A Q&A with Daniel Estrada, Scavado CTO and Product Manager. The Denver, Colorado–based company was founded in 2008.
SUB: Please explain what Scavado is, and the value proposition you bring to hiring and employment searches.
Estrada: Scavado is a web-based sourcing tool that allows recruiters to easily search the web for passive candidates, compile their contact information, and build a comprehensive pipeline of prospects to recruit. Scavado streamlines the process of finding and contacting candidates who are typically not applying for positions through job boards nor a company’s career website—called “passive candidates”—but who are often some of the best in their field.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Estrada: Our main competition comes from Boolean search string training courses, webinars, consultants, and other resources. Since the mid-1990s recruiters have been using sourcing methods based on writing Boolean search strings, and there is a huge Boolean search training industry. Corporations have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars getting their in-house recruiters trained on Boolean, but many recruiters don’t end up using Boolean because it’s time-consuming and technical. Recruiters are sales people: they should be on the phone recruiting the best candidates, not spending their time figuring out Boolean syntax.
SUB: What differentiates Scavado from your competitors?
Estrada: Scavado provides recruiters a quick and easy way to identify targeted prospects. Instead of “posting and praying” or wasting money on expensive training classes, Scavado allows recruiters to enter a few simple keywords, find targeted search results across a variety of business and social networks, company sites, and other resources, find contact information, and build a comprehensive pipeline to recruit. We automate the time-consuming manual methods of writing your own search strings through proprietary meta-searches.
Scavado provides subscribers with instant ROI by dramatically cutting total cost-per-hire and allowing recruiters to work outside their specialty areas. It is especially good for hard-to-fill positions, which are often outsourced to a third-party recruiter. Corporate subscribers can now source and fill these jobs themselves, saving tens of thousands of dollars per hire.
SUB: What’s your business model? How does (or how will) Scavado generate revenue?
Estrada: Scavado is a SaaS business tool for recruiters available via a monthly or annual subscription of $399 per month or $1,999 per year. We also distribute our software through resellers.
SUB: What have the first steps been that you’ve taken in establishing the business?
Estrada: After going through the typical motions of starting a business and working to sell the product through our network of initial customers and evangelists, we’ve been focusing a lot on making the business scalable. This includes automating our internal sales and marketing processes, billing processes, and ensuring that our infrastructure is scalable enough to meet increased demand as we start launching more targeted, active sales and marketing campaigns via social media, SEO and organic search, PR, and other methods.
SUB: What have the biggest obstacles been so far to building the business?
Estrada: We are really focused on customer development and adoption. It’s crucial for us to reach buyers that understand the value and have an ongoing need, so we’ve spent a lot of time talking to existing customers and understanding why they use Scavado. This helps us find more potential customers like them in the marketplace and speak to them in a language that will resonate and clearly articulate our value proposition. It’s an easy value proposition to communicate to the right prospects, so now we’re figuring out the best ways to reach those prospects.
SUB: Why was this a good time to launch officially?
Estrada: I recently joined the company as the CTO and Product Manager, so we’ve been focusing on improving the usability of Scavado and automating many of our internal business processes. We’re in a great position to take the company to the next level, and the timing is perfect for Scavado. Recruiters are looking for more proactive ways to recruit, and we make it easy.
SUB: Do you plan to raise outside funding in the near future?
Estrada: If the right opportunity comes along we would consider outside funding, but Scavado is self-funded at the moment.
SUB: What big goals do you have for Scavado over the next year?
Estrada: Scavado is constantly improving, but our long-term goals involve improving the usability of the tool even more. Scavado is already incredibly easy to use, but we want to walk our users through the process of recruiting great candidates. We’ve introduced inline instructions and short tutorial videos to help subscribers better use each feature. There are also opportunities for us to customize the tool based on the industries in which a recruiter works, so we’re exploring ways that Scavado can be customized for candidates in areas like healthcare, IT, biomedical and life sciences, financial services, and others.
Scavado – www.scavado.com