Hiretual announced a new $26 million round of venture capital funding, positioning it as an extension to its $13 million Series B Round that was announced back in August 2020. Conductive Ventures led the round. This investment brings its total raised to $45.5 million. Hiretual also announced a rebrand to hireEZ.

hireEZ is an AI-powered candidate sourcing tech that touts 750 million candidate profiles from more than 45 open web platforms. It provides recruiters and sourcers with candidate search, matching, and engagement tools. The firm made the funding and rebranding announcements at a hybrid live/webcast launch event, called Outbound RecruitCon, with an audience of customers, analysts, influencers, and trade media. Along with the funding and rebrand, hireEZ announced its aim to create a new category of “outbound recruiting.”

Differentiation is one of the most challenging aspects of bringing an HR tech product to market, especially in talent acquisition. WorkTech tracks more talent acquisition products entering the market monthly over any other category. Most of them position their abilities to help employers find and engage more qualified candidates by leveraging new tech like AI. Candidate sourcing itself is a crowded field with competitors at all stages of growth, including some newly minted unicorns. It makes sense that hireEZ would look to carve out its own niche away from sourcing and into something new like “outbound recruiting.”

During the Outbound RecruitCon broadcast, hireEz CEO Steven Jiang and Head of Marketing Shannon Pritchett drew the analogy of outbound sales development and outbound recruiting. They outlined capabilities and features in the product roadmap that take the product in this direction, allowing recruiters to become more “outbound” with candidate engagement. Talent rediscovery is the ability to point hireEZ’s AI matching capabilities at a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) to rediscover existing candidates in the database and update their talent profiles. Candidate SMS/text messaging promises improved candidate engagement. And new improvements to the product’s existing email marketing drip campaigns were also announced, a feature known as a strength of the hireEZ product. While hireEZ aligns these features with “outbound recruiting,” they exist today in candidate sourcing, recruitment marketing/CRM, and talent acquisition platforms. LinkedIn was mentioned repeatedly as the problem hireEZ is solving for. Will the move to messaging for “outbound recruiting” differentiate hireEZ or lead them into competition with even more tech providers across multiple categories, including LinkedIn?

Unless your product gets struck by lightning and goes viral overnight, and let’s face it, B2B tech rarely does so, creating a category is a massive exercise in branding and market education that is both expensive and risky. Marketing agencies and media sites love it for obvious reasons, but we advise vendors against it unless, of course, they have the capital to support sustained multi-channel campaigns. And even then, we’re hesitant. If the market doesn’t embrace the new category it confuses potential users and buyers as they try to fit the product within their tech stack and budgets.

Perhaps that’s why this round was positioned as an extension of a Series B Round that was announced more than17 months ago. Maybe there’s more funding coming to fuel building a new category.

$17.9 billion was invested globally in work tech through 2021 across 374 deals.  WorkTech Market Insiders can access insights and analysis of all of the deals in our 2021 report with a free membership.

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