Meet the Team: Cara McCarty

In our Meet the Team series we sit down with a new team member to give you a closer look at the individuals who work around the clock to transform the very nature of tech recruitment. This week we get to know more about Cara McCarty, our CPO. On a break from designing product, the organizational behavioralist sat down with her friend and Code Pilot co-founder Caleb Jones.


CALEB JONES: So, where do we start? What does organizational behavior really mean?

CARA MCCARTY: I imagine you can interpret it in a few different ways, but for me it describes the intersection of companies and people. More specifically how people within companies communicate, operate, and act. It’s this idea that who we are as individuals or our personalities are influenced by both genetics and learned patterns. And our behavior at work is determined by first our personalities and second the type of company or team environment.


CALEB: Interesting. What took you down that path?

CARA: Well, I grew up in small town USA. My parents were successful business owners. They worked hard and believed that traveling was food for the soul, so my brother and I had visited over a dozen countries before we could even drive. They encouraged me to pursue a Bachelors in Business from the Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business and a Masters in Human Development & Organizational Behavior from Murray State University.


CALEB: You’ve spent a lot time working at international companies — influence of your childhood?

CARA: Probably – I love to travel. It’s like Anthony Bourdain said, “It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be.” Working for global companies like Travelzoo, RetailMeNot, and WorldFirst satiated my craving for continuous learning and growth – Travelzoo especially as they are in the b2c travel publishing industry. I also think experiencing other cultures helps you be a more understanding person.


CALEB: You’re a mentor with the Founder Institute. What’s that like?

CARA: I’m a big proponent of knowledge sharing. If there is at least one practical or applicable piece of advice or tool I can offer someone

then it’s worth it. The Founder Institute is a great program for just that – they help people foster their ideas from dream to inception. I say that because they are not a traditional incubator where you already have a proven, vetted business plan – they help you build your plan.


CALEB: Speaking of knowledge sharing. What are you reading & listening to?

CARA: I’m always reading First Round Review. Specifically the digital magazines People & Culture, Management, & Engineering. I can usually find interesting blurbs in a matter of minutes that shift my perspective. While I don’t usually listen to podcasts during the work week because my commute is six minutes, on the weekends I am usually listening to the TED Radio Hour podcast by NPR or Girlboss Radio by Sophia Amoruso.


CALEB: I enjoyed your feature on the podcast Defying the Status Quo: Helping Companies Empower Women.

CARA: Thanks. It was an inspiring and honest conversation with Rene Banglesdorf around attracting, engaging, & retaining diverse key talent. I’ve always felt compelled to empower and support other women, but it’s incredibly important now given the current political climate and ‘me too’ movement. Take California for example, they just passed a bill requiring more women on boards.

And, Harvard’s School of Public Health ranked Fortune 500 companies by number of women directors present on their boards and found those in the highest quartile had a 42% greater return on sales.


CALEB: Why Code Pilot now?

CARA: I’ve worked in both b2b and b2c e-Commerce companies for almost a decade, partnering with founders and leaders to support complex organizational change and high-growth people initiatives so the idea really resonated with me – to change the technical recruitment process using science. It’s a painful and broken process for almost everyone involved – the recruiters, hiring managers & teams, and candidates. Why – Because most tech recruiters aren’t actually technical and a lot of hiring managers are making decisions on intuition, not data, and candidates can’t articulate their real value.


CALEB: When you say tech recruiters aren’t actually technical, what do you mean?

CARA: I say ‘most’ tech recruiters, because there are solid, knowledgeable agency recruiters out there, but the majority are sales people typically incentivized with quotas and commissions. They spend less than 6 seconds on a resume and less than 10 minutes on a phone screen and then pass that candidate directly to the hiring manager, leaving the hiring manager to do all the heavy lifting. In-house recruiters usually have a better since of organizational operations and environment, but also rarely have a background in computer science. How can any recruiter fairly evaluate a software engineering candidate’s skills if they can’t even evaluate a line of code?


CALEB: What is the reality software engineers face in the recruitment process?

CARA: It’s different for everyone, but the majority of software engineers face incredible bias throughout the recruitment process from resume bias to nationality bias. If a candidate doesn’t have a bachelors from Harvard or an internship at Google on their resume, they are likely to get passed over. And if a candidate makes it to the interview process they will most likely be faced with any number of cognitive bias from the hiring team — conformity bias, beauty bias, affinity bias, halo effect, horns effect, contrast effect, attribution bias, or confirmation bias.


CALEB: What about the other side of the recruitment process – What challenges do companies face?

CARA: At the heart of it, companies focus on scale. They want to see increasing growth, revenue, engagement — whatever those metrics are for success. And how do you get that, by scaling talent quickly and effectively. Companies do that in number of traditional ways, first, by building a large HR team and posting jobs online, second, hiring outside recruitment services at a 30% fee, and lastly buying a CRM/ATS to manage the first and second method.

The technical recruitment process hasn’t changed in the last twenty years.

It can cost on avg. $30k to hire a software engineer and take several months to fill a position, not scaleable, quick or effective.


CALEB: How does Code Pilot change all that?

CARA: Our platform uses machine learning to make it easier for companies to hire software engineers, and conversely make it easier for them to get a great job. The platform utilizes a live coding environment, data science and a behavioral assessment to match validated candidates with the right company and team. We’ve completely removed the need to search through hundreds of resumes or put candidates through a whiteboard exercise and the best part about it is it’s on-demand. You can signup for Radar and find your match within a matter of minutes.


CALEB: Thanks. Are you ready for lunch?

CARA: Yep, let’s go.

Coffee: Home brew by Cara.

Shirt: by Athleta.

Hair: by Birds Barbershop.