Written by David Silverberg
To go toe-to-toe against an entrenched social network such as LinkedIn is no easy feat, but Sloan Galler doesn’t back down from a challenge.
His company Fintros has built a platform to help “happily employed ambitious folks find their career path,” as Galler bills it. A talent marketplace aimed at the finance industry in Canada, Fintros uses machine-learning programs to anonymize and pre-screen candidates and introduce them to potential employers.
Candidate profiles are made anonymous in real-time, which means removing names, emails, location and also obscuring company names, job descriptions and university names.
By opting for using Fintros instead of sites like LinkedIn, candidates ensure they won’t be outed by their current employers for applying for a new job. “The finance community is small,” co-founder Galler says, “and if you work for a bank and apply to another bank for a position, someone might know you’re applying for a job.” Going the anonymous route safeguards someone from being known as an employee eyeing a different job.
Galler says Fintros “allows candidates to explore opportunities and in the process become a leading marketplace for managers to practice inclusive hiring practices.”
That means not knowing the ethnicity or demographic of candidates, which has increasingly become a hot-button issue in HR. A French study found that foreign-born candidates and those from poor areas were less likely to be called for interviews.
A 2016 study found that minority job applicants who “whiten” their resumes by deleting references to their race with the hope of boosting their shot at jobs actually see those efforts paying off.
Gender bias still plays a role in workplace discrimination right from the job interview, Galler adds, noting how Fintros’s machine-learning algorithms remove any mention of gender in a candidate’s interview. If someone applies for a job in Fintros with a CV written in the third-person, the firm’s software will remove mention of “she” or “her.”
Fintros is on pace to accumulate 100,000 users and their hiring clients include BMO, Bank of America and Exxon. They focus primarily on the finance-heavy markets in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and New York City. The eight-employee firm is in the midst of raising a round of capital and so far their main revenue resource is a subscription model tailored for employers seeking candidates through Fintros.
More than 1,000 data points are analyzed to help hiring managers find the right candidates for available positions, Galler says. Employers have a vast array of filters, right down to specialized criteria such as finding someone with two-plus years of experience who’s also been promoted, as an example.
Galler recalls helping one client who historically only hired University of Waterloo graduates. “But once they used our system, which anonymizes where people graduated, they got that systemic bias out of their talent pipeline and interviewed many other qualified candidates.”
Working out of Toronto has been a no-brainer for Galler and his team. “There are so many superstars in so many fields in Toronto,” he says, “and we’ve built meaningful relationships with many people here.” Galler also accesses the busy finance and HR community by networking at events like DisruptHR and HackerNest.
Galler says Fintros is a win-win for both candidate and employer. “We want hiring decisions based on quality and merit, and we know how valuable that is for executives and employees.”
Photos Courtesy of Fintros