Uncommon Announces the ‘Talent Forecaster’, The Industry’s First Predictive Analytics for Talent

Anyone who has ever undertaken the challenging and tedious task of writing a job description knows that it’s tempting to imagine the perfect candidate while drafting your posting:  a Rhodes scholar, with a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence, and 10 years of experience with Tensorflow.

Unfortunately, this “purple squirrel” likely does not exist (for one, Tensorflow was only released 2 years ago!), and asking for those qualifications — or any qualifications far beyond what is realistic — is a recipe for failure. In most cases, however, hiring managers only figure this out after the job is listed, as hiring managers and recruiters have no idea how common different qualifications are in the population of real job seekers,  and thus how useful it is to list them in a job description.

Including too many qualifications, or qualifications that are too strict,  will result in nobody applying for the listing. With too few or too broad requirements — you’ll have an influx of low-quality applicants, which you’ll then have to weed through to find the few potential matches.

But how do you know when your qualifications are too high or too low?

That’s where the Uncommon Talent Forecaster comes in. The Uncommon Talent Forecaster is the recruiting industry’s first tool that helps you optimize your qualifications so that you can find the right talent in the shortest amount of time.

The tool is easy to use, allowing users to select qualifications and automatically determine the exact number of qualified applicants in their region, all in real-time. For instance, if someone asks for something rare – a PhD in Data Science for example – the forecast drops way down into the red zone, indicating there are too few people meeting your asks to obtain a solid talent pool for that role.   

Ask for something commonplace – knowledge of Microsoft Powerpoint for example, and the forecast shows you that there are thousands of matches, meaning you’ll be flooded with applicants unless you raise the bar. Ask for something somewhat selective, like Bachelor’s in Computer Science, and you see that you’ll get a reasonable number of qualified candidates — creating a way to ‘Goldilocks’ your hiring. And if you’re curious to see who those people are that meet your qualifications, you can just click a button to see a few sample resumes of some real people.

Check out the Talent Forecaster in action:

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How did we do it? It all starts with data. Uncommon has a database of over 50 million resumes from across all industries, roles, seniority levels, as well as different parts of the U.S. Our proprietary models consumed each of those resumes to understand each person’s skill set, including years of job experience, industry experience, seniority, education background, and hard and soft skills.

Almost magically, as you’re entering your job requirements, we scan through all of those resumes, to figure out how many of the people near you would actually be qualified according to those requirements, and to tell you whether you need to make your qualifications more or less restrictive. And we do it all in less than a second.

Uncommon’s founder Amir Ashkenazi and I are no strangers to predictive analytics. At our last company, Adap.tv, we developed the advertising industry’s first supply forecasting tool to show ad buyers available inventory in a given marketplace. Today, that type of forecasting has become commonplace, with most major ad platforms, including Google AdWords and Facebook Ad Manager, offering such tools.

Now we’re bringing that same ease of use to the recruiting space with the Talent Supply Forecaster.

Have you ever had trouble creating the perfect job description? Tell us what happened in the comments below.

Uncommon Gets a “Rousing Applause” on The Chad & Cheese Podcast

This week, our CEO, Teg Grenager, was put through the gauntlet by two of the industry’s greatest tire kickers, Joel Cheesman and Chad Sowash on their show, “The Chad & Cheese Podcast”.

Memorable quotes by the hosts include:

Man, this product is so in depth…You’re pulling in programmatic components, you’re pulling in sourcing components and automation. Your pricing model is very interesting…And I’m really excited to see where this goes in the next 12 months.” – Joel Cheesman

It’s different, it’s something they [recruiters] can understand and it’s something that they can measure, because you are giving them exactly interested and qualified [candidates]. You tell me what qualified looks like, we’re going to give you exactly what that looks like…So from my standpoint, its definitely a big applause as well.” – Chad Sowash

Listen here:


How AI is Becoming a Recruiter’s Best Friend

Are you terrified you’re going to be replaced by a robot? This fear seems common these days, especially among recruiters. Many people working in talent acquisition are both curious about artificial intelligence (AI) – it ranked as one of the top global recruiting trends in a recent LinkedIn report – and worried about what it means for the future of their profession.

The concern is understandable. AI is an emerging field that is not well understood by the general population. However, I believe that AI is not here to replace recruiters. It’s here to make our lives easier, to automate tedious tasks, and to free up time so we can focus on things that really matter, like strategizing and building relationships with candidates.

In order to put some AI fears to rest, I’d like to look at three of the ways that recruiters can use AI to become more effective in their jobs:

1. Using AI to Write More Effective Job Descriptions

Writing a job post that attracts a diverse pool of qualified candidates requires more than a snappy company description and a rundown of job duties. In fact, your job ads could be unintentionally repelling the candidates you want, even if it looks like all the basics are there. Your descriptions could be too wordy, too jargon-y, too long, or even too short! Worse yet, you might be writing biased job posts without even realizing it.

How can you know if the language in your job posts is going to be effective and unbiased? Companies like Textio give you access to data crowdsourced from millions of job posts to predict the performance of your job post and help you improve it. Tools like these are nearly as easy to use as spell checkers, and the more posts they analyze, they smarter they get.

2. Using AI to Eliminate Scheduling Headaches

One of the most time-consuming and thankless tasks recruiters handle is scheduling interviews with candidates. The process generally takes multiple rounds of email – and hours of recruiters’ time – to finalize a date and time for an interview. All this back and forth introduces many opportunities for error. And don’t even get me started about what happens when someone has to cancel or reschedule!

This is why some of the latest scheduling AI tools like My Ally and GoodTime are so exciting. My Ally uses a virtual assistant, cc’d on your emails, to take care of scheduling, while GoodTime syncs information from calendars to find available times and make sure interviewers don’t get overbooked.

3. Using AI to Assess Candidates Efficiently and Objectively

In today’s market, recruiters are flooded with resumes, most of which come from unqualified applicants. There aren’t enough hours in the day to thoroughly assess each candidate, and unconscious bias can quietly guide even the most astute recruiters to choosing candidates for the wrong reasons.

Fortunately, resume screening is exactly the kind of tedious work with which AI can help. Moreover, since these AI recruiting solutions remove the element of subjectivity from the selection process, they can also reduce bias and help you build a diverse pool of talent. There are plenty of solutions available, like Pomato, which helps recruiters analyze candidates’ resumes, and HireVue, which integrates AI with video interviews.

While these point solutions can be quite helpful, other solutions fit AI into your current workflow. That’s the design philosophy behind Uncommon IQ, a qualification-based talent marketplace that sends streams of vetted candidates directly to recruiters’ applicant tracking systems or inboxes.

AI and the Future of Recruiting

AI doesn’t eliminate the need for recruiters. Rather, it allows recruiters to focus more on hiring great talent and less on tedious, low-value activities like digging through unqualified resumes. Hiring people is one of the most rewarding and beneficial parts of building a business, and I am genuinely excited about how AI can help us become more effective recruiters.