Hiring the wrong technical staff led this startup to help others find the right ones

March 1, 2016

Hiring the wrong technical staff led this startup to help others find the right ones

 

Hiring the right staff to help grow your business in the early stages is a daunting task. The process itself carries with it a number of risks and a great deal of investment that cannot be easily afforded by those who are looking to recruit.

CrowdSourceHire is a new startup that is looking to turn this around by getting it right the first time. The online service which targets startups and small and medium enterprises gives clients access to the right people by assisting them with their pre-hire evaluation in the web development industry.

Founded by Ben Liau and Desmond Hang, the idea was conceived when they both ran their own startups and encountered bad experiences with failed hires. This particular experience showed the duo first hand how hiring the wrong people could lead to delays in pushing the product into the market whilst costing the business time and money.

Hang explains in the presser that this is not an isolated issue in the current local hiring practices of technical roles.

“Even though I come from a technical background in software engineering, I still failed around my previous technical hires due to the wrong type of questions asked during interviews and lack of assessment checks performed.”

CrowdSourceHire works by going against the trend of recruitment industry assessments which traditionally comprise of pre-populated generic multiple choice questions.

Liau and Hang instead source industry experts in the web development field who prepare customised assessments based on a business’s’ specific job role. Potential candidates are then assessed and provided with a recommendation on whether their technical skills are suited to that specific job.

“We have created a marketplace that brings together industry experts, and business who are looking to verify the skills of their potential hires”, Liau said in their presser.

More specifically, CrowdSourceHire uses a three stage pre-hire assessment for their candidates. The procedure is not unlike a university assessment with ‘Stage One’ being a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions to test a candidate’s knowledge.

‘Stage Two’ sees how well candidates can apply their knowledge to virtual environments. This involves asking the candidate to code the solution to a unique problem that they would encounter in the job that they have applied for.

The final stage requires candidates to do a video interview where they are asked pre-recorded interview questions that evaluates their ability to communicate ideas effectively. More importantly though, ‘Stage Three’ of the test ensures that the candidate taking the assessment is the same person answered the questions in the prior stages – that essentially means no cheating.

At the other end of the spectrum are CrowdSourceHire’s experts. Liau and Hang claim that their experts are put through a strict vetting process which involves background checks and their own assessment. At the end of this procedure, only 20% of the potential experts are chosen to join the expert panel.

When it comes to competition in the market, Liau is adamant that they have the edge when it comes to quality of their candidates.

“All of the competition are mainly screening solutions with generic ready made questions for candidates; at CrowdSourceHire the assessments are customised based on the job description the business provides,” he says.

“An assessment could be created based on a PHP developer who needs to use wordpress and develop a WooCommerce or ecommerce website.”

The monetisation model of CrowdSourceHire is based on the provision of a range of assessment packages.

The business pays for the assessments, with multiple packages offered based on the number of candidates they want to test. Revenue earned by CrowdSourceHire is then distributed 50/50 between them and their experts.

When it comes to the challenges of starting CrowdSourceHire, Liau says that they faced some issues getting their testing framework correct. “We tested many candidates and got feedback from many businesses before we actually got it right,” says Liau.

Eventually, the duo’s goal is to be the number one provider of pre-hire assessment in Australia. Further down the track they’ll be looking to expand overseas into the USA and Asia.

These are ambitious goals, but Liau and Hang are not too worried as CrowdSourceHire is currently part of the iLab incubator program. They are also one of the Top 20 teams in muru-D’s accelerator program.

Will their services extend beyond web development?

“We are also expanding our offering to other technical verticals like IT and engineering,” says Liau.

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