What is the startup and One problem it solving
Deepti: Adaface helps companies automate first round tech interviews with a conversational AI chatbot, Ada. This enables companies to reduce screening time by 80%. We’re headquartered in Singapore, and have an office in Bangalore.
Companies receive an average of 120 applications per tech role. Resumes are not an objective measure of a developer’s skillset, and it costs expensive engineering time to interview all candidates. It takes 33 days and $20,000 in hiring costs to hire 1 developer.
We believe that the status quo pre-employment skills assessment platforms are not a fair way for companies to evaluate and hire engineers. This is primarily because they either focus on theoretical questions or trick questions (the equivalent of puzzles in computer science). This way of measuring developer skills’ has an inherent bias against experienced developers.
We started Adaface to enable companies to find the best engineers by assessing on-the-job skills.
Background of founders, Journey toward the idea
Deepti did her undergrad at IIT, and research at Caltech where she improved the accuracy of ML algorithms used to predict earthquakes in California’s early warning systems. As engineer #2 at vahan.ai, she built a WhatsApp chatbot for recruitment/ training of blue-collar workers (currently used by Uber, Flipkart, Grab, etc). She previously built and launched an outbound hiring tool (Jobhash).
Siddhartha graduated with research in context-based machine translation from IIT. At Goldman Sachs, he developed equity swap quantitative models as Senior Quant. As the first engineer turned PM at Headout, he built the V1 of the product and later an 18 member tech team with engineers from Google, Facebook and Amazon to scale the product to 1M users.
Deepti: Siddhartha and I both have a software engineering background. He studied computer science, whereas I am a self-taught programmer. While hiring for our previous startups, we realized how terrible the experience is for both the candidates and companies, and have strong opinions on what it should look like to find the best engineers. The initial idea to build a candidate friendly skills assessment chatbot came from Siddhartha based on his experience interviewing hundreds of candidates to hire the stellar team at Headout. Over time we have iterated the initial MVP into the product Adaface is today, based on the feedback from our customers and candidates. We are most proud of the feedback we get from candidates who complete assessments on the platform. Check it out here.
Explain about Adaface?
Siddhartha: We are building a way for companies and candidates to find out if they’re a mutual fit. Custom chat-based assessments help companies to find the best-suited candidates for their role, while still being humane with the interview process. They help candidates to figure out if they’d be a good fit – if ability/ experience expectations are mismatched, an in-person interview can be a difficult (sometimes traumatic) experience at worst, and a time sink at best.
USP of Adaface
Deepti: The primary reasons most of our customers have moved from status quo solutions to Adaface are:
1. Our customers see a stronger correlation between assessment performance and interview/ on-the-job performance: Our AI, Ada focuses on testing for on-the-job skills with practical questions and coding tests – not textbook-based fill-in-the-blanks or niche algorithms no-one uses on the job.
2. Our customers see a test-taking rate of 86% compared to an industry standard of ~50%: Ada provides for a friendly candidate experience by answering questions they have about the company, giving hints when they’re stuck, and using encouraging language.
3. We offer customizable technical screening for multiple technologies, skills, and levels: We cover 700+ skills within tech (Software Engineering, Data Science, DevOps, QA, Analytics, Aptitude, etc)
Early days struggle.
Siddhartha: HRTech is a very competitive space. There are a few dozen players in the market for pre-employment skills assessment tools. Since we’re both from a technical background, sales wasn’t our strength when we started out. While engineers understood why Adaface was different from the other solutions because of focus on testing for on-the-job skills, we struggled to explain the same to recruiters. There was also a lot of skepticism initially around the idea of building a conversational AI, to interview candidates for tech roles.
Over time, as we worked with customers who can now vouch for us, things have gotten easier. We have been able to refine our messaging based on the feedback from our early customers.
Siddhartha: We went through an accelerator called Entrepreneur First in Singapore in 2018, who invested in us (pre-seed). Within 6 months of launching, we achieved profitability and have been bootstrapping since.
User base Achieved till now.
Siddhartha: We’re building a global B2B SaaS company- currently serving customers in 28 countries. Some of our assessments like the Java Online Test and the SQL Online Test are popular with Fortune 500 staffing companies and global banks.
- New Areas if they are looking to expand.
- Future plans (if they can share).
Siddhartha: Since Techiexpert’s primary audience are techies, it would greatly benefit to share our story with engineers who might resonate with the idea of a candidate friendly screening process, and potentially share with their teams who might consider trying Adaface.