Engineering hiring is broken — here’s how we’re trying to fix it

An explanation of the HiDimensional approach

Phil Hedayatnia
HiDimensional Blog
Published in
4 min readJul 27, 2018

As senior engineers and founders, we know how hard and frustrating the hiring process can be: it’s slow, opaque, and fraught with information asymmetry.

However, there is a way that makes everything more efficient for everybody: get referred to the company you want.

This might seem intuitive, but what is surprising is how much referrals impact hiring. In fact, at the startups we are working with, engineers with strong referrals are 5–8 times more likely to receive an offer than candidates through other channels. Getting any referral is often not enough — it makes a difference also who refers you and to whom you are referred. A referral to one of the founders by someone credible is significantly more impactful in moving you through the hiring process faster.

As a candidate, clearly your odds are improved with a high-quality referral and ideally, you’d get one for each company you apply to. But this is difficult because either:

  • You don’t have an established network of senior engineers that can refer you to interesting startups and their founders
  • You do have a strong network, but it is hard to identify the specific startups you should be applying to AND get a referral to each of those. How confident are you that you have the next Stripe or Airbnb in your network already?

We started HiDimensional to solve this and are excited to share its beta launch today. HiDimensional increases the access and impact of referrals by connecting candidates with senior engineers who interview and endorse the best. We then leverage their endorsements and refer candidates to startup founders and VPs.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Interview with a senior engineer: We set you up for an interview with a senior engineer who is an expert in your field. Our experts span all engineering disciplines, from Machine Learning to Distributed Systems to Product Engineering, and everything in between.
  2. Receive positive referral: Interviewers provide a write up of what you are really strong at. If you get a positive referral after this interview, you’ll be referred to startups on our platform that match your interests and strengths.
  3. Fast track interviews: Referrals from HiDimensional are fast-tracked (often directly to onsite). >50% of our matches result in an offer to the candidate!

We are working with over 40 of the fastest growing early and mid-stage startups, all with strong engineering teams and challenging technical problems, like Rippling,, Superhuman, and Thumbtack.

Why companies prioritize our candidates

The interviewers on the HiDimensional network are senior engineering leaders who have built and led successful technical teams and have collectively interviewed 1000s of engineers.

Just some of our awesome interviewers — see the whole list here!

They are CTOs and Engineering VPs of top startups, and Managers and Staff Engineers at large tech firms.

So, when one of our interviewers positively rates a candidate, other hiring managers pay attention. We share the identity and profile of the recommender with hiring managers, as well as a detailed evaluation highlighting the candidate’s strengths. For hiring managers, this provides credible, high-signal data on each candidate before they spend any time interviewing themselves.

What you get out of it:

1. Referrals to engineering founders at top startups: The most obvious benefit to you is the opportunity to get fast-tracked at multiple high-quality companies via a referral to founders from a senior engineer. Furthermore, most of our interviewers are hiring for their own teams, so you could even get referred directly to their own company.

2. Personalized feedback: Each interview comes with personalized, actionable feedback on how you can improve for future interviews. Companies rarely provide feedback, and as a result, people rarely know how and where they can do better. We’ve even found that for candidates who do well, there are subtle improvements that can make a difference in compensation and/or title. Feedback on our platform is no-cost to candidates: we only share candidates with positive endorsements to companies. If for whatever reason, your interview doesn’t go well, we obviously won’t share that publicly, and we hope the feedback helps you improve and you try again with us when you’re ready.

3. Expand your network: We will introduce you to an expert in your field, so it will be a high-quality technical interview and an opportunity to expand your network.

If you’re currently looking to get hired for an engineering role at a fast-growing startup, feel free to sign up for HiDimensional on our website at

Otherwise, if you’d like to chat with us, send us a message at or book a time to chat with one of our founders.



Phil Hedayatnia
HiDimensional Blog

Product @Neighborly, formerly growth/design @HiDimensional and founder @solverIQ.