Below is our recent interview with Mark Knowlton, CEO & Founder at TechScreen:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to TechScreen?
A: TechScreen helps clients – IT Staffing firms and corporate TA departments – empower their people to create and conduct a detailed phone screen that serves as a surrogate for the hiring manager phone interview. Our clients have seen dramatic improvements in the efficiency of their hiring processes because they can qualify or eliminate a candidate on the first phone call. One of our large staffing clients said we took their submittal process at a F50 customer from up to 3 days to under 1 hour. A software firm client generated a 70% Interview-to-Offer ratio, compared to an industry average 17%, according to study by ATS vendor Jobvite. That client has 3 of their Engineering teams skip the manager phone screen if a candidate generates a 75 or better on a TechScreen interview. Recruiters for our two biggest Staffing clients are rejecting between 46 and 54% of the candidates they screen whose resumes match the job description. Our clients are validating our model and making their customers happy.
Q: What are your key features?
A: We provide a UI that lets you collaborate with the hiring manager – either in person or in a screen-sharing session – to select questions to create an interview tailored to an individual requirement or recurring profile position. We let you pick a skill and a level and the manager can cherry pick which questions are most relevant to the deliverables on their role out of a library that has over 100 skills. If they don’t see a question they like, the manager can add their own knockout questions. Our software shepherds a non-technical recruiter through asking, understanding and scoring free-form technical narrative explanations of the questions. Our proprietary algorithm scores the accuracy of the answer’s content and the efficacy of the delivery and we generate a detailed PDF of the interview result for manager review. Once you create the custom interview, it can be launched with one click to be re-used on an unlimited basis.
We also have a self-paced methodology that guides a non-technical recruiter to become accustomed to conducting and scoring technical interviews. Everyone will go at their own pace, so we let individuals decide which modules they leverage to get comfortable in conducting and following a detailed technical interview.
Q: What are the biggest flaws of technical recruiting?
A: The entire hiring process is based on a manager reading a static document to determine who should move forward in the process, a wildly subjective exercise that scales poorly. Job descriptions are a collection of buzzwords that don’t really tell a recruiter what skills they should be targeting. Countless time is wasted when recruiters send resumes to managers, creating a predictable bottleneck while they find time to review and screen candidates. The construct of the resume carries the most of the weight in picking which candidates move forward. The recruiter has friction on both fronts of their process: Candidates often disrespect them and managers often have little trust in their recommendations, and both are based on the same issue: Recruiters lack technical knowledge and insight. TechScreen helps recruiters and sales people elevate their level of engagement with candidates and hiring managers.
Q: What makes TechScreen different from other technical evaluation tool?
A: No other tool in the HR Tech space is designed to help the staffing sales person or corporate recruiter insert themselves into the hiring manager’s decision-making process. Our tool creates an elevated level of engagement, collaborating with the manager to define the questions so they have skin in the game. If a candidate with an average resume gets a 91 on an interview they defined, the manager is far more likely to give that candidate a shot.
All of the other technical evaluation tools on the market fall into two buckets: Coding exercises or self-paced multiple-choice tests. All of them are launched when you send a link to a user, putting the recruiting process on hold. The recruiter has to wait for the candidate to get around to taking the test and hope that they don’t delete it, Google all the answers or have someone else take it.
TechScreen is the world’s only SaaS solution that allows a recruiter to conduct a detailed interview of an IT candidate. We let you create a customized interview for each requirement or profile position, drawing questions from a library of over 100 IT skills, or the managers can also add their own knockout questions.
Q: Why AI can’t replace engagement with hiring managers?
A: Recruiting is and always will be a people business. AI has its place, and it can be useful in automating tasks that can be very time-consuming and tedious. Things like matching resumes against positions in the database or searching for and merging duplicate records would be great things that could be done behind the scenes. However, AI will never replace a recruiter building a relationship and establishing credibility and trust with a hiring manager.
Q: What can we expect from TechScreen in the future?
A: Our library has over 100 skills and that will continue to grow. There are a couple of major areas where will expand our capabilities: Integrations and Reporting. Our roadmap will have us creating integrations with most of the major Applicant Tracking Systems. We will also be adding additional reporting capability that will lead to the ability to deploy self-service dashboard creation. This evolution will lead to an analytics capability that will let clients do more accurate forecasting of predictive performance and outcome.