From Mistletoe to Job Matching, How JobPiper Came to Be

What we give companies is a software platform that enables them to use scientific assessment to determine if a candidate is going to be a good fit for their company.

Everybody has a story. Some are incredibly interesting and captivate in profound ways, some are so long and boring that you want to claw your eyes out to end the agony (trust me, I’ve written some). In regards to Derik Krauss, CEO of JobPiper, I will say this: he’s the first person I know who parleyed mistletoe sales into a successful entrepreneurial journey.

As a 12-year-old, Krauss embarked on his first entrepreneur adventure, selling mistletoe door-to-door (ladies, watch yourself). That’s right, mistletoe door-to-door sales exists — probably not the most thriving business, but existing nonetheless.

Years later, after listening to the advice of various successful businessmen in college (“You need to learn how to sell!”), Krauss got an entry-level job with Winder Farms, continuing the door-to-door sales but exchanging mistletoe for groceries. This is when his path started to take shape.

“It was there that I realized I really wanted to be in the entrepreneurial space, the startup space,” Krauss said. “Particularly, I had an interest in software and technology, so I decided that I was going to find a software startup to work with.”

While attending a networking event in 2013, Krauss met the founders of Screenie, a video interviewing software company, which eventually led to a job in sales and marketing. Unfortunately, Screenie bolted Utah for the friendly, sangria-filled confines of Mexico and Krauss was faced with a choice: head south or start anew.

Equipped with the knowledge gleaned from working for Screenie, Krauss decided to stay in Utah and start something for himself.

“I noticed some problems in the marketplace that weren’t really being solved,” he said. “I kept hearing over and over again that companies, especially the small and medium-sized ones, wanted more job candidates. But they also needed a way to effectively determine who was the best job candidate. I knew there was opportunity to do something in that space to help companies find candidates and then identify the right person to hire, and that’s where the first thoughts about JobPiper came to be.”

With the thought seeds planted in February 2014, Krauss fast-tracked JobPiper’s rise to startup adulthood — joined BoomStartup’s accelerator program in May, officially created the company in August, and then released their current software in November. The concept? Finding employers the perfect candidate.

“What we give companies is a software platform that enables them to use scientific assessment to determine if a candidate is going to be a good fit for their company,” he said. “Let’s say a company is hiring for a sales position. There are certain attributes — like personality, ability to do the job, motivation for the job — that you consider to see if someone is going to be a good fit. There’s a whole science around that. Right now, our clients work with us on using a behavioral test, or personality measures, to determine if someone is going to be a good sales person.”

Normally, I wouldn’t condone cloning, mainly because it raises super-weird sexual questions about what you should or shouldn’t do with one’s clone.

In JobPiper’s case, cloning is what they’re all about — taking the top performing employees of each company, defining what makes them tick, and then focusing on finding those traits within the field of applicants.

“You get your current employees to take an online assessment,” Krauss said. “At that point, what we tell companies is that we’re going to help clone their top employees. You find the attributes of your top employees, and when you have job applicants, you administer the same assessment to them and see if they match up with your top performing employees.”

With a client base including MX, Bamboo HR, Namify, and iTOK, JobPiper kills two birds with one stone. Not only do they able to provide a valuable service for their customers, they provide a valuable service for candidates that aren’t chosen for the initial job.

“When companies are hiring for a position, they might look at 100 job applicants and hire one of them,” Krauss said. “The other 99 get archived in their database and never get looked at again. When we work with an employer, and they have all these applicants that they’re using our software to review, they’re not hiring most of those people. Our clients are willing to give JobPiper access to the candidates that they don’t hire. What’s super interesting about that, we’re building a database of job candidates by offering a solution to employers.”

For now, JobPiper is self-funded. That may change, or it may not, but either way, their mission remains the same. Provider employers with a scientific solution to hiring the right candidates, while continuing to build a database of job seekers closing in on 600,000.

And the best part? We finally found out the connection between mistletoe and job hiring.

Published 4/15/2015