Recruiting events are expensive and time-consuming for companies to host. From networking sessions to career fair booths, companies spend precious time and energy to try and acquire the best talent coming out of universities. At these events, recruiters are unable to properly solicit and maintain feedback from employees who speak with potential candidates. The loss of this critical information from employees adversely impacts a company’s recruitment strategy at every stage of the pipeline. Katherine Allen and Atreya Misra recognize the value being lost in the traditional recruitment process. They have created Flo Recruit to recapture essential information that the recruiter needs to make better decisions in advancing candidates in the hiring pipeline. Flo Recruit is a part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 batch, as already counts Gusto and the San Francisco startup accelerator itself as customers.
Popular tech-focused media outlets and venture capital (VC) firms like to define tech startups’ needs for the best students as a “war on talent.” With the right skill set, the best university grads can clear six-figures in total compensation right out of school if they majored in computer science or a related area of study. To secure the skills of these bright new graduates, companies rely heavily on networking events, info sessions and traditional career fair events for opportunities to interact with prospective candidates. The recruiters driving these events are not able to interact with every single candidate that stops by their booth or session. Some companies rely on actual employees to be in attendance to best support the recruit orchestrating the event. These employees interact with prospective candidates and provide critical feedback to the recruiter as to whom to grant or deny an interview. The primary issue for the recruiter is that he or she has no standardized way to ensure they can collect information on individual candidates from employees. Also, referencing that missing information later in the latter stages when advancing specific prospects through the recruitment pipeline is crucial. The applicant tracking system (ATS) that companies use are limited in functionality, preventing them from taking in new applicant information when needed. The lack of proper information collection and tracking leads to unnecessary inefficiencies in hiring the right individuals, leading to a large number of customers for a potential solution.
The recruitment industry was worth $200 billion in 2017, according to Josh Bersin, a Forbes Contributor. Also, Glassdoor estimates that it costs nearly $4,000 for a company to hire someone after going through the recruitment process. Given the size of the industry and the general costs of hiring an individual, there is clear evidence that bad hires can cost a company significant money. CareerBuilder determines that the average bad hire costs a company around $18,000. Recruiting is hard to get right for the best companies, which is why some early adopters of Flo Recruit see positive initial results.
Flo Recruit provides companies with backend software to integrate into their ATS, which allows them to better track and update candidates throughout their hiring process. The startup enables candidates to pre-register for a hiring event in advance or register at the start via their mobile phones. As students interact with the company employees, the latter can quickly transfer their notes into Flo Recruit’s software, which will then attach the information to the right candidate. That information is then stored and can be referenced and updated at various stages of that company hiring process. The startup has designed its database to allow for real-time access of a candidate’s information as needed. Flo Recruit’s software seamlessly integrates with a variety of applicant tracking system as they have designed for modularity and addressing the most general use cases first.
Their core value add should be seen more than just getting better data on candidates throughout the recruitment process. Flo Recruit’s software can ultimately allow companies to gain insights on the recruitment process via analytics. A company could begin to determine what makes a good hire for their specific needs and calculate their return on investment from a recruiting event. Companies can do a better job in tailoring their application process to find the best-fitting candidate for them cost-effectively. The standard requirements to apply for certain roles at particular companies are coming from a specific school or having a certain GPA in a list of accepted majors. It’s already been shown that a high GPA does not correlate well to first-year on the job performance. Flo Recruit is ultimately laying the foundation to redesign how companies recruit as a whole and become the gold standard for how an application process should be conducted. Their mobile-first approach allows for efficient access and distribution of their product for both applicants and hirers.
Their design philosophy has helped them get a wide-ranging set of clients from large law firms like Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright (both over $1 billion in annual revenue) to high-growth tech startups and accelerators such as Gusto (recently valued at $3.2 billion) and Y Combinator. Their ability to service a variety of customers is a result of a stellar founding team.
The two cofounders, Allen and Misra, complement each other well. Allen, the CEO of Flo, obtained her Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin. She has experience at notable tech startups such as Handshake and as a partner at the student-run VC firm Genesis at UT Austin, leveraging those skills in each role to succeed in leading Flo to become the gold standard in full-time recruiting. Misra, the CTO of Flo, completed his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering, specializing in deep learning and information theory. His previous experience in software engineering roles at Verizon Wireless and JP Morgan have been key to building the core technologies that allow Flo to service its customers reliably.
Together, these two are redefining how companies interact with and recruit prospective candidates in a transparent, data-driven manner through Flo Recruit.
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