Aidan Keenan, data ninja, keen cyclist and Meetup attendee, talks about how he's building apps that are transforming the recruitment sector, with Salesforce. 

In the space of three years, Aidan Keenan has gone from leaving college to developing artificial intelligence solutions that help his colleagues unlock new insights about recruitment and job candidates. We talked to Aidan about how he’s blazing a trail at Ireland’s largest recruitment company CPL as a Business Analyst.


Tell us about your experiences with AI

I’ve been working closely with our IT director Kevin Sweeney on an app that uses machine learning to help predict candidates’ suitability for different vacancies. It’s transformed our approach to selecting potential candidates, massively increasing efficiency for our consultants and ensuring clients and candidates get the fast response they need.

We knew we had a lot of value in our data but we had to find a way to get it in front of our users. When I was working late, it was this end goal that kept me going. Using Salesforce Einstein and Heroku helped to get me to the finish line faster – the analytics generated in Heroku support the 360-degree view of our Salesforce platform and allow us to effectively manage the app and its integrations.


What’s next on the AI agenda for you and CPL? 

We’re already talking about version 2.0 of the app! It will provide even more value to our users. I love that people can be using AI without even realising. For me, the potential of AI is limitless – but you’ve got to get it providing business value from the start – and that’s where Salesforce comes in.


How has Salesforce impacted your working day?

If you walk past my desk, it’s always the reporting tab open on my screen. There are so many insights that I can tap into – it’s a real game-changer. Our CXOs are big fans of the reporting capabilities too. If the team spots something that needs addressing, I can make changes on the fly to meet their needs. The speed at which I can work with Salesforce is great. It means I can achieve my goals faster.



How does working with Salesforce boost your career?

Salesforce is at the heart of everything that we do at CPL, so that means I am always part of the conversation. It’s enabled me to learn about the CPL business really quickly and to become embedded really strongly – it gives me really good exposure.

For example, one day I might be with the CEO refining her personal dashboards and the next I might be helping a new-starter understand the platform. I’m really happy with how my career has developed in the three years since I left college – it’s been hard work but it’s been worth it.


How does the Salesforce community support you?

I’ve never come across such a wide and active community! If you’ve got a question, someone in the community has probably already answered it. I’ve recently started attending the Meetups in Dublin, which enables me to network with other people doing similar things with Salesforce. It’s really valuable to hear how your peers are using Einstein and artificial intelligence within their organisation.


What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?

Being a Trailblazer means not being afraid to look at things differently. Just because you’ve done something the same way for a long time doesn't mean it's the best way. I feel really proud when I help instigate a new way of doing something and see it working and delivering benefits.

As a Trailblazer, I am always looking for ways to add value to the business and my colleagues and even the wider community. As part of our junior achievement programme at CPL, I go out to schools to talk to pupils about business skills, science, and IT. It gives me a real sense of achievement – a bit like when I finished a 110-kilometre bike ride around Dublin!


What advice would you give to other Trailblazers?

Make the most of all the resources available to you – why start from zero when there are experts and tools that can help fast-track your plans. I find the AppExchange is always a good place to start as it stops duplication of effort. The Trailblazer Community is also packed wtih answers, tips and great ways to collaborate. 

The Salesforce community has such a wealth of apps, APIs, and partners – you can not only achieve your goals but also deliver more than people were expecting. It doesn’t matter how big your organisation is, Salesforce levels the playing field and gives you the power to succeed.


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