Topo Chico-stocked fridges, cold brew and snacks are all great, but perks alone won’t keep your most ambitious employees happy.
The real secret to retaining employees long-term rests in something far less flashy: career development. It’s something every company claims to have, but it rarely gets the attention or resources it deserves.
Linda Ginac launched TalentGuard in 2010 to fix that by providing a platform that helps automate and personalize career plans.
On Wednesday, the Austin-based company announced that it has raised $4 million in a Series B round to fuel those efforts. The funds will help TalentGuard integrate AI into its platform and grow its sales and marketing teams.
Employee turnover is costing millions and billions of dollars to organizations across the globe.”
As unemployment rates in skilled industries like tech hover at all-time lows, putting the focus on career development has become more important than ever before, she said.
“Employee turnover is costing millions and billions of dollars to organizations across the globe,” Ginac said. “Our goal is to drastically increase retention by providing transparency in career growth that would otherwise not exist.”
TalentGuard’s platform is designed to help companies shed light on their career growth opportunities. Often, an employee’s exposure starts and ends with a yearly performance review that gives them little insight into the opportunities available to them, Ginac said. That makes it difficult for employees to know what roles they even qualify for, and for managers to know whether a new opening is a fit for one of their reports.
“What ends up happening is employees are going to their managers and saying, ‘You told me there were career advancement opportunities here, but I don’t know how to reach them,’” Ginac said. “They then leave, and in their exit interviews, they cite no career development opportunities.”
Through TalentGuard’s cloud-based platform, employees can track and execute their career plans. The software’s AI algorithm helps them record their accomplishments, identify new roles they may want to apply for, as well as a path to obtain the skills or certifications needed to be qualified for that job.
Hiring managers and HR leaders can then see that growth and make informed decisions about the talent they have available to fill internal roles. To date, TalentGuard has worked with dozens of Fortune 50 companies and more than 90 customers overall to grow their staffs.
With this round, TalentGuard plans to improve on its AI algorithm. They also plan to double their 25-person team in Austin, and open up an international headquarters in Cork, Ireland.
The company also added to its board of directors. As part of the round, Spredfast CEO, Rod Favaron, Horizon Bank Chairman and former CFO of Dell, James M. Schneider, and Founding Partner of LiveOak Venture Partners, Krishna Srinivasan, all joined the board.
LiveOak Venture Partners led the round.