Small Business Spotlight of the Week: Hireology Amanda | July 21st, 2011

With temperature highs steadying at a cool and comfy 100 degrees this week in Chicago, it’s too hot to bother with lengthy, clever intros.  So, I’ll just cut to the chase:  this week we’re featuring the website Hireology.com.

Hiring new employees can be tricky– both Mike and Ross have covered this topic extensively in the past.  The hiring process can present specific challenges to small businesses and start-ups since oftentimes, they simply don’t have a procedure in place to help them make the best hiring decisions.  As a former outsourced recruiting provider, Adam Robinson saw firsthand how lack of consistency and unpreparedness can effect final decisions.

With an idea for a web-based hiring platform that catered to small businesses, he parterned with Michael Krasman and Jeff Ellman in 2010.  Hireology provides a system and structure for companies to use when looking to hire new employees.  Currently, 120 companies have used Hireology.  You can check out their blog here.

Adam took a few minutes to answer some questions I had:

How would you explain what you do to somebody’s grandmother?

Hireology is a web-based platform that helps you make the better hiring decisions.  We tell managers what to specific questions to ask in an interview – and how to score what they hear – so that they aren’t making hiring decisions based on gut feel.  When you’re ready to make the hire, we provide access to criminal background checks, personality profiling, and education verification.

What made you use crowdSPRING? 

I’ve been through the process of designing a corporate identity with a traditional “branding agency,” and it was both expensive and frustrating. We wanted to give crowdSPRING a shot, if only to see what would happen.  Your model made trying the service a very low risk/high reward proposition, and the result was outstanding.

What are some industry specific challenges you faced?  

Hireology is competing in a HR Technology market – a mature, crowded space with literally hundreds of alternatives.  We needed a brand that immediately differentiated us from a sea of me-too brands, and communicated to our market that we’re very different from the solutions they’ve tried before.

What was your biggest learning curve/experience?

When we design features based on what “we” think the market wants, we get it about 50% right.  We when build features that are grounded in feedback gained from listening to customer experiences, we always come close to getting it 100% right.  We very quickly learned to 1) not design features in a bubble, and 2) have as many customer conversations as we can, each and every day.

What’s the craziest story you have from starting your own business?  

Nobody ever teaches you how to hire someone, which is why most people are so bad at it (also the reason we’re in business).  Once, I had a very superstitious CEO explain his hiring process to me: when he needed to review a stack of resumes on his desk, he’d pick up the top half of the pile and throw the resumes into the trash without even looking at them.  Why?  “Because I don’t want any unlucky people working for me.”  That’s insane.

 Six words of advice to those looking to start their own company.  

Customers are your ideal capital source.

How do you see your company growing in the future?

The big HR tech vendors have completely ignored small and midsized businesses, but that’s where all the hiring will be taking place in the coming years.  These companies have the desire and the means to hire new employees, but currently do so in a disjointed an inefficient manner – which leads to expensive mistakes. These companies are hungry for high-value solutions that solve this specific problem, and we’re going to be the #1 player in this space.

We’re beginning to develop a reseller program with independent HR consultants, who will take Hireology into their customer bases as a way to grow their service business.  We’re also inking partnerships with certain add-on solutions that enhance our value proposition – like personality profiling, skills testing, and criminal background checks.

What’s your working relationship like now with the crowdSPRING designer’s project you chose?

I said from Day 1 that our brand needed to be a major competitive advantage.  We used crowdSPRING to handle all aspects of our corporate identity – starting with a logo, then a website project, and finally a full corporate ID package with cards and stationary.

We chose our company name to communicate our scientific approach to talent selection, and the winning crowdSPRING designer really delivered.  We took our logo and had it embroidered on white lab coats, and now our entire team goes to trade events looking like the stepped out of a laboratory.  We carry green clipboards and “diagnose” prospects as they stop by the booth.  In other words, we’re going all out with the brand, and people love it.

As a thank you to the President of the Chicago Chamber of Commerce, Jerry Roper, we had a white lab coat made with his name embroidered on it, with the title, “Hireologist” sewn below, and presented it to him in his office.

Hireology has held 3 projects on crowdSPRING since 2010, one for their logo design, a second for their website design, and the most recent for their stationery design.

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