Abhishek Kaushik
Co-founder & CEO WeCP Follow Follow

Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 245. Today we’ll be talking to Abhishek from WeCP about the use case or business case for why his customers choose WeCP.

WeCP helps global brands hire thriving tech teams faster.

Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think. Thanks, William

Show length: 28 minutes

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Speaker 1: 00:02 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 in HR tech. That’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.

William Tincup: 00:27 Ladies gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you are listening to the Use Case podcast. Today we have Abhi on, from WeCP, and we’ll be learning about the business case or the use case for why his customers and prospects use WeCP and that’s W-E-C-P. And we’ll get into that in just a second. Abhi, would you do us a favor and introduce both yourself and WeCP.

Abhishek: 00:53 Great, thank you William for having me on your podcast. It’s a pleasure talking about WeCP and our journey here. So well, WeCP is primarily for talent acquisition and talent development. So the master use case for WeCP is to acquire good talents and also upskill the talent, which is acquired.

WeCP deals with technical talent. Primarily that’s our sweet spot and that’s where we help companies. Head of Recruitment is the person, or Head of Talent Acquisition, sometimes they call it so, they use WeCP to do technical hiring. And that’s how they acquire good talent.

On a broad level, WeCP can help Head of Talent Acquisition acquire talents at three levels, entry-levels, mid-levels, and senior-levels. And for each of these use cases, hiring entry-level, hiring mid-level, or hiring senior-level engineers and developers, they do different activities. So say for example, entry-levels, they do university hiring and they do coding interviews, coding hackathons, et cetera. For mid-levels, our customers prefer doing lateral recruitment, they do coding interviews, they do peer programming interviews. For senior-levels, again, there is a coding interview and peer programming interviews that they prefer. And our product is a SaaS, which supports all these use cases.

William Tincup: 02:36 And the coding interview is just… And we will get so many questions, but the coding interviews, are you using your own proprietary testing and methodology, or are you integrated with other testing platforms?

Abhishek: 02:48 No, it’s our own proprietary technology. It’s our own code.

William Tincup: 02:53 That’s nice. And again, you’re really trying to assess, because when we were talking about entry, mid and senior, that could mean something different to everybody that we talk to, right? And so getting a gauge of someone’s a React developer, getting the gauge of what’s the breadth and depth of their experience and then being able to then classify them as either entry, mid or senior.

Abhishek: 03:22 Yeah, I think we do that. So say example, if you want to hire a React developer, you can challenge the candidate via a multiple choice question, or by a coding question, or by a real time project. So a React developer can prove his skill by doing a small React project, which is 30 minutes, 40 minutes or 60 minutes, right on our platform, in browser. They don’t have to install anything. That’s the use case to check their competence in building applications right away after they’re hired.

Or, alternatively, you can check their plain knowledge, basic knowledge using code snippet based questions in React. And then later they learn the framework and, after they get hired and they learn frameworks, and they start the advanced level tasks. So from basic to advanced level judgment, WeCP helps you do all of these.

William Tincup: 04:33 Technical talent, obviously everyone knows the same thing. We don’t make enough of the technical talent to kind of solve for the problems we have today, much less tomorrow. So we all kind of get the bit. What is technical, because you get to interact with technical talent all the time? What do they like to do in the interview process? Because obviously you give them different options, or they give the employer to then give the candidates different options in terms of taking a skills test or doing a project, answering questions, et cetera. If we were to break that out, is it based on their level or is it based on just time? What do they like doing?

Abhishek: 05:20 Yeah. So it’s a very good question, William. Technical talent, like if you look at… I would like to answer this by dividing their talent into three buckets, like I earlier did, which is the entry-level of candidates, mid-level candidates, and senior-level candidate. And the way I define it is, entry-level is somebody who’s zero to three. Mid-level is somebody who’s three to five. And senior-level is somebody who’s five plus. Now, each of these candidates have a different outlook towards technical interviews and tests.

Entry-level people, they’re fine taking an online screening round. They’re fine in participating in a challenge, improve their skill and then further go for a face-to-face interview. Mid-level, we see some sort of hesitation in taking an online and time-bound challenge. They prefer taking a take-home assignment or take-home project and do it that, be it weekend and in their free time and prove their skills. So we’ve seen that mid-level people preferring take-home project or take-home assignment. And senior-level people prefer to just get an interview, face-to-face interview right away. And then talk about the company, the culture, et cetera. So that’s the finding so far, we’ve seen from our customers.

William Tincup: 06:51 And just to clarify when, when someone takes or does a project, because one of the things you’re also managing or mitigating for folks is not fraud, but other people taking the test with them looking up answers. I mean, you know all the things I’m about to say, right? It’s out there and so people have access to GitHub and Stack Overflow. We ask them a question. They go and Google it and find the answer. So what type of, because these are also really sophisticated technologists. How are you dealing with, I don’t know, not security, but more of the ensuring the quality?

Abhishek: 07:41 Yeah. I think that’s a very good question. So we definitely, this is a problem where if you give somebody a take-home project, there’s a chance that the candidate might indulge into wrong practices to get questions answered by somebody else. We’ve solved this problem by a product. In our product, there’s a feature where a candidate can take home the project, they can do it in their free time. But they have to switch on their camera and then probably they have the proper respect.

But, at the same time, they can Google and they can find answers. They can do everything on their own, but they’ll have to switch on their camera. This particular facility is an option for our customers, so they can always switch on and switch off. Number two, we also do code plagiarism checking, wherein we try to run their code against internet and GitHub repositories and find the similarity of the code, et cetera, to try to detect the plagiarism.

And third, we also check their code quality. So somebody who is good, naturally good, at certain skill, they have an inherent pattern of coding, et cetera. And we build those smart checks in our code quality tool, which sort of gives a good trust score against each candidate. So holistically, we have the solution built to solve the problem of cheating and dishonesty, which we have pretty much figured it out and we are actually helping customers like a lot of these tech companies, Microsoft, companies as big as Texas Instruments, and for instance, do all these checks and higher quality candidates.

William Tincup: 09:32 And a part of it, especially with technologists, is you want them to use resources that are available to them. So on one level, if you’re asking somebody not to reinvent the wheel, if they can find that code and it’s good code on GitHub, or they can make it even better, then that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Especially if you know it like, “Okay, this part of the code I grabbed off GitHub. I tweaked it a little bit just to make it better. This is all me.” That’s not a bad thing, do you know what I mean?

I think it’s when people pass off things that are copied or plagiarized, as you said, as their own. I think that’s where people get into trouble. People don’t mind. Most of the technical recruiters that I know, and hiring managers that I know, that hire technical talent, they don’t mind if you use other people’s code, as long as it’s good.

Abhishek: 10:33 Yeah, as long as it’s good.

William Tincup: 10:37 Yeah. And you don’t pawn it off or pass it off as your own.

Let’s talk a little bit about where WeCP is in the funnel. Not to lead you, but the talent acquisition professionals, the technical recruiters, where do they use you? Do they use you in sourcing or do they use you more in screening and qualifying? Where do they use WeCP?

Abhishek: 11:06 Yeah, William, before I answer that question, you brought up a really interesting point, which is, it is completely fine to take the code which is already present and tweak it and improve it, certainly. And in fact, we practice this. We allow and enable our hiring managers and recruiters to give initial code, which is starter code, to all the candidates and they’re free to take the code from outside and improve it. We also have assignments where there is a code which is already, which is a very standard application, but we create bugs in the system and-

William Tincup: 11:49 Right.

Abhishek: 11:51 So those kind of tasks really help hire people from different perspective. That’s really-

William Tincup: 11:58 Well, it also helps you make sure that the classification is right. We’re getting back to, again, someone can be an entry-level based on their years, but their skills are so high that they’re not really entry-level. What you’re really trying to evaluate is, what are their skills and then put them into a classification so that recruiters, if they’re hiring an entry or a mid or a senior, then they know that that talent has the capabilities to perform the tasks that are going to be asked of them,

Abhishek: 12:34 Exactly. You’re right. You’re right. It does. And-

William Tincup: 12:41 Yeah, go ahead.

Abhishek: 12:43 And answering to the question that you asked, William, where do our TA professionals find our exact use case? We start at the sourcing stage. Actually, we are born, when we started, we offered only screening and interviewing. But then we introduced two more products, which is, one is sourcing and another is onboarding. So onboarding and sourcing are mostly integration features in our tool, whilst screening an interview is a standalone feature.

Now, in the sourcing, we have made some advancements wherein we allow our customers to integrate all their channels of candidates acquisition into WeCP. They can build a talent pool on WeCP. Plus, we also build a talent pool on our own using [inaudible 00:13:38]. And so we apply social intelligence and we then try to acquire talents by our algorithm. And we enable our customers to use talent from our pool.

So when you go onto WeCP, say, for example, you don’t have any candidates, you put the job post out, but you don’t have any candidate. You can actually go onto WeCP and find the candidates who are ready to take your assessment, related to your skill. And WeCP gives you those candidates. So we warm up every TA practitioner with some candidates initially, and then they can take their natural time to acquire more talent so that their hiring time shrinks and they find good candidates.

And how do we tell them these candidates are interested to your job? That’s the algorithm that we’ve built. So we nudge different candidates and we engage with them on, through our channels and mobile apps. So that’s where we’re trying to build a really good talent pool, a very active talent pool for our customers. And that’s the sourcing component.

William Tincup: 14:42 I love it. I think in time, Abhi, I think what you’ll get pushed into, is doing this inside the organization as well. So right now we’re focused on talent acquisition, the acquiring or the acquisition of talent. But I think you mentioned it at the beginning, but someone that starts with your company that maybe is an entry-level, six months into their tenure, they’re really, now they’re now their mid. And we don’t know it but they know it, and they might look for a job elsewhere because we’re not tracking their skill development.

And so I can see actually WeCP being used kind of throughout the talent journey, both in acquisition talent as you said, talent management and also upskilling, training and even outplacement, being able to help people, once you’re parting ways being able to test them out and then put them out into the work environment. Are your customers already knocking on your door about internal?

Abhishek: 15:52 Yeah. I’d love to talk about internal use. Like one, a, is recruitment and the B is upskilling, where I have seen some of our customers using WeCP to run their training program. In their training program, they use WeCP in three steps, three stages, precisely. So one is, pre-training. They want to gauge where do the talent currently stays, where his skills are. And the second is in-training. And third is post-training.

Large enterprises are acquiring new technical skills and they’re judging candidates in the three stages of their training using WeCP. So they use our technical tests, technical coding tests, to gauge their skills perfectly. And in that way, even the learners or employees are enjoying because they see their tick mark after they’ve solved a question and they feel accomplished when they solved and get their skills validated. That’s pretty much about the internal use case of WeCP.

William Tincup: 17:06 I love it. And that’s just going to get deeper over time. Let me ask some buy-side stuff for the practitioners that are listening. In engaging with WeCP, what are questions that they should ask you or your sales team et cetera> What should they be asking of a platform like WeCP?

Abhishek: 17:30 So usually, the way I look at the questions by TA teams and TA buyers, is around the larger value. To start with, it’s the value which WeCP creates. And we have those value metrics. For example, we go deep down on hiring time. We go deep down on the offer acceptance rate. We go deep down on the test success rate, how many people actually completed. And we go deep down on the quality of the candidate experience.

These are some of these metrics which we present to our potential customer during our demos and meetings. We say that, “Look, these are the metrics that we’ve got answered for you. Even if you don’t have these in place in your vendor qualification checklist, please consider these because we can really perform around these metrics.” And so these are some of those value level metrics. And then we also show benefits of using WeCP around different use cases. And then last, we go around features.

The first is the value that WeCP can create. And second is the benefit that WeCP has. And third is the features. And the benefit and value of each feature, then we explain them properly. So the way I recommend buyers to ask about or select any such tools, is look at the high-level value, put metrics around the high-level value, because if they’re going to spend a $100 what is the ROI that they’re going to get in the next one year out of this $100? And then check the benefit and then check the features.

William Tincup: 19:25 And there’s so many new people in technical sourcing and technical hiring. Your customer, I’m assuming that that’s who you serve, is the technical sourcing and recruiting community. But also hiring managers that are hiring technical talent, probably care about WeCP as well, because it’s a quality check. It’s the way they know what they’re interviewing. They know exactly kind of what skill, where they’re at and what they need to be developed. Let me-

Abhishek: 19:58 Yeah. So-

William Tincup: 19:58 Go ahead. Finish your thought.

Abhishek: 20:00 I just want to add here, William, because you talked about the users. So if you look at our worldly map, we have recruiters as one of our users, hiring manager is one of our users. So these are the two broader actors who use our tool. And then third is the learning and development managers [inaudible 00:20:22].

William Tincup: 20:23 Ah, yeah.

Abhishek: 20:24 That’s pretty much, these are the three major actors and user of our product.

William Tincup: 20:29 And then it’s because of the skilling up. Well, they’ve got to have a baseline of what that individual will, and where they’re at in their journey, and then what they need next to get to the next level. That makes sense.

And as you add sourcing and onboarding, onboarding won’t change anything, I don’t think. But sourcing, add obviously the sourcing part of that, sourcing sources.

Abhishek: 20:52 Our end sources.

William Tincup: 20:53 Customer success, customer stories, without names, without brands, stuff like that, but just folks that have used WeCP and they’ve just done fantastic work, like you just love the story coming back that you get to hear from them about how it’s helped them. Shorten the hire, or gotten quality hires, whatever the bit is.

Abhishek: 21:17 Yeah, fortunately we’ve got many histories around WeCP and sometimes our customers just go and write reviews for us, even without even asking them. So we feel really, and that’s a wow moment for us.

Some of the top problems definitely is the hiring time that we’ve solved for the majority of our customers. So… [inaudible 00:21:47] entire hiring time from [inaudible 00:21:57] they said to us that, that they could reduce their live interview time by 90%, and yet hired solid engineers. Companies like [inaudible 00:22:11], the Chicago-based US company, they said that we actually removed buyers from our system, like hiring buyers from our system. And then we could actually implement WeCP for all the technical roles in our company.

Companies such as, as big as Infosys, if you know, they scale their hiring to assess 100K candidates in one code using WeCP because they do mass hiring. So, largely large enterprises and then mid-sized enterprises, they’ve been solving their respective problems using WeCP. And the problems are mostly around hiring time and quality hiring.

William Tincup: 22:54 Well, I heard something and I want to run it past you. It was an engineering friend of mine that said basically one of the questions he asked off his senior, of a recruiter, is the hiring process. How many steps are in the hiring process?

Abhishek: 23:17 Theoretically, actually practically, if you see, there are roughly six to eight steps, depending on the size of the organization. But we solve the four steps. But before sourcing, there’s another step, which is about understanding the requirement in the organization, like which is job position, writing the job, job descriptions and understanding the talent demand from your entire organization. And bringing that up to the Head of Talent Acquisition, and then creating this entire acquisition plan.

And then after the acquisition, there is a talent attraction strategy meeting that happens to attract talent. What’s going to be the strategy to attract talent? Are their websites ready? Are their social media handles ready? Are their campaigns ready? Et cetera. Certainly, the marketing team comes into the picture. These are the two foundational steps, which happens before sourcing actually starts.

And then after the sourcing, the screening, interviewing goes in an automated fashion and probably can go in an automated fashion with the help of tools like WeCP. But then after you make the final selection, post your interview round, you have to onboard them. And that is where you have to do some additional one or two steps, which is verifying candidate, background checks, doing some sort of important compliances with respect to your organization. And then do the final onboarding to your HRMS system and tools.

So practically, there are like six to seven steps, but theoretically we, in our company, try to bring it down in four steps. Sourcing, screening, interviewing-

William Tincup: 25:13 And thank you for explaining that. Have you seen, or do you see, engineering or technical talent wanting this process to move faster? Or are they okay with the pace, in general? Because the sense I get is that on the corporate side, we move slow, like months, weeks, and days. And the talent wants us to move in seconds, minutes, and hours. Now that’s just an anecdote. I don’t have any data to back that up. But you’re sitting there squarely in the middle of this. What does technical talent, how fast do they want to move?

Abhishek: 25:55 Yeah. Technical talent wants to move quite fast. Actually, their first need is to get a feedback, like very good and quick feedback. So even in case of rejections, they want the feedback. And they want to be engaged with the company at every stage. So they should not feel ghosted. That’s one of the core demands of every technical talent that I have observed and we have seen. And that’s where most of our customers ask us, “Hey, do you have a feature where you can reengage candidates automatically?” And we do have. In our product, there’s a feature which automatically sends you a rejection email, a very polite rejection email, if you’re not selected after the streaming round, you can set the workflows or you can set those benchmark of rules of rejection. In a nutshell, technical talent wants to be informed about every step, and it has to be quick.

On the other side, do corporates really want to move fast with respect to hiring? It depends on the situation in the company, how burning is the need? I have seen companies where if the need of talent is really burning and hiring managers or delivery managers are pressing recruiters to, “Hey, get me the talent ASAP,” then the process, the demand of the process becomes off a quick pace, to take a quick pace. But if organization is like, “Okay, fine. We have enough talent to do the coding and we all can, and we are getting our production on time, et cetera,” then they go slowly and that’s where the realignment with their candidate happens.

It’s mostly with the amount of burning that they have, how much is the need in the organization. So that’s the observation until now. But majority of our customers in hiring managers and recruiters, they want to basify these steps. They want to speed up on their hiring process.

William Tincup: 28:16 Right? Well, Abhi, this has been wonderful. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Abhishek: 28:24 Thank you. Thank you, William. Thanks guys.

William Tincup: 28:26 Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case podcast, until next time.

Speaker 1: 28:32 You’ve been listening to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case podcast. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform and hit us up at recruitingdaily.com.

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William Tincup

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.


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