FIRING SQUAD: AllyO's Co-founder Ankit Somani


Replace your Recruiters with AllyO!!! No shit? Really??

Hell yeah says Ankit Somani, Co-founder of AllyO. A platform that calls itself an end-to-end solution for recruitment. Ditch your recruiters? Apparently it's not just another chatbot waiting to board the commoditization train, well, you might be right. Or wrong. You'll have to listen to see if this start-up survives The Chad & Cheese Firing Squad.

Firing Squad is brought to you EXCLUSIVELY by Talroo. Our sponsors rock, by the way.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Chad: Hey, Joel.

Joel: What up?

Chad: Would you say that companies find it hard to attract the right candidates to apply for their jobs?

Joel: Well, Jobs to Careers thought so.

Chad: Jobs2Careers? You mean Talroo.

Joel: Talroo?

Chad: Yeah, Talroo. T-A-L-R-O-O.

Joel: What is that? Like a cross between talent and a kangaroo?

Chad: (Laughs) No. It's a cross between talent and recruiting. But Talroo is focused on predicting, optimizing, and delivering talent directly to your email or ATS.

Joel: Aha, okay. So it's totally data-driven talent attraction which means the Talroo platform enables recruiters to reach the right talent at the right time and at the right price.

Chad: Okay, so that was weirdly intuitive, but yes. Guess what the best part is?

Joel: Let me take a shot here. You only pay for the candidates Talroo delivers.

Chad: Holy shit, okay, so you've heard this before. So if you're out there listening in Podcast land, and you are attracting the wrong candidates, and we know you are, or you feel like you're in a recruiting hamster wheel and there's just nowhere to go, right, you can go to. Again, that's Talroo.com/attract and learn how Talroo can get you better candidates for less cash.

Joel: Or, just go to ChadCheese.com and click on the Talroo logo. I'm all about the simple.

Chad: You are a simple man.

Gollum: Yes, me precious, yes me precious candidate, we wants it so sweet precious, yes.

Announcer: Like Shark Tank? Then you'll love Firing Squad. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest, and baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they've got what it takes to make it out alive. Dig a foxhole and duck for cover, kids, the Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level.

Joel: Ah, I'm a little bit salty, Chad. A little bit salty that the summer heat is wearing on me, you're back from Europe to be a pain in my ass.

Chad: Oh, yeah.

Joel: So I'm a little sad for our victim, or our guest today. But without further ado, I wanna introduce Ankit Somani. Did I say that right?

Ankit: You got it.

Joel: Of AllyO. So before your intro, I have to know, with a name like Ankit, spelled A-N-K-I-T, did you have a lot of fun nicknames growing up?

Ankit: I actually was short enough that there wasn't many of them, but since I've come to U.S., people have pronounce it in so many different ways that I find them, you know, the right nicknames for me.

Joel: Well, yeah. Chad and I had fun with it before the show, before we started recording. Like Spankit, Crankit.

Chad: Crankit.

Joel: Yankit.

Chad: Yeah. Stankit. See, I mean ...

Ankit: I'm glad I didn't go to school with you guys.

Joel: Yeah, dude, we're public school.

Chad: We're still just 12 year olds.

Joel: So Ankit, welcome to the show. Quick introduction and then Chad will go into the rules and we'll get to it.

Ankit: Thank you, thank you for having me on the show. So hey everyone, I'm Ankit Somani, I'm co-founder of AllyO, been in the U.S. for about 11 years now. Most of my time in Bay Area. My last job before starting this company, I was at Google for about five years, spending time building bunch of artificial intelligence and machine learning products, including my last job, which was in the Smart Replies Gmail thing, it was a fun thing.

Joel: Shit. Chad just got real excited when you said Google.

Chad: I hope you didn't hear the heavy breathing.

Joel: So Chad, tell him the rules.

Chad: It is very simple. Okay, Ankit, you will have two minutes to pitch AllyO. At the end of that two minutes, you'll hear the bell. Then Joel and I are gonna hit you with rapid fire Q&A. If your answers aren't concise, Joel's either gonna hit you with the bell, but I'd rather hear him hit you with the crickets. That means you need to tighten your game up and get moving. At the end of the Q&A, you're either gonna receive one of these three from both of us. A big applause, that means you've exceeded expectations. Golf clap, you're on your way but you still have a lot of work to do. And last but not least, it's the Firing Squad.

Joel: You do not wanna hear that.

Chad: Yeah, pack your shit up and go home at that point. So that's Firing Squad. It's time to buckle up and pitch AllyO. Joel, are you ready to go?

Joel: I'm ready. Ankit, you ready?

Ankit: I am.

Joel: Two minutes starts.

Ankit: Awesome. Okay, so AllyO is an end to end AI recruiter with a simple mission: make recruiting delightful and efficient for everyone, and I really do mean everyone. So let's take each stakeholder at a time. Candidates today have a poor experience filling out long applications and not hearing back often from employers, which leads to low-capture rates and high drop offs. For them, we have a deep work flow chart part that helps them go all the way from, "Hi, I'm interested in a job," to hired, and even beyond day 0, all over mobile texting or web chart.

Ankit: And we see over 90% application completion rates and about 95% positive sentiment. On the other hand, hiring teams are overboard with administrative tasks, which makes them slow to respond and often leads to high cost of recruiting. We automate the ebb and flow in jobs, so it's cleaning, assessments, scheduling, onboarding, and as I had mentioned, post-hire check-ins, so that they see over 50% time, in some cases, over 90% cost or higher, while getting two to six interviewable candidates.

Ankit: Finally, HR leaders often feel a lack of visibility and control in the recruiting

process. For them, we bombard them with the right actionable insights around candidate quality conversions. 360 degree feedback between hiring teams and candidates in both process and retention, such that they can have the right strategic conversations with their operations counterparts. All of this over the past few years were proven with several large customers, like Hilton, Brinker, which is the parent company for Chili's and Maggiano's, Arby's, Sprout's, Farmer's Market, and many more.

Ankit: Going back to where I started, we use AI to automate end to end process and create an experience for a system for all stakeholders. We are backed by the likes of Google AI fund, Randstad Innovation fund, and Bain Capital Ventures. If you wanna know more about ...

Joel: Finish it, finish it.

Ankit: I was just gonna say, if you wanna know more about us, check us out at allyo.com.

Joel: He got the shot off. When he said, "Find out," and I said, "Just finish it. Finish it, for god's sakes."

Chad: Okay, Ankit, if you could isolate one major problem AllyO solves for TA, what would it be?

Ankit: I think it's automation of end to end process, combined with the right candidate experience. And both of them go hand to hand, because if you think about candidates, they are having a poor experience only because there are lots of steps in the process and it takes a long time for them to go through it.

Chad: It sucks, yeah, yeah.

Ankit: And so in that process, if you can automate it, give them a responsive experience and they get a good experience, and hiring teams get more candidates because they are having a better experience. They go through the process much more than before.

Chad: Well, you're talking about process. So this is one of the things that Talent Acquisition I don't really think understands, is that there's so many different processes that a chat bot or texting or messaging can actually get into. Explain how deep AllyO goes into the recruitment process. So give us a step by step. What are you actually doing for the candidate, for the hiring team, and obviously for the HR leader?

Ankit: Yeah, absolutely. So if you think from a candidate perspective, they start off with, "Hey, I might be interested in a job," and that might be looking at a job ad or it might be going on a career's page, or they've just been in the talent pool of some company.

Chad: Right.

Ankit: From that point on, you want to take them all the way to getting hired, and that involves helping them with the right job search, getting them screened, schedule the right reminders, onboarding. All of those processes are completely automated with our system for several companies, so much so that we have some customers where AllyO is the only recruiter in the entire organization.

Chad: Whoa, stop, stop, stop, stop. Say that again. AllyO is the only recruiter in the entire organization. I wanna hear you say that one more time.

Ankit: We have organizations where AllyO is the only recruiter in the entire organization, directly reporting to the director of TA.

Chad: Holy shit.

Joel: Ankit, I'm gonna back up a little bit. Your experience, while impressive, has no employment recruitment in its background that I heard. The dead pool in this industry is littered with people, from Silicon valley with nice degrees who didn't understand the space that failed. So what makes you and your company able to break that trend?

Ankit: Totally, and you are absolutely right. But me and my co-founder, and we've been friends for like 15 odds years, we were both in professional space. Never done recruiting before. So what did we do? We left our job and we started a staffing company. And for seven months we camped out in restaurants, malls, hospitals, in front of ICU's, and whatnot, trying to really get people who were looking for jobs and hiring teams who were looking to hire candidates, and make that happen, right? Get people jobs, and that is how we wanted to learn what really goes on.

Ankit: 'Cause you know, you can imagine in Google, it's mostly professional recruiting, at least where I was. And so for me to learn how 80% of America gets hired, what are their challenges, it was astounding. Like knowing that six out of 10 people do not show up for their on-site interviews after going through that harrowing process? Just astounding. And so that is how we learned, and then there were a lot of people who gave us good feedback as well. That's how we got ...

Joel: So that's half the equation. Now how did you learn to talk to employers to sell your product? Because they are a unique beast to say the least.

Ankit: You know, it's funny. For us, we literally went out to them, saying, "Hey, we have this idea, we think we can automate a bunch of your process and make the candidate experience better. I would l