Arctic Shores was born out of a desire to make the recruitment process more engaging, objective and fair. The Manchester-based scaleup uses data-driven psychometric tests combining neuroscience, artificial intelligence and game technology to try and eliminate bias when it comes to hiring and promoting people.
Founded by CTO Safe Hammad and CEO Robert Newry, Arctic Shores has recently raised $5.5 million in Series A investment to accelerate its international expansion. The round was led by venture capital firm Beringea with involvement from its existing backer Candy Ventures.
Since launching in 2014, the scaleup has worked with over 140 companies across 40 different countries and is now gearing up to accelerate its international expansion.
We spoke to Safe Hammad to find out more.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Safe Hammad: We are trying to solve the problem of bias and poor candidate experience in recruitment. Our apps capture applicants’ natural responses and behavioural preferences, so there is no room for self-report bias to creep in where someone may attempt to skew their answers to appear “more desirable”.
Once candidates have completed the assessment, they receive a report outlining their natural behavioural strengths and areas of development – even if they were unsuccessful at reaching the next stage of the process. This is our way of giving something back to the candidate who has invested the time applying for the job and completing the assessment.
In addition, the game-like elements and the app-based interface provides a more engaging and less stressful experience. Often, candidates forget that they are being assessed!
Why did you decide to raise another investment round and how did you go about it?
The time was right as we could clearly see a market opportunity to take on more investment.
It took a lot of knocking on doors and many presentations! We leaned heavily on our network of partners and contacts to make initial recommendations and introductions. Naturally, once a potential investor was interested in our proposition, there was a long period of discovery to explain and justify our business model and exciting growth plans.
It’s a two-way street. The investor has to be passionate about what Arctic Shores stands for, and to buy into the senior leadership team to deliver growth. At the same time, Arctic Shores has to buy into the philosophy of the investor.
What’s on the horizon for your company?
We are definitely going to be continuing to expand internationally, aided by opening two more offices outside the UK which will allow us to have teams on the ground to support our growing client base.
We are also launching an online tool next year which will help even more organisations make better people choices!
What’s it like being a tech company in Manchester?
Manchester is an exciting place to be right now as a tech company! There has been a huge influx of talented people working in the digital sector and a stream of great tech companies, young and old, opening offices here.
There’s a noticeable “buzz” of entrepreneurship and an appetite to create and innovate. At the same time, there has always been a strong sense of community and pride here, and if anything, that is getting stronger.
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