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ThriveMap: the startup reinventing recruitment

Published:  Nov 27, 2019
Isabella Ghassemi Smith

ThriveMap is an innovative new HR Tech venture, with a bold vision; a multi-dimensional pre-hire assessment experience, offering employers much richer insights into candidates than a conventional interview. ThriveMap’s process is a powerful combination of work simulation technology, cultural match-making, process standardisation, and employer branding. It uses cutting edge assessment technology to work out the capability, commitment and cultural fit of potential hires upfront, while giving both sides a try-before-you-buy work simulation experience. Millions of candidates can now be automatically assessed for role suitability, and interviews conducted more intelligently. The conventional CV + ad hoc interview process may well be coming to an end. 

ThriveMap co-founder Chris Platts believes that the future of hiring is centered on work simulation, as the fairest way to assess someone is to see them in the role. “Eventually, this will become a full VR experience”, he believes. A virtual shift is a high fidelity candidate fitness test, with standardised benchmarks, and tasks done in controlled conditions. Each simulation is designed collaboratively with the employer to be as close to real-world context as possible. The process is scientific; ensuring brand consistency while making best-practice more scalable. This is particularly useful for high volume hirers such as retail, hospitality, and  customer service roles, clear examples where service standards matter a great deal, but best-practice can be hard to scale.

ThriveMap’s “virtual assessments” happen prior to interview, as an automated pre-screening exercise, producing a detailed report on each candidate. This is used by hiring managers, measuring alignment (a ‘map’ on cultural fit, commitment and capabilities) against an ideal, so all interviews can be conducted in a structured and consistent manner. The benefits of this day-in-the-life simulation go both ways, as candidates can dive into the role and assess their potential employer too. Is this the right role for you? 

Safelite Autoglass is now a major client, working with ThriveMap from an early stage; they typically screen 170,000 new candidates a year, demonstrating how technologies like this can help big employers find efficiencies at scale. Client companies decide what is a good fit for them, and what to assess in their customised ThriveMap assessment. Stronger candidates can be identified for interview much faster and cheaper through a virtual assessment; a now automated process.

“If you look at the data on the predictive validity of different assessment techniques, typical (unstructured) job interviews are really low predictors of success in a role. Personality tests are really poor predictors of success, as reliability is low, and people typically behave differently in different contexts”, explains Platts. Results demonstrate that it is much better to simulate what this person would actually be doing in a role and to measure against this. “ThriveMap starts from a position of ecological validity… which is what does good look like in your specific context? ‘Let’s say you are looking for resilience in a new hire?’, for example”. Resilience can mean different things in different contexts. With ThriveMap it can be tested in precisely the right way in a specific work situation, designed with that employer. The data from this process can then be validated against results.

Thrivemap joined the L Marks innovation incubator, hoping to explore product development opportunities with global employer Belron, of Autoglass fame. During a client visit as part of the program, they spotted an opportunity to automate a key part of the hiring process for Carglass Spain, then ran a successful trial to fix this problem. The end result was a commercial contract, and an equity investment from the client and LMarks combined. It’s a remarkable story of early corporate venture investment, that has allowed ThriveMap to de-risk the business early, to build a much more sophisticated product, and to attract new investors simultaneously.

The company’s investor base is now a mixture of Angels and corporate stakeholders. It has completed two seed rounds; first using conventional lawyers, then latterly, online via SeedLegals. The term sheets for this were created online by the founders, following a step-by-step process, making sure the original shareholder terms were fully respected. Automation and standardisation accelerate the process, while legal terms included are easily understood. “The SeedLegals team really supports the founders. Everything in plain English”, recalls Platts.

“Being a technology company, we really value a good interface. The simplest things like signing a document can be done on the platform, and all of your key documents are in one place. For me, the less paper, the better. Dealing with traditional lawyers can involve a lot of back and forth, while SeedLegals is largely automated,” 

Documents are synchronized. Personalised copies are emailed to stakeholders to review, and sign off when ready to complete. New shares can be modeled on the cap table at different valuations, before being issued, so the impact on dilution is simulated.

“For investor communications, it was really really helpful”, notes Platts. As new users, “we did lean on SeedLegals for quite a lot of customer support, and the response was really positive. They want it to be efficient, unlike traditional lawyers who are charging by the hour.” Lessons learned from client interactions are fed back into software development; the platform evolving every few weeks.

“Now anything new that needs signing off, such as Shareholder approvals, can easily be done through the platform. Investors log in to SeedLegals themselves to access the documents and click to approve” – saving time on legal bureaucracy.

ThriveMap has since raised more capital using SeedLegals – choosing the new Instant Investment tool, over opening a full round. Existing investors were able to follow-on, and the transaction processed without lawyers in a very short timeframe. “Really simply, you don’t have to start again from scratch. A key benefit is being able to do this when you need it rather than waiting”. The speed, simplicity and seamlessness of this process, allow Founders to focus on growing their business. It can be done whenever a new investor (or an existing investor) is ready. It can now be done in a matter of hours, rather than months.

Both ThriveMap and SeedLegals are finding innovative new ways to help businesses leapfrog over clumsy, expensive and outdated practices. Improving predictability is a big part of it. Being able to make smart, sophisticated hiring decisions at scale through ThriveMap is a game-changer for growing businesses. It is exciting to witness such a powerful digital transition occur, delivering such brutal efficiency.

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