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Startup Woven removes resume from hiring process

January 18, 2019

Any fast-growing company knows the pain of finding and hiring qualified job candidates on a tight timeline. A failure to make needed hires can slow the growth and eventually cripple the company.

Officials at Indianapolis-based startup Woven think they can help. Woven bills itself as a software company that helps high-growth engineering teams hit ambitious hiring goals.

And Woven execs aren’t the only ones who have faith in the new company’s wares. 

This week, Woven announced it has raised $425,000 in funding from some well-known investors, including High Alpha Capital. That money will be added to $140,000 Woven co-founder Wes Winham reaped from the sale of his previous company, PolicyStat, and is investing into Woven.

Woven officials are calling the funding a pre-seeding round, and Winham said the firm plans to raise a seed round of more than $1 million later this year. 

“At High Alpha, we work with many high-growth software teams and continually see the struggles that exist in effectively scaling engineering teams,” said Eric Tobias, a partner at High Alpha. “Woven’s unique approach to evidence-based hiring is a game-changer for development teams, especially as the challenge to recruit top engineering talent will only continue to increase.”

High Alpha isn’t the only one bullish on Woven. Other investors include Formstack founder Ade Olonoh; John Qualls,the former CEO of Bluelock; and Christopher Clapp, the former CEO of Angel Learning.

Launched in November 2017, Woven is the brainchild of its three founders: Wes Winham, Kyle Shipley and Anthony Panozzo. Over the past decade, all three scaled software engineering teams at fast-growth startups, ranging from Silicon Valley-based Castlight Health to Indianapolis software company PolicyStat. 

They met for lunch on a weekly basis to try to uncover a better way to hire, and what they created now fuels Woven’s growth. 

Located at The Union 525 downtown, Woven helps customers run a credentials-blind, candidate-screening process. Instead of resumes, developers are chosen for interviews based on their performance on a one-hour software engineering simulation that Woven builds, administers and summarizes. Not only is the process fairer, it allows Woven customers to find “hidden gems they would have overlooked,” said Woven CEO Wes Winham. As a result, one-third of the developers hired through Woven would have been screened out based on their resumes alone, he added.

After one year, Woven—with its evidence-based hiring model—is already working with several of Indianapolis’ fastest-growing software teams, including Lessonly, Springbuk, and PactSafe, to help them find suitable engineering candidates.

“The way companies hire software engineers is fundamentally broken,” Winham said. “Resumes don’t work, and current hiring practices reinforce the biases that keep software teams too homogeneous. This is a giant problem, and we’re solving it with machine learning.”

Winham predicts 2019 will be big for Woven.

“We helped our customers hire 19 developers in 2018, including five that wouldn't have even had a chance to interview without us. We call those folks hidden gems because they're great developers, but their resume doesn't convey that,” Winham said. “We want to help with more than100 hires and find 25 hidden gems in 2019. We also aim to grow recurring revenue by more than 500 percent.”

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