A list of robotics companies that are hiring

The economy is a bit better — kind of, maybe, sort of? While things appear to be trending in the right direction, it’s going to be a long road. Besides, if you’re unable to find work, positive macroeconomic trends are cold comfort. One of the nice things about having a platform like TechCrunch is the opportunity to help people in that difficult position.

I work in publishing and am well aware of the pain of being laid off — I’ve been through the process twice. A million strangers on LinkedIn can tell you how great you are and how none of this is any of your fault. You can also know these things to be implicitly true and still struggle with questions of self-worth.

Here in the U.S., your occupation is invariably the second thing people ask you about after getting your name. We invest so much of our identity in what we do. It’s not healthy, necessarily, but it’s the thing we spend most of our time doing. It’s also the foundation of many of our closest relationships. It can be easy to lose sight of the human toll of mass layoffs when we see numbers in the tens of thousands among tech giants.

Now some good news: Companies are hiring. As an industry, robotics is somewhat uniquely positioned here, given the growth it saw during the pandemic. It’s true that some big companies (Alphabet, Amazon) have slowed robotics investments. It’s also true that we’re going to see more companies get acquired or wind down.

But a lot of money was infused into automation, providing runways that will help many get out on the other side in one piece. If anything, a lot of this bad news will only serve to bolster the industry. Certainly, labor issues aren’t going away any time soon, nor is the drive to increasingly automate fields like fulfillment, construction, healthcare and agriculture, among others.

Simply put: It’s a bad time to be looking for jobs, but a good time to be looking for jobs in robotics. I’ve been featuring a handful of companies that are hiring in my weekly robotics newsletter, Actuator. This morning, however, I put out a call in hopes of getting enough together for a standalone post. I didn’t have to wait long.

TechCrunch isn’t a job board, of course. This isn’t a listing of all available roles in robotics. But if you were recently laid off, are a recent graduate or are just looking for a change, this will hopefully be a good place to start. If people like it, we’ll do it again. And hey, if you end up finding a job through this post, let me know on Twitter. Everyone likes a happy ending.


Addverb (6 roles)

ANYbotics (6 roles)

Automated Architecture (4 roles)

Boston Dynamics (45 roles)

Boston Dynamics AI Institute (11 roles)

Chef Robotics (13 roles)

Dexory (5 roles)

Figure (15 roles)

GrayMatter Robotics (9 roles)

Honest AgTech (10 roles)

Impossible Metals (2 roles)

Kewazo (10 roles) 

Kiwibot (30 roles)

Mighty Fly (2 roles)

Monarch Tractors (15 roles)

Righthand Robotics (7 roles)

Rigorous Technology (3 roles)

Sanctuary AI (18 roles)

Scythe Robotics (10 roles)

Symbotic (93 roles)

Urban Machine (5 roles)

Verdant Robotics (7 roles)

Viam Robotics (10 roles)

Whisker (10 roles)

A list of robotics companies that are hiring by Brian Heater originally published on TechCrunch

3 ways to hire well for your startup

If you’re hiring for your startup, you need to understand one thing: This is arguably one of the worst times to be looking for talent.

While inflation continues to skyrocket and the Fed pumps up interest rates, consumer confidence remains unchanged and unemployment sits at a historical low. The business and market financial outlook is grim, but companies are still at the mercy of their employees, who seem to have endless choices for jobs. Big Tech might have released some 10% of the talent back into the market, but those were generally not employees executing core businesses.

How, then, can early-stage founders compete with larger, better-funded companies in this war for talent?

View talent through a product-market fit lens

Whenever possible, it is far better to slowly integrate a great candidate in as an adviser or part-time contractor and let things play out.

Most startups simply do not have the means to compete on the basis of capital, especially when it comes to talent.

Your early employees (your first 20-25 people) join you because they are seeking something that bigger companies with money cannot offer them. Your job is to figure out what that something is and make it available.

Approaching early-stage recruitment through a product-market fit lens is great way to do this. Think of your candidates as your customers, and get to know them in person, understand their career path and learn what their gaps are. Their gaps are your problems and the role you have to offer is your product. The two have to fit together — otherwise, it’s not a good hire. When you figure this out, explain how they can get what they want from working with you and why they cannot get it from other companies.

3 ways to hire well for your startup by Ram Iyer originally published on TechCrunch

Circular.io is putting a referral spin on tech recruitment

Demand for talent continues to make tech recruitment a hotbed of startup activity. To wit: Madrid-based startup Circular.io which is now expanding its “talent sharing platform” — initially focused on tech skills — into the UK (opening to in-house tech recruiters in London from today).

It is also revealing $10 million in combined seed and pre-Series A funding as it emerges from stealth. Investors backing the Spanish startup include LocalGlobe, Point Nine and Kibo Ventures.

The 2019-founded recruitment startup may have been operating under the publicity radar but it’s signed up more than 5,500 in-house recruiters to its recommendation-focused community over the past 2.5 years of development, as well as claiming more than 19,000 candidates.

It claims it’s developed a new model for hiring — using a platform approach which encourages companies to recommend tech talent they were unable to hire to Circular’s recruitment network. So far it says this has resulted in “vetted and recommended” candidates converting 10x more than conventional recruitment methods — ergo, the top-line claim is the approach can make it  “easier and quicker to find great tech candidates who want to be hired”.

Candidates who sign up to the platform do so confidentially, meaning they open themselves to job opportunities available via the network without needing to commit themselves to a public disclosure or active job searching themselves.

Circular supports tech talent to nail down its next role through a team of what it bills as “talent advocates” — who provide assistance to candidates on locating suitable roles and on getting the initial in-house recruiter recommendation that will increase their chances of being shortlisted by employers hiring through the platform.

Companies signed up to tap into Circular’s referral-focused approach to hiring include FORM3, Echobox, Dow Jones and Busuu, it notes.

“While talent-sharing behaviour is not new and in-house recruiters have been introducing talent they liked but didn’t hire to colleagues or friends in the industry for many years, it’s been informal, unstructured and has happened in low-trust environments, limiting its effectiveness and causing compliance and privacy issues,” argues the startup. “At Circular, we use technology to make this happen at scale by creating trust, reducing friction and offering the right incentives. It’s a new recruitment model built on top of existing recommendation based behaviour.”

“At scale, this recommendation effect creates efficiency in the industry because companies are already spending time and money attracting and interviewing candidates which they eventually don’t hire. We allow them to recommend this talent to their peers and gain access to other recommended candidates in return,” it adds. “Similarly, candidates are spending time taking part in interviews and code tests — we allow them to leverage that effort in other job opportunities.”

While there has been plenty of startup attention to recruitment in the nearly two decades since LinkedIn busted onto the professional networking scene, Circular dismisses a lot of the activity — as “niche job boards or ‘AI’ sourcing tools that overpromise and underdeliver”.

As a result, it’s leaning into human referrals vs machine-matching — by encouraging in-house recruiters to pool existing effort undertaken in vetting potential candidates which they ended up being unable to hire.

Why should hyper busy in-house recruiters bother doing that? “The main incentive is improving candidate experience,” it suggests. “By recommending strong candidates that they were unable to hire, in-house recruiters can leave candidates with a positive impression of their company despite the rejection.”

Circular’s follow-on claim is it’s therefore creating “a new category” — or “literally changing the way hiring works”.

“Instead of a hard-stop for the great talent that in-house recruiters were unable to hire, we enable them to easily recommend that talent. Other in-house recruiters, who are hiring, get access to a trusted flow of high quality candidates. And candidates benefit from getting straight to the best companies’ shortlists,” it suggests.

Whether this vetted and curated candidate approach will scale — i.e. without recommendation quality getting diluted in the quest to scale the size of the platform/grow its business — is one question to consider, given how relatively few job seekers (per advertised role) actually get interviewed/thoroughly vetted and also aren’t ultimately hired.

That classic ratio suggests a pretty limited pool of candidates who could be recommended to/through Circular, unless conditions to access its recruitment network are rather less stringent.

And on that front its website FAQ notes work undertaken by Circular “talent advocates” (i.e. on behalf of signed up job seekers) includes “helping you get recommended” — so, clearly, it’s not leaving the size of its recruitment network/scalability of its business purely to the proactive goodwill of in-house recruiters.

It does also confirm to us that it lets candidates “sign up organically”, not only via direct recommendations.

(While, elsewhere on the website, in a section on how the platform works, Circular further writes that candidates can create a profile in less than 3min and: “Get an optional recommendation from in-house recruiters, colleagues or our team” — so the concept of a recommendation on the platform is demonstrably fairly malleable.)

The startup is also dangling some platform reputation kudos and other incentives to encourage in-house tech recruiters to make the effort to refer talent they don’t hire — touting an incoming rewards program comprised of discounts and giveaways (such as event tickets/merch) for the “most active recommenders in the community”.

“In-house recruiters are getting sick of the ‘battle for talent’,” it also argues. “Tech recruiters know that they’re after the same candidates as everyone else. They know that there’s no advantage in pure competitiveness. And they know that the traditional recruitment model is letting everyone down and leaving candidates with a poor experience and a negative perception of their business.  Most of them know it’s better to pool their efforts to find talent and fill roles quickly and painlessly. Their reputation in Circular grows as they refer candidates and help their peers.”

While Circular is zeroing in on tech talent — encouraged by tech companies’ willingness to be early adopters of newfangled tools — it believes its model could work for other industries too.

“From a candidate perspective our model can be replicated across the board,” it argues. “We assign candidates with real-life Talent Advocates to act on their behalf, ensuring they’re on shortlists for the best roles. They provide transparent information, including salary and benefits, keep them in the know, and provide in-depth feedback. And it’s all 100% confidential. We take candidate experience very seriously. Candidates in Circular rate their interview process when they end and poorly rated companies are rejected from the network.”

Its own business model is to charge companies a SaaS-style flat annual or monthly fee for access to its recruitment network, rather than taking a “traditional success fee approach” — arguing the latter is part of what “makes this industry so transactional and cold”.

And while that means employers who sign up have to  shell out an ongoing fee, Circular notes that as it opens in a new market it offers customers the “first few months” free — so they can kick the tyres of its referral-based spin on hiring gratis.

As well as (now) London, Circular’s recruitment network is live in Barcelona and Madrid.


As the economy reopens, startups are uniquely positioned to recruit talent

We are amidst a sprawling renegotiation between employers and employees as to the very nature of work, and no one has more leverage than skilled technologists — many of whom feel unmoored from their current jobs.

Our 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report — which in the second quarter polled technology professionals who mostly work at bigger organizations — shows 48% tech professionals expressed an interest in changing companies this year, up from 40% in the fourth quarter of 2020, and a big jump from 32% in the second quarter last year.

It’s a unique moment, one that creates an unusual opportunity for startup founders on the hunt for talent.

Fast growing upstarts have a lot of advantages. Bigger companies may be more likely to attempt to recreate the office environment of the past — especially if they have leased space and a built environment that will be difficult to unwind. Startups are often non-traditional and may be able to react to create the hybrid work environments many technologists crave as the economy reopens.

While all startups are certainly not focused on being disruptive, they often rely on cutting-edge technology and processes to give their customers something truly new. Many are trying to change the pattern in their particular industry. So, by definition, they generally have a really interesting mission or purpose that may be more appealing to tech professionals.

A migration of tech talent just as the economy is revving up would be disruptive and could also play to startup strengths. The market for tech talent is already strong: tech hiring has increased every month since November, according to our last tech jobs report released in May. Great data engineers, developers, business analysts and the like are in red-hot demand, and unemployment in tech is just above 2.4% percent, versus 5.5.% percent in the economy overall.

CakeResume, which wants to become Asia’s largest tech talent pool, raises $900,000 seed round

CakeResume is a startup creating an alternative for the tech industry to job search platforms like LinkedIn. The Taipei-based company, founded in 2016, announced today that it has raised $900,000 in seed funding from Mynavi, one of the largest staffing and public relations companies in Japan. The round will be used to expand CakeResume’s operations in other countries, including Japan and India.

Founder and chief executive officer Trantor Liu, who was a full-stack web developer at Codementor before launching CakeResume, said the startup’s goal is to have the biggest pool of tech talent in Asia. The platform currently has about 100,000 active resumes, 75% of which were created by job seekers in Taiwan. More than 3,000 employers, ranging from startups like Appier to   companies like Amazon Web Services, TSMC, Nvidia and Tesla, use it for recruitment.

The other 25% of resumes come from countries including India, Indonesia and the United States. CakeResume plans to expand in Japan with the help of Mynavi, a strategic investor, and is also seeking partnerships in Southeast and South Asia with recruiters. Liu said CakeResume has a particularly high conversion rate in India, and its goal is to build a pool of at least 100,000 resumes there.

In statement about its decision to invest in CakeResume, a Mynavi represenative said, “The global shortage of IT engineers is becoming more apparent and we are focusing on services related to IT talent in Asia. Among them, CakeResume’s service is excellent in product design, and the service is already used by many talent in the country,” adding that it expects the platform to become “the largest IT talent pool in Asia in the near future.”

In Taiwan, CakeResume’s main rivals are LinkedIn and job search site 104.com.tw. It also competes against other job sites like AngelList, Indeed and Glassdoor.

CakeResume differentiates by giving tech professionals more ways to show off their skills, since many tech companies want more in-depth resumes than the traditional one-pagers used in other fields. The startup was named because its resume builder enables job seekers to add more layers of information, like assembling a cake. For example, CakeResume’s template allows engineers to embed projects from GitHub, while designers can add data visualizations, instead of just including links to them.

“We aren’t just providing a form to fill in that you can then download as a formatted PDF resume. We want to allow you to be more creative,” said Liu. “You can easily embed project images and add descriptions, which makes it easier for HR to understand what you can contribute.”

Another difference between CakeResume and its competitors is that most people who create a profile are actively seeking new positions, instead of professional networking opportunities. Since it is also tailored for the tech industry, recruiters have a higher chance of getting responses from interested candidates, Liu said.

“We recently got a review from one of our clients, and they said when they used our platform to contact talent, they got about a 50% reply rate, but on LinkedIn it might be less than 10%,” he added.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many job seekers were willing to relocate, but chief operating officer Wei-Cheng Hsieh said CakeResume is now focusing more on helping people find remote jobs. More tech companies, including Facebook and Google, are extending their work from home policies until at least summer 2021.

Though many job postings still specify a location, Liu said CakeResume’s team anticipates this will change as companies continue adapting to the pandemic. While CakeResume will remain focused on matching applicants to jobs instead of networking, it also also testing some social features to help workers around the world connect with companies and each other.