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workZeit aims to make science out of hiring for company culture

A pre-launch Brooklyn recruiting tool focused on company culture, workZeit, is aiming to make analytical a process that even famously data-crazy Google still sees as an art.

Kelsey Conophy and Julian Diaz in the NYU-Poly DUMBO Incubator. Photo by Brady Dale Taken at the NYU Poly DUMBO Incubator Aug 30, 2013, by Brady Dale.
A pre-launch Brooklyn recruiting tool focused on company culture, workZeit, is aiming to make analytical a process that even famously data-crazy Google still sees as an art.

For all their famous hiring quirks and their data business, how a potential hire will fit into workplace culture is a question that Google hasn’t been able to answer scientifically. If workZeit’s product really works, it could also help companies like Google assess whether or not their existing teams are quite as “Googly” as executives believe them to be.

workZeit is built around assessing a team’s culture and then sorts its job applicants by those that would best fit in. Operating out of NYU-Poly’s Dumbo Incubator, workZeit is geared toward making the hiring process more efficient and effective for both employers and job seekers.

workZeit open on Conophy's laptopFeatures of the workZeit tool:

  • Companies can create work culture profiles for each team or department by asking top performers to fill out the workZeit survey
  • Applicants who apply through workZeit will get funneled to the teams or departments that best fit their work style
  • Each applicant will receive a workGeist, or work culture profile, each sentence of which an applicant can comment on, yielding more robust self-evaluations of a potential employee
  • Once an applicant has filled out a workZeit survey for a job, he or she need never do so again
  • Hiring managers can sort through resumes for qualified candidates who also fit the work culture on a given team, saving time reading resumes

Through testing the site with some smaller companies in the New York area, Kelsey Conophy and her co-founder Julian Diaz found that the site works best for enterprise companies hiring lots of people for roughly the same job, but in all kinds of different teams.

As Conophy said, “How is an Human Resources staff member in Chicago supposed to know the right fit for a work site in Venezuela?”

workZeit screenshot

A screenshot of what a candidate might see after working through the workZeit tool

workZeit is working with a couple different large companies right now. One is looking to implement workZeit in their hiring process. The other is using it to see if they can manage work culture shifts within company teams. Conophy told me that if the tool fills that function well, they will know that they have built something successful.

Conophy and Diaz are the only ones working full time on the site. They are interviewing for a backend developer now and expect to bring on a staffer in sales shortly, Conophy told Technically Brooklyn Friday. All new staff have agreed to work for equity until the site gets funding, which they are now exploring.

Conophy lives in Boerum Hill, and has been working in New York City since 2009. She worked for a branding agency before setting out to start workZeit.

Conophy has a design background — she went to the Parsons Design School after undergrad at the University of Southern California — and made all the icons you see around their site.

She started college pursuing an economics degree, but said that switching to design was the best move she could have made for the work she’s doing now. It taught her how to simplify process and think about products in a longterm way.

Conophy said that working out of the NYU Poly DUMBO Incubator has been a great deal. Diaz described it as, “like being in a beehive of activity.”

Dumbo, NYU-Poly DUMBO Incubator

Series: Brooklyn

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