Pairin CEO Michael Simpson gauges prospective employees’ aptitudes by relying on attributes

Michael Simpson says his employee selection software stands out. (Pairin)(Questex)

Pairin CEO Michael Simpson gauges prospective employees’ aptitudes based on over 100 attributes.

Pairin’s cloud-based software measures 102 attributes and mindsets, including soft skills like initiative, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, productivity, grit and interpersonal skills.

The reports and analysis can be used in many ways, including applicant selection and employee development, where Pairin’s measurements are compared to those of high-performing employees at a company, Simpson told FierceCEO.

Quickly measures skills

“Companies choose Pairin because we quickly measure more skills than anyone,” Simpson said. “Pairin gives employers the data they need to assess candidates for the skills that truly matter to job performance.”

Rather than relying on modes of hiring that remove entire classes of people from consideration, such as degrees or years of experience, Simpson said Pairin:

  • Identifies the skills required to succeed in a specific position.
  • Measures the presence or absence of these skills in candidates.
  • Gives hiring managers the tools they need to do behavioral-based interviews.
  • Helps hiring managers identify which skills candidates will need to develop to reach their full potential.

“We help talented people, especially people from nontraditional backgrounds, find jobs in which they can excel,” Simpson said.

Customers are businesses, educational institutions

Half of Pairin’s customers are businesses across industries like retail and franchise, services and tech, that use the company’s pre-employment selection and employee development tool. The rest are educational institutions, like universities and community or public and private workforce programs.

Pairin developed the software from science that was created by psychologists 60 years ago, Simpson said. Still, no matter how unique the product, the employment software field is a crowded one and Pairin has to remain fleet. Simpson says the company is doing this.

Offers extra

“While most organizations focus on hiring and stop there, we also offer the ability to develop staff,” Simpson said. “We are growing pretty well. The snowball is picking up momentum.”

Simpson co-founded Pairin at the end of 2012 with clinical psychologist Ron Young, Ph.D. The company is backed with $2.7 million from venture capital firms New Market Venture Partners, Zoma Capital, Village Capital, Gray Matters Capital and some angel funding.

Just before starting Pairin, Simpson spent six years in Russia mentoring adult children of alcoholics to be successful business people, part of his way of giving back after being helped during his own difficult childhood. He was also CMO for a CRM software company and ran new product initiatives including identity, management and security products at Novell.

As CEO of Pairin, Simpson said he “works to bridge the opportunity gap for future generations by enabling educators and employers to predict and develop behavioral performance.”

Fast Five with Michael Simpson

What's the single most important trait for a leader?

Believing in your people.

What keeps you up at night?

What I’m missing.

What's the key to finding new opportunities for revenue?

We’re growing a team to service our current markets.

When have you had to adapt and what did you learn?

When we decided to pivot and also address the needs of disadvantaged people, I realized doing right pays off every time.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 lowest and 10 highest), how much of a priority do you place on the following things at your company: people, process and technology?

  • People—10
  • Process—9
  • Technology—8