SE CINCY Elevator 2017 Cohort Spotlight: urbanHive

Tom Savoca, founder of urbanHive, proved to be a great addition to our 2017 Elevator cohort. urbanHive is an innovative solution to the modern hiring process providing both organizations and job seekers with skill-based matching and efficient trial hiring. Tom joined the Elevator family to expand on his already growing social enterpriseĀ and gained an invaluable experience.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Tom Savoca, founder of urbanHive. I’m from the East Coast originally and I came out here 7 years ago for school, I went to the University of Cincinnati for Architecture and Real Estate. I graduated and started urbanHive right out of school as an option out of my experience in co-op at the university.

What is urbanHive?

urbanHive is an online platform that helps companies make better hires. Hiring is hard for small and medium sized businesses and we try to make that process easier for them. In doing so, we hope to make more meaningful employment relationships to help both client companies and candidates enjoy work more and get more done.

What makes urbanHive a social enterprise?

Basically because the better job that we do matching candidates to companies puts them in a role they’re truly suited for, not just on a surface level but at a more cultural fit, skills fit, personal goals fit. Because our platform is able to make these richer, deeper connections, we are placing people in jobs that will be more meaningful to them and to the companies which will result in higher productivity. Ultimately we think the better matches we create in the professional world, the better off everyone does.

How has Flywheel and Elevator helped urbanHive?

Flywheel was two-fold in things that were most important. One was accountability. As a solo founder, it forced me to set goals. Working with the mentors did that as well and getting to know my advisors and the program leadership helped move the company faster than it would’ve if it was just me. The other thing was refining the marketing message. Again, working with advisors, every week we got a little bit closer to the clearer message, where we are today. That message is: hiring is hard, we make it easier.

What kind of effects or impacts have you seen since Demo Day?

I got some exposure out of it and some leads to potential customers. I’ve had a lot of people email me and go, “Oh, now that I know about you, I’ve told a friend about it, I’ve told my friend who’s looking for a job about it.” So, both on the client and the candidate side, I’ve gotten some referrals out of it. Also, the exercise of going through that presentation helped to clarify that marketing message further.

What are some of the ways you measure your impact or milestones?

I measure it by both number of placements made, so how many people we’re placing with companies for jobs, and then the retention of those new candidates thereafter. Those are both metrics that are looking pretty good right now. Our goal is really to make sure we’re far exceeding the standard retention numbers that the market is showing and the more that we can show that, the more confident we are that we actually have a process that works.

So you keep saying “we”, what kind of team does urbanHive have?

I keep saying “we” because I’ve always thought of it as a community of people, that’s where the name comes from. “Urban” is the target market and the word “hive” is to evoke the community of the whole thing. So, when I say “we,” it’s mostly about me, the clients, and the candidates on the platform. Also, I’m in the process of bringing on a business development person and I have a group of advisors around who continue to support the growth efforts.

How can people in the community get involved or spread your message?

I would say that the biggest thing that we have to explain to clients, if they haven’t figured it out firsthand already, is that hiring is really not something that most companies should try to do themselves. It ends up being a big waste of time and resources and, ultimately, gets them to just okay results. Definitely, when it’s time to bring on that new person, give us a call or check out our website to allow us to explain the issues that you’ll face trying to do it yourself and how we can be of service.

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