Darrian Mikell - Black to Business Transcript
8:22PM Oct 29, 2021
recruiting is often a sales type function, where you are trying to attract people to come work for you, you're trying to sell them on, you know why they should, why they should want to come join your organization being attractive to them in that way. And then as you get them interested in working them through a process to where you feel comfortable as well, with their ability to produce once they're once they are hired. So that's kind of a, that's what the difficulty often is, you know, especially in the world that we live in, we're trying to fix broken processes, in hiring and recruiting is one of those processes that tends to be very broken, or very slow, and often archaic, and a lot of organizations because it is that kind of dance of, I want you to come work for me. But I also need to, I need to prove that you are going to work well, you know and produce for our team. So we need to go through these different steps. And those steps often take a long time.
You're listening to the black to business podcast, educational podcast, providing black entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to start and grow their businesses. We chat with vetted black entrepreneurs, thought leaders and business owners as they provide tips and resources to help take your business to the next level. I'm your host, Monique T Marshall.
And we're back. So today we're discussing all things hiring and recruiting because here blacks of business, we want the best for you and your business. And we also want to make sure that your business is filled with the right people. So maybe you've created a product or a service, you started your business, and you're finally beginning to make a little money. Now it's time for you to start hiring your first employees. Figuring out who those people should be however, well, that's sometimes easier said than done. With a never ending to do list you might be anxious to hire quickly. But it's important not to rush through the process. You want to have slowly embed your candidates thoroughly. And if you don't have the time, you can always outsource. Today's episode is extra special because our guest today along with his co founders actually have built an amazing software service to help recruiting teams have great candidates faster than ever. And they're doing this by using one of the fastest phone interview experiences in the world. Like such a true example of innovation and black excellence, and we love to see it. Joining me today on the podcast is Darien, Michael, CEO and founder qualify. And today he shared his entrepreneurial journey in some ways to help you learn and had the best candidates for your business. Let's dive in. But Barry, welcome to the blacks of business podcast. I'm excited that you're here. And I'm also excited about today's topic. So welcome to the show.
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Of course.
So I always like to start off with I'm sure some people have heard of you before some of them are just hearing about you. So if you could just tell me a little bit about you. What is it that you do in your business? And how did you get where you are today?
Yeah, of course. So yeah, my name is Derrick Michael, I'm the co founder and CEO of qualify, and our kind of claim to fame is building the fastest phone interviews or enabling the fastest phone interviews in the world. And we typically work with recruiters, talent leaders, oftentimes folks that are doing lots and lots of interviewing and recruiting, usually volume interview, or sorry, volume recruiters and what we enable for them is the ability to pre record audio based questions. So they can use their voice to create personal yet standardized interviews. And then from there, they're able to scale their activities by inviting, you know, one person at a time upwards of hundreds or 1000s at a time to be able to respond to these interview questions simply over the phone over a standard phone call at their convenience. It's how we capture the audio of those interviews. And we also transcribe the responses and make it available to the recruiting team to listen to, as soon as they get done. So it really speeds up the process makes it more convenient for candidates and allows for recruiters to free up their time and get a lot more done in a day. So yeah, that's what we do. I got started with it because it was a pain point that I experienced myself. This is the first time for me leading a startup as a CEO but I was also part of a leadership team at a previous startup and a lot of my responsibilities was over the operations of the team. And a big chunk of that in the early days was was was leading recruiting in day to day HR responsibilities. And so yeah, that's how I got how I got started in this
Wow, that is an amazing story and amazing platform. I'm so excited to talk more about it. But I also want to talk about, you know, for those who are listening, they're in their startup journey. And I think that you would be the perfect person to start talking about your startup journey and just building a startup. So I want to talk about for you, what do you feel that is? What is a startup and talk about the culture and environment? That's different than, say, a bigger corporation versus a startup?
Yeah, that's a good question. Um, this is tough to tough to pinpoint exactly what a startup is, I think it's something that, for us, it started with an idea, right? It's a it's an idea of innovation, something new in the market, or expanding on a concept in the market. And with the ideas of moving really fast to prove and validate that idea and expand it to its greatest scale as fast as possible. So I think a lot of startups, or a lot of emphasis around startup world, startup life is going from small to big, really fast. And that typically is around getting a proof of concept, validating an idea, and doing your best work in order to, again, expand that concept to more of the marketplace. And so that's, that's what a lot of our work is about, is trying to move as fast as possible to prove what we do is valuable, and get that in the hands of as many people as possible to continue that that cycle of, hey, we have this idea. Let's prove it out. Let's get it to more people, let's have been validated as having them, give us feedback, correct, iterate, and relaunch it out to them, relaunch it to more people and continue to kind of push that snowball as fast as we can. And so, I don't know if that's a great answer to that question. But I think it differs from you know, what might be other sorts of businesses like large corporations, or even other small businesses where the emphasis isn't really on fast growth or fast validation. It's more about sustaining and building something that's centered around profitability. Startups are more geared around that speed, that speed element for sure.
And I love that you mentioned that about fast validation, because I think for so many of us, are just people who are listening, dealing with, you know, staying stuck with an idea, or just this thing that they're introducing. And like you said, it's kind of like being able to pivot, the still maintaining your values, your mission and why you started. So, you know, how do you do that fast? You know, versus okay, this is something I'm tied to, this is something I know that we want to do. And I think this is what they need. So I'm gonna keep going versus Okay, we have to move quickly.
Yeah, it's a good question. Cuz like a lot of, if you're in the world of Star, so one of the things you find it just limited resources is kind of a nature of the game. And so in our early days, what it looks like, you know, firsthand for us was some of that validation came from conversations, just talking to who could be a potential audience or other recruiters, and just saying, Hey, I have this idea, what do you think, and it starts there, you start getting ideas from that. And then you want to create something a little bit more tangible. So you start sketching, you know, literally sketching ideas up. So I would draw up, you know, what I envision this platform to look like, or what I envisioned the experience to look like, those sketches became, you know, digital, so basically a PDF of my sketches, and getting that in the hands of people, clickable prototypes that actually don't work. And so you kind of, again, building that snowball of, of a, like refining that idea until you have, you know, what people refer to as, like a minimum viable product. So the, the smallest version of what you envision that's usable in order to get real time feedback, and real testing and have it, you know, in use in the world, so that's what it looks like in the early days. And for every company, it's going to look a little bit different. That was the nature of ours, because it is something that you can more easily envision and get behind. But other companies have different processes that they might go to, to get that validation from customers. But the best form of validation is getting people to pay for it. And then you know, proving that there is a market for it. And so that's one of the one of the critical steps that you definitely want to check off in, in that early journey.
I love that because you one of the things I took away from when you said that is the fact that you were dealing with limited resources and you know, building that MVP first before creating so of course, that saved you a lot of time and money. So for those who are listening, you know, you don't have to build out the full thing. And then, you know, maybe wasting money.
Yes, that is definitely one of the things that I've learned. Partially just because I'm cheap in nature, I don't like to spend a lot of money. He is frugal, however you and I kind of own it, you know, through or cheap. It's just, it's just part of who I am. But that's one of the things I hear a lot of like maybe early people that are just wanting to get started in, in entrepreneurship or in startups is thinking that they need to build the full platform to get started. And I would, I would suggest that you do all all that you can before you have to, you know, spend that money because, you know, hiring a hiring an individual, in our world, a software developer, a software development shop, or someone that's going to actually build that prototype, that one cost a lot of money. And they may end up building something that nobody's gonna pay for in the first place. And so not only is that a lot of money, it could potentially be a complete waste of money, and you're back to square one. So getting validation proof so that you have the confidence that you have the confidence behind what you're doing to know that there is a market for it. And that when you do build that product, you're going to have won hopefully already have customers, you know, prepaid are lined up. But if not, you know, that they will pay for because you've received that, that validation in some in some sort of way.
Agreed. And Dara, you have co founders. So how did this come about? And how's it been working with, you know, co founders?
Yeah, co founders are a great way to get an idea of who around. So, yeah, I told you a little bit like a taste of kind of how I got started with what we're doing now. What my first co founder in this business is actually my brother. So that's Oh, for life. So yeah, he's my my younger brother. In the reason why the reason that we got started is because he's an entrepreneur as well, you know, before we got a chance to work together, he was doing his own thing. He actually started a food truck while he was in college and had a lot of success with that. So I'm based in the Indianapolis area, he went to school in southern Indiana, and became eminence Barnaby came like the first food truck in Terre Haute, which is a college town. And so they had a lot of success with that. And then in their offseason, he was doing recruiting and managing a territory for an organization that provided Matt homecare to the elderly. And like I said, part of his responsibility was doing recruiting. And so we both had these shared pain points where the idea for qualify really resonated with him as well. And we got started on that together, it's been a blast to get to work with him. But we're both not technical. And so we needed folks to help us get this off the ground, you know, we were actively working on the idea, you know, from a visual concept of what this could look like to getting validation from potential customers. And so we share that load, though, as we were building that validation, we needed to get something in the hands of these potential users so they can actually experience it and feel it for themselves. And so that's where our other two co founders came into place. And the story in terms of how we are all connected is, like I said, me and my brother from from birth, basically, or his wife, at least. And then I mentioned my brother's food truck. Well, his business partner, is also one of our co founders. He's a self taught developer, and got started with us, you know, in the early days. And then the last one is actually kind of, he's kind of the oddball in terms of how they're connected. But he's probably the most experienced in the tech world. He's a, he's an engineer himself. And we actually met just on LinkedIn, I knew kind of what we needed in terms of technical talent. And I threw some SEO keywords in a LinkedIn search. And he was one of the few people that popped up in our local area and reached out to him and a few others, and he was just the the one and only that responded, but when we got coffee, we really hit it off. He liked what we were doing. And he was down to work with us. And yeah, so we all got started in in kind of been rolling ever since. And that was at least a couple years ago, more than a couple years ago. So it's really, you know, fortunate and how it all worked out and that we work really well together.
Well, speaking of because speaking of working well together so one, I'm sure there are people who are listening who want to go into you know, partnerships or not do it alone. And how has it been working one with a family member, but then two working with a team of, you know, just a team in general, how do you balance your relationship? And maybe like, who does what? Buying figuring that out who's best at what? So talk a little bit about that.
Yeah, that's an important, important conversation. Because in the nature of startups, roles shift and change over time, like we've, you know, even to this day, still have conversations about like, where we're going to be a best fit. We're hiring folks on our team right now. And so effectively, some of the things that we used to own someone else's gonna own soon. So it means that we get to shift into other aspects of the business is trying to take on things. So just always having a conversation and openness to be in alignment with each other. And also understand that, hey, we're where do I want to be in this company? Where's my skill set best aligned for what we need in this company. So that's, that's, that's one thing is just keeping an open dialogue, you know, throughout every phase of the business, especially as founders, we need to, we need to stay in alignment, because it's going to affect the rest of the team, from a management standpoint, and just kind of an overall team dynamics and morale standpoint as well. So that that openness and that dialogue is necessary. And then just in general, as we build our team, like, what we try to be is people first, as opposed to just focusing solely on the work understanding that every that work is an important part of your overall life. But it's only one aspect of your life. And so caring about the person first is really, really important to us. But But yeah, happy to dig in there more. I don't know if I answered your question there. Fully. But But yeah,
you did. You did. That's good. And I agree, people first I love that. So let's talk about money. And you all have this robust platform and this progress service that is providing the solution. How did you come about, you know, supporting this, whether it came from funding your own bootstrapping, an outline some of the different sources of funding that you've been able to have access to? Yeah, for sure.
So this, this is funny, in not necessarily recommended, but when I first got started with, with qualify, it was during a really tough period, for me, personally, and professionally, like, qualify was a concept and it wasn't, you know, fully a business, we didn't have any customers. And yet, I found myself with this being like my main option to, you know, going full time. And so there's a good, I think, half a year where I wasn't paying myself in, basically didn't have an income. So the earliest days, luckily, software can be cheap to create, you know, in the in the early days, but, you know, supporting it through just, you know, credit card debt. And that's not, like I said, definitely not recommended, but it was enough to kind of keep the steam going, and keep things afloat while we are getting started. But when things started to pick up, we're able to get some early customers, and early customers led to believe in terms of, you know, venture capital and angel investors. And so we were able to, you know, start to string along Angel checks up until earlier this year, where we actually closed the pre seed round, and also gotten to TechStars, the accelerator. And so those are some critical, critical moments for us as a company because it meant that we could all come full time as founders, that we can start building out the team as well. And so now, over this year, you really started to grow and leading, leading into an upcoming funding round as well. And throughout that process, we've also been able to have access to some like non dilutive funding as well. Essentially, funding that doesn't dilute our ownership as founders, were able to get that by winning a pitch kappa winning a couple or winning a pitch competition and placing and a couple of other pitch competitions that had a prize attached to that. So though, those were really awesome to be a part of, as well. But those are the main, the main elements and the dynamics in terms of learning how to raise money from investors is really difficult for first time founder. And I feel one of the one of our critical steps in my personal journey was going through TechStars and learning, you know, what it looks like to run a really great investment process with investors. And so, yeah, there's a there's a lot of, there's a lot of nuances and there's a lot of I say there's a lot of show to it, you know, there's a lot of performance art, to raising money, but there's some critical things that need to have in place that you want to be prepared for going into it that can really, you know, change the outcomes of, you know, your ability to raise money, because that is a critical step for a lot of not necessarily every startup needs to raise money. But for a lot that do. Raising money is a critical function of being able to bring to life, what would you envision
the knee, so any tips on those who are listening to be prepared some of the things that they should do, and to know if that raising funding is right for them? Because that is one of the things we don't talk about a lot, I think on the show, and I want to talk about more, because I know people are interested in getting funding.
Yeah, absolutely. So it looks different. What I would say if you if you are interested in raising money, one knowing whether or not your business lends itself to raising money typically is if there's a bigger market opportunity, a lot of investors not necessarily every investor, but a lot of investors look for the potential for your your business to sell for a billion dollars plus, which typically means earning revenues, the potential to earn revenues, you know, in the hundreds of millions. And so understanding how big is the market you're going after, it's kind of a key one. So knowing that you have a large market opportunity, as a business was kind of one of the checkpoints to know whether or not you know, venture capital makes sense for you, not the only checkpoint, well, one of them. And if it is, I would say, one of the things I learned is to be really targeted treat raising money from investors as a sales function. So in sales, you know, the persona of the customer that you're going after. And the same applies in the world of investing, you're going to want to create a targeted a list of, of individuals, you know, angel investors and funds that meet specific requirements, one of those is knowing whether or not they invest at the stage that your company is at. So there's different ways of looking at that, you know, in the earliest days, it's, you know, pre seed and seed investors that you want to go after they're looking for companies that are, you know, pre revenue or early revenue of a certain amount. Because that was one of the things I, you know, learned the hard way is talking to investors that were never going to invest in my business, because we were, you know, just getting started in whether or not they like the idea didn't matter, they look, they have a certain mandate from their investors, that they can only invest in certain companies that look a certain way. So having a list based on the profiles of people that you strategically want, that you know, can invest in you, that tend to invest in you and may have invested in other companies that are like yours. So that was one of the biggest things is building that list and being really targeted about it. Knowing when the right time for you to raise money is critical milestones are important in that equation. So people like to see tractions, they like to see good things happening in your business, timing, your investment, to when those good things are happening in the business, or timing those conversations for when good things are happening is a really good signal to those investors. The other piece is just controlling the narrative. So one of the things that I struggled with, in the first time that I raise money was basically I was constantly raising money, and I didn't really control when I was or wasn't. And what that did to investors is I would talk to a specific investor at you know, let's say January, and you know, tell them, hey, I'm raising money, and then talk to them a few months later, and it's like, Hey, I'm still raising money in for them. That's a signal that, oh, maybe people aren't interested in this business, why should I be interested? And there's no, you know, there's no, there's no FOMO there, there's no kind of time pressure there for them to really get behind it. And so when you can say, hey, I'm not fundraising right now, but I will be next month and I plan to close this round, you know, within a few months from then, and really line up your meetings to be in a compressed time period. That's a that's a way to start building momentum around the round getting early commitments, that then lead to that ability to share that with other investors and say, Hey, I have you know, you know, this investor and this investor, they're committed, you know, things are moving really quickly throughout this process. And so yeah, those are a couple trailer I could I could go back. But those are those are a couple of things is Yeah. Being really targeted, and targeted, control the narrative in and compress your meetings into a smaller window. time or do your best to compress your meetings into a smaller period of time. So the first time I raise money, it took me probably over a year to complete that, you know, we raised $600,000, in that close in the beginning of the year, but that took a lot of time and effort over the course of basically a full year before that. And now, or it's not announced yet, or I may, depending on the timing, this like will be closing around here soon that that took less than a couple of, you know, effectively less than a couple of months to, to close. And so the difference was kind of those things that I just mentioned.
That is good. But I mean, that's such a good insight, because it's like you it's, it's good to have a great idea. But you know, it just doesn't stop there. And you know, how people perceive your brand, your company is very much so part of the equation as well. So I think it's great to be transparent about that, because I did not think of that.
Yeah. It's, it's one of the it's, as a startup founder, it's one of the most important jobs that you have, it's not my favorite, but be being good at or being able to execute on fundraising can can literally be the difference between life and death at your company. So it's an important thing to understand. And understand the motivations of, you know, the investors understand what your motivations are, in how those things overlap and how you can. If it is a game, like I was saying, like know how to play the game well, in order to have
a good outcome. Love it. And then you also mentioned the fact that initially, I want to go back to this, that you were paying for things with your credit card. And I think that was great to be transparent. And I also want to ask, do you feel that even though you said it wasn't? You don't recommend it? Do you feel that it was worth it?
I hope so, I hope I mean, things are still playing out, I hope it all pays off, you know, to be to be determined. But what I've learned over this, especially like, kind of where we're at now, and things are not, you know, we're in a better spot with the business. But there's still a lot that we have to prove. But, you know, given where we're at now versus where things were at just a couple of years ago, and when we were first getting started, one of the big things I've learned is just perseverance, and so not giving up. And that's a tough thing to thing to reconcile because some things, you know, you have to understand like when to when to cut it off. And when to understand that this, there's nothing here. But at the same time, I know for a fact, if there's, there's plenty of times throughout the life of qualify where we probably could like we could have and probably should have, you know, quit and hung it up. But I'm really glad that we did it. And so in that way, I'd say it's definitely worth it to see like where we're at now to see the effect that it has on our customers and how much they appreciate what we do. That pieces is totally worth it.
Love a great myth is there. And okay, so I want to take a shift and talk about what you all are doing and how you are solving a problem for business owners. But I think it's important to dive into you know, hiring and recruiting and why it's important to you know, spend time on doing these things. Right. So if you could talk about what it means hiring versus recruiting, is there a difference? What what?
Yeah. So I mean, specifically on kind of that difference, I think that's a, you know, subject to interpretation in terms of the terminology to use. But effectively, no, recruiting is often a sales type function, where you are trying to attract people to come work for you, you're trying to sell them on, you know, why they should, why they should want to come join your organization, being attractive to them in that way. And then as you get them interested in working them through a process to where you feel comfortable as well, with their ability to produce once they're once they are hired. So that's kind of a that's what the difficulty often is, you know, especially in the world that we live in, we're trying to fix broken processes, in hiring and recruiting is one of those processes that tends to be very broken or very slow and often archaic and a lot of organizations because it is that kind of dance of I want you to come work for me but I also need to I need to prove that you are going to work well you know and produce for our team and so we need to go through these different steps and those steps often take a long time. And so, so yeah, and I like I said like what we do is focus on right now at the The beginning of that, that beginning of that process at the phone interview level, which is a really common step in the hiring process. However, it is actually the slowest step in the hiring process, because there's so much coordination that goes into just getting that phone call set up, or you have to play phone tag in order to get, you know, get time with that candidate. And that's just one candidate you're doing, you know, the typical average is, you know, 10 candidates to every person that you hire. And so just imagine, you know, how much work it takes to do all those interviews and coordinate all those interviews. So that's kind of where we come into place right now,
with the end, and speaking about what solutions you all are providing. So for company, let's walk through the process, when do they come to you and begins the outsourcing of this process? And how, yeah,
yeah, so we typically work with internal recruiting teams, like, for that context, there's, you know, there's headhunters or staffing agencies that work for recruiter or, you know, work for organizations and provide them candidates and potential hires. But then there's also most organizations, I'd say, have their own recruiting teams that are doing the recruiting, and we typically work with those types of, you know, with those types of teams. And for them, we provide this software service that you know, can connect with their systems, or they can use it out of the box. And, like I said, they're typically hire that they hire in larger volumes. So things like hospitals are, you know, one of our biggest kind of segments that we work with, in, you know, especially right now they're trying to staff like crazy in bringing in these candidates, oftentimes, they see a lot of turnover in their organization. And so they're constantly, you know, constantly recruiting. So that's when they kind of turn to us. So they can, you know, free of their recruiters times and get a lot more done. So before they might be able to interview, you know, six to 10 people. And in any given day, you know, one recruiter being able to interview, you know, phone interview, like six to 10 people, and now with us, they can send out as many invites as they want. And their time to review them goes down drastically. So instead of 30 minute phone calls, they're able to review candidates in roughly five minutes. And they're not bound to their calendar so they can batch them together, and they can, you know, batch and review or they can, you know, listen to them as they come in, or do them at a different time during the day that that makes more sense for them, as opposed to, you know, the confines of their nine to five. And same goes to those candidates, like candidates aren't often able to take a break from their day to day work, if they're in a job. Or they might not be free when the you know, you know, all that to say, you know, calendars are hard to line up. And so candidates can take it, you know, at night when they're free, and recruiters can listen to it in the day when they're free. So it just makes that process a lot more seamless. And like I said, we're able to help them free up that time and move candidates through the process a lot faster, with the ultimate goal to land your best candidates and hire your best candidates. So that's what we help with. I love
that. And then so you are basically also you know, are asking them this, these questions through your pipelines. So you're asking them the questions. And then so the jobs that companies get to listen whenever so they're just responding to the questions that you're asking them.
Exactly. And it works very similar to kind of give you like the full picture. So recruiters go into our Yeah, the recruiters go into our platform. They log in, and they can record their own sets of questions. So it's actually their voice. So it creates this really, like I said, a personal and a cohesive experience with you know, what that organization, so they asked their questions into our platform, they can choose whatever questions from the question bank to create a unique interview for that job. And then they can invite candidates to participate. The candidates will receive a text or an email invitation, saying, Hey, we got your application, you know, we want to learn more about you click this link to get started. That link takes them to an instruction page where they can, you know, simply read the instructions. And when they're ready, there's a start button where they can want enter their phone number that they want to be called, or their phone number might be pre programmed in. And then they simply hit that start button, confirm and then our system will dial their phone directly. From there, they just pick up the pick up the phone calls, they can do it over a cell phone, they can do it over the landline and and then the in call experience is very familiar. It's similar to you know, navigating voicemail, where they'll hear a question followed by a beep and they respond to that question, and then hit pound to go to the next one. And so all that, you know, all the while we're recording that those responses. And like I said, we also transcribe those responses to So the recruiting team can then listen to it, read through it. And they can easily share with what their colleagues with, you know, hiring managers on their team, so they can make decisions a lot faster.
That is so amazing and so innovative. It's like, Oh, my God, I'm over here. Like, I love it. And it's making me think also about, you know, well, your thoughts on the future of what work looks like because of the use of technology. I know, you mentioned that you all work with larger companies. But do you see how this could impact smaller companies? Or, like, what do you see the future in that?
Yeah, so yeah, for one, we we qualify our smaller company, we use it ourselves, it's really enabled us to like, startups, everyone's wearing a bunch of hats, we don't have a full time recruiter. And so this has enabled us to be able to get in the best candidates and really review them have a structured way that we're approaching reviewing candidates. So and then we also have clients outside of the larger companies that I mentioned, we have, we have companies that are, I would say smaller businesses that are kind of in the same boat as us just maybe the person that does recruiting does a lot of other things for the organization too. And they just are limited in terms of their time and their capacity. And this frees up their ability to still be productive on recruiting, but also productive in those other areas. So yeah,
I love it. So I want to talk from the perspective of the listeners. So I'm a small business owner who is listening, and I'm saying that this could be very beneficial. For me, this is something that I'm interested in using, what are some of the ways or how should I prepare in terms of costs? Or when I should? Where should I be in a certain level? I guess?
Yeah, no, for sure, I would say, we tend to work best with organizations that know that they're going to have a steady flow of hiring. So you don't necessarily have to be hiring in large volumes. But it's going to make more sense when you're not necessarily hiring for just one or two roles over the course of the year that you know, over the course of this year, I'm going to be consistently hiring for the same position, maybe I'm expecting some turnover, or we're growing and I know that, you know, our team is going to continue to get bigger. So one, I would say like that's a good, like, a good starting point where you'd want to consider working with us. So that's one lens. The other is also if you're just trying to create a more, you know, fair and equitable way that you're approaching your hiring. So like innate to what we do is structured. So every candidate is going to get the same exact experience, they're going to get asked the same questions in the same exact way. And it's going to enable you to be able to review candidates on an apples to apples basis. So those are the kind of the two lenses that I would look at it from it from a cost standpoint. And we typically base our pricing with customers off of the volume that they're going to see through the platform. And so that can that can range, the way I would look at it is it usually costs a few bucks per screen, through our platform on a subscription basis. And if you look at your time and effort that's going into it, and maybe already costing you, you know, you know, around 15 bucks in interview based on your your salary or your recruiting team salary, and the time that they're spending on just the phone interview portion of the recruiting process.
That is definitely worth the time and the money. Because like you mentioned before, I think it's, you know, we have to really talk about especially when people are managing, like small teams. So ways that we can continue to outsource things. And I think that if this is going to give you the best candidates, I think that that is the best route to go. So I love that you are providing that solution, of course, and then what has been, you know, some of the transformative stories that you've seen from companies that are working with you all and who have used your platform?
Yeah, no, that's that's a good question. So I'm in high. So I mentioned kind of a hospital settings, we have a few customers in that space. And there's been some really cool stories because we have a pretty straightforward platform, but everyone's kind of using it in unique ways. One of the one of the best ones is one of our more recent customers shared with us that again, in their in their hospital environment, nurse, nurse staffing is very difficult right now. So they're nursing managers that kind of lead the nursing teams. They obviously are involved sometimes in the hiring process, but with the shortage of nurses, they get pulled into actual nurse work more often, which makes that strain of I need more nurses but I have to do the nursing work. You know that that whole dynamic very difficult, and so qualified has been able to help Then with a recruiting team, keep the nurses, you know, the nurse managers involved in the hiring process without them having to spend too much time with it and enabling them to get to do that nursing work while there is a shortage. So that's been really cool. We've seen examples of recruiting teams that have actually lost people on their recruiting team, they had like a team of four or five and lost one of their recruiters, which would have, you know, created a huge burden with a volume that they were no staffing at, you know, for the rest of the recruiting team. And in qualify actually helped them save, you know, for headcount salary, because they decided that they were running so efficiently with qualify that they didn't need to, you know, hire a new recruiter, the team felt really comfortable with being able to handle the volume, because they had qualify. So those are a couple of really cool examples of people that had success with it. And like I said, I get those those types of stories kind of keep me motivated. And, you know, you know, where I see people actually getting value out of what we offer. I love that.
And what do you say, because it also made me think about someone saving someone's whole salary to people who are saying, you know, I want to talk about the future, but also, technology in terms of human replacement, like we're
gonna take over? Yeah. So how do you respond to that? Now, yeah, we get that question asked a lot. And yeah, our, for us as a business, our goal isn't to our goal is to help people hire and get more people in jobs. And the way that we see it is we're giving your existing team superpowers are helping them to free up their time, so that they can do the more impactful things there, their job isn't necessarily to coordinate calendars, and coordinate schedules, and be on these phone calls over and over again, all day, they have higher ambitions to, you know, build a more attractive, you know, organization from a recruiting standpoint, or get to some of those projects that they haven't been able to, and that's where we see, we come in and help them free up that that time to be able to do that. So less about, like replacing people, and more about enabling those existing people to be more productive in their existing role.
Yeah, and you can also say, for people who are like, you know, recruiting, you know, maybe work with qualified to make sure, you know, help make this process easier for companies. So Oh, yeah. Recruiting for you all. Um, so for those who are listening, who are small business owners, and they're thinking about, you know, hiring, just some tips, some overall tips on whether you can give where their recruitment and hiring process, how can they make sure that they are efficient, and also whether they're doing it on their own and preparing to work with you all, but also getting prepared to work with you?
Yeah, there's, I could talk about this this all day. But I would say when it comes to the context of interviewing, one of the biggest things that you can do is just be really structured and prepared. Know what you're looking for going in, a lot of people kind of get in their own way, with interviews, so kind of remove the emotional and the the area of yourself where you might think like, oh, I can I know what to look for, you know, I can ask my own questions throughout the process. What I'd say is go in, say, go in with, Hey, we're hiring for this specific role. Where are the key skill sets? What are the key dynamics that we're looking for in this individual, let's make sure we ask these specific questions to try to pull those out. And that way, you can want to have that structured process that I talked about before. And so that you can be consistent throughout your process. And in in objectively or in the most objective way, review the candidates that are coming in. Because there's a lot of comparison that has to happen in order to make your best hire. So give yourself a leg up by having that structure process of knowing what you're looking for, and asking the appropriate questions the same way to each candidate. So that's something that we practice that qualifies kind of that structured interviewing practice, process, obviously, with our product, but also, what the like what the folks that we are, you know, actively recruiting and in hiring for. So I think that's, that's one, one big thing that you can do and being on the same page with your team is helpful in that process as well. The others, utilize different forms of technology obviously qualifies one of those elements, but there's different points of friction throughout any given hiring process. Scheduling is one of those. So we help remove scheduling out of the equation. But it's sometimes really difficult to coordinate calendars, to track people down to get that time with them. And there's different ways that technology can come into place to help, you know, automate some of those things or make it more convenient or convenient for candidates to schedule time with you. So tools like Calendly, and others are ones that, you know, I use and intend to recommend. So those are a couple of a couple of tips in terms of both for you know, speed and for quality in terms of, you know, outcome that you may want to consider.
Amazing. Do you think there any, that there any kinds of recruiting and hiring through technology that you can think of?
Yeah, I'd say, depending on depending on like, what you are using and what you are, you know, the types of roles that you're using. So some people are, you know, technology averse, that's why we try to make our platform really accessible for any types of candidates to participate in. And so, you know, one of the things that we see that we're most competitive with is like video interviewing platforms, for instance, where, you know, you have to have a webcam, you have to have a good environment to take, you know, an interview, and maybe there's internet issues that you have to consider. So those are different, you know, friction points that may make it less accessible for some individuals. And then also the visual nature of, you know, a video interview, for instance, is is can be, can lend itself to bias and it can be problematic in a lot of ways. And so that's one instance of, you know, where technology where you have to understand the dynamics of what's your, you know, who you're looking for, in the context of your organization. That's an example, men, there's, there tends to be a lot of concerns around, you know, AI, and machine learning things of that nature in the context of recruiting. And so I'd say, be cautious or be, you know, be cautious about how you're implementing technology and what that technology is doing in terms of, you know, is it evaluating your candidates in the in the proper way or in line with, you know, what your beliefs are, in terms of recruiting? So, yeah, those would be considerations I'd have are examples of, you know, the limitations of what technology can do for you.
That's great. And do you what are what do you foresee the future being for qualified? Like, what does it look like?
Yeah, I mean, right now we are, we're really excited, we're at really critical stage of the business, and mention that we are, you know, growing our team. So we're gonna see some new faces here soon, in the mix. And so I'm really excited about that. I love collaborating with people, it's probably my favorite thing about being an entrepreneur. And like I said, kind of at the top of the show, it's about that speed and continuously iterating and getting validation. So we're not stopping with what we're doing right now in the phone, interview space, we want to help, you know, provide more insights to recruiting teams, and also do a lot more for those recruiting teams and getting into new areas of the recruitment process. And so, yeah, we're growing the team and growing, you know, our, you know, our reach in an impact in terms of what we do from a product standpoint. So I'm excited about that.
Amazing. And also, before he acts a couple of questions about just, well, what I want to ask in your journey, what are some tools, some favorite tools or resources that you've held you've used that have helped you in your entrepreneurial journey?
Hmm, that's a good question. Let me think. I don't know that off guard. But let me let me think about the l&r. I mean, I have a good answer off the top,
anything that you use on a daily to help manage your calendar.
Eye, okay. So one of the tools that I've started using more recently, there is an expense attached to it. But a lot of my job is tied to email. Literally, my job is emailing people, you know, all day by this in the sales context, investor context. A lot of my job is emailing. So one of the tools I found to be really valuable, is superhuman. If anyone's ever used that, they may know about it, but it's essentially a layer on top of Gmail that allows you to move through your inbox a lot faster. And that allows you to be more productive with email. Like I said, there's a subscription so it's not free, like you know, your Gmail is but as a person that lives in their email in their inbox, constantly, I'd say is a worthwhile investment. So if you if you have if you're a person that deals with a lot of emails, check out superhuman. I'd say it's definitely worth it. So yeah,
love, I haven't heard of that. So definitely, we're gonna mention that in the show notes, and any favorite books that have helped you in your journey?
Your favorite books, I'd say, one that I tend to recommend is kind of just like a base framework for approaching any new ideas, especially in like a startup context is lean startup, it just gives you a basic framework of how to validate, you know, we talked about, you know, validation at the very beginning. It gives you a good approach to that, and a good outline of, like I said, How to start any new concept, idea business, and the approach that you should consider, you know, when you're going about, you know, getting that validation and iterating on our process. So, yeah.
Any advice that you would give to anyone in their first year of business?
You Yeah, advice. In your first year of business, I'd say perseverance is key. Work really hard to get that validation, get people to pay you for, you know, even if it's a service, if you have a, you know, if you're, you know, envisioning building a software platform that's automated, doing that thing as a service is a good way to, you know, get that validation that there's, you know, market there. But I would say the advice is to keep going. That's been the difference in my personal story. And so, that's, like I said, one of the biggest things I learned is, you know, perseverance is the difference, you know, between life or death, in your, in your company, in your idea, anything that you're trying to do in terms of, you know, dreams or ambitions. And so, first year, keep going.
Great advice. That's great advice. And what is the best risk that you've taken
ascaris that I've taken, it's easy to say qualify. I think that's the thing, that's the best risk that there's been a couple, I mean, before, my, I think my whole my whole professional career, but a lot of my professional career has been taking risks. So fresh out of college, I basically joined the finance and accounting department for a relatively large organization. So that wasn't super risky. That was, you know, getting things started. But two years into that my friend, he and I had worked on a side project together, and didn't really go anywhere. But then he had another, another idea that started to take off, and my wife was about seven months pregnant. And he was like, hey, I can pay you a little bit more, there's not gonna be any medical benefits. But I want you to come help me, you know, with this full time. And so I did, I took a leap, a leap of faith and ended up being able to work there for three years. And that's where I got a lot of my experience in the startup world, and it led to what I'm doing now. And then qualify was a huge risk. I kind of talked about that at the beginning. But I left, you know, that previous company at a time where, you know, my income wasn't guaranteed, and there's a lot of uncertainty. So that was a huge risk. And it's starting to, you know, prove to pay off now. So,
those are a couple. Great message, great message. And Dario, what does it mean for you to be black in business?
It means a lot. I tried to, you know, especially where I live, there's not a ton of companies that look like mine, where there's, you know, black founder, black CEO, and a group of black founders and a diverse company overall. And so it means a lie. Like, that's one thing that we pride ourselves on is showcasing that. Yes, we we look the way that we do, and we are killing it. And so that's that's what I hope to be as an example, not me personally, but just as a company, I want to show and prove that you can build a diverse company in and have a lot of success. Because of it. If not, despite it, so. Yeah.
Great message. Great message. So this has been amazing. And I'm sure people are wondering, how can they stay connected with you? How can they support you? If you could just share that information?
Yeah, we'd love for you guys to all come find us at our website as qualifying spelled with an i So qu al if I die HR, so qualified HR. And then you can find me on LinkedIn as probably where I'm most active. And yeah, it's pretty simple. I think to find me I think I'm one on one in the world. So it's just hopefully be in the show notes. But yeah, Michael, come find me. They're
amazing. We're there. And thank you so much for being on the show. And this was full, Jim. So thank you for being trans Share and share with us.
Absolutely, yeah, thank you again for having me. I'm happy to do it again. Oh, of course.
I just love how transparent Darien was and sharing his journey and how he and his team have been able to build such a powerful solution. Being the leader of your business, your role as a visionary is crucial for the success of your business. This means that you have to use your time efficiently and be effective. So it's important to have people on your team who are qualified, who you can trust, and who are flexible enough to take on diverse responsibilities until you can expand further is a process which takes time. My advice to you after this conversation is to start envisioning your dream team now, so that you're prepared when it's time to hire. And I encourage you to outsource to solutions like qualify if it's within your budget, so that you can spend more time on your business vision and working on and not in your business. Thanks so much for listening family and visit black to business.com for slash 68 For full show notes and resources mentioned during this episode. And if you haven't already, follow this podcast, rate the show and share with a friend. See you next week.