Model and Multiply your Top Performing Employees with Censia (SuccessConnect, Las Vegas)

Kristi Sanders of SAP SuccessFactors and Joanna Riley, CEO & Co-Founder of Censia discuss modeling your rockstar employees to recruit hard-to-fill positions and fuel business performance.


Kristi: Hi, and thank you so much for being with us today, Joanna Riley. How are you today?

Joanna: I’m great, thanks.

Kristi: Awesome, awesome. We’re here at SuccessConnect Vegas, a really big premiere event for SuccessFactors, first time with us. Tell us how you started working with SuccessFactors and SAP.iO.

Joanna: Yeah, so earlier this year I was part of SAP.iO, which is a really cool, innovative program where SAP looks for the most aligned startups for their enterprise customers that are really going to help them transform. And so we were lucky to be selected as part of that first cohort earlier this year, and the first cohort with SuccessFactors. And so we started there, and that partnership has just grown from there. So SAP.iO really allowed us to meet some of the most important partners for us. It allowed us to become an integrated solution inside of SuccessFactors. It brought us customers, it brought us partners, and today we are just announcing that we are one of the endorsed apps partners. So super excited about how far we’ve come since we started, but I attribute a lot of that knowledge and success to SAP.iO.

Kristi: Yeah, it’s a fantastic program, and I love the way that we are investing in new solutions and incubating them, and really excited to do that together with you over the next year as well. So, really fascinating. Tell everyone what Censia is.

Joanna: Yeah, so Censia is a talent intelligence platform that exists to enable the discovery of top talent and eradicate human bias in talent search. Searching for talent is something every company does. It is a huge, huge market; it’s where most enterprises spend a huge chunk of their money. Last year we spent over $256 billion on –

Kristi: Wow.

Joanna: – talent acquisition alone in the United States, and so looking at how can we apply automation to really optimize the efforts of recruiters and talent teams so that they can streamline the process by identifying the best talent for their jobs- internally, externally, and really optimize their efforts.

Kristi: That’s fantastic, I mean, to reduce the spend on that for a company. And I think even more importantly, get people in roles faster, right? I mean, I think that’s a big challenge that you –

Joanna: It’s huge.

Kristi: – hear CHROs and the HR departments talking about when recruiting, right?

Joanna: Yeah, I mean, we’ve been able to show that there’s a significant time that we cut out of that time that companies are spending searching. For a great recruiter, that’s going to take over 30 hours to build a shortlist of candidates for one role; we do that in a matter of seconds. And so –

Kristi: Amazing.

Joanna: – it’s a dramatic difference, and the quality of candidate goes way up. But what’s really neat is we do that all with an eye over not only how can we make this extremely efficient but also how can we do this in the fairest way possible.

Kristi: One of the things I’ve heard you say before that really captures what I feel like Censia does is how to find candidates that perform like your top talent already do. How does Censia do that? What is the magic?

Joanna: Yeah, so it is a really cool differentiator of ours is we model ideal candidates and top performers. So in our system you can type anyone’s name and it will instantly build out a ranked shortlist of people that mathematically are identical looking at things like not just the hard skills. Are they capable skill wise, and have they gone through the right – do they have the right titles, do they have the right background? But also their career trajectory, their performance against peers, their diversity, their loyalty. These things that are really, really key. And so we’ve been able to identify, through patterns, what top performers look like, and find more top performers.

Kristi: I love that, because a lot of those things you’re cuing on are the intangibles that you haven’t been able to really put a box around before. Whether they went to the right schools, or whatever, these are table stakes. But being able to show loyalty or drive, and that kind of thing is really powerful to be able to bring out.

Joanna: It’s huge. Yeah.

Kristi: That’s awesome.

Joanna: And, you know, top performers are – they produce four times the average performer in a company, and for critical jobs it’s eight times. So it is really important that as companies go through digital transformation and they’re looking at how can we transform our human capital experience, how can we transform our employee experience, how can we transform recruiter experience, how do we do that by saying we’re going to go find the best people in the world based on performance, and seeing the right career trajectory is really key.

Kristi: Yeah, four times, eight times, that’s –

Joanna: Yeah, significant.

Kristi: – got a big impact.

Joanna: Yeah.

Kristi: That’s very, very cool. So what are customers saying? I mean, I know you’ve got some early successes and – you want to share anything along those lines?

Joanna: Yeah, I mean, it’s been great. We see that our customers come to us as the first platform they go to for finding talent. We’ve been able to also really optimize and streamline their efforts when it comes down to sorting through inbound ranking. And that’s a really tough challenge, and the numbers are pretty sad when you look at how companies do that. They can’t – average companies looking at 250 résumés, they’re – 88 percent of those aren’t even qualified. And so recruiters are spending up to 23 hours sorting through these, whereas they don’t have any of that.

A recruiter shows up to work and they have a ranked candidate slate of inbound, passive people that are internal that qualify for a promotion. And also candidates that are rediscovers, so candidates that maybe applied in the past that didn’t hear anything and are sitting in what’s known as the black hole of ‘I don’t know if they have the information or not.’ Now, all of a sudden, there’s a system there looking out for them, and I think it’s a really great experience for them.

Kristi: Yeah, and what a timesaver, and just an opportunity to be able to be reconsidered and –

Joanna: Yeah. Absolutely.

Kristi: -discovered. That’s really great.

Joanna: Yeah.

Kristi: What is next for Censia?

Joanna: Yeah, so as we go into this endorsed partnership, we are really excited about how our go-to-market strategy is going to work together with SuccessFactors to grab market share, and really go at that in a strategic way. Whether that means what markets are we going to go beyond North America and EMEA, but rather how are we going to start looking at Latin America, Asia, as we expand, so …

Kristi: I can’t wait to celebrate some of those successes.

Joanna: Yeah. Yeah.

Kristi: Really exciting. Thank you for joining us –

Joanna: Thank you.

Kristi: – here today, we really appreciate it, and excited about –

Joanna: Thanks for having me.

Kristi: – what this week will bring.

Joanna: All right, thanks, Kristi.

Kristi: Thank you.

Increase your team’s efficiency and ROI.
Contact us for your customized Talent Intelligence solution.