Brisbane startup iRecruit wants to help employers easily find the right culture fit

- September 9, 2016 3 MIN READ

Companies love to talk about their culture these days; from startups of three to corporates with a 10,000-strong workforce, culture fit has become a key factor in the hiring process. Though still dominating the recruitment space, determining culture fit through resumes sent through platforms such as Seek and CareerOne is difficult – so of course startups are getting in there to solve this problem.

Cofounded by Todd Pierce and Aleks Svetski, Queensland startup iRecruit works along the central idea that, as Pierce puts it, people are more than just a resume or a number, and businesses need more than just a ‘skill’ fit: it looks to ensure that the right fit is made on the first go.

The idea for the system came to the pair through their experiences trying to hire people in previous businesses. It took too long, cost too much, and there wasn’t enough certainty around the decisions made, Pierce said.

“The wrong hire can be crippling, especially if you’re a smaller business with fewer resources at your disposal. We just wanted to make something that would deliver us the right people­ skills, experience, and personality, people that will love the role and thrive in our businesses,” he explained.

So how does iRecruit differ from the myriad other recruitment services and platforms out there? The startup believes it is the first platform in the world to combine personality, psychometrics, experience mapping, and cultural fit along with skills and demographics in order to quickly match applicants with the right employers.

Before arriving at this current iteration, however, Pierce said iRecruit started out as a “gimmicky ‘Tinder for jobs’ kind of idea”.

He explained, “This evolved into something with substance when we really started asking ourselves, ‘what are we really? Are we some gimmicky swipe platform or is that just a tiny part of what we do?’ The evolution took us down the path of incorporating the science of individuality and cultural fit and combining that with a design and flow that will just make everyone’s lives so much easier.”

The app, currently in beta, works by having a job seeker create an account, looking at what industries they are interested in, what kind of role, and their various skills and level of expertise in each. They can then start swiping from there, but for better matches are encouraged to do personality tests that can help match them with employers that are looking for their kind of mindset and cultural fit.

The cofounders said the profiling model was developed through 50,000 hours of researching, developing, and refining, with Pierce’s experience in neurolinguistics coming in good use.

“[The model] uncovers who you are, what’s unique about you, what it is that you want and then delivers opportunities specifically relevant to you; it’s 100 percent personalised,” said Svetski.

Though it has moved on from the simple Tinder for jobs gimmick, iRecruit has kept the idea of the user swiping through their feed, with Pierce explaining it allows relevant information to be seen quickly, and in turn help the user make a quick decision.

“From a cognitive perspective, it forces you to focus all your attention on one thing at a time, thus hopefully making a smarter decision too,” Pierce said.

The matching feature means that, like on Tinder, applicants can know quite quickly too whether an employer is interested in them or not through their receiving of a match notification. Pierce said the startup is also in the process of developing a self-learning algorithm to help produce better results.

While the cofounders believe their platform outclasses any other recruitment solution in the market, the reality is, of course, that there are dozens available. While the likes of Seek and CareerOne dominate the space, there are other startups approaching recruitment from a fresh perspective, from Skilld and OneShift to and Workible .

Sydney’s Found Careers also took a Tinder for jobs approach to recruitment with a feed of potential jobs that users can swipe through. Like iRecruit, it wants to focus on personality rather than the details of a resume, and has found a base in the hospitality industry. Sunshine Coast startup TalentVine too uses psychometric assessments to help place candidates.

To take a slice of this market, Pierce said iRecruit will be focusing on the IT, sales, and hospitality verticals across Brisbane before heading into other states.

“Seek plays the volume game and these other guys play the ‘here quick, get what you get’ game; that’s not what we are about. We choose matching over searching, quality over quantity, the right fit over any fit,” Pierce said.

Investors have bought into the idea, with the startup recently raising $550,000 in the first half of a seed raise from local angel investors.

With this funding the startup will look to gain a foothold in Brisbane before expanding around Australia, with its goal to onboard 20,000 employer profiles and 250,000 talent profiles over the next 12 months.

Image: Todd Pierce and Aleks Svetski. Source: Supplied.