Firing Squad: JobDescription.ai's Oras Al-Kubaisi
Job descriptions used to be so easy. Five lines in the local newspaper and done. Then the Internet came along and gave us unlimited white space, leading to a serious lack of quality ever since. No, copying and pasting from Craigslist does not stellar job postings, so here comes JobDescriptions.ai to try and solve a really big problem, helping automate listings and optimize them in the process. Can founder Oras Al Kubaisi tame the fury of Firing Squad and elicit a rousing applause?
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Shark Tank INTRO (36s):
Like Shark Tank? Then you'll love Firing Squad! CHAD SOWASH & JOEL CHEESEMAN are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest, and baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they got what it takes to make it out alive? Dig a fox hole and duck for cover kids the Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level.
Oh yeah. Chad has scheduled another Monday firing squad, which means I'm already pissed off. What's up everybody I am Joel Cheeseman. This is the Chad and Cheese podcast. I am joined as always by my cohost, Chad Sowash.
Chad (1m 11s):
Joel (1m 11s):
And this is firing squad.
Chad (1m 15s):
Joel (1m 16s):
And on today's episode, we have founder Oras Al-Kubaisi. Yeah, I pronounced that sounded pretty sure he is founder of job description.ai. Oras, welcome to the show.
Oras (1m 32s):
Thank you guys. Thank you for having me.
Joel (1m 33s):
So give us, give us a quick little Twitter bio and we'll get to the company stuff a little later, but I wanted people to get a flavor for you as a person.
Oras (1m 43s):
Thank you JobDescription.AI is a service to create.
Joel (1m 47s):
Not the company Oras, you, who are you?
Oras (1m 51s):
Okay. My name is Oras and I am a software engineer with more than 15 years of experience.
Chad (1m 57s):
Joel (1m 58s):
Do you have a hobby? Do you have a sports team or anything?
Chad (2m 1s):
Long walks on the beaches?
Oras (2m 6s):
I love cycling. I've been cycling for about 6 years.
Joel (2m 9s):
All right. That's something that's every night Chad, tell him what he's won.
Chad (2m 13s):
Well, Oras. You will have two minutes to pitch jobdescription.ai. At the end of two minutes, you will hear that bell then Joel and I will hit you with rapid Q and A. If your answers start to get Fuckin' boring, Joel's going to hit you with the crickets, that's your signal to move along and tighten things up. At the end of Q and A, you will receive either a big applause. That's right. Get ready or eyes. You'll be swimming in cash. Very, very soon.
Joel (2m 44s):
Bring the Brinks truck, baby. Boats and hoes.
Chad (2m 47s):
Golf clap. Batten down the hatches because this is going to be a long ride. Or last but never a firing squad. Sorry, but it's not happening, my friend. Pack up your AI and get the fuck outta here. That's firing squad. Are you ready?
Oras (3m 7s):
Joel (3m 10s):
Well, you sound ready! All right. In three, two, one
Oras (3m 16s):
JobDescription.AI is an AI based service to create gender neutral, engaging and SEO optimized job descriptions in a few clicks. That's basically it.
Joel (3m 29s):
And they can find out more where?
Oras (3m 33s):
Joel (3m 35s):
And that's it. Okay. You got about, you have about a minute 20 left. Do you want to use it or no?
Oras (3m 41s):
Yes I will. So basically in my last job, I was designing a data platform for an enterprise in London and part of my job, I had to hire my team. So I interviewed more than 25 candidates in less than two months in order to hire a team of five. During these interviews, I started thinking it must be really hard for startups to acquire the top talent. At this point, I started thinking of creating an ATS for startups that will automate the hiring process, especially the beginning part before having the human to human interaction, which is the creating job descriptions, parsing CVS, and creating CRM, providing interview questions for the interviewer in order to help in contacting the interview and avoid the mistakes in interviews as well as providing feedback and having a structure for the interview.
Oras (4m 35s):
As you can imagine, creating something like this would take a very long time. So I started thinking of breaking down the components of this ATS, starting from the job description I have applied for open AI in order to use the GPT three, to create job descriptions and created the service. I was quite lucky to find a jobdescription.ai ready. So I created the platform, launched on product hunt. And I was fascinated by those spawns from companies telling me that this is a problem, even for big enterprises, not just startups. Based on the response, three days later, I left my job and start focusing on jobdescription.ai full-time.
Chad (5m 16s):
There it is.
Joel (5m 17s):
Is that it? Are you done?
Oras (5m 18s):
I am done.
Chad (5m 19s):
That's it. And tell them where they can find out more again, just for good measure.
Oras (5m 24s):
Okay. And you can find more information on JobDescription.AI
Joel (5m 29s):
All right. Get him Chad.
Oras (5m 31s):
Excellent. So quick, quick question Oras, what was your experience with HR and what kind of interaction did you have with HR and talent acquisition in recruiting to really understand their problems, their woes? Was it just from the outside or did you actually get into it? It's mainly from the outside to be honest, but the feedback that I've got, mainly about how to make the job description, more engaging, how to write something that will attract the talent because people will judge you the company based on the job description and the advertisement. If it has no real requirements, if it is just saying like, come and join us, it is a very exciting company, without telling the candidate what the excitement part is, they are going to lose the candidate.
Oras (6m 23s):
They are going to impact the brand image because they are not direct to the point when they attract people to come and work with them.
Chad (6m 31s):
Gotcha. So how long have you actually been in the recruitment industry?
Oras (6m 35s):
It's been eight weeks right now.
Joel (6m 37s):
A grizzled vet is what he is at this point. So we're on a podcast. I want you to sort of visualize the product because to me, it, to me, it reminded me a lot of if you've ever posted something on Upwork where they sort of, you know, fill in the blanks and you check things that are part of the job description, but talk about the process. And I want to get into a little bit of how the unbiased component of the product comes in during that sort of click and fill in what a job description is. Can you sort of visualize that for us?
Oras (7m 10s):
Sure. So I, you start by entering the job title and then in one click, you will get the suggestions of the job requirements. If you want to go more specific, there is an optional field to list the specific skills that you're looking for. And the AI will learn based on these skills, what you exactly want and the candidates, you will start getting all these options, click to select the irrelevant ones. And then another click to create the role summary.
Joel (7m 36s):
How does unbiased, come into that? Like give us an example of how you would, I dunno, what, what gender comment or statement would come in that you would correct or, or make sure that that a job was unbiased. Help me understand that.
Oras (7m 50s):
Okay. So the algorithm itself will detect the gender coded words in the job description based on the selection. And it will give you a real time meter to show you the gender bias, and it will highlight the words that you need to change in order to make it gender neutral. And there's another meter to tell you if the job description is SEO optimized for search engines, and that is based on the length of the job description, based on the key phrase, which is the title, and it will check five criteria for the SEO and give you the final results of it.
Chad (8m 23s):
Okay. Is this open source AI that anybody can tap into? Or how did you, how did you actually get the source? Did you develop it yourself?
Oras (8m 32s):
So open AI is available in beta right now. So you have to apply and give the reason for the access and what are you going to build after that? If you get an access, you start developing the, what they call the prompt. So the prompt engineering is to give the context to the AI in order to get the optimum results.
Chad (8m 52s):
Okay. So have you done this before? Really what is your or practical knowledge in the application of gender neutral language, and also taking that to the next step to apply in actual job descriptions? Because again, you can plug into anything, but if you don't have the practical knowledge in executing on many of these steps, it's going to be hard to see the forest for the trees.
Oras (9m 18s):
I totally agree with you. But the feedback that I had is the current job descriptions and job description AI are 90% accurate for the SMB domain. So, you know, that domain, when you have developers, project managers, product managers, and that kind of domain, the accuracy is around 90%. When you go more specific, it will be less. But then when you go more specific, you need to give more specific details to the algorithm in order to get to that requirement.
Joel (9m 46s):
Let's talk about SEO, which you sort of touched on there. We've had companies on like Jobiac and Get Optimal. I know you're early to the industry, hopefully, you know who those guys are, and there's also Tech Studio who's been around for a really long time. And it's sort of a premium product. You mentioned five parameters, I guess, for the SEO piece. Like, what are those, are we optimizing for Google for Jobs and Indeed, and vertical job search engines like those? Or are we optimizing for general search? Talk about what you're doing on the SEO side?
Oras (10m 21s):
Okay. So the SEO is mainly optimizing for Google, so it will be Google jobs and the search on Google.
Joel (10m 28s):
The Google for jobs component, the job search engine on Google, or just Google organic results.
Oras (10m 33s):
Google organic results. Okay.
Joel (10m 36s):
Why wouldn't you be optimizing for Google for jobs and Indeed and those kinds of sites?
Oras (10m 41s):
So for, for Google jobs, it should, but I just don't want to promise something that I haven't measured yet.
Joel (10m 47s):
Okay. All right. Keep going.
Oras (10m 50s):
And for Indeed it will be really hard because Indeed is a quite large site and there is the premium features where you can get your job to the top by paying extra and the search engine I'm not sure if I can optimize the result based on the SEO itself only.
Joel (11m 6s):
not with that attitude you're not.
Chad (11m 9s):
Yeah. So yeah, what you're saying, what Joel is saying is you're actually telling the truth as opposed to what most vendors do.
Joel (11m 15s):
What are the five criteria? I him to go through that first.
Oras (11m 19s):
Sure. So that is the title, the length of the title. How many words do you have in the title? And then if the title is appearing in the top of the job description? If the title is, and the key phrase is appearing in the role summary, which will be the first sentence after reading the title and the lens of the job description.
Joel (11m 38s):
Chad (11m 39s):
So Joel, I still love that you call Jobiak, Jobiak It's like, you're going into the old testament.
Joel (11m 46s):
He's from England. That's how they say it over there.
Chad (11m 48s):
Well, the old Testament, I think it is. Okay. So who are your competitors in this space?
Oras (11m 55s):
So that's a Textile, Tap Recruit and there are other companies doing, doing the same thing and the gender neutral and text analysis. The difference that I'm making here to differentiate myself from the others is I am taking a different truth for making each subscription available to many companies. So I am actually contacting job boards in order to offer it as a plugin. So and recruitment companies and offering ATS integration. Based on that the algorithm will be available to much more larger audience than the premium ones.
Chad (12m 34s):
So tell me about the job board integration. Why did you go down that route?
Oras (12m 40s):
Because people are going to job boards in order to post their jobs. If they, instead of doing a copy paste, which is something they got from a template or somewhere else, or it's a job that they have created long time ago, they can go to the job board and within a few clicks, they get their own optimized job description for the job.
Chad (12m 58s):
Okay. What about recruitment advertising agencies or programmatic vendors? Are you partnering with them at all to be able to provide them with this type of tech?
Oras (13m 8s):
So my first client is a recruitment agency in London and based on the feedback, I am going to make some integrations with the ATSs available to recruitment agencies. My plan is to create seamless experience for recruitment agencies. I would like to have the integration, just like what I offer in the platform. It's a few clicks from inside the ATS rather than going to a different platform.
Chad (13m 32s):
Is that going to be your focus, the staffing side of the house, or is that just where you started?
Oras (13m 38s):
That's where I started.
Joel (13m 39s):
Do you, are you considering distribution as part of the, the features that you have? So I create the job in your platform and then, Hey, I want to automatically distribute it to programmatically, to job sites and elsewhere. Is that part of your roadmap?
Oras (13m 56s):
For now it's not. And the main reason behind this, if I am going to offer the ATS integration, most of the ATS will have this built-in so there's no need to reinvent the wheel.
Joel (14m 7s):
What's sort of the marketing rollout plan. I know you're in London. I think you mentioned your first customer was in London. Are you going to focus geographically? Are you reaching out to people all over? Is this a global product? What's your sort of plan to roll this out?
Oras (14m 23s):
I'm reaching globally. So one of the job boards that I have a meeting with next week is in the US.
Joel (14m 29s):
Your product is very self-serve, but I have to get a demo to use it. So explain that to me. Why I can't just go on giving my credit card and make, start making jobs and posting them. Why do I have to get a demo on your service?
Chad (14m 44s):
Well, that being said, Joel, it's not self-serve so why isn't it Self-serve?
Joel (14m 49s):
It looks self-serve on the video.
Chad (14m 51s):
It looks like it, but it's not.
Joel (14m 53s):
Well, then that's my question as well. Like when will this be self-serve and where can I start using it on my own? Or is that never going to be part of the solution?
Oras (15m 2s):
I'm actually so happy that you asked the question. When I launched the product, it was open for anyone to sign up and use it and pay to use it basically. But I've noticed that people will just sign up, try it for once, like one click and they will close the platform. So they weren't using it. They were just trying to see what's going on behind the scene. And that's the reason I have closed it and created the demo link.
Joel (15m 27s):
So what you're seeing is the prospect of competitors coming in and trying to actually rate your platform against them? There's possibly, or do you believe this might actually be the prospect of paying customers coming in and just not seeing what they like right out of the gate.
Oras (15m 43s):
Actually the prospects who signed up, they contacted me to have a demo with the whole team in order to answer their questions. So even the ones who are going to pay for it, they requested a demo. They just didn't go and try it and then pay for it. Okay.
Chad (15m 59s):
Okay. So what I'm seeing here is first off I got a preface with, is, are you looking for this to be your full time only gig? Or is this a side hustle for you?
Oras (16m 10s):
It is full-time for now. Okay. Okay. But there will be some improvements in the future. Gotcha.
Chad (16m 15s):
Gotcha. On the pricing. What I'm seeing is that I can pay for one month, a $99.99. So a hundred bucks, I can do that. And then I can have my, one of my interns like jam 20 job postings through the system. So you're setting a point of value of $5 per job. Is that going, is that an early bird price or is it always going to be that cheap?
Oras (16m 41s):
That's definitely an early bird price. And I am considering that this will be quite scalable. So the whole thing is based on API. When we go to job boards, like the smallest job board will have at least one, 1000 jobs a day.
Joel (16m 57s):
You're not from this industry. And most I'd say 90% of the firing squad participants have had some sort of experience. You're your developer by trade what's sales strategy wise and getting to know, you know, the industry and the buyer does that worry you, are you confident that you can sort of penetrate that market? Talk about that. Convince me that you know your audience.
Oras (17m 24s):
Well, then within eight weeks, I've been learning a lot about the industry. And only two weeks ago, I had a business coach who is a recruiter by trade and he is running his second recruitment company to help me navigate the industry and helped me with the pricing strategy as well. So I am, I am not alone here. And I've been like following you guys, I'm following the leaders in the industry to learn more.
Joel (17m 54s):
Well then you know everything. You should have just started with that. I listened to Chad and Cheese. Okay.
Oras (18m 0s):
I do actually like one, one of the conferences that I went to was because of you guys. And it was so helpful and learned a lot and met a lot of great people.
Joel (18m 10s):
There you go. There you go. So you're a product guy. You mentioned product hunt. Talk about raising money. Is this something that you want to do? Have you gotten any sort of seed, a seed round? Are you looking to go big with the money raise? Are you looking to bootstrap this thing?
Oras (18m 26s):
It is not going to be bootstrapped. So I have applied to Y Combinator last week. And if I got accepted, there is a bigger plan in order to have in-house machine learning instead of using corporate AI. So this was, this will be more tailored to job descriptions rather than being a general AI. And there will be some changes to the product in terms of the design and the pre-feasibility, of course, I am planning to hire salespeople.
Chad (18m 52s):
Excellent. Well, that being said, sales, what are your primary methods to drive market penetration, drive revenue, those types of things. What, where where's your focus going to be?
Oras (19m 4s):
My main focus will be the job boards and followed by ATS integrations. So I have my account now in Greenhouse and SAP success factors. And there is another ATS that I am going to apply this week. Once I integrate with these big platforms, I think it will be easier to attract more companies.
Joel (19m 24s):
I want to go back to the optimization part again, I know that you're obviously young, but as a company, but are there any results that you have on the SEO side, any success stories that you can talk about and it isn't with the current, your current client, maybe it's some testing that you've done in the past or experience that you've had with the product by testing it?
Oras (19m 46s):
For the moment I don't have this data. I wouldn't lie about it. So this data, hopefully it will be available in a few months and then I can provide all the details. Okay.
Joel (19m 57s):
All right, man. You know what the bell means? It means it's time to face the firing squad. Are you ready?
Oras (20m 3s):
Chad (20m 7s):
All right. All right. Our us dude, I love the simplicity. I love the API integration. Love the job board integration. I lovethe SEO optimized jobs overall, and the Chrome extension is a very nice touch. I love the idea of generating gender neutral, and let's just say better job descriptions because the job descriptions that are out there today are total shit, right? So we need something to make it easier for us to be able to find that job description utopia. Joel, nailed it. I think from a knowledge standpoint, in the space, you are definitely going to have to double down in understanding this space better.
Chad (20m 53s):
We've seen so many organizations come in, startups who have amazing experience and success outside of recruitment and marketing and sales and many different aspects of business, but they've never been an HR talent acquisition or recruitment, and they have landed very hard. So it is incredibly important that you understand adoption in this space is incredibly slow. I love everything that you're doing to make adoption much quicker, much faster. My biggest issue with this is one thing is that it's too cheap, $5 per job description.
Chad (21m 33s):
Won't scale. This business hell, $20 you can quadruple that $20 per job description.
Joel (21m 40s):
Chad (21m 40s):
won't scale this business, guy's gotta live, man, not too much. He's got to scale up. He's got to get developers and all this other fun stuff, but you'll do, you'll be eating Kraft mac and cheese and top ramen till you die. If you continue on this road of too cheap tech. So in the crazy part is that, this is not the cheapest level, right? I'm not talking about your customized level, which could actually be cheaper. So overall, I think there are many things that you need to do. You're on the right path from the standpoint of simplicity. I love that, but there are many aspects of this industry, especially from a monetization standpoint. Adoption networks that you are going to have to shore up very, very quickly, which is the reason why I'm giving you a golf clap.
Chad (22m 31s):
Love what you're doing, man, but there's a lot of work left and you know that, but I'm just not sure that you know exactly where the work is at.
Joel (22m 41s):
Yeah. Keep on keeping on. I agree with what Chad said. I think it's very hard to, to grade companies like yours that started eight weeks ago. Fantastic, you have a customer, obviously that's a big, big hurdle to get over. Job descriptions have forever been a pain in the ass for recruiters and employers. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say at least 90% copy and paste either old jobs or go to the web and find someone that's posted a job for whatever and copy and paste it and kind of put their own spin on it. There really hasn't been a company that's had the balls to sort of take on job descriptions and make it automated or simplified.
Joel (23m 28s):
And just the fact that you're sort of taking on that that 800 pound gorilla is pretty impressive. I think it's a huge, huge challenge to take on. I think that, but you're on the right track. Like people are going to be open to talking to someone about how do I make job descriptions, better, easier, more automated, you know, that anyone can do it, I think is on the right track. I think SEO is on the right track. I think you need to focus more on the job description and making it more of a Jobiak, did I say that right, Chad, competitor, where you're optimizing for Google for Jobs and Indeed? And anyone who's aggregating postings. And as you listened to the show, you know, that LinkedIn is looking at more like an aggregator more and more so helping people understand how do I optimize for vertical search, I think is going to be important.
Joel (24m 18s):
You're obviously a product guy. So I think you're going to continue to build out products. I love the integration strategy that you're talking about. And I think that's on the right track and something that is more advanced than most people who are brand new to the industry. The fact that you're sort of already understanding that is, is great. You're not a, I mean, you're a young guy, but you're not so young that this is your first thing. It looks like you've been developing stuff almost for 20 years, based on your LinkedIn profile. So I think you've, you've got enough chops to know how to design, how to create features, how to look at the market and what people want. I think the challenges that you're going to have are look, it's going to be a competitive space the ability to probably automate job postings.
Joel (25m 2s):
You look at, you know, Textio that we mentioned, Get Optimal, you know, chat bots and not even having job descriptions at some point where we just source candidates based on requirements. So you have technology as a challenge. You have obviously competitors are there and you have the entrenched way of just copy and pasting what we've already done or stuff that other people have done. And I think that that's going to make being a big company, a super challenge. If you were just sort of a bootstrap niche company or had that kind of vision, I think that would be much more attainable and appeal to a much more limited number of companies, but you're going to go big. So I think that you've definitely got your work cut out for you.
Joel (25m 44s):
So I'm going to go with a golf clap as well. I think that you're on the right track. Keep on keeping on, you know, keep us, I wouldn't be surprised if a year from now you haven't raised, you know, 6 million in series A and you're, on your way to bigger and better things. But I think you have a few more hurdles to clear before you would get an applause f