What would happen if the concept behind dating and matching services was applied to job searches, and employee turnover could be reduced through better pairings? HR expert Brian Kearns asked that same question and within two years, found himself at the helm of HipHire, an internet platform for part-time job seekers.
Before founding HipHire, Kearns was a partner and HR director at Pro Athlete in Kansas City. He took pride in the company’s eclectic work culture and helped build the staff from 3 to 120 employees. Throughout his years hiring for Pro Athlete, he developed a keen understanding of who was going to work well within the company and who wasn’t.
“As the director of HR, I saw a lot of the problems from the inside looking out, as people struggled to find the right part-time jobs,” said Kearns.
Kearns wanted to make his knowledge of hiring processes available to smaller companies that didn’t have their own HR staff.
“The thought was, why should only a few companies benefit from having a really good process? Why not develop a system where a lot of companies who are smaller, who have cyclical turnover, could benefit from that process,” explained Kearns.
The science behind the matches
Throughout all of 2014 and into 2015, Kearns worked on researching employee turnover. A problem solver at heart, Kearns felt he would be able to easily define the problems and find quick solutions. It didn’t take long for him to realize, though, that turnover is a massive and complex problem.
“I talked to over 2,000 businesses and hundreds of job seekers for over a year.” said Kearns. “[I thought that] by using a scientific method, by trying to find some correlations, I could get to a root cause.”
As a result, he found several things that caused turnover for part-time jobs within the first 90 days. Those are typically things like driving distance, daytime or evening shifts, available shifts on weekdays or weekends and pay.
“The closer we can get those things to the jobseeker’s wants and the business’s needs, the better the chance of keeping that person in the job longer than 90 days,” said Kearns.
How HipHire works
HipHire’s current focus is on nontechnical, part-time jobs like retail, hospitality, sales and logistics. These are positions with typically higher turnover due to the constant mismatch of the employer’s needs and the jobseeker’s wants.
The platform doesn’t disclose a jobseeker’s resume or any personally identifying information to the employer. HipHire only collects information based on a simple job profile of 8 attributes including hours desired, days and shifts desired and how close the job is to their home. The business creating the job posting does the same thing, plus a job description.
“The idea was to get businesses to think about hiring differently, to think about who the right person is for the job,” said Kearns. “It allows them to make data-driven, needs-based decisions.”
Job seekers can then scroll through and filter jobs, and then when they find something they’re interested in, they check it. The collected information between the two parties is then matched up and an “introduction” and is delivered to the businesses marked as a high, medium or low match. If the business wants to see the introduction, they pay a fee based off the rated quality of the match and receive information on the job seeker.
“Businesses only pay a fee if I produce results,” said Kearns. “When I talk to businesses, one of their biggest frustrations was the cost to post a job. Then they get waves of resumes. Instead of handing them the haystack, HipHire pulls out the five needles and hands them the best prospects.”
Fast growth with Android app
HipHire has made over 1,200 introductions in the Kansas City area. Half of those have happened since January 1 of this year when the company launched their Android application. They currently have a little over 1,100 job seekers using the website and app.
Kearns feels that the number of business posters on the platform is going to grow quickly once the needs of larger companies and other industries are addressed. Most business users right now are small to medium sized that have expressed interest in changing their hiring process.
“They’re open to looking at new things because they see the value that I’m providing,” said Kearns.
What’s next for HipHire
Kearns wants to work on fine tuning the business model and work on onboarding more nontechnical industries. He also has plans to implement the ability for businesses to post multiple job profiles, opening up the door to larger companies. An iOs app is also in the works.
“There’s a lot of people waiting on the sidelines for other features that are in development,” said Kearns.
Kearn said he’s learning as fast as he can and always making changes to the platform to address the needs of both sides of the hiring relationship. The constant evolution to ensure effectiveness is something he thinks will take HipHire to the front of the job search market and meet his ultimate goal.
“[The goal is] to build HipHire into the number one resource in the United States for part-time jobs.”
Christine McGuigan is the Associate Editor of Silicon Prairie News.