In the Spotlight: SquarePeg Hires Finds Applicants with a Better Fit

Spotlight: SquarePeg Hires Uses Technology for Hiring To make Recruiting Easier

Hiring hasn’t always gone smoothly for businesses. It remains difficult to find the candidates to best fit your specific job requirements and company culture. But SquarePeg Hires wants to make the process significantly easier. Find out how they’re working to improve hiring through technology in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Uses technology to help businesses with hiring.

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Founder and CEO Claire McTaggart told Small Business Trends this. “SquarePeg helps companies find, assess, and hire top non-tech talent based on fit, not just resumes.”

The company offers tens of thousands of passive candidates on its platform. These candidates get measured for personality fit. But they also get evaluated for environment fit. Other skills, experience, and other key metrics also figure in.

The company’s machine learning algorithm matches the top candidates for any role posted with SquarePeg. And the company sends curated pools of applicants to clients.

This saves time and improves quality of hire. As an SaaS company, SquarePeg can to do this at a much lower price point than a recruiting firm. That’s because the company uses data to generate top matches rather than searching piles of resumes. The data-driven approach also helps reduce biases. It helps the employers using SquarePeg to improve the diversity of their applicant pipeline.

Business Niche

Saving businesses time when hiring.

McTaggart says companies often come to SquarePeg when they’ve failed to find the right pipeline of candidates.

But clients also include businesses spending too much time trying to filter candidates. Some clients also don’t know what data they should be using to quantify what they need.

SquarePeg begins by identifying clients’ ideal hires. Say a detail-oriented and logical thinker who works well in fast-paced unstructured environments. Or perhaps a client needs an employee with a strong SEO background.

In days SquarePeg claims it will identify 10 top notch applicants interested in the role. These candidates will also fit the client’s desired salary range. The system requires far less ‘guess-work’ to understand why potential hires are a match.

In short, SquarePeg wants recruiters and hiring managers to spend less time posting, searching, and filtering. Clients instead detour directly to learning about their top prospects.

Spotlight: SquarePeg Hires Uses Technology for Hiring To make Recruiting Easier


How the Business Got Started

After overseeing the hiring process for a Fortune 100 management consulting firm.

During that experience, McTaggart noticed that the best performing hires weren’t necessarily lining up with what her team was evaluating on a resume. So she started SquarePeg to help businesses find the most relevant information to improve the hiring process.

Biggest Win

Signing up a Fortune 100 client.

McTaggart adds, “It was a truly seamless experience where the client had read a feature article about SquarePeg’s technology in Fast Company, connected with the team’s mission and wanted to be a part of the experience. They involved the most senior leadership in their Talent and Recruiting functions, to really see the potential of what the platform could offer them. This has meant a lot for our team as we have been able to start engaging enterprise level clients at the highest level.”

Biggest Risk

Saying no to an early growth opportunity.

In the early, SquarePeg received interest from companies seeking to use its assessments only for existing applicants. So applicants would take an assessment only to apply for a job. They also would see the job description before taking the assessment.

SquarePeg worried this created bad candidate experience. It also made accurate measurement difficult.

So the company said no despite the revenue these opportunities offered and the potentially easier business model.

Instead, SquarePeg stuck with its mission. The company focused on solving the pain-point they’d identified from the beginning. This saved them from being just another player in a crowded field.

“Looking back, had we chosen short-term revenue growth early on, we would have been taken on multiple directions and not remained focused,” McTaggert says.

Lesson Learned

Prioritize great design.

McTaggart says, “Having the opportunity to do it all over again, we would likely pay a little more attention to the product’s design in the beginning. There’s a general thinking that design doesn’t really matter to your product early on, especially in HR tech where there is a proliferation of Craig’s-list style job boards that are highly profitable. But thinking back, a product that’s designed better speaks to the mission a bit more and enhances the customer’s experience – both on the candidate and employer side – adding a ton of value to your product. At our outset we were focused on the science and tech – and not user-centric beautiful design, which is something we are working hard on at the moment.”

Spotlight: SquarePeg Hires Uses Technology for Hiring To make Recruiting Easier

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Developing analytics and assessment techniques.

McTaggart says, “We would continue to improve our assessment measurement and matching techniques – improving the accuracy while reducing the time to participate in them – as well as develop a suite of analytics for both job seekers and employers. By developing the suite, we are equipping recruiters and hiringmanagers with actionable data that will allow them to really make strategic decisions that will affect their team and the businesses they work in. Adding integrations with applicant tracking systems at a faster pace would also allow us to provide a truly seamless experience for anyone hiring through SquarePeg.”

Company Culture

Wearing multiple hats.

McTaggart explains, “As a startup, every person on the team must wear a lot of hats and play multiple roles at once. We often joke that each person has their real job title – such as CTO, Head of Data Science or CEO, and then their internal job function – tech support, data entry associate, or admin assistant. We all spend a lot of time doing work that isn’t glamorous, but helps us save money or cut corners.”

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Images: SquarePeg Hires; Top Image: Claire McTaggart, CEO; Dan Pupaza, CTO; Nitesh Surtani, Head of Data Science; Josh Hamaoui, Head of Business Development; Alisa Leshchenko, Operations 1 Comment ▼

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

One Reaction
  1. I guess this business came just in time when it is hard to find applicants for a certain position. Talent is really something important in a business nowadays.

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