CNBC Disruptor 50

Tech tools that can help you land the perfect job

Overhauling hiring: Using technology to find better employees

With low, 4.5 percent unemployment and exploding demand for all sorts of workers, new high-tech tools are emerging to help companies find the best candidates and bring down the cost of that job search.

Better hiring is a win-win for companies and employees, as reducing employee turnover is valuable to the bottom line. The average cost per hire is $4,129, and it takes an average of 42 days to fill a given position, according to the Society for Human Resource Management's new Human Capital Benchmarking Report. And for many employers, the cost is much higher, not to mention the cost and time it takes to train new workers.


Workpop is focused on the 76 million hourly workers in the United States: service-sector jobs at restaurants and retailers that have, until now, largely been filled by work-intensive paper applications. Its tools are designed for both workers and employers to access on mobile devices — responding to the fact that more than 60 percent of potential employees who visit a job site are using a mobile device.

Workpop combines video applications, social references and artificial intelligence algorithms to find the best candidates and reduce turnover. It's already drawn millions of candidates and more than 10,000 employers, helping them hire hundreds of thousands of employees. And though it's designed to work for small businesses, it's partnering with national restaurant chains, such as Hillstone Restaurant Group.

"A lot of times it can identify trends or characteristics of candidates that a person wouldn't find," says Reed Shaffner, Workpop's co-founder and co-CEO. "It can also look through a much broader set of people to identify who might be the right fit for the role."

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For candidates, Workpop offers a range of options, from automatically extracting information from a résumé to apply for a job, to video responses to job applications. And rather than acting as a rival to work sites such as and Ziprecruiter, it's a partner, helping those sites find candidates.

For employers, Workpop will post their jobs across the web. "You really don't want to have to think about 'Hey, where should I post my job?' And frankly, we're going to find candidates you can't find on job boards," says Shaffner. The company's fee structure varies for small businesses looking to make a single hire and larger companies paying an annual fee.

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Comparably is focused on the tech sector, collecting data from tens of thousands of employees on compensation and corporate culture from companies including Netflix, Uber, eBay, PayPal and SpaceX. "Think about it like eHarmony for work," says Comparably CEO Jason Nazar. "We take all these different data points about what you're looking for in your work experience, what kind of culture you want, what you want to get paid, what job titles you want to have — not only today but a couple of years from today — and we match you to companies that are going to be the best fit for you."

Like a dating service, Nazar says he has tools for both employees and companies, providing competitive analytics to both sides so you can "see what women vs. men rate their CEO at a certain company or what specific departments think of their company." He adds, "And for employees, we have a really unique algorithm that shows them which companies they best match with. We have access to one of the largest databases now of tech candidates."


While Comparably aims to fix gender and racial inequity in pay at companies by revealing how much women and men are making, HackerRank aims to make hiring for tech jobs color and gender blind by allowing people to code and compete anonymously for jobs. HackerRank positions itself as a destination for programmers to learn about how to code and compete with fellow coders online, and for companies to find, screen and interview a more diverse range of engineers.