Meet Talent.io, a new take on engineer recruitment companies. Talent.io isn’t your average headhunting agency and has opted for a more scalable model that should work for both engineers and tech companies. Three months after its beta launch in France, the company just raised $2.2 million (€2 million) from Alven Capital, Elaia Partners, Ventech, and business angels, such as Oleg Tscheltzoff and Olivier Sirven from Fotolia, Céline Lazorthes from Leetchi and Thierry Petit from Showroomprive.
“Every two weeks, we start a session,” co-founder and CEO Jonathan Azoulay told me. “We pre-qualify and showcase candidates that follow two criteria — they are experienced engineers, and they are ready to switch jobs. During this session, our pool of clients can go on our website and interact with our candidates.”
Companies then send a job offer as well as a salary range to potential candidates. If an engineer is interested, then the company can interview this candidate.
Talent.io is interesting for a few key reasons. First, companies don’t have to start a cumbersome headhunting process. Once HR professionals working for French startups sign up, they will receive an email every other Monday so that they can check out Talent.io’s new candidates. It takes minutes and radically reduces friction.
Second, candidates are screened by Talent.io already. These days, 300 people sign up on the platform every two weeks, and the startup only keeps 40 of them for a session. Talent.io employees will call each engineer individually for around 20 minutes. This way, companies know that they should mostly find competent people on the platform.
Third, Talent.io is cheaper than a traditional French recruitment company. Azoulay previously founded Urban Linker, and an agency like this one usually takes 20 to 30 percent of a new hire’s annual salary upfront. Because Talent.io finds engineers for multiple companies at a time, it drastically reduces the company’s costs. Every time someone is hired, it only charges 1 percent of the annual salary per month over 18 months. If an engineer is fired or leave the company before 18 months, Talent.io stops charging for this engineer.
Finally, the startup is altering the usual recruitment process. Instead of posting a traditional job ad, companies look at candidates first and then send them an offer. That’s why companies sometimes end up hiring an engineer that matches well with the company’s mission even though they weren’t looking for a new hire at the time.
400 French companies now receive Talent.io’s bi-weekly email, and around 20 percent of the candidates get hired after each session. “We’re impressed by our clients recurrence rate,” Azoulay said. “In 20 minutes, our clients can see everything they want, so it’s a very very small time commitment.”
With today’s funding round, the company wants to expand to other European cities as soon as possible and start doing bigger sessions. Maybe London-based startups could end up hiring French engineers for example. Talent.io could quickly become an essential platform for both engineers looking for a new job and tech companies.