Wade & Wendy

Make recruiting human again via conversational intelligence

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Drew AustinMakerHiring@drewaustin · CEO of Wade & Wendy
Hey Product Hunters! I’m Drew Austin the CEO & one of the co-founders of Wade & Wendy. This is unexpected, thanks a lot Chris! :) We have been heads down working on our two conversational agents, Wade and Wendy, in an effort to bring empathy and efficiency back to the world of recruiting. Along the way we have popped our heads up with small closed tests to validate or invalidate our assumptions about how people will engage with an AI powered agent about their work. (It’s been eye-opening to say the least!). I have been an avid Product Hunt fan since the early days, so what better way to share our story of why we started Wade & Wendy, what we are working on, and our learnings along the way.
Nick Zieber@nzieber · Tech & Startups Community in Hong Kong
@drewaustin would love to talk to you about this product, Drew! As a recruiter, I think this is the right way to attack some of the pain points we face on a day to day basis.
Reggie Leonard II@rleonard2 · Career Services | Data Science
@nzieber @drewaustin Was thinking the same thing, expect that I'm on the Career Services side of things, working directly w/ graduate level Data Science talent.
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
Some background. Pretty compelling concept
Sar Haribhakti@sarthakgh · Learning
@chrismessina Did you try out their beta?
Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
@sarthakgh not yet.
Matt Burns@mburns87 · Co-Founder @ TapWealth
This company is going to KILL it - great idea, concept, and team!
Drew AustinMakerHiring@drewaustin · CEO of Wade & Wendy
What I would ask of the Product Hunt community, in the discussion below or on Twitter, is this: What you would like to see from the ideal recruiter? If you are responsible for recruiting at a company, what would you like to see from Wendy, who’ll assist you with growing your teams? How can she remove some of the robotic processes that block your workflow and allow you to spend your time where it is most needed -- on people and relationships. So far, she exists on Slack and integrates with Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System. Our view of AI and conversational agents are that they are not meant to replace human conversation but to facilitate more informed human conversations. Sign up at https://beta.wendy.ai/ if you are interested in joining the waitlist to add Wendy to your team. Job seekers! We have done most of our testing with you and received some amazing and fascinating feedback for Wade, our personal career guide who works with you to find the best job fit for you. I know recruiting hasn't had the best reputation lately, so how can we change that perception, how can we design a recruiter with your needs at the forefront? If you sign up to meet Wade, https://beta.wade.ai/ and you are truly looking or interested in your next opportunity, feel free to let me know on Twitter or in discussion so I can move you up the waitlist. Early on we want to test with people that are engaging with Wade to help them find the right career opportunity. We are excited to be working on the challenges facing AI and to be working on it not to replace jobs, but to help people find the right jobs. There is no doubt in my mind many jobs over the coming years will be replaced by automation and AI. It is important for people to know that new careers are arising as well. We plan to have Wade and Wendy help facilitate the transition to a collaborative future of work amongst AI’s and humans.
Nick Zieber@nzieber · Tech & Startups Community in Hong Kong
@drewaustin I recruit all day, every day. I think AI will help, but most of the problems that make us feel frustrated are human related. For example, a hiring manager can't make up his or her mind that a candidate is "committed" to joining, therefore delaying a decision. Another issue is fast feedback about the process. Green light? Red Light? How will AI smooth out the annoying human procrastinations that make the recruitment process so painful?
adrianvonderosten@avonderosten · Co-Founder, Wade & Wendy
Hi @nzieber co-founder here and head of product design, while @drewaustin can certainly speak at length about this, allow me to chime in from a product design perspective... You're absolutely right, a lot of the challenges with the recruitment process have to do with these kind of human intrcacies. The examples you mention only scratch the surface of what we look to find solutions for and discuss on daily basis. To frame our approach, one of the core values for us as a company is empathy...a value that's at the foundation of both Wade and Wendy's personalities. Our aim is to build a conversational UI that's relationship based, not solely transactional. In order to do that Wd and Wy must build a rapport, open up trust, and strengthen a bond that can develop a relationship and the user understands they genuinely have the best interests for them...for that to happen, It's important for users to feel understood, and for both Wd and Wy to demonstrate understanding... It's part of the reason very early on we sought to design a platform with two separate personalities representing each party. We understood that building one alone would be a conflict of interest and only lead towards a confusing user experience. Our solution is a platform where the two work in tandem, both facilitating answers to questions, giving context to ugency, and delivering timely feedback, and through that enables HMs to make informed decisons quickly and candidates not feeling in the dark along the way. At the moment, we don't claim to have solved every intricate human challenge in the hiring and job seeking process, but we strongly believe that facilitating communication through conversational UI is the step in the right direction and our approach stems from one of the most intsically positive and powerful values human beings have, one we feel there needs to be more of in the recruiting space -empathy.
Drew AustinMakerHiring@drewaustin · CEO of Wade & Wendy
Why: When I began my career in recruiting, I was surprised to find it so emotionally rewarding. There are few professional experiences that rival helping someone land a job that is right for them, or helping a company fill a position that is critical to their growth and success. On the other hand, recruiting was painfully robotic, sales-oriented, and resisted innovation at all costs. As a recruiter one thing was clear: recruiting is flawed. Many of the innovations I have witnessed over the years are not addressing some of the core challenges, just avoiding them. Communication, information and relationships are the pillars of recruiting, so to truly innovate and improve the recruiting industry, we felt we had to focus on the challenges facing communication around people, jobs and companies. What: We knew didn’t want to build another website or app. We wanted to design a product that was native to the workflow of our end users and stakeholders. The constant workflow was communication and we felt messaging would be the perfect infrastructure to a product experience. That began our journey into the world of NLP, Artificial Intelligence and Messaging applications. We also didn’t want to build another transactional bot. To quote one of our early Wade testers, “Ironically this is far less robotic than the usual experience I have with hiring people.” We feel that to accomplish our objective of creating the world’s best recruiter, it means building relationships, demonstrating understanding and being informed. And that means teaching our AIs, Wade and Wendy, what it means to be human. Twelve months ago there was minimal talk about bots and conversational assistants. Many of the challenges we have discovered, we have had to build solutions for ourselves, or partner with other startups experiencing these pains at the same time. In this emerging space, we’re looking forward to discussing and collaborating to build this next wave of great product experiences through conversational AI. We have built quite a bit but there’s still so much work to be done to achieve our goal. We have raised approximately $4,000,000 in funding from a great group of investors, led by ffVC and including strategic investors such as Randstad Innovation Fund and Slack Fund. Hopefully through this discussion we can provide some tips and guidance to the community of AI & bot developers around the early stages of building the company, product development discoveries, and user reactions.