We talked to Christopher Platts of ThriveMap about pre-hire assessments, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Christopher Platts: We’re doing ok thanks. Luckily we moved out of London in October 2019 to the countryside, and that the kids are mostly still in the nursery. I don’t know how we’d cope with homeschooling.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded ThriveMap.
Christopher Platts: I’m Chris Platts, CEO of ThriveMap. We create pre-hire assessments that simulate a day in the life of a specific job. They help companies hire more effectively and efficiently and educate candidates on what to expect in the job. ThriveMap was a pivot from our previous business, TalentRocket, which was a culture and values-driven version of LinkedIn.
How does ThriveMap innovate?
Christopher Platts: We enable organizations to hire more objectively by removing bias from the candidate selection phase. Candidates are measured on their ability to complete various job-specific tasks rather than being judged on their past experience, for example, by submitting a CV. The data already shows that using personalized assessments is more effective in hiring new hires and retention outcomes. Ultimately, we think that for the vast majority of jobs, CVs and interviews will become obsolete.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Christopher Platts: Companies are rapidly adopting virtual hiring processes, using Zoom and Teams to conduct interviews. The next stage is realizing that moving traditional job interviews online is not the solution to hiring issues such as candidates’ experience, recruiter bias, and inconsistency. The better solution is to trust a transparent, job-relevant assessment to select talent for you.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
We took the decision early to move to a fully distributed team; we can’t imagine going back to office life. Besides a few changes to our sales approach and product delivery plans, our main change was going from on-site meetings with customers to design assessments to build a fully virtual process. Early feedback from clients has been positive.
What specific tools, softwares, and management skills are helping you navigate the crisis?
Christopher Platts: We’ve always used Slack, Zoom, and Google Drive to communicate, but we’re probably more conscious of checking in with each other as we don’t get the office interaction.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Christopher Platts: Our main competitor is companies still using CVs to decide who to interview. Beyond that, there are a bunch of generic assessment tools looking at personality traits and cognitive ability, but they’re sketchy as they’re non-contextual. People behave differently in different environments; trying to predict how someone will perform in a job via a generic scenario, or non-contextual question is really risky, so unlike our competitors, we avoid that.
Your final thoughts?
Christopher Platts: COVID won’t last forever, but behavioral changes might make sure you’re ready to capitalize on the emerging patterns.