14 Jun 2022

Why we invested in TestGorilla - helping eliminate hiring bias

The traditional resume based screening process is broken. Busted. CVs, or resumes, are by their nature subjective, unreliable, incomplete and an inherently flawed way to assess candidates. We, as readers of those CVs, are prone to unconscious (and even conscious) bias. Imperfect by design, and yet resumes remain the status quo for hiring all over the world. 

Think about the following example: you are trying to hire a financial analyst and receive 100 theoretically qualified resumes and need to decide which 10 you invite into the interview process. How is that decision made? It is based on self proclaimed statements and logos or brand names. This isn’t a rigorous indicator of skills and exposes us to a minefield of biases. The result is that the best candidates aren’t always invited to interview, which then results in lower success rates on the job, mishires and other costly problems. It’s also just plain wrong on a moral level, and contributes to poor diversity in teams.

There is hope though as two incredible people, Wouter and Otto, are solving this problem. After working together at Bain and experiencing the issue first hand, they set out to put an end to this and level the playing field so all candidates can compete on equal terms. Three years ago, TestGorilla was born.

And today, we are so proud and excited to announce that Atomico has co-led a $70 million Series A round with our friends at Balderton Capital. We’re partnering with Wouter and Otto and the rest of the team at TestGorilla, plus existing investors Notion, Partech and CapitalT, who have significantly increased their commitments as part of this round.

TestGorilla founders Otto Verhage and Wouter Durville

But how do you  solve this huge problem? Not only is it a pain point historically, but it’s even more important now that we have a widespread shortage of talent. The trend towards remote work opens up a global talent pool which should ease the strain, but how do we assess candidates in other markets, with diverse experience, fairly? 

Studies show that job success is strongly correlated with multi-measure assessments, whereas resumes and work experience are the weakest links. TestGorilla has built a comprehensive, data-driven platform with over 220 pre-employment screening tests based on statistical evidence and well researched test formats. The platform allows for skill based hiring decisions across a host of subjects ranging from quantitative skills to cognitive ability. A hiring manager is able to invite candidates to take a variety of tests and then progress them based on tangible, data validated evidence - skill based, in the purest form. 

The TestGorilla candidate desktop experience

The whole process is managed from the TestGorilla platform, fully automated, with further integrations, especially into applicant tracking systems, being developed. So this is not only the unbiased, better way to screen candidates with higher success rates, but also saves time and resources. There’s no lengthy sales and set-up process, anyone can start using the platform literally instantly, just head over to the website, sign up and you are ready to rock ’n’ roll.

The TestGorilla assessment experience on desktop

And just how *DESPERATELY* the market was waiting for a comprehensive solution like TestGorilla is evidenced by the mindblowing growth and adoption levels the firm has seen. The firm has grown to over 5,000 customers, less than two years since its launch in summer 2020, including Sony, PepsiCo, Bain & Company, Oracle, Revolut, H&M and the UK’s National Health Service. Additionally, G2, the world’s largest software marketplace, recently named TestGorilla in its prestigious list of the top five fastest-growing software products for 2022.

But don’t just take my word and customer growth metrics for it. For example, Bain & Company has seen some seriously superb results to date.

Using TestGorilla as a screening tool has helped us to reduce the bottom 30% of applicants and replace these with better-qualified candidates, improving the success rate of our subsequent rounds. We have seen a strong correlation between candidates’ performance in TestGorilla assessments and in the interview process, so we trust TestGorilla to make a great first cut from a large number of applicants. I would happily recommend TestGorilla to my industry peers.
Laurens-Jan Olsthoorn, Partner at Bain & Company

On a personal note, I’m very excited to partner with the team around Wouter & Otto on this mission. I broke into finance from a non-traditional background, having majored in hospitality management. I hadn't been to the elite US schools, I didn't know the right people, and I definitely didn't have the right logos on my CV. I relied on perseverance, goodwill and luck to get my first role in tech investment banking in San Francisco, eventually moving to a tech private equity firm, and then Atomico. I can only imagine how much harder it would be for someone with even fewer connections, and facing real inherent bias based on factors far beyond their control. TestGorilla is opening the door to everyone with the skills to have better opportunities.

We at Atomico believe that investing in diversity, equity and inclusion is fundamental to building successful teams. We’re excited to partner up with TestGorilla to make the hiring process fairer and better for everyone - this is just the beginning for this hugely ambitious mission 🦍

With that, welcome to the Atomico family, Wouter, Otto and the rest of the amazing TestGorilla team!  LFG!

Highly subjective side by side comparison of resume based screening and using TestGorilla. Source: Atomico Research

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