Finding a job can be difficult. Having an immaculate CV is rarely enough these days, with candidates now expected to face a slew of pre-interview assessments as well as some unsuspecting mind games thrown into the mix for good measure.

In an age where time has become an increasingly precious commodity, many job hunters now turn to recruitment agencies to get help finding employment. However, an increasingly competitive job market means recruiters are often under pressure to place people in roles, whether they’re suited for them or not.

Talentful's Phil Blaydes
Talentful’s Phil Blaydes

“We set up Talentful to change the recruitment industry for the better,” Phil Blaydes, co-CEO and founder of Talentful, explains to Techworld by phone. “We wanted to provide much more transparency and use more modern techniques to help fast growing and innovative companies scale and reach their potential.”

Blaydes has been working in the recruitment industry for about 13 years, both on the agency side and internally at tech companies. During his career, he’d started to notice that businesses would pay out large sums of money to recruitment companies for what he perceived as being a relatively low-value service.

And thus, in 2015, Talentful was founded by Blaydes and his co-CEO Chris Abbass; another recruitment consultant with a long career in the industry.

From day one, the company has differentiated itself from its competitors by taking a more nuanced approach to recruitment. Instead of independently putting candidates forward for roles at a myriad of companies, Talentful act like consultants. It charges a fixed, monthly fee to work in-house with everyone from startups to big, global companies like Google and WeWork, with a view towards building well balanced and engaged teams.

“The main service of our business is we provide an on-site consultancy model on an interim basis where our recruiters go into tech companies and work with them to scale,” says Blaydes.

For the companies that Talentful works with, one benefit of this type of recruitment is a fixed cost rather than an ever-spiraling figure. Blaydes adds that clients who have worked with Talentful have seen time to hire decrease significantly, which means teams can be built and put to work quicker. Hiring managers also get a lot of their time back, allowing them to focus on their jobs instead of trying to fill vacancies.

“We’re a good middle ground between having an in-house team and using an external recruitment agency,” he says.

The art of team building

Throughout our conversation, Blaydes talks a lot about the importance of building teams rather than just filling vacancies. This philosophy is clearly at the core of Talentful’s work and is arguably what has been the driving force behind the company’s latest venture. ‘Insightful’ is the “world’s first personality-based jobseeker platform” that uses ‘culture matching’ to place people in roles.

“We believe that people only reach their potential when they’re in the right team,” Blaydes explains. “So, you could be an incredibly high-potential individual but if you’re working in the wrong team in the wrong company, you’ll never reach that potential.

Blaydes adds: “That’s what we’re trying to create with [Insightful]. It’s essentially a way of looking at the personalities on a team and making sure its balanced, homogenised and ultimately successful.”

On a basic level, the Insightful platform uses psychometric-based testing, with each question requiring candidates to place themselves at some point on the pre-provided continuum. The answers form something resembling a spidergram, with the eight potential personality types each representing a leg. Answers are then mapped onto the spidergram, allowing recruiters to see which archetype each candidate is aligned most closely with.

The results are then used to connect the candidate to the current job vacancies, identifying those that they would be best matched for and giving a personalised culture fit score out of 100 for each position.

Talentful has identified these eight key personality types to be: The Leader, The Innovator, The Team Player, The Adaptable One, The Executor, The Analyst, The Influencer and The Entrepreneur.

Although the platform has only be live for just over a month, Blaydes says it has already witnessed an incredible amount of interest.

“We’ve got a 100 people signed up a day in the markets we work in all across the world,” he says. “We’re seeing incredible traction so obviously there’s an appetite from people in the tech industry to have a richer experience when they’re finding a job, rather than just chatting to a recruiter on the phone.”

In an industry plagued by a growing talent shortage, disruptive technology and unparalleled growth, traditional employment methods are no longer sustainable. Talentful believes its holistic way of approaching recruitment is the answer, and the success the company has witnessed over the past three and a half years certainly indicates that: “We believe recruitment is part marketing, part human interaction and part technological discovery so we’re currently working on building out a multi-channel approach to recruitment.”

The company has also just opened an office in Berlin, taking its total European locations up to five, with plans to go state-side and set up operations in San Francisco on the agenda for Q1 of next year. Despite such rapid growth in a relatively short space of time, Blaydes is keen to stress Talentful isn’t VC backed.

“We’re just a normal business who has concentrated on doing a really good job for its clients, retaining their business and building on those relationships,” he says. 

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