Storytelling About Weekday With Amit Singh
Want to revolutionize your hiring process? We’ve got Amit Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of Weekday, in our corner this episode. Weekday is a unique recruitment marketplace making waves in the world of talent sourcing.
This game-changing startup is all about fostering trust by providing upfront reference checks and reviews for engineering talent. Discover how Weekday is challenging the status quo in recruitment, offering a fresh layer of data that could drastically accelerate your hiring timeline.
Our conversation takes a deep dive into the inner workings of Weekday, starting with their disruptive payment model. Imagine only paying 15% of an annual salary for a successful hire? Sounds tempting, right? We also shed light on how Weekday is shaping up to be an indispensable tool for recruiters, connecting job openings with the best-reviewed talent in a snap. Catch a glimpse of their impressive stats and success stories, including having 60% coverage of reviews and arranging five interviews within just five days of signing up!
So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and get ready to rethink your recruitment strategy. You won’t want to miss this!
Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think.
Show length: 26 minutes
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Storytelling About Weekday With Amit Singh
William Tincup: [00:00:00] This is William Tincup and you are listening to the Use Case Podcast. Today we have Amit on from Weekday and we’ll be learning about the business case, so the use case for why customers and prospects pick Weekday. So why don’t we just jump into it. Amit, would you do us a favor and introduce yourself and weekday?
Amit Singh: All right. Definitely. First of all, thank you so much, William, for having me on the podcast. It’s an honor. So talking about myself, I’m the founder of a company called Weekday. We are a recruitment [00:01:00] marketplace startup wherein we basically help companies find engineering talent.
Which have upfront reference checks available on them. So the easiest way to think about us is for a layman would be something like if let’s say you’re going to buy a product in general, you basically look at Amazon, right? You look at Amazon and while you look at the product description, you also look at reviews and that’s a major part of.
The decision making process, if you go to a restaurant, you look at reviews there and ratings as opposed to when you’re and that could be like, as a simple thing as like buying a t shirt, buying a bottle, et cetera. But when it comes to making a much crucial decision of who to hire, that’s something that is not available.
And there are related reasons for that, but that’s what we are trying to break. Hey, can we get. Reviews on people, which basically bring trust into the whole hiring process and eventual idea is that how do we bring this trust in the hiring process so that The interview process and the process, like [00:02:00] the sort of steps, extra steps that get added because there’s no trust in the recruiting process get removed eventually.
So that’s what we are doing.
William Tincup: And so the reviews are for people. So if we said Yelp for people or Glassdoor for candidates or employees, et cetera how far would we be off?
Amit Singh: I think that’s a little reductive, but I think that’s broadly what it is. And like for someone to understand, I think, yes that’s what we do.
William Tincup: Okay. And so the buyer of Weekday, who’s the, who’s typically, who are we targeting as the buyer? So
Amit Singh: right now we are basically looking at startups which are seed series funded for whom like the quality of talent is like the utmost importance. And so these would be startups looking to hire the early funding team, wherein like one particular engineering hire could make or break their startup.
So those, the, those are the early sort of customers. And then when it comes to larger ones, [00:03:00] it ends up being like a very critical role that like a larger company, which has. It’s
William Tincup: how do you get so two things, how do you get people to join or do they need to join? And how do you drive reviews?
Amit Singh: So that’s basically, I saw like there’s a fairly powerful community that powers on the backend, which enables us to become like a Yelp or like Amazon for people which is. Like a community of software engineers who sign up on our platform, connect their email contacts, LinkedIn connections, and agree to provide reviews on people if and when they get shortlisted or interviewed.
William Tincup: Okay. Okay. So this is actually a really interesting way to validate talent. Especially technical talent, we’ll just use that as an example, because you used software engineers as a, as an example. So if you’ve worked previously with this person, or you know them from school, you can review them and so it’s another way, another [00:04:00] kind of data point for HR for hiring managers, recruiters, et cetera, to see some third party validation.
One way or another. Validation can be positive or negative, right? So it
Amit Singh: has to be negative for it to, for it, for the positive ones to actually have any value. So this is very different from there are recommendations or reviews on LinkedIn as well. But. Nobody really trusts them because there are multiple aspects to it.
Like this particular, the reviews that we’re talking about is actually not available for the job seekers to actually see.
Right there’s a lot of confidentiality that is ensured. And we basically design sort of the whole review collection system such that it incentivizes the people to actually share negative reviews as well.
As well as share the positive ones that they’ve had. So what,
William Tincup: What are we displacing? And why I ask that question in the way I do is it other software? Or is it something that’s being, not being [00:05:00] done? Or what are we displacing?
Amit Singh: So typically like right now, we’re building like a data sort of layer that, okay, this is like a lot of new data that we’re capturing about people.
Now in terms of the buying behavior, currently we are displacing recruitment agencies. Which typically would charge some like commission, like 25 percent commission on a particular hire. We basically displace them right now. The eventual idea is to become like a recruiter tool, wherein they have like access to it’s become like an API endpoint, wherein it’s like they have all this data available to them and they can use it on a per use basis.
William Tincup: Yeah. Cause then you could do matching for the job that’s open for the per talent and then be able to match that to the people that have the best
Amit Singh: reviews. Yes. So for a company, how it works is like you sign up with us, you find find all the candidates, which would be like a fit. Okay these are the reviews that are available from this particular person.
Do you want to interview with them or not? And if they end up hiring by us, they pay us 15 percent [00:06:00]
William Tincup: of annual salary. That’s the a little bit lower than just a kind of contingency fee that a staffing firm would charge. Oh, I love that. Yeah. I hate software categories, just the concept of software categories, but a lot of budgets are built in Excel or Google sheets, et cetera.
So what are your customers, what are they calling you and where are they putting you and where are they taking money out of budget to pay for you?
Amit Singh: So right now it is the budget that they allocate for recruitment contingency agencies. Yeah, so basically you would use like a recruitment agency for, or they would, they probably have LinkedIn recruiter or any of these products that they use.
And if they have an in house recruiter, then it basically either takes. Time from LinkedIn Recruiter or it takes money from recruitment agencies.
William Tincup: I love this because reviews are the way that you get talent in and for talent to validate other [00:07:00] talent review other talent. But really what you’re displacing is an inefficient staffing or RPO, MSP, a recruitment agency model that, that doesn’t give you those reviews.
So they give you, they might give you the talent. Source the talent to you, but you don’t really know if it’s validated, which means it’s harder work for the hiring manager to then go find out if that person is really what they say they are. Whereas, whereas, yeah, with weekday, you could, that’s already, some of that work’s already been done.
Amit Singh: Yeah, perfect. So that’s exactly what we’re doing. Like the biggest thing that a company gets out of us is that the discovery of talent. So now. That is we’re in the business of discovery of talent and within that discovery, one is surfacing talent, which a lot of other companies can also do.
But among thousands of people, how do you find out which is the best one for me to actually spend my time talking to? So what happens as a result of this crowdsourced approach that we have [00:08:00] is that one, it does help in surfacing the best people which might or might not be apparent from their resume or like LinkedIn profile and along with that, okay, so once you have surfaced someone, then you have like reviews on them available as well.
So it helps in discovery as well as selection.
William Tincup: Yeah. Validation. It’s okay. So let me ask you two by side questions. One is when you get the opportunity to show an employer, a potential client the software for the first time. So you get to go crack open weekday for the first time. What’s your favorite part of the demo?
Amit Singh: for us It basically, and during the demo process, we set up like, okay, this is the only thing that we need from a particular company is the job description okay, this is what you’re looking for. And we feed into the system. It turns out, okay, these are the 30 people would be, we think would be a great fit, which basically automatically comes up within seconds.
And for each of these [00:09:00] people they see, okay, this particular person, this fits the bill perfectly, but okay, oh, this person is probably not a great communicator, but this is what their ex manager at the previous company had said. So when they look at this specific review they think, okay now I can take a call.
And not waste, take a call at this point itself and not waste my time talking to someone go through four rounds of interview and then probably reject this person. So when this, that reviews upfront is basically when they feel that wow moment. Okay. This is, I have not seen this anywhere else. It’s not available.
And I would probably have to waste. Probably six, seven man hours to actually get to the same amount of data that has already been connected. So
William Tincup: other reviews, just real quickly for the edification, for the audiences, other reviews can they be anonymous or are they tethered to a profile or both?
Like how do you, how does the, how do you know if you’re a hiring manager and you’re looking at a talent and you really like them and then you see all the [00:10:00] reviews that data is. Either, again, it can be anonymized or it can be tethered to a profile. Again, it’s private, so it’s something that only you can see.
So what’s the what’s your, your model around reviews and, again, there’s pros and cons to anonymous and tethered to a profile. I totally get that, but just, what does that look like?
Amit Singh: So for us, we basically optimized on how much can you trust that particular review. So majority of the reviews end up being non anonymized, so they’re tethered to a profile.
And who is giving this review is equally or like sometimes more important than the review itself.
William Tincup: Agreed. I see that. I like that. And again, if someone needs to be anonymous for whatever types of reasons, I totally get that as well. But if I worked with somebody at Meta, And we worked together for three years and it just so happens to be, a product leader or somebody that everyone knows, et cetera, [00:11:00] that, that review, especially if it’s a glowing review, that review is going to carry its weight in gold.
Amit Singh: Exactly. And so what we typically see is that whenever there’s a negative review, that is when like the reviewer chooses to be anonymous. Because in lukewarm cases and in exceptional cases, that’s, they generally keep it Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
William Tincup: Yeah. But again, you don’t want to, you don’t want to burn that bridge.
I can, so I can see that as well because, it’s like they tell you early in your career. You never know when you’re ascending, you never know who is going to work for you because. You never who you’re going to know you’re going to work for. So I can see why people would want that to be anonymous, but also the realness, people being able to say, Pat’s really good at this.
Not great at this, if you’re, so if you’re looking for like a software, if you’re looking for a software architect, Pat is fantastic, like top 1%. If you’re looking for a person that just is going to [00:12:00] spend 14 hours a day to writing code, that’s not a strong suit. So what do you need?
So it’s, so it could be a reviewer like that. And so I, so like I get. Somebody’s going to have to be able to go through that review and go, okay, no, that we do need an architect. We need, we, this technologist needs to have more of a brain around of an architect than an actual programmer. Okay.
Amit Singh: Yeah. And that’s basically how our reviews are like structured as well.
Okay, you have to choose between an access of these three. So someone is good at communication. Someone is good at IC work and you have to choose between the two. Like you can’t just select both, which basically means that, which is their strongest suit. And then what is the second is probably their weaker suit.
William Tincup: Oh, I like that. I like that a lot. Okay. Against forced. But you’ve got to get people so that they don’t say everything is great.
Amit Singh: Yeah, exactly.
William Tincup: Yeah. That’s, that helps. And again, you mentioned LinkedIn earlier and the, that. That was, they’ve never really put time, money, and energy behind that.
And [00:13:00] it’s always been thought of probably incorrectly, but been thought of publicly as just, I’ll do your review for you, which will be glowing. You’ll do a review for me and it’ll be glowing and neither are accurate.
Amit Singh: Exactly. And if you think about it, that’s exactly what happens in the current sort of hiring system as well.
Yeah. So typically you would actually ask for a reference check. Towards the end, when you’ve actually made the decision to actually give this someone to give a person an offer or not, and you would ask that candidate, hey, can you give me two references? And they would give two people who are most likely to give glowing references.
William Tincup: I’ve always wondered that. I’ve always, who gives a recommend who gives a potential reference that a bad, I’m this person’s going to give, it was a terrible experience. I don’t think they really liked me, but you know what? Call them anyhow. Let’s just see how that goes.
I’ve never understood that because these are three people that know me, possibly are family members, and they’re all going to say really nice things about me, which is basically a waste of
Amit Singh: everybody’s time.[00:14:00] Yes and no. So it does have some purpose that if your objective is not actually to find out any red flags, if your objective is, how do I set this person up for success in terms of just a
William Tincup: little bit more about them.
Good point. Okay.
Amit Singh: I can see that. Then it is still helpful, but it is not like serving the exact purpose why you were doing it.
William Tincup: We were trying to find out other bits of information that we couldn’t find out there. What are what’s the pricing model? What is we don’t have to get into the dollars and cents part, but I’m assuming SAS.
Or is it not SaaS?
Amit Singh: So we do both right now. The majority of it is actually like percentage. So we charge 15 percent from the company side in terms of if they end up hiring by us. Small portion right now, which is slightly larger companies is SaaS, where they pay like a fixed amount per month.
William Tincup: Good. Good. Good. Let me ask you a workflow question. Where in the workflow do people use Weekday? Are they using it as a sourcing tool or are they using it like, what I’m really thinking about is [00:15:00] what can, what other technologies does it need to be connected to?
Amit Singh: So they’re using it as a sourcing tool.
Okay. And once they’ve identified a particular lead who’s actually shown interest. And they have they’ve found, okay, this is the first person that I want to do an intro or a first round call with. That is when it goes into an ATS. And we don’t get the ATS sort of side of the, we’re basically going into the bucket of sourcing tools and services that exist out there.
William Tincup: But it’s a different type of way of going about sourcing. You know what I mean? There’s been sourcing tools that are great out there on the marketplace and, but this is going about sourcing it in a different it’s a different paradigm. Go
Amit Singh: Yeah, exactly. And for example, like the, that’s why the analogy of.
Like Amazon or yeah, it makes sense because then you’re finding out this part of the product after you’ve initiated, let’s say, send a request to contact this person. Then the whole journey goes into another surface suite.
William Tincup: I can see that. I can see that. All right. Questions that buyers should https: [00:16:00] otter.
ai If they’ve never bought something like this, right? So if they bought sourcing technology, then it’s okay, this works similar to company X, but we’re different in this way. What questions, if you could script them for prospects, what would you like for them to be asking you?
Amit Singh: So most typically the questions that get asked to us is there tons of other ways in which I can get quality leads which is I could use either like an outsourced agency or I could hire in house person and do that.
What like. Will I get a different set of candidates here? And the answer to that is yes. Because for us, like whenever someone like this kind of talent that gets sourced here is basically passive talent, which is. Might or might not necessarily be looking out and quality of talent ends up being very [00:17:00] different from most, because most of the sourcing tools exist that out there, apart from like a few chosen ones would actually have like people who are actively looking out.
And more, more often than not, that is not the quality of talent that you would want to restrict yourself with. And
William Tincup: we started with kind of a technical talent and so let me go back to that real quick. Is that basically, is that who we serve is technical talent or is it broader than technical talent?
Amit Singh: Right now it’s technical talent because that’s, we wanted to start with a sort of a very targeted piece of the market and then be very good at it. So right now it is technical talent, but the idea here is to evolve into a more general marketplace. It’s like a very similar thing to Amazon that you start with books and then do everything.
William Tincup: Are you going to to market with partners right now or are you, is there The question I guess is around ATSs. ’cause we mentioned ATSs. Yeah. This is, sourcing gets people to a place whether or not you then integrate into[00:18:00] CRMs and things like that, but also integrate into ATSs if they wanna drop that workflow into ATSs.
Are there, are you already integrated with a bunch of ATSs.
Amit Singh: Not right now, but that’s something that is in the pipeline. So we’d like just about started building some of those integrations but for now it is. Mostly driven by that once you have an interest person, you manually have to do it right now.
Put into the ATS and which, because, so like that is a friction point, yes. But because the value add that sort of our customers see is high enough that they would still want to go through that friction point eventually we would want to make that friction lesser.
William Tincup: What successes can we talk about without brand names or stuff like that company names?
Just tell us a little bit about some of the early successes that we’ve had with Weekday.
Amit Singh: So in terms of, there are two ways in which we define success. One is surfacing good talent and the second is do we have reviews on them? Right now we have, [00:19:00] we’re at a stage where in, from, for any talent that is available, we have review coverage of around 60 percent probability that you would find like a legitimate, trustable review of a particular person that you would want to talk to.
So that’s one specific success that we see. The other is how quickly would you be able to have five interviews? Individual candidates on your calendar. So that is basically what we pride ourselves in that within five days, you would be within five days of signing up. You would be able to have five interviews on your calendar with 60 percent coverage of reviews available.
William Tincup: So what’s your basic go to market? Strategy right now is how do we get people to know about this? What’s, what do you think, what’s the strategy to get, again, things are noisy, right? So like, how do you get, how do you cut through the noise? How do you all plan to, and how have you already cut through the noise?
Amit Singh: right now it is most of the times that we end up getting are [00:20:00] through like introductions or people, inbound people reaching out to us and we also have something called talent drops, which is. Whenever there’s like a someone who has done a job post and wants to get like access to free set of candidates, then we have this list of candidates, which is a weekly newsletter that goes to recruiters or hiring managers, and they can just browse these profiles.
And if anyone gets into profiles and reviews, and if anyone is interested, they just go deeper into it and then sign up on a platform.
William Tincup: Alright, so we’re having this podcast a year from now. What’s what’s different about weekday?
Amit Singh: So a year from now we would be I think at a stage wherein we have probably.
Cut down a few steps in the interview process. So what I mean by that is because at the end, what we’re doing is we’re trying to build trust into the hiring process. The reason why you make like a stranger, which is you’re looking to hire, go through so many [00:21:00] hoops is because you don’t trust that person.
And eventually what the, what we would like to do is because Let’s say if you’re doing five interview stages, which is making people cross like an individual step, because there’s a lot of trust associated with the person. The person is no longer a complete stranger. You would have only three interview stages and the time to actually hire someone,
William Tincup: Yeah sorry to interrupt it’s interesting because you speed things up, but also you’ve increased the quality because people can then see the reviews. And again, just like Amazon, just like Yelp and et cetera. So they can see the reviews, they can see all the positive, they can see whatever might not be perceived as positive, but it’s, it will speed the hiring process up, which helps everybody.
Helps candidates, hiring managers, get talent recruiters. Everybody wins.
Amit Singh: Yeah, exactly. And that’s the whole problem right now. Like you’re talking to a stranger and then you can’t really trust a stranger unless you have, you talk to them enough number of times. And, but if there [00:22:00] is some way in which you could trust that person beforehand, you would not want to talk to them enough number of times.
William Tincup: It’s it’s interesting because in my mind of I’ve combined, on Google. Or, when you first go to Google and you’ve got that, the search bar, but you’ve already, I feel lucky or I’m lucky or whatever that, whatever the one that’s bit that I’ve never used, I feel lucky.
It’s almost like that at Amazon. If you were to just go to amazon. com and then just go, yeah, I feel lucky. Just serve something up. And then just buy it not even not look at the reviews, not think about it. It’s Amazon knows me well enough. Yeah, go ahead. Let me buy that.
It’s that, it could be a home run. But there’s so much that you could do that would help vet and qualify. And again, reviews are an interesting, it’s a really compelling way to qualify a candidate.
Amit Singh: Yeah. And imagine like even in the Amazon analogy, if let’s say you were like, Amazon was not did not have those reviews or [00:23:00] like a sort of component, what you would have to do is then.
Do an inquiry to that seller, and then you have to talk to that seller to to just build that task that is he going to gimme and then probably have a bidding system, et cetera.
William Tincup: I have to admit to you amid I’ve been on record saying that it really doesn’t matter what the reviews say, so just bear with me.
Yeah. It matter. It matters more how many. reviews you have. And so this is typically because I advise a lot of startups. So this is usually advice I give them like, listen, get on G2, get on software advice, get on all of these things, get reviews, get as many reviews as you can, because oftentimes people don’t look at the sushi restaurant, the actual reviews themselves.
They just look at the number 76, 000 people reviewed this restaurant. Yeah, it’s gotta be good. And so the assumption has gotta be good. Now, with this being talent. Yeah. They’re probably going to go a little deeper than that, so maybe maybe I can adjust my, my my line of thought, but in [00:24:00] general, like around software, they don’t get into the reviews that per se, they look at the quantity of reviews, which still could hold true here if you’ve, if you’re You know, if it’s two like talented people, one’s got 180 reviews and one’s got two, I’m a probably just being a human being.
I’m a probably look at the 180. As better, whether or not it’s actually better or not if I don’t read the reviews, I won’t know. But
Amit Singh: That’s where this analogy breaks that because like why you can do look at things where in the absolute number of reviews have in the SKUs are lesser, like for the Amazon, it has a fairly limited number of products.
And then. One product in that sort of someone is hiring a product for their particular use case and the, a large number of people are using the same sort of product versus, as opposed to when you are working with a talent and hiring some talent. [00:25:00] It, if a large number of people have used that’s not necessarily a
William Tincup: That’s right.
It’s counterintuitive, right? So a lot of people are giving you reviews, wait a minute. You’ve worked with a lot of people. So it could, it
Amit Singh: might not be that good.
William Tincup: I love it. I’ve absolutely love what you’ve built. This is I’m so glad we got on the phone today because I just I had an idea what you did, but you really did a great job of breaking it down.
So thank you so much for carving out time
Amit Singh: for us. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for these many insightful questions. I’ve interacted with a lot of people and like even investors, et cetera, have not asked me this.
William Tincup: That’s very kind of you. And thanks to the audience. Thanks for everyone being here.
And we’ll see you next time.
William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.