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Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence, Sanjoe Tom Jose, CEO of Talview (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Jan 6th 2020

We’ve been covering AI in the HR tech space. You may have read our Eightfold AI story. Talview is another application in the same space. Sanjoe also points to possible white spaces you can look into.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by having you introduce yourself and Talview to our audience.

Sanjoe Tom Jose: I’m one of the co-founders and also the CEO of Talview. Talview is headquartered in Palo Alto. We are trying to build a new category in the recruitment tech space. Talview is my third startup and my second startup in the space.

I grew up in India. I did most of my schooling there. I graduated from IIT Bombay. I worked with National Instruments prior to venturing into entrepreneurship. I’ve always wanted to do something on my own.

My first full-fledged venture was called MerryWheels. This was a pre-owned car portal in India. We ran it for more than a year and then got acquired. It was a good exit.

We did another startup called Interview Masters with the same co-founding team. This was an interviewing platform. We were trying to sell to mid-market customers across the globe. We raised two rounds of funding. We had good early traction but very soon realized that the space is still very early. When you’re trying to sell to mid-market customers, you are largely relying on inbound interest.

Because the space was early, we realized that we won’t be able to build a large enough company in that space. We wanted to build an enterprise software company. However, the investors had an India-focused story. Enterprise is more of a global story. We had to come here to the US and build a company here.

We decided to work with an investor here in the Valley to provide an exit to all the investors in that company. We shut down that company and then started Talview. That’s how Talview came into being back in 2017. The primary insight behind Talview is based on our previous experience.

We realized that while enterprises focus on a lot of different hiring metrics when it comes to talent acquisition, time-to-hire has a significant impact on other key hiring metrics like quality of hire, cost of hire, and candidate experience.

To give you an example, the best candidate is available in the market for only 10 days. If you have a hiring process, the industry average is around 45 days. Your ability to hire the best candidate is significantly limited. Time-to-hire becomes very critical.

The more time you spend in your funnel, the more resources you spend. We wanted to create a platform which would enable enterprises to take control of their recruiting process by taking control of time-to-hire. When we looked at the recruitment technology stack at that point in time, the primary piece of technology which was being utilized was the applicant tracking system.

Oracle has Taleo. SAP has SuccessFactors. Most of these systems came into being 15 to 20 years back when tracking and reporting was the primary functionality. Recruitment was still non-digitized. Hiring largely happened offline with very little automation.

We wanted to build a layer of digitization on top of the existing applicant tracking system. We could help enterprises to drastically bring down time-to-hire. That’s how Talview came to be. This is a new category that we’re building. We call it insta-hiring experience. The focus is on helping large enterprises bring down time-to-hire drastically by creating a candidate experience similar to the ones for consumer experience.

Today Talview is a team of close to 100 people between US and India. We have our engineering and operations in India, while go-to-market is in the US. We have raised two rounds of funding. We have some very exciting brands like Amazon, Sephora, Accenture, and Deloitte. We’ve been growing close to 300% for the last couple of years.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence, Sanjoe Tom Jose, CEO of Talview
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