Magically Delicious - A Look at Crowded:Refresh

Oct 12, 2017 3:11:49 PM / by Heather Kinzie

A few months ago, a client disclosed to me they had over 1,000 candidates who had inadvertently been "lost" in their applicant tracking system; some of these profiles were over 16 months old.

Please note, I use the word "lost" very loosely because I don't believe it was as much as a technological glitch in which these candidates were hidden as it was a serious breakdown in HR processes resulting in an inordinate amount of stale candidates. Ooops!

In any event, the client needed to contact the candidates to 1) apologize, 2) see if they were still interested in employment and 3) gather a bit of "new" information to update their profiles. As you can imagine, this was a herculean undertaking so I offered my team up to help. My team spent weeks, and the client spent thousands, updating these profiles.

I am at HR Tech this week and in the expo hall yesterday, I met Howie Schwartz and Mark Roth, co-founders of the company, Crowded. I learned all about Crowded's product, Refresh. It turns out that Refresh would have done the work of my team in the above referenced example with a click of a button.

I'm sorry if you're hungry for algorithms with this post as I can't serve them up. Howie was nice enough NOT to go into HOW the software works. However, he did assure me it is magically delicious.

Refresh works with your current talent bank, whether it's your ATS or your HCM. It then searches the internet for public information about the individuals in your bank, going through a variety of checks/balances to make sure it is always tracking the right individual. The result is a parallel database with "updated information" about the individuals in your bank. This would be extremely helpful in both recruitment processes as well as internal succession planning, competency assessments, workforce planning, etc.

An example:
Seven years ago, a recruiter recruits and hires for a project manager position. Today, the recruiter gets a requisition for a similar position.

He takes a look at the previous candidate pool, and spends some time looking them up in LinkedIn, Twitter or a variety of other platforms to see if they're still in town, if they're still working in the industry, etc. He has about 30 or so to go through so he does it a bit at a time. In about a week or so, he starts to contact the previous candidates who appear qualified as well as the new ones who applied with the current req.

If recruiter has the Refresh product, he would just hit a button and the software would do all of the legwork. The software would augment not just the previous bank but the incoming candidates as well. The recruiter reviews the updates and any additional information the software was able to find, contacts the candidates directly from the platform, and has piece of mind that his correspondence is recorded/archived in one central place.

That's refreshing!


Refresh does more than refresh your bank and record correspondence. It also offers a variety of filters that can augment a company's applicant tracking system. For instance, if the original system doesn't allow for what is known as "blinding," Refresh can take care of this and, based on the user's preference, can conceal things like names, pictures, ages, schools, etc.

Refresh also offers some pretty nifty analytics. It can provide visual displays of bank's demographics and correlating skills and interests, and comparisons between hired and not-hired candidates. It displays information that could identify where hiring bias' may be or even what your data suggests about certain types of people and their retention or turnover probability. The product's ability to predict certain things about individuals is a bit strange to think about but even someone like me can appreciate how this enables forecasting and such.

At first, Refresh felt a bit eery and big-brotherish but now that I've talked with Howie and learned a bit about how it works, and now that I know it is only working with public online data, it is easier to let the paranoid part of me slip away.

Of course, the use of only public data means Refresh won't have data on all of your candidates or workforce because some of them aren't leaving any digital footprints online. However, even if Refresh can update half of your data, that's incredibly better than not having any of it updated.

In summary, I offer this: companies pay for their applicant banks in one way or another. But this asset depreciates the moment a candidate hits "apply" in the ATS because the data grows old so quickly. And unless a company has a sophisticated HCM, its workforce talent bank is a depreciated asset as well. The Refresh product updates these assets in a seamless, instantaneously and user-friendly way. I recommend you head on down to their booth in the SA Affiliate area, Booth #2354VV before the expo hall closes today. Or better yet, connect with Howie or Mark online and learn a bit more about it via a phone call, meeting with a tasty beverage, long-distance demo or otherwise!


Heather Kinzie

Written by Heather Kinzie

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