Rounding out Tree Labs’ first batch of startups is Recruto. As its name suggests, Recruto is a professional recruitment tool. It supports businesses in advertising employment opportunities, managing candidates and measuring results.
Recruto is one of several technology startups seeking new and innovative ways to penetrate the HR sector. Work, for most, is a simple fact of life, and the process of hiring, firing, job searching and interviewing can be extremely daunting. The complexities of the working world represent problems to be solved for entrepreneurs, developers and startup professionals around the world. And in Brazil, where the economy is growing and the middle class expanding, the working world is becoming even more complex.
Through its platform, Recruto aims to simplify the hiring process for both companies and candidates in Brazil. The company is just getting its feet wet with its open beta, which has been up and running for just one month. The signs are promising as the startup is already helping 18 companies to manage their recruitment processes.
Mauricio Almeida, Co-founder of Recruto, let us in on this fifth Tree Labs startup.
Emily Stewart: There are a number of job platforms out there right now. Who are your main competitors, and what makes you stand out?
Mauricio Almeida: In the Brazilian market, there are currently no direct competitors. Here, the online players are online job boards. We differentiate ourselves by not having resume databases as our main asset. We make money with our platform by organizing the recruitment process – not by monetizing a database. Therefore, we can integrate our solution with all databases on the market.
ES: To what extent do more technologically-savvy candidates and companies have an advantage with Recruto? Do you find that there is a learning curve with applicants and corporations less accustomed to technology?
MA: Our goal is to make our software as user friendly as possible. We want people to benefit from their current knowledge of the tools they are familiar with, thus minimizing the learning curve.
ES: The possibilities with the HR market and technology seem limitless. What other areas within the sector, beyond hiring, would you explore? Do you think that would be to your advantage?
MA: There are a lot of opportunities developing the most important asset for any company: people. And yes, this is an advantage for us because we are bringing a new mindset already disseminated in the consumer market, like easy-to-use online tools, social media, real-time analytics and metrics and so on, to an outdated market. Most current HR tools seem like yesterday’s tools, both in design and in the business model, from recruitment to performance management, learning, development and compensation management. It’s anachronistic that, in 2012, one still has to pay a lot of money to obtain a software license, implement that solution, train an entire team and possess infrastructure to get started with talent management. People nowadays are used to buying apps online in one click and using them right away. It should be that easy. Recruitment is the first step to talent management, so we are starting with it. But we want to provide this same approach to every other aspect of HR in the future, so HR professionals waste less time into operational tasks and spend more time concentrating on the strategic level.
ES: Do you see your product as a local one or a global one? Why?
MA: It seems logical that, as a Software as a Service, it would be easy to just translate our platform to start tapping into foreign markets. But the reality is that the HR market is very, very region specific. Each country has its own job macroeconomics and an HR culture that reflects it. Because of this, we plan to be the leader in Brazil before going into Latin America, which is very similar to our own market and culture and our next natural target. Going global now would be a waste of resources, but we don’t discard it in the long run.
ES: You just completed the Tree Labs acceleration program. What’s next?
MA: Hopefully, we will get the investment we need to be able to expand the team and operations as well as improve our marketing strategy and grow the business. This is just the beginning.