A New Way To Find A Job In The Digital Economy, If You’re Really Good

Danielle Beurteaux

Hired.com is one of a new batch of startups that are turning finding a job into a process that has more in common with dating that traditional recruiting. These companies are combining transparency, speed, and curation to create an efficient job search with heavy vetting on both sides to ensure high-quality candidates and companies.

Founded in spring 2012 as DeveloperAuction, which as the name implies, applied an online auction model to recruitment, the company changed its name to Hired in 2013 as it refined its model and scope. In February of this year, the company raised $40 million and bought three companies — one each in France, Australia, and England.

Candidates, if accepted (and according to the company’s site only 5 percent are) are grouped into “batches” that are presented to hiring companies for a month. The company’s “talent advocates” help candidates with the process. Hired recently expanded its candidate pool to include freelancers. When the month is over, that window closes on both sides.

Other companies use similar models. InterviewJet, a members-only site in New York that was founded in February 2015, applies a flash-sale model to recruiting. The product is the talent. For 72 hours, recruiters can get in touch with a select group of potential hires. That’s it. Job seekers and companies are both vetted for inclusion, and the 72-hour window begins at at 10 a.m. every Tuesday. If a job seeker receives an interview request, he or she has a single day to respond. It’s a snooze-or-lose situation that might put an end to recruitment processes that can drag on for months.

Then there’s underdog.io, founded in April of 2015, which also groups job seekers into batches and presents the group to companies, mostly VC-backed startups with positions to fill. According to the company’s website, only a small number of candidates who sign up make it into a batch, and they’ll likely be batched only a single time. And only about half of the companies that apply are accepted to the site.

It’s no surprise that these sites focus on matching the tech sector with tech talent, as the competition for engineers is fierce.

These companies share that focus with sites like HackerRank and CodeEval. HackerRank was started in 2008. Traditional recruiting practices weren’t finding the best candidates, so the company’s co-founders created what they called CodeChallenges. These are like tests to perfect programming abilities, which then lead to competing in online competitions and potential job offers.

Similarly, CodeEval offers programmers coding challenges and profiles that feature their skills and stats and that are viewable to hiring companies.

This model has gone global. In France, there’s Talent.io, started in 2015, and in Berlin there’s Honeypot, which also opened doors (virtually) in 2015 and screens coders and hiring companies before either are allowed to join. The accepted companies can then approach the site’s coders with open positions.

The speeding-dating model of hiring isn’t for everyone, or every industry. But removing the open-ended schedule of hiring forces companies to be on their toes and helps eliminate the “one-that-got-away” syndrome. After all, many recruiters make decisions on candidates’ potential within minutes of meeting. Why drag out the process?

For more on effective recruiting strategies, see How To Attract And Retain The Best Employees In 2016.

Danielle Beurteaux

About Danielle Beurteaux

Danielle Beurteaux is a New York–based writer who covers business, technology, and philanthropy. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and on Popular Mechanics, CNN, and Institutional Investor's Alpha, among other outlets.