Remote Work Advocate talked with Peter Kolomiets, CEO/Founder of JobCannon, an AI-driven recruitment platform that’s shaking up the traditional job market. Unlike typical approaches that heavily rely on resumes, this platform focuses on actual skills over past job experiences. It’s all about spotlighting what individuals are capable of doing and who they really are rather than just assessing what they did in the past.

JobCannon is passionate about nurturing personal growth and professional development, aiming to create tailored paths for each person. By prioritizing skills, this innovative platform aims to reshape recruitment, ensuring candidates find their perfect match based on their abilities and not just their work history.

RWA: Why have you decided to launch JobCannon? What’s the story behind it? 

Peter: Moving to Israel at 18, I worked many different jobs before going to school. Serving in the army and assessing special forces candidates shaped how I saw things. Later, I became an officer of the Israeli army and learned a lot about hiring people, which I then used in business.

As I went along this journey, I saw problems in the old way of hiring – it felt disconnected, relied too much on old-fashioned resumes, and lacked real understanding between people. When we realized these issues, we changed our focus. We wanted to help people find jobs that truly fit them and make them happier.

Using a test that’s accurate 95% to 99% of the time became our main way to change how we do hiring.

This realization pushed us to carefully assess people, matching their skills with what employers were looking for. Even before starting, research showed that our way of doing things could make a big difference. Feeling the strong need for change, I was inspired to find new ways. I knew the industry needed a big change, motivating our team to start a journey to make recruiting better for everyone.

RWA: I love this story because it reminds me of my approach towards this topic. Would it be valid to say that what you want to do is to humanize the recruitment experience, because people aren’t just a piece of paper?

Peter: We want to “harmonize” work. We prioritize relationships at work because, let’s face it, we spend around eight hours a day there – a huge chunk of our lives. That’s why having good relationships in our teams is vital.

I’ve learned that it’s not about labeling people as “good” or “bad” in terms of their skills. It’s about finding the right fit. I’ve seen talented individuals struggle in toxic work environments, not due to lack of skills but because their values don’t match the environment. But in positive teams, these same people would excel.

All this confirms my belief that success at work isn’t just about resumes or managerial skills. It’s about how people connect and collaborate. From different work environments, I’ve seen how relationships drive success. That’s why I stress creating an environment where everyone can shine and thrive.

RWA: Is this also an aspect companies should consider from a company culture perspective when they want to hire the right person?

Peter: Absolutely, having a strong company culture is crucial from my perspective. Many companies lack a defined culture, and even when they try to create one, they often overlook the individual. I’ve noticed that in some organizations, the culture was primarily shaped by older generations like baby boomers. However, they sometimes fail to understand the significant differences in values and behaviors among newer generations like Gen Z and Millennials.

The approach towards these newer generations is vastly different, and it’s evident that culture is evolving at a fundamental level. When I engage with older C-level executives, some in their 60s, there’s a notable disconnect. While they believe they’re communicating effectively, there seems to be a gap in understanding.

It’s crucial for companies to adapt their cultures to resonate with the values of the newer generations. I’ve witnessed this challenge in many companies, and I firmly believe that it’s essential to tailor the company culture to align with the expectations of the new generation. Although our company consists primarily of millennials and we’re relatively young ourselves, we understand the importance of focusing on the younger generation as they represent the future workforce.

RWA: I think many companies function this way that someone wrote down their values a long time ago but most employees have no idea what they’re even about…

Peter: It’s really important to put our company values into action and show what our culture means. Sometimes people aren’t clear about their role in the company. Being genuine matters a lot for both new and current employees to succeed. Using technology to help find the right people for the job makes sense instead of just matching resumes.

I’ve noticed two big things happening. First, there’s a push for people to grow within the company instead of always hiring from outside. Lots of talented folks already work here, but the focus is usually on hiring from elsewhere.

I think it’s about listening to what people want and helping them grow within the company.

RWA: Thanks for this response. I can definitely see the need to make friends with technology.  So how can AI potentially help us with all this?

Peter: AI has truly transformed our world, especially in streamlining recruitment processes to boost productivity. One significant way we’re using AI is to help candidates create better profiles since writing a strong resume is a skill that many lack. Surprisingly, from my experience reviewing thousands of CVs, around 95% fall short in effectively showcasing qualifications.

Our primary focus is on skill-based assessments and handling vast data. AI makes it possible to track hundreds of metrics, something humanly impossible, enabling us to spot patterns among individuals. It also plays a role in guiding personal growth paths. I’ve seen how AI can steer individuals towards roles they’re passionate about based on their skills, not just chasing higher salaries. Through machine learning, we can evaluate skill values and suggest relevant courses.

Relying only on skills for job positions overlooks someone’s true potential. I’ve witnessed young individuals excelling in higher roles despite lacking specific skills due to their inherent abilities. Moreover, AI’s use in pre-screening during interviews is a growing trend, especially in mass hiring scenarios. It makes evaluations more efficient by eliminating unnecessary assessments.

I anticipate AI’s role will expand into education and broader pre-screening applications, shaping significant trends in the recruitment field.

RWA: Now a question that I’m sure tons of people are worried about: Do you think AI will replace recruiters?

Peter: I’ve worked with many recruiters, and I’ve noticed a significant gap in how they understand the recruitment process compared to what founders expect. It’s not just about asking for a designer or an engineer and getting them immediately. It’s much more complex and challenging.

Recruiters often use ATS (Application Tracking System) tools to manage applicants, but our focus isn’t on providing tools for recruiters. Instead, we aim to create a better experience for candidates. On average, recruiters in the USA receive around 250 applications per job opening, making it overwhelming to screen each applicant thoroughly. Many recruiters might not have the necessary psychology knowledge or interview reading skills to handle this load efficiently, leading to a prolonged process.

However, I’m optimistic that in about 5 years, we’ll have databases and AI sophisticated enough to precisely match candidates with teams, ensuring mutual happiness. This improvement won’t just benefit recruiters but also the candidates themselves.

Recruiters are also candidates in their work and experience similar challenges, so better systems would help everyone involved.

RWA: Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that the abilities of AI and machine learning may give people an unbiased opportunity to assess who they really are and what their capabilities are, rather than a human being (recruiter) who may or may not be skilled in finding this out. Is it that way or not really? 

Peter: It’s crucial to reduce bias in building teams and technology is here to help. I’m driven by the vision of creating lasting relationships regardless of who the person is. My dream is to have a company with a team I genuinely enjoy working with, even after spending long hours together. Finding such a team is rare, which is why I’ve invested heavily in this project—to establish a team where healthy communication and relationships thrive. We aim to showcase this to others, inviting them to witness how a healthy, non-violent communication environment fosters trust and productivity. Investing in the right team composition is paramount, including diverse skills like finance, HR, recruitment, development, and product, as it impacts a company’s success. This is what I aspire to create across different teams.

RWA: How do you think AI will evolve in the era of global talent?

Peter: I can see that AI is fundamentally changing recruitment and HR, though not immediately noticeable. The first shifts will be in pre-screening during interviews, where AI will match candidates more accurately. Education-wise, AI will revolutionize personal growth with countless accessible courses tailored to individual skills. It’s possible to request a custom course matching your skills already. 

Moreover, I foresee AI aiding within companies. It could create individual profiles helping understand employees better, especially those who may not openly communicate. It’s about bridging communication gaps within teams, a crucial yet challenging aspect AI can assist in. Of course, it’s a long-term vision.

RWA: Could you describe how JobCannon helps an individual and how it helps a company?

Peter: Our primary focus revolves around individuals. We offer free assessments, a rarity in an industry where such tests are usually expensive or hard to access. Our goal is to make these assessments free and even pay individuals for taking them. This approach aligns with our business model, aiming to assist candidates in finding suitable roles based on their skills, ensuring their time is well-spent.

Our approach also involves a recruitment fee model, and we’re exploring innovative solutions such as anonymous searches through subscriptions. However, our main aim is to facilitate successful hires. Clients only pay when we find the right candidate, removing upfront costs. Additionally, we provide team assistance services, stemming from our endeavor to build strong teams. In C-level hiring, team evaluations are often overlooked. We step in by evaluating team dynamics, aiding in making informed decisions about potential hires. This service is cost-effective and offers a thorough understanding of a candidate’s expertise. It also explains how well they fit within the existing team.

RWA: Peter, thanks so much for this pleasant chat – I’m really excited about everything that JobCannon is about to do. As you know, I strongly believe in a better future of work that can be leveraged thanks to technology and human connections. It’s great to see that more businesses are joining this mission!

One Comment

  1. Peter Kolomiets 8 January 2024 at 06:12 - Reply

    Nadia you are the best! Thank you very much for the conversation!

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