Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Bryq
Markellos Diorinos: Before co-founding Bryq, I held multiple roles in technology and marketing. I quickly developed a passion for early-stage startups, where I could help drive tangible results for the companies and their clients. The idea to create Bryq came while I was at another tech company and realized how difficult it can be to hire talent for in-demand roles – from account management to data analytics. As companies are growing and developing, the hiring process is becoming increasingly more complex. Who we identify as talented requires a combination of different parameters that need to be addressed concurrently: skills and ability, personality, fit for the role, and company culture. Recruiters and hiring managers struggle to overcome conscious and unconscious biases to hire the right person for the job but often end up hiring for resumes and not capabilities or fit for the role. This leads to many new hires failing within one year after taking on a new role and several people – especially women and diverse candidates – being overlooked for roles they would excel in. Bryq is a hiring platform that helps address exactly that challenge. We partner with employers to test applicants for the competencies required to succeed in the roles companies are hiring for without looking at factors that lead to biased decisions, like degrees.
How does Bryq innovate?
Markellos Diorinos: The idea behind Bryq is simple: with companies across the world renewing their commitment to diversity and inclusion and investing resources in further broadening their talent pool to include candidates from diverse communities, we are using scientific findings to inform an easy-to-use platform that assesses candidates for the qualifications that matter, removing all other factors from the equation. We are democratizing the hiring process by creating results that are easy to understand and act upon and at competitive prices.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Markellos Diorinos: We have been lucky enough that none of our team members was directly affected by the coronavirus. The pandemic slowed down or even paused recruiting for many companies; at the same time, it reinforced the importance of having the tools to efficiently and effectively screen candidates remotely. It has also led to an increase in applicants for each role, which broadens the talent pool for companies but makes it harder to remove biases from the hiring process and hire the best person for the job. Bryq, a digital platform, was well-positioned to serve customers during the crisis and meet an increase in demand for diverse hiring.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Markellos Diorinos: In a digital-only environment, the ease of use of our platform became critical to both employers and the candidates who were being screened for roles. With hiring managers and applicants working from home and spending many hours in virtual meetings, customers valued the ease of use of our platform and the time-efficient testing process. The crisis has further highlighted that we must continuously invest in innovating and improving our program.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Bryq in the future?
Markellos Diorinos: Every founder is being pulled in many different directions but building a solid team and having faith in your teammates, and your advisors is always key to the company’s future success. We strive for excellence in what we do, and, as I often remind my team, “excellence does not require perfection.”
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Markellos Diorinos: Our main competitor is inertia – companies sticking to screening resumes, even though they know this is ineffective. Helping companies further their Diversity and Inclusion goals is at the heart of our business model. Hiring platforms that are sticking to the old ways and disregarding the impact that racial and economic inequities have had on business, communities and our society as a whole are losing the war on talent.
Your final thoughts?
Markellos Diorinos: The exacerbated impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on communities that have long faced barriers to good jobs and economic opportunity, paired with the challenges faced by companies in their efforts to recruit the right person for each job, highlight the urgency to develop efficient and effective solutions that remove bias from hiring and help deserving candidates access jobs that they qualify for.
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