Data-centric hiring platform Hireology brings in $10M

by Carlin Sack
August 12, 2014

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Hireology, the tech platform for employee hiring and selection, announced a $10 million round today because it is hiring itself. The team has doubled its size already since the beginning of the year and will likely do so again by year’s end. “Two years out, we could have 200 people,” CEO Adam Robinson said.

The reason behind the hiring spree is that Hireology is on to something, something that practically every organization needs to get better at: hiring. The platform uses proprietary data and predictive analytics to help managers make the right hiring choices.

“Our job is to bring a platform with all of the tools managers need to pick the right person,” Robinson said. “Our customer doesn’t have the time to make a management decision on their own, so we make sure that decision is more automated.”

Their sweet spot is working with either high-growth startups (anywhere from five to 200 employees) or everyday managers at decentralized organizations with lots of locations (think franchises, healthcare systems, agency networks) to help them hire. Their Selection Manager product does this in a couple of ways: by giving managers interview tools, access to job boards, skills assessment tools and background screenings.

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Hireology has been going full-speed ahead on this product since Robinson and his co-founders Michael Krasman and Jeff Ellman (who later became co-founders of fellow Chicago HR tech company UrbanBound) decided to ditch the service component and make Hireology all about the platform.

Initially when Hireology was conceived in 2010, the founding team was focused mostly on developing a system for hiring managers (aka interview guides, scoring processes, etc). It all started because of Robinson’s own frustrations while a hiring manager at ClickCommerce and then later while running outsourced recruiting company illuma group.

“In that business, what we found out was that hiring managers really didn’t know how to do interviews and there was no process,” Robinson said. “We had to develop a system so that we could operate effectively - then customers started asking to buy that system from us.”

Taking a cue from their customers, they launched the early stages of Hireology’s Selection Manager product despite fears that the HR tech market was already too saturated.

“The thinking was: ‘HR technology is a crowded market. We don’t need another application tracking system in the market,’” Robinson said. “But we overestimated the penetration rate of existing platforms into companies. So we had this debate about if we wanted to be a platform or if we wanted to a solution for other platforms. The all-in moment was to be a platform. We decided we were going to go for it. Since that first ‘ah-ha’ moment, it’s been a deliberate strategy.”

In the short-term (thanks to today’s round from Bain Capital Ventures), Hireology’s strategy is to sell its product directly to high-growth businesses and to sell through a partner network of HR consultants and outsourcers: “With this round, we will be investing into heavy market expansion to solidify our leadership position in HR,” Robinson said.

The long-term plan is to eventually have a large Data as a Service component so they can also partner with existing HR tech platforms, essentially becoming the “FICO of candidate scoring.” This platform will take certain scored factors and predict the likelihood of success for a person in a certain role. Put simply, Hireology’s goal is to become “the best in our industry at data and analytics.”

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