To find out how Hired are trying to solve the modern recruitment problem, I spoke to Sophie Adelman, UK Market Manager at Hired, to learn more.
What are the key struggles you find that companies have in the hiring process?
There are various challenges with the hiring process:
Firstly, many companies struggle to actually identify what their needs are. They tend to only focus on their most pressing need without considering the long term objectives of the company and what their hiring requirements will be in 3 to 6 months. Investing time to think about their long term requirements and put together a strategy to meet those requirements will really pay dividends later and will reduce inefficiency in the hiring process.
Secondly, sourcing the right candidates is also a challenge. Not only do companies need to find quality candidates who meet their needs, they also need to find candidates who are interested in joining their company. You can send out hundreds of emails and InMails on LinkedIn, but it’s likely you will only get one response in a hundred saying ‘yes, I would like to interview with you.’ Engaging quality candidates with intent to interview is a key problem for companies and is one we’re trying to solve at Hired.
The third problem companies have in the hiring process lies in the interview process itself. A lot of the companies do not consider how they can make the interview process efficient in order to reduce the time to hire Reducing the number of steps in the recruitment process improves the candidates experience and makes the process more efficient. Companies need to think about who actually needs to interview each candidate as the more people you involve, the longer the hiring process will be. This is an issue because once a company gets round to making the final decision, the candidate may have taken another role elsewhere.
Finally, many companies are not transparent about compensation from the start. This is a problem because candidates and employers invest a lot of time in each other. Finding out that there is a mismatch in terms of compensation expectations later down the line can be a frustration. This is why, at Hired, we advocate being upfront from the offset. Candidates put their preferred salary expectations on their Hired profiles and so the conversation about compensation happens upfront so there are no nasty surprises on either side towards the end of the process.
How do you think Hired answers some of these problems?
We have a very high-touch approach with our clients. When we onboard them onto the Hired platform, we take the time to discuss their needs, helping them to identify needs they maybe have not yet thought about.
Unique to Hired is our service: we provide companies with high visibility of a curated pool of top technical talent (developers, product managers, UX designers and data scientists ) from across the UK and Europe who have been curated for quality and who are ready to start interviewing immediately. We get around 2,500 applications every month from the UK and Europe and we curate this down to the top 5% - 7% of applicants. All candidates who pass our quality curation process are then paired with someone internally called a ‘talent advocate’- these advocates speak with candidates about their goals and motivations, what they are a looking for in their next role, help them prepare their profile for the platform and ensure that they are ready to start interviewing in the next couple of weeks.
These candidates go live on a weekly basis depending on their availability to start interviewing so clients are presented only with high quality candidates who have high intent to interview.
What processes do you think let companies down in finding the best candidates?
Often it’s the length of the interview process and the time it takes to hire a prospective employee.
The Hired process is designed to minimise the time it takes companies to hire. We do this by using a marketplace approach to remove the middle man from the process and directly connect companies and candidates. We ask candidates to put a lot of information on their profiles about what they are looking to do next, their preferred base salary and the kind of company that they are interested in working at. This helps create transparency and alignment upfront, and reduces the friction in the hiring process.
The average time to hire on the Hired platform is less than 22 days in the UK and less than 19 days in the US.
What are the new challenges and opportunities available in the recruitment industry?
Before the internet, the way that you found jobs was through a recruitment agency that worked for clients.
The first iteration of internet recruitment was Monster, a platform through which companies could post jobs to which anyone could apply. The problem for companies with this approach was around the calibre of candidates applying. Employers had to sift through the applications to find a few great candidates, making this a very time consuming.
Recruitment 2.0 heralded LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you can find an abundance of high quality candidates but it is harder to determine candidate intent or interest. Often when companies reach out to candidates they think look interested on Linkedin, the candidate is not interested in the company. With Linkedin you can source candidates who are high quality but who don’t have intent to interview with you.
What we are trying to do at Hired - Recruitment 3.0 - is solve both the quality and intent problem for companies whilst creating a better candidates experience. Companies don’t want to have to sift through a great pool of CVs to find one or two great candidates; they want an efficient recruitment process. This can be answered through a curated pool of candidates that are both high in quality and high in intent and this is what the Hired platform provides for companies.
How does hiring in a startup differ to hiring in a large technology company?
Startups really need to focus on cultural fit as well as technical ability. They need to hire someone that is prepared to take ownership of tasks, wear many hats and has the ability to grow with the business as it develops and changes over time. But I think one of the key things for startups to consider when they are thinking about their recruitment process is that they really need to sell themselves to candidates. There is a growing demand for high quality developers and the top developers have many different opportunities they could pursue so the onus is on the companies trying to recruit them to make their opportunity the most attractive.
It is likely they will need to work longer hours at a startup during the early stages of the business and, as you might expect, the salary a startup can pay will likely be lower than that which a larger company is able to offer, so startups need to really work to attract the best candidates. We are noticing that, in general, UK developers are not super motivated by equity at the moment - this may change when there are more of these billion dollar exits by European companies but right now, most developers are looking to be compensated fairly rather than offered more equity for a reduced salary.
What were your personal reasons for joining Hired?
I worked in executive search in a previous life so I have witnessed the more traditional recruitment process. The problems that we’re trying to solve at Hired really resonated with me. The opportunity to launch a new market for Hired – the first international market - and build a team in the UK was really exciting to me. It has been like being an entrepreneur but with the backing of an existing company
How do you think the evolution in technology is going to change recruitment in the future?
Hopefully, Hired will be working across multiple verticals and helping millions of people to find jobs that they love across the world. I think the future of tech recruitment involves a more direct interaction between the candidates and companies. I believe that we will continue to develop clever algorithms that will help surface and match the right candidates and companies to each other. However, I do think you cannot lose the high-touch approach because we are dealing with people and I think focusing on the candidate experience must always be at the heart of any recruitment process.