Talking tech since 2003

As someone who is currently looking for new job opportunities I pounced at the chance to learn more about a new startup that’s tackling hiring called Uncommon. The company was founded by Amir Ashkenazi and Teg Grenager, two veteran entrepreneurs with extensive experience building B2B products and who had previously worked together to start the programmatic video advertising startup, which was acquired by AOL for $405 million. Ashkenazi also founded, which was acquired by eBay for $634 million.

Having built successful companies in the past the two of them realized how difficult hiring people actually was for many organizations and decided to take on the challenge. “When I was hiring for my previous companies, I was stunned at how finding talent was based on a ‘needle in a haystack’ approach,” said Teg Grenager, CEO of Uncommon. “Now, we’re creating what I wish I had then: a simple and effective way to connect with only qualified applicants who are ready to be interviewed, allowing recruiters to spend less time sourcing and more time hiring great talent.”

According to Amir, the job market has not changed much since the classified ads era. He argues that it’s basically a black box for those on both sides of the hiring equation. And you know what–I agree. Having hired people myself and as someone who’s been (and is currently) on the other end of the equation, he’s absolutely right. The overall process hasn’t changed much, for the most part it’s still a very manual and antiquated process of sourcing and screening talent. In addition to that, because its become easier to apply to jobs thanks to the internet, most companies are forced to compromise between interested candidates that aren’t qualified and qualified candidates that aren’t interested — rarely getting both.

This is exactly where Uncommon comes into play. Uncommon will ensure that only qualified and interested candidates get in front of employers.

How does Uncommon work?

Companies that use Uncommon can configure specific parameters and qualifications for their technology to look for in every application. You can fine tune your job posting to include factors like education level, career tenure, industry experience, and any mix of hard and soft skills, then set a budget for finding that ideal candidate

More specifically, Uncommon’s AI analyzes each resume to deliver guaranteed qualified applicants in a transparent way. Unlike ‘black box’ AI hiring systems that provide little insight into the decision-making process, Uncommon IQ shows exactly why an applicant is (or is not) qualified for a given position with a side by side comparison of the job requirements and the applicant’s resume. The tech is right 50 percent of the time which actually translate better than just posting a job on a job board and praying you’ll be able to find the proverbial needle in a haystack.

The company’s AI technology has already been trained with millions of resumes being passed through it and of course, its accuracy will only improve as more applicants submit job applications. During my call with Amir and Teg I decided to throw them a curveball and requested they run my resume through their AI so I could see firsthand what it thought of me. After all, I am currently in the job market and if Uncommon becomes a widely used product (which seems likely) I’d love to make sure it actually works, right?

Fortunately both Amir and Teg thought that was a great idea and we tested Uncommon’s tech with my resume right then and there. The Uncommon parsing technology read my through resume and identified my places of employment and my various skills and areas of expertise. There was one very small issue I noticed, it listed my work experience at BestTechie twice and omitted my work experience at another startup–but that’s really a very small issue as the technology gives you the option to modify the field and correct it on the spot before submitting the actual application. What I was really surprised about was how spot on the Uncommon technology was at spotting and grading my skills–it even included skills that aren’t on my resume but that I do actually have.

Benefits for employers

Aside from the benefits I outlined above, using Uncommon will help your company partake in bias-resistant recruiting. Recruiters typically spend only six seconds evaluating any given candidate and are prone to favoring particular schools, names, ethnicities, and places of birth over objective qualifications. Uncommon IQ reduces human bias and levels the playing field for anyone with the right skills to get the job by using a neutral mechanism for evaluating talent — aiming to increase diversity in hiring as a result.

Uncommon is also trying to price itself aggressively to offer employers the best bang for their buck. The company offers a 14-day no commitment free trial that you can cancel at any time. Pricing is $9.95 per qualified candidate using Uncommon IQ’s first-of-its-kind Cost Per Interested & Qualified (CPIQ) pricing model, customers are only charged when a fully qualified and interested candidate applies for a specified open position, and companies can even challenge irrelevant resumes for an immediate refund.

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Benefits for job seekers

After we submitted my job application for a job at Uncommon, something really interesting happened. On the page acknowledging my application was successfully sent, there were two recommendations to me (the job seeker) for additional places to consider applying where I would be considered a qualified candidate. One was at Twitter for a data/measurement position and one was for another company which I hadn’t heard of but definitely need to look up now. I think this feature of Uncommon is truly valuable for job seekers–gone will be the days of applying blindly to different jobs where you may think you’re qualified but the recruiter/hiring manager is looking for something else and there’s no way for you to know.

While the job recommendation feature is currently limited to showing two positions Uncommon has deemed you qualified for after applying to another job listed on the platform, I’m told by Amir and Teg that they have big plans to expand on this functionality and offer job seekers many more tools and features to help improve their job search. No word just yet when to expect these updates to the product but I’ll let you know once I know. In the mean time, I need to go apply for that Twitter job.

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