Some of you are probably wondering what this company we’re building is all about. Here’s the short answer: Sash is a social embetterment platform designed to bridge the gap between learning and market needs. If you’re still confused, no worries. Most people are.
Three big problems
The longer version is that Sash is fundamentally about solving three big problems:
A degree is not a good indicator of future success
The first point is pretty simple: just because you have a college degree doesn’t mean you’re particularly good at anything. It doesn’t mean you’re qualified for any particular job. It merely means you can follow directions and jump through hoops. It also means you’ve probably had something close to the typical college experience.
All of those things are worth something, don’t get me wrong. But they don’t necessarily say much about your readiness for the job market or any particular position within it.
Because employers don’t have better ways to qualify people for positions, the degree is still a standard sort of checkbox included in most job qualifications today. But what about all of the amazing people who opted for an alternative education or who skipped college altogether? What about all the students who decided to take their education into their own hands vs. entrusting it to failed modern institutions?
The Sash team believes there’s a better way to identify and qualify the right candidates for jobs, degree or no degree. It’s time to start asking better questions about who people are and what they can do, and it’s time to use better qualifiers to do so.
The experience loop is both depressing and exhausting
Some of you probably know someone who has applied for an entry-level job that required a certain amount of experience in order to qualify (it might have even been you). The big question, of course, is how is someone supposed to get the experience needed to qualify for an entry-level position if most entry-level positions require a certain amount of experience to qualify?
The sad reality is minimum wage laws and other factors have priced out entry-level workers, and those that do make it through the loopholes often get there through someone they know who can personally vouch for them. But where does that leave everyone else?
What if there was a better way to both gain experience and demonstrate qualities that are difficult to judge in an interview? Things like: grit, expertise, determination, follow-through, initiative, integrity, etc.
The Sash team envisions a world where job-seekers are able to tell their whole story, painting a vibrant picture of who they are, what they care about, and why they’d be a good fit for a job and organization. We want to talk about who a person has the propensity and potential to become, not simply who they have been.
Hiring is an expensive gamble
Hiring the wrong person is incredibly expensive. Especially if you do it a lot. For larger or growing organizations, hiring the wrong people not only is expensive, it also delays growth, damages company culture, and is just plain frustrating.
When companies don’t have a good gauge by which to hire, they can end up choosing people who look good on paper or who interview well. But the real test comes in the day-to-day work, the details, the dedication, the culture fit, and more.
The Sash team believes that by helping companies take a chance on the right people, whether or not they have a degree and/or the relevant experience necessary will both decrease employee turnover and increase job satisfaction.
The not-so-secret sauce
This isn’t rocket science. And what we’re building, while complex, isn’t revolutionary. We simply believe that with the proper mix of certifications, experiences, skills, interests, and personality data, we will be able to identify the right employees for the right companies.
Our friends at Barn2door are a great example. They build technology for farms. Sure, they’re a startup like any other startup, but because they work with farms, it’s important for their employees to have a knowledge of and passion for things like farming, nutrition, and agriculture. While it’s true that any sales rep might do the job, how much better would it be for the company and the employee if the sales rep actually cared about the farming industry and was passionate about helping farms distribute their products? Or what if an applicant did her senior seminar paper on something like GMOs? Or what if she was an avid home gardener on the side?
It’s the little details we don’t think to talk about or ask about––the details that also don’t usually show up on a resume that can actually tell us a great deal about culture fit (that is, the experiences and attributes that support the values a company espouses). The same is true with personality traits. Some employee/boss combinations are a recipe for disaster? Wouldn’t it be good to know that up front?
Recruiters spend a lot of time trying to find people who are both a technical fit and a culture fit, sometimes with a great amount of bias. We believe machine learning can help to identify candidates who are a great technical and cultural fit while also eliminating some of the human bias that can sometimes get in the way.
And not only that, we think we can use technology to identify those who are maybe one certification or one experience away from being qualified for something they may have never even dreamed of doing.
The future of work
Everyone wants to do something meaningful with their lives. We all want to find work environments where we belong, like the people we spend our days with and feel a bit of passion for the work we do.
And that’s why we’re building Sash. We hope you’ll join us for the ride (and maybe nab a few badges along the way).