The founders of Talentbay Marcus Otto and Michael Wenglein.
photo: Talentbay

Talentbay: Rethinking Recruiting

The Munich startup Talentbay wants to make finding a job easier for students and doctoral candidates and connect soon-to-be graduates directly with companies’ specific departments. How the career platform plans to do that is explained by Marcus Otto and Michael Wenglein in our interview.

 Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves and your service!

Talentbay: We, Marcus Otto (55) and Michael Wenglein (46), are the founders of Talentbay. We’re passionate investors and have been at home in the digital and tech world for many years. NFON and Propertybase are two of the projects that we turned into a success. Talentbay is a new platform in Europe that networks students directly with their future colleagues.

A match on the Talentbay website or in the Talentbay app is made based on an algorithm that we developed ourselves and takes into account parameters such as the selected university, degree program, interests and professors and, on the other side, the job profiles of companies. A team of 12 full-time and freelance employees are currently working on Talentbay. On 1 January 2021, we will be welcoming the former European boss of Monster Marc Irmisch-Petit (52) as our CEO.

More criteria than a standard resume or profile on business networks

 Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!

Talentbay: There’s nothing comparable anywhere in Europe. We get involved much earlier on in the recruiting process than most platforms and networks. Talentbay brings high potentials and companies together long before the HR has posted a concrete job opening. Students usually get involved while they’re still at university – which provides enough time for everyone to get acquainted. This allows companies to easily and practically establish a network of potential employees in the first step. As mentioned earlier, the algorithm we developed factors in a significantly higher amount of criteria than standard resumes or profiles on business networks.

“We have to rethink recruiting: faster, more efficient and more practical.”

 Munich Startup: What was your biggest challenge so far?

Talentbay: Building brand awareness, especially among companies, and getting stakeholders on board with our idea: We need to rethink recruiting – make it faster, more efficient and more practical. That only works when students come in direct contact with their potential future colleagues. That’s a lot more honest than simply reciting your company philosophy to every applicant during their interview.

Munich Startup: How is business going?

Talentbay: We’ve just gotten started and went live with the beta version of our Talentbay app and website in October. That means we’re right at the beginning. It’s a matter of establishing Talentbay in Germany first.

To get started, interested companies have access to profiles of approximately 600,000 students – 100,000 of whom are doctoral candidates. The second step will be international expansion. In that regard, we’ll benefit from the corresponding economies of sale since the technical platform has already been built.

Munich Startup: What does Munich mean to you?

Talentbay: Munich is a great location for founders – especially in our case. This is exactly where our target groups come together: We find future high potentials at places like Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Technical University of Munich – which are also where Marcus and Michael went to university. As a result, we have an emotional connection to the campuses.

There are also numerous companies located in Munich: from Dax corporations and offices of global market leaders to SMEs and startups like us. The combination is perfect.

Career platform for the Tinder generation

 Munich Startup: How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?

Talentbay: We provide sustainable added value with Talentbay – which means we can remain successful. Talentbay simplifies and improves the job hunting process, which has been unchanged and stagnant for decades. We’re ultimately the career platform for the Tinder generation. But let’s be realistic: A value of more than 1 billion US dollars is still just a dream. We’re happy to have already found enough powerful investors and work every day on adapting and continuously improving Talentbay to meet the needs of our target groups.

Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?

Talentbay: We’re pursuing a vision with Talentbay: We want to improve the recruiting process – for both students and companies. For the concepts of the future such as AI, IoT or synthetic biology, we need the most creative minds to keep Germany competitive on an international level. We want to make a contribution so high potentials can find their dream job here in Germany instead of leaving for Silicon Valley. That is what we want to achieve, and that requires a whole lot of staying power.