A Q&A with IntelliTalent co-founder Loni Spratt. The Las Vegas-based company was founded in late 2011 and launched the beta version of its service in mid-January.
SUB: Please describe IntelliTalent and your value proposition.
Spratt: We are a recruiter-owned company formed as an antidote to the general dissatisfaction with the recruitment industry overall. Our service is powered by both technology and human researchers. Our revolutionary new online recruitment service is a comprehensive candidate sourcing solution—on steroids. It’s incredibly cost-effective and timely, with plans as low as $1,589 per vacancy and no additional per-hire fees.
Essentially, the way it works is you give us the details of the job vacancy you are looking to fill and we take it from there. We post your ad on the leading job boards, filter through the hundreds of applications that come in and proactively search the job boards and deep web using advanced Boolean search techniques. We deliver you a short list of potential candidates—you own the list and can build relationships with all candidates of interest. We do all of this—saving you substantial time and money compared to doing it yourself or to using a traditional recruitment agency.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Spratt: Our target markets are small-to-medium size organizations, although we do work with larger organizations as well. Our users are HR professionals and hiring authorities.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Spratt: This is a brand new model in the U.S. marketplace, thus our competitors tend to be traditional recruitment agencies, which is interesting because we serve very different needs. In fact, we have a traditional recruitment firm, but we turned away so much business because companies couldn’t pay our fee for certain roles—and their only option was to pay our traditional agency rate or to try to figure out how to fill it in-house. Now these companies have an alternative solution for those particular roles. As one of our fans in the industry put it: “Use a headhunter to find high-quality passive candidates that require expert networking skills, use IntelliTalent to find the rest.” In some cases it is absolutely necessary to use a third party recruitment agency, but for the majority of open vacancies, IntelliTalent is a solution that makes more sense.
SUB: What differentiates IntelliTalent from the competition?
Spratt: Reiterating that our competition is ‘the way it has always been done,’ the recruitment industry has been a guild model. It is antiquated.
Our service breaks way from the traditional model by pulling back the curtain and making what used to be a high-end, elite service available to all. IntelliTalent has been coined the Legal Zoom of the recruitment industry. Our solution represents the democratization of the industry and empowers small-to-medium sized businesses in a way that has never been done before.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Spratt: IntelliTalent was established in November of 2011 and officially founded in June of 2012. The first step was to nail down the details around our process and the intricacies of what our service would entail. Because our service involves the use of multiple technologies and human research, there are quite a few components to coordinate in order to deliver at the level that we do. Once we were clear on how all parts must work together for maximum results, we officially launched a private beta with previous clients from our traditional recruitment firm to fine tune the solution even more before launching publicly.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for IntelliTalent? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Spratt: We were offering the IntelliTalent service informally to our clients of our traditional recruitment firm because they desperately needed it—then we had the ‘ah-ha’ moment that this service should be available to all.
The problem our clients were facing was that they only had two options when it came to recruitment—pay traditional recruitment fees that are typically 20-to-30 percent of the annual salary or hire an internal recruitment team and develop a full in house department. Most large companies choose the latter, but where does this leave small-to-mid sized companies—at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to identifying and attracting key talent. We were confident we had the solution to this problem and we knew we needed to share it.
My co-founder, Jamie [Amaral], happened to be in Lima, Peru at the time. But this was urgent: we needed to map out the specifics and create a plan. I flew to meet her in Peru where we had the most intense brainstorming, work-around-the-clock-ing session of my life. We were inspired and ideas were just flowing.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Spratt: We knew the product inside and out, but we needed a name. We had just defined the intelligent way to finding top talent—IntelliTalent? Yes! And so it was.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Spratt: Our biggest obstacle has been educating companies on what is possible. As I mentioned before, the recruitment industry is a guild model—our goal is to pull back the curtain and bring the industry up-to-date with a solution that clearly makes more sense. Although our service is more cost effective, less time consuming and ultimately gives companies enhanced control over their recruitment process, overcoming resistance to change remains our greatest challenge.
SUB: You just launched the beta version of your service. Why was this the right time to launch it?
Spratt: Never before has a service like this been more needed. Companies are tired of paying unnecessary, hefty agency fees for roles. The job sector is picking up and companies are hiring—they need to fill their positions, fast.
SUB: Have you raised outside funding to this point? If so, how much have you raised?
Spratt: We are self-funded.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Spratt: Our clients subscribe to our recruitment service on a month-to-month basis with plans as low as $1,589 per vacancy.
SUB: What are your goals for IntelliTalent over the next year or so?
Spratt: Our goal is to deliver a high-quality service and that our clients become long-term subscribers. Our end goal is to become an integral part of our clients’ ongoing recruitment solution.
IntelliTalent – www.intellitalent.com