Everything meaningful that happens in the world is a result of human beings finding other appropriate human beings, whether it is about creating a community, building a company, teaching committed students, starting a family or electing a President. We filter people to optimise our time and resources to lead happier lives.
Yet, the current systems of selecting and filtering is broken. We created quantitative metrics of linguistic, mathematical and technical skills but no standard scalable solutions have been built to measure traits that we truly value in people—the abilities to solve conflicts, to speak the truth, to understand the emotions of other people and so on. The main reason behind why we refuse to acknowledge the large outsized role these traits play in our lives and don't account for them is because they are extremely hard to measure.
Today if a company wants to filter out suitable candidates for any job, it does not collect complex useful information from the candidates since processing it is a resource-intensive process. Instead, we use inefficient proxies and crude data like legacy colleges, GPAs, number of jobs or internships etc. They tell little about the candidates and are easily gamed by over-time. In short, the employer cannot judge you well and you start trying hard to fit into poorly designed boxes.
One of the most reliable methods of choosing people is to have conversations with them. It provides the chances to probe, followup, contextualise and clarify what someone is willing to tell about themselves. Rigour and nuance provided by interviews are usually the last stage of a selection process. You need not just a creative set of questions, but also a skilled interviewer who can patiently spend time with every applicant. The candidate gets to crack bad jokes and justify their claims in real-time, leading to more satisfaction about the fairness of the process.
A byproduct of this current lack of technology is that we try reducing the total number of times we could have more efficiently allocated the resources. For instance, instead of getting the best person to produce content on technology for your client, you would much rather get your uninterested food blogger do this for you. We make do with less suboptimal choices because making better ones is practically impossible. The world will be more productive and happier if opportunities were more easily aligned with talent and interest.
We wanted to design a system of humane filters that was scalable and economical to be used at the beginning of any application system. In 2020, your first job link should not be a static Google Form. Nor should the HR have to use heuristics to filter out candidates in Excel Sheets based on the character length of their responses. There should be more intelligent ways to collect data and process it for making superior decisions. This is why we are building Workhack.
We built an interesting architecture to provide recruitment as a service. AI helps conduct helpful creative interviews under gamified human supervision. By using the capabilities of AI to make interesting conversations, we can significantly reduce the human intervention to extract helpful information. This makes the whole process a lot cheaper, quicker and fairer.
Gradually, we want to apply the same principles to most other kinds of jobs, dating, education, charity, maybe even in making friends. It would mean not just that we make better choices