As startups struggle to hire top-notch talent, several startups (like Interview Street and Coderwall) have emerged with a focus on recruiting developers. Now a company called TheLions is offering a similarly-focused approach to the world of sales.
For most startups, salespeople are almost as important as the technical team, since they’re the ones who bring in revenue. Since its founding in 2010, TheLions quietly built a data-driven approach to sales recruiting for startups — founder Matt McGraw says his company finds sales “lions” who rate highly on loyalty, performance, pedigree, and talent. TheLions already has customers on the recruiting side of the business, so now it’s taking the technology and applying it to the opposite problem, namely helping salespeople identify the best companies to work for.
A salesperson can visit TheLions site to search for jobs (the listings are pulled from the websites of the startups themselves), then see more data about whether it’s a good place to work. Specifically, TheLions rates employers on their ability to retain those aforementioned sales lions after they’re hired. Based on LinkedIn data and its own interviews, McGraw’s team determines how many of those in-demand salespeople a company has hired, then figures out how many of them stuck around for at least a year.
For example, McGraw points to Box as a highly rated employer. When you look at Box’s profile on the site, you can see that TheLions has tracked 60 sales hires at Box, and that 54 of them stayed for at least a year, giving the company a 90 percent success rate. In contrast, TheLions has tracked 17 hires at Fuze Box, and only five of them stayed for more than a year, so it has a success rate of 29 percent.
Profiles on TheLions include other data about the company and sales team, such as the median tenure, gender ratio, and median age.
These ratings will probably be controversial, especially among companies that score poorly. From McGraw’s perspective, that’s not a bad thing, since controversy could help raise the company’s profile. At the same time, there’s a contact form so that employers can reach out if they think the data is wrong (or for any other reason).
Over time, McGraw says he wants to add more data points and more companies. The site is free, and it sounds like he’s not quite sure yet what the revenue model will be — it will probably involve connecting TheLions’ recruiting business with its company profiles and job listings in some way.
TheLions has raised $250,000 in angel funding.