Jeremiah works to understand the science around employee selection, psychology, and statistics so he can best serve client needs. What does that look like day to day? He spends a lot of his time developing and deploying tailored assessment solutions for clients across a variety of industries.
Where did you grow up?
Minnesota. Until I was four, I lived in the St. Paul, and then we moved to a horse farm in Tracy, a town with a population of about 2,000.
Married? Children? Pets?
Yes. I met my wife, Jennifer, in a psychology research group in undergraduate school. We have a cat named “Meowy.”
What led you into this field?
I’ve always been interested in figuring out how to put science to work to our benefit. Using science to directly improve the way people work is the best way I can imagine expressing that interest.
What or who has influenced your career the most?
Kevin Williams. He’s the leader of the SUNY Albany research team that works with OutMatch. He helped me to become fluent in analysis and psychometrics. He was a key role model in demonstrating that one can be both a scientist and practitioner, and that each of these endeavors can be enhanced by the other.
What do you enjoy most about your job? What do you find most challenging?
I love listening to people who are great at things I’ve never even considered. People who earnestly strive to do their work as best they can are always inspiring. I think the greatest challenge is working to understand the radically unique organizational dynamics that surround every hiring process implementation.
What do you think it takes to be successful in your role?
Curiosity and a genuine interest in helping others.
What are some of the industry-specific challenges you see for the future?
Finding a way to use machine learning to deliver a greater degree of predictability through the information that we collect during the hiring process. Machine Learning is basically an analysis approach where a computer considers the relationship between different sets of data in a way that humans really can’t wrap their head around. It’s promising because it can lead to better prediction of work performance, happiness, lower turnover, etc., but it’s also scary because it’s difficult to really understand why these predictions work and how to talk through its meaning with our clients.
What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?
Focus on the user. Everything we do, we do it to make someone’s life easier. Keep the users wellbeing in mind while you work and you can’t stray too far from a good outcome.
What’s your most valuable professional tool?
Statistics, which help me understand the things that happen across large groups of people and share those insights with others. It’s like card counting, but for everything.
Passions? Hobbies? Interests outside of work?
I have many. I love video games, working out, watching lectures on a variety of topics, and playing board games.
What’s something no one knows about you?
During high school, I danced competitively. I did ballet, modern dance, and jazz and competed for male dancer of the year and ended up in third place. I did this for four years.
What’s your favorite TV show?
Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). It’s the only TV show that I could watch all the way to the end. TNG models what an well functioning team can look like. People care about what they do and see their membership in the team as something that’s important, and that enables them to have the greatest positive impact. They may disagree or even have personal disputes, but they respect each other as serious participants in a common endeavor. You really don’t see that too often in a show.
What’s the last book you read?
Nonfiction: “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” by Jeff Sutherland & JJ Sutherland; Fiction: “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
What’s your favorite lunch?
A Chipotle Burrito.
You work hard, but personal time is important too. What’s been your best vacation spot ever? Why? Do you have a dream destination?
I would like to be more specific, but really everywhere I’ve been in Spain is awesome. The country is visually beautiful—naturally and architecturally. And the people there have high culinary standards. If you want to understand this better, eat some Jamon Iberico and then consider how a food that good is ubiquitous in Spain and basically illegal in America. Life there is just refreshing. They invented Tapas and siestas. I like their priorities. As for a dream destination, my top three are: Tour of the steppes of Mongolia; Teyuna, Columbia; and Bled, Slovenia.