Startup Hirevisor faces the firing squad. Will their warm-and-fuzzy, sharing-is-caring business model pass the test? Gotta listen to this Talroo exclusive if you want to find out.

FIRING SQUAD is brought to you by TALROO - The data-driven platform to amplify talent attraction and job discovery


Joel: All right. Time for another Firing Squad. I'm ready, Chad, how about you?

Chad: I'm excited.

Joel: On today's show, we have Patrick Hillstrom, co-founder and CEO of Hirevisor, which by the way if you don't have a tchotchke visor that you're passing out to people, I think you're really missing a prime opportunity. Patrick, welcome to Firing Squad. Give us the 15 second intro on you.

Patrick: Well, thanks Joel and Chad. A quick intro on me, my name is Patrick Hillstrom as you folks mentioned. I'm the CEO and co-founder of Hirevisor. I'm based in San Francisco and ex-LinkedIn alum, and very excited to be here.

Joel: Excellent. Chad, tell him what he's won.

Chad: You've won the opportunity to stand in front of the firing squad. That's what you're getting. We're going to go ahead and set the format out for you. You're going to have two minutes to pitch us on Hirevisor. At the end of two minutes, you'll hear the bell. Then Joel and I will hit you with some rapid fire Q&A. If your answers aren't concise, Joel is going to hit you with either the bell or crickets. That means you need to move your ass on. Tighten up your game, be concise.

Chad: Then at the end of Q&A, Joel and I will give you our honest feedback with regard to your pitch, answering of your questions, and you're going to get graded in one of three ways. You will either receive big applause, that means you've kicked ass and you've taken names, a golf clap, which is my favorite because it's so pathetic, but that just means you're not ready for primetime, and then the firing squad. You should probably pack your shit up, go home, and rethink this whole thing. That's firing squad. It's time to buckle up and pitch. Joel, it's all you.

Joel: Are you ready, Patrick?

Patrick: I am ready.

Joel: All right. At the bell, you have two minutes. When you hear the bell again, you are done. Go.

Patrick: All right. In a sentence, Hirevisor is a peer-to-peer talent exchange. Now, what that means in practice is our platform provides a way to invite their second place candidates to leverage all the efforts that we put into application process toward finding roles at our other partner companies on the Hirevisor talent exchange.

Patrick: There's really two pieces to the platform. On the one hand, we're a candidate experience, candidate engagement talent branding tool that frankly will interact with most of the candidates who go through your application pipeline and make sure the vast majority of folks have a way to still feel like they had a great experience with your company.

Patrick: On the other side of our platform, we're actually a sourcing tool. All of these candidates who accept their invite to join the Hirevisor platform, they're now searchable on the Hirevisor talent exchange. The main value here is these candidates who join, again, they can leverage their efforts in the process toward finding roles at other companies, and hopefully be able to find roles at other companies without ... Excuse me. Without having to fill out another application, without having to do more work than they've already put into the process.

Patrick: This really comes from a personal place for me, because as a candidate, I've been second place more time than I can count, and we really wanted to build a platform where as a candidate you're able to, interviewing has been historically a parallel yet siloed process. It's the first time in our platform all of this work can help you land roles at other companies.

Patrick: Two pieces of the platform. It's a candidate experience, candidate engagement piece, and also a sourcing tool that helps companies find better talent faster, and builds an overall better candidate experience.

Joel: In 15 seconds, where would someone find more about you?

Patrick: You can sign up today, or you can request a demo. I'm happy to share more about it.

Joel: All right. That's your first piece of critique. Make sure in every pitch you tell people where can you find out more.

Patrick: Got it.

Joel: Chad, he's all yours.

Chad: Yes. Three part question. First and foremost, are you familiar with AllianceQueue?

Patrick: AllianceQueue? No, I'm not.

Chad: Are you familiar with Jobfox?

Patrick: I've heard of them, but not terribly familiar with them.

Chad: Okay. When it comes down to the actual pitch that you're trying to make, how are you different when it comes to going after active job seekers than all the other products and platforms that are out there?

Patrick: The main difference about our platform is that we're directly integrated with your applicant tracking system. We're as much a sourcing and candidate engagement play as we are a systems integration play. It takes 10 minutes, you get up and running and integrated with your applicant tracking system, and candidates are automatically invited to our platform. The value of this being that we know for sure, hey, this candidate interviewed for this roll, and we have the date and timestamp of when that happened.

Patrick: While there are plenty of platforms out there to your point that say, "Hey, we've got the best active job seekers," we know for sure in a data driven way that these folks are ready to go.

Chad: This is a platform that is focused heavily on the active job seeker's side in an environment and/or landscape market that is very tight, so therefore, active job seekers are very low. Why are you focusing on active job seekers, when to be quite frank, most people are trying to re-engage with those passive job seekers?

Patrick: It's a great question. The way we see it is almost as a philosophical difference about the future of the talent ecosystem. There's plenty of companies out there like Beamery, both Lever and Greenhouse have offered these sort of talent relationship management ... Excuse me, talent marketing tools that help you to your point re-engage with candidates who've been rejected and may or may not be interested in the company later on.

Patrick: We see that as fundamentally inefficient. What we're offering is a true talent exchange that almost in a way is just-in-time recruiting where it's more efficient if you have this person who was just rejected from a role and they could be a great fit at another company who's looking for someone like them right now. Why not make that connection, versus introducing this additional, what we see as additional inefficiency in the process.

Patrick: To your point, we see it as almost a difference in world view.

Joel: Patrick, I'm always interested in the genesis of an idea. You mentioned your LinkedIn past. I'm interested, what did you do for them? Was this idea of this company born out of LinkedIn? Tell us about the lightning bolt that hit you that made you come up with Hirevisor?

Patrick: Sure. I was at LinkedIn for two and a half years, and I worked on the business operations team and worked very closely with the product teams as well, specifically on content products like SlideShare, Pulse, the publishing platform, Groups, and then also when LinkedIn acquired, I helped lead the BizOps effort for that integration.

Patrick: A lot of what I was doing was working with product teams and understanding how different users were using LinkedIn products and services, and how that was incorporated into the overall growth of the company. I would say what my time at LinkedIn really did was give me a sense for how the 800 pound gorilla in this space thinks about the talent ecosystem and what their sense of how the market is shifting, where it's heading, and product strategy, et cetera.

Patrick: That definitely informed some of the things that I'm doing right now with Hirevisor, but really the lightning bolt for this idea came after two and a half years at LinkedIn, had a great time there, but really felt this itch to try something on my own. LinkedIn's a fantastic company, I would've stayed if I didn't have this itch basically. The original genesis, even more so than from working at my time at LinkedIn was just born out of personal experience. Again, as I mentioned, I'd been a second place candidate more times than I could count, and coming from a ...

Joel: You're barely into your 20s. How can you have so many second ...

Patrick: Welcome to the Millennial struggle

Joel: There we go. The Millennial struggle.

Patrick: I had to throw it in there. I had to throw it in there. In all seriousness, I graduated with a history degree, right, and I managed to weasel my way into finance first, and then from there, weasel my way into LinkedIn. There was a lot of learnings that came from branding myself and how do you actually understand and navigate this job market. The process sucked, frankly. That core sort of feeling about the candidate experience married with my time at LinkedIn helped inform the genesis of this idea.

Patrick: Do you want me to get into the specifics for this, because this particular idea is actually a pivot. Our original idea was more of a core candidate experience piece, but this is more of a pivot. I'm happy to get into that if you want as well, but that sort of, that core genesis.

Joel: Typically people a little bit more grizzled or they have some experience in employment, which you do, but not that extensive, or people who've had startups before. Their story is a little more cut and dry. To me, yours is a little less so, so I wanted to just have you sort of create some color around your story. You're also I believe a Penn, a Penn grad?

Patrick: Correct.

Joel: So Ivy League kid, LinkedIn, now doing this. Got it.

Patrick: Correct. Correct.

Chad: When it comes down to a silver medal candidate-

Patrick: Quick question. Do you guys like that term or dislike that term? I've found it's polarizing. There's people who love it and there's people who hate it.

Joel: Hey, we're asking the questions here, pal!

Patrick: All right.

Chad: I don't think it matters. Second, I'm a company, and I have silver medal candidates, it's a tight job market. There's no way in hell I'm giving you my silver medal candidates. How are you getting companies to actually come on board and say, "Oh yeah, I'll give you all my great talent into your shared resume database"?