Ascendify: Data is not a Relationship
The reason that startups need a lot of money is that the real business isn’t always apparent on first blush. Entrepreneurs are great at a process that looks like fire, ready, aim. In other words, you start by getting close and then you fail your way into the fight place.
Not everyone is comfortable with this. A large group of people (most of whom haven’t actually built a business) think that the expenditure is a big waste. They can’t understand how startups go through ‘all that money’ and don’t always hit home runs.
It’s tricky to be a customer of these companies. Product management lurches in the early years. The smooth (Monotonous) predictability of established firms is a faint promise in Startup Land. When you get involved with them as an investor, employee or customer, you are making a bet that the company will discover something amazing.
That usually means betting on the team rather than the technology. Over the next month or so, we’re going to showcase a number of companies for whom the game is just begun and who are staffed by amazing people.
Ascendify is another entrant who believes that recruiting is broken and can be fixed with the proper dose of technology. Matt Hendrickson, the small company’s Founder and CEO built the ResumeMaker software that has dominated software sales for a decade. With the confidence and insight of a winning serial entrepreneur in the industry, he’s set out to decrease the friction in the hiring process.
He’s one of those charismatic guys that you want to bet on. (That’s a common thread in CEOs of these companies). With offices in downtown San Francisco, he’s building a team in the emerging new nexus of HR Industry startups.
The company is working a variety of vertical markets as they search for firm ground. College Recruiting, Corporate, Government One-Stops, Libraries and workforce transition programs (which is just about everything but the Staffing Industry) are the targets. Obviously, time and success will require focus.
The reason that Ascendify merits attention is that they are building the platform with a ‘candidate first’ design mantra. The power of social technology enters the organization from the outside. Candidates and employees bring it in with them. Being candidate-centric is a survival strategy for companies looking to survive the coming demographic transitions.
Given their roots in Resume preparation, it’s no surprise that the company is focused on the resume screening process. By harnessing social network data in a baseball card style, the first whack is a meaningful contribution to recruiter productivity. They compress data into easy to understand nuggets that are easily compared. The baseball cards have a photo, current job, last job and location info. These are the pivot points for first layer resume screening.
Underneath this first tier of service, Ascendify is working to build talent communities that are more than data. Their insight is that data is the gateway to relationships rather than being the relationship.
Like most of the companies we’re going to cover, Ascendify is a hub of enthusiasm and hard work. They are worth looking into as a social-recruiting partner because they are natives.