An industry-shaper and work futurist who will educate top US companies on Reejig’s new world of work, Reyes brings 20 years’ experience growing leading teams in technology and banking organisations across the US, ANZ, UK and Latin America. He was previously the Global Head of Talent Mobility & Talent Acquisition Operations at Uber and led talent acquisition roles with Commonwealth Bank and IBM.
Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 209. Today we have Jonathan from Reejig about the use case or business case for why his customers choose Reejig.
Reejig is designed to bring workforce agility to an organization so they can find, move and upskill talent with ease.
Show length: 28 minutes
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Music: Welcome to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case podcast, a show dedicated to the storytelling that happens or should happen when practitioners purchase technology. Each episode is designed to inspire new ways and ideas to make your business better. As we speak with the brightest minds in recruitment and HR tech, that’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup: Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you are listening to the Use Case podcast. Today We have Jonathan on from Reejig and we’re learning about the business case or the use case for why his customers and prospects use Reejig. And Reejig is spelled R-E-E-J-I-G. So without any further ado, Jonathan, would you do us a favor and introduce both yourself and Reejig.
Jonathan Reyes: All right. Thank you so much for having me on, William.
William Tincup: Sure.
Jonathan Reyes: Super excited. A long time listener, so excited to be on. So I’m the VP of North America for Reejig. I’m also one of the talent leaders and a futurist. I help organizations really enter this new world of work with Reejig as their main partner. So actually, before I start on what is Reejig, I want to tell you a little bit about the why. It’s important to me, I hope you don’t mind.
William Tincup: Oh, no, that’s perfect.
Jonathan Reyes: So why am I here at Reejig? And why do I think Reejig’s important? So Reejig really exists to tackle the global challenge of creating a working world with zero wasted potential in people, in business and in society. And in this world, we’re trying to create every individual has access to a meaningful career. Every business has the right skills in the right place at the right time. And organizations have a responsibility to the society to ensure there’s fair and equal opportunity for all.
Achieving this is incredibly important to our team and we’re 100% committed to working with our partner organizations to achieve zero wasted potential together. I start with that because after 20 years in the industry, when I heard this mission, actually I’m like, “This is actually what all of us have been trying to achieve as talent and HR professionals.” It kind of really spoke to me. I don’t know if it does to you as well, William?
William Tincup: What’s interesting is it does. And I say this to people all the time that in your 20s, when someone says that you have a lot of potential, it’s a compliment. Hey, you know where I’m going already?
Jonathan Reyes: Yeah.
William Tincup: When someone tells you have potential in your 40s, that’s not a compliment. That’s not a compliment. That should not be thought of as a compliment, nor should it be thought of that way. And I love the idea of zero wasted potential. Just the idea, just getting to the place where people can be their best form of themselves, the best version of themselves, and just live a better life. Not just their work life, but just their life in general. So I love that.
And again, there’s so much potential that’s just squandered. And it’s easy to blame the company. I mean, we could pick on the companies all for the entire podcast, but it’s not always their fault, and it’s not always the individual’s fault. So that’s also another difficulty with potential. Is who owns it? It’s like career management. Who owns career management? Well, partly the employee, partly the company. There’s a bunch of moving parts to career management and there’s a lot of moving parts to potential. So I love it. And I would’ve been bought into that mission as well. Yes.
Jonathan Reyes: And we talked to a lot of partners and organizations who want to do it, but they just don’t know how, right?
William Tincup: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jonathan Reyes: The reality is that we’ve been flying blind with no easy or scalable way to get a 100% visibility of their workforce’s skill, experience, potential. And no easy way to ensure that the talent decisions they’re making are fair, equitable and I think that we’re all striving for that. And then going back to the mission, it’s impacting individuals because, they’re in recruitment and talent processes that aren’t sophisticated enough to surface them, or surface them to the right opportunities.
And organizations are impacted, because they don’t have the intelligence to maximize potential of their career, the people, their workforces. And back to that society is organizations, they really want to make things fairer and better decisions about their people and they’re not able to just like you say. So what is Reejig? Going back to your original question. Look, I want your listeners to think of Reejig as a central nervous system for all the talent decisions. We are a workforce intelligence platform and we enable large scale organizations to find retain and upscale talent at scale. And we use an independently audited ethical AI engine to do that.
So I’ve been recruiting data professionals for a long time. And when you hire a head of TA analytics or head of people analytics, and you bring them across from another industry, the first thing they say is, “Wow, the potential of people data.” And you can just see it in their eyes. They get so excited about it. And I believe that data is the most important, well, one of the most important attributes to HR, but unfortunately it’s almost always the most underutilized. Business leaders need to know who the right people are for the right positions. They need the first map and then… Sorry, go ahead.
William Tincup: Yeah. A couple things. So, Jonathan, we’re going to unpack a bunch of stuff. But one is this, the reason of why. Why do you feel… And again, without naming companies and all the other stuff, but is it data that’s trapped in disparate systems? Is it leadership just doesn’t have the visibility inside where it’s not prioritized? There’s not budget around it? Why in today, 2022, why do we have this problem?
Jonathan Reyes: I mean, you’re hitting so many things. Definitely. Our systems in HR live in silos. And often unfortunately, we reflect that in our structures too, but at the end of the day, that data sits independently. Because we’re splitting up that talent journey in different segments and we capture data at different parts of that journey, but we keep it separate. And so you really lock up all of the intelligence that comes with knowing that data together.
I think that’s one of the biggest limitations that we have. And when you speak to people that are in data analytics for people, that’s one of their biggest frustrations. “How do I unlock all of this knowledge that sits there?” I think for us, the evolution of the HR and talent professional the capability and skill sets of data is one that is, I think for us the most critical and one where you see some of the best professionals out there. They’ve evolved to understand that data is the way they solve problems at scale and with speed. And so I think when you couple those two, I think those are some of the limiting factors that I’ve observed in industry.
William Tincup: So you mentioned a concept called ethical AI and I want to make sure the audience understands what that means. Because there’s a rigor to that that’s being applied that maybe the average person in HR or recruiting might not understand. So take us into the world of ethical AI.
Jonathan Reyes: Yeah. I’ll tell you a little bit about what it means for us here at Reejig and from a grant scale point of view, I’ve always believed into technology as kind of the way for us to evolve our industry and to solve problems. And AI really plays a huge part of that and AI has become part of the lexicon and the experience for us talent professionals, certainly over the last three to five years. From a Reejig perspective, we are the world’s first independently audited ethical AI.
There’s really a lack of consistent and universally applicable standards for ethical AI. Reejig is showing that it is possible to apply ethical assurance to AI. In the current state vendors across all industries can call their technology ethically based on a self assessment without the input of legal, ethical, or global regulatory experts. When I first met our founders a couple years ago, they spoke to me about a partnership they were creating. And so Reejig wanted to ensure its AI was ethical and with the backing of an independent body.
So they partnered with the University of Technology in Sydney, to create an audit of their technology. We’ve set a new benchmark in trust and ethics across the global HR technology space. We ensured that our algorithms are compliant with global regulations on equal opportunity and discrimination and human rights. It means that your teams can be sure that unconscious bias in the recruitment and talent management processes are significantly reduced. We’ve led with this and there’s this belief in our organization that AI has the power to do good, to transform our professional workforces, inform business decision making and unlock individual opportunity.
William Tincup: Oh, I love that. First of all, I love that they started there. We’re all going to get there eventually, right?
Jonathan Reyes: Yeah.
William Tincup: It’s just the speed in which they said, “Before we go too far down this path, let’s make sure that we set this up correctly.” That’s just beautiful. And also, I would say very innovative for them to not have to go back 10 years later and undo a bunch of things that were done. If zero wasted potential is the goal, which let’s just say, it’s the goal for all organizations everywhere. Where do you suggest people get started? It’s a lofty goal and we all know that, So that’s cool, but let’s not be afraid of that. In fact, we should be aspiring to hit some lofty goals. So that’s not a bad thing, but I can also see the audience kind of going, “Holy, where do I start?” I’m sitting on 13 different payroll systems, where do I start? What Jonathan? Make this easy.
Jonathan Reyes: Three ATSs and two CRMS. Right?
William Tincup: Exactly. Exactly. Like, “Where do I start?” I know you get this question all the time. So you can’t fix it all with a wand and or any of that other stuff.
Jonathan Reyes: No
William Tincup: So where do you like to help people and say, “Okay, all right, listen, Rome wasn’t build in a day, neither will the zero wasted potential.” So we get it, let’s fix this or whatever.
Jonathan Reyes: Let’s do this together. And so I think we start with a couple of things and I think really the understanding that knowing who your people are, what their skills are and how they best serve within your organization is the cornerstone of workforce intelligence. If you think about waste, and I’m going to use a very cheesy analogy that everyone been laughing. But I often used to say organizations, we go to the supermarket and we don’t even know what’s in the fridge. From a talent perspective. And I’m like, that doesn’t make any sense to me.
And so I think bringing visibility and connectedness to what you have in your organization is the first thing that Reejig partners with you on. So we want to help you understand what you have because in order to avoid wasted potential is really understanding what you do have. So there’s five pillars to our Reejig engine and to our workforce intelligence platform. The first one is exactly this one, a 100% visibility of the talent across your ecosystem. So we integrate with your existing tech stack, we’re a tech stack agnostic, because we’re aggregating your people data and enriching it with publicly available data to create live and dynamic skills profiles for everyone in your organization at a macro level, right out of the gate when we build a Reejig with you, and we call it a Reejig and a Reejig is different for every client. The first thing you get is the answer to that CHRO head of talent question, who do we have?
William Tincup: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jonathan Reyes: That is the cornerstone of getting to zero wasted potential. Understanding what you have today.
William Tincup: So, we’re doing an inventory on audit and we basically say, “Okay…” And I would assume some of this is skills-based and some of this is probably some other factors, but what do we have? And then the natural next question for a lot of folks is going to be, what do we need?
Jonathan Reyes: Exactly. Right?
William Tincup: So what do we have? Which by the way, just getting to the, what do we have? Not easy. Decidedly not easy for most people. Go ahead.
Jonathan Reyes: No, not at all. I mean, we know that when you ask someone to complete a profile we get to a profile level and less than 20% of employees actually complete a profile. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever completed a profile to be honest, William. So I’m part of that problem.
William Tincup: I’ve never clicked on a banner Ad, I’m with you. I get it.
Jonathan Reyes: So Reejig solves that problem by automatically creating them. So you don’t need to rely on manual completion. When I’ve seen profiles be completed by individuals, they’re popping in five, six, seven skills. And we’re talking about people that have been in the industry for 10, 15 years. Actually, even if you’ve been in industry for a year, you have more than five, seven skills actually defining your skillset is a skill. And there’s a skill that’s not, let’s say universal. And so we use our AI to do that, to predict the skills that you have as an organization. So you start from a micro level getting that dynamic profile, for that individual and at a macro level for your CEO, for your CHRO you get this BI view of everything that I have. And then you start to see the gaps. And so that is a really beautiful starting point for an organization.
Here’s what we have. Here’s what we think we need. Do we have some of that already? Or is it a true gap where we need to go out to market or reskill or upscale what we have? So you can start to answer these macro questions right at that level. From an individual point of view we’ve mapped out over 400 million career paths and we start to predict a couple of things back to that individual level. Future pivots and career pathways. So we know when we’re filling out those 40 to 60 skill sets, we’re telling you core skills, adjacent skills, human skills, which is what people might know as soft skills and then technology skills. So you get these really dynamic profile of individual plus because we’re observing information from your HRIS. We start to look at things like performance, tenure, any other notes that exist and we are enriching our AI algorithm to create more intelligence on that individual.
So you’re starting to be able to tell what their future pathways might be, but also we start to infer when that talent is ready for change internally. And we can do that for external talent and we’ll get to that, but going back to the cornerstone of wasted potential, knowing what you have. And now at a macro level, you’re a CHRO, you can look at say all the talent you have in a division or a geography and say, “What is the risk of attrition, because we have this ready for change algorithm?” It’s another way to position that. And so that’s a really useful piece of information. From an investment point of view from a programmatic point of view, you might want to focus on that from your HR teams, it starts to help you make decisions and goes back to this workforce intelligence is a decision making tool.
William Tincup: So, dumb question alert. Do you think of skills as, here in the states, on beer, they put on on board a date or when something was made to essentially say when it might go bad. Should we look at skills like they expire? Or there’s a shelf life to skills?
Jonathan Reyes: Look, skills are core to what we believe in at Reejig. We believe in skills and potential, not job titles and job descriptions. We invested really heavily in deep AI research projects to reshape the future of skills intelligence, and to develop the tool to extract meaning from big data to inform the workers of the future. So we actually partner with the Australian government’s data science research division, they’re called CSIRO, Data61. And so developed AI powered skills classifier algorithms to infer known skills like these skills, skills mastery, skills adjacencing. Some of the things that I’ve spoken about before. We’ve extracted and inferred hundreds of millions of skills entries across profiles in global industries, healthcare, government, retail, financial services. So I believe skills, it’s like the genome of work and that’s my own wording here.
I always feel like the best way to assess what someone can do and will do and is able to do is by mapping up the skills. I think some skills are for life, some skills you attain, some skills may be expire, but they’re things that are learned. And so I think when we create this live talent ecosystem, because AI keeps everything live and dynamic as your business evolve, as your people evolve, you are seeing the evolution of their skills in your business and in individuals. So going back to your compliment, you have a lot of potential in your 40s, I’m in my 40s, I’m in a new role, And I have-
William Tincup: Jonathan, you have so much potential.
Jonathan Reyes: Thank you. Thank you.
William Tincup: You just cursed me out.
Jonathan Reyes: So, I’m going to believe the skills that I’m bringing to the role today are ones that have gained over a lifetime and maybe some that I’ve gained in the last six months. And so that’s really the beauty of having something that’s live and dynamic. It’s starting to capture my skills as an individual throughout my working life and throughout my career. And because it’s using that publicly available data, it’s actually enriching it and it’s creating a profile of me as a human being.
And so that to me is the magic of skills and why we believe that’s core. And it’s a really important piece that you get from Reejig when you partner with us going back to your listeners, you’re going to get a job architecture and a skills taxonomy for your organization and it’s one that’s dynamic. That’s been something that I’ve talked about certainly in the roles that I’ve had for a long time and we haven’t been able to do that. Right?
William Tincup: Right.
Jonathan Reyes: Maybe we’re in comp frameworks, maybe we have a capability framework, but now we’re taking that down to that next level, to skills themselves. And if an organization already has something, we obviously absorb what they have and we try and map that architecture. But if they don’t, we’ve mapped out 400 million career paths. We have this AI power classifier algorithm. And so we can create that for you. That is a really, I mean, for me, it’s a magical moment, right?
William Tincup: Oh yeah. Oh, 100%. Okay. A couple buying related things real quick. When you show Reejig for the first time to someone that’s never seen it and probably doesn’t understand what you’re talking about. What do they fall in love with? What’s the thing that when you get them to this page or to this report or this thing, whatever it is that you know their eyes are just going to light up.
Jonathan Reyes: I mean, obviously, once you have the data and the intelligence, it’s what you do with it that matters. That’s key. And so there’s two things that people love. The first one is, we have a nudge engine. So you’ve got these deep insights into your people and their skills. And you’ve got that knowledge of everyone that’s ever applied to your organization and your ATS, your CRM with the scraping, the marketplace for additional talent. What do you do with all that data? A Nudge engine allows you to deliver hyper personalized nudges to engage talent with people at the right place in that perfect moment. I want you to think about the philosophy of knowing your talent, nurturing your talent, underlining your talent.
So I’ll take you to an example where you’ve got a millennial like you and I William, who’s been with your organization for 18 months. All of that talent, they are sophisticated consumers that live in a very modern world. And so they’re used to making decisions and being informed before they make these decisions. What our nudge engine starts to do is to create that match and create that magic moment we brand this from your organization’s perspective. And so I’m going about my daily tasks and I get this beautiful text message or a Slack message or an email that says, “Hey, William, we know you, we understand that you’re ready for change. Here are some opportunities that exist in our ecosystem. There might be a great opportunity here to you to develop yourself.”
That could be a role, a gig, a short term assignment, depends on the maturity of your organization and how many types of opportunities they provide to internal talent. And that’s a magical moment. Someone saying, “Wow, this organization knows me. They care about me. And they’re helping me grow my career.” Going back to their mission, have a meaningful career. And so I think that’s one of the magic moments from a client’s perspective at Reejig. If you take it to a macro level, we work with organizations that are looking at large components of this workforce, and there are perhaps heirs in their workforce that are not going to be there in the next two to three years. So what you start to do is you can use our nudge engine to prime changes in behavior because we also observe your LMS.
And so you might have someone who has these skill sets today, but they have some adjacencies and you want to get them to point B and you want to do that over a period of time. So over the next 12 months, you start to prime them and help them engage with learning in your LMS Perhaps some short-term assignments or some project work to help them get from the skill sets they have today in A, to the skill sets in B that might save them from having to exit your organization. So that really is the magic of the nudge engine. And you can start to think about the use cases they’re really variable. It depends on the partners that we find and what they’re trying to solve.
William Tincup: Right. Well, which is also the beauty of that because people in comp, they need the nudges for certain things. The people own benefits all across the full spectrum. From talent acquisition, all the way to placement, the utility players are all going to need something different. And the employees, candidates, alumni, they need something different as well. So I can see that being very, very, very powerful. Let me ask a different question, but similar, and it’s when you first talk to somebody, you can tell that they get it. Okay. So I’ve been studying people analytics for a while, not as much, not as deeply and not as much as you, but when you said just in your opening thing, when you said zero wasted potential, I automatically thought of people data.
And I automatically thought of just some of the wasted things that we do in interviewing. We find out all this intelligent stuff about a candidate and their desires. We could easily and during onboarding validate that if this was tied together and we could easily put them on learning journeys, if we knew that. That’s just something, when I say basic, that’s basic, and that’s not done. So when you first said zero wasted potential, my mind went to there.
And so I put myself in a category of someone that would absolutely buy and absolutely get it. What do you find when you’re talking to people for the first time or you’re interacting with them? What is the separation between those that just they shake their head and they’re like, “Yup. Got it done. How do we do this?” And those that are still not quite there? What’s the delineation between those?
Jonathan Reyes: I think it’s an understanding that you can solve some of our problems in a different way. And so it’s this either resistance to change for themselves as individuals. But actually more so it’s the resistance or the possible fear that at the business leaders of the organization are not going to be willing to do this. Right?
William Tincup: Yup.
Jonathan Reyes: Because it’s so far out there. And so you have these amazing talent and HR professionals who get it, and then they go, “Okay, so how is my business going to deal with this? What is the change? What is the philosophical stand that needs to change for them to accept that this is a new way of solving these problems?” I think that’s probably the major one that we encounter. I think-
William Tincup: If it’s a data first company, then the C-suite’s already there with sales data.
Jonathan Reyes: Yes. 100%.
William Tincup: And marketing data and things like that. So people data isn’t going to be that far out of the realm of understanding. But if they’re not a data first, and again, if the C-suite doesn’t buy in, you’re dead on arrival. So there’s that. But I think you’re being polite in one regard. Is that, I think there’s also a fear of this insight taking over their job.
Jonathan Reyes: Yes.
William Tincup: There’s a fear of technology. We saw it in recruiting a couple years ago when we started first started talking about bots and AI like, “Oh my God, computers are going to take over our careers?” No. It was a real fear. I mock it, of course, but it was a real, for most people, it was a real-
Jonathan Reyes: That was a valid fear.
William Tincup: But you didn’t mention that when we think through, but I want to make sure the audience understands that some of this, some of things that resistance to change is resistance to organizational change. And some of it’s personal change, like, “Oh, my job’s going to change. Now I’m going to have this insight and the Insight’s going to give me this action layer and now I’m going to need to do stuff. And it’s going to be different than what I did yesterday.”
Jonathan Reyes: I mean, you’re spot on. And I couldn’t have put it better myself. When you have a tool like Reejig or talent intelligence platform. It is a decision making tool. Right?
William Tincup: Yes.
Jonathan Reyes: And so our goal is to augment, right? It’s not to replace.
William Tincup: Right.
Jonathan Reyes: AI is here to augment everything that we do. And if we help drive you to better decisions, that’s where we should be investing our time. Right?
William Tincup: That’s right. It’s not a question of if. If you’re sitting on the data, you’re going to make, I mean, it’s inevitable. So it’s not even a question mark. I want to make sure the audience gets that, the nuance of that. There’s not an if question mark. It’s sitting on this much data and connecting the dots in a way that you can’t do currently will give you insight. And that insight you can then act. So that will happen. Now it’s just a question of, can you get the organizational buy in? Can you get all the other players that are involved, can you get their buy in? And then can you get, I mean, not just not the users everyone’s buy in so that you can then roll this out? So for it’s the betterment for everybody involved. The company gets better. Employees get better leaders get better. Everyone gets better with better data decisions.
Jonathan Reyes: I want to give your listeners a really tangible example of augmenting and changing your workflow without replacement.
William Tincup: That was my next question. Was something that was innovative. So go ahead. Good. You read my mind.
Jonathan Reyes: So opportunity marketplace is the front end to Reejig. And opportunity marketplace has a whole bunch of different use cases, but let’s go for a very traditional one. You have your talent acquisition team. This is with one of our clients. So the moment they post an opportunity in their ecosystem and that’s in their ATS, let’s say a vacancy, that vacancy goes into Reejig. They click on that vacancy at Reejig and immediately Reejig shows them and they have a full suite. Every internal at their organization that is a match for that role. Every person that’s previously applied and every of new applicant that’s coming in.
And then we’re going out to the marketplace and bringing surfacing profiles that match. What you’re seeing those talent acquisition partners do now is go to Reejig first, see the matches and engage with that talent that is right there. We know that they’re ready for change. We also predict engagement with the brand from an external point of view. And so they’re focusing their time and effort in those skill sets and those people with the skill sets that best match the requisition or the gig or the opportunity. Now we’re not replacing an ATS-
William Tincup: Jonathan, I got this question this morning. I was on a conference for Dubai for the financial times. And I got this question because I was talking about AI and the person asked this exact question. What about the human element? What about human touch and all of that? I said, “Listen, if done well, it frees you up to then be able to do the things that are human, that you should be doing.” And if you look at a recruiter’s calendar at the beginning of a week, they don’t have any time they’re working 40 wrecks, with 100 candidates each.
They’ve got 12 different hiring managers and they’ve got technologies. They don’t have any time. They don’t have time to be human. And that sounds crazy, but it’s true. And so changing that dynamic to then give them back their time and this is what I told the audience. I’m like, “If done well, this is giving people back their time and letting automation and letting AI do what it’s supposed to do and then letting the humans do what they’re supposed to do.” And it’s just kind of-
Jonathan Reyes: What they’re good at.
William Tincup: And what they’re good at. Yeah.
Jonathan Reyes: And forget what they’re good at, what they want to do.
William Tincup: Yes. Yeah.
Jonathan Reyes: I think that’s also the driver, I mean, they’ve been in talent acquisition a long time. And that’s what we want to do as talent acquisition professionals or talent professionals. That’s what we here for. That’s why we joined the industry.
William Tincup: Yes. Well, listen, I could talk to you forever, but unfortunately, you’ve got to get on and I’ve got to get on. And this has been wonderful. You all are building something absolutely truly innovative. And I love what you’re doing. So just thank you for carving out time for us, Jonathan.
Jonathan Reyes: No, thank you, William. Very excited to be here and happy and grateful and always happy to come back when you want to have us back.
William Tincup: 100%. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case podcast. Until next time.
William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.