Customer Story

Techmate Talent

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Techmate Talent Builds a Database of 20k Tech Candidates in Gem that it Sources from Directly

Techmate Talent is a full-service search firm that specializes in helping technology companies hire stellar talent in demanding markets. The team—co-founded by recruiting leaders and seasoned consultants Nathalie Pretzer and Alyssa Garrison—partners with early- to late-stage startups on some of their most demanding searches: mid- to C-level engineering, product, and design roles. Techmate also supports clients’ recruiting operations and streamlines their strategies with comprehensive evaluations of systems and workflows that cover everything from tool selection and implementation, to interviewing, to candidate experience, to employer branding, to recruitment metrics. Nathalie and Alyssa have extensive experience scaling eng and product teams in environments of all sizes, improving processes and implementing new tools and systems, and bringing creative approaches to hiring challenges. That creativity is no more evident than in their use of Gem.

When a req comes in from a client, I source directly from Gem—talent I’ve already looked at, vetted, and in some cases screened—and queue up my outreach from right within the platform. It’s like having my own more robust, more specialized, more streamlined LinkedIn.
Alyssa Garrison
Alyssa Garrison
Co-founder

Location

San Francisco, CA

What they do

Talent search firm

Website

https://www.techmatetalent.com/

Size

ATS

Gem Jobs

Gem product

Sourcing, Compass, Gem Jobs

Pain points / Challenges

  • Searching from scratch on LinkedIn Lite was often frustrating: the team couldn’t see who’d been contacted for what roles, the workflow wasn’t streamlined, follow-ups were manual, etc.
  • Needed a way to tag and filter prospective candidates to surface the most suitable talent when sourcing for open roles
  • Required down-funnel visibility to see how the talent they’d sourced was faring in their clients’ hiring funnels
  • Needed an easy way to remember to follow-up with prospective candidates when they were asked to circle back at a later date

Results with Gem

  • The team now sources entirely from Gem for the first months of a project using the database of tech professionals they’ve built, then queues and sends outreach directly from Gem
  • Gem’s custom fields allow the team to filter prospects by a wide range of attributes, so they’re sending outreach to exactly the right talent for their clients
  • With Gem’s email integration, the team can make changes to a candidate’s progress directly in the extension when a client CC’s them in an update with a candidate. From there, they have full visibility into where candidates are at each stage of the process.
  • The team can set follow-up reminders directly in the Gem extension, and add candidates directly to nurture campaigns that will auto-send at that time

The team recently transitioned from a more embedded model to “a contingent, pure agency style,” Alyssa says. “We focus on sourcing and screening; and if clients need help with the close, we’ll assist there as well.” The reason for the transition, Nathalie explains, is that when Techmate was embedded, “if a client opted not to hire a particular candidate, we couldn’t offer that candidate any more value. With this new model—working with a variety of clients that are doing exciting work across a range of industries—we can keep offering value to a candidate, keep making introductions. When you’re in-house, you’re working to sell a candidate on a single company. But the moment you change the model, you can offer an experience that’s more tailored to the candidate, their priorities, and their career goals. They can be selective and feel empowered. And Gem has allowed us to build and maintain the longer-term relationships that this new model opened us up to.”

Both Alyssa and Nathalie used Gem for sourcing automation at other recruiting firms and consultancies before they founded Techmate; but they had a decision to make when it came to tracking candidates for their own business. “My whole life was spent in Greenhouse and in Lever,” Alyssa says. “We always had ATS access as agency recruiters. So when Nat and I started Techmate, I was like, are we going to cash out on Lever? It seemed like such an expensive and complicated endeavor. On the other hand, I’d never used spreadsheets in my recruiting career; and I wasn’t about to start.” At that point, Gem Jobs was in beta, “so we jumped at the chance to try it out. It’s essentially been our ATS ever since.”

“The collection of tags is what makes sourcing through Gem Prospects so fruitful. With each new custom field I click, Gem filters down either the talent that I’ve tagged in that category, or talent who’s included those keywords in the resume that’s been parsed from LinkedIn. Now I’ve got a pool of candidates that meets a set of very specific guidelines. And I know I’m sending outreach to exactly the right folks for my clients.”

Alyssa Garrison

Gem allows recruiters in an embedded model to build projects and tailor sequences for specific clients, Alyssa explains. “We used it at previous agencies for efficiency, for personalization, for outreach stats we couldn’t get elsewhere.” But at Techmate, the team now builds general talent pools for the range of clients they serve. “We’ve got a database of over 20,000 people—all technical talent—that we’ve one-click uploaded into Gem, over time, as we’re sourcing from LinkedIn and elsewhere,” Alyssa explains. “That’s our general talent pool. In other words, I rarely have to start a search from scratch on LinkedIn anymore—which is a relief, because I find LinkedIn sourcing so frustrating. It’s not streamlined; the algorithms aren’t great; you can’t see who’s been contacted for what roles. Nat and I are on calls all the time, and the time we have for sourcing is minimal. So when a req comes in from a client, I source directly from Gem—talent I’ve already looked at, vetted, and in some cases screened—and queue up my outreach from right within the platform. It’s like having my own more robust, more specialized, more streamlined LinkedIn.” Typically, Alyssa says, she can source entirely through Gem for the first two or three months of a project, using only the database the team has built within Gem’s Prospects feature. “It’s so cool to be able to do that. So basically we’re using Gem, Gem Jobs, and Gem Prospects to run our entire recruiting process.”

In Gem’s Prospects feature, the team has uploaded talent they’ve come across over time into general pools: “backend engineer, full-stack, front-end, product engineer, you name it,” Alyssa says. But they’ve also set up custom fields in Gem, and they tag candidates on certain attributes when they add them to those pools. “So now,” Alyssa explains, “when I go to search for a full-stack engineer, I can filter by industry: am I looking for someone in fintech, edtech, health tech? I can filter by experience level, all the way up to VP. Are they URM? Do they work at a FAANG company? Are they a leader in the community; have they led meetups or written a book? Are they a veteran? This collection of tags is what makes sourcing through Gem Prospects so fruitful. With each new custom field I click, Gem filters down either the talent that I’ve tagged in that category, or talent who’s included those keywords in the resume that’s been parsed from LinkedIn. Now I’ve got a pool of candidates that meets a set of very specific guidelines. And I know I’m sending outreach to exactly the right folks for my clients.”

While Techmate’s focus is sourcing and screening, they needed down-funnel visibility to see how the talent they’d sourced was faring in their clients’ hiring funnels. Because Gem integrates with email, the team can make changes to a candidate’s progress directly in the extension when a client CC’s them in an update with a candidate. “We often don’t have to ask for weekly updates anymore,” Alyssa explains. “If a client keeps us CC’d on confirmation emails with a candidate, we can use Gem Jobs to track them right through the pipeline. If I’m CC’d, I can pull up the Gem extension directly in Gmail, see the details of the job they’re assigned to, and update where the candidate is in process.” Alyssa pulls up her email to show an example. “Here’s the date I screened someone; here’s the date I submitted them,” she says, clicking on a pop-up calendar in the extension. “I’ll get CC’d on the confirmation email for a hiring manager screen, and I’ll add the date that’s taking place in the extension. So even though I’ve handed them off, I have full visibility into where candidates are at each stage of the process.” Of course, Alyssa adds, clients don’t have to CC them if they don’t want to; and some clients choose to send weekly updates instead. “But the email integration is a brilliant way to cut down that time, and to give us ongoing visibility into candidates after they’ve left our hands.”

“If a client keeps us CC’d on confirmation emails with a candidate, we can use Gem Jobs to track them right through the pipeline. I can pull up the Gem extension directly in Gmail, see the details of the job the candidate is assigned to, and update where they are in process. So even though I’ve handed them off, I have full visibility into where candidates are at each stage of the process.”

Alyssa Garrison

The team at Techmate performs a “pipeline scrub” every Monday, in which they run through the candidates in play in Gem. Gem allows Alyssa and Nathalie to see where all candidates are in their clients’ pipelines, “so we can create a sense of urgency if a candidate’s been sitting in a stage for too long. Gem color-codes dates; so it only takes a glance to know which candidates aren’t moving forward. I see something in red; I know my client’s got to move on someone.” There’s also a dropdown option beside each candidate that allows the team to note if a candidate dropped out or was rejected, and add a reason why. “All of that gets stored in their profile in Gem,” Alyssa explains, which is invaluable for future reqs. “Let’s say someone didn’t pass the technical screen; I mark that there. And once I’m calibrated with a new client and I understand what their technical bar is, I won’t reach out to that candidate if the client has a similar technical bar to the one that candidate wasn’t quite ready for.”

Nathalie and Alyssa speak to some of Gem’s outreach automation features they use regularly. Nathalie says she loves the ease of re-engagement she gets with Gem. “When a prospective candidate responds and says they’re not looking right now, I ask if there’s a good timeframe in which to circle back with them. When I hear back I set a reminder for myself to follow up with them at that point. All of that happens right in the Gem extension: you can set a date and then add them directly to a nurture campaign. Sometimes it’s three months; sometimes it’s a year later. I don’t have to hold that in my head; and I certainly don’t have to hold it on a spreadsheet.” The team is currently working on creating a generic nurture campaign “along the lines of: Hey, you asked us to check back in with you in x amount of time. Are you open to considering new opportunities at this point? That will auto-send through Gem at the appropriate time, with the appropriate personalization tokens for where they’re at right now according to LinkedIn. So Gem is ultimately helping us with the next phase of our reengagement strategy.”

Alyssa also points to Gem’s send-on-behalf-of (SOBO) feature, which Techmate is using both on behalf of clients and internally. She explains that sourcers who are new to recruiting typically send-on-behalf-of herself or of Nathalie, because their LinkedIn profiles are “more beefed up and might land a little better with talent. If they click into our profiles, they’ll see long histories with strong companies. Plus it’s always nice to hear from an agency founder. So sourcers are sending on behalf of us, as well as on behalf of our clients’ hiring managers. Unsurprisingly, those SOBO outreaches tend to see significantly higher response rates.” Alyssa and Nathalie track those response rates—along with other content stats—in Gem’s Outreach Stats, which they also use to generate a weekly report to “track internally how we’re doing as a team,” Alyssa says. Goaling outreach can be a bit trickier than it is for an in-house team, “because you might do 100 outreaches in a week—but 70 are for one client, 30 are for another. Outreach Stats gives us quick visibility into that: who do we need to beef up the outbounds for?” The team also has reports built out in Gem per client, and they send email updates to their clients with screenshots pulled directly from Gem’s Outreach Stats dashboard. “So we can give them activity with exactitude: how many outbound messages we sent, how many responses we got, how many folks responded as interested. They see screenshots directly from the product. It’s very transparent. And from a client perspective, it’s a great, quick visual to get. They can look, take action, and carry on with their day.”

Nathalie says that Techmate has now been in business long enough that “the senior engineers we helped hire have become hiring managers; they’re reaching out to us saying: my team is hiring and I want to work with you. So those relationships just continue. And we’ll continue to source, craft outreach, and help hire in all the creative ways we can. Our points of contact at Gem tell us that we’re using the product in ways no agency has before; and I think that creativity is what’s allowed Techmate to grow in the ways it has since its founding. We’re going to keep trying things. And we’re so glad Gem’s along for this ride.”

When a prospective candidate responds and says they’re not looking right now, I ask if there’s a good timeframe in which to circle back with them. When I hear back I set a reminder for myself to follow up with them at that point. All of that happens right in the Gem extension: you can set a date and then add them directly to a nurture campaign.
Nathalie Pretzer
Nathalie Pretzer
Co-founder

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