Talentdrop - An open marketplace for recruiting bounties
Earn up to $25,000 in bounty rewards by referring someone in your network to a job
I discover a new startup every week and share it with you. This week’s featured startup is Talentdrop. Subscribe to get each and every issue.
What it does: Talentdrop is an open talent marketplace where anyone can refer someone else to a posted job role and earn up to $25,000 in bounty rewards. Generous recruiting bounties have always existed in tech but were typically only accessible to a select number of recruiters or internal employees. Talentdrop has opened up this private incentive structure to everyone and created a smart marketplace around it.
How it started: Maddy Nguyen (CEO) and Janelle Tiulentino (CTO) met at Snapchat where they both were early employees. Janelle built the early versions of the app and Maddy led all kinds of recruiting efforts and teams from pre to post IPO. After working many years in recruiting Maddy became frustrated with the lack of innovation in recruiting while at the same time observing that there’s incredible value in the network that everyone has which companies are willing to pay a lot of money for.
In addition to that, they also recognized there’s a lot of friction and frustration for
all parties in recruiting: companies hate paying $50-100k for someone to spam candidates for them on LinkedIn, recruiters hate being spammers and candidates hate being spammed. They quickly realized a marketplace was the right solution to unlock the enormous potential and solve these problems to create a win-win-win situation.
How it works: Companies post a bounty on Talentdrop for any role they want to hire for. Bounty hunters are anyone inspired to refer someone from their network - for example a friend, a former colleague, or what recruiters call a "near miss candidate," which is someone they met during the recruiting process in their normal workflow who was great and available but just not quite a fit for their open role (recruiters and hiring managers experience this a lot). Candidates can also refer themselves, in which case the bounty works more like a sign-on bonus. When a successful referral happens, Talentdrop collects the bounty and holds it for 90 days (to avoid attempts at gaming the system) and on day 91 pays the full bounty amount to the bounty hunter.
Traction: Within 4 months from inception, Talentdrop went from 0 to 50 customers, 100 job postings, 100 bounty hunters, $1.3M in bounties up for grabs, and 6 placements. Its growth has been about 90% organic.
Why it’s different: Usually talent marketplaces end up becoming a glorified firm and have trouble scaling beyond a certain point, because everyone ends up getting their next job outside of that platform and it becomes too spammy and expensive. External referral programs have typically treated this too much like simply an external referral program and not a marketplace. Oftentimes recruiting “innovation" around the top of funnel problem is solved by building a scraper, having offshore people qualify profiles for you, and calling it AI. Talentdrop is building something that's sort of a hybrid of a decentralized firm + marketplace + basic ML recommendations (not to turn recruiting into robo-sourcing, but to make matches humans might have missed).