A Time of Reflection and Gratitude

With the announcement of Talent Tech Labs’ acquisition, the influx of well wishes and positivity has been incredibly heartwarming and reaffirming.  It is a significant milestone in TTL’s history, as we approach our 10-year anniversary. Reflecting on our path, we are immensely thankful for the contributions that have shaped TTL into the company it is today. Our journey has been a great ascent. The industry has positively reacted to our ongoing work of bringing clarity to the frothy and rapidly changing technology landscape across the talent continuum.

While we started exclusively focused on Talent Acquisition, we have since expanded our coverage and analysis into the now booming segment of Talent Management tech. Throughout the entire talent lifecycle, TTL has been reliably classifying technological developments, identifying trends, and charting the evolution of user adoption across the landscape. Along this journey, we have earned the trust of hundreds of enterprises, staffing companies, and solution providers by delivering empowering research and providing pragmatic, well-grounded strategic advice.

The Genesis of Talent Tech Labs

Today is an ideal time to reflect on the formative years and where it all started. The seminal beginnings of Talent Tech Labs took place inside Mitchell Martin Inc. (MMI), a New York City-based IT and Healthcare staffing company. Under the leadership of its Founder and CEO, Gene Holtzman, MMI consistently leaned into emerging innovative technologies to improve recruiter performance, enhance candidate experiences, and better serve their enterprise clients.

Since the core of their IT staffing business was in the banking and financial industries, MMI was quick to not only adopt, but embrace VMS technologies. In its Healthcare staffing business, the focus was on automating credential management and integrating clinician scheduling capabilities into their Applicant Tracking System. These innovations put MMI at the forefront of suppliers in the corporate VMS market. MMI Healthcare was even acclaimed by The Joint Commission for building a cloud-based smart system to manage credentials, a system that set a new standard in the industry.

Having this DNA of leaning into innovation, Gene sought to elevate awareness amongst the staffing industry to the likely impacts technological changes would have on the industry and its time tested delivery model. While Gene’s motivations were founded on improving service levels for his clients, it was also colored by some healthy anxiety on what could be truly disruptive technologies that could upend the staffing business model.

During those formative days, there were extensive brainstorming sessions at MMI to dive deeper into understanding and responding to changes driven by the frenzy of tech startups in TA Tech. It was the fresh college graduate, Josh Holtzman, who began plotting the early disruptors building new SaaS tools and platforms that would come to define the emerging HR Tech market.  It felt like we had a front-row seat on the bleeding edge of innovation in the recruiting market. The question that loomed large was: How might we best share the insights we were uncovering?

As we pondered the possible business models, we considered creating a media play, publishing our insights, or creating an expert advisory. At the time, and still true today, the sizzle of startup ventures was alluring. It was this captivating appeal that drove Talent Tech Labs to launch its initial business model as an incubator exclusively focused on talent acquisition technology. With Gene’s vision and generosity, we established a co-working space in the burgeoning area of NYC known as HR Alley. Our only criterion for mentoring founders was their product vision, which had to be centered on recruitment.

Because of Gene’s unwavering commitment to the industry, he singularly made the investment to start Talent Tech Labs. That visionary forethought was an amazing undertaking at the time. One of the first artifacts of how TTL mapped the course of innovation across the recruitment landscape was the now ubiquitous Talent Acquisition Ecosystem infographic. Initially unveiled in 2015, it has evolved through twelve iterations over the past decade. We also published periodic Trends Reports, available free of charge for anyone interested. Gene firmly believed that proprietary information alone was not a differentiator; but rather how well one executed. As such, TTL was founded on the bedrock of being highly collaborative, freely sharing information with both tech builders and users in need of solutions. Looking back, it was this free sharing of Talent Tech Labs’ insights in those early days that built up a large following of TA leaders and practitioners who were very interested in all we had to offer, albeit for free at the time.

Building a Community and Gaining Trust

We created events that swiftly gained renown for their non-salesy approach, providing practitioners with the opportunity to interact with curated innovators and their solutions. Branded as NEXT events, they were free for both attendees and the solution builders we hosted. Our focus was on creating the ideal environment for users to directly engage with the cutting-edge of talent acquisition technologies. In contrast to the pay-to-play models of traditional tech conferences and research coverage, Talent Tech Labs established a unique niche, guided by Gene’s philosophy of collaboration and the open sharing of ideas.

When we realized the value of this unconventional model, we had the opportunity to raise some outside investment. Behind Gene’s and MMI’s initial founding investments we were joined by Mercer and Allegis Group. With that additional funding, we elevated our “incubation” services to an accelerator model. With so many large corporations asking us about what might be the best fit for their enterprise requirements, we needed insights into what more deeply funded and more mature startups were delivering. Shortly thereafter, it became apparent that we could deliver more value to the market if we could disseminate our insights in a more scalable way, while still maintaining our unique vendor neutrality.

Business Model Transition and Looking Ahead

With that realization, Talent Tech Labs pivoted into the research business model we continue to expand upon today. Initially, we anticipated our primary market would be the staffing industry and mid sized enterprise where the recruiting teams were smaller and might benefit from the insights we could provide. However, to our surprise, our first clients were large enterprises, and that demand has been the core of our clientele ever since. It’s been both flattering and humbling for us that such sophisticated and large global organizations have placed their trust in our insights and advice. As time has progressed, these same clients have increasingly relied on Talent Tech Labs to provide advisory services on how the innovations we help them assess can be best adopted within the complexity of their global organizations. 

With this rich research history, and the increasing demand for supporting advisory services, we have been thrilled to announce the acquisition by Allegis Group. In the next leg of our journey, TTL will be working alongside QuantumWork Advisory, a company whose purpose is to create amazing client experiences for global companies seeking to transform through the adoption of cutting edge new technologies.

Final Thoughts of Gratitude

Upon reflection, none of this would have been possible but for the vision, leadership and generosity of Gene Holtzman and Mitchell Martin Inc.. For all that we have endured and built together, these are certainly proud moments that we cherish together. For my part, I will be forever grateful for all Gene has done as a mentor and to afford me the chance to build Talent Tech Labs into the unique entity it is today. Thank you Gene and MMI, you have made an invaluable contribution to the recruitment world and beyond.