When I first heard the company name 360Candidate, I figured it was some sort of background/reference checking outfit, along the lines of Checkster and Chequed.
But the intriguing Los Angeles startup (whose founder & CEO Andrew Jacobson I had lunch with yesterday) isn’t even in the background-checking business or just checking references; actually, it’s trying to reduce the glut of resumes companies get when they post a job.
Let’s say you put a job listing up, and get 150 responses. You’d use 360Candidate to take 50 of those candidates and ask for more information. Using a little online form builder, you’d choose some questions to ask candidates, such as what they look for in a job; you’d ask candidates to upload a writing sample, art sample, or other document; you’d have them record a short video on a topic of your choice; you’d potentially ask for references; and, you’d request links to their Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
At this point, you email your 50 candidates the questionnaire, and they do their thing on their end — answering the questions, uploading their documents if applicable, and making a short little video answer. You then go in on the back end, and use the tool to whittle down your applicants based on their written or filmed answers — for example, by giving some five stars and others three.
In a sense, this is all a variation of the idea of a “visual resume” — which has been launched in one form or another in recent years, using sites like about.me, VisualCV, ResumeUP (sprouted from Russia), and a long list of others, some mentioned here. Many of these companies are trying to charge job seekers, while 360Candidate is charging employers and weaving the screening into the job-application process.
It’s also in the genre of a company like HireVue; that’s because, as you may recall, HireVue isn’t just staying put as a video interviewing tool, but is branching out into areas like screening.