How Gitpod uses HiPeople to reduce hiring bias and time-to-hire

April 14, 2022
Liz Marchetti
How Gitpod uses HiPeople to reduce hiring bias and time-to-hire

At a glance

- Company: Gitpod
- Size: 65 people (as of April 2022)
- Industry: Tech (Developer Tools)
- ATS: Crew
- Location: Fully remote
- Hiring goals: Continued growth in 2022
- HiPeople results: Reduced hiring bias and time-to-hire

“HiPeople really boosts our efficiency. By standardizing and centralizing the process, collecting references at scale is a five-minute investment at most.”

Who is Gitpod?

Founded in April 2019, Gitpod is an open-source developer platform that puts developer experience first. Backed by General Catalyst in 2021 with a $13m funding round, it boasts more than 500,000 developers who benefit from the platform’s provisioning of ready-to-code developer environments.

Gitpod frees engineering teams from the friction of manually setting-up local dev environments, saving dozens of hours and enabling a new level of collaboration, to focus on being creative and writing code.

Gitpod’s team consists of fully remote hires with a product-engineering focus – and it’s growing fast. “We almost tripled the team size last year and will keep growing in the coming months,” says Johannes Landgraf, Co-Founder, and Co-CEO of Gitpod.

Why did Gitpod choose HiPeople

“As an open-source tool, we have high visibility and over 500,000 users. As we can build upon a great community, hiring was never our biggest issue. But as the organization grew, we had to create a lightweight process around our hiring efforts – so we moved from Notion to the ATS Crew, which we use to structure our hiring process.

We transparently share the hiring process upfront with candidates in our open positions. The fifth step is reference collection, which comes just before the offer letter – and that is where we embedded HiPeople in the hiring process.

“I did a lot of reference checks when working in venture capital, so I was familiar with the benefits of reference checks. It’s a great data point that you can add to your hiring decision-making process. But given the time and effort it costs, we did not do systematic reference checks at Gitpod prior to HiPeople.

“HiPeople helped us get more professional in the hiring process by reducing bias and getting another lens on candidates. It allowed us to keep the same quality of hire as the business scaled while increasing our confidence in the decision-making process.”

How HiPeople Improved time-to-hire and efficiency at Gitpod

Time-to-hire is extremely critical for us, so we aim to have the process as frictionless as possible.

We automate as much as possible for candidates with Crew.

We use templates – from emails to tech challenges – and favor async communication throughout our process, as this is a core part of how we work as a fully distributed company,

“HiPeople really boosts our efficiency. By standardizing and centralizing the process, collecting references at scale is a five-minute investment at most.”

How HiPeople Reduced Recruitment Bias at Gitpod

“References make you think about certain things, such as what values and characteristics we are looking for in a candidate, and what is the scorecard we want to have. 

So for each interview step, we decide on which questions to use. We then personalize and tailor the platform to each individual role by adding the specific skills we look for in a role to pre-existing templates. 

“That’s where it clicked with HiPeople. When it comes to removing bias, HiPeople makes it super easy to start.”

I find that qualitative feedback is the best. We ask ourselves: “How much effort and time is someone putting into giving a reference? Where is that person coming from? How enthusiastic is that person?”

Since using HiPeople, references are the final checkmark for us. They build a great foundation to have a discussion around. And it’s not just about asking the right questions – but also, reading between the lines of the data provided by those references. 

“Using HiPeople’s automated references provided a great starting point for discussions because you take as much bias as possible out of the equation.”

What’s Next for Johannes and Gitpod?

As a fast-growing developer tools start-up, our hiring plans for 2022 are ambitious. We are looking to fill open roles quite quickly.

With HiPeople, we now collect on average three references per candidate: manager, peer, direct report. We always start with that and it varies depending on the position. Since we started using the HiPeople platform at the end of November 2021, we have screened 20 candidates for 8 different roles and collected 63 references.

We intend to continue using HiPeople’s talent insights to help hire the right people faster as we scale the business globally – while maintaining a high quality of hire and removing as much bias as possible. 

Contact us to book a demo with a HiPeople expert. Learn how you can automate reference checks to reduce mis-hiring and reduce time-to-hire.