A Q&A with getTalent CFO Kevin Grauman. The Mountain View-based company was founded in 2009 and closed a $1.7 million funding round earlier this year.
SUB: Please describe getTalent and your value proposition.
Grauman: We power ‘Candidate Experience Software’—melting together cutting-edge, brand-oriented mobile and social technologies, to build, and deeply engage with, dedicated talent communities with a view to nurturing meaningful and long-term relationships.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Grauman: Our internal sales team targets medium-large and large enterprises—up to the very largest. We, also, have an automated purchasing and provisioning infrastructure to allow small and small-medium enterprises to purchase our offering over the web. Those enterprises—all sizes—in turn, will interact with any person who is interested in joining their specifically-branded talent communities.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Grauman: This domain is really quite new and, consequently, there are only a handful of companies that have begun to dip their toes in the water. Avature and Talent Technology can be considered to be primary competitors at present, but our strategy and philosophy is quite different from theirs. There are a number of other companies that are ‘dabbling at the edges’—JobVite, iMomentous, TalentBin, etc., but they have a long way to go yet, if at all.
SUB: What differentiates getTalent from the competition?
Grauman: We are approaching the market by providing a platform strategy, not a tactical or transactional approach, as has been typical to date. This requires a wholesale change in recruitment philosophy, undertaken by executive leadership, not tacticians. They do seem to be highly receptive to this shift.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Grauman: The company began operations in 2009, but there were only limited successes. Then, after the ouster of its CEO in May of this year, there has been a wholesale pivot of all aspects of the business, resulting in a tactical, strategic, operational and branding ‘rejigger’ We consider it to have been a ‘359 degree’ repositioning.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for getTalent? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Grauman: The idea was incubated over quite a long-time, but, with the proliferation of social media and networks of late, and a wholesale acceptance of it by the business community, it has now become a lot easier to engage in conversations with enterprises in this regard. In fact, we have been inundated with unsolicited requests to engage. It’s very exciting to see the momentum shifting so dramatically as the word gets out.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Grauman: We chose something that is easy to remember, that encapsulates the offering—at a high strategic level, and that solicits somewhat of a visceral response by those who encounter it. Simple seems to be better.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Grauman: Honestly, since our pivot in the middle of this year, the company’s momentum, at all levels, has begun to ratchet at a breathtaking pace. So many opportunities have presented themselves to us that it is a challenge to remain focused—something that we are absolutely dedicated to doing. There will always be ‘bright shiny objects’ to be distracted by.
SUB: You recently raised $2.6 million in new funding. Was this your first round of funding?
Grauman: We have raised $2.6 million to date, actually from two separate financing rounds. $900K of friends and family money in 2009 and 2010, and a $1.7 million round that closed in January 2012, primarily from SuccessFactors and Excalibur Partners. We plan to soon raise an additional Series B round of funding to enable us to take the market.
SUB: What are your plans for the funds?
Grauman: The most recent round raised has been primarily invested in additional technology engineering, as well as for company rebranding and repositioning. We plan to continue to execute on the product roadmap and to expand our sales and marketing efforts.
SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise more outside funding?
Grauman: We didn’t really pick the time … the company needed outside funding; we have a compelling story to tell—the opportunity resonated with the investors.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Grauman: We sell our cloud solution and services to enterprise customers on a traditional SaaS-oriented fee-for-service basis.
SUB: What are your goals for getTalent over the next year or so?
Grauman: We plan to very soon redefine this recruiting category in light of the new strategic paradigm that has now presented, and then be the absolutely dominant brand in that space.
getTalent – www.gettalent.com