Montage, Shaker International rebranding as Modern Hire


Following their merger in May, Delafield-based Montage and Cleveland-based Shaker International have decided to rebrand as a single company under the name Modern Hire.

Kurt Heikkinen, formerly chief executive officer of Montage and now in the same role at Modern Hire, said that while the two companies both had their own individual brand equity, neither name reflected the vision for the combined entity.

“This is not a merger where you just take two companies together and let them continue to operate independently,” he said. “This merger was formed through a marriage of equals where through the combination of the two we become a stronger force.”

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Heikkinen said Modern Hire plans to keep its dual headquarters in Delafield and Cleveland, adding the Delafield office will be a center of excellence that continues to grow and help fuel the business.

“We’ve been blessed to be able to draw talent from Milwaukee and Madison out of this location,” he said of Delafield.

The two companies provide recruiting and hiring technology for large enterprises, including 47 of the Fortune 100. The idea of Modern Hire is to combine the software-as-a-service interview technology and workflow automation of Montage with Shaker’s expertise in artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and hiring assessments.

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Heikkinen said the thesis for the merger was developed of the last two years as the companies heard from shared clients about the potential benefit of their combined capabilities.

“This wasn’t a case of a merger that became effective and then we’re figuring out what the strategy might be,” he said. “there’s a thesis in the market for how can science and machine learning and artificial intelligence combine with enterprise strength technology around interviewing and interview automation.”

Heikkinen said Modern Hire has spent the last four months setting its future vision, creating a new brand and defining an integrated product roadmap.

In addition to the new name, Modern Hire also introduced Real-Time Interview Scoring, a new product that uses machine and deep learning to evaluate candidate responses against job specific competencies. Heikkinen said it is an example of how the two companies offer a stronger product together.

“We’re taking bias out of the equation and we’re better informing fit for hire and translating to a much stronger outcome,” he said.

Heikkinen acknowledged that using AI and machine learning requires using quality data and properly choosing how to apply expertise and data science. Done properly, he said technology can focus the hiring process on things that actually translate to job performance.

“A lot of times bias comes in the form of people using data that doesn’t correlate to job performance,” he said. “Where someone went to school, how many years of experience, on a level that concerns many, how do I look, what is my ethnicity. All of these things are items that are wrought for risk around creating bias and informing decisions that are counter to things that we know translate to actual fit for hire.”

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