|Harqen Ceo Kelly Fitzsimmons|
With signs that the economy is warming up, a bevy of new start ups stand ready to help companies and employees make the right match. While admitting that during the recession, “the hiring space was hellacious,” Kelly Fitzsimmons, CEO of Milwaukee-based HarQen, made good use of the time to improving existing systems and to work on new products. Founded in 2007, HarQen considers itself “a pioneer in the virtual interview space,” with its application called Voice Advantage that allows recruiters to use their phones and a simple web-based dashboard to create and distribute customized, prerecorded phone interview questions. On their part, job candidates take the interview at their own convenience by clicking on a link through email or on the web; they type in a phone number and answer a callback a second later to begin. Once the interview is completed, recruiters can review the exchange and forward it to others who play a role in hiring. Hiring managers, says Kelly, like the product because it is “a real timesaver, eliminating scheduling hassles”. And so do job seekers. HarQen reports that 90% of candidates complete the interview within the first 24 hours and 40% of them take the interviews evenings or weekends.