This week another HR technology startup Plum.io, got its wings. The company just received a fresh round of funding from Buffalo based 43North, a business plan competition in which they won $250k. All told they have now raised nearly $2 million from a variety of investors. Part of the new company will be based in Buffalo with another office in Canada.
We caught up with Sonia Varkey from their marketing team and conducted a Q&A with her about Plum’s plans.
1. What is Plum and what problem are you trying to solve for employers?
Successful business leaders are telling companies that to go from good to great, they need to have the right people on the right bus and in the right seats. But in a recent study of 20,000 new hires, half failed in the first 18 months. 89% of those failed hires were due to attitude, not skill. Yet the entire industry is focusing on short-listing candidates based on that 11% skill. Plum allows employers to quantify attitude at the very beginning of the hiring process. Research shows that measuring for problem solving ability, social effectiveness and personality profiles is over 5x more accurate at predicting future success than resumes and interviews. Plum allows employers to find the right matched attitudes and behaviors needed in someone to be successful in a role. Companies thrive when the right people are in the right roles.
2. Who are the founders and what are they like to work for?
Caitlin and Neil MacGregor and Christine Bird are great to work for. They hire based on using Plum and hire for someone’s potential. You don’t have to have all the experience, but if you have the right attitudes and behaviors, you’ll do very well. Anyone who works at Plum contributes to creating plans and doing the work to see those plans through. We’ve tripled our growth in one year and that’s through everyone’s contributions. For developers, they get to be part of a small team and build their own code for features or shape the direction of other ones. It’s rewarding to see your work come to life and we celebrate our customers’ success that comes through using Plum.
3. Congrats on the recent round of funding, what’s the plan from this point?
Thank you. We’re very proud of completing the round of funding and winning 4 awards! It was a busy few months, but so worth it. We are now accelerating our sprints and working on additional features to make Plum even better for job seekers and employers. Our focus is strategic growth, it’s the right time as we’re in an inflection point of building our brand and product and now people want it, but we also want to provide them with more!
4. What roles are you hiring for? (describe them briefly and we will link to the job(s)
We’re hiring for growth. In order to accelerate our plan we’re hiring 2 Full Stack Developers. They will work with a small team of developers and play a critical role in our strategic plans. Anyone interested can apply here: https://app.plum.io/go/7qZhvAeVXc
I decided to move back to Toronto and so we’re looking for a new Marketing Director to come in and build out growth programs. The person who takes over will be building upon the brand recognition and building for scale. Applications are being accepted here: https://app.plum.io/go/smzCsc8cI4
5. Is there a certain type of personality you are looking for?
Good questions. Since we are in the personality assessment field, we use Plum to hire, in fact we don’t hire without it. Each role requires a different personality that will lead to success. Plum gives us as hiring managers deeper insights into who the applicant really is, how will they behave once in the role and how will they fit into the needs/demands of the role. Looking at things overall, we want someone to be happy where they work. But I can tell you this, we like people who also like to have fun.
6. Why work for Plum?
We’re serious about our product and service as well as the rapid growth we’re experiencing, but we’re also a fun place to work at. Coming off of a whirlwind of winning 4 awards and closing a round, we’re in a position of people knowing who we are. Whoever joins our team gets to participate in shaping that growth including identifying strategies. We’re a collaborative team, opinions count and are valued. It’s great experience for anyone’s career – to create something and watch it hit the market.