I had the opportunity to meet with Jason Leonard last week. If you are in the recruiting industry and know Jason, you likely met him while he was a Director of Recruiting @ Citi, or, Director of Talent Acquisition at Mosaic. I've known and respected Jason for a number of years - had the priviledge of hearing him speak at the Kennedy Conference earlier this year in Las Vegas.

They don't come much smarter than Jason, and I'm not just saying that because he's a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. Although, it's kind of nice to get a plug in there for the Sooners as often as I can. Boomer. Sooner.

When I heard Jason was moving in a new direction, I tracked him down because I knew it had to be for something worthwhile.

Dennis: "Jason, where are you?!"

Jason: "I'm at Talent Maze, didn't you read the press release?!"

Dennis: "Yes, but I like asking questions for which I already know the answer!" But for the sake of conversation, tell me about Talent Maze!"

It didn't take long for me to figure out why Jason made the move - I like what I see.

Dennis: "Tell me what's going on at Talent Maze..."

Jason: "Talent Maze was conceived out of a desire to develop the premier talent redistribution marketplace. Current business models connecting External Search Firms and Employers are inefficient and ineffective. We believe that where a need exists, there's also an opportunity. And so Talent Maze was born."

I told you he was smart. Actually, I agree with Jason on this. I've been a participant in the "talent redistribution" phase and the current ability to connect External Search Firms and Employers isn't pretty. It's nice to see a company building a solution from a knowledge base of true recruiting expertise. I predict this will be a huge differentiator for Talent Maze.

Dennis: "Give me more...what does the recruiter need to know?"

Jason: "Corporate Recruiters and Hiring Managers who utilize external recruiting, will find an excellent online forum and database leveraging the extended North American marketplace of qualified, experienced, reliable Search Firms. The best part: Employers have complete control over which External Search Firms have access to their requisitions and all contact information is discreet in order to maintain confidentiality. This service is provided at no additional cost above the normal contingency fee the Employer would pay were they to hire a candidate."

Dennis: Sweet.

Jason also referred to Talent Maze like an eBay for Employers and Recruiters (connecting the Buyers and Sellers of the Talent marketplace) and noted that their goal is to change how an existing industry (company's usage of external search) works versus creating a new one from scratch. I think they are on to something and they seem to be making terrific headway and are in the process of landing some big clients.

Dennis: You've got some competition in the marketplace with Bounty Jobs and Dayak, right?

Jason: "Yes, BountyJobs and Dayak each came to market 18 and 6 months prior to Talent Maze, respectively. Having said that, I believe the early job board days provide a great comparison for what the three companies in this space are currently facing. When job boards first started to become popular Monster, CareerBuilder, Headhunter.net and Hot Jobs all coexisted because they were in a newly forming, land grab marketplace. There was a lot of room for each of them to cater to a slightly different audience. I believe the same opportunity exists today for Talent Maze, BountyJobs and Dayak.

We each employ similar business models, but appeal to different audiences and have unique product offerings. Some people liked Monster, some liked CareerBuilder, some liked Yahoo HotJobs and some liked other job boards entirely, but most Employers used at least one of them because they satisfied a specific business need."

Dennis: "Is there one particular thing that gives Talent Maze a distinct advantage?"

Jason: "That's a no-brainer. The management team of Talent Maze consists of long-time Staffing industry veterans who have been on both the external search and corporate sides. Bounty and Dayak both have their own value propositions, but our two competitors are not legacy Staffing folks. The Talent Maze leadership team knows, understands and has walked many miles in the shoes of both corporate and agency Recruiters. We have a great appreciation for what works, does not work and where the pain points are for both parties. We believe Talent Maze is uniquely designed to solve for those pain points."

Dennis: "Why should Talent Maze be the tool of choice for reputable, external Search Firms?"

Jason: "Talent Maze facilitates the ability to systematically market qualified, interested candidates to otherwise inaccessible Employers.”

Dennis: "Is there a charge for that?"

Jason: "For Employers there is no cost to use Talent Maze. In the event they make a hire through the marketplace they simply pay the fee they established front when they posted their requisition on the site. For external Recruiters there is no cost to use the service unless an Employer hires one of the Recruiter’s candidates. In the event an Employer hires one of their candidates, external Recruiters are charged a percentage of the placement fee generated. For that brokerage fee external Recruiters gain access to Employers they would otherwise not be able to work with and best of all, Talent Maze provides them a forum to make money off their excess inventory of qualified, available and interested candidates."

Dennis: "Last chance to pitch to corporate recruiters who are feeling the metrics-pinch. Why Talent Maze?"

Jason: "The Talent Maze marketplace both decreases time-to-fill and external search cost by encouraging free market competition while simplifying the Employers usage of External Search Firms to one, easy-to-use vendor management portal."

Jason: "And,....."

Dennis: "Hey, I said that was your last chance!"


Dennis: "Just kidding, what else?"

Jason: "Last point... : )...for Employers, the payment terms and placement guarantees are standardized for all external Recruiters, while decreasing the number of contracts - - Employers only engage Talent Maze, who in turns engages the extended marketplace of external Recruiters on a standardized contract.

Dennis: "And why's that a biggie?"

Jason: "Because it simplifies the process for the Employers! They only deal with Talent Maze for invoices, contracts, preferred vendor lists, refunds, etc… reducing administrative burden. Period."

Dennis: 'Ok, I agree, that's a biggie. And I like it."

I'm interested to see how quickly Talent Maze starts making an impact on the recruiting industry.

I think it's going to be soon.

Check out Talent Maze @ TalentMaze.com.

Interested in talking to Jason Leonard? Reach his office @ 214.432.1714, x311.

Dennis Smith
founder, WirelessJobs.com

Views: 593

Comment by Irina Shamaeva on July 28, 2008 at 5:33pm
This looks interesting, we will check it out, thanks. Of the competitors, I did not see RecruitAlliance mentioned. I think they have been the best so far, have been around the longest, and they do not charge a % from recruiters; instead, they only charge a low monthly fee. We have placed many candidates through them.

Here is their link.

Comment by Robert Armitage on July 29, 2008 at 4:02pm
Yeah I agree that people are going to choose the vehicle that drives best for them. A few years ago I liked Monster a bit more, probably because the tool was more familiar -- but it could have just as easily been HotJobs.

Oh and here is another one, The Hiring Tool, that popped up on my radar recently…still fairly raw but the functionality seems identical to other “recruiting marketplaces”,

Not sure what you mean “legacy staffing folks” I mentioned out here a while ago that I found Dayak from an article in Entrepreneur Magazine, the guys behind that startup have serious experience in the recruiting industry. Then they created their model by identifying the inefficiencies in the marketplace.

They all seem to be comparing themselves to either eBay or Priceline to get the idea across, which is brilliant. It’s going to be interesting to see who takes the lead.

Either way I will use whichever gives decent cs and provides the best results.



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