Online company’s CEO has local roots

BY JILL KASSANDER, SPECIAL TO THE LIGHT

There is a well-worn clich é that says it is “hard to find good help nowadays.” However, the phrase might not be referring to the lack of qualified applicants for a job, just the sheer effort it takes for employers to find them.

First a business has to advertise the job and hope the right person sees it, hand out applications, wait for the applications to come back, look through every application and resume for the appropriate employee, verify the information on the application, check references and for some positions do background checks. That’s a lot of time and effort if you have just one position to fill — now consider the time and expense for the employer if there are several job openings — maybe even thousands of people to be hired.

Enter Epstein Hebrew Academy graduate Michael Novack. He noticed the hiring problem while he was a student at Washington University. He saw the manner in which resumes were being provided to companies as inefficient. One of his many ideas was to create a database to mine those r ésum és and to improve the employee screening process. HireTrue, the one-stop hiring system, is the principal offering of Kiosite, LLC which Novack founded in 2000.

“We provide a platform and suite of services designed to automate and improve employee screening, selection and development,” Novack said. “We take the candidates through a series of experiences and steps that are designed to ensure they are the right fit for the job and the most likely candidate to succeed in that role they are applying for.”

Job applicants participate in an automated application process with a series of behavioral assessments which evaluate integrity, honestly, reliability, judgment and job specific requirements. The program also incorporates criminal background screening. This process does not replace a recruiter or face to face interaction with applicants.

“What we are doing is supplementing the process with a level of insight that wouldn’t otherwise be available thereby allowing employers to spend time with those candidates who are really going to be most successful,” Novack said.

Recently Kiosite reached an agreement to acquire the Israeli-based firm Codetix whose technology will allow them to expand the scope of the measurements they bring to the table and as a result allow their clients to make even better decisions as a result of the information.

“Codetix takes the traits we were measuring before like assertiveness, empathy, confidence, sociability, helpfulness, thoroughness and problem-solving and supplements them,” Novack said. “We’re able to take it beyond behavior to measurements of individual integrity, honesty, reliability and judgment using the Codetix research and development.”

The two companies found each other through Jacob Poremba, who had done some consulting work for Kiosite after working with Amdocs for 11 years. After Poremba returned to Israel, he ran into a friend in a coffee shop who was involved with Codetix.

The discussion turned to future business ideas.

“So we came up with this idea,” Poremba said. “He told me about Codetix and I told him about Kiosite and we knew we had a match.”

The two firms were able to put together a partnership as a result of that introduction. Kiosite put together a deal to acquire the firm over time integrating the intellectual property of Codetix and working very closely with them to develop and move forward both in terms of research and development efforts, and sales and marketing abroad. The platform has already been translated into Hebrew, Spanish and they are working on other foreign languages as well. They have also already piloted initiatives in Israel and Mexico.

One of the significant pilot initiatives the company is working on is with the Jewish Agency in Israel. The agency sets up approximately 1,000 counselors every year to go to camps overseas, many in the United States. They screen close to 10,000 applicants for those positions, which is a very long and expensive process.

Some of the current local clients using the HireTrue platform include Collier Turley Martin Tucker, Thompson Coburn and other law firms, St. Louis Marriott West and Jewish Family & Children’s Service. JF &CS was able to pilot the program which was made available to Jewish Federation agencies through the Professional Excellence Project Initiative. JF &CS executive director Lou Albert said the agency found it to be very useful and made the decision to purchase it after the pilot project ended.

“It is very effective and very efficient as opposed to the standard approach to hiring,” Albert said. “We are able to tool the program to fit our specific needs and match candidates’ interests and abilities with the positions available. We use it exclusively and it has helped improve the quality of our hiring decisions.”

For more information on Kiosite visit www.kiosite.com.

Sign up for Your Morning Light