HRTech Interview with, Colm O’Cuinneain, EMEA General Manager at Greenhouse Software

Discover a platform that helps companies attract, find, hire and onboard the right talent.


Colm, would you mind offering a concise self-introduction and shedding light on your responsibilities as the EMEA General Manager at Greenhouse Software?
For the last four years, I have been the General Manager of EMEA at Greenhouse Software, leading the expansion of the company’s presence in EMEA. I’ve worked in the tech space for over two decades with leading tech companies, including LinkedIn, Oracle and HP.


Can you offer an overview of Greenhouse Software and its core mission in the context of AI-driven recruitment and hiring?
Greenhouse is a platform that helps companies attract, find, hire and onboard the right talent. We’re focused on helping companies make better, more fair and unbiased hiring decisions. Fundamentally, we’re trying to make all aspects of hiring, including finding a job, better for everyone. We work with more than 7,000 companies like Airbnb, Squarespace, and HubSpot who are all working to improve their hiring efforts.

AI’s Expanding Role in Hiring

With AI poised to revolutionise the hiring process, could you elaborate on how Greenhouse Software has harnessed AI to elevate the hiring experience and the anticipated advantages of this integration?
At Greenhouse, we believe AI in hiring is an assistant, not a replacement. Because of this, we have intentionally invested in research that drives ethical and sustainable hiring, where AI can assist, but not replace, hiring decisions made by human beings.

We’ve added genAI to the parsing process, allowing us to improve the quality of our upcoming Resume Anonymisation functionality, where specific resume details are obfuscated to provide a more equal analysis of candidates.

This allows our search tools to be able to detect intention behind different CV and resume terminology, which will help make the process more fair and equitable.

In the future, we want to use AI to help customers tackle the challenge of knowing when to activate or deactivate job postings, automating application flow management, and even forecast hiring needs, leading to broadened candidate pools.

In what specific ways do you believe AI can unlock untapped potential, making the hiring process faster and more effective for both employers and candidates?
From an employer perspective, AI can help teams do more with less. In today’s workforce, where HR teams are stretched thin and resources are limited, AI can help augment short-staffed teams by taking away menial tasks and allowing recruiters to focus on what matters — finding the right talent.

According to our recent survey of over 2,700 candidates and 100 HR professionals, 80% of HR Leaders incorporate AI into their hiring process, and (62%) believe that AI can help them hire the best candidate.

When it comes to candidates, many are turning to generative AI like ChatGPT to help them draft their CVs and cover letters or to help them prepare for interviews. Our research shows that close to half of candidates (48%) are currently or considering to use generative AI for job searches, and 47% say they’d use AI to save themselves time in finding relevant jobs.

AI-Driven Content Generation

Large Language Models (LLMs) have played a significant role in content generation for hiring. How has Greenhouse Software leveraged LLMs to streamline the creation of job postings and prospecting templates?
In 2024, we’re launching the next generation of our hiring software with advanced text generation models built directly into our platform to power faster and more effective hiring.

Language Adaptation and Personalisation

Greenhouse Software has enabled recruiters to reach candidates in their native language. How does this feature benefit the recruitment process, and what impact does it have on candidate engagement?
Enabling recruiters to engage with candidates in their native language creates a significantly more positive candidate experience, which allows recruiters to see the best version of their candidates and conduct a more fair and equitable interview.

Could you offer illustrative examples of how AI-driven personalisation has revolutionised the communication dynamics between recruiters and candidates, ultimately elevating the overall experience?
Personalisation is helpful in many ways, but one of its most important applications is in long-term relationship building.

For instance, a recruiter can use AI to reach out to a passive candidate when a relevant job vacancy opens up, meaning they are providing their network with valuable, personalised information without having to do the admin themselves.

Recruiter Empowerment

With AI acting as a co-pilot, recruiters can focus on more strategic work. How does Greenhouse Software empower recruiters to engage in higher-value activities, and what strategies have been employed to make this possible?
Greenhouse Software supports recruiters through each step of the hiring process, to help ease the administrative burden on your hiring teams.

For example, Greenhouse Goals gives individuals and teams a structured way to set, track and measure their performance against hiring objectives, while our Sourcing Automation helps recruiters find, reach and engage top talent quickly and effectively.

Additionally, Greenhouse Reporting tools and functionality help companies get measurably better at hiring with over 40 essential reports and a snapshot dashboard so hiring teams can inform stakeholders about progress and also have real-time data to adjust strategies. Not to mention make more informed hiring decisions. With Greenhouse, companies can elevate hiring to a strategic function that supports the overall business goals.

The candidate experience of any hiring process is an area that can easily be overlooked without a proper structured hiring process in place. It’s an area of opportunity to be more strategic and thoughtful about the way your company engages with prospective employees. Greenhouse provides everything for companies to provide an amazing candidate experience, including a seamless process with easy applications, automated tasks so the hiring team keeps candidates informed, customer branding across emails, career pages and more. Along with the built-in candidate survey, when companies have time back from manual, repeatable parts of the hiring process they can create a truly engaging experience for candidates.

Cultivating a company that is truly inclusive starts with hiring. Diversity, equity and inclusion isn’t a button to press in business strategy and certainly not in hiring, and the Greenhouse hiring platform is designed to embed inclusive hiring, thoughtful nudges and reminders, and fair practices directly into our technology.

Customer Focus and Accessibility

Greenhouse Software’s commitment lies in addressing the diverse needs of its customer base. Could you expound on the strategic initiatives employed by Greenhouse to guarantee accessibility and equity in the global hiring process, catering to a wide-ranging user demographic?

Structured hiring is at the core of everything we do at Greenhouse. This methodic, measurable approach helps you to define the role, requirements and attributes a successful candidate should have before a job is even posted – enabling internal alignment and confident decision-making. The result? Better hires.

Without a structured and thoughtful approach to hiring, bias and discrimination will plague the process. People will often meet someone and within the first 6-10 seconds they have made a judgement. Structured hiring helps combat those effects to give everyone a fair opportunity.

The product design itself is created and iterated upon to be accessible and meet candidates where they are.

We recognise the importance of adhering to external standards such as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and will be conducting thorough assessments to ensure compliance. Greenhouse has hired an accessibility consultant to help us audit our design system, our job board experiences, and our upcoming redesigned candidate profile. This work will help us lay the foundation to guarantee we are consistently meeting accessibility standards. Once we have validated this, we will apply our design system across more parts of our application to be more confident we are consistently achieving our benchmark for accessibility. We also regularly conduct user research with a broad group of users to obtain valuable insights and enhance the accessibility of our offerings, and have worked directly with impacted customers to resolve historical accessibility issues.

Last year we also redesigned our UI to make it more accessible, and take great care to ensure our own website and career page is as accessible as possible.

Our structured hiring approach enables consistency, transparency and accountability throughout the hiring process. Our built-in tools and guidance help companies make more fair and equitable hiring decisions, with easy-to-use reporting to track progress.
We don’t just offer companies the right tools to make fairer and more equitable hiring decisions, we also offer guidance and support to our customers along the way to make sure they succeed.

We act as a strategic partner by connecting our customers with the innovation, resources and know-how they need to improve their hiring process.

For example, our inclusive communications guidelines can be found on our brand site. We decided to make these guidelines public because they help others inside and outside Greenhouse be more inclusive and thoughtful. If people see our inclusive guidelines and adapt their language, that’s a positive result. We want more companies and people to have the tools to foster better, more equitable work environments.

Strategy Sharing

In closing, could you outline your strategic approach for advancing and optimising AI-driven recruitment and hiring processes at Greenhouse Software?
Our software helps companies develop a structured approach to hiring, which helps them make fairer and more equitable hiring decisions.

Structured hiring is a popular recruitment framework where consistency, fairness and alignment are integrated into all stages of the hiring process. It’s built to help companies effectively assess talent, facilitate hiring team collaboration, improve candidate experience, and reduce bias in the hiring process.

Final Thoughts

What is your vision for Greenhouse Software’s pivotal role in shaping the future landscape of recruitment technology?
Helping companies reduce bias within their hiring process is integral to unlocking the potential of people and companies. At Greenhouse, our commitment to DE&I and building belonging is at the centre of everything we do. It’s how we fulfil our mission to make every company great at hiring.

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Colm O’Cuinneain EMEA General Manager at Greenhouse Software

Colm O’Cuinneain is the General Manager of EMEA at Greenhouse Software, where he’s focused on growing the company’s presence in EMEA and Ireland. He’s worked in the tech space for over two decades, with leading tech companies including LinkedIn, Oracle and HP. Greenhouse is the hiring operating system for people-first companies. Our industry-leading software brings a structured hiring approach to any company’s process, helping to promote more fair and equitable hiring practices while making more data-driven decisions for continuous improvement.