TecHR Interview with Andres Blank, Co-Founder & CEO at Fetcher

Know My Company

Tell us about your journey into Technology?

Fetcher is my fifth company but I’ve been passionate about technology since I was a kid.  My first tech startup was a website for college students to help them sell their used books, advertise tutoring and organize university-led events. I launched that when I was 18 and I’ve been hooked on tech entrepreneurship ever since. I also come from Venezuela, which has been wracked by political and economic upheaval for most of the 21st century. That’s another major reason I am so fascinated by the way technology can build bridges between humans and, ultimately, help people.

“We combine AI with human expertise to help companies fill open positions at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional recruiting tools.”

How did you start in the HR Technology space? What galvanized you to start Fetcher?

At my last startup, Pixable, we were desperate to find strong engineering talent in NY but it was not easy.  It was both incredibly time-consuming and expensive. I could spend $20-30k per hire with agencies or spend hours upon hours searching for and convincing interesting candidates to join my startup. Even though I was ultimately able to find amazing people,  it was as inefficient as it was impracticable and, quite frankly, poor use of my (or anyone else’s) time! The fact that neither I nor my co-founders come from an HR background has enabled us to bring a fresh perspective to the problem of recruiting.

In many ways, we are simply building a product that speaks to our own historical problems with recruiting.

What is Fetcher and how does it fit into the HR Technology landscape?

Fetcher is an outbound recruiting platform. We combine AI with human expertise to help companies fill open positions at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional recruiting tools. We represent a 20x cost advantage over agencies and a 10x cost advantage over hiring additional in-house recruiting talent. We not only fill the top of the hiring funnel with the amazing and diverse talent we also integrate with most major applicant tracking systems like Greenhouse and Lever. We manage the most mundane, tedious and time-consuming elements of the recruiting process so that recruiters can focus their time on what they do best – creating an amazing candidate experience.

What does your Ideal customer profile look like? Which businesses are fastest to adopt HR

Our ideal customer is a company that is growing rapidly, deeply committed to the hiring process and understands and embraces the potential of  AI/Automation.   Our platform works across almost every industry and role, but, we are primarily focused on full-time hiring.  Some of our earliest customers were high-growth, tech companies like Lyft, DigitalOcean, Peloton, AppNexus, Paperless Post, Shopify and Eventbrite. These companies tend to be more open to trying new tools given their audacious hiring goals and relative comfort with advanced technologies.

Technology products?

What is the state of Hiring technology in 2019? How much has it evolved since the time you first started Fetcher?

The HR landscape has changed quite a bit since we first launched Fetcher. There are literally dozens of AI-powered tools in the recruiting space today. Most could be described as “self-directed search tools.”  Fetcher, however, is a “managed outbound recruiting platform.”

We do most of the heavy lifting on behalf of our customers, while most self-directed AI tools aim to arm recruiters to help them search faster.  We automate the entire research and outreach process – from search to hire.

We’re also beginning to see consolidation in our industry. Over the last two years, billions of dollars in new investment capital has flowed into the HR space. With so many new entrants, we expect incumbents to protect their stake with an “eat or be eaten” mentality.

How can HR companies build their HR Technology stack with Fetcher?

Think of Fetcher as the top of the hiring funnel or HR stack. We help you fill your Applicant Tracking Systems (“ATS”) with amazing, diverse, qualified candidates. Fetcher cuts down on time and money spent within an HR department and helps refocus their priorities.

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How does Fetcher leverage technology to make candidate search easier and faster?

We combine AI with a team of human recruiters to unearth candidates at a fraction of the time it would otherwise take a recruiter.  With Fetcher it takes less than one hour a month to calibrate a role and reach out to 100 qualified prospects. Without Fetcher, that same work would take approximately 11-12 hours.

How can customers connect your technology to HRMS and HRIS?

Fetcher integrates with many of the major Applicant Tracking Systems (“ATS”) – like Greenhouse and Lever – and these systems then integrate with HRMS systems.

Which Marketing and Sales Technology solutions do you use at Fetcher?

We use Fetcher to discover target prospects, Groove, and Salesforce for our CRM.

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The Crystal Gaze

Which start-ups in the tech industry interest you the most and why?

I’m most impressed with mission-driven companies trying to solve the world’s toughest challenges. A few names that come to mind are SpaceX, Flatiron Health, Memphis Meats, and Open Water.  These are innovative companies in the sustainable environment, health, and space exploration fields.  Their drive to improve our world can’t be understated.

What technologies within AI and HR Technology are you interested in?

The specific areas of AI that most excite us are Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning. I’m interested in how sophisticated pattern matching can help us unearth needle-in-the-haystack candidates. With advances in NLP and sentiment analysis, we can start to understand candidate responses in a scalable way, making it easier for Fetcher to target the right candidates and further manage communication with them.

In HR Technology, what are the new emerging markets that you see providing the biggest opportunities?

There’s certainly an opportunity for us to offer a self-service model that targets small businesses around the globe. Worldwide expansion is critical to obtain the best candidates for each specific job role. The larger the pool, the better the opportunity to locate that perfect individual.

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What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

Moving our whole organization to Asana has been a great hack.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Matt Charney of Allegis.

Thank you, Andres! That was fun and hope to see you back on TecHR soon.

Andres Blank is the co-founder and CEO of Fetcher. Previously he was the founder and COO of Pixable a consumer mobile company with over 5 Million users that sold to Singtel for $30M in less than 3 years from starting the company.

Andres started Pixable while he was pursuing his MBA at MIT. Before moving to Boston, Andres started three companies in Venezuela, the first one, a site for college students at the age of 18 and the last one, a lumber trader and exporter with over 30 employees and $1M in revenue at the age of 24. logo

Fetcher is recruiting reimagined. We believe the best people are not actively looking for work, but are usually open to exploring new opportunities. The problem is that searching for and connecting with them on Linkedin, Github, Dribble, and Twitter takes a lot of time. We built Fetcher to automate candidate sourcing and actively manage your outbound recruiting strategy.

We discover qualified candidates on all the relevant professional networks, find their best point of contact and compose personalized emails ready for you to send. Our clients are saving dozens of hours and thousands of dollars that it usually takes to make a hire. We launched Fetcher 2 years ago and are already working with over 400 high-growth organizations including Peloton, Paperless Post, Equinox, AppNexus, Bridgestone, DigitalOcean, and many more.