Introducing Otherbranch

We're betting on centralized interviewing solving the problems in technical hiring. Here's why.

Introducing Otherbranch

We're betting on centralized interviewing solving the problems in technical hiring. Here's why.

The problem

The fundamental problem of technical recruiting is repetition.

Suppose a typical candidate contacts 300 companies and does 20 technical phone screens. Every one of those 300 companies evaluates their resume for similar things. Every one of the 20 phone screens covers pretty similar material. Yet 300 resume screens and 20 phone screens have to occur anyway. If even half the content of these screens is shared across employers, that multiplies the cost of these two steps by 150x and by 10x respectively.

In any other industry, inefficiencies of 150x or 10x would be viewed as a sign of insanity. But in recruiting, they are, quietly, an accepted cost of doing business.

This inefficiency creates, or at least exacerbates, almost every other problem in the hiring process. The high cost of resume screening means it has to be fast, and the fastest way to screen a resume is years of experience and a few keywords. The high cost of phone screens mean only a few candidates can be given a chance, almost always those who have one of a few credentials. And the low investment a company can make in each process means that candidates can’t afford to invest in each contact with companies, because they’re forced to play a volume game.

Nobody wants this. Employers don’t want to be credentialist. Job seekers don’t want to be spammy. But both sides are caught in an economic trap from which they cannot independently escape, a trap rooted in the fact that every company repeats - and has to repeat - very similar assessments. Rather than assessment being O(n) for n candidates, it's O(k*n) for n candidates and k companies.

The fundamental problem of technical recruiting is repetition. 

The fundamental solution to repetition is centralization.

Welcome to Otherbranch. That’s what we do here.


How we're fixing it

At our core, Otherbranch is a third party recruiting agency. We find candidates for companies trying to hire for technical roles, and they pay us if they make a hire.

But unlike traditional agencies, we’re trying to make hiring better for both parties.

We do that by doing first-round interviews ourselves. Instead of candidates doing a 15- or 30-minute phone screen with each individual company, they do one longer interview with us.

That’s better for everyone.

It’s better for candidates because they get a fairer chance to show their skills. They get asked a wider range of topics, rather than flipping a coin on whether they know one specific algorithm question. They’re assessed by an interview, not just by their resume. They can show what they’re good at, and then get matched with a company that wants what they’re good at. And they can do this quickly, transparently, and with the promise of full and transparent feedback.

It’s better for companies because they get better information. They get a breakdown of candidates’ skills in multiple areas, not just a single bit of information on whether or not they happen to know a specific question. They can identify talent they would otherwise miss. They get statistical power from an interview standardized across a wide range of candidates and administered by professional interviewers. They get to skip a tedious and expensive part of hiring. And they can start their hiring process armed with data that produces better outcomes down-funnel.

It’s better for us because the most valuable thing we can do as an agency is identify talent others miss. We're interviewing for multiple companies at once, so every underrated person we find is effectively “found” multiple times, lowering the effective cost of each find. We can take wider shots, give more people a chance, and make it good business to do so. Eventually, we can extend to the point that we interview people regardless of credentials.

And it’s cheaper, on net, for everyone. If a candidate does a 15-minute phone screen 20 times, that’s 300 minutes - five hours - of time spent by candidates and companies on that candidate. Our interview, as of this writing, is 90 minutes. It’s better signal, more opportunity, and one-third the time for everyone involved. That's why we can do it while charging the same amount as a traditional third-party recruiter.

We’ve done all this before. I’m the former head of product for Triplebyte (YC S15). I previously led assessments there, and assessments I led and architected have been used to screen more than 150,000 engineers worldwide. Our interviewers used to interview there, and they’ve conducted thousands of hours of interviews, including at Google and Amazon.

We’re trying to rebuild something like Triplebyte at its best, without the factors that caused it to pivot and become a far inferior product. We’ve seen an idea like this work, and the only reason it didn’t keep working is that it didn’t scale to the satisfaction of 2018 venture capitalists. But Otherbranch is bootstrapped, and answers to no one but our ability to keep operating.


Work with us

If you’re a skilled engineer who wants to join the fast-moving, no-corporate-BS world of startups, we’d love to talk to you. (Not sure if you're good? Try this problem and see how you do.) You can email candidates@otherbranch.com, or you can sign up on this page if you’d prefer.

If you’re an employer, especially a startup at early-to-growth stage of around 5-30 engineers, let’s talk. We are not your typical recruiter. We’re technical from head to toe, with more assessment experience than anyone, and we’ll find the scrappy hackers you need to make your company work. You can email sales@otherbranch.com or use the signup form on this page.

Or you can just hit up our home page and read more there.

Rachel

Founder/CEO

I'm the founder here at Otherbranch. I used to be the head of product at Triplebyte (YC S15), and my deeper background is in mathematics and education. I love the challenge of business, and I think if you see problems in the world you've got a responsibility to work on the ones you can. I want to see business done openly and honestly, without pragmatism serving as an excuse for greed.

Rachel

Founder/CEO

I'm the founder here at Otherbranch. I used to be the head of product at Triplebyte (YC S15), and my deeper background is in mathematics and education. I love the challenge of business, and I think if you see problems in the world you've got a responsibility to work on the ones you can. I want to see business done openly and honestly, without pragmatism serving as an excuse for greed.

Improve your onsite pass rate.
Skip the grind of tech screens.
Hire better and faster.

For employers

Improve your onsite pass rate.
Skip the grind of tech screens.
Hire better and faster.

For employers

Improve your onsite pass rate.
Skip the grind of tech screens.
Hire better and faster.

For employers

Set yourself apart from the crowd.
Show your hands-on skills first.

Get candid interview feedback.

For engineers

Set yourself apart from the crowd.
Show your hands-on skills first.

Get candid interview feedback.

For engineers

Set yourself apart from the crowd.
Show your hands-on skills first.

Get candid interview feedback.

For engineers