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Run Weirdly! Run! Weirdly experiences 2021 recruitment tailwind

Keren Phillips: Hiring, growing, running faster than ever before

In the third of our Founders’ Series, Vincent Heeringa spoke to Weirdly’s Keren Phillips about the wave of recruitment happening in 2021. It seems that lots of companies are hiring and they want Weirdly to do it. How nice!

So, Keren, how has your 2021 started?

It’s started strong! We’ve had a wave of RFP requests and expansion pitches off the back of some successful Covid-period pilots, as well as a couple of key hires coming onboard to lift our team’s overall productivity. We’ve released two big product features that will be invaluable to our customers and instrumental in winning new business – the ability to send and manage contracts and offer documents at scale is a key one here. We’ve also completed the first stage of a huge project to streamline our customer onboarding process, cutting the time it takes to bring on or expand new business significantly.

I’m exhausted already. What else are you working on?

It’s how we roll Vincent. Keep up. In addition to the new people we added to our team in Q1, we’ve got new people either starting or being actively recruited in the product, sales, marketing and data teams. This will significantly increase our ability to deliver to customers, as well as generate new pipeline. In amongst that new cohort are some senior roles – CTO and VP Global Sales (a replacement for our previous VP who left us during Covid lockdown). 

Our big goals centre around landing some key Enterprise Retailers and Quick Service Restaurants in our Australian pipeline over next part of this year, as well as growing market share in our candidate database. We’re also quietly exploring some potential new revenue streams – this is still very much in the fledgling stages though so we’ll share more on that when there’s more to say.

Watch that space.

It’s exciting and I’d love to tell you, but then …

You’d have to kill me.


Okay, let’s not go there. Weirdly really seems to have a tailwind right now.  What megatrends or markets shifts are working in your favour?

Remote working and by extension, remote recruiting, surged last year and it doesn’t seem to be a trend that’s dying any time soon. That’s great for us as we continue to build out and improve our candidate screening automations. More of our customers are looking to us to help solve issues like conducting group interviews or assessment centres virtually.

We’re also seeing deeper commitment to candidate diversity and inclusion (in terms of attraction, reporting, and engagement in the process) in our target market – partly due to public pressure and governmental incentive to support traditionally underserved areas of our community. This is great news for us as a tool designed with accessibility in mind, as well as (more personally) as a Māori business that also shares that kaupapa.

What’s stressing you out – keeping you up at night?

We need more speed. Everything is progressing in the right direction, we just need to run faster. Injecting fresh blood into the team, as well as the boost of having exciting brands knocking on our door has given our people a renewed burst of energy.

But our competitors have deep pockets so we need to be smarter and faster to achieve our goals this year – particularly around generating sales and IP development. Clear focus will help us with that. And capital. There’s always capital.

Tell us about it. Thanks Keren and good luck!

Thanks Vincent and thanks to Punakaiki and its investors. We can’t do it without you.


Punakaiki Fund has made three investments in Weirdly since 2019, lifting our stake to 37.7%. 

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