Hyreo is looking to make a dent in the $30 billion HR market with its machine learning tech to ensure organisations hire right and retain the right talent.
The job process is one fraught with many complexities and uncertainties. Most often, processes are not streamlined and there are a number of ways in which applications reach human resources. From forwarded emails from internal staff to direct application - the inboxes of HR personnel are always overflowing.
On the other side, often, an applicant has no way of knowing the status of their application. Usually, a no reply or “silence” from the company would mean you have missed your chance. In other cases, your email has not been seen.
The entire process might seem unfair and the question is how can it be simplifed so that all parties are satisfied.
The answer comes from a Thiruvananthapuram-based startup in the form of an app based on Machine Learning. Hyreo has developed a chatbot that tracks the status of an application, following which the Human Resources department can clearly communicate with candidates.
Hyreo was founded by collegemates Arun Satyan and Mahesh Raju. They met at Cochin University of Science & Technology while pursuing their engineering degree in 2000. After spending over a decade in IT and technology industries, they joined hands to develop a solution to address the lack of automation in talent discovery and engagement. Arun was working as a programme manager at an IT company and faced the challenge of not being able to effectively ‘discover’ great talent from a pile of CVs.
Being a technology leader, Mahesh felt he and his team were spending way too much time interviewing candidates. This led to the founding of Hyreo in April 2015, which was aimed at effectively leveraging technology to improve communication with talent, understand their proficiency in technical subjects and engineering fundamentals and improve overall recruitment performance.
“In India, estimates say that in the technology industry, over 70 percent of candidates are rejected after the first round of interview. Also, in the current scenario offer acceptance by candidates is less than 50 percent. Combining these factors we understood that significant amount of effort taken by hiring teams in the recruiting process does not have any results,” says Arun.
Hyreo tries to provide a 24/7 automated chatbot mechanism for hiring teams and candidates to interact, assess capabilities, provide feedback and create a more predictable experience for all stakeholders.
Consider Hyreo as an intelligent assistant that takes the candidate through the entire recruitment cycle. Companies with or without HRMS/ATS systems can benefit from Hyreo.
The market opportunity
The recruitment business globally follows a fairly standard process across most industries and significant effort is spent on attracting top talent. Traditionally, technology products have been mostly centred around HRMS systems, job boards, and candidate databases. There are several agencies providing recruitment services to corporate entities as well. Over the last five years, many innovative products and services have started disrupting the traditional re-sourcing models.
Algorithms matching CVs with job requirements, parsing relevant information, crawling the web for details, social data and chatbot are some of the services.
Candidates also get more innovative platforms to showcase their skills, learn more on digital channels and find exciting job openings. The global push for a ‘gig based’ hiring model is also transforming the talent market.
Hyreo comes in from the point a new job requirement is created for hiring. CVs from different sources like an existing internal database or externally sourced are matched against the job and based on the match or score, Hyreo will reach out to these candidates via email or SMS.
The chatbot initiates a human-like conversation with the candidates to share relevant information about the job and hiring company, understand interest level and conduct a first level technical screening based on the skills provided.
“The scores are shared with the internal recruiters and from that point, the chatbot acts as a channel for constant interaction between the candidate and hiring team. Candidate can provide a schedule for further rounds of interviews, give feedback, post questions or share documents,” says Arun.
They got their first payment in early 2016 - a sum of $1000 was paid by an IT product company in the travel space for Hyreo’s services. This small IT company had a very high candidate rejection rate and the internal team was not happy with the recruitment process. The customer used Hyreo to do a first level screening of the candidates and only bring in a curated set of candidates for internally screening. The model saved them over 75 percent savings in the screening process and the recruitment velocity went up by over 50 percent.
After the product’s success, the duo invested over Rs 65 lakh in the company. The company also raised an angel round of Rs 50 lakh and also won the Kerala Government grant of Rs 12 lakh as part of the Idea Day initiative run by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM). Currently, the team is in advanced stages for raising a pre-series A from existing investors and other institutional investors.
The key challenge Hyreo faces is to attain customer confidence on performance and reliability. A challenge Hyreo solves is to build scale to support different technologies and domains, since hiring needs might have to handled differently.
Hyreo plugs into all HR management systems and pulls information from HR databases about requirements and positions that need to be filled and connect to the right candidates.
“Our revenue comes from two channels. The first one is the monthly subscription for the software and the second one is an outcome-based recruitment model where we charge the customer for each candidate joining the organisation,” says Arun.
The technology is built on open source technologies like Java, Python, SQL, Mongo and Open NLP.
In the next 18-24 months, Hyreo plans to focus on sales and marketing. Product innovation would continue around enhancing chatbot capability and integration. It also plans to expand its existing presence in Singapore and South Asia. Currently, it has 15 clients and does not want to disclose their revenues. Engazify, JLTBot, Amber and Dino are some startups offering HR services to track the internal experience of employees. Darwin Box, a funded startup, manages the life cycle of an individual in an organisation. But, there are not many platforms helping HR managers connect with potential external hires.
According to GrandView Research, the size of the market for HR Products is $10 billion. This market is expected to triple over the next seven years.
Hopefully, this three-year-old startup will gain enough traction to go global.