“Good on paper” just became “good on video” with the latest double launch from the Y Combinator crew. With Hirehive, founders Dave Albert and Nick Bergson-Shilcock are attempting to replace at least some part of the unwieldy hiring process with browser-based video questionnaires, on a web platform where applicants can submit video, text or image responses.
On the backend, employers can submit a series of questions they want applicants to answer, and Hirehive manages the process. While job boards like Monster.com and Craigslist pretty much dominate the online job application space, Hirehive's video component may be the killer app as the higher bandwidth of video provides more information than text, which results in better informed hiring decisions. Companies like iViewXpress and HireVue also specialize in video interview services.
Hirehive has already been put through the motions by some of the Y Combinator portfolio companies, including AirBnb, which insists that the service has fundamentally changed the way it hires. In fact, one of the unique features of Hirehive is that companies can pool applicants, and the Y Combinator companies were so into the idea that they built the YCommonApp, where you can apply to 25 different Y Combinator companies at once (including some that have not yet launched) using the Hirehive software.
Video does come with constraints, and while the Hirehive team does not plan on replacing in person interviews entirely (“It's not the goal”) they do insist that the video questionnaires work better than a resume for prescreening candidates. Albert explains, “Good on paper is an artifact of the narrow channels we used to have, a resume and a cover letter.”
Hirehive's future plans include putting postings-based job boards like Monster.com out of business. Initiatives like the YCommonApp could also work well across other verticals, such as with retail companies like the Banana Republic or GAP. Says Bergson-Shilcock, “We're still living largely on a job postings and classifieds model, but there's a lot more change to come, and that's what we're gunning for.”
And while the YCommonApp is Hirehive's vision of what will kill Monster.com, it's only the first step. “Companies collaborating and sharing information is going to be a big part of how hiring is done in the future, but to get rid of job boards, we're going to have to do more than that,” says Albert, “We're working on that as fast as we can.”