WizeHire lands fresh cash to expand its SMB-focused recruiting platform – TechCrunch
WizeHire, a recruiting service for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global with participation from Amplo and Mercury. The tranche values the company at $250 million after the cash, and co-founder and CEO Sid Upadhyay says it will be used to grow WizeHire’s headcount by more than 100 people, expand the company’s hiring resources. ‘business and “further implement[ing]” relations with technical partners.
COVID-19 has strained the labor supply chain, especially in segments of the economy depressed by pandemic-related travel restrictions and work-from-home policies. In a 2021 survey of the Conference Board focused specifically on the service industry, 80% of respondents said they had difficulty finding qualified workers.
With the shortfall that shouldn’t end soon, some organizations have turned to technology in search of a solution. WizeHire was one of the main beneficiaries. Its customer base doubled in 2021 to 15,000 employers, and sources close to the company told TechCrunch that annual recurring revenue is now around $10 million.
“For our clients, the pandemic has further shed light on the need for recruiting and hiring technology,” Upadhyay told TechCrunch via email. “As an SME-focused hiring platform – and one that was launched at the time – the first few months of the pandemic were tough… [But we] expanded our services beyond hiring, including new products such as access to Paycheck Protection Program loans or small business tax credits directly within our app… [and] expanded our footprint into new industries such as mortgages and insurance. »
WizeHire was founded in 2014 by Upadhyay and Jay Niblick. Upadhyay previously co-founded Hoot.me, an app designed to allow students to add lessons and collaborate with teachers and classmates on Facebook. Civitas Learning acquired Hoot.me in 2013.
With WizeHire, the goal was to solve some of the main problems SMEs face when it comes to recruitment, according to Upadhyay. Small business owners often need help writing effective job postings, he says, as well as the flexibility to post opportunities in more places. The statistics paint the picture: According to according to the latest NFIB jobs report, 92% of SMEs said they had few or no qualified candidates when hiring.
“Small businesses need to focus on growth, not HR trends, industry statistics, or job board best practices. WizeHire does the heavy lifting to help them find the right talent for their business to grow,” Upadhyay said.
WizeHire differentiates itself from platforms like Gem, Otta and Talent.com with an algorithm that guides companies through the recruitment process. Trained on resumes for skills and licenses and assessments for soft skills, the algorithm suggests compensation for the job, a specific place to post a job, and candidates based on criteria selected by the company.
Upadhyay presents the algorithm as a time saver, but it should be noted that these types of models have the potential to amplify bias in the hiring process. Amazon would have unplugged an artificial intelligence-based recruiting tool that, trained on CVs over a 10-year period, discriminated against female applicants. Recognizing the dangers, New York City recently passed a law that prohibits companies from using algorithm-based systems to make hiring decisions about New York residents without first auditing those tools to detect bias.
Upadhyay didn’t directly answer a question about algorithmic bias, but pointed out that WizeHire also provides advice from hiring and business coaches.
Beyond AI-based suggestions, WizeHire advises clients on the difficulty of a hire in their local market based on an analysis of internal hiring data and “proprietary third-party data”. Somewhere else, WizeHire recently launched a partnership with LinkedIn to simplify the app experience on mobile devices and worked with Payscale, which advises small businesses on compensation, to power compensation insights within the company’s platform.
Looking ahead, WizeHire plans to add background check and candidate-recruiter text messaging features, as well as “attorney-approved” offer letter templates for particular industries.
“Recruitment firms are expensive, applicant tracking systems are designed for HR experts, and job boards are time consuming for a busy business owner to manage. The hiring challenges on Main Street are so great that everyday customers are being affected,” Upadhyay added. “Many HR tech companies tend to focus on helping businesses with unlimited resources at their fingertips. WizeHire not only focuses on underserved main street businesses, but creates a unique experience for them. for each vertical sector.
WizeHire’s latest funding round – bringing its total raised to $37.5 million – comes amid a wave of venture capital investments in HR technology platforms spurred by the challenges of the era. pandemic. Last year, venture capitalists injected more than $12.3 billion into global HR tech startups, about 3.6 times the amount of capital invested in 2020. according to at PitchBook.