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Introducing Ashby: The Data-Driven ATS

Meet the company on a mission to overhaul the applicant tracking system

My stint as acting Head of People at Juniper Square began after Thanksgiving weekend in 2019. No notice. No relevant experience to speak of.

My first task? Understand our company’s recruiting funnel and how to improve our effectiveness. I had never used our applicant tracking system (ATS) except as an interviewer. I logged in and began searching for the data and reports necessary to understand what was going on.

It took me a few hours and multiple email exchanges with customer success to realize this simply wasn’t possible. The software we called our ATS was just that — a “tracking” system — and not a reporting or operating system for this function. Data and insights are just as complex and important to recruiters as they are to sales reps, but our recruiting team was effectively operating blind.

In response, I took up an inordinate amount of our business operations team’s time by asking them to build us the dashboards we needed. We crafted a Looker instance, paid for a “data connector” add-on product charged by our ATS, but multiple months and dozens of hours later we were still wrangling data and trying to get things visible in a way that would be useful.

Since then, I’ve learned that this is an extremely common story. Ask any recruiting leader what would help them run their team more effectively, and data-driven insights will be high on that list. Today’s applicant tracking systems just don’t meet the needs of recruiting leaders.

It was around that time that I stumbled upon Ashby. After a single conversation, it was clear that this was the answer that I (and the rest of the recruiting industry) was looking for. Today, Juniper Square’s people and recruiting function is in far more capable hands than mine, and Ashby is critical to the company’s recruiting infrastructure.


An Underinvested Business Problem

At F-Prime Capital, we believe HR and People teams have been left behind by much of this generation of technology innovation, and have been fortunate to back incredible companies like MathisonHone, and Carrot Fertility who are working to correct this. Meanwhile, through investments like Benchling in life sciences R&D, OTA Insight in travel, and Logixboard in freight forwarding, we’ve watched software companies revolutionize industries through products with a superior ability to deliver data-driven insights. Ashby is the perfect intersection of those two themes, delivering an ATS with the data and insight recruiting teams have been missing. We’ve now been proud supporters of the company for more than two years, and are thrilled to announce our deeper partnership as lead investors of Ashby’s Series B.

Our investment thesis is quite simple: Fast-growing companies are continuing to raise the bar on talent quality, but also need to operate efficiently — especially in this time of constrained resources. This means recruiting teams are being challenged to deliver more high-quality candidates per unit of effort, and demonstrate the ROI of their work to their business partners. Being the operating system for any core business function is a recession-proof business, as the history of ATSs demonstrates.

Yesterday’s technology stack of expensive, siloed systems that lack strong reporting capabilities no longer cuts it. Ashby is a true full suite of best-in-class recruiting tools, from sourcing to scheduling, candidate management to candidate surveys, and of course, best-in-class analytics throughout the entire stack. It is the ATS of the future.


A Special Place

Having worked with the team for more than two years, my overall experience with Ashby can be summed up in two adjectives: fast and thoughtful.

BenjiAbhik, and team have assembled an incredible product development team that throws off product faster than nearly any company I’ve seen in my career. Just a few years after launching, they are quickly becoming a dominant service provider to the startup and technology community and have built better products across a wide range of recruiting business processes (sourcing, tracking, scheduling, and of course applicant tracking).

Ashby is also one of the most thoughtfully-run startups I have encountered. From their communication manifesto to their thoughts on productivity, they demonstrate that building a special company does not happen by accident, but through intention around how the work gets done.

I’m thrilled to be along for the journey. If you’re in the recruiting world, the formal launch of Ashby (not a moment too soon) coincides with today’s Series B. And even if you’re not a recruiter, keep an eye on this company — and their careers page. It’s a special place.

Ashby is also one of the most thoughtfully-run startups I have encountered.