Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 258. Today we’ll be talking to Sid from WizeHire about the use case or business case for why his customers choose WizeHire.

WizeHire’s high-touch support and powerful recruiting tools help you find the top talent you need so you can focus on your business.

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

Show length: 21 minutes 


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Sid Upadhyay
Co-founder & CEO WizeHire Follow

Announcer: 00:02 Welcome to Recruiting Daily’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: 00:26 Ladies and gentleman, this is William Tincup and you’re listening to the Use Case podcast. Today we have Sid on from WizeHire, and we will be learning about the business case or use case for Wize prospects and customers, pick WizeHire. Let’s just jump right into it. Sid, would you do us a favor and introduce both yourself and WizeHire?

Sid: 00:44 William, first of all, thanks for having me on. Love what you’re doing. Great to meet you. Again, my name is Sid, I’m co-founder and CEO at WizeHire. WizeHire is an online hiring platform focused on small businesses. We cater to someone that is just getting started, all the way up to someone that is about to be at 100 people.

01:04 We focus on providing a service that helps someone ideate the role that they need to fill. They might have had challenges elsewhere. We help them post jobs online. We teach our small business customers how to recruit and interview and ultimately get to what we all need, which is that hire that we needed yesterday.

William Tincup: 01:23 I love this because there’s not a lot of solutions down for the SMB. Fortune 1000 is saturated and there’s only 1000 of them, it turns out. And so there’s not as many solutions because it’s hard and I know you know this. But it’s almost like consumer oriented and then you almost have to kind of break it out and go, “Okay.” I love that you’ve 0 or 1 to 100 and then at 100, maybe they’ve outgrown you or maybe they feel that they needed other things, et cetera. Two things come to mind. First, is there any geographical or industry focus in terms of your outreach and building the kind of pipeline?

Sid: 02:05 Yeah, no. William, I think you’re so right When you think about the space, especially when it comes to most HR tech products. We are embracing the challenges of small businesses. And the one way we do that is to be really, really surgically precise and focused, on who we cater to. Today we operate in the United States and in Canada and that is just such a great community of entrepreneurs that we back and support and help grow.

William Tincup: 02:30 I love that. When dealing with SMBs you’re doing, especially with, they don’t probably have an HR person yet, or maybe they do and you’re helping them with something like recruiting, which is very inefficient. Some of these folks have probably come from a place of posting on Craigslist or something really super inefficient. A, who’s the customer? First of all, I won’t even lead you. Who do you deal with right now as your primary customer?

Sid: 03:05 Yeah, no, great question. Our customers are very much owner operators of companies. These are people that got into business for a passion and we joke about this, that recruiting and hiring, it’s a collateral responsibility. It’s something that they stay up at night agonizing about because talent is the lifeblood of companies and small business on Main Street. And what’s a fun thing about what we get to work on, which is to help solve this incredibly important problem, one of the biggest decisions that they’re going to make at the end of the day.

William Tincup: 03:36 And is it hourly salary or is it a mixture of those two things or you’ll focus more on the salaried positions?

Sid: 03:46 Yeah, no. We’re actually across the gamut. But I’ll tell you one way that we are focusing, so that we can really give it a great experience, is actually by going industry by industry, in about seven to eight industries. And in them, great examples, like real estate where we got started, or some of our newer industries like accommodations and hotels, where we’re helping with everything from the hourly frontline worker, all the way up to managers and management that you may be bringing in.

William Tincup: 04:13 That’s cool. First of all, I love all of this. I love the verticalization, I love the focus in terms of the employee count and also the part of the market that is just not served that well with great HR tech.

Sid: 04:28 You need a different solution at the end of the day.

William Tincup: 04:31 Again, and they didn’t grow up recruiting, they didn’t grow up with HR, they didn’t grow up steeped in all these best practices or even what’s working today. Let’s go kind of go through the first phase, once you first meet somebody and you kind of like, “Here’s what we do,” and you go through that. And they’re like, “Okay, I need to hire a manager.” Where do you start with them at that point?

Sid: 04:56 Yeah, so a little bit of background. Our customers, they’re often, as I mentioned, doing this as another job, another hat that they’re wearing, so they’re coming to us at odd hours of the day. A lot of our customers will sign up after hours. And this is a fun thing, we’re in this very network ecosystem like any of your listeners or anyone else in HR Tech. Our customers often have used other tools and services, that may not have been the best fit for who they are. Thinking of using a product built for an HR expert like an ATS, is very different for someone that is approaching this for the first time. Oftentimes we go back to the basics, William, it’s all about asking the customer questions that they can have the answers to, versus something that’s way out of left field. Typically, our process and our product, very self served, customers will find us, they’ll work with our sales teams, they’ll meet us. They’ll get on the platform, we’ll ask all these basic questions.

05:50 Who’s the role? Who do you think you need to hire? How much do you think you plan on paying? And where is the role? Where’s your office, whatever the case? And from there, because of this industry verticalization in our business, we actually take the customer through a guided process that’s bespoke for every industry. I’ll give you an example of that manager. We’ll actually say, “Wait, hey William, we know that you’re a second year law firm owner. Are you looking to bring in a manager to help your back office or intake?”

06:21 We’ll ask very specific questions that other platforms do not ask or will not get into. And once we learn a little bit more from the customer, our product and service will actually tailor the experience. We’ll help them think through how to screen candidates. And from asking those screening questions, with the mixture of our AI and our templates, we’ll actually write the first draft of their job ad. Because oftentimes that is where a small business would really set themselves up for a lack of success in this job market. They’ll write an ad that might have three ads in one or an ad that is underselling the role. And that’s first and foremost where we help them, which is to write a great ad and get it posted online.

William Tincup: 07:02 You’re being very generous, Sid, I appreciate that. Most people will just go to CareerBuilder or Indeed and cut and copy somebody else’s job description.

Sid: 07:11 That is not going to speak to the level of uniqueness in your business-

William Tincup: 07:18 At all.

Sid: 07:18 … that’s the most important thing.

William Tincup: 07:20 But everyone’s done it. No fault, I’ve done it, my hands are bloody. Everyone’s done it. It’s horrible. But people do it. And again, that cheapens, not just cheapens the experience for the candidate, it doesn’t sell what’s actually there.

Sid: 07:33 Yes, exactly. And that is really just the beginning of this journey of personalizing the experience. Because once you have an ad that speaks to your company, your values, the role itself as you’ve defined. For many of your listeners, what we’re doing here is distilling who method hiring and making it approachable, right? Let’s think about the key defining traits of a role. Let’s talk about it. Let’s advertise it. Now as candidates arrive at the front door applying from a job site or your website, we’ll actually screen candidates with a mixture of screening questions and assessments, exactly to what you needed.

08:10 And this is the fun thing because once you have great candidates and you know who to prioritize, we actually take our customers through the journey of interviewing, using those same criteria. And that’s one of the most fun things about this role, William, which is that we’re helping to up level the way that small businesses recruit out there, because they’re doing it in such a half hazard way right now. And it is so much fun, because we actually know the journey of every person that was interviewing, their experience and every person ultimately was hired. And again, the results just keep getting better and better. And that’s why it’s such a delight to be at this point where we’re at right now.

William Tincup: 08:45 What do you see? When we went through screening… The job ad, everyone gets that right now, because you’ve basically taken them through a Wiziwig to then build it with conditional logic and also a taxonomy based on all the other roles and they can say yes, no, add in language, I think everyone gets that visually. The screening stuff. Do you customers ask you about knockout questions or do you ask them about, “Okay, what are some of the… Do they have to work on Sunday or they have to come into the office?” Those types of things.

Sid: 09:22 Yeah. We see the gamut and what we do actually, when we enter an industry or bring a job onto the platform as a category of jobs, we go so far as to understand it, right down to soup and nuts, so that we’ll actually come to the table and ask you very specific questions. I’ll actually give you a real one from the product. If you’re hiring a real estate agent, you and I may think of it as, “Hey, real estate agents are real estate agents.” But in the industry as it stands today, there’s incredible nuance. Are you on the buy side? Are you on the sell side? Do you have experience? Do you need leads? And all of those questions that are very, very tailored for the industry, really help jog the employer in the right direction. And ultimately we turn those into screening questions.

10:04 And this is getting to your question, we’ll turn every requirement into an appropriate question, so if we can discern something from a resume, great. But I’ll give you a fun example, does this role require someone to speak another language? Let’s say Spanish. Let’s go so far as to do a prescreen such that when you’re talking to a candidate, you have a evidence based perspective of their potential at that competency. And then we can put a full view of a candidate in front of you, not just a resume. We can say, “Look, you asked for these strengths, these weaknesses, these skills. Here’s the totality of all the candidates out there. And when you dig in for that follow up first interview, here’s the areas you should focus on,” because you know that spending time on this superficial part of the resume is not going to help you find great candidates in this market.

William Tincup: 10:57 Let me ask you about skills, because you did talk about traits, which is traits of the job, traits of probably the individual that’s applying as well. And you got woven culture and all of those other things, helped them tease those things out, make the uniqueness of the job and the company, and you pull those things out. What are you seeing with skills right now in terms of either what skills that they’re looking for? And the reason I’m asking this question is transferable skills. Like you said, “Okay, you’re a buy side real estate agent, but you’ve always wanted to work the other side.” How do we unearth that? What’s your take based on your customers? What’s your take on skills and figuring out people’s skills, but also their desires of what they want to learn skills wise?

Sid: 11:53 I think this is such a good question, William, because really in this really tight labor market, transferability of skills is so [inaudible 00:12:01] and this is why when we ask a question or give a machine suggested form of a question, it’s often the most inclusive version of this. I’ll give you an example, versus getting to a very specific thing, do you know how to use this tool? Oftentimes, we’ll actually nudge our customers to go a little bit broader, so you can capture more of the audience that’s applying, understand what’s transferable. And there’s another fun element of this where, a lot of the industries that we work in, there is so much specialization today, that we actually have to unwind it. A great example, again, I’ve got so many mortgage and real estate examples today, but the fact that if you were in the real estate side of helping with the real estate transaction, often that is a great way to parallel into the mortgage industry, as an example.

12:43 And we can actually do that because it’s the same questions behind the scenes and we can suggest candidates that may have had these skills for other roles in your business that they applied to as an example. It is such an important thing. The other element of this, William, that I think a lot about is it’s not just all about hard skills. I think small businesses are open to this for a long time, but soft skills are so much more important in the service oriented economy that we are in today. And that’s why we actually institute a lot of assessments, as part of our process where the goal is not for the assessment to discern a yes/no decision, but more so to help you have a really worthwhile interview to understand, you need someone that’s deeply empathetic in this customer success role. Here’s what we’ve learned about this candidate and here’s how you dig further to really find ground truth and make that great hire.

William Tincup: 13:31 You know what I love about basically getting them to open their funnel a little bit, open their thinking to other skills is this opens the funnel for more candidates, A, but it also opens up the potentiality for more diverse candidates.

Sid: 13:48 Yes, oh my gosh.

William Tincup: 13:50 So they’re not so zeroed in on the same people maybe that they’re thinking about by just triggering them to think, well would you consider someone that came from the mortgage industry, that’s got their real estate license, but they haven’t done anything with it yet.

Sid: 14:05 I think it’s such a good example of what we’re seeing take place because the pockets of difficult markets vary so much in this, at least in the US, where we’ve got parts of the country where there’s too much talent for one role and not enough for another. We have to have so much more of an open mind here. And I love the way that we’re so early in this journey, William, I have to be honest. But where we are going is to really take people to be much more thoughtful, really understand, what at the heart is a must have, because oftentimes, those things that we’ve had as suppositions in the past, really didn’t matter. Because we have to, in these tough, tough times, be more open minded. And I think it’s exactly what we’re seeing happen on Main Street and it’s so exciting because every month we’re seeing thousands of people get jobs that they would not have otherwise seen or benefit for, whatever the case. And it just feels like a repeated set of missed connections happening all the time around us.

William Tincup: 14:59 Love it. Last question on the assessment side because I wanted to ask background checks if you get into that as well. But are you looking at personality, behavioral? What is the array of assessments that you’re looking at?

Sid: 15:12 Yeah, so we actually as part of our product, make use of a disc assessment. And it’s one of the fun things where we institute and we’re big believers in using technology and assessments, that are both fair to the job seeker but also fair to their time. One of the fun things about our platform is where you can have one assessment that’s applicable for all your roles in the company over the period of time. And we can take that learning and apply it everywhere. And with assessments, one of the biggest things that I’ve learned, and I’ll tell you, I came to assessments as a nonbeliever and where I am today is, they’re a tool to help us know a little bit more and to have a really informed discussion. Again, because all we need to get to is to be spending time with the right candidates.

15:57 And our data’s suggesting today where if we do a hard technical screen or we do a personality assessment, more data leads to employers, spending more time with candidates. In fact, this is the fun thing, we’ve seen almost a doubling in terms of the time spent with candidates reviewing their profiles, if they took an assessment. Profiles that would not have been seen otherwise, whether the assessment is getting a… And I’m a big believer that it should not be a yes/no, it should definitely be on a gradient with lots of perspectives, but that’s what most encouraging thing, which is just, wow, we can solve DEI challenges of just pipeline, by looking at more candidates, having more discussions and using these tools thoughtfully versus as a binary decision making tool.

William Tincup: 16:46 Love it. Let me ask you a couple questions on the buy side. What’s your favorite part of the demo?

Sid: 16:52 For me, honestly gets-

William Tincup: 16:54 Tough question.

Sid: 16:54 No, it’s super easy. It’s actually that first page that I was describing in the job posting process where our customers are coming to us at a point of apprehension. They’ve likely tried hiring before on another job site. And we’ll start from the basics, who are you looking for? How much do you think you want to pay them? And where is your location? And from that point onwards, we’ll actually give them enough evidence and perspective to really set them up for success. Here’s a great example. Just with that information, we’ll tell someone, how competitive is their market? How much is the average compensation out there and how much should you compensate for the role, if you don’t know, in order to really find great talent? And those are the things that no one is having a discussion about right now that I think we are in Fortune 500 land, but not on Main Street. By giving small businesses these advantages, they can compete for talent that has just always been there, but inaccessible in many ways.

William Tincup: 17:51 Yeah, Wall Street, not Main Street.

Sid: 17:53 Exactly.

William Tincup: 17:54 Rarely think of that. Your favorite success story, and you can mention a company name or brand, it doesn’t really matter, but just what you fell in love with.

Sid: 18:04 I’ll give you probably one of my favorite vignettes, which is we are a odd technology company in some cases, because we were actually historically a bootstrapped startup. WizeHire today is going to almost be nine years old. That means we have a journey with customers that have really grown with us, getting back to your questions at the top of the call. And I think some of my favorite stories are of customers that hung up a shingle in 2014, 2015, made their first hire, and today they have hundreds of people in their organization and it’s because they just kept compounding, trying to be better versions of themselves on Main Street. And there’s so many organizations like that.

18:41 I think back to all the candidates and customers that I used to talk to in the early days and just give them a little bit of advice of, “Oh, let’s broaden your search criteria here, let’s open your mind here,” and they’ll find great talent as a result. That’s the theme with all of my favorite customer stories, they’re just seeing people and building relationships with them and seeing how much of an impact they’re going to have in their communities just a year out, two years out.

William Tincup: 19:05 Questions because this audience that you serve, they’re not steeped in kind of buying questions around HR technology and nor should they be, because they’ve got other jobs and I said de lingo, I don’t think that’s a word, but you’ve taken all the HR tech-

Sid: 19:25 [inaudible 00:19:26].

William Tincup: 19:26 Right. You’ve taken all that out of the, which I love, by the way. You’re just like, “Okay, skip all that.” Again, for the folks that 20 years in recruiting, great, we need to talk about that-

Sid: 19:35 Yes, exactly.

William Tincup: 19:37 And Main Street, they don’t call it town acquisition, they call it hiring.

Sid: 19:42 They call it hiring. They’ll often come to us with acronyms and perspectives from their other parts of their work and we just berate them.

William Tincup: 19:50 No, that’s a good point.

Sid: 19:52 I have customers that’ll call WizeHire a CRM, and it’s like, “Yes, we’ll call it Candidate Relations Profession, perfect, done.”

William Tincup: 19:56 Sure. You know what? We’re not going to fight with you over that because there’s really no need. There’s no need at all. Last question is, what questions, do you love to receive from prospects and buyers? You just know that they’re having a pain, they get it, maybe they’ve had trouble elsewhere and they ask you a question, you’re like, “Okay, they understand what we do. ”

Sid: 20:23 Small businesses are so networked. You said at the top of the call, they are the best of the B2C world, the B2B world, and they’re so networked. And as a result, they’ll often have a perspective from their peer group. And this is where a lot of frustration can come for them where, “Wow, my friend in Austin, Texas is having a great time hiring for this role. Why am I having difficulty here?” And when we hear that, it is often a time where our hiring coaches, they’ll just give great perspective and say, “Well, let’s take a look at the data. Let me show you. Wow, in your market, there aren’t this many candidates. Here’s the strategy for how to win.” And that’s the biggest place where we can take someone from anxiety, apprehension, lack of success, to just incrementally getting more candidates and more success day by day. It’s a story we see every day and I love seeing it.

William Tincup: 21:09 I love it. Sid, thank you so much for your time and I love what you’ve built at WizeHire.

Sid: 21:15 I appreciate the time, William, thank you so much.

William Tincup: 21:17 Absolutely, and thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case Podcast. Until next time.

Announcer: 21:22 You’ve been listening to Recruiting Daily’s Use Case Podcast. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform and hit us up at recruitingdaily.com.

The Use Case Podcast

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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