Harver raises $8.1 million, seeks to “kill” resumes with AI recruitment platform


Matching candidates to jobs is a frustrating process for employers and job seekers, with attrition rates for beginning positions often hitting 100% each year. Harver, founded in 2014 in Amsterdam, is applying AI to the human resource recruitment process to make it smarter, faster and more successful for candidates and employers.

Harver this week announced $8.1 million in Series A funding from Insight Venture Partners, to help launch its US presence with an office in New York City. Harver offers TalentPitch, an AI-powered, pre-selection platform which uses predictive analytics and machine learning technology to help determine which applicants will perform best on the job.

Harver pre-selects job candidates in 42 languages and currently has 100 or so clients across 13 countries; clients include Netflix, Zappos, OpenTable, Booking.com and Vodafone. Target industries include retail, hospitality, IT and customer service.The company has about 50 employees in Amsterdam, about 20 software developers in Sri Lanka, and about 15 so far in the US.  

Companies match the skills and personalities of applicants with specific job requirements. Instead of relying on a resume, candidates apply online using modules that include: knockout questions that help establish fit from the start, a company culture video tour, real-life situational judgement tests, tests for personality, intelligence and language, and games that assess candidate skills. Meanwhile, the Harver algorithms gather relevant data and calculate a candidate’s propensity for success in the job role.

Harver can also map job seekers to the most relevant positions across any organization in the Harver universe. Once TalentPitch is implemented, Harver uses the results data to continuously improve the selection algorithm that matches candidates with jobs. This is said to help reduce employee turnover substantially.

Nicolas Wittenborn, VP of Insight Venture Partners, said, “Harver’s technology is a win-win for both employers and applicants. Seeing how the company has expanded from Europe to the US and from one to many industries, we are very happy to support the company’s growth going forward.”

Applicants report feeling positive about TalentPitch, which gives them feedback  on how they match up to the positions they pursue. The company said 85 percent of applicants give Harver a five out of five-stars rating.

“Resumes have become nearly obsolete at predicting the value and success of a potential candidate in most of today’s jobs,” said Harver CEO and founder Barend Raaff. “Harver offers a fully-automated recruitment solution grounded in big data that is completely agnostic to the job applicant. Harver represents a tectonic shift in the way that companies source, select and hire the ideal candidates, a world where both companies and candidates are no longer reliant on resumes and job descriptions,” Raaff said.

In an interview with AI Trends, Raaf said the longer clients use the system, the more it improves. “We look at data we get back from clients on how the new hires perform and whether they are engaged in the jobs. Based on that, the algorithms are modified.”

Competition for Harver are alternative approaches, such as hiring a recruitment company. For its technology approach, “there is no real competition,” Raaff said. While startups are beginning to appear, “We are the front runners,” he said.

TalentPitch is priced based on volume with rates starting at approximately $1,700/month.

Tools in use by Harver developers include: for data warehouse, AWS Redshift; for ETL (extract, transform, load), Xplenty; internal BI tool, Tableau Online; external BI tool, github.keen.io, others being researched; data science/data modeling,  Python and AWS machine learning; for cache, ElastiCache; for ODS (operational data store), RDS and Model .

The new investment capital will be used to extend reach to smaller companies, and those who want to use it on a software-as-a-service basis, Raaff said.

For more information, go to Harver.com.