Wendy Heilbut sat down with Chris Bordeaux to discuss his new cutting edge talent acquisition platform and the importance of a network. Read on to understand how he is developing something new in a static industry and why he feels so excited about it.
WH: So what’s the Hunt Club all about? What does it do? Where’s it based?
CB: TALENT. Hunt Club is all about hiring the best talent. It’s a new category of search firm with a modern approach to recruiting. We help growth startups, innovative mid-sized businesses, and transforming enterprises find the best people with our tech-enabled, white glove solution to talent. We’ve partnered with 500+ companies, including Calm, Codeverse, Dollar Shave Club, Freeosk, goPuff, Peloton, Pinterest, Provi, Techstars, and Upwork.
Our HQ is in Chicago, but (like many companies these days) our team is distributed around the country, which is great because we partner with companies across North America.
WH: Why does the world need Hunt Club? What is its point of difference?
CB: TRUSTED REFERRALS. Talent is becoming the hardest problem for companies to solve as they learn how to hire remotely and we solve that by using the best way that the best people find their next role: trusted referrals.
Hunt Club provides unparalleled access to high quality candidates by leveraging the power of relationships and trusted referrals through our Expert Network. We’ve built the largest network of incentivized business leaders to refer talent to companies. We’re also leveraging technology and machine learning to power every part of the search process to improve the client and candidate experience. Imagine 100 CMOs helping your company find its next marketing leader. Our network of networks is very powerful and it helps organizations (even those with substantial in-house recruiting resource) to optimize their searches to get access to the best talent.
WH: How were you hunted? What’s your role? How do you fit in – and stand out?
CB: RELATIONSHIPS. All my career moves have been influenced by personal relationships. I’ve known Hunt Club’s Co-Founder/CEO (Nick Cromydas) for almost ten years and kept my eye on Hunt Club since its inception. During quarantine, I reached out to Nick to see what exciting opportunities he was aware of because I know that Hunt Club has a finger on the market’s pulse and a massive network. Before discussing any other opportunities, he hooked me with a great one to join the Hunt Club team.
CB: My role is General Manager. I’m focused on partnerships with growing companies to help them fill key positions. The team is INCREDIBLE. I fit in because I’m authentic, fun, and easy to work with. I also fit in because I have a large network and I love that we are leveraging the power of a network of networks.
I stand out due to my diverse background. I’m an attorney — I just cover it up very well because you’re more likely to find me in a deep V-neck than a suit. I previously worked as in-house counsel for Oprah and Guild Capital. Then, I shifted my focus from retroactively repairing problems as an attorney to proactively preventing them and growing startups as COO of Techweek, SVP Expansion at Codeverse, and as an independent business consultant. My diverse background helps me understand what different companies are experiencing at different stages.
WH: How do you find talent?
CB: SMARTLY. Our amazing talent strategy team leverages our technology and referrals from our Expert Network to find talent. Our 11,000+ experts results in over six million second-degree connections with a greater than 60% response rate from high quality passive candidates. We’re much different than your typical recruiter.
For example, if your company is looking to hire a CMO, we have an army of CMOs and marketing executives who will refer qualified candidates on your behalf from their personal networks. Our experts are financially incentivized — they get paid when their referrals get the jobs — but a recent survey showed that our experts care more about the value and goodwill that comes from referring quality opportunities to their networks than they do about the money.
WH: Is there one piece of advice you’d give someone faced with an unexpected opportunity?
CB: This is a loaded question, but it’s a fun one to think about. If you live your life only considering expected opportunities, then you’re missing out on a lot. We don’t have time to truly consider all opportunities, but you should consider the unexpected opportunities that are presented by trusted sources.
WH: Talk us through a day at work – what do you get up to?
CB: PARTNERSHIPS. I spend most days in back-to-back meetings with partners and prospective partners learning about their business and exploring how Hunt Club can help them fill key roles. Although back-to-back meetings are exhausting, especially during the age of Zoom, I’m energized by these meetings because I meet and collaborate with a lot of really cool companies during critical stages of their development. Given that I’m also an active investor through LFG Ventures, I especially enjoy these discussions because there are two main ingredients to growth — talent and capital.
WH: How’s business for your clients at the moment?
CB:RECORD-BREAKING! Our partners are hiring, re-hiring, and growing rapidly.
WH: From where you are, how is the rest of the year looking?
CB: BUSY… in the good kind of way. Tons of innovative companies are scaling quickly. In order to scale, they need high quality talent.
WH: Any trends we should know about?
CB: REMOTE. Many companies and people recently discovered the benefits of remote work. Remote work doesn’t work for all companies and roles, but it’s absolutely amazing for both companies and people when it does. Companies have access to a larger talent pool that isn’t restricted by proximity. People have more freedom on where they can live/work from and they save a ton of time not commuting.
WH: Any challenges or opportunities in the field of recruiting that have emerged as a result of the pandemic?
CB: REHIRING. We’re in the midst of the “Great Rehiring.” Although access to a larger talent pool has benefits, there is also increased competition between hiring companies due to the high volume of rehiring while remote candidates have more opportunities to consider. It’s a candidate’s market right now.
WH: What’s next?
CB: GROWTH. Helping more companies find the right people to grow.