Startups

Tyba Uses Algorithms to Match Startups With Smart Kids


When Alec Dent wants to hire quickly at European ride-sharing startup BlaBlaCar, he doesn’t rely on LinkedIn (LNKD) or job boards such as Work In Startups. The résumés he gets from them are too often “irrelevant,” says the carpooling service’s partnership and public relations manager.

Since the spring, London-based Dent has been trying an online recruiting service called Tyba that matches young jobseekers with startups that need entry-level workers. Once an applicant creates a profile on Tyba’s website, the 28-employee Madrid-based startup uses algorithms and its own employees’ judgment to recommend the potential hire to client companies. Companies pay Tyba to get contact information on the smart kids they want to interview—€30 ($40.57)  per intern candidate and €150 per full-timer. The job-seekers pay nothing.

Tyba’s curation means “a lot of the job is done for us,” Dent says. “It’s nice to get profiles that are relevant, rather than search through a big batch that are just not going to work.” BlaBlaCar, which announced a $100 million round of venture capital in June, has done “a number of interviews” through Tyba, he says, and its London office recently made a job offer to one candidate.

Plenty of companies sell recruiting technology and services they promise will make hiring more efficient. Tyba’s twist is its focus on startup jobs and recent graduates who want them. Since its founding in 2011, its user base of mostly European young people have created profiles on the site, touting their personal and professional backgrounds and interests, including earnest lists of favorite books and quotes. (An average Tyba profile has 150 data points, compared with 50 on a typical résumé, the company says.) A “sizable” number of people have landed jobs through the site, says Eiso Kant, Tyba’s 23-year-old co-founder and managing director, though he won’t provide numbers.

On July 22, Tyba, backed by $1.6 million from investors, including Sunstone Capital in Copenhagen, plans to unveil profiles of more than 200 fast-growing young companies with headquarters or offices in Europe, including BlaBlaCar, Dropbox, and some offspring of Rocket Internet. About half these businesses have open positions available through Tyba, Kant says. “There’s no platform today in Europe that covers startup jobs across the whole of Europe,” he says, adding that he expects to post 1,000 European startup profiles by year-end.

The company profiles, essentially ads created by Tyba’s team, consist of interviews with employees at the startups, plus photos and videos showing off their workspaces. Tyba does them for free—a clever way to convince startups such as BlaBlaCar to pay it for recommendations. “We’re in a much a better position to show a young person what’s it’s like to go work at a company than a page of text on some job board site,” says Kant. “Like how Netflix (NFLX) recommends you movies, we recommend you jobs.”

While an increasing number of companies use fancy technology to automate parts of their hiring process, they’re mostly in an experimental phase, says Yih-teen Lee, an associate professor in the managing people in organizations department at IESE Business School in Barcelona. “Lots of companies may be trying the tools out without necessarily being completely certain and clear about the purpose, function, or pros and cons.”

Bolivian native Manuel Arauco landed an internship via his Tyba profile earlier this year at Lendico, a Rocket Internet-backed lending marketplace based in Madrid. Now the 25-year-old has a full-time job at Lendico’s Spanish website. It usually “sucks to apply for jobs,” Arauco says. “It happened a lot faster than I was expecting.”

Nick-leiber_75x75
Leiber is Small Business editor for Businessweek.com, Entrepreneurs editor for Bloomberg.com, and covers small business for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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