These twin sisters graduated Stanford and went straight to Silicon Valley's hottest startup incubator. Now, they've raised $2.5 million to build software that helps companies hire more diverse teams.

Business Insider | 11/22/2019 | Rosalie Chan
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On Thursday, the hiring software startup Searchlight announced it raised a $2.5 million seed round led by Accel.

Searchlight was founded by twin sisters Kerry and Anna Wang, twin sisters who graduated Stanford last year and went to the famed startup incubator Y Combinator this year. They say that employers would sometimes think that their resumes were just too similar.

Company - Way - Rather - Resume - Searchlight

The company provides an alternative way of looking at hiring: Rather than rely so much on the resume, Searchlight puts more focus on helping employers vet a job candidate's references.

This approach can lead to more diverse teams, because an emphasis on the resume can lead employers to go with "the safer hire," the Wang sisters say.

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When applying for internships, Kerry and Anna Wang often had trouble distinguishing themselves from one another.

Sisters - Stanford - University - Undergraduate - Masters

Not only are they twin sisters — they both attended Stanford University for their undergraduate and masters degrees, during which time they both interned at Google and at McKinsey & Company, before they both graduated last year.

While they definitely had different experiences — Kerry Wang specialized in computer interaction design, while Anna Wang focused more on AI and machine learning, and the sisters had different jobs at each internship — their resumes ended up looking almost exactly the same. The thing that helped set them apart in the internship application process, the sisters said, was their references.

Mind - Company - Software - Part - Hiring

With this in mind, they started a company that creates software that makes references a more important part of the hiring process, rather than such a heavy focus on the resume. They believe that this approach can also help companies build a more inclusive and diverse team.

"It really came from us really finding the pain point, which is that the broken interview process that we experienced when we went...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Business Insider
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