Houston-Based Chess School Rethinks Hiring with On-Demand Interviews

Jennifer Olvera
July 7 ․ 5 min read

Houston-based The Knight School (TKS) offers a kid-focused, after-school enrichment program. Its chess classes are for all skill levels, intending to build strategic thinking, promote sportsmanship and support achievement.

Beginner-friendly, it offers ten different chess programs to target ten ages and ability levels, with classes taught by experienced, certified educators with decades of classroom experience.

Not surprisingly, all those intelligent kids need teachers up to the task. That’s where Symphony Talent came in.

Expediting Time to Hire with HR Recruitment Software

Although TKS had an effective — labor-intensive — selection process for its candidates, 2020 turned things on end, necessitating HR recruitment software, finding itself unable to compete with more agile organizations that didn’t verify a candidate’s qualifications, extending offers more quickly. TKS had to pivot and rethink its hiring strategy using hiring software, all without losing the ability to vet its candidates and build a qualified talent pool.

A Pitch-Perfect Hiring Solution.

Upholding its hiring standards excellently, TKS replaced its interview process with Symphony Talent’s SmashFlyX On-demand Interviewing, allowing it to preserve its interview question template even though it completely revamped the interview format. This candidate-friendly format moved quickly and eliminated the potential for time-consuming back-and-forth email communications.

It also improved the candidate experience by:

  • Removing potential scheduling challenges 
  • Ensuring candidates’ don’t have to take time off of current work to interview 
  • Allowing candidates to complete interviews at a time most convenient for them

​​Meanwhile, pre-apply, on-demand interviewing helped TKS better understand its candidates and pipelines. Post-apply, talent assessments helped qualify hires, gauge fit and fast-track selected applications while letting hiring managers revisit them in the CRM contact record.

Quick Hiring that Upholds Quality.

Once TKS launched its new interview process, the organization could learn about candidates’ qualifications seven days sooner than before it began utilizing on-demand interviews. Able to retain the attention of high-quality candidates and extend offers to them quickly, TKS accomplished its goal of minimizing the loss of candidates to competitors. 

While TKS was initially concerned it would sacrifice quality for expediency, in reality, on-demand interviewing let the organization get to know candidates more deeply, thanks to self-guided questions they could answer at a time and place that was convenient for them.

How it Works and Worked for TKS.

Our proprietary algorithm is a starting point for scoring fit and skills in video interviews. We also use natural language processing to assess, rather than expressions or mannerisms, helping to eliminate bias. 

Across verticals, roles, languages and skills, Symphony Talent has worked with thousands of businesses globally to implement assessment processes that positively affect organizational success, much like what happened for TKS, which now:

  • Sees 50% more touches each month
  • Spends 30% less time on each candidate
  • Is free to lend a human touch 
  • Can qualify more candidates

Now, it’s full steam ahead, with expert educators that can teach and challenge kids who opt to take chess classes at TKS.

Want to dive deeper into what worked for TKS and why?

Check out our case study, “How Talent Assessment Software Helped the Knight School.”

Read Case Study