In light of our recent announcement, we wanted to highlight the story of how we came to acquire DATalent, and how we met Ruth Smith, the founder. Below is the story of her experience leading up to joining the SaaM team.
We sat down with Ruth to get the full story:
Ruth: I told people that I became an “accidental entrepreneur” when I started DATalent. I left my job in 2017 after an acquisition and planned to take a few months off to consider my next role. I had previously been Sales and Account Management with a high-growth staffing company. Several of my former connections encouraged me to start my own staffing company. So, that’s what I did. The three years before starting DATalent I had been focused on sales in integration and data science so I imagined focusing on data talent. That was how the name originated.
Initially, word spread that I had started my own staffing company so I had a base of clients. I received a lot of referrals over the first 12 months. Over time, I applied my previous sales skills to network with others and leveraged LinkedIn to expand opportunities outside the Nashville area.
“ I told people that I became an “accidental entrepreneur” when I started DATalent.”
My approach has always been different from other firms because I spent the first 20+ years of my career in traditional technical roles including Software Engineering, Product Management, Client Delivery and Technical Support. I’ve hired my own employees through the years so I’ve used the same personal approach to evaluating technical aptitude and assessing cultural fit. I’ve trained recruiters and sales people with this same mindset and ability. This has allowed me and my team to provide a higher quality of candidate to our clients and provide a more positive experience for candidates.
As a founder, I did not want to take on debt or capital to grow my business, so growth was slower but more intentional. Today’s job market is highly competitive and more challenging to find good qualified candidates. I believe we maximize our client’s team by presenting highly-qualified and stringently vetted candidates. Hiring managers are busy and don’t have the time to sift through hundreds or even dozens of resumes. Candidates are equally frustrated that the screening process is vague and impersonal. I am sad that so many companies and candidates put up with a bad experience because they don’t know that there is a good option in the market like DATalent and SaaM.
I’ve known Jonathan and the team at SaaM for many years. We often said it would be cool to work together one day. We share the same vision and mission for helping others and making a difference in finding talent in such a competitive market.
I am excited about my new role as a strategic advisor. I am a natural mentor. Every role I’ve been in throughout my career has involved mentoring and I enjoy helping others in their role as a recruiter, salesperson, administrative staff as well as strategically planning for the future. It has been an amazing and seamless transition for me and my team.