HR Tech Interview with Eric Ly, Founder & CEO at KarmaCheck

Journey into Tech

Hi, Eric. Welcome to the HR Technology Interview Series. Please tell us about your journey in the technology industry. What inspired you to begin at KarmaCheck?

Thanks for having me! I’ve worked in technology and B2B software for most of my career, spanning multiple decades. I’ve always been passionate about combining innovative products, technologies, and business models to create highly successful companies. As an entrepreneur, I’ve started numerous tech companies, the most well-known being LinkedIn, where I was a co-founder.

I always had the entrepreneurial passion in me, and I still do. A few years ago, I became very interested in the idea of trust in the digital world. As a society, we see all these issues around misinformation and have to figure out what information sources to trust. What I realized was that people make significant judgments based on the information they get. Having accurate information is critical, and in the professional world, people make decisions about who they want to work with and hire based on this information.

I was also looking for a “blue checkmark” that would appear next to profiles and resumes that could exist next to their experience so that others can know they’re looking at accurate information. In some industries, like healthcare, screenings are long and arduous for both candidates and employers to verify that information. At KarmaCheck, we want to make that process faster, easier, and more convenient for everyone.

How did the name “KarmaCheck” pop out in the mind of the founder? What are the core offerings that justify the name?

We wanted a name that evoked positive and approachable connotations. The term “Karma” is often associated with cause and effect, where actions have consequences. The name “KarmaCheck” suggests that we emphasize the importance of considering an individual’s past actions and behavior when assessing their suitability for a particular role or opportunity. It implies fairness and ethical decision-making, ensuring individuals are treated justly and fairly throughout the process.

Recommended: HR Tech Interview With Katie Obi, Chief People Officer At Beamery

Organizations continue to suffer due to poorly structured applicant background checks. Could you explain what pain points you have identified in the system that KarmaCheck instantaneously solves for recruiters?

One of the things that is becoming very important is candidate experience.

recruiters compete for candidates who often have many choices with whom they choose to work. It’s especially true in a tight talent market and workers demand greater flexibility. The ability to move candidates through acquisition and onboarding processes quickly and painlessly means increased profitability for recruiters and employers. This is the problem we have solved and are continuously improving everyday to the benefit of our customers.

What is the most fascinating aspect of working in a SaaS-based HR tech company?

As I’ve worked with many HR leaders over the years, I’ve realized that solutions need to be accessible and easy-to-use, which is harder to accomplish than simply making capabilities available. While I realize they have real problems to solve, they often wrestle with the complexities of implementing technology. They aren’t supposed to become familiar withx technology nuances like technologists are supposed to. SaaS allows us to deliver a continuous stream of improvements that make things better and easier for customers and candidates.

Recommended: HR Tech Interview With Lori Ellsworth, Chief Product Officer At Employ

Please tell us more about your recent collaboration with Cell Staff? What kind of benefits would you be committing to the customers?

We’re thrilled to work with Cell Staff. They are a healthcare staffing company that needed fast and easy-to-use background checks and credentialing. They are one of many instances of staffing companies with real problems they need to address in an easy-to-use way. They wanted to work with an innovative partner to take advantage of future technology innovations delivered easily. We have been able to provide them with an easy-to-use experience for both their compliance team and clinician candidates, resulting in faster candidate placements and more profitability.

AI can streamline a lot of things for recruiters. Could you tell how a candidate background check platform reaps benefits from using AI in its operations?

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help deliver faster turnaround times and increased accuracy in background checks. A background check report is stitched together from thousands of potential sources, resulting in a lot of data that can be used to train AI models to improve performance. For example, we can train an AI to recommend the most suitable clinic where a candidate can do a drug test based on speed, cost and other parameters. AI interprets results instantly and flags issues to be dealt with.

What are the key trends that would emerge in the hiring and recruiting market in the next 2 years?

ChatGPT and generative AI are going to be huge trends as technology providers will offer a myriad of solutions based on this technology. They will help with the recruiting process by personalizing interactions at scale to make recruiting processes more effective and engaging.

Recommended: HR Tech Interview With Erica Lockheimer, VP Of Engineering At LinkedIn

Lighter notes:

  • Burn the midnight candle or soak in the sun?

 Candle on both ends!

  • Coffee, or Tea?

Both, coffee during weekdays. Tea on weekends.

  • First memorable experience in your career as a technology leader?

Technology is easy, people are hard.

One thing you remember about your employee (s)

Respect that they are each different, and have different ways they want to work.

  • Most useful app that you currently use:

Safari on my iPhone.

Thank you, Eric ! That was fun and hope to see you back on HR Tech Series soon.

[To participate in our interview series, please write to us at

Eric Ly is the Founder & CEO of KarmaCheck, a first-of-its-kind company that uses data-driven technology to bring truth, speed, and efficiency to background checks.  Ly is the cofounder of LinkedIn, a social networking platform, where he served as the chief technology officer. Ly helped launch LinkedIn from a strategic perspective and assisted with the architecture and implementation of specific aspects of the networking and search algorithms. Ly even acted as the vice president of desktop, building a team of professionals to lead the desktop integrations. Ly attended Stanford University, where he earned his bachelor of science in symbolic systems, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned his master of science in media arts and sciences. After earning his MS, Ly returned to Stanford to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science. After co-founding LinkedIn, Ly founded Presdo, Hub, KarmaCheck, and several other companies.

KarmaCheck Logo

KarmaCheck has reimagined background checks with a tech-first, data-driven approach that brings truth to the internet and provides the fastest background check for employment needs. Employers and employees benefit from real-time, actionable notifications, so hiring decisions come sooner. KarmaCheck’s mobile-first background check platform is easy to access, reliable, and compliant.