Talenza: Taking the Leap from Corporate Exec to Recruitment Entrepreneur
Making the jump from a steady 9-to-5 gig to embracing the uncertainties of entrepreneurship isn’t something for everyone, but for Dan Cobelli, Andrew Sully, Simon Lynn and Henry Gatehouse founding directors at Talenza, it was a natural transition.
Talenza is a full-service technology recruitment agency based in Australia with extensive experience across both permanent and contract roles particularly for the Data Analytics and Digital markets, where organisations often struggle to source the best talent.
We spoke to Dan Cobelli, an ex-paralegal turned business owner, to share a little bit more about the company and what it means to be recruiting for such an exciting and disruptive space.
VC: Tell us about the company’s mission. What makes Talenza different?
Dan: We wanted to build a company from the ground up where we could ensure our desks reflected the ever-changing IT landscape and market trends, and most importantly we wanted to dictate our company’s culture and build an environment that employees would be proud to work in.
With today’s mobility solutions and cloud technology why shouldn’t employees have the flexibility to work from home when needed or recruit on the move? And with a cloud ATS like Vincere it’s all very easy!
Talenza’s mission is to become a true business partner of choice. We don’t want to be the one night stand of the recruitment world, we want to spend time to get to know our clients, the industries in which they sit and the recruitment challenges they face. We want them to rely on us to be ahead of the curve and bring them talent that can help them to build their teams of tomorrow.
VC: Why the transition from corporate to startup?
Dan: That’s a great question and to be honest it’s probably one of the main reasons why Talenza was founded. When you’re working for a large global corporate there are a lot of moving parts, change moves slowly and it’s difficult to have a meaningful impact on company culture and direction.
In a world where technology advancement is moving at an incredible rate, some large corporates can be slow to react, still focussing their efforts on historically safe markets and failing to take notice of the emerging markets of the future. Unfortunately, many large corporates are also more focussed on hitting sales driven KPIs than adding true business value and creating meaningful client relationships and we wanted to buck that trend. We also believe the days are gone when consultants are expected to be in the office hammering the phone from first light to late at night; today’s employees want flexibility and a work life balance. Fortunately, our past environment wasn’t like that, but having heard the horror stories from other recruiters in the industry it helped us to define the kind of environment and culture we wanted at Talenza for ourselves and for our future employees.
VC: How did the partnership start?
Dan: Like most great ideas Talenza was born from a few drunken conversations down the pub on a Friday night! However, what started as a drunken pipe dream soon became the topic of every conversation and the more we thought about the idea, the more it made sense.
We were a group of successful recruiters all with hands-on and managerial experience who had a long standing working history of friendship and trust; what better platform could you ask for to build a successful recruitment start-up? And so Talenza was born!
VC: You specialize in recruiting for a very exciting & disruptive space – business intelligence/data analytics/Cloud Tech – any reason for this focus?
Dan: Many recruitment companies fail to keep their fingers on the pulse when it comes to understanding the latest market trends and therefore fail to deliver the kind of talent that could make a difference to a client’s business. With Talenza we wanted to be different, we wanted to be pro-active and offer our clients the kind of candidates that could not only make a difference to their current businesses, but who could help them shape the future too. That’s why Talenza has a core focus on the latest and most disruptive technologies where organisations often struggle to source the best talent.
By proactively working these specialist areas we are able to tap into the passive candidate market and bring our clients awesome talent that internal recruitment teams and job boards just can’t deliver. These markets are also a personal passion of our co-founders – we love seeing how technology can disrupt an industry and make a real difference to our everyday lives – just look at how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry or how Data Science and Machine Learning has helped companies predict customer behaviour to target exactly what the consumer wants; this excites us and we love being part of the growth in this ever-evolving sector!
VC: Talenza is still very much in a growing stage, what are the challenges you are facing as a recruitment entrepreneur?
Dan: I think the biggest challenge we face is not having enough hours in the day! We are very busy right now and every day feels like a sprint, but that’s OK it’s all part of the journey and that’s what makes it fun!
VC: Let’s talk Tech, in what way has Vincere helped your business?
Dan: Vincere has helped us by providing us with a true SaaS platform that can be accessed from any location on any personal computing device with a web-browser. With our business model we wanted a solution that would enable our workforce to be as flexible and mobile as possible and Vincere delivers on that front. We can access records on the move and work from any location in the world!
VC: Which specific feature do you like most?
Dan: Our favourite feature is the job board that integrates seamlessly with our website and delivers candidates straight to our recruitment ATS. This makes it easy to share job postings on all social media platforms and means there is no need to manually upload CV’s to our database. We also love the LinkedIn integration.
The great thing about Vincere is that we feel like we have truly been part of the evolution of the product – the team is always keen to get feedback and where possible will integrate your ideas into future releases…we love this, so keep up the good work!
Thanks Dan, we’ll keep hustling!