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July 31, 2023 | Tom Ballard morphs into Personality Pool

The change in the name for the Kingsport start-up reflects its focus on helping employers find the personality of applicants, particularly for customer-facing roles.

There’s more than a simple name change for the Kingsport-based start-up formerly known as, and it all started with a panel presentation and a few good connections.

Lauren Glass, Co-Founder of rpl, told us recently that she was on a panel during the 2022 edition of Launch Tennessee’s “3686 Entrepreneurship Festival.” After the session adjourned, she engaged in a conversation with Matt Johnson, Founder and Managing Partner at Johnson Venture Partners, an Atlanta-based micro venture capital fund investing in seed and early-stage start-ups.

He offered to make some connections for her to two other Atlanta-based venture capitalists – Bob Cramer, Managing Partner, and Matt Rosenhaft, Partner at Chairman Partners LLC. The firm helps early-stage companies grow into investable, sustainable businesses, and the connection began a journey that took Glass back to the basics.

“Matt (Rosenhaft) helped me take everything down to the studs and rework the business model,” she told us recently. As a result of the collaboration that they developed, the company that had recruitment as a part of its Software-as-a-Service offering has fully embraced helping companies vet candidates in a highly competitive marketplace where customer service qualities are more important than the resume of the applicant.

The new name is Personality Pool which aptly describes the updated focus.

“We are helping employers find the personality of applicants, particularly for customer-facing roles,” Glass says, using the descriptive phrase “We flip the candidate pool and put personality first in the candidate screening process.”

She adds that the technology is ideal for jobs like sales, customer service, hospitality, healthcare, and contact centers. It helps the hiring manager identify strong candidates that have the right personality rather than filter on resume keywords and hope to identify good candidates.

“It works extremely well for entry-level positions or roles where personality matters more than experience,” Glass says. “The screening platform enables video interviewing, virtual resume building, and artificial intelligence-driven speech analytics along with confidence and personality scoring.”

How does it work? It’s as simple as three words that begin with the letter S: screening, scoring, and showcasing.

Glass gave us a demonstration that featured Pierce LaMacchia, Owner of K Brew, the Knoxville-headquartered coffee and bagel chain that we spotlighted recently in this feature article. In that article, he explained that K Brew hired many people with limited resumes.

LaMacchia recorded several videos that asked questions such as this one: “Are you a people person and, if so, what does that mean to you?” The applicant records his or her response to each question and, once satisfied, hits the submit button.

Once completed, Personality Pool’s technology measures communications and basic personality skills, transcribes the video to create a virtual resume, and provides a preliminary ranking of candidates based on its machine learning algorithm.

“We don’t kick anyone out; we just rank them,” Glass says. It is, after all, something she describes as a “really cool screening tool” to help reduce new hire churn, reduce cost per hire, eliminate pre-screen interviews, and save time by avoiding bad resumes.

The hiring manager will ultimately give each applicant a personality score and decide individuals to interview.

“We will be integrating into all the major applicant systems,” Glass adds.

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