Talentuno, the crowdsourcing way to change the status quo in the recruitment industry

With €5.5 million investment raised in 2 rounds, Talentuno is one of the very few crowdsourcing recruitment platforms in Europe that have a good chance to drive a change in how some jobs are going to be filled with good candidates in the talent markets with the power of the crowd.

The company was founded by Zsolt Kelliar and Péter Balázsik and after 3 years of preparation was officially launched on September 2018. I had the chance to interview Péter about their story, as well as Gábor Kiss, the CEO of Bonitás, one of their investors.

Who are you, what’s your story?

Zsolt has been my friend for ages, and was a Transition and Implementation Manager at British Telecom in the beginning of the decade, being responsible for the growth in Hungary, meaning to grow the organization from 300 to 2200 PAX in just 3 years. He did not like how the process worked with recruitment agencies, and he reached out to me with an idea to make it better, especially the screening phase.

We realized there was no community solutions for international people working in Shared Services Centers in Hungary, not even an info-portal, so we came up with the idea of the SSC Heroes website, which actually merged 2 functions: applications and screening, this way we could approach companies with end to end recruitment solutions and a great talent pool behind – if a candidate applied to a job, the screening was provided to the Client the same day, so the interview on the agency side could have been skipped totally.

One day we received a huge assignment that we could not complete alone and we came up with the idea to use the community to fill some of the positions, also rewarding the ones recommending the placed candidates, and in just 3 months we realized that 70% of the placements were completed through community recommendations. That was the spark to start thinking about a scalable model for a crowdsourcing solution. In 2017 we managed to raise 1.5 million EUR for the idea. In September 2018 we officially launched and now have 7.000+ registered matchmakers, and raised another round of 4 million EUR are started focusing on the UK market.

How do you work with your matchmakers? How do you deal with GDPR?

In our platform, anyone can become a matchmaker, after a registration. At the moment, 15-20% of all registrants are active, meaning uploaded at least one CV in the last month, and there are also some power-users making their living our of our platform. We also have an open door for companies, we call them ‘commercial matchmakers’, so websites can also make another revenue-source by placing banner advertisements. Our main focus is still individuals.

Our way to be GDPR compliant: when someone uploads a CV for someone, it has to be approved by the owner of the CV. Until this confirmation arrives, the CV stays in a blackbox, and if there is no feedback, gets deleted after a few weeks.

What services do you provide?

We have 2 services at the moment:

  • Commission based model: mostly suitable for corporates, from entry level to operational roles, excluding executive level. We mostly focus on business related positions, like accountant, marketing, sales. 
  • Shortlist based services: it’s rather relevant for smaller companies, filling a gap on the market between job advertisements and recruitment service providers. It’s actually a job advertisement solution with guaranteed results, screening included. We also provide money back guarantee with this.

How do you see the crowdsourcing recruitment market?

Generally speaking for crowdsource recruitment services, you can see 2 options on the market to guarantee quality: by screening the candidates or the matchmakers. As you can see, we decided to go for the first one.

We are honestly not aware of any similar services on the European market, and as we see, it’s not possible to scale up such a service without a proper investment. What we do is 1% idea and 99% execution and requires a lot of money, more than many would think.

And now turning to Gábor, CEO of Bonitás – Why did you decide to invest into Talentuno?

We see that manual processes in recruitment needs to be better digitalized, and large corporates’ talent management systems should be connected to such full stack services, moreover, companies should be able to fully outsource these activities. For this reason, we see that the core value for Talentuno should be technology, not the income made from services sold. We certainly also have had concern: their solution required a relevantly big investment amount compared to the maturity of the company, still, we can’t be sure how the crowd is going to solve the unfilled positions on a bigger scale, what if growth slows down. All in all: manual inefficiency needs systematic solutions on the market, and any innovation on this is warmly welcomed by corporates, that is why we decided to join as an investor.