Archive for January, 2013

SayHired: Applicants Pitch Your Products

January 19th, 2013
SayHired: Applicants Pitch Your Products by Hiring Sciences

SayHired: Applicants Pitch Your Products by Hiring Sciences

SayHired, another Bay Area-based recruiting start-up that received a round of funding in July 2012, has a rather unique pitch. Candidates apply to positions by recording responses to pitch prompts or employers can set their own screening questions. The responses are analyzed by SayHired’s engine for the qualities that the employer values most for the position. Responses are then ranked on a scale of 1 to 100 for each individual characteristic. Once processed, the scores are released to both the candidate (nice touch) and the employer.

According to the SEC filing issued in July 2012, SayHired has been in business for 5 years. The editorial staff here at Hiring Sciences found some older collateral from SayHired that indicates a small pivot from their original messaging referring to automated reference checks and phone screens but the general idea seems to remain the same.

As for pricing, SayHired provides the first 25 screens for free. Each additional screen is $.60. Apparently, you can upload candidates to screen via Excel. There is no mention of applicant tracking system integration on their site. A more in depth product review could be interesting and we’ll contact SayHired if we go down that road at some point.

The Hiring Sciences Hunch:

As always, we commend the entrepreneurs and innovators like SayHired that are willing to try something new in the recruiting technology industry. Depending on the accuracy of the scoring algorithms and true ease of use, there may be a good opportunity for adoption in high-transaction hiring environments like call centers, hospitality, insurance sales, etc. These type of employers seem to be the target for SayHired and we like tools that serve traditional industries that are often overlooked by new solutions that purely market to technology companies.

On the other hand, SayHired may in reality have a long road to hoe. Their target employers aren’t necessarily the early adopters and often are not often sophisticated IT buyers. Perhaps SayHired will postion itself as an acquisition target for one of the major pre-employment screening companies or they could be a good fit as an additional revenue source and add-on for a staffing software play like Bullhorn or JobScience. A large RPO or cash flush global staffing outfit could also be interested in putting SayHired in their bag of tricks at some point as an efficiency tool and service differentiator.

If you are interested in learning more about SayHired, visit their website at:

Recruiting Excellence: Improve Your Upfront Processes

January 17th, 2013

hiring manager tipsDo sports coaches hold the key to recruiting excellence? Not according to Dr. Wendell Williams in his latest piece at Dr. Williams dismisses this commonly accepted principle by showing that, in the world of professional sports, talent scouts do the tedious vetting and groundwork, so that only the most gifted athletes get to meet the coach. You can find the full article here.

Compare this process to that of corporate hiring, with recruiters standing in for talent scouts and line managers for the coaches. The analogy isn’t perfect, because recruiters can’t actually see candidates in action on the playing field. Instead, they rely on resumes and screening interviews. Do line managers want applicants with the best interview performance or the best skills for the job?

In 1978, the DOL published “Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures” which Dr. Williams condenses to three main principles for organizations:

  • Base standards for hiring and promotions on job requirements and business necessity.
  • Ensure that hiring tools accurately predict job performance by assessing their validity.
  • Reduce adverse impact wherever possible.

Why don’t those responsible for recruiting keep these three principles top of mind? Perhaps they lack the appropriate knowledge and HR technology, relying on cookie-cutter interview questions instead of job-specific competency assessments to hone in on a candidate. Recruiters without the right  training in job analysis and hiring tools may be able to get through a traditional interview, but rarely produce the best candidates.

In the end, it is the hiring managers who must deal with the consequences of bad hires and subsequent poor performance. True, they have their part in the selection process, but they also rely heavily on HR to narrow the field and provide qualified candidates. Once an employee is on board, managers are often left on their own to handle the difficult situation of insufficient skills and expertise, with the inevitable negative results on their team.

Clearly, the challenge for HR is to do more vetting upfront to avoid burdening line managers with bad hires. Choose the right recruiters, and equip them with the proper training and technology for recruiting excellence. Investigate job try-outs with a combination of tests, simulations and measurements, instead of traditional interviews. With improved screening reducing the number of unqualified hires, you’ll be limiting the number of poor performances with which line managers have to cope.

Recruiters, do more talent scouting, and you’ll be doing your hiring managers/coaches a big favor by sending fully-skilled candidates their way.

Developer Auction: New Posterchild of the Technical Recruiting Bubble

January 12th, 2013

Developer Auction

The recruiting technology industry has undeniably inflated and officially crossed over into bubble status. Just take a look at Developer Auction, one of the latest of 482 companies tagged with “recruiting” or a similar term on Crunchbase. Launched to “disrupt” the recruiting industry, Developer Auction allows software engineers to create a profile and auction themselves off to venture funded tech companies. To go a step further, Developer Auction awards developers 20% cash back ($3000-$6000+) when they get hired through the platform essentially sharing their service fee (15% of the winning bid) with developers.

Developer Auction shows employers (all cash-rich, venture-backed tech startups in a few cities) a list of elite, vetted engineers that are looking for new opportunities and allows the employers to bid on talent without having to maneuver through a protracted sourcing process. For software engineers, Developer Auction is like an online speed dating service where all the potential matches are hotties but instead of a good figure or charming sense of humor the suitors have a stocked fridge, free lunches and a collegial environment that are reminiscent of the good ‘ol days on the quad at Stanford and MIT.

The idea is unique and essentially digitizes contingent recruiting but with a giant waft of exclusivity. The developers that get vetted and ultimately chosen for the bachelor style developer auction are all from Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, Zynga, Stanford, and MIT. It makes sense. Developer Auction is giving elite start-ups in uber-competitive markets access to what they covet most to boost brainpower and company valuation.

The Hiring Sciences Hunch

At Hiring Sciences we love to see new models and encourage further innovation in the recruiting industry. The idea of the reverse funnel created by Developer Auction is thought provoking for sure. But, we can’t help feeling a little “icky” about they’ve created. One of our editors keeps calling the service Developer Kardashians and thinks it reeks of the kind of elitism that insulates technology companies from the real world. He went to public school so it’s probably just his insecurities showing through again. Finally, while the service is certainty different from other sourcing solutions out there, it’s far from being disruptive to the recruiting industry or even technical recruiting yet but we’ll keep an eye on Developer Auction.

If you are interested in learning more about Developer Auction, visit the site at:

Developer Auction was launched in order to disrupt the recruiting industry, and provide a better and more efficient way for talented developers to get exposed to exciting job opportunities at funded tech companies.
As serial entrepreneurs & software developers, we know that the smartest people are already employed, and that they receive numerous emails every month from recruiters and prospective employers that often go ignored due to the enormous amount of time that it would take to interview and negotiate with each company. We thought – “there has to be a better way”.
By reversing the funnel, and having companies submit offers based on work history & experience, we hope to shorten the hiring cycle, maximize efficiency and create transparency in a market that is currently anything but. To go a step further, we even offer developers 20% cash back ($3000-$6000+) when they get hired through our platform.
We believe that we can more effectively match developers with great companies, while driving down financial and “lost opportunity” costs for start-ups.

Bright Outlook for Technology Hiring in 2013

January 10th, 2013

Tech Hiring Trends in 2013Technology hiring continues strong going into the New Year, according to Human Resources managers and recruiting firms, although the number of those anticipating hiring is lower than last year.

Out of more than 1,000 respondents in a recent survey, 64% plan on adding technology workers in the first half of 2013. This compares with a result of only 47% in a parallel study of those who staff all types of workers.

The Dice Report survey, completed by Dice Holdings, Inc., a leading career site for technology and engineering professionals, was prepared in mid-November 2012, just after the election. Survey respondents included Human Resources managers and recruiters, consultants and staffing firms who primarily hire technology professionals.

Surprisingly, the 64% answering that they plan to hire tech workers is significantly lower than that reported in the prior survey for the last six months of 2012, at which time 73% expected to add technology professionals. Growing concern about the uncertainty of resolving the “fiscal cliff” tax and spending issues at the time of the survey could have tempered the results, as firms held off on tech projects.

The most recent hiring survey highlights various aspects of tech hiring, including:

  • Regional outlook: the South and East experienced modest reductions compared to the last six months of 2012, but both the West and Midwest reduced their expectations by 20%.
  • Time to fill open positions: 55% of respondents reported more time required to fill technology positions; the most commonly cited reason (47%) was the inability to find qualified professionals, followed by hiring managers waiting for the perfect candidate match (33%).
  • Voluntary departures: Tech professionals seem content to stay where they are, as 70% of respondents reported no increase in voluntary separations during 2012.
  • Candidate starting salaries: not surprisingly, the majority of respondents (53%) reported candidates asking for more money.
  • Offer acceptances: 28% of the respondents reported that more candidates are rejecting offers compared to the last survey, with only 18% stating that more candidates are accepting them.

Alice Hill, Managing Director of, summarizes the state of technology recruiting at the start of 2013 as “tempered optimism.” She feels the survey results point to steady growth in hiring, rather than an avalanche.

Overall, the survey results indicate modest but continuing improvement in technology hiring, along with stability of existing staffs from both employer and worker perspectives.