TAtech: AI Recruiting - Part 1

This is part one of a two-part podcast LIVE from Tempe Arizona and the TAtech AI Summit. It's a hype-free discussion around “AI and Automation" Aaron Matos - CEO of Paradox Olivia Yongue - Director of Client Strategy at KRT Marketing Sahil Sahni - Co-Founder of AllyO


- Standard AI definition - AI Transparency vs. Explainability - Recruiter adoption for RPA or AI. WHY?!? - Is chatbot a dirty word?

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Announcer: Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash, and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Chad: Hey it's Chad, this is part one of a two part podcast we just finished in Tempe, Arizona, at the TAtech AI summit. It's a hype free discussion around AI and automation. Again, this is part one of a two part podcast, with Aaron Matos, CEO of Paradox, Olivia Yongue, director of client strategy at KRT Marketing, and Sahil Sani, co founder of AllyO, and of course, some snark and opinion from yours truly Chad and Cheese.

Joel: It's commercial time.

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Chad: It's show time.

Joel: I don't know how I feel about this reclining set up here. Like two old men. Where's the cigars and the smoking jacket.

Chad: Just do your job.

Joel: Hello everyone, I am Joel Cheesman.

Chad: And I'm Chad Sowash.

Joel: And we are the Chad and Cheese podcast. I feel safe saying if this room doesn't listen to our show, they probably should, raise a hand so you know who we are, anyone. Outstanding. Well I guess my intro's over. You can find out more about us at chadcheese.com, if you have any questions or comments about our little panel here, you can hashtag chadcheese, and we'll get to questions or try to reply at some point, and you're doing the intro here right? Everyone's doing sort of the 140 characters or less who you are and why you're here? And then we'll get to the Q and A. Aaron, would you like to start us off?

Chad: Aaron starts.

Aaron: Hey I'm Aaron Matos, I'm the founder and CEO of Paradox.

Joel: Just a heads up, we're recording this Aaron, so choose your words wisely.

Chad: You said 140 characters.

Joel: I mean after the 140 characters.

Olivia: Hello, I'm Olivia Yongue, and I am director of client strategy at KRT Marketing.

Joel: Did you make those pants yourself or did you buy them like that?

Chad: He wants to know cause he wants a pair.

Joel: I do want a pair. Do they have jackets like that?

Chad: Oh Jesus.

Sahil: Are you guys done? Okay good. My name is Sahil, I'm the founder of AllyO, just wanted to take my 140 characters and thank both Aaron and Peter for having us here. I think we've been in this space for four years, completely illiterate, still about the talent acquisition space, it's great to come here and get to know people, so thank you so much.

Joel: By the way, we like our shows to be interactive, if you have questions, shout out something, Chad loves exercise, unlike me, so he'll run out and give you the mike to ask questions if necessary. Chad, you wanna start us off?

Chad: So the AI issue, that was shut down, the Amazon algorithm, that was shut down because of bias, right, has that helped? Has it brought awareness or is it a pain in the ass, because now everybody's asking about Amazon, it's like, no we don't wanna do that AI thing because it's biased, Aaron.

Aaron: I think Athena tackled this a bit, you know I think it was good that Amazon was transparent, and they admitted it, and they said, “hey this is what happened”, I think it is kind of a cautionary tale, to the question of, "are clients bringing this up?" I think they brought it up in the first. We have a really short attention span news cycle today, so, those ten days afterwards, people brought it up, today, I think if you're on the sourcing and matching side, you care about this stuff, for us, we're really trying to focus on BFOQ kinda very clear criteria as an assistant, so we don't plan that matching game as much, so for us it's not as big of an issue.

Chad: Okay Olivia, I mean, clients, are they asking about this whole AI slash Amazon thing, or did it just go away real quick.

Olivia: You know there is limited conversation about it, I mean, at KRT our job is to bring these types of articles and updates to our clients, so we really brought it to their attention, and I think there's no such thing as bad press, so as bringing it to light, it starts a conversation, it gets them talking about what happened, what can we do, what should we be thinking about to fix it if we are to go this route.

Sahil: I think in my opinion, what we saw, coincidentally just before the news came out I was at a conference where I'd taken a poll asking the audience how many of you had considering an AI solution in the next one year. And the response was six percent. When the interest is so low-

Chad: Six percent?

Sahil: Six percent was the response. This was a hospitality conference, so take that filter. When the interest is so low, and Amazon comes out and does whatever it does and openly says it, it actually causes everyone to consider that, “hey, if Amazon, which is really the largest staffing company in the world, has been working so much into it, and is open about it, there must be something in it.” I understand the negativity around it, the negativity helps in differentiating vendors who are actually solving it, if it's a problem. It does, it surfaces that. But at the same time I think it, in a weird way, amplifies the hype, and so now if you go and ask, you'll have somewhere like seventeen to eighteen percent of the market is interested in exploring an AI solution in the next twelve months.

Chad: What you're looking at, you're looking at major enterprise organizations, right? So, most of them are federal contractors, and they're scared shitless, in most cases, because there are hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, that they're getting contracted by the US government, are you building platforms, to be as Athena would say, explainable or transparent, knowing that at the end of the day, the US government could regulate this and say you have to be transparent.

Sahil: Yeah, I'll give you examples, amongst like major defense contractors, customers that we have include Walmart, or Allied Universal, G4S, and if you go and apply on their website, or did a year or two ago, you might know this when you apply for a job and it's a defense contractor, you're required to give ten years of employment and residential history and they would include that in the application. Awful.

Sahil: What we've seen at a high level is the adoption in AI has been for reasons to improve their candidate experience, more from a conversion standpoint because end of the day they need to hire. I mean, how good is a defense contractor who can't sell the defense. Right, and so, we've seen them adopt it for that reason, from a concerned standpoint, absolutely, when we play mostly in the larger enterprise space, and we're going through all the scrutiny, whether it's your IT security check ins, and whatever it might be sometimes it takes a couple of weeks, sometimes it takes months and with defense contractors, it's much more severe.

Sahil: But having said that, at the back, you've got a very core need, it's not like they're saying, "hey if this passes, I will use it." They want this, and they want it to pass. And so they are making sure, that whatever is happening is not only compliant, but it's also moving efficiently to get to that point where it can start creating value.

Chad: You guys don't want to weigh in on it? Not really, it's just I don't like that compliant shit. I don't like that compliant shit. Go ahead.

Joel: Eric Kostelnik earlier from TextRecruit said there were only about a handful of AI companies in the world. Google, Microsoft, et cetera. Is he right? And if so, are all these AI solutions just using all these other big companies AI to power their stuff, is there any homemade AI out there in our industry, because I think if everyone's just using Google or Amazon, or whatever AI solution that there should be some transparency. Discuss.

Chad: Is Eric still in here?

Aaron: No, he jetted, so he left.

Joel: Are we gonna refute whether he said it or not?

Aaron: No he said it, I mean I think that, what's your definition of AI?

Joel: This isn't about questioning me, Aaron. This is me asking you questions. And I love that you're trying to dodge the question, but I'm not gonna let you do that.

Aaron: I'm not, do you think this whole room would agree with the definition of AI?

Chad: Well okay so question, because you use AI right, in defining what you guys do.

Aaron: Sort of.

Chad: Okay, well I mean if you use it, then that means your company's defining it.

Aaron: We actually call it assistive intelligence. Because we're trying to