Matt Sutton ’00 is co-founder and co-owner of Vooru, LLC, an executive placement service connecting D.C. area businesses with national job candidates. Although Vooru is only a year old, the company posted just under $1 million in revenue in 2016.
Read more about Matt and Vooru in The Washington Post article “Their business is more than a dating site for the math crowd.”
Q: Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I am from Columbia, Maryland, but currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, with my wife, Britney, and our daughter, Cecelia. We are expecting our second child in September.
Q: When did you graduate and what was your major?
A proud member of the graduating class of 2000 where I graduated with a major in marketing and a minor in finance.
Q: The Washington Post article about your start-up company –Vooru – was a great write-up. Congratulations to you and your partner on the success of your start-up! Your entrepreneurship is an inspiration to our undergraduates. Can you summarize the company and its mission for us?
Vooru is a matchmaker. We use hundreds of data points about employers to match them with professionals. Our algorithms are similar to those used in some popular online dating tools. Vooru strives to improve both job satisfaction and employee retention by striking a compatible match for both our employer companies and professionals in a given market place. The goal of our analytics is to tell when potential job candidates might be ripe for a change, even if they’re not actively looking for a new job. The same is true for employers where we use the same data sets and analytics to predict hiring needs.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your professional journey from university graduate to business owner?
Upon graduating I began a career in sports management working for the former Women’s United Soccer Association’s Washington Freedom in our nation’s capital. Unfortunately, the league’s founding venture lasted a brief two years. Out of work and in a recession, I didn’t know in what direction to turn. It was the first time since I was 14 years old that I didn’t have a job.
Fortunately, I stumbled into the world of executive placement. I have spent the last 15 years assisting professionals through the precarious rapids of their respective career paths. After some 13 rewarding years of climbing the corporate ladder between two publicly held industry leaders (Kforce Inc. and Robert Half), I realized there was something yet unfulfilled. Through a mutual client relationship and a subsequent meeting over a pint of Guinness, I met someone just as fascinated with disrupting the industry as we knew it. Months of business planning ensued. We combined our shared capital, and then finally Vooru was launched.
In the ultra-competitive corporate landscape around the world, one of the biggest challenges companies are continually faced with is identifying and hiring talented professionals. While the internal recruiting resources of most companies are a first resort, many corporations hire executive search firms to assist them in their recruiting efforts. Executive search firms, like Vooru, are specialized recruitment services that find top-level candidates for senior, executive, or other highly coveted positions for the corporations they serve in a wide array of industries. Employee recruiting is a $28 billion industry in the United States. Vooru is focused on disrupting that industry and gaining progressive market share as it continues to grow.
Q: Who was the most inspirational faculty member you had? How has your degree helped your career? What specific skill or knowledge did you acquire at that you use in your job?
There has always been an entrepreneurial fire, stoked from a cinder back in Professor Giles Jackson’s classrooms. I remember vividly a project where we needed to create an online company; with a business plan, raising capital, product development, advertising, distribution, back office, etc. Every presentation was a replication of an online service or product with very little variation from an already existing entity. It was there that I remember Professor Jackson’s guidance of “how the most minute variations and deviations of a current service or product could disrupt an entire industry segmentation.”
Along with that, I can attest that there is not a doubt in my mind that Professor Jackson’s project/internship/career driven platform helped guide me to where I am today. While my degree was a foundational component of my career development, the guidance I received to immerse myself in internships and networking opportunities coinciding with my degree was by far the most invaluable of my experiences at Shenandoah University.
Q: Do you have any closing words to share with us?
I wish my fellow and future Hornets a prosperous 2017, and I want to say thank you to the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School Business for the tools I gained during my tenure at Shenandoah!