technical and security implementation, calendars and major compliance challenge code.
We started this process in January when video wasn’t as important to a lot of our enterprise clients. When things started moving to a remote hiring process, we were able to really quickly spin up an automatic video plugin because we have Cronofy in place.
For people that didn’t even have a video solution set up for their hiring teams yet, we were able to deliver it to them. Which is crazy.
How do you see tech helping HR through the months ahead?
The unemployment crisis here has impacted HR and hiring in a variety of horrible ways. One of which is a third of all recruiters in the US have been laid off. Which is insane.
And what that means is that you have recruiting teams all of a sudden being asked to do three times the work on a dime, with less resources than they ever had to do that work.
It means that the nature of hiring has been massively complicated because instead of a predictable requirement to process X many people during Y amount of time, you have spikes. Very quickly it becomes “we need to process twice as many people as we have ever processed.”
And then that process might go on hold next week.
Automation tools can help smooth that out, because if a lot of that work is being automated, then you can focus on the spikes and excess. And hopefully get things back to a predictable place.
When we talk internally about our mission, solving the unemployment crisis is really core to what we’ve been focusing on over these past months. The faster we can get people back to work, the less time that a seat is open, the more time they can focus on getting that next person back to work. And on the candidate side, it’s figuring out what’s next and helping to navigate that process, which is so unwieldy today.
And then when you look at diversity and inclusion, building an equitable solution has always been core to what we wanted to do. And this moment is ripe for change. It has the attention of business leaders across the country and actually more broadly the world, right now.
If you want to share how automated scheduling is helping your business adapt and transform don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: 3rd November 2020 | Category: Customer interviews