In collaboration for a report detailing the societal benefits of Artificial Intelligence in South Africa, the Boston Consulting Group, Microsoft South Africa including Wits…
In a bid to bridge the trust gap in the hiring of tech teams, Weekday has raised $2.2 million in seed funding to launch its innovative peer-group references platform. The California-based start-up aims to reshape the hiring landscape by reintroducing trust into the recruitment process, thereby fostering improved outcomes for both employers and workers.
The traditional reference check process, once a vital element in the hiring procedure, has gradually devolved into a mere checkbox exercise for recruiters.
Shockingly, over 95% of recruiters no longer seek insights from previous colleagues regarding candidates’ work performance and behaviours. This has led to a growing scepticism about the accuracy of hiring decisions and contributed to the challenge of sourcing and securing the right talent.
Weekday’s emergence from stealth mode has been fuelled by a $2.2 million seed funding round led by Venture Highway, a notable player in the venture capital space, along with contributions from influential angel investors. The start-up has also benefited from the backing of Y-Combinator, a renowned accelerator.
Founded in 2021 by Amit Singh, Anubav Malik, and Chetan Dalal, Weekday was born out of the founders’ personal experiences in the tech industry. Having struggled to build a technology team for a previous start-up, they realised the limitations of existing tools and processes.
The trio turned to their network for references, which not only validated candidates but also significantly expanded their pool of potential hires.
This success led to the creation of Weekday, with a specific focus on addressing the challenges in hiring tech talent.
Weekday’s approach is novel yet intuitive. It invites software engineers to connect their social graphs, incorporating platforms like LinkedIn and Contacts. The platform then provides engineers with a curated shortlist of potential candidates to refer to various companies.
To make the experience engaging, Weekday employs gamification techniques. What sets it apart is its emphasis on the power of references. Recruiters gain access to a unique dataset of references from multiple individuals, enabling them to make hiring decisions based on real-life experiences and capabilities rather than relying solely on resumes and interviews.
For companies, Weekday acts as a sourcing engine on autopilot. It not only facilitates candidate discovery but also automates outreach while simultaneously providing instant reference checks.
Within just four days of signing up, companies start receiving candidate suggestions complete with readily available background references, streamlining the interview process and enhancing decision-making.
Amit Singh, CEO and co-founder of Weekday, stated, “We want to solve the problem of a lack of trust in the hiring process. We believe that a recruiting platform with ‘references’ as the cornerstone is the solution that solves all these problems. We are what LinkedIn should have been.”
With over 120 companies having already leveraged Weekday’s platform for their hiring needs, the start-up’s approach has gained traction. Recruiters are drawn to the platform’s pool of passive candidates – those not actively seeking new roles – endorsed by their peers. This endorsement ensures a higher calibre of candidates compared to traditional job boards. Furthermore, in an era of increased remote hiring, the significance of trust and references has amplified.
Aviral Bhatnagar from Venture Highway shared, “While most other company functions have seen breakthrough products in recent years, recruitment still hasn’t. We are partnering with Weekday as they try to change that.”
Weekday is currently concentrating on aiding companies in hiring remote software engineers. While these companies are primarily based in the US, the majority of the candidate base is located in India and Southeast Asia. As Weekday gains momentum, it holds the potential to reshape the hiring landscape and revive the critical aspect of trust in recruitment.