Landing Talent Amid COVID-19 and Beyond: HR Tech Startup in ‘Great Position’ to Make Hiring Easier on Everyone

From improving software tools and opening global data centers to acquiring three companies, OutMatch had a busy 2020 and is poised for more growth in 2021.

The last year has been a whirlwind of activity for OutMatch, especially with the demands of the pandemic increasing the need for digital hiring solutions. From landing new investors and making multiple acquisitions to improving their clients’ DEI in hiring, the Dallas-based startup is operating in continuous improvement mode with their Recruitment Process Automation, according to CTO Chris Gardner.


Chris Gardner

Gardner oversees technology that helps companies hire and develop the best employees. The mission is to match people with purpose: the company uses a talent intelligence platform to make people decisions more scalable, predictable, and personal. 

Gardner told Dallas Innovates, “We’re in a great position to address some painful parts of the talent acquisition process for large organizations who recruit and hire at scale.” 

By putting data and insights in a company’s hands, the world’s most recognized brands—think American Airlines, Toyota, 7-Eleven—can deliver a candidate-driven recruiting experience. Founded in 2015, OutMatch offers a sleek user interface that combines AI and machine learning with decades of behavioral science research to help companies hire dedicated, talented employees.

 While improving their talent acquisition platform, Gardner and his team also developed a tool to help leaders better lead during a crisis.

Navigating the pandemic through tech

OutMatch’s C.R.I.S.I.S. Development tool helps execs focus on key traits: communication, resilience, innovation, strategy, influence, and support. 

The intention is to help both companies and leaders understand where their strengths are and where improvements can be made. Overall, the goal is to have effective leadership in tough times.

The company also opened data centers in Europe and Asia to mark its global expansion.

“The continuing global emphasis on privacy and data security has clients more focused than ever on vendors with localized operations,” Gardner said in a statement. “OutMatch’s new data centers further demonstrate our dedication to bringing data closer to our clients and providing the peace of mind needed during this critical inflection point.”

Landing acquisitions and investments

Gardner told Dallas Innovates that one of the biggest challenges of 2020 was acquiring three companies in the fall: LaunchPad Recruits in London, FurstPerson in Chicago, and Checkster in Mill Valley, Calif.

“Our old playbook for quickly building relationships, sharing information about each company, culture, etc., had to be rewritten for a remote, virtual approach,” he said. 

New investment partners earlier in the year helped make those acquisitions possible. Two private equity firms brought funds to the table: majority investor Rubicon Technology Partners in Colorado and Baltimore-based Camden Partners.

Leveling the hiring playing field

While continuing to grow, OutMatch offered analytics on diversity and inclusion in the hiring process, examining how companies fared in hiring people of color compared to their percentage of applicants.

They also invested resources with the employee-led OutMatch Foundation to assist Merit America, based in Irving, with a grant to help adults without bachelor’s degrees train for careers in IT support and Java development.

Up next, the company plans to continue to marry their own tools with the resources of their acquisitions, including simulation tools from FurstPerson, digital reference checking from Checkster, and a new gamified culture assessment, according to HRTech Series.

Meet the innovator

Chris Gardner was featured in Dallas Innovates’ Future 50 in Dallas-Fort Worth in the 2021 edition of our annual magazine. We talk talked to Gardner about recent innovations, mergers and acquisitions, and the company’s future. Here’s a takeaway:

On the biggest 2020 innovation at OutMatch:

Last year we really brought our platform a big step closer toward our vision. While in the past we had individual piece parts of our solution, including assessments, video interviewing, and automated reference checking, we still had ambitions to stitch them together into a more cohesive experience for job candidates and recruiters. In 2020 we brought those point capabilities together with Recruitment Process Automation technology—technology that progresses a candidate through each stage of the process and puts more control of the hiring experience directly into their hands. Along the way we infused more machine learning into our offering to help recruiters scale up the number of candidates they can handle in high volume positions, and brought some sophisticated job simulation capability into our assessment that targets some specific skills positions such as call center agents. In short, we shifted our focus from innovating in specific products toward bringing these capabilities together in a much more engaging and effective way.

On the company’s biggest challenge in 2020:

At the end of 2020 we acquired three companies in the span of about 120 days. At the start of the pandemic it was difficult to imagine how we would successfully complete any M&A activity under these difficult conditions, let alone three transactions near simultaneously. It’s not only hard to complete diligence and the transaction itself, but also is incredibly challenging to integrate entire companies together when no one can travel at all. We had to bring people together from all over the world—the UK and the Philippines were major new geographies for us—and it had to be completely virtual. Our old playbook for quickly building relationships, sharing information about each company, culture, etc., had to be rewritten for a remote, virtual approach. 

I’ve been amazed by how adaptable our teams have been in these conditions. We’ve really seen people get creative on ways to quickly get engaged and do the best they can to overcome the lack of face-to-face introductions and relationship building. That said—I can’t wait to be able to travel to London or Manila and meet many of our new OutMatchers in person!

On what’s next for OutMatch:

In 2021, we’ll begin to really explore how the data we get from combining all of these individual products together can help us provide insights to our customers that they can immediately act on to improve hiring outcomes. We’ll invest further in analytics, the candidate experience and that of the recruiter as well. By focusing in these areas we can improve our customers’ recruiting brands, accelerate their diversity and inclusion initiatives, humanize the hiring process for candidates by putting them in more control, and help recruiters deal effectively with high volumes of applicants—hopefully as we see economic conditions rebound as the world wrestles the pandemic into the ground.  

A version of this story was originally published in Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue.

Read it online

Our fourth annual magazine, Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue, highlights Dallas-Fort Worth as a hub for innovation. The collective strength of the innovation ecosystem and intellectual capital in Dallas-Fort Worth is a force to be reckoned with.

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