First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Prem Kumar: Thanks for asking. It’s been quite an adjustment working remotely with two young kids, but we are fortunate to have our health and see the market look to technologies like ours more than ever before.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Humanly
Prem Kumar: After graduating from the University of Washington, I spent 10 years at Microsoft working in product management related jobs. I really began to fall in love with technology and its impact on the world during my years there. I had a chance to spend time on many B2B applications, and HR and Talent Acquisition technologies. After having my first kid, I realized that if I wanted to follow my passion for starting my own thing and impacting the startup world, I should do so before my kids got older. I ended up joining the employee engagement company, TINYpulse, where I got to see rapid growth in SaaS first hand. I met my co-founder, Andrew, at TINYpulse, and the more mid-sized HR tech buyers we talked to, the more we realized there was a huge opportunity in the Mid Market to help Talent Acquisition teams make hiring more equitable and efficient.
How does Humanly innovate?
Prem Kumar: Our technology automates job candidate screening, scheduling, and engagement at scale, helping get the right candidate to the right recruiter faster. This saves hiring teams 64 per open role on average, creates a scalable candidate experience (candidates rate our experience 4.8/5), and removes bias from the process.
We are also about to launch a new offering to help hiring teams reduce unconscious bias in remote interviews – allowing us to provide value throughout the recruiting funnel.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Prem Kumar: We’ve definitely had to adjust. One of the 5 industries we target is the services industry and retail, which has been severely impacted, of course. We wanted to do right by our customers and offered our tool-free to customers affected by COVID. We also provided free services to job candidates who were laid off.
In the other industries, we’ve had a lot of success as companies turned to automation like never before in Talent Acquisition. Overall, our business has grown 4X since January. We see a future in hiring where automation and people work together. Technology should never be “thrown at” people-driven processes.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Prem Kumar: It was a challenge. We learned a lot about resilience and being open to adjusting to whom we’re selling to and how.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Humanly in the future?
Prem Kumar: I’ve found it great to take a break and go on a walk during the workday – either while on a call or not. Including breaks in our day like that (particularly outdoors) has helped with stress.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Prem Kumar: Our top competitors are Mya, Ally O, XOR, and Paradox. Currently, we don’t come up against them much due to our Mid Market focus. At the end of the day, we feel our focus on people, data, removing bias, and candidate experience will continue to set us apart.
We are also the first in the industry to remove unconscious bias from remote interviews. We’re really excited about this.
Your final thoughts?
Prem Kumar: We’re currently signing up a beta list to try our VOICE product attached. Message me if you’d like to give it a spin at firstname.lastname@example.org
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