This HR start-up makes it easy to screen job candidates. Can it raise $1.25 million?
Bright Idea Danielle Weinblatt dreamed up Take the Interview while recruiting job candidates for Citigroup.
FOUNDER: Danielle Weinblatt
LOCATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts
EMPLOYEES: Five full time; three part time
FOUNDED: January 2011
2011 PROJECTED REVENUE: $100,000
NUMBER OF USERS: 100 (including Cactus Restaurants, Harvard Business School, and Deloitte)
VIDEOS RECORDED: 160
COST: $45 for one posting; $70—$300 for up to six postings a month; about $25,000 for an enterprise package
PREVIOUS FUNDING: $200,000 in angel funding
FUNDING SOUGHT: $1.25 million
The Pitch: "Screening job candidates is a huge waste of time. Recruiters often know after just a few minutes whether a candidate is worth an in-person interview, but they go on interviewing anyway. For big companies with endless recruits, this is a problem. That's where Take the Interview comes in. It's a video interviewing platform that lets employers ask three to five important questions to multiple candidates and receive video responses. Employers pay us a subscription fee to post job openings; applicants get one shot to answer the questions, just like in a real interview. We're raising money to build a sales team and create a mobile application."
The Experts Weigh In
Find a Partner I like that Take the Interview is addressing a real problem that affects a large market. The pricing seems pretty on target, and it has a good number of businesses using the system already. It would definitely save businesses money, because it makes recruiters more productive. My main questions are, how hard is this to do, and could a site like Monster.com do it itself? Weinblatt might consider partnering with established job sites before doing it herself. That said, if Take the Interview's clients say this is working for them, I certainly think it's an investment Canaan would consider. Maha Ibrahim, general partner Canaan Partners Menlo Park, California
Charge More It's an interesting idea. The question is whether the company is charging enough to pay its salespeople. Good enterprise salespeople can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. If you can't pay that, they'll take a job elsewhere. Take the Interview's most expensive package is only in the tens of thousands of dollars. Ideally, it would be in the hundreds of thousands. Before Weinblatt worries about mobile applications, she needs to add more features to the enterprise package to justify a higher price. It's too early for venture capital, but I think the company might be able to attract some angel funding. Jeremy Liew, managing director Lightspeed Venture Partners Menlo Park, California
More Bells and Whistles I like this idea, but I think Take the Interview could add other features besides video to make this a company, not just a product. It could compile a database on each candidate, with questions that don't require video. For instance, if you're hiring a salesperson, you could ask candidates simple questions, such as, "Did you meet your quotas in your last job?" or "Did you get promoted?" This could be an opportunity to build a database that's both data driven and presentation driven. The more information it has on each candidate, the more valuable it becomes. For early-stage investors, this is a good idea, one we would definitely look at. Habib Kairouz, managing partner Rho Ventures New York City