More than just data: TalentBin adds CRM and automation to its class-leading technical talent search platform

By Michael Carney , written on September 24, 2013

From The News Desk

The talent search category has matured. It’s no longer enough to offer a database of great talent, according to TalentBin co-founder Pete Kazanjy, who calls this “table stakes.” He still believes his company’s data is as good or better than anyone’s – the company has aggregated over 500 million professional profiles to date from implicit online activity on sites like GitHub, StackOverflow, Quora, Behance, Meetup, and traditional social sites. But he knows winning in this market requires looking far beyond data.

Today, TalentBin is launching version 2.0 of its platform and has added automation and relationship management features to the mix in an effort to make recruiters more efficient and effective.

“Yes the data is important, but the next generation of this category will really be about pipeline management,” says Kazanjy. “We’ve combined key features from platforms like Marketo and Salesforce to make TalentBin a one-stop shop for discovering and hiring technical talent.”

By integrating with Gmail and Outlook (Exchange), TalentBin allows recruiters to contact candidates using their own email address without ever leaving its virtual walls. The upgrade also adds features like templated email and social messages, campaigning tools for efficiently reaching multiple candidates, archiving all candidate interactions, and communication tracking and analytics.

Collaboration features also make it easy for teams of recruiters and hiring managers to work together. When a target candidate is identified and then communication is sent and a response eventually received, that candidate’s status is automatically updated in the system from promising, to qualified, to attempting to contact, to interview scheduled, etc. This way, the status of the team pipeline is always available at a glance.

Further, by setting follow-up reminders within the platform, recruiters avoid the need to use a separate calendaring system and can take action immediately when alerts surface. Reminders are “intelligent,” meaning they can be set to alert the recruiter to follow up only if they don’t hear back from a candidate, or under specific circumstances, like the email was opened but not replied to within 48 hours.

Kazanjy says:

We didn’t invent templating, or email open tracking. But we’re applying them to recruiting more effectively than they have been in the past. Our goal is that recruiters never lose out on a candidate, because they missed a signal or key piece of data, like the fact that someone opened an email multiple times but never responded.
Building CRM and marketing automation software requires an entirely different competency than building and managing a talent database. TalentBin has proven itself adept at the latter, but this is the company’s first foray into the former. Kazanjy concedes this fact but points out that he built and maintains two stand-alone engineering teams to handle the two functions separately. The jury remains out on whether the company was able to do so effectively.

The additional communication and recruitment management features are available to every TalentBin user at no extra charge. Companies still pay the same $6,000 per recruiter per year fee for access to the platform, a price point that is slightly less than LinkedIn’s rate of $8,000 per user and’s $7,000 per user, but which now offers far more functionality.

TalentBin has more than 200 paying customers including Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, Expedia, EA, and UPS. This is barely a drop in the bucket among the 30,000 or so enterprises that Kazanjy considers the company’s target market. The largest of its deployments includes 20 paid seats, but the average per company is in the low single digits, the CEO says. At a hypothetical two seats per company, TalentBin would be generating $2.4 million per year. The company declined to disclose specific revenue figures.

The company raised a $2 million Series A round of financing in July of this year. The round was led by Lightbank, with participation from NEA, Foundation Capital, FundersClub, First Round Capital, and Charles River Ventures. The company’s competition, including Gild and Entelo, have raised as much or more than TalentBin but have yet to introduce any communication and automation in conjunction with their talent databases.

Former agency recruiters understand and even expect this type of functionality, Kazanjy says, having previously used stand-alone recruiting software in conjunction with their firms’ proprietary contact databases. But this is the first time that anyone has combined an open Web talent search database with relationship management and automation features.

According to a statement by Visible Measures director of recruiting and TalentBin customer Gary Garceau, "successful technical recruiting is about finding the high-quality potential candidates, and going after them in an efficient, persistent fashion.” Flurry lead recruiter Luke Beseda echoes these thoughts, saying, "Successfully managing a recruiting pipeline requires organizing and tracking information on hundreds of candidates.” For both companies, having access to a talent database only gets you into the game.

There’s a major shift underway in the recruiting industry, according to Kazanjy. It’s rapidly going in-house, on the back of software tools like TalentBin. As a result, what previously cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year in agency fees, can now be accomplished at a fraction of that cost.

Kazanjy says:

The question is becoming less of, ‘Are we going to have an open Web recruiting solution?,’ and is now, ‘Which open Web recruiting solution are we going to use?’ In this type of environment, simply having the best data is no longer enough. Companies like TalentBin must ask themselves, where can we add value? For some it will be before application process, others, down funnel toward onboarding.

[Image via CXJourney]