A Conversation with Cliff Schorer:  People will always be the foundation of successful enterprises

Cliff Interview

Clifford Schorer is a serial entrepreneur. In addition to his position on the Board of Directors at Frontier Signal, he serves as Director of Columbia University’s Entrepreneur in Residence Program, as well as the Co-Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Columbia University Business School

Frontier Signal (FS): What, in your opinion, is the biggest problem with the current state of hiring?

Clifford Schorer (CS): The rapidly changing economic landscape is creating unprecedented challenges in the hiring process. Lack of required technical and managerial skills, the changing relationship between employees and employers, and low unemployment rates all have resulted in unprecedented rates of costly turnover and sub-performance. In many cases the application of advanced technologies, including sophisticated AI and machine learning, to make the most beneficial selections has lagged behind the needs of state-of-the-art organizations. The technologies are in place to assist in this challenging process to establish not only the required skills and experience, but the cultural and motivational fit. Naturally, these tools are only a part of the process as nothing will replace face to face interaction. However, the potential to effectively screen new hires and transition internal candidates can significantly improve the process. 

FS: How do you see the talent space changing in the future?

CS: The rate of change in the business world has accelerated beyond anyone’s expectations. It is estimated that 50% of the jobs required just a decade from now have not yet been identified. This is not just about robotics or self-driving vehicles—it goes far beyond that. Companies whose vision and aggressive approach to personnel selection that take into account the changing needs of the landscape will succeed. Those who don’t may follow path of the Blockbuster Videos of the world. In the past decade alone, social media, smart phones, e-commerce and instant research have not only dramatically impacted all businesses, but our individual life experience as well. Companies that utilize advanced tools and analytics need not fret. People will always be the foundation of successful enterprises, so understanding not only the internal gaps in skills and experience, but the important cultural fit that satisfies both the company and the prospective employee.  

FS: What makes Frontier Signal’s solution revolutionary?

CS: Solving the people puzzle is the most complex task for all enterprises.  Although there are many fragmented and over-hyped solutions promoted in the marketplace that claim to alleviate hiring and recruiting problems, few are based on hard science, and even fewer consider the myriad of elements that are key ingredients for success. By ascertaining and qualifying the key elements of success including skills, experience, cultural fit, motivation, and personal preferences, Frontier Signal has taken the analyzation process to a new level. Unfortunately, that alone is not enough; unless there is a bidirectional fit, the fragmented elements are one-sided and ineffective. Frontier Signal is the only company in the space that dives deep into specific success indicators within a specific job role or team, then matches them with internal and external applicants. The solution is specific not a generic, “one approach fits all” watered down methodology.   

Frontier’s extensive academic research has shown that high turnover rates are caused by a number of complex, interacting elements. Some key findings: to keep a dissatisfied employee from self-terminating requires paying approximately 42% more than their current salary. Half of new hires leave within 18 months. Millennials often hold more than a dozen jobs before the age of thirty-five. The cost of losing and re-recruiting a quality employee often exceeds a full year’s salary.  Reading a pile of resumes and endless interviews is extremely costly and not time efficient. The current state of the process opened the door for Frontier Signal to provide a milestone application.    

FS: What about start-ups are so inspiring to you, and why did you agree to work with Frontier Signal?

CS: My career in business, investment strategy, and teaching role has been driven by the thrill of applying new applications for existing and emerging technologies. The goal was simple: work with ventures with the potential to have a serious impact on organizations and individuals.  Having hired many people, often with limited success and high levels of frustration, I realized that the application of AI and machine learning to the process offered incredible potential. The approach of integrating insights and knowledge from various sectors of advanced science and business expertise (PhDs in Computer Science, Data Analytics, Human Behavior, CEOs and HR Professionals) excited me. Market research confirmed that there was a need and the appropriate development would pay dividends for all sides of the equation. 

Nelson Rockefeller Jr. was a participant in my Entrepreneurship Program at Columbia Business School twenty years ago. As a student I admired not only his intelligence, but equally important his committed to eventually launching a venture of social significance.  We kept in contact over the years, and when he approached me to assist in the concept and formation of Frontier Signal, I knew immediately being part of the team would be rewarding. The combination of the incredibly talented people and the curiosity driven culture has made my involvement a sincere pleasure. 


Frontier Signal sees the future of work as uniquely human and our mission is to help people maximize their talent. We deliver augmented-intelligence technology for business and HR leaders to acquire, develop, and retain an engaged and aligned workforce, while minimizing bias to meet current and future needs and drive revenue in their organizations. If you would like to learn more, email us at info@frontiersignal.com or call us 646-866-7028 or visit our web site at https://www.frontiersignal.com/.

Topics: Careers, Interview, Board Member, Nelson Rockefeller Jr.

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