Rob Patten was knee-deep in creating his successful tech consulting business when he ran into the well-known tech talent shortage of the early 2000s - even in his hometown of Atlanta, known for its tech field, the market was barren.
“Recruiting is tough in any company, but in a consulting company, where your product is your people, it was really, really difficult,” Patten tells Hypepotamus.
What’s more, he found that the very best developers were “passive candidates,” meaning that, though they would be open to a better opportunity, they were also fairly content with their current situation.
In 2012, Patten sold the firm, Northridge Systems, to public company Perficient for $14.4 million. In the interim, he went back to that recruiting problem and took a hard look at what was already on the market.
The biggest players are the recruiting agencies, which charge a high retainer fee, and online job boards like ZipRecruiter and Indeed. But those are tedious to sort through, and again, passive candidates aren’t taking the time to look.
“There’s no good platform to give passive candidates a way to be on the market in perpetuity, to wait for that one right opportunity,” Patten says.
He teamed up with another former technical consulting leader, Keyur Vimawala, former CTO of IT consulting firm Bluetube, and formed Nexza last year.
The recruiting platform is sort of a LinkedIn meets Indeed for technical talent and tech companies. It launched its beta this past January and already has around 50 companies using it.
To power further scale, Patten has closed on $650K in pre-seed funding led by Atlanta-area investor Jon Hallett, a previous backer of Patten’s Northridge Systems.
Nexza is entirely free for both employers and candidates to create and host their profile. On the company side, the employer enters their description and company-wide benefits. Then, each individual team — software development, QA, product managers, etc. — can create their own profile specifying their tech stack, individual details and more.
Read more here.