This week, the Startup Spotlight features people aggregator startup, HiringSolved.
What is your background?
Shon has a background in sales, technical recruiting and large-scale network engineering and security. Prior to starting HiringSolved, Shon founded Wild Cognition (Wildcog), a boutique staffing and recruiting agency in San Francisco. Before founding Wildcog Shon managed multiple technical consulting practices in the Bay Area and served as a Technical Architect for companies including Apple, Cisco, PG&E, KLA-Tencor and many others.
Tell us about the team you have built so far.
We’re a team of 9 great people. Most of those folks are in Sales and Engineering roles. Trevor Olson is our CTO. Trevor’s background in astrophysics and software engineering for High-Performance Computing Cluster applications has proven to be a fantastic fit for the technical challenges in a Big Data application like HiringSolved. Matt Ekstrom, our CRO has over 8 years of experience in sales and business development in the recruiting/sourcing software space. Matt has transformed our sales strategy and put us on the course of being a leading SaaS company in this space.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
Shon personally invested to boot-strap the company up to the point of revenue generation. We closed a seed round in August.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Hiring is hard. The 1st step in the hiring process is to find people to recruit/interview/hire. We currently focus on making finding people easier. The market is changing because we have access to rich pockets of employment-related data that people create every day on the social web. People are more than their resume. People are telling us what they know, what they are good at and what they are passionate about all day long on the web. Sourcing manually by following these social footprints is time consuming and there is an enormous amount of data to wade through. We seek to make this process faster. Our mission is to find everyone, every employable person and to make that data easy to search.
Describe the business, core products and services?
We’re the only company I know of who does “people aggregation” globally across all skill sets. Our core product is a subscription based SaaS tool called Talent Feed, which is a database for finding talented people across any skill set, anywhere in the world. At our core we are a big data company. Like Google, we seek or organize the world’s information. Unlike Google, we’re focused on mining that information and presenting it in a way that is useful for hiring. We’re focused on innovation. We have a great product now but we’re just getting started.
Who do you expect your customers and users to be at launch?
We currently have a good mix of large and small corporations. We also have individual recruiters who personally pay for HiringSolved to give them an advantage.
Where do you stand right now with regard to funding?
We closed a seed round in August of this year.
What is the business AND revenue model? What is your strategy for profitability?
We’re a SaaS model. The majority of our revenue comes from the per-user fees our customers pay to access our software. The advantage of our model and business segment is that companies already have budget allocated for talent acquisition services. Our strategy for profitability is simple: disrupt the existing advertising-based job board market with modern tools that go beyond resumes, leveraging the vast amount of social data being created by people 24/7. Innovation has been stagnant for years in this market. Approximately 20 years ago, the first online job boards were created. Those companies quickly became hugely profitable and they haven’t changed much since. In the last 10 years there has been enormous growth in the amount of employment-relevant information people share online and in the amount computing power available per dollar/hour. These changes in the market have created the opportunity for innovation and disruption. We are aggressively going after that opportunity.
Did anyone tell you this wasn’t going to be successful?
Sure, people always say things like that. Proving them wrong is part of the fun! In general, people were very positive about the idea. There were questions about our ability to build something this powerful on a very limited budget… and indeed that was the one of the tough parts. It’s a complex task. Today people see our software for 5 minutes and know that they’re seeing something new and powerful.
How will you measure success 12 months from now?
Success = Innovation + Revenue + Retention. We want to continue seeing fast growth and happy customers. We measure everything. We have aggressive targets for growth and innovation in the next 12 months. Hitting those targets means measuring, listening to our customers and continuing to innovate accordingly.
To see more photos of the HiringSolved team at work, visit them on Pinterest.