Avoid Hiring Mistakes and Save Time with Y Combinator’s HireArt

April 9, 2012

1:54 pm

It’s a testament to how broken our hiring system is that HireArt is an innovative startup and a Y Combinator grad, no less. HireArt’s goal is to help companies hire employees based on – can you imagine? – their skills.

But that doesn’t mean plumped-up skills listed on a resume; it means real-life, demonstrable talents. HireArt helps companies create tests for candidates, who respond with video or text. They even offer a database of tasks: How would you use a certain marketing budget to expand to a new city? How would you respond to a CEO’s critique? Analyze this SEO company. Create a video pitch for a new product. HireArt can even write an ad and find candidates, and grade the tests afterward – with pricing on a case-by-case basis.

Besides learning how to listen to customer feedback, the Mountain View startup took away other lessons from the 3-month Y Combinator program:

“Every week you’re encouraged to go to ‘office hours,’ where the partners dispense invaluable information solving your biggest fire drill at the moment. This could include helping you to focus your business, helping you deal with technical issues, or helping you identify an entire new source of growth,” explains cofounder Dain Lewis.

He adds, “Then at Tuesday dinners, you get a chance to bounce ideas off of the other co-founders and learn from each other’s mistakes. You feel that you’re really part of a community that will do anything to help you succeed.”

I suspect there’s an even larger community – all the truly skilled workers who have lost jobs to sharp-dressing schmoozers – who are cheering them on as well.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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