Auckland startup Weirdly helps firms screen masses of job candidates - in part through pop quizzes.
Here's one of the questions Weirdly asks candidates when it's doing its own recruiting:
You planned to go fishing but you just woke up and it's a windy, rainy day. What's your first thought?
1. Fishing's about the experience, I'll wait for better weather.
2. Fishing's about getting fish, let's go!
The correct response, if you want to work for Weirdly, is the second one.
"It's never smooth sailing," says founder and CEO Dale Clareburt.
To say the least, in 2020.
Over the past four years, Weirdly has developed a strong roster of clients for its recruitment software across Australia and NZ, including Aussie tech darling Atlassian (maker of Trello), Air New Zealand, Bunnings, Fletcher Building, Kmart, Target and Uber.
With the pandemic-induced recession, most are now shedding staff rather than hiring.
Clareburt says it has partly been about a shift to helping companies redeploy staff internally.
"Weirdly responded rapidly to the challenges presented by Covid-19, and spun up offerings that meet, that change, including a brand new redeployment platform for one of Australia's biggest retailers," the CEO says.
"The new product, built on Weirdly's existing platform, helped the company immediately redeploy staff as Covid forced the company to reduce roles. It provided an easy way to partner with other organisations and funnel affected people into new roles.
"This meant more people who had lost their jobs got into new roles, faster. And this has all had a knock-on positive effect on the culture, with staff feeling well supported, despite hardships within the company."
And financial backer Lance Wiggs, says "Obviously it is challenging, but a lot of Weirdly's business is recruiting seasonal workers - such as people working in retail for the Christmas season. That's perennial.
"We have obviously already seen some less viable retail stores close, but we have already helped one client with re-deployment of staff, and expect to do so for more."
Weirdly has also just closed a $1.8 million Series A round at an $8.5m valuation, which will give it breathing space.
Wiggs put his money where his mouth is with his Punakaiki Fund leading the round, which was also supported by Sir Stephen Tindall's ubiquitous K1W1 and NZ Growth Capital Partners (the Crown agency formerly known as the NZ Venture Investment Fund or NZVIF).
Clareburt says Covid did put a crimp on the raise. Weirdly was originally looking to raise $3m to $5m. It's now put off that more substantial round until next year - when, all going to plan, Weirdly should also break even for the first time.
And even through Covid, the startup has continued to hire. Its CEO says it took on four staff during the lockdowns - although had there been no coronavirus, it would have taken on eight.
When the Herald first caught up with Weirdly, it had four staff, all in the Ateed-backed GridAKL incubator at Wynyard Quarter.
But for the past three years, staff have spent 80 per cent of their time working from home, Clareburt says. They were already living in Zoom and Teams so, in terms of workflow, lockdown was already the new normal for Weirdly.
Putting aside the Coronavirus tweaks, Clareburt says in normal times Weirdly - which has so far been used to screen some 900,000 job candidates - can help speed the recruitment process from weeks to days as its quizzes, and other mechanisms, help a company find people that are a good fit with its culture.
It's also pitched as a tool to help weed out unconscious bias in the recruitment process.
"Dale and Weirdly are helping hundreds of thousands of people apply for their first job - and they do so in a way that helps people from usually disadvantaged groups shine," Wiggs says.
"And a great first-job experience with a good employer, that provides high quality training and meaningful work, can make a tremendous lifetime difference for an individual and their families."