As work went remote, companies flocked to a startup dumping CVs for skill tests

·2 min read

As companies scrambled to re-orient themselves last year during the pandemic, one thing was clear: the shift to remote working had come sooner than anyone expected. With this came a fundamental shift in how businesses would have to hire new talent. And the question was, were managers going to laboriously sift through CVs in a crisis situation, or would they need to hit the ground running fast to force them towards assessing skills over CVs?

One startup decided to take advantage of the situation.

HR tech startup from Netherlands, TestGorilla, came up with a way to hire people through short, skills-based tests, which had the added advantage of removing the unconscious bias brought about by snappy CVs which might help a very non-skilled person get ahead, and keep out skilled but less-qualified recruits.

The startup says its bet paid off, and nine months later they claim to have garnered over 1,500 corporate clients, including the NHS, Sony, PepsiCo, and Bain & Company.

TestGorilla has now raised $10 million in a seed round, led by SaaS specialist VC, Notion Capital, Partech, Jeff Weiner´s Next Play Ventures, and Indeed co-founder Paul Forster, Peakon co-founder Phil Chambers, and Justworks co-founder Isaac Oates.

TechCrunch understands that the round was hotly contested, closing in only two weeks after receiving multiple separate offers.

Launched by serial entrepreneur Wouter Durville, and former Bain & Company Partner, Otto Verhage, TestGorilla remotely assesses cognitive abilities, soft skills, specific job skills, culture fit, motivation and language proficiency. By replacing CV screening, it also aids the removal of unconscious biases in the hiring process.

“We’re removing bias because we're making hiring very data-driven," Durville told TechCrunch. "Instead of just looking at a CV and looking at the big brands mentioned or the picture version of the person or how connected you are to a person, we are saying, 'hey, use these tests and test for different things that predict job success like cognitive ability or personality to fit with your culture.' Then based on all the data you can automatically sort to see all your candidates, from the best to the worst, then make a decision on who you will invite into your recruiting process.”

"They are literally upending the hiring process with a platform that is more democratic, more global and ultimately a much better predictor of job success," Jos White, general partner at Notion Capital, said. "Companies are in a major war for talent and yet only armed with a penknife. TestGorilla can open up new talent pools, break down barriers and help candidates and companies find each other."

 

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