Startup of the Month · September 2020

hyrd

Why did you found your startup, which problem do you address and how do you solve it?

Social background still plays a large role in ones’ individual career opportunities and induces major inequalities in the application and recruiting process. Our goal at hyrd is to democratize access to career opportunities by ensuring a transparent, easy and fair application process for all students, no matter where they come from, who they know or what background their parents have.

hyrd accompanies students in their entire career journey and helps them to find a well-fitting and purposeful job. We ensure that students do not miss any job opportunity and provide them with tools and the support they need in the entire career journey, from searching for a job until the signing of their contract.

What gave you the idea to found your startup?

In our previous jobs as bankers, we were very much involved in recruiting young talents. We first hand noticed the inefficiencies and limitations in corporate recruiting processes. On the other hand, we learned what students find most challenging and bothersome in mastering the job application journey.

This also reminded us of our own situation back in time when we were faced with non-transparent, unfair and stressful application processes. The more we thought about the situation, the more we were convinced that technology had the potential to solve those issues and create a fair and efficient recruiting process.

What is special about your business-model, what are you doing differently?

hyrd is the only platform which accompanies and supports students at every step of their career journey, from discovering the right job to signing the job contract without leaving our platform at any step. As the first career platform with a completely integrated and harmonized application process for all jobs, we provide students with intelligent tools to master the entire application process using the hyrd platform.

Additionally, we provide students with a comprehensive and well structured job market overview and ensure that they don’t miss any opportunity. With this integrated process we are able to support every single student in this incredibly important step of life and ensure equal career opportunities.

Which were the biggest challenges you needed to overcome in the beginning?

When founding a startup one of the biggest challenges is finding the right balance between building a product and building a company. On the one hand, its essential to create a great product people love, but on the other hand it’s also important building the foundation for a successfully operating and scalable company. This balance is obviously not set in stone but rather needs to be adjusted based on the current stage of the business.

What was the most valuable advice somebody gave to you during your foundation phase?

Talk to your clients/users: many great people we talked to encouraged us to reach out to our user base and get their feedback about our product. It is extremely important not to build an entire product just on the basis of your own assumptions. You will get the best results, not when building a product for your users, but rather with your users.

What was your greatest success so far?

We have been working with students intensively during the entire stealth phase to gather first-hand feedback. After releasing the hyrd beta version, we have received overwhelming feedback from first users. It’s a great success to hear that what we built really creates value to students and makes a great difference in their career journey, one of the most challenging exciting journeys of their life.

What would you recommend other founders?

Speak to your clients/users. We believe that many companies fail to communicate effectively with their client base.We have been very interactive with our users to get a better understanding on how we can best cater their needs. Listening is a very strong tool to find out what you can do better and how you, as a company, can make your clients happy; because in the end, that’s all that counts.

If a team: Where did you meet?

We have worked together for a few years in our previous jobs – in different teams but in the same division. In those years we became good friends and spent a lot of time together, turning our idea of helping students getting the right job into a concept and later into a company. In particular when operating as a company in a very small team the dynamics between founders are absolutely essential for the company’s success.

What was the roughest rejection you ever got in a pitch?

We once spend a huge amount of time and effort preparing for a pitch. We tried to perfect every detail of the pitch book and the message we wanted to communicate. Finally, we were extremely well prepared and ready to go. Then our planned 1h meeting was turned into a 15min call, which did not really give us the opportunity to get our message across. Sometimes such events feel very frustrating, but its important to leave them behind and focus your energy on what comes next.

Where do you see your startup in 3 years?

We envision hyrd as a grown company, with a great corporate culture, serving students and companies with passion and a market leading technology.

Do you still have a proper social live since the founding?

We are both very passionate about our product and like working hard to make it better and push it to the next level. Therefore, work does not really feel like work most of the time. We have a great team which we also spend a lot of time with, and love to enjoy some afterwork drinks including some Frankfurt Apfelwein from time to time.

Do you have a role model and if so, who is it?

Hasso Plattner and Dietmar Hopp: They have created a great firm that completely transformed the way, how companies interact internally and externally. They improved the processes at their clients in a smooth way, offering “the” operating system to the already employed hardware. Intelligent processes are in our mind key for successful organisations but also very important for everyone individually.

If an Investor gave you 500.000 Euro, what would you do with the money?

At the moment we are well financed, but in the long run we would like to make additional investments in new people to accelerate our growth and further improve our technology.