Expert Interview with Christopher Murray Of HiringSolved On Finding The Right Talent

By Cheryl Morgan

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Finding the right talent"Finding the right people on the web was a monotonous endeavor involving the cross-referencing of many different sources and complex boolean search tricks just to pick up the most basic information on a candidate. The information was right there at your fingertips, but the process of compiling it all was time consuming and mundane. Skilled candidates seemed so close, yet so far away."

This is what Christopher Murray told us when we asked why his company, HiringSolved, was formed.

The Internet makes everything more complicated while simultaneously promising untold excitement and possibilities. Theoretically, any company has access to the same high class talent - if they know how to find them.

Christopher Murray took a moment to tell us about HiringSolved and how they cross reference what they look at to determine the best candidates for your own job hunting or recruitment.

Can you introduce us to HiringSolved? When was your company founded? Where are you based out of?

HiringSolved was founded in August 2012 after a fateful hacknight that brought the founders Shon Burton and Trevor Olson to do business with each other. It was love at first byte...

Shon Burton had been running a recruiting agency in the bay area and Trevor Olson was a University of Arizona astrophysicist. They bonded in their love of technology and leveraged each others' knowledge of computer science to build the most efficient talent search engine the world had ever seen.

In March 2013, the duo won the Tallwave High Tide startup competition in Phoenix, Arizona, and by November that same year closed on their first round of funding: a $1 million deal that closed in less than 30 days. It was a record speed.

What inspired you to start HiringSolved initially? What was lacking from the other hiring companies that you hoped to fulfill?

The inspiration behind HiringSolved came out of frustration. Finding the right people on the web was a monotonous endeavor involving the cross-referencing of many different sources and complex boolean search tricks just to pick up the most basic information on a candidate. The information was right there at your fingertips, but the process of compiling it all was time consuming and mundane. Skilled candidates seemed so close, yet so far away.

Can you describe to us what the basic premise is behind HiringSolved?

The basic premise behind HiringSolved is a search engine that finds the right people for the job - no matter what skillset that requires - by swarming the social web with crawlers. It's kind of like a hyper-specialized Google whose focus is primarily on finding people rather than simply indexing websites.

What are some of the main industries that use your services? What are some other industries that could benefit from HiringSolved if they knew about it?

Our biggest customers tend to be large Fortune-500 type enterprises looking for a fast, efficient way to fill positions, but we also have a niche following of individual recruiters.

What are some of the particular challenges that come from working with a global workforce? What are some things a company can do to help diminish these risks?

Working with a global workforce comes with a lot of growing pains in terms of culture tolerance and understanding. While HiringSolved does not currently employ anybody outside the United States, many companies do.

Obviously, there can be language barriers for an American company that hires an Indonesian contractor, for instance; but there are also cultural barriers in terms of misaligned expectations that tend to challenge international partnerships such as these. These issues can lead to elongated development times and budget problems due to unpredicted overspending.

In order to diminish these risks, every company needs to do their due diligence before signing an international deal. While the savings on development rates may look attractive in alternative low-wage markets, many companies have now suffered through the trials involved with making this choice when a project worth tens of thousands of dollars has to be scrapped or reworked by more expensive domestic contractors. Research is key when looking to hire abroad. Having accurate data is absolutely vital for this part of the process.

Similarly, what are some opportunities that come from working with people from all over?

There are huge opportunities that come along with international partnerships. The biggest one (and also one of the most difficult to measure) is the philosophical contribution. People from other cultures have vastly different thoughts and techniques that are unlike anything we would have come up with on our own.

Take Russians and ice hockey, for instance. Before the ruskies brought their brand of tactical rotations and pass-heavy plays to the westerners, we played the sport more like football, where one set of brutish linemen muscled against another. Without their isolated intellectual contribution to the game, we would still have a slow-paced and inefficient system of plays. Same goes for industry. There is still a lot we can learn from our neighboring earthlings.

For companies that are recruiting, do you have any advice as far as using their social media channels to be the most attractive to potential employees?

Companies looking to hire should consult their marketing department when it comes to social media recruiting. There are a lot of established techniques on social media that marketers have proven to be effective over the years. By optimizing their posts and interactions using analytics like a seasoned marketer, recruiters can grow their effectiveness and overall ROI with the time spent on social media.

You wrote a post on your blog at the beginning of last year called the 2014 Recruitment Forecast Report. Can you briefly touch on what some of those predictions were, and whether or not they came true? Where do you foresee recruitment headed now?

The predictions we made for the 2014 forecast were primarily focused on the importance of social media in recruiting passive candidates. Also, based on a poll we commissioned to YouGov Plc., we expected many of these passive candidates to be reluctant to the idea of switching jobs.

We had a strong position on the effectiveness of social media in recruiting which probably should have been dialed up even more than it already was. During the last quarter of 2014, the topic of social media marketing had completely saturated recruiting blogs as bloggers sang the praises of an optimized campaign. As it turns out, candidates were using social media much more than they had claimed in our poll.

As far as reluctance goes, we were pretty much on point about that. With a market shortage of tech skilled workers, it was a difficult year for recruiters who could easily be deemed a pest for being the 100th recruiting call a candidate had gotten.

Our predictions now are centered around the further expansion and optimization still needed for recruiters' social media, as well as the benefits of adopting smart big data solutions. Big data is a big buzzword for recruiters right now, but the challenge for recruiting companies will be determining which platforms to get data from. It can be tempting to adopt a solution that vacuums tons of data to get the widest spread; but without the right algorithm to sort through it all, big data can be more puzzling than enlightening.

Also, companies who engineer virality into their hiring campaigns, complete with bonus incentives and perks for referrals, will likely be the most effective in 2015.

What are some reasons why recruiters should use HiringSolved or something similar? How much time and money do they stand to save, not to mention avoiding hassles and headaches?

Using a search engine like HiringSolved for sourcing candidates will save companies many, many hours of research that used to claim a large chunk of the recruiter's day. Instead of visiting dozens of sites to build a profile on somebody, they can now go to one and get a list of thousands who fit the bill in less than a second.

Can you give a few brief pieces of advice for recruiters for this particular day and age that they absolutely must know and practice?

In this day and age, recruiters must be agile, quick learners. Social media trends are constantly in flux, and this will probably never stop. Just like a perfect Myspace campaign is useless today, a perfect Facebook or Twitter campaign could one day share the same fate. As long as recruiters continue to boldly venture into the latest social media trends and are willing to try new things, they will have a good shot at prospering.

Thinking about what viral element they can add to the referral process is also integral. Recruiters must find a way to promote a viral spread of their recruiting initiative. By building a turnkey incentive program which encourages candidates to trade a part of their social capital (reputation) to promote a hiring campaign, recruiters can gain a powerful edge.

For more updates from HiringSolved, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and connect with them on LinkedIn.


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