Why We're Building Pearl

Note: This blog post was originally published on the Pearl blog on January 15th, 2021. We've shut down that project and the blog along with it, so I've moved it here to serve as a historical record for myself and others.

Why are you doing this?

Recruiting tends to be a horrendous experience for everyone involved. For employers, it's a time-sucking, money burning endeavor that never ends. For candidates... well we all know how it is. This reality was pretty clear to me as an ambitious college student at UCLA. I'd done my fair share of job-seeking, as well as my fair share of hiring for various entrepreneurial pursuits. It didn't matter what side of the table I was sitting on, the experience sucked.

For job-seekers, the challenge of recruiting is uniquely pernicious because it impacts everyday life in fundamental ways. Everything that's tricky about job hunting - trying to find the right opportunity, filling out long applications, getting ghosted by recruiters - it adds up into a thick glue that stops people from moving onwards and upwards. I've seen this happen to too many friends and family members. It pains me to see so many people I love lead lackluster careers for decades on end. It's absolute madness. It was with these thoughts in mind when I teamed up with my co-founder Alex to make something better.

Why Now?

COVID-19 has changed everything - but not in entirely unpredictable ways. In fact, in most cases, it's accelerated existing trends. One of those trends is the shift to remote work. We can all feel how huge this is right now, but I don't think society understands just how game-changing this really is. Until recently, you could only take a job if you had the means to pick up your life and move to wherever the office was. Now you can take a job anywhere on the planet. Our career optionality has completely exploded.

What's more, we expect more from our work. Gone are the days of "punch in, punch out" careers. The new generation of professionals demands that a higher set of needs be met. We want our work to be meaningful, we want our work to be exciting, we want our work to be inclusive.

Job seekers today are woefully unequipped to fulfill these changing needs. We need a recruiting service that will accommodate nuances - one that can truly understand candidates in a holistic way. We need a service that recognizes the life-changing potential of the right career and treats each opportunity with care and diligence instead of simply filling seats on behalf of clients. This is the philosophy behind our work at Pearl.

Why Startups?

Startups offer candidates incredibly unique opportunities for rapid wealth creation and upwards mobility. The problem is, they've historically functioned as walled gardens. If you're not a silicon valley insider, good luck finding your way onto the ground floor. This happens because founders simply don't have the resources to run a formal recruiting process. Vetting complete strangers for critical roles typically takes a lot of time (or costs a lot of money to outsource). And if you make the wrong hiring decision, it could have disastrous consequences.

And so, founders opt to hire from within their personal network, but this isn't ideal either. Personal networks will quickly run dry, and sourcing talent from people you already know creates a lack of diversity. In short, there really isn't a reliable "go-to" method for startup recruiting, and therein lies the opportunity for us.

As the world's first conversational recruiting platform, Pearl offers startups the quality of an outsourced recruiting agency at the price of a lightweight tech platform. And with a focus on SMS, we can operate at a blazingly fast speed. As founders, it's what we would have wanted to use when we were hiring.