Startups Venture

Startups Aim To Make Recruiting Less Painful

What happens after a company raises capital? Usually a massive hiring spree. It takes a lot of talent to keep a growing machine running.

Finding qualified and relevant applicants is no easy task. Add the responsibility of applicant screening, interviews, and onboarding, and hiring becomes time-consuming and expensive. Not surprisingly, entrepreneurs are trying to make recruiting a bit less awful.

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Current industry heavyweights address only some of the issues. Firms like Monster (acquired by Randstad for $432 million), Glassdoor (acquired by Recruit Holdings for $1.2 billion), and LinkedIn (acquired by Microsoft for $26 billion) have created big, valuable online platforms, But they haven’t solved all the costly, time-intensive pain points.

Hiring is especially hard at the moment. In tech, the fight for talent between deep-pocketed behemoths and heavily funded unicorns has restricted the hiring pool in startup hotspots. In-demand computer and data science positions are increasingly hard to fill.

Happily, there are startups looking to shake up the hiring space. According to Crunchbase, roughly $741 million was invested in global recruiting startups in 2017. That was down about 33 percent from the year prior. So far in 2018, nearly $612 million has been invested in recruiting startups. Early stage deals make up about 40 percent of this year’s deals of known type.

Below, we take a look at two growing companies, Hired and Job.com, that are aiming to help companies attract top talent while cutting costs and time.

Power To The Applicants

Recruiting platform Hired focuses on talent sourcing. Its platform allows candidates to vet companies’ offers, rather than the other way around, by facilitating conversations prior to the interview process.

Founded in 2012, Hired has raised a total of $132 million, including a $30 million Series D in June led by the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario.

Hired’s customers, which include companies like Dropbox, Zillow, and Twitch, sign up for a pay-as-you-go or subscription plan that gives them access to profiles of pre-vetted potential employees.

“Our intelligent job matching is powered by machine learning and suggests potential candidates that are actually qualified to fill open positions,” explained co-founder and CEO Mehul Patel.

When companies receive a new batch of potential hires, they can post anonymous questions prior to scheduling an interview. Companies can also view competing offers.

Patel says that the technology increases transparency in the hiring process, specifically where it concerns discussions of salary and benefits, often perceived as taboo.

“Salary and benefits packages should be a part of your very first conversation with a candidate, opening the door for a negotiation and cutting down on unnecessary interview rounds,” he told Crunchbase News.

Patel says it the combination of a shifted model with machine learning-enabled sourcing also has the benefit of reducing the time customers spend on the hiring process by a third.

Blockchain Meets Hiring

What’s a tech industry these days without at least one blockchain startup? Arran Stewart, the co-owner of the aptly named Job.com acquired the 20-year-old company with his colleagues in 2017 to build a startup based on the popular protocol.

Stewart, a longtime hiring industry entrepreneur, believes that the money and time lost when a company hires is rooted in incentive-based recruitment processes.

“Recruitment agencies are incentivized through commission so consultants want to get the candidates in as quickly as possible… They’re not always concerned about retention,” Stewart told Crunchbase News.

The idea behind the Singapore-based company is that blockchain technology can eliminate the need for a headhunter or contract recruiter that turns over candidates quickly without a proper assessment. The startup uses machine learning technology to grade submitted resumes based on the skills required for job listings. Candidates then apply to matched positions. All subsequent interactions between the applicant and the potential employer are recorded through a smart contract on the blockchain, and the applicant is notified of status changes.

“One of the problems that we wanted to solve within the interaction process on Job.com– any action that the hirer does about the candidate’s application is instantly sent back, even if it’s bad news,” Stewart said, positing that one of the most frustrating problems for candidates is lack of visibility.

The company plans to attract more individuals to the platform with signing bonuses. Job.com collects a 6 percent fee from the employer and gives the hired employee 80 percent of that fee, which, according to Stewart, is about a 5 percent signing bonus. Job.com is aiming to raise $25 million in its ICO in August, and Stewart says that nearly 2,000 companies have already pre-registered for the service which launches in late August.

Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias