Think of InterviewJet as a sort of flash sale for some of the best talent in town. It’s a new model for recruiting that grants select employers 72-hour access to request, secure and schedule interviews with fullyvetted, sought-after technology talent. By bringing elements of a flash sale concept to the talent marketing space, InterviewJet is able to quickly introduce candidates to a large network of decision makers. Python developers, Ruby on Rails developers, mobile developers, Data Scientists, UX/UI designers, CTOs and product managers is currently the sorts of talent they provide, and member companies are most frequently growth-stage technology companies and larger.
Evan Intrater, Cofounder and Head of Business Development,tells us how they got the job done.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised a $750K seed round from technology staffing firm Mitchell Martin. We intend to use the funding to scale our team and to expand geographically.
Tell us about your service.
InterviewJet is a members-only hiring platform that takes some of the elements of flash sales and applies it to the recruiting space. We’re very selective about which candidates and employers we invite into the service. Each week we feature a select handful of the most talented and sought-after developers, designers and data science talent to our member companies. Once talent is featured, employers have 72 hours to request interviews with candidates directly through the platform.
How is it different?
As far as we know, there are no other talent technology services or platforms out there that apply elements of flash sales to their platform, at an affordable cost. We have an affordable flat fee, instead of the industry standard percentage of annual salary.
Also, flash-sales is a really powerful tool for job candidates. In our experience, it allows them to land 10 or more interviews within a week. Given that we work with 450 pre-vetted member companies, our approach enables massive yet targeted exposure to the employers and job roles that are right for each candidate.
Although quantity is important to us, both in terms of exposure to opportunities and compensation packages, we emphasize quality first. Many recruiting services and platforms tend to play the numbers game, but that ends up making the process very inefficient for both the candidate and the employer.
What motivated you to start the company?
The idea for InterviewJet came up while my partner, Josh, was working at Mitchell Martin, a traditional staffing firm, earlier in his career. He worked alongside recruiters who were putting a lot of effort into finding candidates for a particular company’s opening. Once they found that candidate they would make an introduction to the employer and if lucky, perhaps 1-2 additional employers. He felt that there was a lot of manual process and it led to only one or two opportunities for the candidate. What we wanted to do was to flip the script and to be able to get candidates many qualified opportunities very quickly.
Which skills are in highest demand these days?
From what we’re seeing on our platform and with the employers we interact with, the job titles that are the most in demand are Ruby on Rails Developers, Python Developers, Mobile Developers, Front-end Developers and Data Scientists.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We’re targeting the technology recruiting and hiring space. This means we compete against traditional staffing firms and with technology products amd services aimed at the tech employers or tech job candidates. We’ve seen a lot of competing metrics related to the size of the recruiting space, but we think it’s safe to say it’s north of $100B a year. Combined with the prolonged the growth in tech jobs and the tech industry, we’re confident there’s plenty of room for us to grow our market share considerably.
What’s your business model?
Employer membership is exclusive to pre-screened, venture-backed technology companies with outstanding internal cultures. These member companies pay a one-time set fee of $9,500 for any placements that are made. This fee is about half that charged by traditional recruiters or recruiting firms. Candidate membership is also free.
What was the funding process like?
We participated first in the Talent Tech Labs incubator, which is backed in part by Mitchell Martin. Mitchell Martin is one of the largest technology staffing firms in the U.S. and helped launch the incubator in an effort to be at the forefront of innovation. As they saw us grow and mature and start to attract strong employer and candidate demand, it was a natural evolution for them to take the next step and invest in our seed round.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Our biggest challenge wasn’t finding or raising capital, but trying to find the right time to do it. We tend to think that many startups raise too much money too early and then they are forced to scale much faster than they might be able to handle. We didn’t want to put ourselves in that position. We wanted to stay lean and to build our business responsibly, at a pace that was right for us. We wanted to have the room for trial and error as we perfected our model and our internal operations and processes. And we wanted to do as much as we could on our own before taking outside money. So the challenge really was building our business in the right way and waiting until we felt 100% confident that we were ready to accept investment.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Part of the equation for our investors was our growth rate and the interest we were getting from both employers and candidates. The other big part is how plugged-in we are to the technology space, and in particular with early and growth stage tech companies. A lot of these companies are more open to utilizing other early-stage companies for professional services like recruiting. So we’re a natural fit for startup employers in that regard. It’s attractive for our investors to expand into the startup and growth-stage segment of the tech recruiting space rather than focusing solely on larger, more established employers.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We plan to continue growing our team, which right now is a team of 10. We expect to be double that by end of year. We also anticipate 50% or more growth in our employer membership base, which currently stands at 450 employers. We have about 40-50 employers applying for membership a week right now, but we only accept a fraction of those employers into the service.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
You don’t need to build everything yourself and you don’t need to hire full-time employees when you are early-stage or bootstrapped. There are a ton of external resources you can tap into for part-time or task-based work. One that we leveraged early on was Amazon Mechanical Turk. We also think it’s good for early stage companies to be creative and aggressive in finding ways to reach their customers directly without relying on traditional marketing or PR.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We want to continue scaling our team and geographically. As we move into the second half of the year and beyond that, we are evaluating expansion into tech-intensive cities like Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Austin.
Which NYC restaurant are you most likely to hit in the next 72 hours?
J.G. Melon on the Upper East Side. I’m addicted. They have the best burgers in town.