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Five minutes with... Fifth Dimension AI's Kate Jarvis


Fast-growth companies are in the thick of the recruitment action. But what are the ideas and philosophies that shape their approach? Each month, we grab five minutes of an inspiring business leader’s time for a quick-fire interview to understand how they hire for success.

Meet Dr. Kate Jarvis, the brilliant CEO of generative AI company Fifth Dimension AI.

The phrase ‘the brains behind the operation’ is overused. But it’s certainly applicable for Fifth Dimension AI.

Kate is a Large Language Model (LLM) expert with a PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University, while co-founder Johnny Morris is a data, research and analytics expert with 16 years in the real estate industry.

Together with their growing team, they’re on a mission to ‘amplify the exceptional in people’. They’ve started by disrupting the property and financial services industries with its first-of-its-kind AI assistant, Ellie.

Ellie can read, review, analyse, fact-check and create documents and spreadsheets in minutes – not days. The impact? A 20% time saving for professionals once bogged down by documents and spreadsheets.

With the company destined for growth, we nabbed five minutes of Kate’s time to understand her views on recruitment.

1. What makes a great hiring process?

A structure that you can improvise with, like a jazz musician for hiring. You need question banks that speak to your values for a culture interview, for example. But you also have to be willing to sacrifice the 9th and 10th questions you wanted to ask to get depth and learning out of question 8.

2. What’s your biggest red flag in an interview?

Someone who can't tell you the last great piece of feedback they received, and what they did about it. If you can't articulate to me what useful comments people have made to you about your (approach to your) work, then you won't thrive in a kind, high-challenge culture like ours.

3. What interview question would you like to banish to Room 101?

‘Tell me about yourself.’

4. How would you describe your culture?

Our values are Ship It, Own It, and Don't Be Boring.

– We move quickly to capitalise on our first mover advantage in real estate, and because any decision is better than no decision at all in the fast-moving world of VC-backed startups.

– We own our mistakes, because otherwise we can't learn from them; we celebrate our successes, too, because there's learning there as well.

– We know that in order to differentiate ourselves from all the noise surrounding AI and new AI businesses, we have to embrace our humanity – our quirkiness, the real-life problems we're solving as described in everyday language and our humour. And who wants to work at a place where you can't have fun?

5. What behaviour or comment from a candidate never fails to impress you?

“How does your business make money? How will it make money in five years?” You'd be shocked – or maybe not – at how many people don't show curiosity about the commercial fundamentals of a business, even though they are a primary driver in how most decisions within the business are made.


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