The co-founder of a Manchester-based psychometric assessment provider says it remains committed to growth despite the coronavirus uncertainty.
Arctic Shores provides psychometric assessments for companies by combining neuroscience, AI and game technology and last year raised $5.5m in Series A funding, bringing the total amount raised to $10m.
CTO and co-founder Safe Hammad said the investment had allowed it to grow internationally and continue on its quest to ‘democratise access’ to behaviour-based assessments.
The company employs 70 people, half of whom are Manchester-based with the rest being spread across offices in London, Cologne and Singapore.
Hammad (below) explained how Covid-19 has changed the way Arctic Shores is run.
“We’ve had a flexible working policy since we founded the business, which includes the option for our team to work one day a week from home,” he says. “So moving the entire business to remote working was very easy for us.
“Our daily stand-ups are now conducted by video call and we’re increasing our reliance on Slack and other collaboration platforms. We’ve moved our work social life online too and this week are holding a company-wide ‘at home pub quiz’.”
The entrepreneur says he’s been encouraged by the response of its clients to the disruption caused by coronavirus.
“We’re definitely benefiting from the largely digital nature of our solution, which means we can maintain the standards of delivery our clients and partners have come to expect,” he says.
“We’re working with our clients to develop their programs and virtual assessment centres via video conference – or even the good old-fashioned telephone! – while our assessments are all mobile device friendly. Now it’s a case of working with our clients to assess where strategies may need adjusting.
“Crucially, many of our clients recognise that – despite the very concerning medium-term disruption Covid-19’s causing – those prepared for what’s on the other side will have a competitive advantage. We’re glad to be a part of that.”
Hammad says the $5.5m investment that Arctic Shores raised last year has enabled it to open a new office in Cologne and make the first three hires.
He adds: “We’ll soon be launching a solution designed not just for enterprise clients, but for medium-sized organisations too. There have historically been too many barriers stopping smaller ambitious organisations from benefiting from the industry’s innovations – whether it’s time, money or knowledge. We want to help them overcome all three, and the funding definitely helps us do that.
“While we obviously can’t overlook the short-term impact the virus is having, our mission remains the same. We want to democratise access to a better way for organisations to hire and develop their talent. This means continuing the development of our new platform.
“It’s clear that businesses will have a number of significant challenges to overcome in the virus’s wake. If we can do one small thing to make their lives easier, by helping them find the right people to help their business succeed, then we’re going to work hard to achieve that.”
Arctic Shores’ behavioural tasks help businesses identify candidates’ characteristics, and to gauge how well these suit what’s essential for success in a role. Such characteristics include concentration, appetite for risk and innovation potential.
This data-driven and objective approach has been shown to increase diversity by as much as 60 per cent, improve the quality of hires by up to 40 per cent, and raise positive candidate feedback to over 80 per cent.
Beringea led the 2019 investment round, with participation from existing shareholders including Candy Ventures, which is funded by B?ritish entrepreneur Nick Candy.