Vanessa Tierney and Ben Wainwright, co-founders of Abodoo
Vanessa Tierney and Ben Wainwright, co-founders of Abodoo
Talent Management News

Abodoo: life is a journey, not a commute

Technology and data intelligence have revolutionized today’s human resource best practices. For the last several years, HR managers have had access to data sets regarding employee performance, wellbeing, and culture. With talent attraction and retention as the bedrock of the HR team, this information has become critical. And with 77% of employees desiring more flexibility and many prepared to move for this reason, it is the role of the HR department to make the business case as to why SmartWorking is a critical component of an organisation’s hiring, diversity and inclusion policies.

Founded in Ireland, Abodoo is the fastest growing platform for SmartWorkers, providing global data and tech intelligence to recruiters for discovering talent, reducing bias and rapid hiring. Abodoo has registered SmartWorkers across 62 countries within three key segments: technology, finance, and support. The company was recently recognised with a Think Global Start-Up Award in Mountain View, California.

We recently met with Vanessa Tierney and Ben Wainwright, co-founders of Abodoo, to ask them about their business, technology, and the global human resources market.

Why did you create Abodoo?

Abodoo was created to help companies’ source exceptional talent without being restricted by office space or commuting. Through SmartWorking, we believe that companies can grow and communities can thrive by allowing professionals the freedom to work and live where they choose. Technology now allows that choice, and through Abodoo we aim to offer life-changing opportunities and genuine work/life harmony.

Also, the role of internal recruiters today is not easy. With the increase in sourcing channels, the volume of online profiles and ease with which candidates can apply without really considering a role, it has all led to hours of daily insourcing and the screening of hundreds of resumes every month. The real value of a great recruiter is at the point of engagement with a potentially great hire and ensuring that they are converted if they are the right fit. We built Abodoo to focus on key pain points of the internal recruiter by using technology to remove inaccurate applications, poorly-qualified matches, and the unconscious bias that has an indirect effect on the diverse talent pipeline.

Do you use people analytics?

From the outset, our platform has been designed to utilise the data that users plug into it. Our machine learning can only be effective based on what training and modeling data we use, so our algorithms process the data with reduced bias in mind. From a people analytics perspective, that means we provide results that do not prioritise the likes of gender or race, and we can serve up analysis that is skill and experience-focused, which should be at the forefront of hiring based decisions.

What outcomes do you see from hiring remote workers?

There are many upsides for a company to embrace work model flexibility. The most obvious benefits include talent attraction and access to skilled talent that is either unemployed or underemployed. There are skilled professionals who live in regional areas, and when they look at childcare costs to commute to a city, it does not make financial sense. Why not work remotely?

And there are groups with mobility issues, including older, experienced workers who are ready to take it a little easier but not retire. With SmartWorking initiatives, we’ve seen talent retention improve by as much as 40%, and workers report feeling happier and more trusted. CFOs tend to support SmartWorking efforts as it can lead to saving close to $11,000 per person, which can be substantial for enterprise companies. The key is to take the first few years of savings from square footage needs and invest in a strong SmartWorking supportive framework.

What exactly is SmartWorking?

SmartWorking is where a company enables an employee or contractor to work outside the office, whether that’s from home, a co-working hub, or in a hybrid work model, either part or full time. Terms used to describe SmartWorking include flexible, remote, work from home (WFH), distributed work, and gig work — which falls under the SmartWorking umbrella.

Today, nearly 40% of US employees are SmartWorking, and it’s estimated that by 2025, over 50% of all workers globally will be SmartWorking or gig working (self-employed and location agnostic).

How has technology impacted the employee recruitment process?

Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and smart algorithms are enabling recruiters to move from the mind-numbing tasks of sourcing and screening, to now being able to focus on candidate engagement, leading to better, more qualified hires and a strong employer brand. Losing candidates during the hiring process generally happens because the candidate is not feeling valued because of overstretched recruiters. Even if just 25% of time can now be spent on high-value work, this leads to a 25% increase in hires per month per internal resource.

What other HR industry trends do you see developing in 2019?

The prediction is that diversity and inclusion leaders will start working closer with HR on the recruitment process to ensure compliance with internal D&I policies.

HR’s ability to better assess existing soft skills and to anticipate predicted skills required will play an essential part in the future of work.

Establishing the organisation’s, and the individual employee’s, carbon footprint from a corporate social responsibility point of view, and adopting strategies to reduce their carbon footprint, will be very important.

And finally, as smart, distributed workforces become the norm, HR teams will be able to access the millions of people in the world who are not working, bringing employment opportunity to the masses and reversing skills shortages.

Can you share a client success example?

Last year we partnered with Vodafone, a multinational telecommunications company. As thousands of professionals and businesses started to register on the platform, we realised that this SmartWorking community was a new market for products enabling agile work.

The message was simple, to position both brands as thought leaders for SmartWorking and to support engagement. Companies that give flexibility to workers enjoy the positive impact that includes accessing more talent, supporting diversity, reducing city congestion, improving employee wellbeing, and helping to decrease carbon emissions. This is a great message to share for any company.

Now that enterprise-level companies understand that any level of flexibility is “SmartWorking” we have launched SmartWorking workshops and audits to support companies in increasing their investment in this area, and recognise the benefits of talent attraction, retention and cost savings.

Do you have any recent client news you would like us to share?

We have entered the United States with our first globally-recognised client, Fortune 500 company Concentrix, and their new brand Solv. This is an exciting partnership as it leverages our data intelligence marketing service in conjunction with the Abodoo platform to access diverse talent across the US, UK, Ireland, and India to help source thousands of gig workers. This global partnership will ensure Concentrix achieves its expansion pipeline plans by making their hiring process smarter, faster, and more economical than ever before.

Why do you think Irish companies are seen as world class?

Ireland is a small market on the global stage, yet it is home to the European headquarters of over 90% of the largest tech companies. This gives Irish companies a local, supportive environment to launch, test, and retest with global brands as clients to refine a solution and meet world-class standards. Finally, when an Irish company is ready to go international, they have an incredible advantage not just in the proven solution, but in the global network of their existing client base and the incredible support of Enterprise Ireland offices in-country.

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