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Startups and small businesses alike have to deal with the challenge of making a perfect hire, each and every time.

Sadly, hiring employees is a lot like picking the winning lottery ticket. Sometimes you have to spend an ungodly sum of money before you score a win, and the entire time you’re just hoping and praying you have the winning ticket.

But fortunately, all of us can take a deep breath and stop stressing out about whether or not we’ve made the right hire. Plum is taking the guesswork out of recruitment with their pre-employment Discovery Survey assessment for startups and small business hiring.

Business owners all over the world rejoice!

“89% of failed hires are due to attitude and not skill, yet attitude is never tested”, says Plum’s CEO Caitlin MacGregor.

This is precisely why Plum wants to give employers data they can actually use to pick the right people for their company, based on the right attitude for the job.

The Heart of the Matter

Key Performance Indicators are based on how well someone performs in the job, which all comes down to attitude and interpersonal skills. “Hard” skills, which are draped over LinkedIn profiles and resumes, play an important role, but without those skills, candidates wouldn’t get an interview in the first place!

Plum allows companies to look past resumes and get to know what really matters about a candidate.

The Plum Discovery Survey is a form of psychometric testing where a candidate is assessed before an interview to see how closely the candidate matches up to the job description and the company’s culture. The test was developed by Neil D. Christiansen, Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology at Central Michigan University.

So far, the Plum Discovery Survey has saved their customers a lot in both time and money when it comes to their job candidate search and recruitment.

Finding a Diamond in the Rough

Earlier in her career, Caitlin was responsible for making a decision about hiring an employee, which could have been a $300,000 mistake if she picked the wrong candidate.

Naturally she did not want to make a mistake.

She narrowed it down to two choices:

A charismatic interviewer with a fantastic resume, essentially a “golden boy” her boss was drooling over! And a waitress of seven years with a BA in Fine Arts, certainly not a great choice on paper, but she had an amazing personality.

Caitlin based her final decision on an early version of the same pre-employment assessment Plum is based on, and she went with the waitress.

That waitress was Christine Bird, who went on to step into Caitlin’s role when she went on maternity leave a year and a half later.

And when she founded Plum, it was natural for her to bring Christine on board as one of her co-founders.

‘The moral of the story is,’ she said, ‘if we had relied on resumes and interviews we never would have found this amazing diamond in the rough.’ And that goes for the entire team at Plum.

Plum group photo

Meet the team of rockstars over at Plum


Taking Plum to Market

When Caitlin got back from maternity leave she knew this was a commercially viable idea. With Christine and her husband, Neil, they decided to turn this idea into a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

After testing and refining it with dozens of customers and bootstrapping as best they could, they were accepted into the Waterloo-based HYPERDRIVE accelerator in January 2013.

Following the program, they got investment from BDC Capital, and in addition, they applied for government grants to get their company off the ground.

Plum is currently in Silicon Valley for Black Box Connect, an immersion program for international startups. They are also raising a seed round.

Since their accelerator days they have drilled down on the services and functionality clients need. Plum is also launching a beta version of the Discovery Survey for job seekers, which will give candidates a much clearer idea of their skills before they go in for interviews, as well as the kinds of jobs that are most suitable for them.

plum preemployment assessment features

Co-founder Christine Bird believes that “if Plum can bridge the gap between employers and employees, so that the right people are doing work they enjoy in the right environment for them, then we’ve done a good job.”

We certainly think the world of the Plum team and believe that with the help of their Discovery Survey, employers around the world can officially keep the bias and guesswork out of recruitment!

Plum’s been a Wagepoint customer since last year, and naturally, we had to ask if Caitlin and Christine would recommend Wagepoint to others?

“Absolutely! You guys have done for payroll what we are doing with recruitment. You’ve made it so easy, which is great because it can be such a headache. So many things to take care of and look after, but with Wagepoint its all there in this easy-to-use software. We love it!”

If you want to join Plum and our other happy Wagepoint customers, sign up our 30-day free trial today!