Q&A with Talentsoft’s Dustin Robinson
By Christa Elliott
What is Hello Talent? A free recruiting tool? The next innovation in proactive recruiting? According to Dustin Robinson, outbound product manager for the software’s parent company, Talentsoft, Hello Talent is both of these and more.
In November, Hello Talent won HRO Today Forum Europe’s 2015 iTalent competition. Held in Amsterdam last year, the iTalent competition highlights the best new HR technology startups.
Companies nominate themselves and HRO Today’s panel of experts choose finalists, who then compete in front of the panel as well as the HR professionals who attended. From this pool, one company is named the winner, based on its pitch and demo.
HRO Today Global sat down with Robinson to find out more about Hello Talent:
Can you briefly explain what Hello Talent is and some of the features that make it stand out from its competitors?
Hello Talent is a web-based platform that facilitates proactive recruiting by allowing recruiters, hiring managers, and other HR professionals to store, aggregate, and share candidate profiles from anywhere they’ve found them online. Each profile can be stored in shareable talent pools and can feature tags, notes, and bookmarks.
Each candidate profile someone finds online is added to Hello Talent with the click of a button. That profile can then be easily summarized with custom tags, statuses, ratings, comments, etc. This allows the user to have a quick, easy look at each candidate, which is much simpler than sorting through a list of CVs or filtering through a spreadsheet.
In terms of collaboration each talent pool in Hello Talent can be shared with others in-app notifications, email reminders, and @mentions then keep everyone involved and aware of what is going on.
What is the market need that Hello Talent is addressing?
Companies are increasingly realizing that they can’t simply post a job and hope for the right people to apply. If you do that, you will rarely get the best candidates.
The market needs a tool that makes it easy for people to not only be proactive in trying to recruit people, but also easily work together with different stakeholders involved. That’s what Hello Talent does. Hello Talent offers a tool that makes it easy to be both proactive and collaborative in your recruiting efforts.
Why is Hello Talent innovative in addressing that need? I would say it’s [making it easy to be proactive and collaborative] along with the simplicity of our approach in that any time we add a feature there is debate about what needs to go in there. We prefer ‘less is more’.
The other thing you see with applicant tracking systems in general is that they’re very complex tools. There’s a reason for that, but it makes adoption of those tools within organizations tricky, time-consuming, and expensive, and if you want everyone working together quickly and you want to make it easier to proactive, you can’t be tricky, time-consuming, or expensive. So the simplicity also helps facilitate our innovation.
Why would companies pick Hello Talent over the system they may currently be using?
Hello Talent is a free tool. It doesn’t cost anything to use. We do charge for integration with the ATS system and we have some premium features we’re launching next year that will be well-worth the money, but that basic component of Hello Talent is anyone can use it. There’s no entry cost whatsoever to get started with the tool.
Also, with the simplified user interface and the way we go about working, you don’t have to be an expert to be able to quickly rate or qualify a candidate who’s being proposed by either your management or the hiring managers.
Is there a specific type or size of company for which Hello Talent is the best solution?
(Large) companies that use an applicant tracking system to manage hundreds of vacancies and thousands of candidates should still use that tool no matter what it might be. Applicant tracking systems aren’t made for the proactive recruitment that I was discussing earlier, but Hello Talent offers the ability to connect with those systems. You can do all your proactive recruiting and collaboration with Hello Talent. Then, using our integration, you can send profiles of candidates, once they’re ready, into your ATS system and go from there. So that’s why larger organizations choose to use Hello Talent.
Smaller organizations choose Hello Talent because they’re not going to need the feature set that a full-fledged, expensive ATS system offers. They’re not going to be tracking thousands of candidates. They’re not going to be posting a large volume of jobs and they, because they’re smaller, probably don’t have the brand recognition that say, a Google might have in the marketplace. So they really need to be proactive, and that’s where Hello Talent comes in.
Hello Talent is part of Talentsoft. How does the association with Talentsoft impact Hello Talent? Do they share a customer base?
Our customer base is very broad. We certainly do have Talentsoft customers who are using and enjoying Hello Talent, but we also have customers using other systems along with Hello Talent.
The perk: People who are using Hello Talent don’t have to worry about being with a start-up that could any day just disappear—or all the sudden drastically change a tool to try to cash in too early. We have the support of our parent company and therefore a little more flexibility.
What does the iTalent win mean to you and everyone at Hello Talent?
Winning iTalent was a huge honor because the HR technology space in general is experiencing a real boom in innovation and new tools. More companies are starting to realize that the key competitive advantage that matters to your organization is the quality of the people you have in it. If you have great people working for you, you’ll be able to generate all of those other competitive advantages that lead to sustainable profi tability for an organization.