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Case study

How OneValley is improving diversity in every stage of their candidate funnel

What does it mean for recruitment when a non-profit organization merges with a mission-driven tech startup? Often, the scrappy startup doesn’t have established processes for things like talent acquisition, so with the merger comes a whole new way of recruiting and onboarding fresh talent.

That’s exactly what happened when OneValley, an online ecosystem of products and services for entrepreneurs, merged with Philanthropy U, an e-learning non-profit established with the goal of teaching other non-profits how to stay in business. Chris Kyriacou, now the People Operations Manager at OneValley, had a front-row seat to this union of vision and execution. Today he manages talent acquisition for the bigger, better company that reflects the best of both its parts.

Back when Chris formed the People Ops team at OneValley, he made it a point to find an applicant tracking system (ATS) that would help support his goal of changing Silicon Valley, one new hire at a time.

He especially wanted to make every stage of the candidate funnel more diverse, and to adjust OneValley’s hiring process to ensure that they didn’t just hire people who looked and thought like them.

Read on to learn how Pinpoint helped OneValley make 31 spot-on hires from a pool of 1500—all while delivering on the promise of leading-edge blind screening software.

Everyone is really biased in interviews. You may think you’re the best interviewer in the world, but actually, it’s a lot of unconscious brain chemistry. That’s why there are tools like Pinpoint to get you out of your own way.

Chris Kyriacou
People Operations Manager at OneValley
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Creating a diverse candidate pipeline from top to bottom

When we asked Chris what sets OneValley apart from the competition, he talked about its people-centric perspective. “Philanthropy U was a certified Great Place To Work,” he told us, with 100% of their employees agreeing that their workplace rocked. Great Place To Work is the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition that companies aspire to achieve, especially as it’s the only certification based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience, so Chris’ goal for 2022 is to achieve the same certification for OneValley. 

With so much emphasis on people, achieving an ultra-diverse candidate funnel all the way through has long been one of Chris’s primary goals. 

When he started to compare software, Pinpoint stood out right away thanks to our blind screening tool. Chris and the hiring managers use it to help reduce bias early and often, despite a bit of pushback from some hiring managers on the limitations of the blind screening process. (Engineering managers, for instance, prefer instant access to a candidate’s GitHub link and get frustrated when it’s hidden.)

As with any AI software, blind screening isn’t perfect. But, Chris tells us, “It works in 99% of instances. When I get pushback, it’s always about an edge case.” That’s why OneValley uses Pinpoint’s blind screening functionality to encourage a broadly diverse candidate base. They also use Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Tests (CCATs) to assess their candidates’ basic skills.

We asked Chris to give us his dream recruitment scenario. He described a diverse pool of candidates who have all completed CCATs, providing hiring managers with hard data points on their broader skills and capabilities beyond their CV.

The object is to reduce bias as much as possible in the initial screening, because that’s where you lose most candidates. Particularly, you lose most of the underappreciated and diverse candidates, and that’s something we’ve really tried to emphasize to our team. Our ideal really helps to pick out the hidden gems.

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Because OneValley can look beyond CVs to the candidate and abilities behind them, they’re able to hire for the qualities that matter instead of resume-boosters like an elite education or the “right” employment background. They’re also taking additional steps to place all candidates on equal footing, like sharing interview questions in advance whenever possible, so they aren’t biased toward on-the-spot performers.

“We find that we get more thoughtful answers, and we can be more critical of answers, too, because candidates have had time to consider them,” Chris told us. After all, everyone’s had an interview where you fumble to provide an on-the-spot example, only to think of the perfect one hours after the fact. OneValley solves that problem by giving candidates the opportunity to do their research and show off their critical thinking skills, regardless of how good they are at answering on the fly—which may not even be a relevant skill for the job they’re seeking.

How to make hiring manager buy-in easy

At the time of writing, about two-thirds of OneValley’s entire organization has used Pinpoint in one way or another, whether on interview panels or as hiring managers. Chris himself has “practically lived in” Pinpoint since April, when the merger prompted a hiring surge at a rate of one new team member per week.

When OneValley and Philanthropy U first joined forces, OneValley had very few hiring processes or systems in place. Chris worried that getting the hiring managers to adopt Philanthropy U’s new ATS might be a hard sell—but that fear proved unnecessary. 

People have really appreciated having Pinpoint. By far the superpower is interview scheduling. It’s one thing if you tell them they have to learn a new software—but if you can prove the new tool will save them time, it’s an easy and immediate win.

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No one misses all the back-and-forth correspondence that used to be the OneValley interview scheduling process. Now, hiring managers can simply select windows of time on their calendars, and candidates can self-select interview slots compatible with their schedules. Everybody wins. “If nothing else, that is the number one appreciated thing about Pinpoint,” Chris says. 

But hiring managers have found a lot to love in our software. Take, for example, the flexibility of the interview process. If a hiring manager isn’t ready to move onto the next stage without squeezing in one more round with finalists, they can easily add and adapt interview stages in the moment, which they love.

Finally, Chris praises the intuitive UI as another reason why Pinpoint was such an easy transition to make. “Even when people haven’t gotten a session on how to use it,” he says, “they figure it out. It’s so intuitive and easy to use.”

Life before and after Pinpoint

Before Pinpoint, Chris used Google Hire. By the time it was sunset in fall 2020, he’d already realized he would need a new ATS to get more advanced tools and insights

But the clincher was sheer value. Pinpoint offers the robust features of a more expensive software solution, like interview scheduling and a seamless onboarding experience after hiring, for the cost of a much leaner solution. “The blind screening really made it stick out,” Chris told us. “No one else was doing it.” And then there was the personal touch. “There’s such a strong human element on the Pinpoint team.” 

His only hesitation in committing to Pinpoint was in whether additional roadmapped features would be delivered as promised. As a tech startup themselves, OneValley knows enough to be skeptical of any product plan, but they trusted that Pinpoint would add the features they needed. (Spoiler alert: we have.)

When we asked Chris what he’d say to someone considering Pinpoint as their ATS, he suggested looking at the value for money.

At the moment, the functionality level at the price point is unprecedented. Could you find something that’s got more bells and whistles? Sure—but the customization would take ages, and you’d break the bank getting to the point we’re at with Pinpoint.

Discover Pinpoint for Yourself

At Pinpoint, we are genuinely passionate about what we do, and we’re equally passionate about supporting our customers who feel the same. Check out our demo video to learn more.

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