Applying ‘the science of people,’ EmployInsight’s software brings a deeper level of analysis to human resources

By Editor March 13, 2012

EmployInsight_logoA Q&A with Sean Glass, co-founder and CEO of EmployInsight. The Washington, D.C.–based company was founded in late 2010. The team recently raised $1 million in venture funding.

SUB: Please describe what EmployInsight is, and the value proposition you bring to HR.

Glass: I’ve always had a personal passion for what I call “the science of people.” This led me to pursuing an Applied Psychology master’s at UPenn. What I realized was that over the last 15-to-20 years, psychologists have gotten better at helping us measure innate human strengths and resources such as emotional intelligence, GRIT, character strengths, or resilience factors, but the reason why organizations and individuals weren’t benefitting from the ability to collect this data was because no one had built a software system to make it easy to use this data.

That’s what we’re doing at EmployInsight. Our online platform makes it easy to measure, manage, and use data about psychological, emotional, and cognitive resources. It also enables organizations to measure how different jobs utilize these resources.

SUB: What are your target markets?

Glass: Our platform helps organizations and individuals do better at work. We consider ourselves a company that sells in the $80 billion HR Tech market as well as the $100 billion-plus business productivity tools market.

SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?

Glass: We have different competition for different products. Large consulting companies like Gallup Consulting could be competitors or partners. Smaller technology players might compete with specific products, but not with our overarching platform.

SUB: What differentiates EmployInsight from the competition?

Glass: We’re first and foremost a software company. The majority of our employees are engineers, and we’re focused on building web based software that makes it easier for individuals and organizations to understand how to do better by understanding their culture, strengths, and cognitive and emotional resources, and putting that data to use in hiring, talent management, career development, and team building.

SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?

Glass: I founded the company in late 2010, and we started ramping up product development in mid-2011. The first thing we did was talk to potential customers. Building products that are useful and valuable help us forward our mission—to help people love their work and help organizations have engaged and fulfilled employees.

SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for EmployInsight? Was there an “aha” moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?

Glass: I’ve always wanted to help people do better. When I realized that understanding one’s psychological, emotional, and cognitive resources provides a way for individuals and organizations to better operate, I started to explore why this wasn’t used more often in a business context. Turns out no one had ever built software to make the data easy to gather, or to build applications on top of. When I realized that, I knew we had to start building it.

SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?

Glass: When you’re building something new, it takes a lot of time and effort to get new ideas into the marketplace. We’re not another ATS or video interviewing solution. As a result, helping organizational leaders understand how using our platform can help improve hiring, talent management, and team function is a challenge as it’s something that’s almost completely novel.

SUB: You recently raised $1 million in funding. What are your plans for the funds?

Glass: Deliver a great product and experience to our customers. Continue to innovate, thinking about the sorts of products we can build off of our platform. For instance, later this year we’ll be launching a product that makes it easy for anyone to get a free strengths profile, and for managers to easily see the strengths of their team with some free analytics. We’ll be offering some premium analytics and tools as well with the tool.

SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?

Glass: We’re always open to adding value added investors as long as we know how we can use the money to build shareholder value.

SUB: What are your goals for EmployInsight over the next year or so?

Glass: Have great reviews from early customers; continue to iterate and refine our hiring product; reach a much larger audience through our individual and team strengths insight product; [and] live our values, with everyone on the team loving their work and feeling it adds to their life.

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