Last week, Astarel participated in the region's largest gathering for the HR and Tech industries, the HR Festival Asia 2019, to showcase its Interview Experience platform - mathilda®. It was a 2 day event meeting with visitors from Singapore, to US and Europe, and also participating in the Pitch Fest, which we were the first runner-up to (against 19 other startups!!).

Our Chief Experience Officer, Josephine Chia, shares her take post-HR Festival Asia 2019 -

"I believe every software owner out there had started their development journey with a spark, an idea, or a vision. With me developing mathilda®, I hope we are able to start a movement to put positive candidate experience as priority and enable companies to turn their hiring journey, from harrowing to exceptional, for every stakeholder.

Our USP - There are a lot of ATS out there but a pair of very awesome people came up to me during the conference and said "mathilda® is not an ATS, it is what the product says here ~ Interview Experience Platform, that focuses on all the stakeholders' experience and journey, its the next evolution to ATS." I really couldn't have put it better.

When I look back on the Pitch Fest where we came up as 1st runner-up, the entire event was a good learning experience. Presenting to large crowds has never been my strong suite but as an entrepreneur, I have no choice, it's part of the multiple hats to be donned. However, watching my fellow booth mates on stage, their off stage prep, working with the organisers especially the wonderful emcee Rob Salisbury, I feel I gained a sense of community spirit - that everyone genuinely wants one another to be successful. That alone was a wonderful gift I experienced. There were so many positive advice from fellow entrepreneur who are putting in the hard work. I feel, collectively, we are all working for a better vision, doing things that directly impacting people in their jobs and lives.

Some questions from judges whose answers I wanted to share: There was a question - "What is a positive candidate experience? It's not just ending "don't hear backs" because you have functionalities to send mass rejections."

Yes, really, what is considered a positive candidate experience? From our perspective, especially after running an executive search firm for past 8 years, it is knowing where you are in the whole hiring process, knowing your chances, having aligned stakeholders, being prepared and learning about the opportunity as much as you can and having closure, whether it is an offer or a rejection. That is a very good question though, since many systems talk about positive candidate experience but it's good to be specific.

I don't think mathilda® is "special" in a way that it is a magic wand you can wave. If the company has no intention to offer a good candidate journey and empower stakeholders at the same time, it doesn't matter what system they use. mathilda® might help mitigate the negative consequences but it cannot replace the corporates' intent of how it treats its potential employees. For those who care about it, mathilda® is a platform where the process can be exceptional for everyone.

Lastly, priced at $49 per user per month, we made the pricing so granular so that every company can afford it, for periods they need it, with no major yearly outlay. Beyond a positive candidate experience, the platform allows the hiring side to have better automation, to be able to build and communicate their unique employer brand as well. We hope, starting with us, that we'd be able to make exceptional interview experience affordable from MNCs to Startups."



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