E366 Recruiting Community: Ben Mones, Fama CEO and Social Screening for Quality of Hire

Fama just released a report on quality of hire. In it they ask: As the seniority levels go up, does the amount of toxic and adverse content flagged in publicly available online content go down? Can you predict the quality of a hire with online screening? Join us as we dig deeper with Fama CEO & Founder, Ben Mones.

E366 Recruiting Community: Ben Mones, Fama CEO and Social Screening for Quality of Hire

Fama just released a report on quality of hire. In it they ask: As the seniority levels go up, does the amount of toxic and adverse content flagged in publicly available online content go down? Can you predict the quality of a hire with online screening? Join us as we dig deeper with Fama CEO & Founder, Ben Mones.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 
So I have so I have to ask because I have a, I have a disclaimer for today. There’s a lot. There’s a lot going on here at the studio today. So Ben, what? I think you said a little while while we were just kind of talking. Where are you located outside of planet earth a little more localized?

Ben Mones, Fama 0:18
Planet Earth? This galaxy, no I’m in Los Angeles, California.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:24
So you’re you’re in LA. So I’m Gerry’s in well, now Jerry’s in New York. He was in New Jersey.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:30
30 miles from New York City.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:32
Yeah. So you guys are coastal right when he went? So I am in. I’m in Austin, and we just moved. We’re out in the country a little bit. So I’ve got a lot going on in here today. Because I’ll tell you yesterday. This is where three acres so not not a not a spread of land, but notable. And we’re kind of outside the city. I’m in the I’m in the kitchen of the house. And from the back of the house. My partner Celeste, she says, Oh, dear. And I was like, Yeah, and if you’ve been married or in a relationship for a long time, half half of it is yelling across the house. What? What? right half of that? So she goes Oh, dear. I go. Yeah, she was. No dear. I go. I got it. I mean, what what do you need? So five minutes of this back and forth, and she finally comes out? She goes, No. Deer. I’m thinking, oh, there’s always deer around the house. So So I walked to the back of the house, I look out the window, and there’s a dead deer. Oh, it wasn’t expecting that. And I go, Oh, deer. And she goes, Yes, dear. So there’s this big 150 pound, probably not huge, but notable size deer just kind of leaning on the house,

Ben Mones, Fama 1:40
leaning on the house

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:42
Kind of leaning up against the house. And I’m not really I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to do with that deer. We’ve called the what we call. So that’s why I’m saying there’s people running around today like doing some things is we’re trying to figure it out. But the reason I bring it up as I was like, well, we call the game warden. He’s busy. We call the Bastrop office the best of what is animal control. They don’t even work until you know three more days from now. We called animal shelters in support that nobody will help us with. Nobody’s going to help us with this dead deer. And so she looks at me and she goes, what are we going to do with it? Well, we have a one and a half acre lot next to us. I said, Well, we could you know this evening. We’ll just we’ll just we’ll just move it we’ll we’ll drag it and she goes well, I’ll help you with that. And I said you don’t need to help me move this deer because no no I really want a story about the time we hit the dead body

Ben Mones, Fama 2:40
take a really healthy relationship. I mean don’t aren’t you really know your partner until you hide a dead deer with them.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:47
Yeah, yeah, well, so Ben that brings me to you and what you do because I was thinking about this and that you would help find people who but you know he kind of hot trying to hide the dead bodies in social so it’s kind of an interesting little segue there for you have like, we can unearth that shit together.

Ben Mones, Fama 3:04
Yeah. Hey, I mean, I don’t know anything about disposing of dead deer whatsoever. But yeah, yeah, the connection. Is there its a different connection, but its there.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:18
it’s there. Everybody’s got a dead deer leaning against their house.

Ben Mones, Fama 3:22
Maybe that’ll be Fama’s new pitch. Do you have a dead deer leaning against your house?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:27
Do you? Yeah, we have decomposing mammals that you need help. So you know, we’ll figure it out. I swear I haven’t had a drink yet. Are you guys ready? You want to jump in?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:40
We’re good.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:41
Okay we’ve got a show to do.

CXR Announcer 3:45
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Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:15
All right, I’m gonna bring Gerry right in dead deer aside, we

Gerry Crispin, CXR 4:21
I’m always gonna be wondering what else you’re burying on the back. 40.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:24
We’re just dragging stuff around. It’s fine. Nothing to see here. Welcome, everybody to the show. We’re excited to have you back. We do this somewhat regularly. Every week, we do a podcast and it’s a labor of love. You won’t find any advertisements or any promotional stuff here. But what you will find are maybe 20 minute conversations with folks that we think are doing cool stuff in the space, or that we think warrants a little bit of attention. So some of them are more personalities. Some of them are practitioners, but it really does run the spectrum. And we’re excited to bring those to you. We’ve got a fun topic today. Hopefully we don’t Talking about anymore. Animals on the side of homes. I apologize for that in advance. But we are live streaming on the LinkedIn, the Twitter, the Facebook and the YouTube. You’ll find those there. You can also find more information and future episodes and past episodes at CXRstartupworks/podcasts. And if you happen to be watching on a channel where there’s live stream, and a chat window, we’d encourage you to jump right in. You can ask questions of our guests today, you can ask questions of us. We can just say hello, or share your own social profile in there. Did I miss anything, Gerry?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 5:34
No, you got it all.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:35
Alright. Well, I’m excited to welcome our guest first time to the show, Ben, how are you?

Ben Mones, Fama 5:40
Doing great doing great dead mammals aside? I’m excellent.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:44
Excellent. It wasn’t me who brought it back up? Wasn’t me. It wasn’t me. So Ben, for those for those who have not had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with you before, I’m going to ask that you couldn’t go ahead and give us a quick sort of escalator pitch like who has been? Why do we care what Ben has to say? Like what’s been been doing the last couple years? Just kind of give us an overview, and then we’ll just jump in.

Ben Mones, Fama 6:05
It’s funny, those are questions I asked myself every day,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:08
Every day,

Ben Mones, Fama 6:11
The past few years now, I’m Ben. I’m the CEO and founder of a company called fun. We are a online screening company. Basically what we do is help identify workplace misconduct to help you hire great people. Our point of view is that generally that the way that workplace misconduct presents itself has changed fundamentally over the past few years, of course, background checks and education, verifications, drug tests, etc. All part of how we hire how we think about quality of hire. But our point of view, is that the way that that misconduct, prison self has changed. So we look at everything from social media to Google to news litigation, sanctions, depending upon your use case, seniority or higher. We’ve got tools and technology to help you identify misconduct and 2023. So that’s us.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:57
So this topic is wonderful. I love this topic. Because for so long, I mean, we have seen organizations get in trouble. PepsiCo when I had just come to PepsiCo, and it just wrapped up an issue where you know, hiring decision had been made years and years and years ago, hiring decision had been made based on content that had been seen on social and they got into just a shitload of trouble. Awful lot of money’s got paid out. They weren’t alone lot organizations going through sort of that challenge, because the information somebody puts on their LinkedIn profile, or their Facebook page, or their you know, Twitter, when they’re tweeting, is findable. It’s discoverable, it’s easy to get to. And so I think a lot of recruiters are like, Wait, let me just look this candidate up, you know, kind of in the early days, and that is a precarious freedom, right, that a lot of recruiters may have a lot of organizations may have. Can you is that? Is that sort of the impetus? Like what was the impetus sort of to get into this space? Is it Did you just see a glaring opportunity there to address this? Or was it something else?

Ben Mones, Fama 8:02
No, I came out of, you know, kind of what I’ll call like general enterprise software. So I’ve been doing enterprise SAS for pretty much my whole career. I didn’t come out of HR, I didn’t know anything about talent acquisition. I mean, to show you what a novice I was, I actually thought that background checks were stored in some like, secret underground database three miles beneath the Pentagon before I started. That’s what I thought. But I, you know, mountain and Cheyenne are inside of our mountain.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 8:30
They’re done that way in Russia. But that’s another story. Right?

Ben Mones, Fama 8:34
That’s no, so I started Fama really, because I experienced the pain that we solve for today, early company hire guy look great on paper, resume references checked out. The guy comes on board six months in, he ends up sexually harassing one of our top salespeople at the company, really bad experience for her for the victim for the business after the fact we see on this guy’s social media, all this pejorative misogynistic content about women that had we seen it never would have brought this guy on board. So I didn’t know anything about the FCRA. I didn’t know anything about protected classes, right, coming into it. But luckily, I was able to meet some, you know, key players in the space I met, you know, Gerry, way back in the day when I was just starting things up. But also, you know, attorneys like Pam devata, from St. Barts Shaw, who kind of helped craft our compliance approach. And yeah, we really came at this from just understanding the problem and wanting to build a solution that others had kind of experienced.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 9:27
Yeah, that it just it’s so fascinating to me, one that people post things that are just so idiotic, that it’s going to get them in trouble, but I mean, that’s the I mean, it should, it should cease to amaze me, but it doesn’t. So it’s kind of interesting to me. I mean, you mentioned FCRA, I think, because your EEOC is or GDPR you’re all the acronyms compliant. Oh, yeah. So So it’s fascinating to me. So if I apply to an organization that uses Fama, what should I make doesn’t happen do I need to go screw Have my social and make sure I didn’t make a joke in 2015 that then maybe was borderline and is now outrageously inappropriate?

Ben Mones, Fama 10:07
Yeah, so the reality is on stuff like this, right? Because I thought, you know the same thing you would think as a consent based workflow, right? You check the box. Yeah, you have consent to, you know, look at my online presence, you think most people would go in and delete all the racist stuff that they’d said, or, you know, make your profiles private? Right. But the really interesting thing that we found over the years is that, you know, in many ways, the online check is sort of a proxy for assessing what sort of behaviors that candidate is going to normalize in the workplace, right? Most people were truly problematic. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that aberrant behavior, right. They don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying something misogynistic about women, or intolerant of others, or harassing threatening fraud, illegal activity, whatever it might be. And that’s the mentality they bring into the organization, which is why, you know, people sign up for online screening is because they know that, hey, look like this person is going to be interfacing with customers interfacing with key employees, maybe leading teams, right, we need to make sure that that sort of value orientation is aligned with what we’re talking about. So when it comes to the job seeker who might be getting a final check, like, again, 95% of these reports are clear, there are no hits that are out there and hiring managers aren’t looking at, you know, we don’t even flag for profanity, we don’t flag for things like alcohol or anything like that, because that’s normal stuff. Right. But if you are, again, acting threatening, harassing or intolerant towards others, online, you might not, you know, get, you know, a clear report. So it’s really, you know, small, what I call kind of a high impact, low probability type check. But, you know, most people have absolutely nothing to worry about, because most people are not harassing people or acting hateful on the internet.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:47
Yeah. So you raise any kind of kind of question for me, I guess, if I’m at a more conservative organization do are there? Are there levers and knobs that I get to move around to say, well, I don’t, I don’t want anybody here who’s drinking? who’s posting drinks, you know, alcohol, or at the, you know, someplace I deem inappropriate for my employer brand. Is that is that a feature? Do you do you guys have your own sort of moral, I guess, compass that you move through? And they can adjust that? Or is it just a flatline?

Ben Mones, Fama 12:18
Yeah, it’s, it’s highly configurable. The solution, that’s the whole point, right? It’s like, different companies have different screening criteria for what the quality of hire looks like, for their organization. So you know, we don’t score, we don’t tell you who’s good or who’s bad, we don’t give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down. In fact, we’ve even removed the colors like red, green and yellow from the application. So there isn’t any kind of, you know, imparting that we’re saying or making an opinion about this subject. But clients can come in configure and say, Hey, this is what misconduct looks like, for my organization out of the box, you can turn on things like, like I said, intolerance, threats, harassment, you can’t flag for protected classes of information. You know, and actually, you know, we had to make some of these calls right around, like what we flagged for and when we know, we actually decided not to flag for alcohol, you can add keywords related to profanity, if you’d like. But we tried to sort of balance that line between sort of what is fair for the candidate? And what do most companies care about? And, you know, what are most companies looking for at the same time, so so it’s kind of

Gerry Crispin, CXR 13:20
You set boundaries, if you will, for yourself in terms of what you would do for a client? Or it might be asking for you to do something that would be in the gray area? For example, prison time.

Ben Mones, Fama 13:36
Exactly. Right. And there have been many opportunities. And many times over the past eight years, since we’ve started the company where we’ve turned down, you know, projected uses of the Famas solution, which could be its own own podcast, but I mean, everything from like, you know, large organizations in the states to, you know, foreign government controlled organizations and places, you know, like, you know, within Asia and European continent as well, that, you know, wanted to flag for certain things. We said, hey, you know, not not what we’re doing.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 14:06
But the argument is, or at least the pitch for for being able to search social, right, just taking taking from found out of it being able to search social is that this increases the quality of candidate.

Ben Mones, Fama 14:20

Chris Hoyt, CXR 14:20
Right. I mean, that that is the stance and what we’re really talking about and and Jerry, and I can appreciate this is kind of a kind of a no asshole policy is what you’re kind of talking about.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 14:31
Yeah, but I think it’s more than that, Chris, in a sense of being able to defend, if you will, that that that that level of asshole adness is going to impact the performance of the teams. Shouldn’t it be part of

Chris Hoyt, CXR 14:51
a risk assessment?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 14:53
Because I’m, I’m now going to create the kind of problems within the organization that will be difficult to manage because of of being such an outlier, if you will.

Ben Mones, Fama 15:06
And I’ll kind of make that a little more practical. So from a compliance standpoint, what that means you have to draw a straight line between the candidate behavior and business impact, right, you have to be able to connect in the same way a standard background check, right? If I were to run a call it motor vehicle checking MVR on somebody who is in a non driving role, right, not driving a car as part of the job whatsoever. But if I run an MBR, that person gets a hit on the MBR, I really can’t use that in a hiring decision, right? Because it’s not business impact in the same way that Jerry’s framing it. So really, the concept here is like, let’s use like intolerance as one example, right? Let’s say there’s somebody who’s posting all this, you know, crazy stuff online about black people, something like that, right? If there’s black people in that organization, black customers that that organization is serving, that is a direct line to business impact, right, because that’s somebody that’s going to either alienate key employees make them want to leave at threatening harassing towards others, or to alienate key customers and make those people not want to buy from anymore. So that’s really the ways that you know, customers use this technology today. And, you know, when we got started, like I said, there was no case law, backing it up. But now you’ve got, you know, black and white case law from, you know, states all across the country, and even internationally, where you see, you know, this being upheld in the courts away,

Gerry Crispin, CXR 16:25
it seems to me that in the category that you represent, in our industry, there ought to be some form of agreement among the various colleagues, if you will, who you compete with, to set the standard, if you will, that, that everybody who’s involved in background checks, basically, would abide by a set of principles that that support that.

Ben Mones, Fama 16:53
That’s right. And I think part of that is not just what you flagged for and what you don’t plug for, but a big thing for us is like ethical AI, who’s building the tech, right? Are you scoring? Are you giving a thumbs up or a thumbs down? You know, we, we have certain features of what we do and how we do it that, you know, help us differentiate in the marketplace. But certainly Gerry, like, you know, data Magna Carta, if you will, of how this data is used and not used as something that we’ve talked about a lot. And, you know, I’ve got really, you know, good peers in the industry and a big fancy companies like social intelligence, for example, Bianca lager, that team they set up, you know, the the very first FTC letter back in 2011, was social media screening and making that FINRA compliant. So, yeah, it’s a nascent industry, but one, I think that does require a level of like, what is the standard of care here? You know, what are what are we going to fund for? What do we know?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 17:45
That does that in the industry?

Ben Mones, Fama 17:48
No, not today. Okay.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 17:53
I guess so. I guess my question to becomes, where does the liability ultimately sit? So are you mitigating the risk of my hiring decision as an employer? If you’re that that solution or third party vendor? Do I still take the bullet one way or the other or like, like, what’s the advantage of that other than speed, right, because if I’m going to check backgrounds, as an organization, I’m going to check background or a social, then I’m going to check it. So is the is the prime advantage here? Speed or quality?

Ben Mones, Fama 18:31
There’s a anytime you turn to a third party solution. And this applies to all types of software, in my opinion, right? If you turn to a third party solution, that’s a point solution that focuses only on solving one problem, they’re going to be more consistent, they’re going to be more comprehensive, whether that’s background screening, CRM, technology, ATS, whatever recruitment tech, however you want to frame it, it’s going to be ultimately a higher quality and ideally more consistent, more comprehensive than the process you have in place today. But outside of those, like what I’ll call standard cloud based software advantages that are out there, there’s the compliance piece, like if you’re doing this yourself, and you’re right, you guys said the top of the call, oh, everyone’s doing it, right. But the employee relations, people who are on right now maybe the, you know, legal folks who might be listening in they’re like, we don’t do that shit. We don’t do that. Trust me. We don’t do that at our company, right? So there’s a big wolf, doing this yourself, because you see stuff that you shouldn’t see, right? You as a hiring manager go down that slippery slope, and you see information about a subject that kind of, you know, whether or not you say you’re using it in hiring decision, if I was a hiring manager, or I was a recruiter, filling a req, and I just happen to say, You know what, let me check this person out on Facebook, and I see that that person is pregnant, or if I see that that person is disabled, right? EEO says you can’t unring the bell, you can’t unsee that information. And you’re going to use that in the hiring decision. So companies turn to us not just for the consistency, comprehensiveness and, you know, I’d say the quality of what we do And the speed like you mentioned, but really the compliance protection to you know, the the fact that we operate in about 25 countries at this point and have a compliance framework in place that helps us, you know, scale what we do without exposing company to risk. So,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 20:14
So what’s the love that and I just I keep using the word interesting investment because this is such a fun topic, having been a recruiter that’s, you know, at the time when social was really hitting and leading teams, when socialists and having countless discussions about not checking Facebook or not checking these other channels, I just think this is such a fun topic. Then what or what have you had any, I’ve so many questions below? What’s the false positive or false negative rate on stuff like this as it comes in?

Ben Mones, Fama 20:45
Yeah, so it’s really, you know, dependent on, you know, sort of the type of checker running and we think about false positives, we think about the John Doe problem, right? So we think about, do we find the right John Doe, in a sea of John Doe’s, who lives in the big city works at a big company. So we use a combination of both automation and humans in the same workflow. So we’re not fully automated, and some investors who hear that they’re like, you know, when we were pitching from a VC standpoint, they were like, alright, zoom over, you know, that type of thing, we’re not going to get the SAS margin that we’re looking for. But ultimately, for us, our clients want to make sure that we’re finding the right person online. Again, it’s all that we do, right? If we’re putting the wrong social media profiles or web results, foundational problem with our solution. So we audited about 99 plus percent and 99.5%, improving chain of custody of social profiles, web results to the subject. And then when it comes to false positives on the report false negatives, we actually tend to optimize more for false positives compared to false negatives when we do our sort of like content, structuring content filtering. But you know, that ratio, again, isn’t like the 97/98 a little bit lower than our accuracy on is the profile of the subject or not, just because content, as you might imagine, runs the gamut in terms of like, what is threatening? Or what is harassing online?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 22:06
Interesting, interesting, and what what would you say we’re at, and we’re asking this a lot lately, but what would you say to the conversation analyzation of technology like this? I mean, when you’re talking about it’s not Fama GPT. But when you’re talking about that kind of technology, everybody’s buzzing. You mentioned investors, and, you know, people looking for that levels of automation. Are they asking if it’s, if it’s baked in? Or they, you know, are you seeing a place for this with within your lane?

Ben Mones, Fama 22:36
You know, I think there are not chat GPT, but the GPT for, you know, model structure itself has actually been, you know, very helpful for us when it comes to, you know, sort of the initial stages of some of our content filtering, right, and the way that we think about doing what we do from a technology standpoint, but certainly, you know, the the concept of introducing, you know, chat GPT into what we do now, we’re, we’re not there yet, and I don’t think that many companies, right, you know, the challenge that we run into is that some companies want full automation others one completely manual, and there’s somewhere in between that kind of fits the broader, I would say, segment of the market that’s out there. But the reality is, is like there’s so much nuance in who we hire, there is so much nuance in what a quality candidate and a good hire to put it simply looks like for a company that you can’t give a score, you can’t give a thumbs up or thumbs down. If I’m a hiring manager, and a solution spits out well, you know, Jim has an 87 and Jane has an 84. But I can’t explain to you how I came up with that score. Because it’s a chat GPT or some AI model that we built, it’s gonna be really difficult for you to defend using that as part of your hiring decision. So my point of view on AI talent acquisition, there’s much more that we have to focus on, you know, sort of replacing the more menial rote tasks within the function, and bringing users in this space in the TA space to what I call kind of the precipice of action to help them inform their own rational mind their own decision making about how to move forward with a candidate. So I think anything that tries to replace the entire workflow or replace the entire funnel is, personally again, this is not something that everyone agrees with me on, but I don’t think that’s ever going to take off in our industry. Maybe in the next 10 years. Maybe we’ll see it but for now, I think the biggest opportunities for AI for chat GPT Are you know, potentially to say how do we produce a you know, replace that those most menial and, and sort of repetitive tasks that are out there like reading through a person’s web presence or, you know, finding the web results about them online. There are ways that you can use automation to replace Ctrl F.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 24:50
I almost, but I almost see the delivery of what a service like that does. bagodra is being able to say hey, AI Is this candidate a cultural fit? Now we’re obviously we’re talking about in the future, right? But are they a cultural fit? And maybe my cultural parameters have been predefined with prompts by a chat GPT prompt engineer we hired. But the idea being right, like, do they fit? And then just getting a quick note back says, This guy’s kind of an asshole. You probably probably gonna want to skip this one. Yeah, yeah. Gerry, Gerry has a hard time with me saying, J

Gerry Crispin, CXR 25:27
you know, the risk it is, but but we’re also really looking at only one half of the equation, we’re looking at the equation constantly of whether or not the employer believes this person can do the job in the framework of the culture that whatever. But but no one really is fully engaged in helping the candidate discover whether or not he or she will do the job, given that they can. And and we have not gone to that to that side of the equation. In either technology, or in real process. We only do it through coaching, which is a much more of a subjective approach to that and does not really have the scientific underpinnings that some of the can, can they do the job have? So we’re i That’s why That’s why I would agree, Ben, with you that it’s going to be many years before we get to a point where the quality of decision making on both sides is sufficient to be truly predictive.

Ben Mones, Fama 26:39
Exactly. And what is that foundational fit? I mean, to extend that even further, Gerry, it’s like you could assess right? There are ways and I’ll make this really big picture, right? So we all know the way that like Meta Facebook and Instagram, right, the way that they look at our online behavior to sell us advertising, right? Meta is really, really good at putting us into audiences. And you know, telling a brand or an advertiser, hey, this is where this person is going to be. This is the site they’re on. This is the stuff that they respond to, because they’ve been tracking our behavior for so long, right? They’ve been looking at what we’re doing online right now, there is an argument, I think, Chris, that in the next few years, maybe you could do some sort of audience development, Candidate Development, candidate pool development, right to say, Well, look, let’s look at the behavior, maybe not just through social media, but through how people get work done plugging into everything from a lattice to a slack to Outlook to, you know, you could get all of our tools together, start monitoring it and developing patterns and seeing how people engage in tools that they have, what that means for performance. And it’s possible, it’s possible that we could assess the likelihood of a candidate to fit in to that audience, if you will, you know, of somebody who’s within a company. Now, I still think Jerry, your point is spot on, which is like, we have the foundational fit. But how much are we going to kind of credit towards Yeah, this person is going to be a quality hire at the company versus here’s what we need to do as a business to get that person to that level of quality, that we think that they have the potential to reach, right? So I think, like qualifiers here that you can introduce, but it’s a it’s a really potentially interrupt user term, interesting, you know, future that we’re kind of, you know, we can’t.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 28:26
Because if we ask Ben, if we ask any ta leader to define quality of hire, I bet a mortgage payment, that none of them are going to say anything about online behavior prior to employment. Right. So to Gerry’s point, like there’s two sides, like that term quality in our space, historically is right or wrong? How long do they stick around? Right? We’re talking about retention, what were their performance scores, their 360 feedback from their peers, you know, these different milestones, and these things are starting to pick up. So we don’t we don’t sta leaders really put put put this element of that candidate into a bucket that we label as quality of hire. But arguably, I

Ben Mones, Fama 29:10
I would say though, you know, we’ve done a lot of market research on this. And one of the things that we found was that the number two biggest challenge of the HR leaders that we serve, we work with a great firm called like Newt annex, we talked to a bunch of companies 1000 to 25,000 employees across a bunch of different industries, 150 different businesses, CHR, OHS VPS, etc. The number two challenge that every single one of these people listed was finding a candidate with the right skills and personality for the role, right. So I do think that companies have those conversations and TA has been in the conversations myself saying, yeah, that person, they’re good. I can have a beer with that person. You hear that all the time, right?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 29:51
first academic would would tell you that that gives you a restricted range, which tells you you do not know the value you would get from ignoring that personality and using that individual as a catalyst to engage others to get to a higher level. So fundamentally, there’s we don’t have that information because we make decisions based on restricted range information. Interesting. Just saying,

Ben Mones, Fama 30:24
Yeah a good point. Yeah, you’re right.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 30:27
I mean, it is a fun field. This is sort of these are like conversations early on, we would like with assessment. Well, we lost over it. Yeah. I mean, he’s out. That’s, that’s the Gerry. So it is kind of kind of an interesting conversation to have, because there were a lot of conversations on, you know, gamification of assessments and do Do we have enough information to make solid hiring decisions on these, those are too risky, those are too scary. So I think when you get into something new, or that becomes a little more mainstream, or commercialized and available, I think for some organizations can be a little scary. So I think this is a fun space to watch and sort of see what comes out. Right?

Ben Mones, Fama 31:08
It’s also, I think, a question too, in this dynamic of like decision making, right, that we assume that perfection exists, whether it’s perfection at a technical level, or perfection at a human level of the recruiter at the talent acquisition pro that’s running the search, right? So the bigger question for me is like, how do you give somebody that confidence to make a decision? Is it going to be perfect? No. But can you feed in enough foundational information to that decision making process to enable that person to make that call of Yeah, we want to invest in this person, we want to bring them into our organization. Right. And so I think you have to, from my perspective, I think this is about recognizing imperfection across technology and humans, and that we can use a wide range of tools to get us to a point of hopefully getting better, but it’ll never be perfect.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 32:00
Yeah, yeah. Well, there’s there’s nothing perfect about recruiting. So that is for sure. But Ben, let me ask you, before we let you go, if you were going to write a book today, on the topic of this, what would the title of that book be?

Ben Mones, Fama 32:23
I would say, you know, I would call it the Midnight Hour is what I would call it because with this is a company that we believed in early on, like I told you at the top, like we had experience, you know, I had experienced something that you know, I missed on a new hire that was plainly available online, we had believed for so long and invested and met a community of early customers and investors, etc. Who also saw the potential in what we were doing. But between 2015 and 2019, to be totally candid, this was a slow moving industry. And it was only recently in the past three or four years or so that we’ve started to see that uptick. So I think, you know, we’re looking at kind of the the sort of modernization of how we think about misconduct and how we spend our time where we spend our time. So I’d call it the the midnight hour in the sense that things happen that the kind of last minute for us and have now you know, grown substantially over the past few years or so. So I’d like to review subjects.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 33:24
Nice. Well, okay, so Ben, who gets the first signed copy of your book? You do you don’t man, you can’t give it

Ben Mones, Fama 33:34
all you have to do is train me that dead deer leaning up against your house.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 33:40
I can’t No, we’re not good partners in that you’re supposed to out me for hiding bodies that that’s the issue. Yeah. Can’t can’t give it to me can’t get or Gerry can’t give it.

Ben Mones, Fama 33:52
I give it to our our very first customer I would say who believed in us from day one. There’s a guy named. Well, a company rather named Carco, and incisive, a guy named Jim Owens, who was one of the very first people to buy into what we were doing. So Jim, if you’re listening you get the book,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 34:13
I love it a shout out to Jim, then hang in I’m gonna put you in the greenroom. Don’t go anywhere. Yeah, I want to thank you so much for your time. You’re super busy dude. So we appreciate you dialing in. And joining us and sharing some of that wisdom. It’s it is an interesting space to see this sort of really taking off. So thanks for the input.

Ben Mones, Fama 34:30
Thanks a lot. Appreciate you guys having me.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 34:32
All right, hanging out really quickly. I just want to remind everybody very quickly, we have launched. I don’t know where Jerry went. But we have launched recently via the CXR Foundation, and under Gerry’s leadership, along with 48 I think the number is 48. Other recruiters in this space have launched something called the history of recruiting you’re gonna find it at CXR.foundation/history. I’m not even joking you this Is the bat the entire background, this is a wonderful resource, it is a growing and living resource. So this is a wonderful resource for anybody just getting into the space. If you are looking to just learn a little bit more about the space, we realized that it is a little US centric, we’re working on that. But it is made up of the input of of dozens and dozens of recruiters in this space goes all the way back to I think the late 1800s all the way up to present, you are able to contribute content to that if you like, you can also see a full list of the contributors at the bottom of that page at CXR.Foundation/history. And of course, you can of course learn a little bit more about what goes on at our CXR Foundation, nonprofit, and make a donation if you would like or even be part of any number of the programs that we’ve been working on over there. For the last couple of years. We’re excited about that we do live work that in the local communities, when we do our live events, we just did a beach cleaning that didn’t suck a lot of fun, feel good to do that kind of good work in the space with other TA leaders. We’ve got a mentoring platform that is coming up. I’m teasing a little bit about that in the last few shows. But you can see that here in about a week or so we’re going to launch that piece that’s free that’s going to be included in the space. We’ve got a jobs platform that’s been out there the history of recruiting and it just a number of things. So check it out. There’s just a lot of good work going on at the foundation CXR.Foundation you can check that out and with that I’m going to tell everybody we will see you next week thanks for listening or watching and don’t forget future events at cxr.works/events and of course this one is /podcast so you can dial in subscribe listen to previous episodes and future episodes and we will see you next week

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