Founder Spotlight: Kathleen Yu of Rumarocket, Improving HR the AI Way

By Ysa Lauta

Artificial intelligence, data analytics, machine learning --- these are all buzzwords in the tech world. These are usually used by companies in their products or services catered to their customers but for Rumarocket, they use these for companies to improve their human resources (HR). TechShake talked with Kathleen Yu, founder of Rumarocket, to learn more about how they use artificial intelligence to help companies get the best out of the people they have.

AI for HR

Rumarocket is an artificial intelligence tool that helps companies identify, optimize, and retain the right talent for the right position to meet the company’s needs at the right time. Kathleen Yu shared with us that it was time for companies to hire talents based on their attitude, personality, and behavior and how that translates to performance. What they aim for is to shift hiring talents to a culture and attitude first method and steer away from hiring just based on qualifications. 

Rumarocket offers open system, data mining, and machine learning as their services to companies. Their open system service integrates Rumarocket to a company’s existing HR tools and software. While their data mining service organizes and synthesizes a company’s data from hiring up to employment, helping them make actionable conclusions on their talent, as opposed to being drowned in meaningless data. Lastly, their machine learning service provides better and better conclusions on evaluating the right talent over time.

The good thing about Rumarocket is it gets the company’s HR data all in one place, it makes actionable conclusions from the company’s data, their machine learning gets more efficient with more data inputs, it draws fluid conclusions as the company’s talent needs change, it helps the company improve on its retention rates, and they make it a point to reduce turnover for certain positions.

Kathleen shared that the landscape of human resources is changing especially with the rise of freelancing, remote working, etc. It is important for companies to realize that using these tools not just for their customers but also for their employees is optimal for their overall growth.

Rumarocket team receiving an award from Taiwan Tech Arena.

Learning from chaos 

Kathleen started as an entrepreneur when she was in college. She submitted a thesis project which her professor said did not make that much sense. After getting that comment, she contacted a professor in MIT and a graduate student from Stanford University and simply asked for their opinion about the project. That was when she was introduced in machine learning back in 2012.

Kathleen said that it was chaos back in 2012 when she started with the project and eventually making it a full-blown business. She shared that it is still chaos up to this day but a more controlled chaos. “What you have to do is really deal with chaos in a constructive way where you solve these long-term challenges but also look at your immediate circumstances now,” she told us. Some of the challenges they are experiencing are looking for team members who have the same values as theirs, finding the product market fit, and changing the mindset of companies to really invest and give more value to HR.

On the other hand, Kathleen and Rumarocket have also their milestones to share. However, Kathleen equates their milestones as learning experiences. “My first milestone was probably the time when we got our investments. Around that time, we had a launch event and then four of my five co-founders left. I didn’t know how to continue, but I kept trying after that. What I really learned from that was you could not get the product right the first time but if you’re going to get it right if you keep on testing and putting yourself out there. The second milestone was I got funded in Shanghai and over a few months I built a momentum with clients, but I was not able to sustain that momentum and that taught me that aside of putting yourself out there it is important to be consistent. My third milestone was we got an investment, but we were not adding value to our clients. I questioned if we are really making something easier or are we making something worth it? There are a lot of startups and companies today who are solving problems, and the question that comes up when you look at it from a value standpoint is: are they really solving the problem? That taught me to not just look at our value to investors but also the value we give to our users.”

One day at a time

Kathleen shared with us that moving forward with Rumarocket, they are taking it day-by-day and they are really focusing on enjoying the journey and appreciating the people they are working with. She told us that she realized that your five-year plan now will probably not look the same five years later. “It’s less about five years from now but more on am I still going to be doing this tomorrow and the day after that. As an entrepreneur, you really do get up in the morning and make that choice actively. A lot of people say that you have to be in love or passionate about your job or you have to see it as a calling, but for me it’s really a middle ground between making a choice every day to do the work, to push it forward. It’s not sexy nor flashy but it’s something that you can be proud of.”

She told us that budding entrepreneurs should not be afraid to fail forward. “Failure is what makes life meaningful because if you don’t know how to fail you won’t be able to bask in the happiness when you finally succeed.” Kathleen also shares that she hopes in the future that people become willing to standup, go beyond their differences and create a future that everyone can be proud of together.

Click here for more information about Rumarocket.