The $215 billion employee recruiting market hasn’t really changed since its inception over 60 years ago, despite the entrance of digital players like LinkedIn. When an enterprise is looking to successfully hire talented candidates, they most commonly go through an agency or wait for inbound inquiries through their own or third-party sites.
Agencies, while often the more-efficient route, can charge anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of the new employee’s annual salary. A 2015 Deloitte study found that it costs nearly $4,000 on average to fill an open position — and that’s on the conservative end, with others reporting $16,000 for one placement via an agency.
“Waiting for people to apply doesn’t always work for all of the positions you’re trying to fill. The natural outcome is now recruiters started to go outbound, similar to salespeople, but there’s no great software for them to manage that process,” says Justin Ham. Ham says that this leads to a lot of time wasted just managing the data manually.
Ham and his business partner, Jang Si, first noted the problem while working at respective corporate jobs, Ham on the product side and Si on the engineering side.
They initially started a company focused on university recruiting, helping recent graduates get their dream jobs through competitions. However, they quickly learned more about the hiring process from the recruiter’s point of view. “It’s really hard to hire the best people with the unemployment rates at three percent, or negative three percent for engineering type of roles,” notes Ham.
That’s when they pivoted their focus to TopPick, an AI-powered CRM software that helps recruiters track talent and relationships. Most current applicant tracking systems only manage people applying to jobs open now, leaving recruiters with no way to collect and save the data for future opportunities.
“Every relationship that you come in touch with, that’s a potential hire. You have to manage all the relationships, whether they’re prospects, leads or they were interested a long time ago in your company, but they’re not now,” says Ham.
TopPick allows recruiters to act like salespeople, holding and storing those relationships in one place so nothing falls through the cracks. In departments like engineering, where it’s often a challenge to hire continuously, Ham shares that it’s important “to keep these relationships going for longer periods of time to convert them from a prospect to becoming an applicant right now.”
Recruiters can build specific talent profiles with qualifications and tags for skills and interests.
To continue nurturing relationships, recruiters can automate drip emails and text messages to engage passive candidates. Recent studies have found that one out of four candidates in the tech industry looks for a new job every two years.
When the recruiter puts up a job description, TopPick’s AI technology will comb through the hundreds of potential candidates in the database to find those that are a good fit for the position. It helps the recruiter reach out and, once they’re ready to start interviewing, helps schedule and conduct digital interviews.
“We bring the automations to help you automate the screening of the high-volume roles so that you can focus on building the relationships for the low-volume roles (like C-Level),” says Ham.
Ham and Si have been careful to pay attention to what features work for certain roles to make sure they provide the most optimal experience to the candidate and recruiter.
“We consult with our clients to make sure that they use these technologies in the right type of way so that candidates have great experiences as well,” says Ham. “We definitely share our data and lessons. They can ultimately make the choice because every brand and every company is different.”
The platform integrates with popular applicant tracking systems like Greenhouse, Taleo and Workday. They’ve already landed big enterprises like Pandora and Coca-Cola for paid pilots and are in talks with other large enterprises, many headquartered in their hometown of Atlanta. The startup operates in a SaaS tiered model through an annual contract, with a per-user-per-month fee structure.
The TopPick team was one of five finalists in the fifth Atlanta Startup Battle and recently wrapped up their time in the Coca-Cola’s BridgeCommunity program. They’ll continue to focus on scaling and customer acquisition in the next year.