In the ever-changing landscape of human resource (HR) management technology, there is a continued transformation and streamlining of the complete employee life cycle, which includes recruitment, background screening, and employee management. According to the 2022-2023 HR Systems Survey by Sapient Insights, 54 per cent of businesses with over 500 employees are expected to increase their HR tech spending, with an average increase of 21 per cent.
Hacking Talents, founded in 2021 by Federica Pasini and Teresa Baldini, is a digital matching platform striving to provide organizations with a more agile and competitive workforce. The startup offers a tool for implementing impactful engagement activities to promote a fulfilling work experience for employees.
“My extensive seven years of corporate experience, including diverse roles within HR, illuminated the challenges HR departments face in implementing effective people strategies and engagement initiatives. Recognizing the widespread dissatisfaction with work, as highlighted by the alarming 85 per cent disapproval rate in Gallup research, I was inspired to address this issue at its core,” said Pasini.
Hacking Talents’s distinct offerings
At the core of the company’s strategy is its digital platform, a tool for personalized professional development. It strategically matches employees with professional coaches, communication experts, or mentors, expediting individual growth trajectories and sharing insights with the organization.
The platform uses algorithms to assess professional skills, communication styles, and career goals, facilitating personalized and effective development journeys. Incorporating adaptive learning technologies and data analytics refines content and recommendations, optimizing the impact of training programs.
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In addition, through targeted coaching and mentorship, the initiative strives to instill emotional intelligence in employees, fostering stronger interpersonal connections and cultivating a workplace environment conducive to collaboration and success.
Unlike other platforms, it pairs employees with expert coaches and mentors while integrating generative AI for HR insights. This dual approach offers a holistic solution addressing personal growth and organizational goals.
“The rise of personalized professional development aligns with our commitment to individualized coaching and mentoring. Capitalizing on this trend, we aim to refine matching algorithms for enhanced personalization. The increasing demand for data-driven HR decisions offers an opportunity for service expansion. We also plan to integrate generative AI for HR, leveraging advanced analytics to enable more informed decision-making in people strategy,” expressed Pasini.
Hacking Talents’s current monetization strategy centers on a tiered subscription model, offering organizations access to their professional development platform.
The company’s evolved strategy includes a premium tier that provides access to an HR dashboard, which allows HR professionals to define and track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to employee development and engagement.
Navigating challenges in shifting HR dynamics
Establishing Hacking Talents presented challenges, particularly navigating the evolving HR landscape and addressing the market need. Initially, there was resistance to perceiving HR beyond its traditional administrative function.
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“To overcome this, we undertook extensive market research and engaged with HR professionals to demonstrate the increasing strategic importance of HR in fostering employee development and organizational success.
“Aligning our platform with the evolving needs of HR meant continuous adaptation. We invested in staying ahead of market trends, ensuring that Hacking Talents addressed the current demands for personalized professional development and anticipated future shifts in HR towards a more strategic role,” added Pasini.
Funding milestones, revenue growth, and future ventures
In September 2023, Hacking Talents raised US$290,000 from Italian VC firm LVenture Group and angel investors. This initial capital played a crucial role in developing the minimum viable product (MVP) and validating the value proposition in the market.
“The fruitful outcome of our efforts is reflected in exceeding US$120k in revenues by the end of this year, boasting a clientele of 10 customers, three of whom have committed to recurring contracts. Looking ahead, we are gearing up for our next phase of growth and innovation,” said Pasini.
Hacking Talents also participated in the Global Startup Programme organized by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
In 2024, the company aims to raise US$1.5 million to scale its product and anticipates engaging in significant projects, partnerships, and developments in the near future.
Hacking Talents is currently in discussions with key market players, such as headhunters, consultancy firms and HR tech companies, to establish strategic partnerships to enhance the platform’s capabilities and bring valuable expertise into the ecosystem.
The role of Hacking Talents extends beyond traditional training by addressing the crucial aspect of emotional intelligence. The company envisions being closely linked with continuous learning, fostering a sense of professional investment among employees and promoting increased engagement through meaningful workplace relationships.
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Image credit: Hacking Talents
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