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Eightfold: Finding Right Fit in an Ocean of Talent

  • October 27, 2020
  • by Quentin Clark

People. It’s the one thing we all agree on: access to talent and the teams we build with it can be the key driver in whether a company, project, or other endeavor finds success. In our work as investors and entrepreneurs here at GC and in my work as an operator, we’ve seen this play out again and again. But building a world-class team isn’t easy.

This is why what Ashutosh Garg and the team at Eightfold are building profoundly resonates with us. They’re building a Talent Intelligence Platform that lets companies create and pull from a proprietary talent network that’s comprised of prior applicants, current employees, and alumni. Customers can apply Eightfold’s machine learning algorithms against their own network to find strong candidates — both external and internal — for their open opportunities.

Identifying and attracting the right talent at the right time from candidates or current employees has historically been a fairly analog process. While most employers use some form of application tracking system to manage their hiring flow, the tech has mostly been applied against candidate tracking, automated interactions, and compliance. Intake capacity and structural limitations to what information is collected and understood about applicants are incredibly limited. And once those applicants become employees, those limitations extend to understanding an individual’s evolving qualifications and skills.

In short, companies are not making the most of the relationships they have with the people who are interested in working for them nor the people they already employ.

Eightfold is not just a matching engine drawing connections between job descriptions and titles or years of experience. What they’ve built starts with a deeply technical capability. They’ve analyzed semi-structured information from sources like resumes, job profiles, org charts, and performance reviews from millions of people’s profiles to better understand how one naturally moves and advances in a career.

This is the semantic understanding of what people are capable of professionally. And once a company has a better understanding of the potential across their broad network, we believe there’s an opportunity to completely retool the way business leaders hire, engage, retain, train, evolve, and direct their most important resource: their people.

But more than a product, Eightfold has built a company that is in true partnership with their customers. When we spoke with their customers — heads of HR at companies like Dolby, Micron, and others — Eightfold’s approach was clear – they are obsessive about learning about their customers, where they are, and working with them to create the capabilities they need. We rarely see this level of focus and commitment.

Eightfold’s founder, Ashutosh Garg, and his cofounder Varun Kacholia are world-class experts in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and they have put this amazing team around them to build the product, the company, and its agility to partner with customers. They are approaching this with values centered around empowering people, and it is a great example of how we think about responsible innovation – we are honored to be part of it.

On a personal note: When I started at General Catalyst at the start of the year, I asked this question: What will data transform next in business operations? Eightfold is an answer to that question. This is an area of business process that has not seen data modernization yet. But now it will — and it will change how we can help everyone find their best careers, and help every business realize the best teams they can.

–  Quentin Clark & Team GC

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