TA.guru: Using data to help talent teams recruit efficiently

20 Feb 2023

From left: Cathal Grogan and Seán Galligan. Image: TA.guru

Seán Galligan and Cathal Grogan are on a mission to make the lives of talent teams easier by empowering them with data.

Finding the right talent is one of the leading challenges for industries of all sizes. A recent KPMG survey of 2,200 global executives found that talent shortage has become the primary obstacle to the adoption of emerging technologies such as Web3, quantum computing and the metaverse.

Seán Galligan is no stranger to the many trials and tribulations of internal recruitment teams. Having spent many years at a niche tech recruitment agency in Dublin, Galligan soon realised that there must be a way to use technology to make the lives of talent acquisition teams easier.

Together with the founder of the recruitment consultancy, Cathal Grogan, he decided it was time to explore this area and founded recruitment technology company TA.guru in 2021.

“[Cathal] targeted me out of college to work with him. It was in this recruitment company that we recognised some of the inefficiencies in recruitment and began to develop the idea for TA.guru,” Galligan told SiliconRepublic.com recently.

“We are looking to bring together our blended mix of domain, business and technical experience to deliver a product that works for our users and clients.”

Turning data into knowledge and insights

Just as enablement has helped drive performance in sales teams, TA.guru aims to provide the same benefits to recruitment and talent acquisition teams by closing recruiter knowledge gap in their work flow and through the recruitment life cycle.

“We do this through the transformation of disparate public and company data to digestible knowledge blocks and contextual insights for the roles and markets that our clients are hiring,” Galligan explained.

“The value in our product is in abstracting the complexity of turning disparate data to contextual and curated knowledge and insights.”

TA.guru achieves this through a data transformation engine it has built which, Galligan explained, takes data from various public and client sources and collates it before pushing out results that the team curates and delivers to client companies.

“As we scale and work with more and more users, we have thought through how we will deliver the right knowledge at the right time to them and look to work with more and more data to provide deeper insights,” he said.

“Ultimately, our focus and our area of expertise is on the knowledge generation side and so we are focused on building in this area.”

A graduate of commerce international from University College Dublin, Galligan worked with many FDI companies setting up in Ireland or growing Irish start-ups while working at the recruitment consultancy – exposing him to the frustrations of talent teams.

TA.guru went through an incubation period in 2020 and ran a successful beta before finally going live with customers in 2021. Since then, the start-up has worked with a number of tech companies based in Ireland, India and the US, gathering feedback to improve the platform.

“While we have focused on technology companies, we have seen interest from other areas such as staffing companies, manufacturing companies and service partnerships,” Galligan said.

Eyes across the pond

Based in Dogpatch Labs, TA.guru is a small team of five full-time and part-time employees with big ambitions. It recently made it to the national shortlist in the national start-up awards and hopes to soon become “an accepted part of all recruiters’ toolkits” in Ireland and beyond.

While the start-up has not raised funding yet, it hopes to attract investment soon to further develop the tech behind its data transformation engine and target new markets – with a particular eye out for launch in the US.

“Our focus in the immediate is on delivering for our clients and continuing to define and build recruitment enablement as a category so we can be ready to apply the funds to a solution we are massively confident has achieved product market fit,” Galligan said.

Coming this far has not been without its challenges for TA.guru, especially seeing that its recruitment offering comes amid ongoing macroeconomic headwinds and a talent crunch.

“The biggest recent challenge has been the external market condition with cost reductions and mass layoffs. This has led to some paused deals and extended sales cycles as trying to sell a recruitment solution in a market retracting from hiring has brought its challenges,” he added.

“Ultimately, that is part of the fun of a start-up, not knowing what the next day will bring and figuring out solutions and pushing your own skillset and comfort levels.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic