The HR startup wants to make recruitment more non-discriminatory and has developed a game-based testing process for job applicants. You talk to us about your innovative technology, reasons during Corona and why Steve Jobs would be a good companion for a dinner.

You offer recruiting software, of which there are already several on the market. What makes you special?

Attention, Aivy is not just another recruiting software. We make the existing personnel selection of companies more efficient, more certain and fairer with game-based assessments. These are gamified test procedures based on psychological aptitude diagnostics. In contrast to existing solutions, Aivy is easy to integrate, takes significantly less time to implement and is much more appealing to candidates. This is also proven by our strong user acceptance of 95%.

How did you come up with the idea to found your startup?

We ourselves have often gone through lengthy, unappealing application processes and experienced other obstacles in our professional careers. In our academic work (including at Harvard University), we also researched the role of psychological aptitude diagnostics and its positive effects on the job market and thus developed the approach of Aivy: Psychological aptitude diagnostics for personnel selection - but appealing and data-driven!

Since then, our mission has been to make the individual potential of candidates visible in order to help them develop their potential in the best possible way. To this end, we provide HR managers with meaningful arguments for personnel selection so that they can recruit and develop successful teams. In this way, we not only ensure greater fairness and diversity in personnel selection, but also pave the way for greater satisfaction and productivity in the world of work.

Sample applicant profile. Photo: Aivy

Discrimination in personnel selection is often the subject of public discourse and criticism. Does Aivy provide the solution for discrimination-free recruiting? And if so, how do you achieve this?

This is an important point that is particularly close to our hearts! Making recruiting more discrimination-free is one of our visions and that's why it's reflected in our algorithm.

To avoid conscious or unconscious discrimination in the selection process, we only include truly relevant diagnostic criteria for each position. We deliberately leave out irrelevant characteristics such as age, gender or origin. In this way, we focus on the individual and his or her potential and support HR managers in recognizing this potential, thereby helping them to select the person who objectively best fits the position in question.

The HR Award 2020 as "Newcomer of the Year", silver at the "Breakthrough Award" and two DAX companies as clients - the year 2020 went extremely well for you. Did you expect that? And how does that feel?

We are of course very pleased that Aivy has received so much positive feedback from various sides in its founding year. The fact that we have received prestigious awards from our industry and have also been able to win over successful employers for our mission motivates us immensely. We see ourselves as a partner for companies on the path to modern HR and are very pleased when they rethink personnel selection with us.

Winner of the HR Award 2020, Photo: Aivy

This year was marked by one star in particular - Covid-19. Economic downturns, hiring freezes, short-time work - what was that like for you as a provider of recruiting software?

Of course, we also felt the effects of the market situation. Many companies had a temporary hiring freeze and other concerns. Budgets were frozen and HR managers postponed decisions. But actively facing such challenges and finding solutions is what distinguishes a strong start-up.

We therefore focus on the positive: the need for digital solutions is growing. Many companies have implemented new processes and opened up to new possibilities. We place our hopes in this positive change.

And now on a more personal note: How has your daily work routine changed this year-do you still enjoy the home office or do you miss teamwork in the office?

As an HR tech startup, we live "New Work" in a special way, of course, and we were also no strangers to agile and remote working. The complete switch to a home office was therefore not a big problem for us. We have further expanded processes that allow us to remain in personal contact despite the distance. It is important to us to act responsibly and therefore we will continue this way of working for as long as it is necessary. Of course we miss the time together in the office and the personal exchange with our customers at events.

How did your founding team come together, where and how did you meet?

We already knew each other from events and from previous projects. What we have always had in common is the drive to bring about positive social change and to develop digital solutions that can contribute to this. As an interdisciplinary team, we complement each other ideally, both personally and professionally. For me, this is one of our key recipes for success.

Your app was launched with the support of Freie Universität Berlin - how did you get involved and what exactly did the grant support look like?

Photo: Aivy

Our mentor, Prof. Dr. Hannes Rothe, is a co-founder of the Digital Entrepreneurship Hub and works at the Chair of IT Entrepreneurship at Freie Universität Berlin. We benefited greatly from his expertise and the support from Profund Innovation, the start-up service of the FU. They actively supported us and believed in our idea. Thanks to the scholarship, we were also able to develop a first MVP, test it successfully on the market and take away important impulses for the start-up.

Now let's be honest - do you still have a real social life since you founded the company?

I don't want to sugarcoat anything, of course we work around the clock. But we do that out of inner drive. We work towards a common goal and in a small team many tasks fall on a few heads. But we also strive for social balance in order to stay healthy and productive in the long term. This works sometimes more and sometimes less well.

If you could choose one famous person to have dinner with - who would it be?

There are certainly a few. The first person that comes to mind is Steve Jobs. His quote: "The only way to do great work is to love what you do" accompanies me every day and motivates me not only to implement this for myself, but also for other people who become satisfied and successful in their professional lives through the use of Aivy.

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