How our startup grew 400% in 2018

2018 was a pivotal year for HackerTrail, in every sense. It was the year that we went from a scattered set of features and heavily customised revenue models to a truly integrated product that helps our customers do one thing – to hire the best technologists as efficiently as possible!

Here at HackerTrail, based out of Singapore, we began life as a technical assessments provider. Our founder is a former technology leader, ex-Wall Street, who felt that what the recruitment world lacked was the ability to tell a good technology candidate from a bad one. So that’s what we set out to enable. But with a relatively low barrier to entry and near red ocean price points, we realised quickly that the technical assessments business would become a race to the bottom. At the same time, we listened to each one of our clients, small and big, and decided it was time for a rethink.

After going back to the drawing board, we figured out that what our assessments business had taught us, ahead of all other learnings, was that testing a candidate’s technical competence was just one part of a much larger problem faced by hiring managers, agencies, and talent acquisition people alike. How to locate, identify, attract, recruit, and then hang onto talented technology professionals is an art only the likes of FANG (or is that FAAMG?*) have really mastered.

So what have we done to help our clients solve this challenge, and how has that led to a 400% increase in revenue, in 2018 alone?
Well, to start with, we now look at recruitment more scientifically as a three-part process:

  1. Source a very wide pool of talent.
  2. Identify the best fits for a role using proprietary machine learning and our gamified assessment engine.
  3. Present only the top 5% of candidates to the hiring manager … and watch the magic happen!

Our new approach allows us to provide crystal clear value, both to our customers and to our fantastic candidates. But don’t let us sway you, look at our numbers for the year and be your own judge:

Number of HackerHunt days:8
Number of vacancies:132
Number of applications:9,402
Number of resumés reviewed:794
Number of interviews:406
Number of job offers:92

That’s right – our strike rate on vacancies to job offers was 70% – which means HackerTrail’s technology was able to beat the industry average by 100%! And we’re just getting started.

So what are we selling?

The talent acquisition space is becoming so crowded with different technologies, algorithms, dashboards, channels, and buzz words, it can be baffling. Our goal; at HackerTrail is to make the lives of our customers simple. That’s why we offer them the following:

  • HackerTrail Recruit – hire top talent from 80 countries, one role at a time, receiving quality profiles directly in your inbox.
  • HackerHunt Interview & Assessment Days – build an entire team of people in one evening, interviewing only talent that’s been pre-curated against your specific requirements.
  • HackerTrail Tech Assessments – build your own talent pipeline, then evaluate your candidates on a hundred different technical skills, all in real time, by channeling your candidates to your own bespoke employer microsite that’s running HackerTrail’s technical assessments.
  • HackerTrail Job Portal – post your jobs for free and receive, on average, 100 – 200 candidates per job posted, with technical assessments and a matching engine already tied in.

What did we learn?

We can’t claim that the above happened without some trial and error. Nor did everything go smoothly, every step of the way. However, what we can say is that by continually measuring what we were doing, and by acting quickly when things weren’t working, we were able to save ourselves an awful lot of heartache, time and money, and build credibility with a range of amazing, tier-1 employers!

What does 2019 look like?

With a team of 20 people in two cities, and a growing candidate and client pool, it’s hard not to get excited about the next leg of our journey. As well as our current office locations in Singapore and India, our eyes are fixed on Malaysia and Hong Kong in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned for more updates.

Keen to learn how HackerTrail works?

Reach out to our sales team and we’ll gladly give you a personal demo.

See some testimonials and watch some HackerHunt Interview and Assessment Days in action.


* FANG: an acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, coined by those who follow popular technology stocks. FAAMG stands for Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *