Hrtech Interview with CTO and Co-founder, Manatal – Yassine Belmamoun


Yassine Belmamoun the CTO and co-founder at Manatal dissects the shift of the job market during the pandemic and the way AI has impacted recruitment through these times.

1. Tell us about your role in Manatal?
As a CTO and co-founder I’m in charge of the technology behind the product and work with the CEO to define the company’s strategy. I’ve been overseeing Manatal’s tech and product teams since incubation, scaling from 0 to thousands of clients worldwide and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of data management, Artificial Intelligence, User Experience and all core features helping HR and recruiters in their day to day operations.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
The CEO and I have been involved in the technology and HR sectors for years. We’ve always identified the recruitment capacity of companies as a massive challenge in the digital transformation era. When we examined the issue, we were able to ascertain through extensive research that the majority of companies (over 80%) do not use recruitment software and still operate with traditional tools such as Excel or outdated legacy solutions that don’t measure up. This is a major contributor to the constant hurdles of the hiring world.

HR either did not have the required tools to be efficient, or weren’t aware of their existence.

To make matters worse, the lack of software assistance in streamlining the hiring process revealed a glaring disconnect between HR / recruiter and technology.

That’s how the idea of Manatal came to be, to create a software that democratizes recruitment and simplifies the employment market for both HR professionals and job seekers alike. We believe that this can be done by creating an affordable and easy-to-use ATS that is innovative, affordable, intuitive and leveraging the latest technology available.

3. How do you think technology is changing the HR Sector?
HR was always the department that would undertake significant responsibilities, and yet somehow be overlooked in favor of other departments such as sales or marketing. However, given the difficulty of finding and retaining top talent, and the financial consequences of failing to do so, employers began to place HR at the heart of the organization.

As a consequence HR has positioned itself at the center of the organization managing talent acquisition, retention, diversity, and culture among others. The scope of responsibilities grew to such an extent over the last few decades that only HR technology could support HR teams in managing it efficiently. Data management, recruitment and onboarding, payroll and performance, diversity, culture are but a few elements that technology is able to support and more importantly, consolidate.

Although HR legacy software is on the market, these tools have mostly been built initially to support payroll and finance teams. They later extended to other HR responsibilities but with weak and expensive extensions.

In regards to recruitment, It’s only by leveraging technology that we can streamline the entire process and improve efficiency and productivity, especially since automation relieves recruiters of some of the more tedious manual tasks, so that they can focus more on the human aspect of the job, such as candidate conversation, assessing cultural fit, onboarding, culture, etc.

We must also consider that technology affects candidates in its own way. In this regard, this effect can be seen in the form of a better candidate experience, one that is designed for an optimized job seeking process.

This is why we built Manatal, to support HR teams, streamline their recruitment and onboarding processes, and be able to focus on what matters.

4. What has been the impact of AI on recruitment software in the past decade?

Artificial intelligence surfaced as a new method for the collection and analysis of immense data sets.

It presents now an opportunity for companies to leverage on large databases and this is especially true for recruitment.

The recruitment software industry has grown from the initial paper resume stage, to email and Excel-based practices, and in turn, legacy solutions. The next trend on this journey begins with software solutions which aim to modernize our understanding and use of AI’s data management capabilities.

Recruitment software such as Manatal are key to amplifying this growth, as our use of Artificial intelligence re-orients the technology towards improving recruitment efficiency. Features such as the AI-recommendation engine and candidate scoring are capable of saving significant amounts of time.

To be honest, AI also has its own challenges. Recent doubt surrounds the part AI plays in promoting diversity, equal opportunity, and removing bias. This is something we are passionate about, how to leverage on AI to support HR teams in their goals for efficiency and culture.

5. What shifts do you think the job market has seen throughout the pandemic?
There were quite a few noticeable changes throughout the pandemic, and especially during the earlier months of the year. Although a lot of industries saw a trend of job scarcity, almost everyone has experienced higher demand for talent in specific roles as opposed to the dip in demand for others.

This is relative to the industry, for example among the industries that experienced growth throughout the pandemic are Ecommerce, food delivery, healthcare, logistics, fintech…

But of all of the changes this year, the remote effect has been the most prominent. At Manatal we’ve seen the particular effect of remote hiring become a pandemic-induced constant. In fact, past this crisis, we see the majority of companies maintaining the remote work model. This has driven a very high demand for us as we saw our active client’s base double between February and June.

6. What is the present state of legacy software in the HR Tech and recruitment spheres?
The emergence of legacy software sometime in the 1970s came at first as a solution to automating payroll and financing tasks. It was followed by the emergence of cloud software, and then AI recruitment software more recently.

These legacy solutions are often very expensive, and the very modules designed to support HR are poorly built. While a few do in fact attempt to brush on recruitment, it’s often in a complex and overly-priced manner. In terms of recruitment, legacy solutions are overshadowed by latest generation recruitment software led by Manatal.

From our statistics, 75% of our clients converted directly from Excel or legacy solutions prior to adopting Manatal. This simply goes to show the need for affordable and tech heavy recruitment solutions. Customers are slowly realizing that legacy solutions just aren’t enough to meet their recruitment needs, and are starting to shift from “old school” processes.

7. What are the benefits of engaging recruitment software?
Companies that choose to adopt a recruitment software can expect a more efficient and streamlined recruitment process. But beyond that, companies would be able to analyse their processes and bottle necks, converge all recruitment channels into one platform, overcome manual labor tasks, automate parsing and resume analysis, leverage AI screening and create a better candidate assessment process.

8. What according to you is the importance of user experience in the ATS/ Recruiting software market?
It’s definitely key. User experience is in fact one of the most important areas of focus for us. The very purpose of an ATS is to simplify, ease, and assist. It’s vital to its very purpose that it remains as user and device-friendly as possible.

In the decision to adopt an ATS, we consider the different roles that our clients hold. There are the hiring managers and decision makers who want efficiency, HR professionals who want better capacity at tracking applicant data, that their team has the perfect tool to be the most efficient, and recruiters, who need the easiest and most efficient tool to do their job well.

That’s why we need to ensure that the user experience on Manatal is optimized for each of these roles. As we mentioned above, we began with a vision to democratize recruitment, for Manatal to be intuitive and cater to all users, regardless of how tech-savvy they are or the role they play in their organization.
Our goal is that any type of user (admin, hiring manager, recruiter…) will be able to fully leverage the platform in less than 15 minutes.

If users decide to dive deeper into certain functionalities, they can simply use our gamified experience to explore advanced features but in essence, we build everything for simplicity and ease of use.

An ATS is a two-way street. As far as users are concerned, ease of navigation is vital. But this covers candidates as well. As companies begin to compete for talent in their niche market, ATS experience on the candidate’s end becomes a reflection of the company itself. As such, it’s just as important to ensure the ATS provides the candidates with a smooth, easy, and uninterrupted experience.

9. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent times?
We’re currently focused on three pillars:

AI development to make the sourcing, selection and interviewing of candidates as smooth a process as possible, and to maximize efficiency in recruitment. We aim to refine our candidate scoring engine for accuracy and in-depth analysis as well as targeted selection of criteria.

The second is user experience. We’re constantly testing our software in order to maximize its potential for both HR professionals and candidates. As we mentioned above, we cannot stress the importance of user experience enough.

The third is to push the limits of what we can do with third-party integration. Our goal is to ensure that users can plug Manatal to any other solution. It’s already the case today, but it might require some technical expertise, that’s why we’re developing a fully API marketplace that lets our clients choose any other systems or software that they want to use concurrently with Manatal.

10. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
We’re very proud of our team. Our members are the primary pillar for our success and they’ve done a wonderful job creating a work environment that motivates, relaxes, and makes everyone feel at home. The entire team and their focus have been and continue to be invaluable to Manatal’s vision for an effective and time-saving all-in-one applicant tracking software.

We have quite the diverse workforce, with over 15 nationalities from around the world. Diversity of thought is our greatest asset, and it has helped us understand client needs in different regions around the globe. Our company values, vision, and goals are the sum of an international team thinking and working independently together.
We believe Manatal’s growth relies heavily on the diverse mix of voices setting the pace for the next challenge, the next issue, and the next milestone.

11. What movie inspires you the most?
The Pursuit of Happyness remains one of the most inspiring “human potential” stories.

12. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, we won’t mind having a look at some of the pictures?

13. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
1- Gmail
2- Slack
3- Medium
4- Insight timer
5- Apple Podcasts

Yassine Belmamoun, CTO and co-founder at Manatal

Yassine Belmamoun is the CTO and co-founder at Manatal. Hr is in charge of the technology behind the product and works with the CEO to define the company’s strategy.


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