How do employees really feel in the current Covid-19 situation? More generally, how do their personalities match their job and missions? To answer these questions, the HR One team met with Rina Joosten-Rabou, Co-Founder of Seedlink Technologies. She tells us more about Artificial Intelligence in the recruitment process and also introduces her newest app, MoraleMonitor.

“We founded Seedlink Technologies about 6 years ago, with the mission to discover what true talent is, and go beyond the resume and educational levels. We look at how talent matches to jobs,” starts Rina Joosten-Rabou. According to the expert, people usually overlook talent, looking mainly at “trivial things”, when it has been scientifically proven that there is low predictive validity when it comes to success. She asks: “Why limit ourselves to classical interviews and psychometric tests when we know that in about 40% of cases, people leave their jobs after just 18 months?”

As explained by the co-founder of the company based in Amsterdam and in Shanghai, Seedlink focuses its efforts on studying people who are currently working in certain jobs by measuring subconscious information in their language. “We focus on how they speak and write: a lot of predictive information on personality and behavior can actually be found in one’s language. Basically, we model this subconscious information and notably use it for incoming recruits and map them against several models, focusing on different topics such as digital skills, leadership, company culture and many more”, she adds. The algorithms built by the Seedlink Tech team analyzes language data: digital interviews are run and composed of 3 open questions, which allow the candidates to share their thinking processes. “Their answers are processed by Artificial Intelligence, and a report underlines several aspects: is he/she a team worker or an individual expert? Does he/she match the company culture? Etc.” explains Rina Joosten-Rabou, before adding: “since we started Seedlink, the diversity of people hired by our clients has risen by 30%, resulting in much higher performance”.


A way to measure the wellbeing and motivation of employees

With an office in The Netherlands and one in China, the employees of Seedlink Technology work globally and do not see each other every day of the week. Especially with Covid-19 the full team cannot meet in person anymore. ”Immediately, I thought, what if I'm not asking the right questions? How do I know if I am missing any critical issues? Or what if I'm not providing the answer that they want to give?  There must be a wealth of information, if we could just go deeper,” adds Rina Joosten-Rabou. In late December 2019, when Covid-19 started in China, her team developed “MoraleMonitor”, leveraging their language technology to discover the true sentiment of teams.

The platform includes the normal things that can be covered easily with multiple choice questions. However, for deeper insights, Seedlink adds analytics on open-ended questions to uncover what you might be missing. “It shows that we take our team seriously and care about them and it is a great conversation starter,” says Joosten-Rabou. The MoraleMonitor has been built to help each other, as employees all have their own challenges to overcome in this unprecedented period of change.

Rina Joosten-Rabou adds: “Then, people outside of Seedlink Tech heard about this product and showed great interest in using it for their own employees and colleagues. Therefore, it actually started accidently, but we put our energy together and were able to deliver a product in two weeks. And now, everyone can test it for free!”. Just like any AI-powered tool, the solution gets better every time it is used, and people can now run comparisons by using external datasets. Moreover, aggregate results are available on a weekly basis, focusing on several specific ratings, from emotions and workload to team and family. And after using it for weeks, managers can also have a look at a trend analysis and compare it to an internal benchmark.


The rise of employee experience and the power of collaboration

“Employees are the largest assets of most companies. As a reminder, about 75 to 85% of their cost base is actually people related. Therefore, employers need to take good care of them. More and more organizations realize it, especially in this unique confinement situation”, explains the Co-Founder when discussing employee experience and engagement. According to her, one of the most important aspects is the feeling of being listened to. “Nowadays, it is crucial to have a good manager who actually cares about you. It even starts with recruitment, where interviewees are given the opportunity to share their thinking process. That’s what the younger generation is expecting, along with feedback and information on how they are doing and on how they can improve,” underlines Rina Joosten-Rabou. She also highlights the need to provide such feedback – and even recommendations concerning the type of job they could succeed in – to the candidates who are not hired, because they remain consumers, which is especially true for consumer-based companies. “Basically, our vision is really to measure the different roles in companies. By running a digital interview though different predictive models, the job will actually find you. For instance, I might have applied for a position in the HR department, but I might be a better fit for marketing,” she explains.

Rina Joosten-Rabou is also – and has always been – an advocate of collaboration. Recently, Seedlink Tech also started to run webinars with HR Directors from China sharing their coronavirus experience with their European colleagues, as they were ahead of the curve. “More sessions will be organized in the near future, with partners located all around the world, with the same mission: sharing best practices and learnings, for the benefit of all participants,” concluded Rina, who spent her entire career working on tech and innovation, notably focusing on what changes the workplace, but with the same motto she still values today, “it’s all about people”.


Interview by Alexandre Keilmann

Publié le 15 avril 2020