YC-Backed Gradberry Unveils A Recruiting AI That Analyzes Engineering Candidates And Their Code


How much of the hiring process can you automate?

That’s a question that a couple of YC-backed companies are striving to answer in the technical recruiting space.

Gradberry, a recruiting platform that counts 3,000 engineers as users, is launching TARA, an artificial intelligence engine that scans candidates’ code and shortlists worthy ones automatically.

“The whole idea of Gradberry is to build a true meritocracy where it doesn’t matter what college you went to,” said Iba Masood, the company’s co-founder.

Masood and her co-founder Syed Ahmed both graduated from the American University of Sharjah in the U.A.E., but had problems getting hired because no one had ever heard of their university. In spite of that, they won an MIT-affiliated startup competition in Morocco and moved to Boston.

“After I graduated from college, I wasn’t able to find a job. And when I moved through the process, I started to see that recruiters had specific biases. Did you go to Yale? Did you go to Stanford? Did you go to MIT?” she said. “No, I didn’t, but I still got funding from MIT. It just goes to show that we believe talent is everywhere. It’s really all about the work that you’ve performed in the past.”

Their new product TARA, which stands for Talent Acquisition and Recruiting Automation, has made close to 800 recommendations in the first three weeks of this month. Masood says that’s the equivalent workload of up to 10 full-time recruiters.

The program combs through code with a five-factor analysis considering code complexity, runtime errors and languages. They’ll send client companies unique batches of candidates that match their language and framework needs.

Gradberry’s software is free for companies, but there are enterprise tiers where technical recruiters can use the platform to read code.

If a company closes a hire, they’ll pay a 5 percent cut of the candidate’s first year salary. On the candidate side, developers can submit their Github and portfolio links.

Gradberry has raised a seed round so far from investors including East Ventures, Etsy’s first investor Payman Pouladdej, Point Reyes’ e.fund and HKB Capital.

It faces competition from another YC-backed company founded by former partner Harj Taggar, who launched another technical recruiting product TripleByte a few weeks ago with a common application for YC companies. Both companies are trying to remove biases around brand-name universities from the technical hiring process on the belief that there is a wealth of technical talent out there that is either self-trained or is competent despite having graduated from lesser-known schools.