SucceedSmart Upends Traditional Executive Search With a Modern and Disruptive Platform Which Advances Workforce Diversity

  • Unique AI-First Solution Lands $6 Million in Seed Funding, Gains Significant Early Traction From Executives, Thriving Start-UPS, and Fortune 500 Corporations

Today SucceedSmart launched the general availability of its innovative executive search platform, providing executives with a powerful “candidate-first” approach. Founded by serial entrepreneur and RiseSmart (acquired for $100 million by Randstad) founder, Sanjay Sathe, SucceedSmart is poised to change the way executives maneuver to the forefront of their respective fields. Similar to the way Robinhood democratized investing, SucceedSmart delivers a modern, digital approach to executive search while also prioritizing diversity in leadership. Executives no longer need to look for career progression paths since SucceedSmart brings exciting opportunities to executives directly from the hiring managers at Fortune 500 corporations and fast-paced startups.

Today’s companies are plagued with a multitude of recruiting, hiring, and retention challenges. As the Great Resignation continues to impact companies, traditional executive recruitment processes have proven ineffective. With Millennials projected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, organizations must embrace digital solutions in order to attract today’s technology-savvy employees, avoid financial losses from unfilled positions, and fend off negative impacts to company culture.

“The traditional executive search market, which has dominated executive hiring for decades, is extremely transactional, exclusionary, and clubby by nature,” said Sanjay Sathe, founder and CEO of SucceedSmart. “Not only is the pricing exorbitant, but in most cases, corporations pay the majority of the fees upfront, regardless of whether the traditional executive search firm even places a candidate. Why do corporations continue down this path when, according to ESIX, over 40% of executive searches fail to make a viable hire? Similar to my experience at RiseSmart, where we launched a digital platform to disrupt the traditional outplacement industry, I knew that there had to be a better solution. With SucceedSmart, executives can look forward to focusing on anything but job searching, while corporations benefit from a platform that naturally lends itself to increasing diversity hires in leadership positions. I’m so proud of the early traction we’ve experienced and look forward to continuing to transform talent acquisition with our candidate-first platform.”

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Further validating the need for a modern executive search platform, SucceedSmart raised $6 million in seed funding led by Storm Ventures, several global business leaders, and established angel investors. Additionally, numerous influential global HR, business, and executive search leaders and double-sided marketplace influencers have joined the Advisory Board. The company has also benefited from tremendous early traction, securing and delivering on leadership searches from Fortune 500 corporations and venture-backed startups. For example, SucceedSmart recently filled the role of  Sr. Director of Diversity and Inclusion at TaskUs in only 35 days.

Over 76% of job seekers say they prioritize a diverse workforce when evaluating companies and potential job offers. By focusing on a candidate’s accomplishments and competencies, the SucceedSmart platform erases traditional hiring biases, fulfilling the diversity mission of both companies and members. According to Deb Bubb, EVP/CHRO of Optum, “Attracting diverse leaders is critical to the success of our business and corporate culture. When my hiring managers collaborate with SucceedSmart, I know our interests and goals are always aligned. SucceedSmart’s executive search platform effortlessly unites us with diverse executive talent. The algorithm is powerful and the experience is seamless for my team and the candidates we are reaching. SucceedSmart is a whole new way for us to connect with the world’s best diverse talent.”

“We had the pleasure of meeting and working with Sanjay and his team at RiseSmart,” said Ryan Floyd, founding Managing Director, Storm Ventures. “RiseSmart was a huge success: after its $100 million acquisition by Randstad, the $23B global staffing leader, RiseSmart continues to dominate the outplacement market, while also being named by Everest Research as the ‘world leader in outplacement’ with coverage in 100 countries and 40 languages. We believe in finding and investing in companies that have the potential to achieve massive growth. Similar to RiseSmart, SucceedSmart brings this opportunity to Storm. The company is completely disrupting the outdated executive search industry with its unique platform. We are confident that SucceedSmart will dominate the executive search market, placing power back into the hands of candidates and hiring managers.”

According to Dermot O’Brien, former CHRO at ADP Inc., “Finding and keeping great talent is the number one job of great businesses and effective HR teams. I have known Sanjay for many years and have faith that he can disrupt a legacy search model that does not work as well as it needs to for executive talent or the companies that hire them. What is needed is faster fill time of great, diverse talent, at a reasonable cost, and SucceedSmart’s Digital Ai led platform is built to do just that.”

SucceedSmart’s unique double-sided platform encourages and empowers hiring managers and executives by employing a proprietary algorithm that leverages the time-tested approach of many dating platforms – it’s effectively the “Bumble” for executive search. Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, SucceedSmart prioritizes privacy and gives executives complete control over which organizations can view their profile. Unlike traditional job boards and outdated recruiting methods, SucceedSmart removes inefficiencies and inflated costs while offering a lifelong professional network that embraces transparency and diversity.

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Executives enjoy the benefits of:

  • An upscale and dedicated network of curated and accomplished executive peers at the director level and above.
  • Groundbreaking AI that matches executive profiles with career-defining leadership positions. Hiring managers reach out with opportunities directly to executives. Once an executive decides to “like back,” their complete profile is unlocked and shared with the hiring managers.
  • Building a unique portfolio of services and content, providing executives a holistic experience that includes executive coaching (e.g., resume enhancement, profile completion, interview preparation, and guidance throughout every opportunity of interest), personal branding, mentoring opportunities, reputation management, webinars and other custom content
  • After gaining employment through the platform, members choose between a $10,000 success bonus, a $10,000 donation to the charity of their choice, or 100 days of executive coaching commencing on the start date of a new job. Existing members who refer new members to the platform who later land a job through SucceedSmart will earn a $2,500 Referral Bonus.

“SucceedSmart focuses on equity, recognizing that different groups need different support and access to opportunities,” said Ana Marfil, Sr. Director of Diversity and Inclusion at TaskUs (and who was placed by SucceedSmart). “As a minority candidate, it is exciting to finally see a platform that levels the playing field for minority candidates at the executive level. The fact that I was selected for my experience and my abilities, rather based on where I come from, my gender, or my background, represents a game changer for diversity candidates.”

Corporations enjoy the benefits of:

  • Access to future-ready leaders, passively and actively looking for career-defining roles.
  • The power of video, which brings out each member’s true personality, allows hiring managers to quickly and confidently assess each member’s executive presence, passion, and cultural fit.
  • A platform that’s laser-focused on diversity. Each executive’s profile remains free of personally identifiable information, leaving a decision to match with an executive based solely on accomplishments, thereby removing any bias.
  • A flat $40K success fee only when a director-level or above executive is hired through the platform, along with a nominal SaaS fee of $500/month/user.

“Building a team at a high-growth company requires speed and efficiency,” said Ali Kashani, CEO of Serve Robotics. “SucceedSmart’s executive search platform has helped us save time and cost in identifying high-caliber talent. We’re excited to be a part of Sanjay and his team’s vision for rethinking the archaic industry practices of the past fifty years by creating a platform that eliminates friction in sourcing and screening and removes traditional biases to help create diverse leadership teams.”

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