October 18, 2021 – Chicago-headquartered referral recruiting service Hunt Club has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Teamworthy Ventures to further the development of the firm’s Talent Expert Network candidate referral technology, and its growing high-performance recruiting team. This round of funding complements the company’s seed round of $4.5 million with key investors, including Brian Spaly (chairman of Tecovas, founder of Bonobos and Trunk Club), Woodie Levin (CEO and founder of Extend), FJ Labs, Starting Line Ventures, Network Ventures and others.
“Hunt Club is on a mission to disrupt recruiting – an industry that has not changed since the launch of LinkedIn. Hunt Club specializes in placing leadership roles (director and above) in sales, marketing, product, finance, customer success, human resources/people, operations, and other roles for fast-growing businesses in half the time it takes the competition,” the company said in a statement. The company operates with a trusted network approach, focusing on identifying quality candidates through warm referrals served by the Hunt Club tech-enabled recruiting team.
Godard Abel, CEO of Chicago unicorn G2.com and a company customer, said: “Hunt Club helped G2 hire over 50 key roles across our executive, product, marketing, and sales teams. These hires have turned out to be some of our top performers.” He said G2 landed better talent faster. “They helped us land multiple key diverse leaders that our network, board, and leadership team lacked exposure to.”
Oak Street Health, which had an initial public offering in 2020, has also used the Hunt Club’s model. “Last year, Hunt Club helped us scale across our VP layer and added exceptional talent across technology, data science, customer service, sales and other departments. Their talent network and technology has routinely outperformed other talent models,” said Geoff Price, Oak Street Health co-founder and chief operating officer.
“With our network mapping and referral technology, we can turn any one of our 100-plus talent team members into the most connected recruiter,” said Nick Cromydas, co-founder and CEO of Hunt Club. “Rather than trying to disintermediate the recruiter, we invest in our product and engineering team so we can quickly build the best technology and tools to give our recruiters an unfair sourcing advantage. This is still a people-powered business today, and when you’re competing with other companies to hire a candidate who has four offers, the right digital candidate experience and human touch both matter.”
Today’s War for Talent is Heating Up
The pandemic has created turmoil in the workplace, helping to spark “The Great Resignation” with close to 55 percent of Americans currently looking for new jobs. Complicating the hiring market even further, 2021 has marked a record-setting year in venture capital funding, with more VC dollars invested in the first quarters of 2021 than ever before.
The influx of cash has created competition for talent at historic proportions with start-ups and larger companies alike undergoing digital transformation and fighting to secure the same top talent. The hiring environment is equally unconventional. According to Hunt Club’s data, over 85 percent of the firm’s customers have lifted the requirement for a candidate to relocate to the company’s headquarters. Similarly, the average candidate now is negotiating their initial offer more than 28 percent due to market factors, up from nice percent in 2019.
The traditional toolkits, technology, and reliance on local recruiters with dense local networks won’t win in tomorrow’s war for talent, Hunt Club says, as companies are facing increasing pressure to compete financially and expand their talent pool nationally.
“Our network-based approach helps our clients connect with diverse and difficult-to-reach talent, giving them an entirely new talent pool to access,” said Mr. Cromydas. “This includes candidates in geographic areas previously untouched by their in-house recruiting team, diverse candidates with no affiliation to the customer, and relationships of trust that would otherwise go overlooked.”
With a growing database of five million candidates, referred from Hunt Club’s network of more than 11,000 subject matter experts, the latest funding round will enable further development of the company’s machine learning technology that automates much of the recruiting process. It will also further facilitate Hunt Club’s growth of its Talent Expert Network, expand the company’s leadership and talent team. Hunt Club expects headcount to top 150 by the end of the year, and it has plans to scale to 300 by 2022.
Investors are pouring money into recruiting solutions businesses. British-based 3i Group recently agreed to invest $120 million of equity in global talent solutions provider Wilson Human Capital Group (WilsonHCG). Based in Tampa, FL, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent solutions including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent talent solutions and talent consulting. The firm has operated as a strategic partner to some of the world’s top brands in helping them plan and execute on talent acquisition on a global basis.
“Companies face unprecedented headwinds with the competition for talent getting tougher every day,” said Mr. Cromydas. “You used to only compete with companies in your backyard for talent. Now the whole world can hire anyone, anywhere. At Hunt Club we are taking on this goliath problem, bringing technology innovation to a market in need of disruption. We empower our team with an unparalleled hiring network and technology automation so they can work faster, smarter, and beat the competition by securing the best talent for a role.”
“At the end of the day, we believe the one thing that will always turn a passive candidate into an active one is a trusted introduction,” Mr. Cromydas said. “By 2024, our goal is to have the entire management workforce available via a trusted introduction. Our technology powers that at scale, and when you’re an LA-based company, for example, trying to hire the best marketing leader anywhere, you need trust to bridge the relationship gap. Hunt Club powers trust.”
An Influencer Network
Hunt Club is a referral recruiting service that leverages technology and a front-end automation process to help land passive candidates. The firm leverages a network of connected influencers, which include executives, entrepreneurs, subject matter experts and connectors, to refer for roles. Hunt Club has completed over 200 searches across functions, industries, and experience levels in the past 12 months. Notable clients include Dollar Shave Club, Bellhops, Proctor & Gamble, Wilson Sporting Goods, and Trunk Club, among others. Hunt Club also works with high-growth start-ups, unicorns, and companies looking to build teams including gopuff, Typeform, G2, Nerdy, Dollar Shave Club, Terminus and Oak Street Health.
Hunt Club is looking to grow aggressively in the coming months. “We have ambitious growth plans, scaling to over 100-plus people by the end of 2021 and are scaling nationally,” said Mr. Cromydas. “We’ll make deep investments across product management, engineering, data science to continue to pave the way in leading innovation in our space.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media