With 12K engineers screened, Triplebyte says its skills-based recruiting platform is working

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Triplebyte is offering companies a different way to hire engineers — as co-founder and CEO Harj Taggar put it, the goal is “ignoring the résumé.”

Today the company announced that its platform has been used to screen 12,000 engineers. The Triplebyte process starts with an online programming test, followed by a technical interview — the company says it has interviewed 2,000 of those engineers, and 15 percent of them made it to the final step of connecting with the hiring company for an on-site interview.

When Triplebyte first launched, Taggar said, “One of the biggest pushbacks we got from everyone was, ‘You’re not evaluating culture fit, you’re not evaluating team fit.’”

To be clear, he isn’t suggesting that businesses ignore the issue entirely — that’s what the final set of interviews is for. But Taggar (a former partner at Y Combinator) is arguing that by using résumés and credentials for the initial screening, companies are missing out on viable candidates who may not have gone to the best-known schools or worked at the biggest companies.

After all, Triplebyte says customers like Dropbox and Cruise are now making offers to 60 percent of candidates who make it to that final stage — compared to the industry average of 25 to 30 percent. At Cruise, for example, Taggar said the numbers started out closer to the average, but the system got smarter as it built up more data about what Cruise is actually looking for.

“What our data proves is that looking at culture fit early on is not the way to solve your hiring problem,” Taggar said.

This approach has the added bonus of helping companies hire from a more diverse pool of candidates, though he noted, “We specifically tried to avoid pitching ourselves as diversity-focused company. I wanted to make sure the narrative about diversity and the narrative about a hiring solution don’t get decoupled. First and foremost, this delivers you engineers that are really well-matched to your company.”

Looking ahead, Taggar said it’s “pretty obvious” that this approach could be applied to other fields with quantifiable skills, like hardware engineering. It’s less clear whether this would work for hiring, say, salespeople. And perhaps more importantly, he said Triplebyte will stay focused: “I still think people underestimate the size of the problem. Every company has to hire software engineers.”

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