The feeling of sending what seems like millions of resumes and job applications out into the abyss can be disheartening, but Scoutr Founder and CEO Brandon Stevens wants to change what this hiring process looks like. No longer wanting resumes and job descriptions to speak for the candidate and employer, respectively, Cary-based Scoutr’s algorithm creates a match percentage for managers to evaluate potential candidates based on skills, references, and a fit on values, team culture and work style.
“Candidates deserve better, and companies deserve better,” Stevens said. “Their only way of visibility to each other right now are resumes and job descriptions.”
When Stevens graduated from East Carolina University in 1999 after attending on a football scholarship, his path to creating a tech startup that revolutionizes the hiring process was not so clear. Upon moving to Raleigh post-graduation, he began working in banking, falling in love with the analytics behind it. Stevens then gained his first taste of recruiting when his first employer sent him to networking events.
After forming his own finance company, United Mortgage Group, and selling it to Cornerstone Bank in the late 2000s, he realized how valuable data can be. Stevens was a stay-at-home dad for the next two years until a friend asked if he’d be interested in technology recruiting. Although reluctant at first, Stevens said yes and began working with Robert Half Technology. It was there, in the fall of 2015, that the concept that sparked Scoutr really took root: job candidates weren’t adequately represented to employers, and both resumes and job descriptions were missing valuable information.
“Hiring the right person is one of the biggest business decisions you’ll ever make,” Stevens said. “It’s lacking so much intelligence, and we wanted to change that.”
Together with IT expert Guri Burmi, Stevens founded Alliance Source Group in 2016 to test Scoutr’s methodology manually with managers. The team grew larger and added psychometric scientist Gabe Pappalardo, and in December 2017, the first line of code for Scoutr was written. A job candidate for a Scoutr client can take a survey and this data will be used to create a candidate match report, which can be compared with others. Companies pay to get matched to candidates, while the service is free for job-seekers.
Growing, With A Purpose
With around a dozen clients mostly in the tech and pharma industries, Stevens believes Scoutr is growing to where in the next six months it will be well on its way to $1M or more in annual revenue. After Stevens and Burmi initially bootstrapped the company, Scoutr took in $300K in a friends and family investment round last fall. But financial goals aside, helping people who often get overlooked in the hiring process remains one of Stevens’ deep-rooted missions.
“It means an awful lot to me,” Stevens said. “I think it means an awful lot to our team, too, to help these people. There are lots of people who don’t even get a phone screen because of key word search—because their resume didn’t say the exact right thing.”
Stevens said he wakes up every morning excited because he gets to work at Scoutr. He said he learns something new every day and hopes that the knowledge that the Scoutr team has gained translates into a product that helps people.
“I’ve learned you have to be somewhat disruptive to the old order and that when people tell you you’re crazy, you’re probably on to something,” Stevens said. “The data never lies. What the data shows is that the current way is very antiquated, inefficient and ineffective. It’s doing a lot of people a very big disservice.”
After about 16 months, every Scoutr-selected candidate is still on the job. Stevens said Scoutr saves time to hire by at least 50 percent. Ultimately, Stevens hopes Scoutr will replace the job description and resume.
“The macro impact is a brand-new platform, the first of its kind, that changes the way employers and potential employees see each other,” Stevens said. “It maintains accuracy. It maintains privacy. The impact is replacing the current job boards with a system like Scoutr where people in masses can come in and have true visibility to the right opportunities.”