StepFWD Stories is an interview series with the graduated startups from StepFWD, the 6-week pre-accelerator for tech startups with gender-balanced teams.

This interview is with Hire up, the peer-to-peer recruitment platform that rewards successful referrals.

Miky from Hire up at Speed Mentoring Session

Why did you pick this project to work on?

Hire up: I sometimes joke about the fact that as a former recruiter, I wanted others to recruit for me and that is why I created Hire up. 🙂 

The idea to develop this project came as a result of receiving a lot of requests for recommendations. Many friends, acquaintances, colleagues, especially recruiters and hiring managers, always asked us if we know someone good for position X or if we can recommend someone in our network for project Y. Working for over 8 years in human resources, I knew that employee referrals were considered the best source of hire in recruitment, but that this source of hire has some limitations because the networks of your employees eventually get exhausted. 

I am a firm believer that peers are more likely to understand and assess the skills of their peers. Combined with the fact that they have first-hand feedback about their professionalism and work ethics, because they worked together directly, makes their input about a candidate much more relevant than the information a recruiter gets by viewing a candidate’s CV, which usually does not have much information or has not been updated in a long time. This makes peers the best recruiters out there and that is why I created Hire up –  to give everyone, not just recruiters, the opportunity and the financial incentive to get involved in identifying the right person for the right job.

How could the recruitment system change if people started widely using your platform?

Hire up: In the context of talent shortages, diversifying recruitment sources is an essential condition for meeting hiring targets. From this perspective, I believe referrals – both the ones coming from employees and the ones coming from an external crowd, will coexist with traditional recruitment sources (job sites, recruitment agencies) in the coming years.

However, I believe that opening up the recruitment process – the democratic way :), will generate better results for the entire recruiting ecosystem:

  • Professionals from various fields obtain an easy way to generate additional revenues while helping their friends find better jobs. The average Hire up reward is €650 but it can go up to €1500 for more senior or niche roles.
  • Recruitment agencies & freelance recruiters place more candidates from their network, without spending time or effort on finding customers.
  • Employers receive recommendations of qualified candidates from an entire community, at a lower cost than through a traditional recruitment agency.

What are the next steps for you and your startup?

Hire up: The focus right now is on increasing the number of referrals on the platform, so we are interested in partnering with different professional communities that would allow us to reach a higher number of potential recommenders. 

Feedback from our users, both employers, and recommenders, will dictate the direction in which the platform will evolve further.

Do you have some awesome friends that are looking for a new job? Create your account on and start referrer them!