While Charleston’s tech scene has exploded, so has its demand for talent to fill its growing workforce. Companies and recruiters are challenged with enticing and retaining the best candidates from competing markets. To help Charleston meet these demands, new recruiting agency Catch Talent has emerged. Catch’s mission to hire and connect the best talent to companies and grow their businesses aims to help fuel the success of Charleston’s knowledge economy.
JOURNEY TO CATCH
Catch’s founders Christina Lock and Chad Norman are no strangers to the tech community. Christina has been working in Charleston tech recruiting for over 12 years. She first began recruiting for Aerotek and later became a founding member of SPARC. She helped build up its recruiting and HR department and hired over 300 team members in 6 years.
Chad got his start with Blackbaud in the late 90s working in product development, marketing, and company branding. He later joined SPARC, where he focused more on the people and making the brand, culture, and talent shine together.
It was at SPARC that Christina and Chad’s positions united them through working together on hiring, referrals, making the jobs look exciting online, learning the importance of people first and then aligning skills with the culture. When SPARC was acquired in November 2015, the two used that opportunity to launch Catch together.
THE CATCH EFFECT
Catch Talent helps companies attract and hire the best talent and show off that talent to attract the next wave of candidates. The agency is focused on recruiting and employer branding for startups in the technology, software, and manufacturing industries in Charleston as well as on a national level.
Whether or not they have an HR team or recruiter, Catch acts as a strategic partner to offer a unique solution to the startup’s recruiting needs, allowing them to focus on what they love instead of the hiring aspects. Building on their experience with recruiting and at SPARC, they have been very strategic in how they partner with clients.
The connection between talent and brand is at the core of Catch’s services. “If you look at how consumer behavior works today, it’s often influenced by referrals, reviews, and friends, “ says Chad. “We’re especially seeing in a knowledge-based economy with knowledge-based jobs that candidates are influenced in the exact same way. We’re looking at this as a full cycle.”
That cycle Chad describes is what Catch refers to as the Talent Attraction Lifecycle. Building your brand in an attractive way helps onboard just the right people, and as you build a solid talent base your company attracts even more high-caliber talent.
Catch offers an array of services divided between recruiting and employer branding. “We act as an extension for not only the company, but the brand as well,” says Christina. “Our goal is to be that voice to get the word out about their company. Our value-add is to not only place a candidate but place the candidate who’s going to generate more sound and excitement around the company.”
On the recruiting side, Catch helps attract the best talent with engagement, position-specific sourcing, pre-screening, qualifying, and selecting candidates. They also offer talent pipeline development, interviewing strategy and development, and strategic partnerships to work directly with the employer.
On the branding side, Catch helps employers create a voice internally through social media, website development and employee referral campaigns. “Someone’s decision whether or not to apply for a job at a company happens within a couple minutes of them landing on the website. They see that employer brand, the language, the culture and they make up their mind right then whether they would like to pursue a job at that company,” says Chad.
This also translates into attracting great customers because, as Chad explains, “For a lot of tech companies, the employer brand is the company’s brand. Clients are really paying for the talent at the organization, so a strong employer brand on a website can influence their behavior.”
It’s a two-way street to help candidates find the best employer too. “Whether it’s a local candidate looking for a position or someone relocating to Charleston, we can be that one stop resource for them. We partner with all the decision-makers in the technology industry, and can help identify the best opportunity. Our goal is to make sure that for both the talent and the hiring company, it’s going to be a long term fit,” says Christina.
LOCAL CHARLESTON HR TECH PARTNERS
Attracting and sourcing job talent is a challenge, but Catch doesn’t have to do it alone. The agency has partnered with three local Charleston HR tech people-focused startups to fuel their mission:
- Job Market Maker has modernized the way Applicant Tracking Systems act and produce data. Catch is using Job Market Maker’s ATS functionality, to easily organize and manage candidates all in one place.
- Echovate leverages predictive analytics, workforce science, and data to provide fact-based hiring to small businesses.
- Teamphoria is a robust platform that uses recognition, communication, and interactive performance evaluations to drive engagement and, exponentially increase retention.
FUELING CHARLESTON’S TECH SCENE
Catch sees this as the perfect time to become part of the growing tech scene with the technology based jobs being in such strong demand. “We hope to fill that gap as more mature companies continue to grow, not only in the Charleston area or around the Southeast, but on a national level.” says Christina.
What’s their advice to someone considering a move to Charleston? “If you’re looking for a job in other cities vs. Charleston, there is a booming technology scene here. You have a choice of so many different companies to work for, or even the opportunity to launch your own company. Through programs and incubators like the Harbor, DIG SOUTH, SC Launch, your startup has the ability to obtain its own funding, get exposure, and who knows – even become the next SPARC.”
And if you land here and decide to start your own company, Catch is available to help you grow your brand and attract stellar talent so you can build a strong customer base.
You can catch Christina and Chad presenting at the upcoming Charleston tech events:
- DIG SOUTH on April 26th — Chad will speak on the panel “How to Reel in Top Talent & Keep Them Happy”
- Collaborate ‘16 on May 5 — Chad and Christina present “Finding Your People Story”- How to Develop an Employer Brand That Attracts Talent & Customers
- Startup Grind Charleston on May 11 — Christina will be the featured speaker