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When Brett Adcock and Adam Goldstein were analysts at hedge fund Cedar Hill Capital covering the staffing and headhunting industry, they noticed something missing: technology.
So in March 2013, they decided to hire a team of eight engineers and shake things up. Their firm, Vettery, specializes in placing professionals in roles at investment banks, private equity firms, hedge funds and other high-finance positions.
They have also branched out into the technology industry and may expand further yet. During 2014, their first full year, they made 100 placements, likely to the dismay of traditional recruiters who have used the same techniques and stodgy software for years.
In essence, Vettery is to recruiting what Uber is to the traditional taxi system or Urban Compass is to the real-estate agent network. With a combination of big data and a platform where candidates and recruiters can interact in real time, Vettery hopes to outmaneuver the competition.
"Firms are basically doing things on pen and paper," Goldstein said in an interview with CNBC. "There was a lack of investment in technology."
One of Vettery's clear advantages is an extensive database containing profiles of industry professionals. By scraping publicly available data, Vettery has been able to identify people who aren't even looking for new jobs.
For instance, Vettery has biographical information for every single analyst who finished a two-year investment banking analyst program at a major firm in 2014. That data includes education, place of residence and detailed information about each individual's work experience.
That's just one subgroup among many that Vettery has mined. "We want to identify the top 1 million people," Goldstein said. "We're about halfway there, so we're still building it out."
Vettery's platform is constantly being improved by its team of recruiters. The members of the team update the platform by adding information on candidates or moving them through the recruiting process. In the future, Vettery wants to use its vast data set to build predictive analytics on candidates, forecasting the best fits.
All this should be good news for recruiters who decide to join Vettery. Currently, many firms have to juggle various platforms and websites such as LinkedIn, job boards, and software that hasn't been updated for several years.
"Sometimes recruiters have to go to LinkedIn and look around for candidates," Goldstein said. "Vettery already knows who everybody is."
The hope is that Vettery recruiters will have more time to spend on what's really important. "We're giving recruiters speed to find and interact with candidates, which means they have more time to talk to them," Goldstein said.
Goldstein has experienced first hand what it's like to be a company in search of new talent—and wasn't satisfied. "Brett and I were at a hedge fund and used the traditional recruiters," he said. "The candidates weren't being vetted deeply enough."
Vettery has added 10 recruiters in the last year and wants to continue growing. The founders believe that the platform itself will improve as the team grows because they add information by simply using it.
The biggest challenge for Vettery: breaking through in an industry that's heavily dependent on relationships. "These other recruiting firms have long-standing brands," Goldstein said. "Whenever we come in and take share, it's a zero-sum game. As you can imagine, people don't like us."