Greenhouse raises $2.7M focusing on top-tier recruiting

By Cale Guthrie Weissman , written on November 14, 2013

From The News Desk

It's safe to say all companies want to attract top talent. They vie for the brainiest and the best, the employees with the best attitudes, work ethic, and reliability. That's why companies like Google are renowned for job interviews can seem like a prosecutor's cross examination of a hostile witness. The question is how do you automate and scale such a human endeavor? (They call it human resources for a reason.) You think product-market fit is hard. How about human-workforce compatibility?

New York-based Greenhouse claims to have an answer. It touts a software platform that it says streamlines hiring tools -- from recruiting to the decision making process -- while taking into account companies' individual hiring plans. Today it is announcing a $2.7 million round of funding led by the Social+Capital Partnership and, with participation from individuals hailing from ZocDoc, Pinterest,, and others.

Greenhouse's co-founder and CEO Dan Chait, who previously co-founded and worked as a recruiting and HR executive at Lab49, explained his company's service as simply "driving and automating the recruiting process." Most large companies rely on Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) systems for their recruiting but Greenhouse's software focuses more on what firms should be doing individually. These tools include creating interview plans so that every candidate gets the same questions, and running and tracking reports based on these interviews. One system for all and for all one system.

It does seem to fill a need. Few company executives look forward to hiring staff. It takes time out of a busy day, it's inconvenient, and takes them away from other work. So much of it, too, is dependent on the individual whims and foibles of each executive and human resource manager. They go into a room, ask a few random questions, and hope that will provide sufficient enough criteria. This can lead to uneven hiring practices, which implies that the best candidate doesn't always win. This is where Greenhouse's software comes in, because it helps systemize the entire process.

Greenhouse doesn't focus on just one aspect, such as social or online recruiting. It's simply a way for large companies to order a single accessible database to understand what its hiring strategy is. That way it can replicate it across divisions and departments. Greenhouse doesn't even have to exist on its own. Chait said that many companies use other hiring services in tandem with Greenhouse. The idea is to "not try to push any magic formula."

Is that enough, though?

The company launched in January of 2012 and has been working in stealth since. Without any formal advertising of its services or its initial seed funding, the company has racked up an impressive list of companies, which include Klout, Nextdoor, HUGE, General Assembly, and Airbnb. Chait told me most of these clients came via word of mouth and "friends of friends." At the same time, if Greenhouse is to compete, it'll have to prove it can top legacy ATS systems in larger corporations.

In addition to announcing its funding round today, Greenhouse is offering its services to the public, hoping to grab the attention of more top-tiered companies. This comes at a time when article after blog post lament how broken hiring is and how companies need to figure out a new way.

While Greenhouse appears to have had some successful during its stealth months, now will be the real indicator of whether large companies will buy into its services. Chait explained that Greenhouse's pricing plan is based on how big a company is overall, and generally provides one-year contracts. A lot of huge companies are going to have to overhaul their recruiting systems. That's probably a good thing, but could be an upheaval for some companies with longstanding recruiting processes.

So even Klout if is on board now, we'll just have to see if companies with far bigger clout will sign up for Greenhouse. That will be the real test.

[Image via Thinkstock]