TalentMarketplace exists to help our clients – IT project leaders, like CTOs, PMO Directors, IT Managers – hire better resources faster than any other platform on the market.
Our co-founder, Qaid Jivan, saw this problem firsthand while working as a Sr. Project Analyst in one of Canada’s largest IT Healthcare projects. His role was closely related to monitoring recruitment efforts, and despite having their own in-house recruitment team and access to some of the best external recruitment agencies in the city, the project had dozens of key vacancies several months into the project. Milestones were missed, and the project was perpetually behind schedule.
This is a common problem that project leaders know all too well. During his time there, Qaid pitched an idea to his boss: what if she always had candidates available through a pre-interviewed talent pool, curated specifically for this project’s upcoming recruitment needs. Unlike the reactive nature of traditional recruitment – waiting for budget, then posting and praying for the right candidate to come through after a few weeks – this proactive approach to recruitment would offer a pool of candidates curated specifically to her needs, available 24/7, making her recruitment headache disappear.
The idea worked – fast forward 5 years, and Talent Marketplace clients are saving 1.5 months on their hiring time, enabling them to capture the value of their projects quicker.
Our clients find better talent through us because of our IT project-specific screening processes, hiring 1 in every 2.6 people they interview through Talent Marketplace, twice as effective as the industry average. Our clients find better talent through us because of our IT project-specific screening processes, hiring 1 in every 2.6 people they interview through Talent Marketplace, twice as effective as the industry average.
In some cases, our clients have saved over $400,000 per year using Talent Marketplace to staff dozens of key positions thanks to our volume- based, monthly fee approach. It’s much cheaper and more flexible than building an in-house recruitment team and way cheaper than a recruitment agency (which will charge 20-30% of a candidate’s salary all at once!)…all while hitting speed and quality targets in ways traditional recruitment can’t.
The key to our success has not been because of a single piece of innovative technology, or our pricing model. It’s our commitment to our bootstrapped roots, and a lot of Lean Startup and Agile principles.
When Qaid brought the idea to his two future co-founders, the three were aligned on testing the concept extensively before they jumped on it full-time. Steve had completed all three of his CFA exams, held a project management certification, and had a bright future ahead of him in Investment Banking (and comedy writing). Scott Hirsch was a top Salesforce Consultant, former developer, and graded iaido practitioner. They met through Simon Fraser University’s case competition programs, and already knew they could win working together. The bigger question was – did the idea have potential?
To figure out if the idea was worth pursuing, Qaid did over 100 coffee interviews with project leaders and prospective candidates to understand their pain and gather feedback. This was in addition to working in the IT project space, and serving on the Board of Directors for the local Project Management Institute chapter. The goal here was to deeply understand the customer, and how to best service them.
After this, the goal was to test the market. The initial MVP of Talent Marketplace was an excel spreadsheet with a dozen pre-interviewed Business Analysts, all searchable using the same fields the future website would have. It worked – someone from the talent pool was hired, and the three knew they were on to something. They took this feedback and went a step further.
The second iteration was a platform of about 50 candidates, all Business Analysts and Project Coordinators for a small Vancouver-based consultancy which was about to secure a new project. The test was a success, and the three were receiving enough interest from new clients to quit their jobs and start Talent Marketplace full time in 2016.
This customer-focused, iterative approach took Talent Marketplace to breakeven within 6 months, and enabled us to hit “Ramen Profitability” (the ability to pay rent and eat cheap food) within 10 months. Revenue has more than doubled every year (even during COVID-19), but our approach has not changed at all: making things easier for our clients, one two-week sprint at a time (that’s an Agile joke, if you know, you know).