Candidate reference provider Weekday has emerged from stealth mode following a successful $2.2 million funding round led by Venture Highway and featuring a number of angel investors.
Weekday was founded in 2021 by Amit Singh, Anubav Malik and Chetan Dalal after the three experienced challenges when hiring for a previous startup. It has been operating in beta mode until now.
The company hosts candidate references which can be accessed by companies by using its ‘Backchannel’ feature to get background references from former colleagues on all candidates they interact with. This makes hiring less about resumes and interviews, and more about real-life experiences and capabilities, according to the company.
Its platform focuses on referrals and references linked to candidate’s social contacts. This is what the three founders did to get references for candidates to fill roles they had for their previous startup.
They found that by conducting video calls with friends and requesting them to go through their LinkedIn connections to find suitable candidates, they almost doubled their candidate pipeline. They have tried to follow the same approach with Weekday, of making the process of getting references from former colleagues an integral part of the hiring process.
To find jobs on Weekday, candidates connect their connections on LinkedIn or their phone contacts to their Weekday profile. Weekday then gives candidates a shortlist of talent at various companies by matching recruiter requirements to candidates.
Once they have their final shortlist, recruiters can use the ‘Backchannel’ feature to get background references. Weekday selects people who have worked for the same company as the candidate to ask for references.
Candidates can choose to exclude their current employer from the checks. Former workers are then sent automated reference forms via WhatsApp and email. This means references are usually returned quicker, speeding up the time to get to the first interview.
According to a profile of the company in TechCrunch, WeekDay conducted a survey of more than 200 companies’ hiring practices and found that most do background checks on candidates to see if the have criminal records or have been employed by companies included in their resumes. However, fewer than 5% utilise reference checks from former colleagues when deciding whether to hire the candidate.
So far, over 120 companies have used Weekday, mostly from the U.S. and most candidates are based in India or south-east Asia. Typical users so far are startups hiring for their initial teams.
Currently, Weekday has onboarded 62,000 active job seekers and 815,000 passive job seekers. Weekday aims to work with more than 1,000 organizations and to have 250,000 registered active job seekers and two million passive job seekers by 2025.
The platform is free for companies to try. It earns revenue through commission-based fees that companies pay if they hire through the platform.