Female-founded Startup Equalture with the vision to help companies make unbiased, science-backed hiring decisions, by trusting in neuroscience instead of gut feeling has just scored €2.75 million. The funding round was backed by a Dutch investment company of serial entrepreneur Pieter Schoen, Shoe Investment, which also witnessed the participation of Dutch VC firm 4impact.
The Rotterdam-based startup which was founded in 2018 by sisters ‘Fleur Melkert’ and ‘Charlotte Melkert actually evolved out of years of frustration they experienced while running a recruitment agency. In the process, they figured out how candidates were being wrongfully and unfairly judged by potential employers based on their resume and appearance, rather than their personality, talents, and passions. However, the subject startup is poised to address this concern.
In 2020, a source familiar with the matter had learnt after getting across to the co-founder Charlotte about putting gut aside in hiring decisions.
Equalture’s co-founder ‘Charlotte Melkert’ said: “In this era of rapid technological innovations that we are living, it is unacceptable that hiring decisions are still based upon subjective first impressions that we allow our own biases to create. In 1482, Leonardo da Vinci wrote the first resume, and up to this day, 540 years later, we still rely on CVs when judging candidates. The most ironic and sad part of this story is that we all know that CVs aren’t predictive of hiring success and heavily increase biases, but still we all stick to this screening method. Just because old habits are difficult to break through”.
To scale up candidates beyond what their CVs depicts, startup Equalture gives hiring a different approach via the company’s product, since it’s been proven that diverse teams are good food for business, yet too often diverse candidates are overlooked due to hiring bias. As a result, Equalture helps companies increase the diversity of their teams by offering all candidates with equal opportunity in order to get hired.
Therefore, with a library of scientifically-validated gamified assessments, companies can evaluate candidates’ cognitive potentials to the test and figure out the cultural preferences and behavior of the subject candidates and their existing team. This is achieved when candidates take these assessments for instance (which should last about 25 minutes) at the initial stage of the hiring process – ensuring a first impression that is “based on science instead of gut”.
Responding to this development, ‘Pieter Schoen’, owner of Shoe Investment and serial entrepreneur, commented: “The enthusiasm and perseverance of the entrepreneurs radiates, and at Equalture I also see the most important investor-rule being confirmed: ‘Eerst de vrouw, dan het gebouw’, a Dutch statement which implies good management is the most important thing in order to build a successful startup”.
To this end, the subject company (Equalture) plans to double down in a bid to grow its international customer base, and expand its test library of game-based neuro-assessments, aimed at helping companies to evaluate their teams coupled with candidates (soft) skills and behaviors in an unbiased, scientific manner.
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