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Dallas Startup TerraTal Plays Matchmaker For Job Seekers, Employers

By Sheryl Jean
The Dallas Morning News.

Imagine finding a job online the same way you might connect with someone for a Saturday night date.

A Dallas-based startup is playing Cupid online for job seekers and employers. TerraTal aims to kill the traditional job search, saving many hours and dollars looking for the perfect match between job seekers and employers.

It’s part of a growing trend to simplify and improve job searches and hiring by using sophisticated technology that removes emotion and adds math to the method. Even online dating sites are getting in on the action.

TerraTal’s four partners started the company about a year ago, testing their technology and hiring staff before the website went live last month. Terra means earth, reflecting today’s global job market, and Tal is short for talent.

The job market is huge. TerraTal co-founder Aaron Hoffman estimates the career matchmaking market at $100 million in the Dallas area and up to $2 billion globally.

As the economy and employment have improved over the last six years, competition has risen and the cost and time it takes to woo employees has increased.

The average cost of a new hire rose nearly 50 percent from 2009 to $3,420 in 2014, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Employers took an average of 42 days to fill a position, up from 36 days in 2013.

Three of TerraTal’s four partners worked together in the human resources field and two — Hoffman and Brent Ruge — were colleagues at the global management consulting firm Hay Group in Dallas. Two of the partners are silent.

“We heard from our clients all the time about these problems — how to find, recruit and keep the right employees,” said Hoffman, 36, who was a market media analyst for J.C. Penney. “We looked at our own experiences … and thought there has to be a better way — to make it easier for both sides.”

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