Meet supertalent: Find a perfect job based on your culture fit with great startups
Today it is our pleasure to unveil the 6th startup (out of 11 selected so far) from the StartupYard Remote Lab program. supertalent is for working people who are not satisfied with their jobs. supertalent is a career platform that focuses on your values and cultural fit with startups. We sat down with Tom Zrubecky, founder of supertalent to talk more about what they do and their plans for the future.
Hi Tom, tell us a bit about your personal journey towards founding supertalent. How did you get here?
When I graduated from the university, I started working in a consulting company, but very early on, I realized that this kind of company is not for me. I was always a very purpose-oriented, entrepreneurial person, and I was not too fond of politics at work. Thus I left consulting and started working at one pan-European startup studio, where I took part in building startups around Europe. This experience was more appealing to me, but there was still something missing. I didn’t own my narrative. I was too restricted by the boundaries of clients’ wishes. So I started thinking about what I’m going to do next, and I realized that there was one thing in common during my consulting and startup careers. Many people come and go from work because they don’t have a good fit with a team and the company culture. And after long research where I couldn’t find a solution that would help with such a big problem, I decided to build it by myself.
What prompted you to start developing supertalent? What did you see as fundamentally wrong with the way hiring talent works right now?
During my research, the one striking thing that I found was that more than 50% of working people are unsatisfied with their jobs. And 50% is a huge number. We spent approximately one-third of our lives at work, and being unhappy one-third of our lives is simply too much. When people are happy at work, they are more productive, more engaged, and in general lead more fulfilling lives..
But unfortunately, no solution in the market would help talented people find their perfect jobs where they will be happy, engaged, and satisfied. And we say perfect jobs and not dream jobs on purpose. There’s a big difference between the two. A dream job is a job we would like to have, no matter our skills or genetic predispositions. Simply said, a person without a good voice could dream of being a famous singer but most likely never become one. Whereas the perfect job is a job in which we fit perfectly with our skills, genetic predispositions, and personality. It’s more like an aspirational job, where we can be happy because it seems like it was tailored to us.
But to find your perfect job, you need to have a product that would be built specifically for that. You need a future-looking product that predicts your ultimate fit with the position, company, and team you would be joining. And that’s the problem with current products. All of them are backward-looking. They look to talent’s past. Previous experiences, education gained years back, past skills the talent learned in the past. Which we believe is fundamentally wrong and want to fix it with supertalent.
Who is supertalent for?
Supertalent is for all people who are unsatisfied with their jobs and want to lead more fulfilling lives. With supertalent, they can find the perfect job at great startups. We believe that startups are the future of the workforce because they are aspirational companies that try to solve real problems for real people, and therefore we connect people with like-minded startups.
What distinguishes you from the competition?
I would say that we have three key differentiating factors. First, we are a future-looking platform that predicts the potential of a talent working in a given startup. Second, we hyper-personalize the experience for both the talents as well as the startups. When you are a startup, the more you are using supertalent, the better talents you receive from us, and hence the better your startup performance. When you are a talent, we have information about what you care about and hence are able to help you find the perfect job that fits your past experiences and future potential. And last but not least, we level the playing field in the recruitment process. Currently, there’s a huge information asymmetry between talents and recruiters. One side of the table, the HR person, usually has much more information about the talent than the other way around. The HR person is a trained professional whose key goal is to get as much information about the talent as possible. They will give case studies, ask the right questions, and test them on their personalities. But the only information the talent knows is from the website or what the HR person tells her. We are leveling the playing field by giving talents more information about the company so they can make the right decision and be happier at their jobs.
How big is the team and why are they a good match for this project?
We are currently ten people on the team. Some are full-timers, some are part-timers, and the whole team is a great combination of different backgrounds, skill sets, and personalities. But what is most important, we all share the same values and vision for the future where we all lead more fulfilling lives because we have jobs that fit with what we care about.
Supertalent was conceived during the pandemic, and we are a fully distributed team from the beginning. We believe that people should own their own narratives, especially at work. We give our people the freedom to be creative, bring new ideas to the table, or criticize bad ideas even if they come from the top. If people own their own narratives, only then the real magic happens. It’s not always easy, especially as a distributed company, but we believe that if you give talented people context and responsibility, they will make the right decisions. We are very product-oriented, and we have a lot of extensive discussions about individual product features. And I believe that our customers love our product especially thanks to our approach of how we treat the people.
Can you tell us a bit more about your technology? How unique is your solution?
Our product has been built with one and only goal. To help talented people find their perfect job. To help people who are working but are not satisfied with their jobs to step outside their comfort zone and apply for a new job. If you look at why these unsatisfied people are staying in their current jobs, it is because they are usually afraid that they won’t get any better. They don’t have a good cultural fit with the current company culture, have a bad boss, or are in a bad team, or simply have a job for which they don’t have the right talents. And they rather stay where they are and do not apply elsewhere because they don’t know whether it won’t be the same.
To tackle this issue, we are using behavioral assessments that fill out both the talents and the startups. We use proven assessments that have been on the market for more than ten years and have assessed more than 300,000 people and companies that answered more than 20,000,000 questions. We also have the information about an ideal candidate for a given job and the most relevant experiences of talents. By having this information, we can use our algorithms to match the right talents with the right startups based on something more than just a mere previous experience and job description. And as we want to help working people be more comfortable with applying for jobs via our platform, we are fully anonymizing them. The recruiter cannot see a picture, a name, nor age or gender. Only talents can decide when and how she reveals her true identity.
But what I couldn’t emphasize more is that we don’t want to replace human judgement with technology. On the contrary, what we want to do is to give people more information so they can make more quality decisions.
How does supertalent make money?
Our business model is different from what you see in the industry. We are not a traditional marketplace. We are a platform that enables hiring for culture fit. And that means allowing startups to assess the culture fit with all of their candidates, not just the ones coming from supertalent.
Usually this kind of behavioral assessments have been very expensive and therefore used only by bigger companies and for only a set of more senior roles with top final candidates. But we want to let startups test all their candidates otherwise you can lose a lot of diamonds in the rough.
To avoid that, startups are paying just a small monthly fee for an unlimited number of our behavioral assessments so they can test all their candidates outside of supertalent.
Startups can also publish their open positions on supertalent. By doing that, they will get access to way more features. We have algorithms for assessing matches with the positions so startups know right away if a talent fits not just the company culture but also the position. We also strive to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process and we anonymize all the applied talents so the hiring person doesn’t see any personal information and can make the decision based on real qualities and not personal traits. Startups can also manage their applied talent, can chat with them via our instant messaging feature and much more. And what’s also great in publishing open positions on supertalent is that we will give you access to our behavioral assessments totally for free.
So if you are a startup or a talent looking for a job, what do you need to get started with supertalent?
The easiest way to find your perfect job or find great talents that will fit your company culture is to register to our website supertalent.io. The whole process, including the onboarding, profile creation, and filling out our behavioral assessments, won’t take more than 15 minutes for both the talents and startups. By having a complete profile, we will show you the right positions in the right startups based on your best future potential.
What have been your team’s biggest personal or professional challenges in making this project a reality?
The biggest personal challenge was that the founder went “all in,” meaning that we have invested all our available resources, money, and time into the company. We were building supertalent in a stealth mode for more than a year, and it was really a nerve-wracking experience because we weren’t sure if the product would be accepted by our customers or not. For me, personally, the challenge was to keep the team motivated. Working in stealth mode without seeing real results and feedback from customers might be very tiresome. But luckily, after we launched, we immediately saw super positive feedback from them, and it was a huge relief for me and everyone on the team.
In terms of a professional challenge, the biggest was creating our finite database system and the predictive algorithms. We spent almost nine months creating the first versions. And we are happy that they work pretty neatly. But we know that we have way more work ahead of us because the work on such a solution is never over. You always have things that can be better. But now, since we have live data, we look forward to teaching our predictive models to connect the right talents with the right startups and let them build great products together.
In which countries are you in?
At this moment, we are helping startups to find talents in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. But from the very beginning, we are building supertalent as a global product. We believe there is a global opportunity for such a product, and we plan to go global very soon.
Why are you planting trees?
(laughing) It is very simple. From the very beginning, we wanted to help people be happier and more engaged at work and eventually lead more fulfilling lives. But we knew that we are a mere intermediary. Supertalent can connect talented people with like-minded startups, but in the end, it’s up to them to make up for that promise. We are a very purpose-driven company, and we were thinking very early on if we can have a direct impact on our world by ourselves. And when we were doing research on what we could do, we realized that one of the things that make any company successful is to have a diverse set of talented people with diverse backgrounds, personalities, and perspectives. And since this diversity is what drives our human progress forward, we thought that there is a different diversity that drives our planet forward, earth’s biodiversity. We know what we have done and keep doing to our planet, and hence we think that to help lower our footprint is a great way to make a direct impact. Therefore, we partnered with a renowned organization, One Tree Planted, which plants trees all over the world. With them, we will plant one tree for every successfully hired talent via supertalent.
Our ultimate goal is to plant 1,000,000 trees over the next ten years. It is a very ambitious goal, and to kick-off, this initiative, the founders of supertalent donated $2,000 to the cause, and we hope that the talents and the startups will help us to achieve this goal.
Anything you want to add?
I’d like to say that we are looking for great talents to join our team. We don’t hire for positions now. We hire for the future potential and a fit with our culture and the team. So, if you like what we are doing, feel free to reach out to me, and we can have a chat to discuss possible collaboration.
And also a shout-out to all people who are not satisfied with their current jobs or are thinking about a change. Just come to our platform and use our behavioral assessments. You will surely learn something new about yourself, and as a side effect, we will show you startups with great cultures that would fit with what you care about.