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Saving time by outsourcing the interview process

Posted by: Brian O'Connell on September 30, 2011

As any entrepreneur knows, time is a commodity – a precious one as tangible and vital as currency or oxygen. Use too much of it in the wrong way and a startup owner is putting his or her business at risk.

So it’s only natural that a healthcare entrepreneur use his or her time wisely, and is wide open to any idea that can help.

That’s where Danielle Weinblatt, owner of Take the Interview, comes in.

Weinblatt, a Harvard Business School grad, has a service that other entrepreneurs just may find appealing. Take the Interview will pre-screen your job candidates so you don’t have to, freeing up time so you can focus on growing your company.

Take the Interview was founded in January, and is expected to have only $100,000 in revenues this year. But among her 100 clients, Weinblatt already has high-profile clients like Harvard Business School and Deloitte in the fold, and the future looks promising.

The company already has $775,000 in angel funding, and is seeking $1.25 million overall.

So here’s the deal. Take the Interview charges $45 for one posting and $300 for up to six postings a month, and there are a couple of options in between. Business owners can pay $25,000 for an all-encompassing enterprise package.

The process goes like this (from the Take the Interview web site):

  • When you create a job posting, you'll be asked to enter basic information such as the job name, position, an introductory message and closing.
  • When you create questions for your job, you have access to over 1,500 questions from the site’s question bank, sorted by job type.  You’ll get to ask three to five questions per interview.
  • When you're ready to invite candidates, it's very simple. Just enter the email addresses of the candidates you would like to invite and customize the email that gets sent.
  • Embed the site’s public button or link on any of the major job sites (like Monster.com), or even your own company's website to collect responses from any candidates.
  • Access the site’s video viewer to review responses question by question. You can also share and comment on each candidate.

Weinblatt’s pitch is that interviewing job candidates is usually a big time drain on startup owners. For key positions, like chief financial officer or marketing director, there’s no margin for error, so a business owner feels compelled to meet everyone he or she can. No business owner, after all, wants to be out of the loop on a key hire.

But is that a good use of your time? Sure, you can hire a recruiter, but that can cost thousands of dollars. If you’re a small startup, having video copies of an interview, complete with a list of questions you want asked, for a few hundred dollars a month seems like a pretty good deal.

"(Business owners) might know that someone is a 'no' within the first few minutes of an in-person interview, but you end up spending 30 or 60 minutes talking to them because that's what was scheduled," Weinblatt says in a September interview with the web site Boston.com. "We think that asynchronous video interviewing is a great way for people to save time."

It’s an interesting concept, from both the entrepreneurial and business side. Startup owners looking to pocket some extra hours, but get the valuable interview information they need, may want to give Take the Interview a look.

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