New digital platform leaves ‘traditional’ recruitment in the slow lane

Online platform PeopleHawk, who developed its technology in Belfast, is disrupting how graduates and professionals unearth their career potential – all at the click of a button.

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 1:00 pm
PeopleHawk co-founders, chief technical officer Alistair Craig and chief executive officer Paul Kinney
PeopleHawk co-founders, chief technical officer Alistair Craig and chief executive officer Paul Kinney

The result of a multi-million-pound technology investment, PeopleHawk is already helping businesses throughout the world shift from slow, outdated CV-based recruitment processes to digital candidate profiles that contain everything an employer needs to make a hiring decision.

The brainchild of Belfast’s Alistair Craig and his co-founder Paul Kinney, both of whom have extensive backgrounds in Fortune 100 companies, PeopleHawk is quickly becoming a gamechanger for both candidates and businesses. It is significantly cutting the first-round interview process by leveraging scientifically-backed, predictive algorithms to rank candidates based on potential.

PeopleHawk’s market is global because there is no other platform that competes on such an integrated solution. The platform has quickly caught the attention of leading businesses and universities in the UK, North America, South Africa and India who are beginning to appreciate its true potential.

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PeopleHawk chief executive officer. Paul Kinney, said: “Employers typically spend weeks of their valuable time trying to unearth ideal candidates from a pile of unsearchable, randomly formatted CVs, but PeopleHawk allows them to take a radically more scientific, targeted and faster approach using digital candidate profiles, together with rich search, find and shortlist features.

“Talk to any forward-thinking employer and they’ll tell you that personality strengths and cognitive abilities are at least, if not more important than knowledge, skills and experience.

“You see, businesses increasingly want to hire for personality and potential, because they already know they can train skill. That’s why we designed our platform to unearth each candidate’s potential, while at the same time provide companies direct access to this valuable information. And because the platform is digital, and all the insightful candidate data is provided up front hiring decisions are better informed, faster and more cost effective. We’ve even developed an interface for hiring managers to set parameters for each job, which can then be used to rank applicants using proprietary algorithms, dramatically cutting the Time to Hire. It’s all quite revolutionary.”

PeopleHawk has been validated by scientific studies in the US, under the watchful eye of its lead scientist, Professor Colin Cooper, formerly of Queen’s University Belfast. Professor Cooper, now based in Toronto is a world renowned academic in the field of individual differences and intelligence. He was the psychologist behind the BBC television series, Test the Nation.

He explained: “Scientific studies have long evidenced that cognitive abilities and personality traits are some of the best predictors of academic success, future work performance and candidate trainability. This science forms the bedrock of PeopleHawk’s candidate profiles.”

PeopleHawk profiles contain data from 14 of the top 30 most predictive candidate selection methods as standard, data that would otherwise take employers weeks to gather through repeated assessments and interviews. This means that, from an employer’s perspective the predictive power of PeopleHawk is huge.

Paul Kinney concluded: “It’s quite unbelievable that the most successful companies in the world still rely on CVs to kick start one of the most important decisions they make - who to hire. But given the lack of available insight on candidate personality and potential it’s no wonder businesses in sectors such as IT and Financial Services take between six and nine weeks to identify ideal candidates following a job advert. Yet, despite spending so much time the frequency of making a wrong hiring decision still remains high.

“We know it might take a while to shift behaviours, but once hiring managers see how PeopleHawk is turning the hiring cycle completely on its head, we’re confident they won’t go back to their old ways of working.”

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