Paul Courtaud, founder of Neobrain tells us about the use of AI in HR management.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Paul Courtaud: My family and I are doing very well, thank you.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Neobrain.
Paul Courtaud: After graduating from HEC Lausanne and Science Po Paris in a double degree program, I was lucky enough to be selected to pursue my MBA at Harvard. I have always been passionate about the business world and entrepreneurship. My second passion is cinema. You have to dream and imagine a lot to be an entrepreneur.
At the age of 17, I started my first business: Futurness. I developed this project together with Corinne Cabanes, who brought me her expertise in HR. Then I created Innovation Time and an incubator focused on students driven by entrepreneurship like me. At the beginning of 2019, I made a partnership with the Groupe l’Étudiant, which bought Futurness. I continued to follow the path of entrepreneurship at age 22 by founding Neobrain.
My goal? To give each individual a compass to manage his or her career in a rapidly changing
How does Neobrain innovate?
Paul Courtaud: When we created Neobrain, we wanted to digitalize HR expertise to be useful to the greatest number of companies. What is our purpose? To make career management more attractive by reconciling HR objectives, management goals, and employee motivation.
To do this, we offer HRIS platforms that answer three main needs for organizations: employee commitment and loyalty, simplification and fluidity of mobility, and alignment of employee skills with the company’s strategy.
What Neobrain does differently and what gives us an innovative edge over our competitors is the use of AI in HR. We use Artificial Intelligence to remove the risks brought about by transformation in companies. We do this by individualizing the user experience on our platforms. AI allows Neobrain’s solutions to analyze a huge pool of data and to use it in the most efficient way possible. It can be through predicting job or skills tendencies in a company, suggesting skills according to job experiences, and many more use cases. We are convinced that each person has potential. The challenge is to build a project with them in which they will be able to blossom durably.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Paul Courtaud: In 2020, Neobrain was able to raise capital through Breega, even though we were at the height of the pandemic. This showed our whole team that we could make it even if the conditions were less than ideal. We even reached our goals for the year and more.
To take part in the collective effort of keeping companies afloat, Neobrain reworked one of its platforms to work as an aid to detect high stress amongst managers. This platform was made available for free to any company that was in need of it. Overall, COVID has made us think and work differently, with most of our team working from home, as well as our clients and our partners. Keeping our projects going took more effort, but we are still going strong today, even when the pandemic is not gone at all from our daily life.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Paul Courtaud: Neobrain’s teams work remotely and collaborate using a series of different apps that allow for most of our workloads to be done from home. To communicate, we have mostly been relying on Slack and Google Meet. We also use Google Drive for data sharing and team tasks. Our project follow-ups are done through Jira, Atlassian project management tool. As for task management, we mostly use Trello, and Google Calendar, which allows us to know precisely who is doing what at any given point in time. This makes it much easier to collaborate on projects.
We have also democratized weekly companywide meetings on Mondays, which are called WeLoveMondays. These meetings allow us to inform and connect with everyone. We also decided to push our collaborators further in their knowledge and careers by organizing “Learning Week-End Kick-Offs” at the end of each week. This time is used for connecting with others but also to learn from each other through employee-given presentations.
All these efforts allow us to stay in contact and to keep our company culture going strong.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Paul Courtaud: Our main competitors are (in no particular order): 365 Talents, ELamp, Eurecia, Talentsoft. In order to stay relevant and ahead of its competitors, Neobrain is investing heavily in its data science department. This allows us to develop internal APIs that make Neobrain’s AI stronger and more precise over time. This proprietary technology will allow Neobrain to create the next generation of HRIS. We are also looking to simplify our offer in order to make it more accessible to any company. This will, in turn, allow us to stand out as the most affordable and easy-to-use HRIS, which solves our clients’ biggest pain points.