If you’ve ever had a pebble in your shoe, you know how obnoxious it can be. You try to ignore it, thinking something will change or the pebble will shift. But it doesn’t. It just sits there — driving you nuts, until you do something about it.
What does this have to do with anything? Let me take you back to 2016.
That year, I was visiting a client and walked into a room of recruiters. I expected to see a bustling place full of people on the phone. Instead, you could hear a pin drop. These recruiters — all passionate people who got into recruiting because they love connecting amazing people to great jobs — weren’t on the phone talking to the people they were trying to bring into their organization. They were screening resumes. Moving candidates around the ATS. Changing statuses. Sending follow-up emails. Frantically scheduling — and rescheduling — interviews.
They were servants to tasks and software. Their jobs had become more about managing cumbersome processes than spending time with the people who could change their company.
Removing the Pebble in My Shoe
In the years since that day, I’ve sometimes referred to that moment as my “pebble in the shoe.”
I started my career as an HR practitioner. I’ve always believed — at my core — that if you get the people thing right, you can build teams that change the world. I have deep respect for the work that recruiters and talent acquisition leaders do. At the end of the day (and I truly believe this) a company cannot be successful if the recruiting organization can’t do its job at the highest possible level.
Watching those recruiters manually manage a bunch of tasks and software processes drove me nuts. It felt antithetical to what recruiting is all about. I couldn’t get it out of my head.
Ultimately, it led to a fundamental insight: We cannot create a future where we’re servants to software or technology — building more and more tools that we have to manage, and adding more and more work to our plate. Instead, software should be doing the work for us. It should make things simpler, easier, faster. It should free us up to focus on the things that matter most.
And in recruiting, that’s spending time with people, not software.
That simple mission has driven our team since day one. We see a future where technology works alongside us to get work done faster — eliminating the BS (what we call the “boring stuff”) from our day-to-day lives, so we can connect with people, coach them up, and build high-performing teams.
So, Why Did We Buy Traitify?
Alright, so I guess I buried the lede.
If you missed the news, we announced today that Paradox acquired Traitify, a global innovator building the next generation of mobile-first, visual-based assessments. You can read all about it in our press release, but I want to dig a little deeper into the vision for the acquisition here.
Let’s start with the “why.”
If you don’t know Traitify, they’ve carved out a unique position in the assessment category — one that’s suffered from a lack of innovation for decades. Our products are already integrated and we have several mutual clients. A few months ago, we started having conversations with Traitify’s leadership team about their (and our) long-term strategy, and it became clear there was synergy that could help us accelerate our growth and continue to build meaningful differentiation. We also saw amazing cultural alignment with a team that shared many of our same values — obsessing over clients, always striving to be better tomorrow, and building products that create the future.
Now, given how highly competitive the labor market is today, it might seem like an odd time to buy an assessment — a product that, by design, gives candidates yet another thing to do in the hiring process. Anyone who’s been in recruiting for any significant amount of time knows that giving candidates more to do risks drop-off. And most employers can’t afford drop-off right now.
But Traitify is different. How? Here are the real show-stoppers:
- Traitify’s assessment can be completed in just a few minutes on any mobile device. Speed and simplicity are critical in the hiring process — particularly high-volume hourly. Traitify’s next-gen assessment can be completed 30x faster than a typical assessment.
- Traitify’s assessments see, on average, a 96% completion rate. Two of the biggest concerns with assessments are that they’ll lead to drop-off or they’ll become another thing recruiters need to remind candidates about. With Traitify and Paradox, neither concern holds water. With conversion rates that blow away typical assessment benchmarks, candidates don’t just finish them — they enjoy them, because they’re fun, visual, and deliver actual insight to the candidate.
- We’re already helping mutual clients see real results. Our partnership precedes the acquisition, and we’re already hard at work to make the integration even more seamless. We’re working together with large global employers like McDonald’s Canada, ResultsCX, and others, and we’re just scratching the surface of what a seamless experience can look like. Take a look at how our products already work together.
- We share a similar vision — one that combines intelligence and mobile-first experiences with purposeful automation to help teams and managers spend more time on the stuff that really matters.
Ultimately, this acquisition was driven by our obsession with how we could make things simpler for our clients — particularly those focused on high-volume hourly. In that world, assessments can be an effective tool to make faster hiring decisions by more accurately evaluating someone’s alignment with a role. That insight can lead to higher quality hires, and that often leads to stronger retention — a chronic issue in high-volume hourly.
What’s Next for Paradox and Traitify?
I always tell my team that we’re in the early innings of a much bigger game.
While I’m incredibly proud of what Paradox has accomplished so far — and I know Traitify’s founders Dan Sines and Joshua Spears would say the same about their team — there’s much left for us to do. For our team to accomplish the pebble-in-the-shoe mission I outlined above, Paradox needs to not only dream about what we’re capable of accomplishing, but also find others that share our passion and add them to the team to become one Paradox.
Traitify checked all those boxes and more.
Their team is deeply passionate about recruiting. They genuinely understand the challenges employers face. They build products that solve real problems for their clients (and those clients’ candidates). And they share a lot of Paradox DNA — relentlessly challenging themselves to be better tomorrow than they are today, and creating a future where technology gets work done so people can spend time with people, not software.
Now, I fully understand the paradox of a software company that builds conversational recruiting software trying to make software less visible in our daily lives.
But hey, that’s why we called ourselves Paradox. Sometimes, things that seem self-contradictory on the surface turn out to be true. :)
I’m so excited to welcome Traitify to the Paradox team — and for what this will mean for our clients. While we’ll take today to celebrate, tomorrow is all about rolling up our sleeves to make it work. Stay tuned!