It's our birthday! We started back in 2015 with big dreams and lots of merch. To celebrate, the milestone, we thought it was time to look back at where we've come from and where we're headed.

Like most tech companies, we're all about speed and the customer. But when we founded Weirdly about this time back in 2015, we also wanted to find a different way to build HRTech software. Instead of burning out engineers and sacrificing everything to the balance sheet, we wanted to prioritise people, honesty and thoughtful design in every move we made. Big dreams. Choosing the road less travelled was always going to be a little bumpy. Instead of throwing it in the too-hard basket, we made sure we got things – like our vision and values – straight from the start, and so far, they’ve steered us well.

Our big goal: fast and fair recruitment

We’re changing the way companies think about high-volume recruitment. That’s why we built a high-volume ATS that makes hiring faster and fairer – for recruiters and candidates.

Our talent communities and volume ATS are modern, candidate-friendly and let some of the biggest brands in retail dial up the focus on soft skills and potential instead of degrees and resumes. And why hasn't anyone done that before? Well, because it's a bit hard.

From the very beginning, we set out to understand people who work on the shop floor just as well as we understood frontline recruiters. We figured that was the only way to make screening software that works for both.

In a huge market of HR tech start-ups, Weirdly is unique. We can solve one of the most expensive and painful problems for large retailers worldwide: finding the best frontline staff fast, with tight budgets.

But don’t just take our word for it – our roster of loyal, global customers thinks so too.

We’re specifically designed for the high-volume recruiter

We’ve designed Weirdly to remove the pain for high-volume recruiters and hiring managers – it means we're perfect for companies running contact centres and retail or hospitality empires. So, no surprises, we've worked with the likes of Vodafone, Uber, Target, Kmart, Domino’s and The Warehouse Group.

What makes us really special is that we actually understand what those global giants need to succeed. Recruitment is about so much more than “bums on seats” – it’s also a branding exercise, and your first chance to induct new recruits into your culture. That's why Weirdly puts the candidate experience first – we want to help clients build loyalty, even with candidates who don’t get the job.

Here’s how:

We make things fast

Designed for frontline staffing. We know store managers are busy and candidates are keen to get into work ASAP. That’s why we’ve streamlined parts of the recruitment process that take up too much time, like pre-assessment screening.

Screens based on fit. Weirdly’s soft skills and values assessments help you find people that’ll add to your culture, rather than just tick the CV box.  

Gets frontline candidates from applying to offer in 42 hours. For some customers, that gets down to as low as two hours.

Offers the biggest repository of frontline candidates in the world. Yep, you read that right. Our customers are building their own talent communities of awesome candidates, all pre-screened and ready to go when work becomes available.

We make things fair

Removes unconscious bias. We’ve found better, more innovative ways to screen candidates and avoid using CVs, which tend to disadvantage candidates from historically underrepresented communities. We also work closely with advisors and advocacy groups to make sure we're designing experiences that are inclusive and welcoming to members of communities that have (historically) been pretty ignored by recruitment software.

Supports candidates to get ready for the workforce. Most young people have never experienced ‘working’ before, something we should be helping with – not seeing as a red flag. That’s why we’re trialling training courses and we’ve stepped up to act as a help desk for young candidates with some of our biggest clients.

Tackles accessibility. This includes great connection to support tools for those with visual impairments and dyslexia. Then there are the improvements we’ve made around socio-economic and mobile accessibility, which give all candidates a better opportunity of accessing the Weirdly goodness.

Our values and founding principles

Like any start-up, Weirdly has grown and evolved since those early days. But what haven’t changed are the three higher principles that bond our founding team:

1. Never for them without them

If we’re building tools aimed at a specific audience, (like increasing applications from indigenous communities or Gen Z), it’s important to have representatives from those communities on our team. This isn’t always easy to achieve, and we’re not perfect at it by any stretch, but it’s a core consideration in any hiring decision. It also means if we don't have people internally with these lived experiences on our team, we seek out groups in our wider community to advise us.

2. Data is entrusted, not owned

Traditionally, software (particularly HR tech) has operated on the assumption that the data you collect is yours. But the world has changed – and people (rightly so) want to own their data. We built Weirdly with the understanding that candidates are giving us permission to use their data for the recruitment process. They have control over when it gets used and who sees it, and if they choose to hit delete, it’s gone.

3. Every decision you make is a vote for the world you want to live in

Every dollar we spend, every click we make, every line of code we write – that’s shaping our world in big ways and small. So we challenge ourselves (and each other) often: Does this decision make the world a better place to live? or a worse one? 

Our values – Get Naked, Get People, Get Pretty, Get Curious and Get Shipping – reflect these founding principles. But we also recognise these are likely to morph and change as we grow.

For now, though, we share everything so our people can make more informed decisions. We’re optimistic and focused on building things that will positively impact lives. We believe great design can challenge, inspire, and clarify, we challenge and inspire people to work smarter and drive innovation and we believe resilience, urgency and execution are the cornerstones to our success.

Living up to the vision

We’re proud of what we've achieved so far. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve got a long list of exciting things still to go, but we’re confident that we’re living up to the vision in the meantime. Most importantly, our team feels valued, supported and fulfilled

We think it’s possible to be a high-performing start-up employee and have a life. We also fiercely believe it makes you a better team member when you've got passions and interests going on outside of work. Our goal is to create an environment where our people are challenged every day and given the space and support to care for their families and pursue those other interests.

During COVID, this meant maintaining a dynamic “on-the-tools” timetable, visible to the whole team, that allowed people to juggle family care and work. Here's what else we've been doing.

Hiring the best (aligned) people

The best people are only the best if they align with Weirdly’s values and principles. Each great new hire raises our bar and brings new ideas and experiences that keep us fresh and relevant.

Full transparency across the team

We tell our team everything, especially the hard stuff, which gives them permission to do the same. They love bringing their whole selves and ideas to work without judgement.

Diversity and inclusion

It’s important to acknowledge this challenge for tech companies. Our team is made up of all sorts, who have the freedom to be who they are and work in non-traditional ways. Two of our four founders are indigenous women, and both still hold senior roles in the company (hi Dale and Keren). Our leadership team is 90% women, and the full team includes members of the LGBTQUI and neurodiverse communities.

Finding ways to integrate learning

We don’t have a big budget for learning and development, but we work hard to keep our team constantly challenged. Being a start-up, we all chip in, so we’re learning new stuff every day.

Pushing forward for faster and fairer hiring

We think it’s important to step back and take stock of where we are on our journey. We’ve got some awesome tech and we’re working with big, incredible brands to create exceptional candidate experiences – and in many ways, we’re only just getting started. It's a good reason to celebrate, even if it wasn't our 8th birthday.