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The best recruitment startups

The best recruitment startups
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It was founded in May 2013 and has raised $14 million across three funding rounds since. 

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Reecru is a platform to connect employers, freelance recruiters and candidates in one place.

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Employers can post hiring requirements on the platform, which can then be picked up by a freelance recruiter who handles the shortlisting, interview and negotiation process. At the end of each placement, recruiters receive ratings from employers, much like an online marketplace. The whole recruitment process is done through Reecru’s dashboard.

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The startup was inspired by disruptors within the real estate agency market like PurpleBricks, and hoped to bring a similar sort of model to the recruitment sector, founder Rishi Kapadia tells Techworld. Its packages start at £1,299.

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Honeypot is a job platform that specialises in developer roles. It was founded in Berlin in October 2015 by Emma Tracey and Kaya Taner, the cofounder and former CEO of mobile app marketing platform AppLift. The startup flips the traditional recruitment process on its head by having companies apply to programmers and other tech specialists, rather than the other way round.

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Companies can search for candidates by filtering for skill set, experience, work permit status and location. There are no upfront charges but companies pay a success fee upon hire. The platform is free for developers, who are pre-screened through code reviews and coding tests to ensure a baseline quality level.

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Honeypot is currently operating in eight European cities across the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. 

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TalentLyft is a recruitment software firm that helps companies find and hire talent. Its platform allows HR professionals to manage the selection process and track candidate progress, and products include TalentLyft Source, TalentLyft Engage, TanletLyft Convert and TalentLyft Track, with prices starting from $99 per month.

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It was founded in 2016 by Mario Buntić and Nikola Biondic and is headquartered in Zagreb in Croatia. The startup raised $150,000 in seed funding in November 2017.

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Woo claims to have developed the tech industry’s first virtual AI-based headhunter, called Helena. Helena uses algorithms to match jobseekers’ preferences with companies and available positions. Helena was built by Woo’s team of recruiters and data scientists, some of whom were poached from Google and Facebook.

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Woo helps jobseekers by providing them with the most relevant opportunities likely to move ahead to the interview stage, boasting that employers that use Woo see 63 percent of candidates continue on to interview.

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Woo was launched in 2015 by Ami Dudu and Liran Kotzer. The startup has offices in Tel Aviv, New York and San Francisco, with plans to expand to Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle by the end of 2018.

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So far Woo has raised $11.4 million (£8.2 million). The company completed a Series A funding round of $7 million (£5 million) in November 2017. 

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Hired is flipping the traditional recruiter-candidate relationship on its head by giving desirable candidates a platform to sell themselves and wait for employers to apply to them.

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Hired says that it: “Selects the top five to seven per cent of candidates through a combination of human curation and machine learning algorithms before matching them with relevant interview opportunities. The Silicon Valley-startup will pair you with a “talent advocate” to help polish your profile and negotiate with potential employers.

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Hired is free for candidates and is looking to appeal to employers by offering access to high quality, high intent candidates, generally in the tech and sales sectors. Hired then charges 15 percent of the hire’s first year base salary or 2 percent of the hire’s annual salary per month for their first ten months of employment.

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The platform is currently available on an invite only basis (you can request one) for tech, sales and marketing roles in London and key US cities. Hired claims to have 2,000 plus companies already using the platform.

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Hired has raised more than $100 million (£80m) in funding to date, including a $30 million extension to its Series C round in November 2016 led by Glenmede Trust and Ontario Pension Board.

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Silicon Valley startup Gild has been steadily building a database of tens of millions of professionals which incorporates data from across the internet. This includes social media output and GitHub code contributions, so the platform can build up as full a picture of candidates as possible.

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Gild even has its own CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) platform for recruiters to pool and keep track of candidates, and automate time-consuming admin skills. Gild utilises this data driven approach and identifies ideal candidates for openings and applies expertise and demand ratings, as well as predictive analytics, to speed up the recruitment process.

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Gild already counts BuzzFeed, Facebook, HBO and Microsoft as customers and completed its Series B funding round back in June 2014 to the tune of $13.5 million (£9.5 million), led by Menlo Ventures.

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Jobbio is an online jobs marketplace founded by Irish brothers Stephen and John Quinn. Jobbio cuts across most major sectors but is particularly strong in the technology sector, with big names from Slack to Stripe listing openings on the site.

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Pricing is tiered according to company size, starting at £199 per month. For this, employers can post unlimited job ads, Jobbio will then disseminate this across popular networks like LinkedIn so that it gets seen. Employers have an applicant management portal to easily manage applications and search for talent.

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The platform is free for employees on web or mobile. You can get started quickly by linking to LinkedIn to build a profile, upload a CV and connect directly with companies you want to work for; not a recruiter in sight.

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“We are not a jobs board, we are not a recruiter, we are not a professional social network – nor do we aspire to be. We are a careers marketplace that makes it easy to discover companies and apply for job opportunities,” Stephen Quinn told Silicon Republic.

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Jobbio raised a €8.5 million funding round in September 2017.

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Jobbio and Techworld are commercial sponsors

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Krishan Meetoo, along with his co-founder Carl Dawson, set up Proversity to provide a learning and development environment “across the employee lifecycle, from attracting talent through to on boarding them by providing the professional and soft skills they need for the role. So try before you buy with candidates,” Meetoo said.

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London-based Proversity is working in the corporate learning space, providing an on-demand mobile platform that brings employee attraction, recruitment and retention into one place.

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Candidates are given a structured learning programme, with each course being designed on a bespoke basis depending on the employer needs. Content can range from text, photos, motion graphics, video walkthroughs and various forms of assessment, from essays to simple check boxes.

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Proversity raised $1.6 million (£1 million) in investment from Czech Republic fund RSBC Venture Capital in November 2015 and is planning a £5-8 million Series A round this year as it expands into the USA, Middle East and ASEAN markets. It has already worked with Network Rail and the Bank of England to attract and train new employees.

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London-based Snap.hr is a recruitment platform aimed at the UK technology sector. The startup uses machine learning to allow companies to better identify the relevant tech talent.

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To give the best possible recommendations and matches, Snap.hr crunches through skills, requirements, qualifications, interests and salary expectations for its continuously-learning matching and filtering algorithms.

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Snap.hr already lists roles with tech employers like Skyscanner, Transferwise and Tesco. Marcus Bennett, a recruitment manager at Tesco said: “We have successfully hired a range of software engineers within the first few months of using Snap.hr, from a data scientist to our new head of development. The response rate has been fantastic as we have been able to reach a wide pool of talent.”

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Snap.hr has received an undisclosed seed funding round from Connect Ventures, BoxGroup, Peter Read, and Siraj Khaliq (Co-Founder of Climate.com and Atomico partner).

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Co-founders Alex Hanson-Smith and Matt de la Hey were both working in hospitality during the summer away from University when the idea for Inploi started to germinate. Hanson-Smith told Techworld: “Finding work was way too hard. We were walking around with hard copies of CVs, looking for signs in windows. Or you would have to go to an agency and wait three weeks for a training day. The frustration of that process – in the age of Uber and Deliveroo – made it dawn on us that this was an inefficient marketplace.”

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Instead of posting to job boards or using agencies, Inploi allows employers to engage with interested workers direct on their platform. By integrating messaging (built on Firebase) and payments platforms (built on Stripe Connect) within the app itself, small to medium sized employers can simplify their hiring processes for short and part time workers.

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Posting a job is free and Inploi adds a ten percent service charge to employers for any wages paid on their platform for short term work. For longer term work, the company charges depending on the number of employees a company connects with, which is free up to five and then on a sliding scale starting at £100 a month for nine connections.

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Inploi came out of Beta in December 2016 and is available on web, iOS and Android. It already counts 280 employers signed up, including Michelin-starred Alyn Williams at the Westbury, the Corbin and King group and Edwardian Hotels.

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Inploi has been funded from angel investors, friends and family so far, with the startup looking for a “substantial” funding round to expand beyond London this year.

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Syft is a technology platform focused on temp staff. Instead of using a specialist agency, employers can search for qualified staff on the platform and pay Syft a 15 percent fee, on top of the worker’s wages, which start at £8.50.

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Employees can use the platform to browse and apply for shifts at a variety of hospitality companies, from sports stadiums to cocktail bars.

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As well as helping find candidates, employers can communicate directly with employees on the app and provide details like venue directions, instructions and uniform requirements. The platform can also be used for payroll, so employers can approve time sheets in the app itself.

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Tate museums, Hilton hotels and Gordon Ramsay restaurants are all listed on Syft, which currently operates in London and Manchester.

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The last of a triumvirate of startups on this list looking to solve the short-term employment problem. Similar to Inploi, Placed is focusing on the hospitality sector and short-term hiring. The app uses a proprietary algorithm to make it easier for candidates and businesses to find the best match based on skills, experience and personality.

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Candidates can apply for roles and employers can access and filter candidates to initiate contact, ask questions and organise interviews within the platform itself.

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Placed already works with some well known London restaurants and the Park Plaza hotel chain.

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Saberr works by surveying potential hires and existing staff and applies an algorithm to define a ‘resonance score’ which the startup claims can predict how well a team will work together. Saberr’s survey concentrates on deep values rather than shared interests to define if a candidate is a good fit for your company culture.

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The startup has also developed an AI-powered coaching tool to help users improve on areas like decision-making or goal setting.

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Saberr is used by a variety of large businesses, such as Deloitte, Virgin, Unilever and Bank of Ireland.

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Founder Alistair Shepherd told Techworld.com: “Our goal has always been to help teams work better together by providing data that’s truly actionable, and we’re working on some exciting new products this year which will make it even easier for teams to improve the way they work.”

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In April 2016 the startup took a £1 million funding round led by Angel CoFund.

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This early-stage startup was one of the 25 companies to pitch at Entrepreneur First’s massive Demo Day in March 2016. Quantize is looking to apply machine learning to online CVs to identify applicants’ hard and soft skills and match them to existing top-performers within the organisation, in the hope of predicting future success.

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How it works in practice is Quantize will come in and set your organisation up with an account manager before plugging your applicant tracking system (ATS) and existing performance data into an API which, using Quantize’s algorithm, scores and prioritises potential candidates according to measures like selection likelihood, turnover likelihood and performance forecasts via a dashboard.

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Having just pitched at the EF demo day Quantize is still in the seed-funding stage, but looks to have a fully functioning product which is just waiting for investment and customers. Co-founder and ex-Harvard and LinkedIn alum Khary Francis claims to already be piloting with a multi-national recruitment agency which counts Tesco as a client.

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Debut is a native mobile app aimed at connecting students with graduate scheme, internship and job opportunities in their field.

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Conversely employers are able to search through and cherry pick from a list of potential candidates. Debut also pulls in employer-sponsored games that can lead to internships, as well as a wealth of documentation and employment hints and tips.

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Simply download the app and build a profile (personal details, important causes, exam results, degree) and start browsing jobs by sector, salary, role and location. Employers can then contact candidates through the ‘talent spots’ messenger tab.

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Employers listed on the Debut banner already include Barclays, BT, Credit Suisse, Microsoft and Google.

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Founded by two software engineers in 2008, Vivek Ravisankar and Hari Karunanidhi wanted to be spending more time on code and less time interviewing engineers. Plus they noticed that the traditional CV-to-interview recruitment model just didn’t work for finding great programmers. 

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The result was a set of CodeChallenges, which eventually became the backbone for HackerRank, an online portal for delivering online tests which help find the best coders by placing them in real-world situations. This allows companies to hire developers on technical skill and merit rather than how well they promote themselves. HackerRank also doubles up as a portal for skills challenges so that developers can hone their skills whenever they want.

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HackerRank has raised just short of $20 million in funding so far, and lists tech giants Facebook and Airbnb as customers.

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Talent Rank is an online learning and development (L&D) environment. The platform wants to make candidate assessment smarter and more engaging by building bite-size online challenges that identify core competencies beyond CVs and interviews.

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Founder Arjun Hassard told Techworld.com that Talent Rank is very much inspired by US-based Hacker Rank, except: “They are coder first and we are analyst, or candidate, first.”

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“There’s a paradigm shift here from passively trying to absorb insight on the candidate to conscious volunteering of information through engaging programmes, tournaments or internships. So you’re not trying to paint a picture based on their personal life, you are getting them into an environment where they can develop and exhibit certain competencies that you care about.”

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Talent Rank is still in the pre-launch phase and is running closed trials with specific partners. The London-based startup has been predominantly funded by friends, family and a fair amount of bootstrapping so far. Talent Rank is attracting lots of interest in the London startup scene and from major employers in key verticals though, according to Hassard, and has moved into Accenture’s 2016 fintech Innovation Lab.

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CandiRight bills itself as a ‘cognitive talent matching platform’ that removes unconscious bias from the initial job application process.

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It removes CVs from the process of applying for jobs, anonymises candidates and ‘matches’ them with potential employers, providing a percentage for how well suited they are. Candiright was founded by Amanda Shand and CTO Amy Scott in 2015.

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The platform is in beta at the moment with a small group piloting it, according to Shand. The team has picked up interest from a variety of sectors retail, hospitality, financial services and media, she said.

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Applied is an online hiring platform spun out from the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team (aka ‘nudge unit’) in 2014. It aims to “help organisations hire the best talent, regardless of their background,” according to CEO Kate Glazebrook.

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Its ‘CV-free’ system works by asking candidates to complete the same five questions regarding the job they’re applying for then turning the answers over to three recruiters from the employer, without them knowing which answer came from which candidate. Each recruiter is given the answers in a different order in an effort to combat ordering bias (where one good or bad answer affects how the next is judged).

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Over the past year, 1,000 people across five continents have used the platform to process more than 19,000 applications for over 700 jobs.

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Applied now has 100 employees and is headquartered in London with offices in Manchester, New York, Singapore and Sydney. The team completed their first official funding raise of £330,000 with Nesta and angel investors in November 2017. 

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