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TecHRseries Interview with Josh Brenner, CEO at Vettery

Josh Brenner, CEO of AI-driven talent marketplace Vettery discusses his thoughts on the growing benefits and impact of AI in talent management while talking about the increasing importance of HR Technology in today’s B2B segment:

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Tell us a little about yourself Josh…we’d love to hear about the Vettery platform?

I am the CEO of Vettery, an AI-driven talent marketplace that matches highly-qualified and individually-vetted candidates with top companies for roles in technology, sales, and finance. I have always been passionate about helping businesses reach success through leveraging technology and have a strong background in product management—the bulk of my career experience has been in developing and growing platform-based solutions in various industries.

In November, we acquired Hired, the leading marketplace for tech talent that supports innovative companies including Box, Dropbox, Postmates, and Twitch. As we join forces, our number one goal is to provide more transparency and efficiency to recruitment and hiring, which has historically often felt rather inefficient and transactional for both candidates and employers. Through leveraging AI and machine learning, our platform empowers customers with a high-touch hiring experience, providing them with real-time data and analytics to streamline their hiring process.

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What are some of the top digitization trends in hiring, especially within B2B and Tech that you have been observing?

Digitization is empowering employers to increase transparency across the hiring process and recruit the best candidates by automating time-consuming tasks and making the hiring process more efficient, accurate, and rewarding. One major trend is that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies and employees are open to permanent remote work positions. HR departments have increased their reliance on digital hiring tools to bypass recruitment barriers in saturated markets and surface top-notch candidates regardless of their geographical locations. 

Small to medium-sized companies that do not have the budget or ability to leverage in-house recruiting and HR teams can especially benefit from digital hiring tools that help them vet applicants and automate HR tasks. By embracing digitization and using marketplaces like Vettery, hiring processes can be improved 4x by cutting out significant time spent on pre-screen interviews, inbound resume screens of unqualified candidates, and hours spent messaging unresponsive passive candidates.

On the other side of the coin, digitization also empowers candidates with improved job-seeking experiences, giving them greater transparency and control over the process and ultimately placing them with roles that better reflect their goals, values, and skills. One of the most integral benefits of leveraging these tools is that they can significantly reduce time-to-hire by automating manual tasks, such as entering duplicate information throughout multiple, tedious steps of the hiring process. 

How are you seeing AI transform the recruiting space globally; can you throw light on some interesting HR Tech companies introducing AI backed innovations in recruiting tools?

While AI has rapidly transformed various sectors throughout the past decade, the recruiting industry at-large has remained stuck in familiar processes. AI-driven marketplaces have the potential to revolutionize the industry by offering a higher degree of transparency and efficiency. Through the use of machine learning, which monitors for real-time data and trends and predicts hiring behavior, companies can quickly fill their talent pipeline with higher qualified, pre-vetted candidates who are better aligned with their business needs.

One platform that has really emphasized DEI is Hired.com. They’ve put a lot of thought into how they can help companies build more diverse workforces through the introduction of things like their unconscious bias feature which removes profile pictures from candidates and shortens names to simply first and last initials. It’s a really good example of how technology can help recruiters shape the space in ways that you wouldn’t be able to with more traditional methods.

Textio is using AI to transform writing, specifically for HR needs. They’ve created a solution to help employers write more inclusive copy for job descriptions, websites, blog posts, and more. The copy is even adapted to your personal writing style. They’re a partner we work with to help them drive efficiency and a more inclusive recruiting culture.

We’d love to hear more about the future impact of AI in supporting unbiased hiring needs, how do you see today’s technologies help enable HR leaders embrace more diverse hiring practices and cultures?

Many AI-driven platforms offer tools and practices that companies can adopt to foster more inclusivity and address diversity gaps on their teams. Hired’s bias reduction tools, for example, anonymize candidate information, helping HR leaders to reduce implicit bias that may unconsciously arise throughout the hiring process. 

Additionally, digital platforms enable companies to reach talent across geographical barriers and hire candidates from a wider array of backgrounds compared to traditional, word-of-mouth recruiting. In fact, research our company conducted in November found that the number of candidates who are open to remote work on the Vettery platform skew higher for minority groups – with this number being 20% higher for Black and veteran talent compared to other candidates. 

Businesses can use AI to better address challenges around diversity, improve their DEI initiatives, and ultimately foster a welcoming, inclusive culture for all members within their organization. 

What are some of the top tech trends and in-demand skills you feel will dominate HR and hiring in the tech marketplace in 2021? Some technologies you feel will drive the year?

AI-driven marketplaces will certainly continue to grow and gain attention in the industry, and we’re already seeing more companies switching to digital solutions that make their hiring and recruiting processes more transparent and efficient by leveraging data, providing better matching capabilities, and offering a positive experience for both companies and candidates. 

We work with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500. Across the board, we see the highest demand for full-stack engineers that have diverse experiences in frontend and backend skills, including javascript, React, python, and cloud computing skills, especially AWS. I’d expect these skills to continue being in high demand in 2021. 

There has also been a new trend for tech candidates to require more soft skills—communication is one of the top in-demand skills for tech candidates for example. Since so many teams will still be remote for the foreseeable future, communicating effectively is more important than ever. Adaptability, leadership, and drive are also key soft skills for tech candidates to have in order to thrive in this remote environment.

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Before we wrap up, we’d love to hear a little about Vettery’s employee and company culture 

Being in the business of dream jobs, we have spent the past seven years building a company that embodies those values—creating a positive, productive, and inclusive workplace that invests in employees’ development and wellbeing and is solving exciting problems. We are and always have been driven by a “work hard, play hard” culture that celebrates the wins and uplifts individuals and teams through every high and low. We value transparency—both in our product and in our workplace—and have created an open and honest culture where employees’ voices are heard, recognized, and celebrated. The only way to become a great company is to have great people and we are dedicated to finding, growing, and retaining fantastic employees who make Vettery what it is today. 

And lastly, a few of your biggest takeaways and tips on working effectively from anywhere….and adjusting to the new normal.

Communication is critical to work effectively from anywhere and that’s a key driver in setting the culture. It’s important to keep your employees engaged and working towards the company’s mission. Also, be mindful of where your employees are located and adjust meetings to make sure they align in the time zone they reside in. For example, if some team members are working PST hours and others are EST, move your daily stand up to noon EST rather than having it at 9 am EST so that everyone can be included.

Vettery

Vettery is a leading AI-driven hiring marketplace that matches highly-qualified and individually-vetted candidates with top companies.

Josh Brenner is the CEO of Vettery, as former founder and CEO of bTreated, a yield management marketplace platform, Josh has an extensive background in developing and growing platform-based solutions and is dedicated to transforming the recruiting and hiring space with more transparent, rewarding experiences for candidates and employers.

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