Noblesville entrepreneur Darrian Mikell has earned money flipping watches on eBay and selling t-shirts. But now, he’s leading Indianapolis-based Qualifi, a business that helps recruiting teams speed-up the hiring process. That work ethic and his Software-as-a-service platform have helped him earn a new title: Rising Entrepreneur of the Year.

Shortly after receiving the award at TechPoint’s Mira awards ceremony, Mikell talked with Inside INdiana Business host Gerry Dick.

“We make it really easy for high volume recruiting teams to pre-record audio-based questions, stack those into standardized interviews, and then send those out to job seekers,” said Mikell, Qualifi, chief executive officer and co-founder. “[It] enables them to create a more convenient experience and make hiring a lot faster.”

Mikell says he didn’t draw a salary for six months while launching the venture. Since those lean early days, Qualifi has signed key customers, secured $3.3 million in venture capital, and now employs more than 20 people.

He says the platform solves a pain point for a lot of companies, that being the phone interview process.

“The phone interview is actually the slowest part of most hiring processes. That’s often due to the scheduling the coordination, and then just the sheer nature of taking 20 to 30 minutes to call every single candidate,” said Mikell.

The SaaS provides asynchronous questions, allowing candidates to respond at their convenience. For employers, it gives them a tool to be more competitive and get offers to the best candidates sooner.

“They’re looking for every edge and we provide a tool that lets them be faster, creates 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.”