Vurv Technology: Hello, My Name Is…

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-04-06 Print this article Print

Vurv Technology—née Recruitmax—says the new name shows it offers more than recruiting now. But some say the Vurvians have a marketing challenge.

It's not just for hiring anymore: In February, Recruitmax rechristened itself Vurv (pronounced "verve") Technology, explaining that it now offers performance and compensation management applications in addition to e-recruiting tools.

Recruiting management systems, however, have been its core business since it was founded 10 years ago. At clothing retailer Ann Taylor Stores, Vurv's recruiting system has eliminated 100 hours per week assembling manual job reports by 30 corporate and field recruiters, says Christine Lourenco, senior manager of talent resources operations for the company.

"Even for simple things—like when two recruiters would make contact with a candidate—we had no history or tracking," she says. Ann Taylor's e-recruiting site, launched in October 2005, now receives 5,000 applications per month. Vurv was also able to automatically screen applicants against one of Ann Taylor's background-checking databases that tracks reports of shoplifting, provided by US Investigations Services.

For Wynn Resorts, Vurv "came through 110%," according to Arte Nathan, the company's chief human resources officer. Wynn's 2,700-room Las Vegas hotel had to hire about 10,000 employees in five months to meet its scheduled opening day in April 2005. Vurv worked with Nathan's team to tailor its recruiting application for Wynn. "They over-delivered," he says. For example, Vurv built a scheduling system to let applicants pick interview times when the appropriate managers were available. Nathan notes that since going live on Oct. 31, 2004, the system has had 22 minutes of total downtime.

And how about Vurv's name change? "I don't like those funky names," Nathan says, "but whatever their name is—they're good." Vurv executives say the Recruitmax name outlived its usefulness. "Vurv does a better job of telling our story," CEO Derek Mercer said in announcing the change.

Some customers believe the Vurvians have given themselves a huge marketing hill to climb. "I totally understand why they [changed names], but it's going to boil down to a pretty significant investment to get that name recognition," says Scott Johnson, Culligan International's director of staffing and recruitment.

Johnson says the company is very "customer-centric": "They actually care about their customers." But, he adds, Vurv should form a client advisory board to solicit feedback "in a more formal way." Vurv is listening, at least: The company says it has "researched" creating such a board.

Talent Management

Vurv technology
7660 Centurion Pkwy.
Jacksonville, FL 32256
(904) 394-5644

TICKER: Privately held

Derek Mercer
Founder & CEO
Before starting the company in 1996, he was director of information technology at ATS Services, a staffing company.

Jim Philip
Executive VP
Responsible for the company's business operations. Previously, he was a partner at investment banking firm Thomas Weisel Partners and a senior investment banker at Montgomery Securities.

Vurv Enterprise, intended for organizations with more than 2,000 employees, includes recruitment, "onboarding" (the process of starting a new employee), performance and compensation management applications.
Reference Checks

Wynn Resorts
Arte Nathan
Senior VP and Chief Human Resources Officer
Project: Hotel and casino in Las Vegas screened 112,000 applicants using Vurv's system, which took a four-person team 14 months to customize for Wynn.

Culligan International
Scott Johnson
Dir., Staffing and Recruitment
Project: Provider of bottled water and filtration systems based in Northbrook, Ill., with 5,500 employees launched a recruiting site with Vurv this spring.

Ann Taylor Stores
Christine Lourenco
Senior Mgr., Talent Resources Operations
Project: Women's clothing retailer based in New York with 800 stores and 14,380 employees uses the Vurv recruiting system to run its careers Web site, which has received an average of 5,000 applicants per month.

Tiva Healthcare
Mike Pendergast
Project: Health-care industry staffing firm, a subsidiary of 1,300-employee outsourced medical services provider Sheridan Healthcare, uses Vurv to track physician candidates in certain specialties, like anesthesiology.

MSI International
Greg Brass
Dir., Technology
Project: Atlanta-based headhunting firm with seven U.S. offices has a database of 500,000 individuals in Vurv's software, which it hosts internally.

Executives listed here are all users of Vurv's products. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Revenue, 2004: $20M
Revenue, 2005: Undisclosed
Revenue growth: 108% three-year
compound annual growth rate
Total funding to date: $17.2M
Investors: QuestMark Partners,
Tudor Ventures, Montagu Newhall Associates
No. of total customers reported: 2,000
No. of enterprise customers: 300

Financial services: Aetna, HSBC, Lehman Brothers
Manufacturing: Archer Daniels Midland, Boeing,
Coca-Cola Enterprises, Whirlpool
Retail: L.L. Bean, Save-A-Lot Food Stores,
Wegmans Food Markets
Telecommunications: T-Mobile
Transportation: JetBlue Airways

Jacksonville, Fla. (headquarters); London; Sydney, Australia


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