Welcome to Crazy and the King!!
June 23, 2022

The CATK Interview: SeekOut Co-Founder and CEO Anoop Gupta

The CATK Interview: SeekOut Co-Founder and CEO Anoop Gupta

Join Torin and Julie in welcoming author and SeekOut Co-Founder and CEO, Anoop Gupta!

Julie and Torin welcome Anoop Gupta to talk start-ups, Microsoft, "Academic types" and how we use data to successfully drive incredible, underrepresented talent into our organizations, and Julie throws in a challenge to wrap us up.

Anoop Gupta is the CEO and Co-Founder of SeekOut, the AI-powered Talent 360 platform. Anoop started SeekOut after a 20-year career at Microsoft, which began with the acquisition of his first startup, VXtreme, in 1997.

During his tenure, Anoop was the Corporate Vice-President of the multibillion-dollar Unified Communications group. He was TA to Bill Gates, advising on technology and product strategy as a Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research, leading work on Telepresence and Natural User Interfaces. Prior to Microsoft, Anoop was a tenured professor at Stanford University and he holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

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0:00:01.0 Announcer: We've been about this work, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, shared through the voices of a White woman and a Black man. We bring lived experiences. We have pursued D&I progress for most of our professional lives. We use Crazy and the King to cover news, tips from colleagues and host incredible guests. Listeners count on Julie and I to transparently drive the conversation. We thank you for rocking with us. Check it. Julie, kick off the show.


0:00:37.4 Julie: Welcome to Crazy and the King. I'm back.

0:00:42.8 Torin: Yeah well you know we're gonna have a conversation around HR Tech today, but before we do that, who knows what is going on at this particular time of the year? I'm wondering, when you think about 2022 right now, where we are right now, how are you feeling? And real quick, just before you sit... Before you do that, don't necessarily think of any particular event or events... Don't necessarily think about where you are sitting, just how are you feeling right now?

0:01:18.5 Julie: Right now, I feel really good. It's been a great year so far for us, it's been a great year for the team at Disability Solutions, obviously, we have some angst in the world that we're gonna see that always sits on my brain, but overall, good, good, good. How about you, my friend?

0:01:36.1 Torin: I feel wonderful. And part of the reason why I feel wonderful is because I have even more control over my calendar and how I am able to move throughout my days, my weeks, my months, and it's been that journey that I've been on for the last two years. It really started in 2020 where I... I'm sorry, it started in 2021 where I implemented using Calendly, and I really wanted to use one called unDock, but that's a whole another conversation. UnDock wasn't ready for Apple products, Mac products, but by putting the calendar in place, it just gave me a sense of relief and flexibility in 2021, and now I've taken it up a notch and kinda got a little color coordinated and put some more funky time slots in, 12 minutes here, 15 minutes there, and I'm telling you, it makes me feel so much better and so much more productive. So when you ask me how I'm feeling in 2022, I'm feeling really, really encouraged and encouraged is important because the work that we are doing, it's exhausting.

0:02:50.1 Julie: It is, it is. And we have to remember to take the victories. We've seen each other through a lot of hard times over the past four years, and it's nice to feel encouraged right now.

0:03:02.8 Torin: Cool, so I started with a question around you. Now, how do you feel when you hear the phrase HR Tech?

0:03:12.9 Julie: Oh God. I feel...

0:03:16.0 Torin: I knew that was gonna...

0:03:17.1 Julie: I know. [laughter]

0:03:17.6 Torin: I absolutely new you were gonna have some degree of reservation around that. That's cool.

0:03:23.8 Julie: I think that HR Tech is the most important tech potentially to be a part of someone's life outside of their health, and the reason that is is because HR Tech is what gets a human to a place where they can achieve their dreams. They can do the things that they wanna do, they can provide with their family, they can go on that trip, they can do those things or cannot do those things, right? It is such a powerful vehicle that we have in our hands and that we control as leaders every single day, and what I think is amazing about HR Tech is also very scary about HR Tech because there is so much opportunity for good and there's so much opportunity for bad in this space, and it's really critically important that we are constantly having conversations with leaders who are not just HR Tech implementers, but who are HR Tech vendors and leaders within those organizations so that they're building products and solutions that not just meet their professional and their buyers needs but also meet the human need of transformation into a role, into a career, and that they never, ever forget how important every click of that button that gets made, whether it's a recruiter, a job seeker, a data analyst, is when we're thinking about changing someone's life.

0:04:57.1 Torin: Yeah, and you know, you said something, transformation. You said another click, click, click. You connected that to the people, and when I think HR Tech, I lean on a familiar phrase, and some might call me a dinosaur for saying this, but the phrase that I often echo when I hear HR Tech is, "People do the best job of hiring people." That doesn't discount the efficiency, the efficacy, it doesn't minimize the presence of HR Tech, but I always say, people do the best job of hiring people. Trying to make sure that the people using the technology are present enough with it where they are able to say, wow, you know what, this really is adding some efficiency to our process, it really is standardizing and making it better, mitigating some of the bias that may be there, it does something for us in terms of reach, that we may not be able to do ourselves, but that I am not excluding or exiting my presence in the process. People do the best job of hiring people. I put in Google... When we were preparing for this episode, I put in HR Tech... All I put in was, HR Tech diversity and inclusion. So, you know, I'm smiling, J, I said, "I know we're gonna get back a whole bunch of vendors or advertisements." No, I actually got back...

0:06:34.6 Torin: Probably a third of the way down the screen, first page, were a number of academic research articles. So I said, "Well, let me click on this, let me see what these academic research articles have to do with HR tech, diversity and inclusion." So I clicked on a couple, titles like, "Big Data Analytics in Human Resource Management; Automated Decision-making Processes, Predictive Hiring Algorithms and Cutting Edge Workplace Surveillance." Hold on. The second one was, "Mental Health and Gender," stress gender. Third article that I saw was, "A Sociological Study of HR Professionals Discourses in Regards to the Digital Transformation of Human Resources Practices." Now, here's where I throw the popcorn, J, that's the reason why people struggle with academic understanding and bringing that into the consideration. I don't think the headlines or the headers of any of those articles really speak to HR tech diversity and inclusion, maybe I missed something.

0:07:47.1 Julie: Yeah. One of the very first things my amazing husband taught me was to stop talking like an academic and start talking like a human when I was trying to engage people to change the world. Because all of the big fancy words don't mean anything to anyone when it's really about, "How do I get my job done? How do I make difference? How do I make change?" you gotta keep it simple.

0:08:09.8 Torin: And listen, if you are academician, trust me, we love having you in the space as well. We need that brainiac, we need that brain power, we need all of that research, we need it all, I'm just saying can you come up with some headers that might actually help us understand HR tech diversity and inclusion? But speaking of understanding, there are some ways that HR tech plays in support of our internal efforts. And I think that a couple of them, Julie, are recruiting, of course, performance management, HR tech can absolutely help and impact learning and development. Am I missing some ways that HR tech can play in that ecosystem?

0:08:54.1 Julie: The one I'm thinking about, one of the biggest challenges I'm seeing right now with companies that we work with and within our organization, is internal mobility. And I know that probably fits under development, but I think it really deserves a callout in the ways that we can unite mentors and mentees, projects and skills and all of those things to allow companies to smartly and purposefully start thinking about how to advance their internal talent and grow their internal talent instead of constantly going back to the talent acquisition well for more bodies and more bodies in the seats.

0:09:33.8 Torin: Love that. So internal mobility, it really is a... It's a powerful play. And I like the fact that that phrase has been given more of a green light over the last 12, 18 months when it really should have always been given a green light. But what that says is we are always in a point or a position of evolution, and that when we are tackling diversity and inclusion, we were... When we are tackling development of new technologies, that we can't... We just can't hit all of it at the same time, it really does have to spin around the sun, right?

0:10:08.4 Julie: Yeah, absolutely. So one great stat from our friends over at Red Thread Research was that in 2021, report on DEIB tools, they noted that the total number of DEIB tech vendors increased by 87%, with a total of 196 vendors in the market for 2021 compared to 120... 105, excuse me, in 2019.

0:10:37.3 Torin: Yeah, that was Red Thread. But I couldn't find one statistic that talked about performative HR tech. So why don't we go to a quick commercial break and then let's bring in this week's guest. Because I know that he, he being Anoop Gupta, has something to contribute to this conversation.

0:11:01.5 Julie: Alright, welcome back. So we invited Anoop on this episode of Crazy and The King, because it seems to us, based on our conversations over the last two, three, four years, that the imperative to redesign business and talent acquisition is now greater than ever, right? You and I talk about all the time that businesses have to take full advantage of new tech to adjust and widen their corporate purpose in a way that allows them to not just meet shareholder value but also address social inequities that matter to their employees that they need to keep, retain and grow.

0:11:38.6 Torin: And I think Anoop probably shares with us in that position around being more whole as we look at the employee and not just centered on the... Let's say the shareholder value. But I don't wanna speak for him, so let's keep going, and then we'll get him in the conversation. I'm also going to ask him for a loan, we'll just pretend like he can't hear that part, about the work being done over at SeekOut.


0:12:13.6 Torin: That valuation and the round is very validating, and it also creates some expectations for your growth and your market. It sounds like you've already had a strategy in place that extends beyond sourcing, just external sourcing, so it's exciting.

0:12:36.5 Anoop: We grew... Our people, our head count grew three times, 3X, that's last year. And we expect to have a very strong growth trajectory in the coming year. And the valuation hubs actually, you know, they're somehow risk-averse people, and so [chuckle] being a unicorn status gives them comfort and attraction to come and join us. So we will be upping our talent at all levels in all functions.


0:13:13.3 Torin: In case you hadn't heard, this Bellevue-based unicorn raised $115 million in their Series C back in January of this year, putting its valuation at over $1.2 billion. Now, I'm assuming where we are in the year, that valuation has probably gone up a little bit. So let's talk to Anoop a bit about the recent raise and what's happening over at SeekOut. Welcome to Crazy and the King, Anoop. How are you?

0:13:41.3 Anoop: I am doing well. Hello, Julie and Torin. It is exciting to be part of this podcast.

0:13:49.5 Torin: Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I said it, you raised... Well, let's just... I'm assuming you've raised somewhere north of $300 million over the last four years or so. Give us your own introduction. You are smart, capable. I want people that don't know who you are to understand a bit about your journey before SeekOut and how you landed in the SeekOut sandbox of diversity and inclusion.

0:14:19.4 Anoop: Thank you, Torin. I'm gonna say some things, and I think it was intentional you took some digs at me. [laughter] So I came to this country in 1980 after my undergrad in India. I went to Carnegie Mellon and got a PhD in Computer Science. Subsequently, I was a professor at Stanford. And so I had those academics, but I sort of atone for my sins in some way.


0:14:49.3 Anoop: And so I did my first startup in the streaming media business in 1995 when they were still new that got acquired by Microsoft in 1997, and I spent 18 years there. I had the extreme privilege of directly reporting to Bill Gates for two years, spending three, four hours a day with him, doing a lot of pre-REM when he went away for the week to think about Think Week around the Skype and exchange businesses, education business, emerging market business. So that was my transformation from just being an academic to [chuckle] being an entrepreneur, and then we quit because I said... You know, Microsoft was a great blessing for me, but I said, Microsoft does innovation. They give you an eighteen-wheeler and say, "Go around and find out whole big islands," and we wanted to be on a mountain bike, [chuckle] go down the trails and find interesting, small things that may not be of interest to a large company, and here we are at SeekOut now. So let me pause there, and I'll talk more about SeekOut and how fundamental it is.

0:16:13.0 Torin: Absolutely. I wanna back up for... I wanna put it in reverse for a second. I heard a couple of things. Number one, I never knew that you were a professor. Number two, I never knew that you worked in the streaming space. And so let's just stay there for a moment. You know, not a long time, but how did you make those determinations? You went through all of that education. What said, "Let's go in the direction of being an academic and then this crazy zig-zag over to the streaming world?" 'Cause the streaming world of Microsoft, I can understand that one, but those are two very different paths to be on.

0:16:53.0 Anoop: So one is, Torin, a tradition at Stanford, where professors create companies. It is not an academic in a traditional sense. A lot of the big startups like VMware, it was created by a fellow professor, Mendel Rosenblum, and his wife, Diane Greene. In fact, Diane Greene was a co-founder with me for my first startup. [chuckle] It's only after that she went and did VMware. So it's pretty... It didn't take much of a gap. I talked to my boss at that time, John Hennessy, who was subsequently the president of Stanford, and said, "Oh, should I do a startup? Here is a great thing that we're trying to do," and he said, "Of course, you should go and do a startup, because, you know, two possibilities, it's gonna succeed and you're gonna learn a lot, or it's gonna fail and you're gonna learn a lot and you got a job back at Stanford, right?" So there was just this culture of trying experimenting in my whole life. Actually really has been a journey of a crazy opportunity showing up and jumping in with both feet, not looking back and seeing where it takes you. And of course, I had the privilege to be able to take those risks. Not everybody always has those choices, all the chances, but I feel really blessed and grateful that I could make those decisions and move forward.

0:18:41.1 Julie: So tell us then, on this fantastic journey, now you've landed here in this D&I space. How did that become important to you? And how did it become important to SeekOut?

0:18:55.6 Anoop: So fundamentally, when we got into the... Supposedly, it's always been important. My sister used to be a CEO and I've got a family. Otherwise, we have believed. And just my experiences, you know, my fellow professor was a gentleman named Kunle Olukotun from Nigeria, Black gentleman. He was doing amazingly well. So you know, just the fundamental thing, one was inside you, where you said, "People just need the opportunity, and all of us can do amazing things." And when we are a diverse group, okay? And diversity in gender, ethnicity, but fundamental diversity in ideas, life experiences.

0:19:51.1 Anoop: That diversity brings new ideas, crazy new ways to think about it, and that lets you create something of more value because the people we are reaching out to are the diverse population. So what, one is that color thing inside. Secondly, when we got into the time place, here there is a lot of talk about it, but you say, how do you take those good intentions and translate them into actions and results. We both felt there was just a huge gap. And then we say, "How can we put on our pointy hats? And what can we do about it?" So that's where D&I... And then we ran into data inform, how can data help? And back to one of the things you guys talked about right?

0:20:48.3 Anoop: So you don't want machines making the decisions for you, AI making the decisions for you, there are lots of problems with that. Okay, so my PhD was around artificial intelligence things like that, but there's AI and what I call IA. IA is intelligent assistance, data and tools can help us, us as humans make better decisions. So for example, there are various ways you can measure inclusion. One measure might be, I do a survey or something like that. But the other could be, here is a vice president, they hire 20 Black people in their team and 25 left. Okay. Maybe there is an inclusion problem. Okay, its a revolving door. So data's value comes not just in decisions, data's value comes in asking great questions. So humanity, if you ask about a great CEO leader, it's not that they know everything, but oh, wow! But they're good at asking questions, and I believe data can help you ask good questions. And then of course, as humans, we need to dig in and say, what is the root cause? AI is not gonna give you the root cause then you're gonna go and find out and improve the situation and make a difference.

0:22:25.3 Torin: You know, I love that. And you are so absolutely right. Say the acronym, the IA acronym again, it stands for what again?

0:22:33.3 Anoop: Intelligent assistant.

0:22:35.7 Torin: Intelligent assistant. Alright, got it. So when we think about the buzzword of DEIB or D&I, or I've heard inclusion, access, equity and diversity. I've heard so many different variations of that, and I'm cool with all of them because I know that the people saying them mean well, and they are pointed to the same direction that I'm pointed, we wanna just see progress. When we think about the acronyms in whatever form, in your opinion, and it's just your opinion. But in your opinion, Anoop, how serious are HR tech vendors when they talk about their D&I solution? Are they serious? Are they investing in it? Or are you seeing, feeling, hearing that for a lot of them, they're being opportunistic, they're being ambulance chasers, slapping Band-Aids and ad hoc solutions on some other part of their product or service?

0:23:38.1 Anoop: If I am honest.

0:23:42.7 Torin: We need you to be. I need... Only reason why you're here I need you to be need you to be. So take a deep breath. Just breathe, relax. You'll be okay, I promise you. We will resuscitate you if you need resuscitation, but I need you to be honest, talk to us.

0:24:00.4 Anoop: It is a buzz word, it is a marketing thing, whether I am... There is a lot of marketing going on. And Julie talked about... There were 192 vendors and suddenly 80% increase on that. That means you have 250, 300 vendors. The amount of true work that is happening is not so... So there are two things, one is our people doing, the second is the quality of work right. How that is happening often is simply not there. And what is effective is often not there. So it is really... And the thing that I feel bad about in some sense on that is, of course, people are doing their best and some may do a little bit more, is it makes it really confusing for the decision makers. Because once it becomes so much noise, then you can't decide. It slows down your decision making, you say too many things, I'm gonna just step away and not do anything, because I don't have the time to sift through all of that noise to extract that jam. So a lot of the beauties in these kinds of podcast etcetera, can be if you can help the audience really sort through the noise, all of us look for it, and that is not just true for DEI, that is true for the buzzword, the AI is used by...

0:25:48.8 Anoop: Is there a company that doesn't use AI? No there doesn't exist a company that doesn't use AI. So we might as well not talk about it, than talk about what it really does for people.

0:26:02.5 Julie: I think that's... It's such a good point. I have this sort of love-hate relationship with where we are right now from a vendor perspective, it's... From seven, eight years ago, when I started going to TA Tech and to all the TA shows and meeting vendors, and I'd be like, "Hey, how are people with disabilities integrated into your solution? How have you tested and validated for talent with disabilities on your assessments? Have you done this? Have you done that? Is it accessible?" And literally getting that either blank look of like, "Lady, I have no idea what you're talking about," or B, "Just go away," to this place now where we're having at least some vendors understanding the importance of being inclusive in their product development. Now, I think where we have to get still is more to where you're talking about, Anoop, is where the ones who are just slapping a label on it to make a couple bucks, those guys get weeded out, and then people who... And tech that is really integrated and passionate about solving for problems and not just making the dollars, those survive and they thrive and they grow, and that's where we see change. And so tell us about SeekOut. I know it's AI recruiting. I went ahead and used the word.


0:27:30.9 Julie: Tell us about what you're seeing in the data right now with job seeker data, demographic data that you can share that's really aggregated to help our listeners, A, understand what SeekOut does, and how it might support some of their diversity efforts, but also what are some surprising trends you're seeing in the world right now?

0:27:53.7 Anoop: Yeah. So basically, as I said, data can inform people, when it comes to companies and what they are doing with diversity, oftentimes, they are flying blind with that. Let me actually go in, if you'll give me the opportunity, give get it more holistic. So one is there's no simple single silver bullet that people... And Torin has educated me a lot in terms of what people do and the commitment and the continuous work and the hard work that needs to be done, so let's not forget about that. The second thing is, what you do in terms of hiring is one part of it, and then what you do with the internal employees. And the internal mobility, part of it becomes very, very important too. You have a Black solution architect in Washington DC with security clearance who can leave your $10 billion jet I inferred at Microsoft, how do you find and how quickly do you find that is important, try to understand. So here is how we operate; we are a data-driven talent recruitment platform that focuses on how to find and diverse talent.

0:29:22.6 Anoop: So how do we help? People don't come and... Because we are a channel, they don't raise their hand and say, "I'm Black," "I'm Hispanic," "I'm veteran," "I'm Argentina... " all of that, but we use our academics and AI and skills and some sense to do the best job of inferencing, because I may know about my company, but I don't know about the other companies, and I don't know in Atlanta what percentage of the people... Data scientists, Black data scientists are available there or where I should go looking. And these fairly sophisticated algorithms, and what AI and data science means is I can look at HBCUs, I can look at African-American sororities, I can look at membership in organizations and there are tens and hundreds of organizations, I know you know what are likely African-American names or women names. Joy, for example, in India is a man's name, and Joy in India... [chuckle] In the US and the rest of the world, is a female. So we understand from the aggregate what is that. So firstly, when a company goes and says, "How do they set targets?" Our data can inform what a realistic targets to set, because if you set unreasonable things, you'll be disappointed.

0:30:46.1 Anoop: The second thing we tell companies is, when you're writing a job description and you see lots of articles with would say, job descriptions like catchy sayings, the more you add to that, then you add a lot of unnecessary things. So the question is, how do you have conversations with the hiring managers to say, "Let's get rid of that, this is how we widen the aperture, this is where how we bring in diverse people." We help drive SeekOut with its data, and its analytics helps drive these data-driven conversations with the hiring managers, with the leadership, so that you can have better job descriptions that bring in more candidates. Then you say, "How do I source, if I'm looking for digital marketing managers?" And I say, "Where are the women? Where are the Black people? Where are the Hispanics? Where are the veterans? Are there some amazing veterans out there who can go and do that?" We make it super easy for you to find those people, and then we also make it easy to reduce bias. So I never talk about eliminating I's or something like that. And again, Torin has educated me on some of the very hard parts about that.

0:32:05.5 Anoop: But we know that if we look at pictures, if you look... We know the gender, we know certain things, a lot of terrible things happen, so we can enable it to hide those pieces of information. We know if diverse slates are submitted for every role and there's not just one token diversity under-represented minority, but you have multiple people, there are [0:32:35.0] ____. In fact, I was just getting... As I was driving to work, getting on a call with one of the major vendors of... Who provide transportation and they said they are requiring that to happen. So that is one dimension of... That we do. Then we also help in the talent analytics once you get into the panel. If you had 50 women and 50 men apply, then did only 10 women get called for an interview and 20 men? And how many got hired?

0:33:11.1 Anoop: And again, the part of that data... And how is it different for engineering and sales and marketing, and the part of this data-informed approach that we really want companies to be able to take is to ask good questions. If that happened, it's not about something you say you're bad or good, it is you ask a question, "Is this something in our interview process? Is it something [chuckle] we're writing the description? Is it something that is in people's head?" Similarly, then you go inside the company, right? So a large company, you can take all the vice presidents, and you can say, how many joined and how many left. Off under how... And that can give you a signal on what inclusion looks like. Why are people leaving? It can ask you... Allow you to ask good questions, and not only find them. So that is where the power of data and what SeekOut is doing really helps, and that is how SeekOut can help the companies. And some of the biggest companies in the world are leveraging us in that way to help the diversity.

0:34:23.5 Torin: And you know, before Julie jumps in, I just wanna just really echo and put a stamp on that. Like if we could... Through a podcast technology, if we could just highlight and amplify what you just said for our listeners, I really want you to replay and rewind and think about how Anoop methodically described how SeekOut is playing in the space. He didn't give a marketing slick, a one-pager. He talked about it from a human perspective, basic blocking and tackling, means that it's being built into, hopefully, the way that the organization is showing up in the marketplace. J?

0:35:02.4 Julie: Yeah. I mean, there's two really interesting things that stood out to me in your description. One is gonna be the hard one, so I'm gonna give you both at the same time. But the first one is, I didn't hear in any of those under-represented groups you say people with disabilities once, so I wanna lay that as a challenge on the table. And the other piece though that I think is really, really compelling, a story came out earlier this year that Black Americans, Hispanic Americans were drastically under-counted in the 2020 census by the tune of probably nearly 20 million people, which I think a lot of us expected. And so when we're thinking about how federal contractors, which are were the majority of the employers in the United States, are figuring out utilization data, "How many Black employees at this level do I need to have to make sure that it is reflective of the community which I'm hiring?" We know now that those data points for the next 10 years are gonna be dramatically under-counting Black and Brown talent that's available in our communities.

0:36:15.9 Julie: Is there an opportunity, I guess, for companies that are using SeekOut to have your data that's more up-to-date? And how often is that data refreshed? Because I'm thinking about all of the totality of the aggregate of public data that you can pull from to get into those analytics. It's surely gonna be fresher than data that is collected by the US Government and subsequently under-counted every 10 years.

0:36:43.7 Anoop: Yeah. Now, great questions, Julie. So let me take the first one on the disability side. You know, we totally understand how important it is. The... And that it needs to be addressed and the value that they bring, and if you give the right opportunities, the dedication when they come that they reference. But the challenge is how people want to disclose their disability, right? SeekOut doesn't wanna be the one saying you have this disability or not. We can help you... You know, if you declare, and we can help you find it, or you know, it's again, some point in...

0:37:26.2 Julie: Oh, come on now. I've gotta call you here on this one for just a second, 'cause you can figure out by people's names where they went to college, the stuff they're posting on Facebook, what they're putting on their Instagram, where they've... All of these things about them. If... It's like you're a really smart guy, and I just know that if someone could figure this out, it would be a really smart guy like you that could take what we have available in the world and help us better figure out in aggregate what our community actually looks like to get to better representation numbers. Not me as an individual, I get that, but in aggregate, I feel like you could get there. [chuckle]

0:38:01.3 Anoop: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I was talking about it and... Well, exactly. So there's something... You know, the good point about aggregate and we can do, okay? What I'm saying is, it is a very personal information when you say, "Find me such a candidate," and that is where we have shied away and... You know, the same for LGBTQ. We have things where if you self-declare, we can find you people who are allies in many of those cases, and we can do all of that, but we shy away from saying, "Hey," point to you, [chuckle] And very likely LGBTQ on that side of that. The second thing you were saying is... Firstly, again, I wanna back up and say, nobody should look at SeekOut, and we don't claim to be solving all of the world's problems. There are a lot of things to be done. But that said, you know, when you say the census is not counting, what we do is... We are focused on professionals in some sense, so we are not focused on all workers. So if somebody is looking at data scientists and what's the population of data scientists and what this. Our data will be updated all the time. Our data is not reliant on what it looks like 10 years... As people retrain themselves, build themselves, we are there for the companies to look at populations, availability and what can be done.

0:39:42.3 Julie: Very, very interesting.

0:39:42.5 Torin: Love that, love that, love that, love that. So many leaders right now are asking the question what comes next, Anoop? And while we could talk for another 30 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour, we'll leave it right there for now. I appreciate how you've responded. You navigated in the conversation in a very authentic, honest, genuine way. What do you want to leave the audience with in this particular episode?

0:40:11.9 Anoop: We genuinely believe it is this thing that the growth of people and organizations are deeply intertwined, okay? And helping companies understand their people better so people can dream bigger, perform better, grow together is a fundamental mission of ours. We want to be a company that uses technology to ensure that talent and companies are aligned, and empowering them to grow together, and more concretely, we will use technology to deliver solutions. Our promise to you is to want you to thrive by hiring, retaining, developing great and diverse talent. So that is our promise to you. Rely on us, people [0:41:26.6] ____ those are your missions, please talk to us.

0:41:31.2 Torin: Anoop Gupta, founder of SeekOut. Quick commercial, we'll be right back.


0:41:41.7 Torin: Alright, so in our Her Voice segment this week, this is of course where we amplify women who have made moves, and we're doing it a bit differently this time as well. We are going to challenge each of you to be a bit more proactive versus reactive. So J, if you'll give me the liberty, I'm just gonna run through these three real quick, is that alright?

0:42:03.3 Julie: Yes.

0:42:04.2 Torin: Alright, awesome. So this week, what we wanna do in our Her Voice segment, we want you to think about a dream team. You as a listener, we want you to think about your female, your women, incredible Shero dream team, three women that you want to collaborate with or work with this year. Three women, we want you to connect with them, send them a gift card, maybe for coffee, perhaps a lunch, and see if you can... Or maybe even donate to an interest of their liking, a non-profit, a cause that they support. But I want you to reach out to them and do something for them, not just reach out. Three women, do something for them, and then I want you to connect with them for a 15-minute conversation, and I want you to ask them a question, "What's of interest to you right now, and how can I help you?" Three women, do something for them, then reach out to them, ask them what's of interest, what's pressing, what's top of mind for them, and how you can help them. That's what we'd like to see you do this week in our Her Voice segment.

0:43:23.5 Julie: Oh, great show today, so excited to get to have that conversation with Anoop and hear his journey of a professor into entrepreneurship who was encouraged by a great employer to take that route, and just happy to have his thoughts and probably gonna ask him back so we can talk more about that loan for Crazy and The King on another episode.

0:43:47.4 Torin: Yes indeed. I close reminding each and every one of you to share the pod with your digital tribe to find your voice. I want us to work extremely hard at being a better human, building better cultures, building better business units, departments and teams, and make sure that we are solidifying something favorable in our workplaces. For now, J and I are ghost.

0:44:15.1 Julie: See ya.


Anoop GuptaProfile Photo

Anoop Gupta


Anoop Gupta is the CEO and Co-Founder of SeekOut which provides companies a competitive advantage recruiting, retaining, and maximizing talent. We believe that great people and great companies grow together.

SeekOut was founded in 2017 and recently raised $115 million in a successful round of Series C funding with a valuation of $1.2 billion, following a year of 3X revenue growth.

Prior to SeekOut, Anoop had a 20-year career at Microsoft which included overseeing enterprise communications products (Exchange, Skype) as Vice President of Unified Communications. He was Technical Advisor to Bill Gates and a Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research, leading work on Telepresence and Natural User Interfaces. Prior to Microsoft, Anoop was a tenured professor at Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. In Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.