Q&A with TalentDrive

Nov 25, 2008

The Fordyce Letter recently chatted with Sean Bisceglia, CEO of TalentDrive, the Chicago-based company that integrates recruiters’ job boards into one search.

Prior to TalentDrive, he acquired and became CEO of CPRi (Corporate Project Resources, Inc.) in 2003 and sold the marketing staffing firm to Aquent in 2005. Prior to CPRi, he founded TFA in 1992, which he sold to Leo Burnett in 1998.

Raghav Singh, a partner at The A-List, a Minneapolis based staffing services provider, has said TalentDrive’s “efficiency and productivity gains are significant,” so we wanted to catch up with Bisceglia and hear what is new:

TFL: In a recent survey of 7,000 HR professionals, you noted that “35% only see better qualified talent from high unemployment rates” — what did you mean by this?

Bisceglia: Only 35% have seen better, higher quality candidates to fill positions since the unemployment rate began to rise. Just because unemployment numbers rise doesn’t necessarily mean quality talent is entering the marketplace.

TFL: Why do you call online recruiting “dysfunctional”?

Bisceglia: What I mean by “dysfunctional” is that there is lot’s of noise. For instance, there are currently 40,000 locations and an expected number of 105,000 job boards and networking sites by 2011. This statistic was taken from Kennedy Information (*Recruiters are seeking out more niche boards and social networking sites to find passive candidates, over 50,000 now with 105,000 expected in 2011). Also, many candidates are “gaming the system” by plugging their resumes with SEO words and distributing to upwards of 15 sites at a time creating an overabundance of resumes online.

Recruiters then have to sift through duplicate resumes and employ the “post & pray” technique as they enter in and out of job boards numerous times daily. The social networking sites are starting to take hold as well, but previously created confusion as the new ideology entered the market.

TFL: What technologies are making things more dysfunctional? Which are helping to make things better?

Bisceglia: Some aspects of technology make online recruiting more dysfunctional such as the overabundance of websites (and more launching weekly), pure resume aggregators only (that don’t add any value other than a big vacuum of resumes that have no match), inaccurate matching, and social networking sites.

There are also aspects of technology that make online recruiting less dysfunctional such as improved, better matching technologies, better thinking around recruitment marketing tools, such as TalentGen, and consolidation technology, TalentFilter. These types of tools help remove the clutter and disorganization involved with online recruiting by offering a simplified platform which consolidates all search efforts with the most advanced matching technology.

TFL: What are some simple ways recruiters can understand their own ATS database better?

Bisceglia: I would say the best technique is to use it! Start understanding your ATS by going back and getting more training. Learn the functionality of your ATS compared to the competition and your partners tools, such as eQuest. Understanding what it’s capable of, who and what is in there, in combination with the analytics generated by job boards, will help recruiters understand their own ATS. Dedicating someone or a technology to “mine” the ATS is also a good tactic to employ.

TFL: What are some other trends you predict for recruiters in 2009?

Bisceglia: I predict upgraded talent. With the US Quit Rate of employees predicted to drop from 22% to 19% in 2009, more internal/in-house talent searching is taking place. Also, it’s time employees are “upgrading” talent within. Less time and money spent on “post and pray” methods with more capital invested in resume search and technology that assists with ATS consolidation.

TFL: What does your company specifically have planned in the coming year?

Bisceglia: We have some big partnerships underway— eQuest partnership already announced at HR Tech this fall which opens access for TalentDrive to 2,000 clients and over 23,000 users. We are also abandoning our “direct” sales model aimed at F1000 companies. Corporate HR is extremely resistant to change of behavior. VAR’s are a large contributor to our 2009 plan as well, with 24 in place now and 50 within the 1st quarter. We are excited about several key partnerships with the three major job boards and top-two social networks that are in progress for early next year and will be announced in January. And of course, our goal is proliferation of our product, TalentFilter, throughout the possible 294,000 possible users!