With Adam Robinson, Chief Hireologist
What is your company’s Twitter handle?
Who are the founders of your company? What are your company roots?
Hireology was co-founded by Adam Robinson, Michael Krasman, and Jeff Ellman, each of whom had 15 years of prior experience in early stage and HR-related companies. We had each seen the massive struggle that companies face in getting their managers to follow a consistent and predictable selection process, and knew that a massive opportunity existed to attack that issue with technology.
In 25 words or less, what are you all about?
Hireology is a talent platform for “main street businesses.” Our technology leverages data to organize and improves the hiring and selection process.
What problem do you solve?
Hireology is focused on improving the recruiting and selection process at distributed enterprises. Distributed organizations – franchise systems, dealer-distributor networks, retail networks, hotel operators, and healthcare systems – are companies with hundreds or thousands of field locations all hiring the same 3-5 jobs at each location.
They waste an enormous amount of time and money with bad hires and under-performing teams, which is due largely to the fact that these field operators are, effectively, a network of entrepreneurs and small business owners. The corporation and these entrepreneurs are joined at the hip – if the field locations hire the wrong people, they under-perform. If they under-perform, the royalty and/or revenue stream back to the corporation isn’t where it needs to be. Everyone is worse off.
How did you get started?
The co-founders had previously started and managed businesses providing outsourced recruiting and selection services. We had experienced first-hand the lack of any kind of scalable, predictable process to ensure that companies made good hiring choices and had developed a tools and processes that we would provide to customers as part of the service package. Customers loved it, and started asking if they could buy the tools; we said no for nearly two years before we started thinking, “hey, there’s a huge business opportunity here.”
What makes your company special? How is your product differentiated in the eyes of the consumer?
Hireology is based on real-world data, and that’s what creates our differentiation and defensibility. Hireology spent its first 12 months doing field work to build the profiling and scoring algorithms that drive everything we do. This analytics engine is the basis for our system and is the only data set of its kind in existence.
We take the results from our customers’ interview and selection process, and use that data to build a constantly growing prediction engine that tells us whether a specific person is likely to work out for the role for which they’re being selected. Customers then use our performance review technology and that data is fed back into the system, enabling use to reconfigure the analytics based on the most-current data coming in from the field.
How do you make money? Who are your primary customers and why do they choose you?
We make money in two ways. First, customers pay a monthly recurring subscription to gain access to the platform and certain features and workflow tools. The platform is a full-featured selection platform that includes everything they need to run a great hiring process, along with lots of other tools that they might want to purchase such as skills assessments and background checks, which they pay for as-consumed.
Our customers choose us because we know and understand distributed enterprises. Distributed enterprises are a unique animal in that the field locations are all different legal entities. A franchise system with 500 different franchisees is really a group of 500 different companies who all happen to sell the same stuff and have agreed to follow certain rules about delivery of the product, and how it’s sold, and how it’s marketed. This setup creates unique challenges for the vendor, and one of the things I think we’ve done well is that we’ve figured out how to drive customer acquisition in these distributed models.
What’s the #1 thing on your To-Do list?
Hire additional Rails engineers.
What are your dreams for your company?
We’re a company full of people that truly enjoy helping our customers succeed, and who have a passion for helping our customers win through talent. I see Hireology becoming the industry standard talent platform for distributed enterprises, but always grounded in the fact that we enjoy solving these kinds of problems for our customers. We talk all the time about “creating the world’s best places to work” as the reason for doing what we do.
It’s our kind of town too… but what are the advantages of being a Chicago-based technology company?
Chicago is an amazing place to build a technology business, particularly a B2B technology business. We have this huge, diverse local economy that enables new B2B tech companies to launch, test, and scale a concept quickly and efficiently. Combine that with a growing network of serial entrepreneurs and investors and you have a ready-made environment that maximizes your likelihood of success.
What trends do you see heading into 2013/2014 that are relevant to your industry and company?
The two biggest issues for our customers are the Affordable Care Act and immigration reform (eVerify); these are regulatory changes that will dramatically increase the compliance burden on small businesses. These regulations are people-centric and tend to disproportionally impact our exact customer segment. We’re going to get a huge lift from helping our customers comply with these laws.
What’s your #1 need going forward… other than funding and customers, anyway?
Our single biggest need is technology talent. If there’s one thing I worry about, it’s making sure we are able to hire the talent we need to continue to scale this company. (Me, and 100 other Chicago tech CEOs.)
What are the biggest challenges you are facing in scaling your business up?
We’re selling a disruptive technology into a massive, fragmented market. Every day, we see opportunities to pursue opportunities that will expand revenue growth, but might fall outside our stated focus. The biggest challenge we face is knowing when to say “no” to an opportunity that we know will grow the business, but might take our eye off of our core market.
This one is all you… Anything else you want to tell us?
We are grateful to the ITA and the incredible network of advisers and supporters who have worked with us get to this point. There is just no way to do this without help, and we’ve been fortunate to have some amazing people in our corner.