Mira-Mini | Darrian Mikell, Qualifi: Rising Entrepreneur Award
Gerry Dick: Well, the Rising Entrepreneur Award this year at the Mira Awards goes to Darrian Mikell. He's CEO and co- founder of Qualifi, Indianapolis- based SaaS company. Darrian, congratulations.
Darrian Mikell: Thank you so much.
Gerry Dick: Okay. In the description of Qualifi, it says it's a SaaS platform that powers the fastest phone interview experience in the world. So describe, give me the business model behind Qualifi.
Darrian Mikell: 100%, yeah. So we make it really easy for especially high volume recruiting teams to pre- record audio- based questions, stack those into standardized interviews, and then send those out to job seekers really all across the country at this point. Enables them to create a more convenient experience and make hiring a lot faster.
Gerry Dick: I know you believe Qualifi really solves a pain point for a lot of companies. What is that?
Darrian Mikell: Yeah. That's the phone interview. The phone interview is actually the slowest part of most hiring processes. Most people don't realize that. That's often due to the scheduling and the coordination, and then just the sheer nature of taking 20 to 30 minutes to call every single candidate. And we make that a lot easier. Like I said, it's asynchronous and candidates are able to respond at their convenience any time of day, any time of night, and get their voice heard.
Gerry Dick: Yeah. What's been responsible? Why do you think you've continued to gain traction at Qualifi? What is it about the platform that is attractive to companies?
Darrian Mikell: Yeah. There's a few things. One, there's a big demand for being faster in terms of being an employer. We all know the state of the economy, the state of the job landscape. And employers are looking for more and more ways to be competitive and be quicker to get to the offer and hire the best candidates. So they're looking for every edge. And we provide a tool that lets them be faster, creates, again, a more convenient experience where candidates are able to respond on day one as opposed to trying to schedule something that is days and weeks out. And so they're able to move that process along a lot faster.
Gerry Dick: You've had significant growth in the three years or so you've been in business. Looking into the future, how do you see growth opportunities? Where do you see those growth opportunities?
Darrian Mikell: Yeah. I'm really excited. I feel like we're just getting started. We solve a really specific need right now. There's so many more things that we want to do from a product standpoint. I feel like we have a really big opportunity to own this category in the recruitment technology space around audio, around phone. We do this one specific thing, but there's a lot that we have in mind. And we're just getting started. So I see a lot of opportunities in different industries in helping more and more recruitment teams and talented leaders find the right people.
Gerry Dick: The Rising Entrepreneur of the Year Award goes to Darrian Mikell, the CEO and co- founder at Qualifi. Darrian, congratulations and good luck going forward.
Darrian Mikell: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much.
Gerry Dick: All right.
A Noblesville resident, Mikell is the co-founder and CEO of Qualifi, a SaaS platform that powers the fastest phone interview experience in the world and helps recruiting teams hire great candidates faster than ever. Before earning success with Qualifi, Mikell flipped watches on eBay, launched a T-shirt business with a friend, sold a variety of products on Amazon, and was laid off from a company he co-founded after growing it to 70 employees and earning millions in revenue. Next, Mikell co-founded Qualifi with his brother, Devyn Mikell (COO), DeSean Prentice (VP of Engineering) and Keenan Jaenicke (VP of Product) in March 2019, but didn’t draw a salary for six months. Outside funding proved elusive for the disruptive new concept but in 2021, Qualifi signed key customers and secured solid funding and now employs more than 20 people.