SmartRecruiters Blog

Recruiting Startup of the Year Nominee: GoHire

If you want to talk about how far recruitment has come from the internet’s initial series of job boards, ask the guy responsible for one of the very first ones.

Meet the companies vying for the title of Recruiting Startup Of The Year (RSOTY) at Hiring Success 18, in San Francisco, March 12-14. Register here!  Your vote determines which six are flying to California to pitch their ideas to 1000+ Talent Acquisition leaders and puts them in the running for the grand prize.

One of these six will be selected by a group of C-Suite experts and industry analysts for the ultimate prize of a Gold Sponsorship to Hiring Success 19, worth $10,000, which includes a branded booth and dedicated demo-room for potential customers to interact with their product.

Jonathan Duarte is a 20-year veteran of the Internet Recruiting and HR Tech industry, having started one of the first job boards,, way back in 1996. As a technologist and entrepreneur, JD has built companies, partnerships, and technology integrations with HR Tech firms across the recruiting, background screening, and workforce management spectrum.

His primary motivation in the recruiting technology market comes from his desire to connect the right employer to the right candidate at the right time. This is something we at SmartRecruiters can empathize with, and as Hiring Success 18 draws nearer, we asked Jonathan to give us a bit of a primer as to what we can expect to see when he rolls his latest startup, GoHire, into San Francisco, March 12-14.

What’s your company’s elevator pitch?

GoHire helps recruiters attract, engage, and hire, across multiple messaging platforms with award-winning chatbots. Our clients are generating 500% increases in candidate application rates, while leveraging the automation of chatbots to speed up the recruiting process. With text messaging, Messenger, and web chat, recruiters are automating manual tasks like candidate pre-screening and job interview scheduling, while communicating with candidates using their platform of choice, in a centralized and compliant way.

What gave you the idea for your startup?

For the last 20 years, I’ve been trying to solve the age-old problem of connecting the right company to the right candidate at the right time. This journey has taken many forms, from founding one of the first internet job boards in the 90s to building corporate career sites. However, while technology has helped move us from newspaper ads and a “Hidden Job Market”, where most job openings were never published, to a space where “all jobs are everywhere”, I don’t think we’ve solved many real, fundamental problems. In many ways, we’ve just substituted one set of problems with another.

Over the last couple of years, however, I’ve been in a unique position to witness the convergence of several technologies that I believe will significantly alter the future of recruiting and the job search process. For instance, in the first six months of 2016, Uber recruited approximately 600,000 drivers in the US. That alone is an incredible statistic. But if you dig a little deeper, it also means that they had to engage over six million potential drivers to start the recruiting process. To my knowledge, this was the single largest public or private recruiting campaign in the last 50 years or more. They did it by removing as many barriers-to-entry and friction points as possible, and only implementing human assistance when needed. If they required manual processes, like drivers filling out a 45-minute application, for example, they would have failed. One of the key solutions was text messaging and automated next-step reminders. And when you add chatbots, then you have the ability to automate and scale recruiting processes.

What does ‘hiring success’ mean to you?

I think the purest form of hiring success is recruiting the right candidates for both company culture fit as well as anticipating tomorrow’s requirements. Employee turnover is costing more and more each year, so the only viable way to make employees profitable in the long term is to hire the right candidates in the first place.


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