Empathix: How a self-driving rocketship is launching into a new era of recruitment

September 27, 2023
Empathix Accelerator Olivia Dyet Launch Club Founder

In an industry of shooting stars, tractors, dragons, and unicorns say hello to self-driving rocketship, Empathix. An AI-driven recruitment platform, founded by Olivia Dyet, this start-up transformed from idea to business in Startmate’s Launch Club in a matter of weeks. 

Next, Empathix was announced as one of Startmate’s Winter23 Accelerator companies. Since then the company has only continued to grow. 

Reflecting on the progress Empathix had made since their Launch Club days, Olivia said “That really feels like a lifetime ago, we’ve come a long way since then. We’ve really been focusing on talking to as many customers as we can and showing them how our solution can return 80% of their time and cost on the traditional recruitment process, without compromising on quality.”

Problems, Innovation, and Transformation

ELMO’s 2021 HR Industry Benchmark Report states that the average time to hire in New Zealand is 50.3 days. Olivia experienced these long times, associated costs, and their impact on small to medium businesses, in her own 15-year career in HR. 

Determined to find a solution, she started to explore how she could solve this problem effectively and efficiently. Shortly after, she gathered a strong team and together they started to develop methodologies that would use AI, connecting the right people with the right roles faster than ever before. 

Throughout the Accelerator program, Empathix’s solution continued to grow and evolve. While the original offering was good, it was too broad and complex. Startmate helped Olivia simplify the solution and MVP. 

Commenting on this, Olivia said, “When we started I thought the solution was too much for an MVP. The program has helped us clearly understand what our customers find really hard in the vacancy to interview space, and how by leveraging AI we can solve that. 

“It’s also been very helpful in validating, and being really clear on, what exactly our product is and how that is likely to evolve over time, which is really exciting. The program and its mentoring has helped us develop this idea into a true SaaS model while supporting us in holding a vision for the future that is directly related to customers' pain points, making it really meaningful.”

Working directly with their clients, Empathix now has new alternative pricing models as well as offerings that previously were not available in the vacancy to interview space. 

“We are on the edge of a new and exciting way of recruiting and we love the work we are doing with our clients”, Olivia said. 

Learning, Scaling, and Growing

Getting into “founder mode” is no easy feat. It requires a shift in one’s mindset. Moving from a mindset of contributing to a future to actively building it. Often this transition means that people must learn to wear various hats - accountant, marketer, researcher etc. - quickly. 

“I can see myself growing every day. As a startup founder I’ve realised just how many hats you need to wear. Most people can’t see that at any point. Startmate has been incredible for learning how to manage all of the different roles a founder has to juggle, as well as learning fast and scaling the business. I’m able to be much more efficient and can solve things pretty fast with the support of amazing mentors, which is great”, Olivia said. 

Being open to the idea of learning has helped Olivia gain new skills and achieve fulfilment through this transition. Commenting on this she said, “I’ve been astounded by my ability to effectively and succinctly communicate everything I’m learning. Sometimes I'll be talking to someone and realise how much I've absorbed and I love it. I can see and feel that I'm just learning so much, and learning is where I really thrive.” 

Purpose, Practices, and Leaps of Faith

The reason for Olivia’s decision to start Empathix, and her subsequent success, can be summed up in a single word: purpose. 

Olivia was never just been building a recruitment solution. She is creating opportunities that will help candidates, recruiters, and businesses do meaningful work.  

This purpose drove her to take a leap of faith and join Launch Club. And it is this purpose that has helped her set a big vision for Empathix. 

“Empathix will be the leading necessary technology that companies will rely on to find the right talent for their business across the globe. We have big plans to learn as much as we can from the Australian and New Zealand markets and then expand globally”, Olivia shared.

Startmate picture of all founders in Week 0 at Melbourne for accelerator 

Being purpose-led also means that in both her business and her life, Olivia doesn’t believe in “rules”. Instead, she prioritises practices that help her evolve and grow. 

“I don’t really have rules for myself but I have a lot of practices that support my thinking and wellbeing that I try to live by every day. I definitely believe in being 80/20, and something I learned early in my career - its progress, not perfection. I journal a lot, I spend time prioritising my family, and I'm constantly working on ensuring I get enough sleep and exercise. I'm not always good at all of these things, but I try to practise it because it supports the way that I show up to grow my business”, she said. 

From an idea, to a Facebook group with 400 members, to a business supporting clients in Australia and New Zealand, this self-driving rocketship is using its momentum and strategy to transform recruitment. 

Talking now to the Olivia who garnered the courage to hit ‘Apply’ on her Launch club application in January 2023 , Olivia had some very wise advice, “If I were to talk to her. I’d say you are about to embark on the journey of an absolute lifetime, you’ve completely got this and you should go for it with everything you have. You can do this.”

 Smiling, she adds “By the way, I tell myself I can do this every day.” 

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