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LinkedIn recently released their Global Recruiting Trends 20181 survey results and highlighted Artificial Intelligence (AI) as one of the four key trends shaping the future of recruiting. As the paper says, “…(AI) is on its way to revolutionizing the talent industry.” The following chart from the survey highlights that Artificial Intelligence is also the earliest of the four trends, which creates a big opportunity for early adopters.  

Given the massive impact AI can have on recruiting productivity, speed, and cost savings, companies who adopt AI now will have a major advantage over their competitors. Harvard Business Review summarizes it perfectly: “If managers aren’t ramping up experiments in the area of machine learning, they aren’t doing their job. Over the next decade, AI won’t replace managers, but managers who use AI will replace those who don’t2.”

Getting Started

There is a lot of content produced about AI and its impact on recruiting, but the question we hear most often is, “How do I get started?” This LinkedIn survey chart highlights the key functional areas that will be impacted most by AI:

Upsider research has identified that over 60% of recruiting time is spent trying to find the right candidates. Based on those metrics, if you’re going to test AI, the biggest ROI opportunity is candidate sourcing.

When it comes to candidate sourcing, weeks and months of human work can be executed in a few seconds using AI. The system should take inputs about your role and business, and auto-generate an ideal set of candidates. Based on targeting parameters, AI will analyze hundreds of variables across millions of companies to define the right targets at a scale not possible in any other way. It will also analyze candidate data and surface a wider range of bias-free candidate pools based on sophisticated scoring techniques. All of this occurs in real-time – i.e. click button, see candidates.

Recruiters become more impactful, productive, and strategic, allowing them to spend time on higher value activities like personalization, relationship building, and candidate nurturing.  Cost savings are derived through increased productivity per recruiter, less reliance on staffing firms, and other lower ROI-based spend.

A client who launched on the Upsider platform earlier this month provides great example of the power of Artificial Intelligence. With 20 minutes’ worth of work, they were able to identify 100 high-quality candidates, reach out to 50, and have five screening calls scheduled within 48 hours.  It would take them three to four weeks to achieve the same results prior to using the Upsider platform.

How Upsider Helps  

For Upsider clients, getting started with AI is a quick and painless three-step process:

1) Gather metrics about the overall company business and role requirements
The requirements to kick off an AI sourcing process are incredibly simple. It starts with gathering the facts about the role requirements based on business parameters. This includes the information hiring managers and recruiters are tracking on a constant basis. For example, for technical hires, future technical requirements based on a product roadmap will surface role prerequisites – i.e. one senior engineer, expert on Ruby on Rails, 8+ years experience, salary range $x-y, location A, to-be-hired by end of Q1. In a sales role, sales cycle information and revenue goals will yield average order value, close rates, territory, and resulting comp package needs.  
Those key pieces of information are entered into the Upsider AI engine.

2) View real-time matches Here’s where the magic happens. The facts about the role and business are run through an AI engine, analyzing hundreds of variables across millions of companies.  With the click of a button, recruiters will immediately identify the total pool of candidates who align with the role metrics, saving weeks/months of time searching through resume databases and profile pages. With the tool pool of candidates identified, the process from here is simply selecting any number of candidates to start engaging.

3) Execute engagement campaigns Goal of engagement is to connect with your candidates, delivering relevant messages at the right time as they consider new career opportunities. Messages are delivered across email and social channels. Objectives of your messages should include:

  • Using data to show how this role and your company will help the prospect achieve their career and personal goals
  • Creating interest for further exploration, including decision motivators (sell it!) and removing perceived risks
  • Differentiation from competitors

You can use Upsider to set up an automated email nurture campaign, complementing your outreach across social channels. Reporting will allow for quick tests to be run to optimize subjects lines and messaging. Creating a dynamic, repeatable and measurable engagement process will drive higher conversions through the recruiting process.

If you’re interested in learning more about how other companies are taking advantage of AI in their recruiting process, and learn how you can use AI, you can easily contact us and/or schedule a demo at


1. Note. From “2018 Global Recruiting Trends” posted by LinkedIn Talent Solutions | January, 2018
2. Note. From “The Business of Artificial Intelligence,” published by Harvard Business Review | July 2017
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Two years ago, we started Upsider to make the hiring process more predictable and data-driven. We spent nearly 15 years hiring and building our own teams, and our initial blog post discussed how frustrated we were with the hiring process – ponderous, labor-intensive, unpredictable, expensive. It was the hardest part of our jobs, to be honest. We weren’t sure how to fix it, but given our own less-than-pleasant experiences, we knew it needed to be done.

Our founding team has extensive backgrounds with the data-driven solutions available to marketers and investors. So we thought, why not apply a similar data-driven model to the world of recruiting?

In our initial attempt to solve this problem, Upsider started by manually recruiting for a handful of companies, using a data-driven approach to introduce roles and candidates. This process was very successful, so we built technology to automate the process, which came in the form of a sales-specific hiring marketplace. This business performed well (getting to breakeven one month post-launch), but in our hearts we felt like we weren’t addressing the problem at a deep enough level, so we took another look at the issues.

Going Deeper with Data & Artificial Intelligence

After talking with nearly 100 recruiting teams about their day-to-day process and pain points, we heard a few reoccurring themes as root causes of recruiting inefficiencies:

  • Headcount plans typically come top-down, with little to no consideration for available internal recruiting resources and marketplace considerations.
  • Recruiters spend 60-85% of their time just trying to identify candidates that meet top-down requirements, which is a very manual and repetitive task.
  • Recalibration of hiring requirements based on market availability is slow and drives a lot of wasted recruiting efforts. 
  • If hiring timelines start slipping, it can lead to expensive options like 3rd party recruiters.

 To address these problems at a more impactful level, we knew we could deliver a set of data-driven productivity tools to provide better visibility into talent pools, and automate a lot of the repetitive work that recruiters have to do every day. So we doubled down our candidate-employer matching algorithm, adding more sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) functionality, and applied it to a data set of millions of candidates. We built an easy-to-use interface to allow clients to quickly execute their recruiting efforts. This combination of data, AI, and software enables recruiters to:

  • Accurately forecast time and resources required to hit hiring goals.
  • Automatically identify target candidates in any city in the US.
  • Automate the outreach to those candidates to improve conversion rates.

The Results

The new Upsider platform automates 90% of the work from job requisition to screening calls. The platform specifically addresses the biggest pain points we heard from recruiters, and initial results have exceeded our lofty expectations. A few examples:

  • A cloud infrastructure provider leveraged the Upsider platform to have an immediate impact on their hiring speed. Upsider candidate-identification AI allowed them to increase their sourcing velocity by 4x, freeing up their recruiting team to spend more time on strategic and customized outreach. They were able to use fewer recruiters on the roles while filling the hiring funnel 5x faster, increasing their candidate pipeline flow from 2 interviews per week to 10 per week.
  • In a thirty-day head-to-head test of person vs machine sourcing, the Upsider platform produced four times more candidates than any of the human recruiters in the test.
  • A SaaS company maximized their recruiting efficiency with the Upsider platform, increasing their candidate conversion rate 5x with the use of more data-driven messaging and automation.

Time, experience, learnings, insights. Two years is a lifetime in many ways. Upsider has come a long way and we are super excited to bring our Recruiting Management System to market. The initial impact has been impressive, and we look forward to helping more companies increase the efficiency and predictability of their recruiting efforts. 

Get More Information

If you’d like to see how Upsider can impact your recruiting efforts, please schedule a demo.

To learn how Artificial Intelligence is solving the biggest recruiting efficiencies, click here to get a copy of the informative whitepaper “Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Recruiting”. 

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Ever since Drew Koloski and I updated our LinkedIn profiles to say “Co-founder at A Startup” we constantly get asked what we’re working on. We wanted to share a quick update.

We’re starting a company called Upsider (, and our goal is to create more visibility, efficiency, and long-term success for salespeople looking to upgrade their careers and for the companies that want to hire them. We want to solve a lot of the problems we’ve had over the course of our careers as both salespeople and hiring managers.

Sales teams have 33-50% annual attrition.
40% of salespeople miss their quota.

The current state of sales team performance has a lot of room for improvement, and the numbers make it hard to argue otherwise: Sales teams average 33-50% annual attrition, and 40% of salespeople miss their quota.

Obviously training, coaching, support, and proper goal setting all impact performance numbers.  However, in our experience, the biggest impact to high (or low) sales team performance is finding and hiring the right people. The problem is salespeople do not have an efficient way to identify or access the pool of companies who will provide the perfect next step in their career. In addition, hiring managers struggle for ways to find and connect with the ideal salespeople who would be the perfect fit for their team and sales process. Continue reading Sales Hiring is Broken and We’re Going to Fix it.

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