‘The recruitment industry is being completely disrupted by digital transformation’

3 Apr 2020

Dhaval Vasavada. Image: Modern Hire

Dhaval Vasavada of Modern Hire discusses his role in developing tailored hiring experiences for the recruitment industry.

Dhaval Vasavada is vice-president of engineering at Modern Hire, a hiring technology platform focused on creating personalised, data-driven experiences for anyone involved in the recruitment process.

Vasavada has more than 15 years of experience in engineering leadership roles. Here, he discusses what goes into developing tailored hiring technology, the ethical use of AI and why more companies need to be proactive about data security.

‘Too often, organisations get to the end of a project and then try to figure out how to secure their data’

Describe your own role and your responsibilities in driving tech strategy.

As vice-president of engineering at Modern Hire, I lead the product engineering side of the organisation, where I enable Modern Hire’s platform and technology teams to scale at an accelerated pace.

As the HR tech industry continues to evolve at a rapid rate, we see our clients’ needs change with it. Because of this, I strive to create an environment that brings ideas developed by Modern Hire’s innovative team of data scientists and industrial-organisational psychologists quickly to market.

Data science plays a big role at Modern Hire. It’s increasingly being leveraged to develop insights for our clients, who then leverage those insights to make better and smarter hiring decisions.

Our team of data scientists are grounded in actual science, too – nearly all hold a PhD in industrial-organisational psychology, which helps them apply the science behind machine learning concepts to generate predictive analytics and other tangible outcomes for both hiring managers and candidates to use.

Are you spearheading any major product or IT initiatives you can tell us about?

At Modern Hire, we work on several product initiatives at any given time. One of the most important initiatives that we’re currently working on is transforming how we deliver candidate assessments and tightly integrating them with our interview platform.

When completed, this project will enhance the candidate experience as well as provide both the interviewee and job recruiter accurate information on whether the position will be a mutual fit. We are building for the future of hiring and so the programme is expected to continue past its initial phases.

We are also creating an application framework that enables us to deploy our innovative AI-based insights to our product rapidly. The first set of AI insights will be delivered via our SaaS platform in first half of 2020. We are excited about the pathway this creates for our data scientists and product managers to partner to bring enhancements to the market quickly.

How big is your team? Do you outsource where possible?

At Modern Hire, our product engineering team is comprised of nearly 20 employees and is geographically distributed with a variety of different roles. As we scale up the organisation, we are considering leveraging outsourced resources, but don’t have plans to do so any time soon.

Instead, we’re currently focused on employing and hiring the best product engineering talent, wherever they may choose to live and work.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation and how are you addressing it?

The recruitment industry is being completely disrupted by digital transformation. The advent of collaboration technology, the broad availability of mobile devices and the change in worker demographics are all creating opportunities for transformation in the hiring experience.

At Modern Hire, we’re leveraging our deep experience in industrial-organisational psychology combined with our technology expertise to further advance the industry’s digital transformation, while also giving candidates and hiring managers more impactful experiences.

What big tech trends do you believe are changing the world and your industry specifically?

AI is one of the biggest trends impacting the HR space, and recruitment in particular, today. That said, there is growing concern about privacy and ethical use of AI in recruiting and hiring processes.

Modern Hire is committed to being transparent about how AI is being deployed and educating our clients, their users and the candidate about how our models are applied to their hiring experience in an ethical manner.

We believe that AI has the power to transform all aspects of the enterprise, especially hiring, but to be used most effectively and ethically, organisations must approach AI adoption with a candidate-first and job-relevant mentality. To ensure this is being met, we’ve recently released an AI code of ethics that underpins our approach.

In terms of security, what are your thoughts on how we can better protect data?

Data security must be the first thought and top priority at the inception of any initiative that involves data. Before a single data source is acquired and before any data repositories have been created, the approach to securing the data must be established and verified.

Additionally, when organisations are selecting the best tools and vendors, there must be an evaluation of their security capabilities. Teams working on the datasets must be trained on and cognisant of vulnerabilities that may cause data loss.

Too often, organisations get to the end of a major data project and then try to figure out how to secure their data. This is ineffective and much more expensive than a proactive data security approach.

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