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  1. Resumes are overrated for startup hiring

    As every entrepreneur knows, an idea is only as good as the team executing it. However, building the right team is often even harder than finding the right idea. So how does one build a great team quickly?

    The most common approach is to treat early hiring like a resume prediction game. The founders decide (or are told) that there are certain variables (for example, college attended or last company worked at), that correlate well with future success.

    The addressable pool of candidates is simply reduced to those who match these criteria. Resumes become the basic tool of the screening process. The winnowed down pool is then vetted through a series of interviews, and the emerging finalist(s) are offered a job.

    The hope is that the combination of resume screening and time consuming interviews will result in the best future employees: ones who will help make the company a big success.

    Unfortunately, things don’t usually work out so perfectly. Here are four reasons why:

    1. Resume-based variables don’t actually predict as much as they are supposed to

    Numerous studies, most notably one from Google, establish that even something as concrete as the college attended, and college G.P.A. are effectively “worthless” predictors for all potential employees except for recent graduates.

    So what about the parts of the resume that deal with work history? Again, one would assume at least those would be very strong predictors for top hires. Well, the issue and reality here is that there are the doers and there are the posers. Distinguishing between these two kinds of employees is hard without very careful reference checks. You shouldn’t focus solely on candidates who have worked at hot companies since you will tend to overlook great people from lesser known companies. You might be better off putting your faith in a person from a lesser known company who is a verifiable doer.

    2. Since everyone is going after the same set of people, especially for technical jobs, the candidate pool can often be overfished

    Thus the chance that your startup is going to snag a real “star,” is extremely small. You may just end up with someone who barely made the cut, and since the cut was based on variables that don’t predict success, your winning candidate may ultimately be a mediocre performer.

    3. Resume-based thinking leads to poor diversity

    The danger here is that highly qualified people often aren’t considered at all. There are numerous studies that show there is a high degree of bias introduced by an over-reliance on resumes and a tendency for interviewers to simply look for people much like themselves. Taking ethnicity and background completely out for a moment, in a dramatic demonstration of bias, in one study researchers sent two versions of the same resume to employers. One version had a male name and the other a female. Guess which one got a significantly better response from male interviewers!

    4. Interviewing well is hard!

    People tend to ask standard questions that can be prepared for beforehand. It is no surprise then, that asking brainteaser-like questions (for an engineer these might be standard coding challenges) is just not effective! The same Google study established this definitively. Too many interviewers ask “trick” questions that have very little to do with what the candidate would be doing on the job.

    So where do we go from here? How do we avoid common pitfalls and improve our accuracy in identifying and ultimately hiring the best candidates? Or simply, what predicts future performance better than the contents of a resume?

    The answer, and the single best predictor is the quality of “work sample”. This isn’t just an opinion but verified over and over again in carefully conducted experiments. In fact, on reflection it seems quite obvious. Would you rather fly with a pilot hired based on a multiple choice test or see how they perform in a flight simulator?

    Regardless of the position, this means putting every candidate in a situation that mirrors something they would be doing on the job. Once the work product is in, interviewers should heavily weight their evaluation on that result/performance.

    While job requirements vary greatly, even for small teams at early stage startups, there are two simple rules that will help drive you to better hiring across any open positions. First, cast as wide a net as you can. Its simple math: the larger the pool the greater the chance of identifying a top hire. Second, keep the evaluation real. Since the single best predictor of job performance is the evaluation of a work sample, the more that sample represents real, on the job, day-to-day work, the stronger the predictor of success.

    In the end, resume reliant recruiting is the norm, to be sure. However, it’s also the limp that just about every industry has learned to walk with. Ultimately investing a little structure and objective evaluation into your hiring process from the outset can greatly improve the chances that your startup can succeed. After-all, any good VC will tell you, it’s not just the idea they invest in, but also in the team that will carry the idea forward.

    Originally published on Business Insider


    Lytmus Tests To Find The Best Coders

    Lytmus is an online service that enables recruiters to quickly sort through technical candidates to determine who among them to call for an initial phone screen, and then to assess their skills with real world engineering and coding tasks.

    Q. What problem are you trying to solve?

    A. Abhay Parekh: The main problem in hiring is that traditional interviewing processes look mostly at who people are on their resume. They don’t objectively look at what candidates can do. Similarly, instead of letting coders show their talents in “real world” settings, they limit them to whiteboard type of environments and “gotcha” questioning. This, not surprisingly, disillusions the best candidates and leads to overall sub-par reviews and hiring choices.

    The overall solution is a major disruption in the hiring process via unique online talent platforms. For our part, we created Lytmus, the most accurate technology solution for identifying and engaging top performing technical job candidates.

    Q. Describe the business, core products and services?

    Lytmus addresses each step of the hiring funnel, levels the playing field for applicants, and improves the hiring process for companies of all sizes.

    Lytmus Pre-Screen reduces the number of unqualified phone screens and helps determine candidates’ skills early in the hiring process. It goes beyond the resume to uncover the best candidates based on what they can actually do, and how they perform on realistic coding projects.

    Lytmus Phone Screen allows you to pair-program with the candidate in a real development environment. With this inside view, companies get to know what it’s like to work with a candidate and see how they think.

    Lytmus Take Home reduces the chance of a bad on-site interview. If a hiring manager is uncertain about a candidate after a phone screen, they can send them an additional project and learn more before an on-site interview. After the submission, Lytmus’ auto-graders run in the background and can check a candidate’s work.

    Lytmus On-Site quickly sets candidates up on a real project. See how candidates perform beyond whiteboard coding challenges. Not brittle like other offerings, Lytmus is comprehensive and flexible. Set up a Hadoop environment and ask questions in SPARK, or spin up a web environment and ask questions in Django.

    Q. What financial support did you have to launch the business?

    We raised $7.2 million in funding from New Enterprise Associates and Accel Partners and officially launched in the fall of 2015.

    Q. Who are your customers and what is the business model?

    Lytmus customers are companies looking to hire and keep the best tech talent in the market today, including computer coders and engineers. Lytmus customers already include hiring teams at hot tech companies across the U.S., including Pinterest, Okta and Pocket Gems.

    It’s a SaaS model; we charge by usage and scope of assessment.

    Q. Tell us about the team you have built.

    Using our own methodologies, we’ve brought together a dedicated and talented team of computer coders, engineers and startup veterans.

    Q. What is your background?

    I am the co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Lytmus Inc. Since 2003, I’ve also been an Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley, EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences).

    Before joining the EECS department, I spent a number of years at AT&T Bell Laboratories, T. J. Watson Research Center IBM and Sun Microsystems, working on various research problems, mostly in the area of computer networking. Prior, I was co-founder, as well as President and CEO of San Francisco-based FastForward Networks as well as a partner with the venture and growth firm Accel Partners.

    I received a B.E.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1983, an S.M. in Operations Research from the Sloan School of Management at MIT in 1985, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. I then worked with the MIT Laboratory for Computer Sciences.

    Lytmus Announces Partnership and Integration With Greenhouse Software to Help Companies Objectively Identify and Hire Top Talent

    Technology Innovator in Talent Sourcing and Assessment Expands Reach and Enables Companies Using Greenhouse Software to Access and Incorporate Its Full Suite of Recruiting Tools

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 29, 2016) - Lytmus, the most accurate technology solution for identifying top performing technical job candidates, today announced a partnership and integration with Greenhouse Software, the leading recruiting platform. The integration provides companies that use Greenhouse Software with new access to Lytmus' own innovative virtual-machine based technical sourcing and recruiting tools.

    With this new partnership, companies that utilize Greenhouse Software's recruiting platform can easily and seamlessly add and use the advanced interview tools offered by Lytmus right in Greenhouse Software's native environment. Among other things, this gives clients the ability to send Lytmus tryouts to prospective job candidates directly from the Greenhouse Software itself. They then have access to and can view the Lytmus results, including full candidate reports and scores while using the Greenhouse Software, without switching platforms.

    "We are excited to announce Lytmus' partnership with Greenhouse Software, as this integration will significantly improve any company's ability to interview and hire the best candidates," said Abhay Parekh, Lytmus CEO and Co-Founder. "Saving time and improving the efficiency of recruiting overall, Greenhouse Software users can now access the power of two of the industry's leading platforms in one place."

    Lytmus was founded to finally create a comprehensive solution that surfaces the best candidates for any position. The company's unique virtual machine-based platform allows the best engineers and computer coders to demonstrate what they know in realistic settings, which provides high-signal data to potential employers. Lytmus addresses each step of the hiring process and levels the playing field for applicants, improving the hiring process for companies of all sizes.

    "Maintaining a robust ecosystem of integration partners gives us a powerful way to improve our customer's experience and results," said, Daniel Chait, CEO at Greenhouse Software. "Partnering with Lytmus to integrate its advanced interview solutions into the Greenhouse recruiting platform is a big step forward in our mission to help companies make the right hires."

    With the Lytmus integration, Greenhouse Software customers will have access to the entire range of Lytmus solutions, including: Lytmus Pre-Screen, Lytmus Phone Screen, Lytmus Take Home and Lytmus On-Site.

    LYTMUS PRE-SCREEN

    Lytmus Pre-Screen helps organizations discern between candidates before deciding to call them for a technical phone screen. It reduces the number of unqualified phone screens and helps determine candidates' skills early in the hiring process. Best of all Lytmus Pre-Screen goes beyond the resume and uncovers the best candidates based on what they can actually do and how they perform on realistic coding projects.

    LYTMUS PHONE SCREEN

    With Lytmus Phone Screen, Lytmus allows you to pair-program with the candidate in a real development environment. With this inside view, companies get to know what it's like to work with a candidate and see how they think.

    LYTMUS TAKE HOME

    Lytmus Take Home reduces the chance of a bad on-site interview. Uncertain about a candidate? Send them an additional project and learn more before an on-site interview. After the submission, Lytmus' auto-graders run in the background and can check a candidate's work. The resulting thorough reports will help determine if one should invite the candidate for an on-site interview.

    LYTMUS ON-SITE

    Lytmus On-Site quickly sets candidate up on a real project. See how candidates perform beyond whiteboard coding challenges. Lytmus' preconfigured development environments will save valuable time preparing for an on-site interview. Want more? Set up a Hadoop environment and ask questions in SPARK, or spin up a web environment and ask questions in Django. Lytmus has the flexibility of different coding environments to meet various needs.

    About Lytmus

    Lytmus is revolutionizing the process for sourcing and assessing top technical talent. Powered by a unique virtual machine based platform, Lytmus empowers the best engineers and coders to demonstrate what they know in realistic settings. This shows what they can truly do and provides objective high-signal data to employers. Lytmus is based in San Francisco, CA and is funded by New Enterprise Associates and Accel Partners. For more information, please visit lytmus.io.

    About Greenhouse

    Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies source, interview, hire and onboard the right talent. Headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco, Greenhouse was founded by Daniel Chait and Jon Stross. Recognized as a 2015 Best Place to Work in New York City by Crain's New York Business, the Greenhouse team currently works with over 1,500 of the world's most innovative people-driven companies, including Airbnb, Slack, Oscar Health and more. To learn more or request a demo, visit greenhouse.io.

    Media Contact:
    Michael Ingalls
    Natron Communications for Lytmus
    +1 (917) 494-4909
    Email Contact

    Lytmus Unveils Standalone, Pair-Programing Phone Screen Solution to Ensure Companies Hire the Best and Candidates Get a Real Job Preview

    Technology Innovator in Talent Sourcing and Assessment Launches Unique Self-Serve Tools That Provide Real-Time, Screen-Share Environments and Live Phone Sessions

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired - Jan 29, 2016) - Lytmus, the most accurate technology solution for identifying top performing technical job candidates, today announced the launch of its self-serve Phone Screen solution for technical recruiting. With Lytmus Phone Screen, interviewers and hiring managers can pair-program with job candidates in authentic development spaces that extend far beyond shared editors. The result is a more accurate reflection of candidates' capabilities, which also engages and interests them in a company by screening in a setting that reflects real day-to-day work.

    Lytmus was founded to finally create a comprehensive solution that surfaces the best candidates for any position. Lytmus has created a unique virtual machine-based platform that allows the best engineers and computer coders to demonstrate what they know in realistic settings, which provide high-signal data to potential employers. Lytmus also engages candidates by showing them the kinds of tech stacks, technologies and problems they'll work with on the job. This approach is much more compelling, especially to experienced candidates, than brain teasers and white-boards. Designed for small and medium sized businesses as well as groups within large companies, Lytmus' self-serve Phone Screen is a direct and useful tool to help identify optimal engineers and computer coders working on the front-end, back-end, mobile, systems, QA, networking and more.

    "Lytmus Phone Screen is ideal for interviewers and hiring managers who want a superior tool to save time, obtain better up-front signals and engage high-quality, hard to convert candidates," said Abhay Parekh, Lytmus CEO and Co-Founder. "Lytmus helps provide organizations with a more objective hiring process that leads to better hires for companies and better jobs for applicants. For job seekers, Lytmus is a fair and empowering way to showcase technical skills and talent in the types of settings they already work in."

    Lytmus Phone Screen provides customizable environments that give employers the freedom to ask the right questions for the job. For example, if a company is hiring for a front-end position, they can work with the candidate using Chrome, Sublime and Terminal. It enables them to ask anything from plain Python to full-stack web development questions. Lytmus Phone Screen offers a pre-loaded interview library to help interviewers get the process started quickly and enables them to ask questions that allow valuable skill evaluation before candidates come onsite. From regular data structure and algorithm coding interviews to front-end engineering interviews, Lytmus Phone Screen also allows interviewers to customize and add their own questions.

    Lytmus Phone Screen can also run a candidate's code live. Once a candidate has completed a coding assignment, companies are able to run the code, test it, apply new scenarios and see how the candidate updates the code live to accommodate changes. Further, Lytmus Phone Screen delivers a valuable and complete report with a full video recording of the interview, code analysis and the interviewer's notes. The report, and useful basket of metrics, can then be easily added to an applicant tracking system and reviewed so the interviewer or hiring manager is able to easily and objectively rate the candidate before sending results to a hiring committee. With Lytmus Phone Screen, companies can be more confident in a candidate's proven abilities.

    Lytmus Phone Screen is offered in three monthly levels: Free, $50 and $100. A free plan provides five phone screen sessions, the $50 plan offers 10 sessions and the $100 plan offers 25 sessions per-month. All plans include: Access to the Lytmus' Virtual Machine, pair-programming, as well as access to the Lytmus interview library and email support.

    About Lytmus

    Lytmus is revolutionizing the process for sourcing and assessing top technical talent. Powered by a unique virtual machine based platform, Lytmus empowers the best engineers and coders to demonstrate what they know in realistic settings. This shows what they can truly do and provides objective high-signal data to employers. Lytmus is based in San Francisco, CA and is funded by New Enterprise Associates and Accel Partners. For more information, please visit Lytmus.io.

    Media Contact:
    Michael Ingalls
    Natron Communications for Lytmus
    +1 (917) 494-4909
    Email Contact

    Lytmus Reveals the Top U.S. States for Skilled Emerging Computer Coding Talent -- and It's Not Where You Think

    Technology Innovator in Talent Sourcing and Assessment Identifies Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina as the Top States for Finding Coding Talent Early in Their Careers

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired - Dec 16, 2015) - Lytmus, the most accurate technology solution for identifying top performing technical job candidates, today released findings from across the country that uncovered the top states for finding young coding talent. While the urban centers of Massachusetts, New York and California are often hailed for their technology dominance, it turns out the "Keystone State" of Pennsylvania tops the list, with some of the best performing computer coding candidates.

    According to new and compelling data collected by Lytmus, from current students and recent graduates of over 165 colleges across the U.S., the top five states for finding top performing computer coding candidates are: Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, Illinois and New York. The "Golden State" of California, home of Silicon Valley, had the most respondents but came in at number six.

    "Lytmus was founded to finally create a comprehensive solution that truly surfaces the best candidates for any position," said Abhay Parekh, Lytmus CEO and Co-Founder. "Whether you went to Harvard, Portland State or Penn State, Lytmus takes the emphasis off of where you've come from and instead puts it firmly on what you can do. This ensures a more objective hiring process that leads to better hires for companies and better jobs for applicants. It is exciting to report that top candidates, when judged solely on merit and skill, may not always come from the same old expected places."

    Positioned to completely change the process of sourcing and assessing top technical talent, Lytmus has created a unique virtual machine-based platform that allows the best engineers and computer coders to demonstrate what they know in realistic settings, which provide high-signal data to potential employers. Through its unique technology, Lytmus levels the playing field for applicants and finally improves the hiring process for companies of all sizes.

    Lytmus addresses each step of the hiring process:

    LYTMUS PRE-SCREEN

    Lytmus Pre-Screen helps organizations discern between candidates before deciding to call them for a technical phone screen. It reduces the number of unqualified phone screens and helps determine candidates' skills early in the hiring process. Best of all Lytmus Pre-Screen goes beyond the resume and uncovers the best candidates based on what they can actually do and how they perform on realistic coding projects.

    LYTMUS PHONE SCREEN

    With Lytmus Phone Screen, Lytmus allows you to pair-program with the candidate in a real development environment. With this inside view, companies get to know what it's like to work with a candidate and see how they think.

    LYTMUS TAKE HOME

    Lytmus Take Home reduces the chance of a bad on-site interview. Uncertain about a candidate? Send them an additional project and learn more before an on-site interview. After the submission, Lytmus' auto-graders run in the background and can check a candidate's work. The resulting thorough reports will help determine if one should invite the candidate for an on-site interview.

    LYTMUS ON-SITE

    Lytmus On-Site quickly sets candidate up on a real project. See how candidates perform beyond whiteboard coding challenges. Lytmus' preconfigured development environments will save valuable time preparing for an on-site interview. Want more? Set up a Hadoop environment and ask questions in SPARK, or spin up a web environment and ask questions in Django. Lytmus has the flexibility of different coding environments to meet various needs.

    Lytmus allows companies to: Build better teams faster, keep job interviews real using actual engineering tasks and enables companies to save time and hire better. Officially launched this fall, Lytmus customers already include Pinterest, Okta and Pocket Gems, among others.

    About Lytmus

    Lytmus is revolutionizing the process for sourcing and assessing top technical talent. Powered by a unique virtual machine based platform, Lytmus empowers the best engineers and coders to demonstrate what they know in realistic settings. This shows what they can truly do and provides objective high-signal data to employers. Lytmus is based in San Francisco, CA and is funded by New Enterprise Associates and Accel Partners. For more information, please visit lytmus.io.

    Media Contact:
    Michael Ingalls
    Natron Communications for Lytmus
    +1 (917) 494-4909
    Email Contact