As published by Medium
Gal Almog is the Co-Founder & CEO at Talenya, a leader in diverse talent sourcing and retention solutions. Gal spent the last 20 years inventing AI-powered products that disrupted the recruitment technology market. Prior to founding Talenya, Gal founded PandoLogic, a world leader in recruitment advertising technology.
In 2021 he was named by the Association For Talent Acquisition Solutions, as one of the 100 most influential thought leaders in the Talent Acquisition technology market.
Founded in 2017 by Gal Almog and Doron Segal, Talenya developed the world’s most advanced, diverse talent sourcing solution, enabling talent acquisition teams to uncover and engage with 3X more diverse talent than any other tool. Talenya’s Diversity AI™ collects timely data from hundreds of sources to build rich, updated talent profiles. It uses AI and Machine Learning technologies to eliminate old school keyword search and to intelligently prioritize talent by their quality and propensity to change jobs. Talenya’s Diversity AI™ helps recruiters eliminate bias and increase the participation of diverse talent in the recruitment process. Talenya’s solution is used by the world’s leading employers.
Dan: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us. To start, I am sure our readers would love to learn more about you. How did you get here? What is your background?
Gal: Hi, thanks for having me. I am a veteran entrepreneur. I have spent the last 20 years in the recruitment technology industry where I found some of the toughest technological challenges, as well as an opportunity to impact the lives of millions. The previous company I founded before Talenya was PandoLogic, a world leader in recruitment advertising technology. I started this company and watched it grow to hundreds of millions in revenue.
Dan: Tell us about your business. What do you do and what is your startup’s origin story?
Gal: At my last company, PandoLogic, we focused on active job seekers. For many of the jobs we recruited for we struggled to find enough applicants because most candidates were not actively searching for a new role. At the time, the primary solution for sourcing passive job seekers was manual LinkedIn searches and I found this process highly limited and inefficient. I thought that sitting by the computer, entering keywords, sifting through profiles and then connecting with them through recruiters was silly. I saw that this market was ripe for AI and I had an idea how to disrupt it. This is how I started Talenya.
Dan: What’s unique about your company? What are the key differentiators between you and other players?
Gal: Talenya uses AI to source talent with a focus on sourcing diverse talent. We have a talent database of over 1 billion profiles from hundreds of online sources. We use AI, not keywords, to search for talent. Our technology processes job descriptions, creates a hit list of candidates, refines it via recruiters’ ratings and engages with hundreds of potential candidates with the click of a button. We completely automate the sourcing process, but we also take it a step further with respect to diverse talent. Our data scientists have identified unique things about how diverse talent describe themselves in online profiles, like how women write, on average, 34.2% less text on their public profiles on social sites like LinkedIn than white males.
Using our technology companies can source diverse candidates at 98% accuracy. From there, Talenya can identify and automatically fill in the skills that diverse talent may be less likely to post on their profiles, leveling the playing field. Finally, we use AI to recommend small changes in job requirements so that recruiters can maximize diverse talent participation in their pool. This helps to boost diversity in the pipeline without giving diverse talent any preferential treatment. We recently launched a Fortune 500 Report to help companies benchmark their diverse hiring progress and start making these changes.
Dan: Take us through a day in your life. What does the typical day look like?
Gal: I try to focus my day on areas where I can add value. I spend much of my time during the week thinking about business strategy and company priorities and then making sure everyone in the company is aligned behind it. We have employees in three countries, and we all work remotely. We have no offices, so management is a challenge and I work many hours to ensure my team is supported. My day starts with meetings with my Israeli team and ends with meetings with my U.S. team and with clients. I set aside 25% of my day for thinking and reading so that I can make sure that we are focused on our main goals: becoming a category leader in our market.
Dan: What are some of the key steps you have taken to grow your business?
Gal: Hiring the best people is key to everything. If you have the right people in the right positions, they will help you grow. If they are not the right people, they will suck up your time and derail the company. In a startup everything is dynamic and fluid. If you waste time zig zagging, you will be left with no direction and no money. This is why focus is so important — and if your market is big enough, you will grow exponentially. However, without funding you will obviously have a hard time growing, so raising funding is a job that never ends for startup CEOs.
Dan: What has been the most challenging part of growing your company?
Gal: Finding the right path for growth is always a challenge. We have a fantastic general talent sourcing tool but decided to focus specifically on diversity sourcing because it would allow us to grow much faster and dominate one category. Not having the right talent in the right positions is also a consistent challenge and, as the company grows, not everyone remains a good fit.
Dan: What are your best sales and marketing tips?
Gal: We use the Sandler’s sales method, which focuses on a defined process for identifying immediate pains. Some companies focus on future pains or perceived value, which will not get them sales. Also, you must understand very clearly why customers want to use your product. It may be different from what you think the reason is, and unless you take the time to listen to your customers, you will not grow.
Sales requires a lot of discipline, and you have to decide what kind of clients to prioritize and determine the right process to sell to them. It is a tough process, but the key to success is to be disciplined rather than opportunistic.
Dan: Do you have a book, podcast, or YouTube channel you would recommend to other Entrepreneurs?
Gal: I recommend the books You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar from David Sandler and Competing Against Luck from Clayton Christenson. At Talenya, we use Sandler’s sales strategy, which focuses on identifying an immediate pain in your clients’ businesses and aligning the sales process around it. As to Clayton Christenson’s book, I think it is a must for every startup. It helps you identify what job your clients want your product to do for them and how to center the entire organization around that job.
Dan: If you could go back in time to the day you founded your company, what advice would you give yourself?
Gal: Imagine the unimaginable and go get it! Your only enemy is not thinking big enough.
Dan: If you were writing an article about your company, what would the title be?
Gal: “Good Talent Should Not Go to Waste! Here’s How AI Can Help Diversify Your Talent Pool.” Too many good candidates are left unseen due to inefficient and discriminatory search processes — we’re aiming to change that with AI and ML technology.
Dan: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Gal: I am fortunate to be in a business that helps talent find better jobs and employers find amazing talent. Only technology can enable that. Don’t let fear of change and technology limit your ability to find the best team.