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Ross firm Resumator helps companies sort mounds of résumés

| Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Don Charlton, head of Resumator, at the company's Perrysville Highway offices. Resumator is a service which sorts and organizes resumes for businesses. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review

During a sales pitch to Obama campaign officials in Chicago, Don Charlton and his team from The Resumator couldn't get the videoconferencing system to work.

They inadvertently hung up on a vice president of operations for the campaign organization. And the meeting ran so late that staffers waiting for the room kept knocking on the door.

Charlton recalls that 2011 demonstration of his hiring software platform as “a disaster,” but The Resumator landed business anyway with President Obama's re-election effort.

The company helped the campaign for Mitt Romney, Obama's rival in the 2012 presidential race, gather applicants and hire workers.

The Resumator is one of a growing number of companies that provide software to help hiring managers sort through the mounds of résumés they receive from job candidates.

Small businesses on a steep growth track, not politicians, are The Resumator's target clients, however.

Founded in 2009, the Ross-based company has expanded quickly — from three employees in early 2011 to 35. There are 6,500 companies using its system to advertise jobs, collect and sort résumés and contact and evaluate candidates.

Charlton wants to establish The Resumator as the go-to business recruiting tool for small and fast-growing companies.

“More small businesses are using online products to manage things other than email,” he said. “They're using accounting tools, project management tools. Hiring is one of the laggards.”

Memorial products maker Matthews International Inc., event ticketing platform ShowClix and baby products company 4Moms are among its Pittsburgh-area clients. The company works with social media companies such as Pinterest, Mashable and HootSuite, along with game maker Atari.

About 25 percent of clients pay for the service at rates ranging from $99 to thousands of dollars a month. Small firms that fill one job at a time use it for free, then start paying as they expand. “We want to empower them to grow,” Charlton said.

The Resumator itself is primed for growth. The company obtained $2.1 million in financing in October from Birchmere Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners — which led an earlier investment round — and cloud computing company Salesforce.com.

Charlton said the money will be put toward adding engineers, marketing and office space as the company works to become profitable.

“We've peeked our head above the crowd a little in terms of doing interesting things,” said Charlton, who worked for graphic design firms for 10 years before starting the business.

Companies increasingly are using software to sort through hundreds of applications and résumés. The programs use keywords to pick out likely top candidates, but The Resumator, with its focus on smaller business, allows easy viewing of every candidate's information.

Charlton said The Resumator could expand beyond helping to fill openings. “We're interested in the entire employee life cycle, everything from hiring to retiring,” he said. The Resumator could delve into employee performance evaluation and management, for example, as part of a human resources suite of software products.

Hiring software is attractive to employers aiming to increase efficiency, said Lauren Lloyd, director of recruitment for UPMC. The region's largest hospital system hired 10,000 people last year, including temporary and seasonal workers. UPMC uses a tool by Select International Inc. of Ross to evaluate applicants.

Analytics software company Rhiza Inc. has been a client of The Resumator since the fall, with “tremendous” results in simplifying and streamlining hiring, CEO Josh Knauer said.

The South Side-based company, which helps businesses analyze and share large amounts of data, found more potential applicants by using The Resumator than by going to job fairs or recruiters, he said. The Resumator allows employers to post positions instantly on job boards such as Monster.com.

Rhiza has 12 workers, including several hired through Charlton's system,

At a cost of less than $100 a month, “It's a no-brainer, and it allows me, as a CEO, to move on to other problems,” he said.

Charlton said an average of 100 people a day get jobs via The Resumator, and in 2012, more than 50,000 were hired at clients' businesses.

“The Resumator is doing great. We continue to believe in Don and the team he has assembled,” said Sean Ammirati, partner at Birchmere Ventures, with offices in the South Side, and a member of The Resumator's board since the recent funding round.

“The company had its best month ever in January, and we are extremely optimistic about continued momentum.”

Charlton's frustration as a “deputized hiring manager” at the design studio where he worked led to the idea for The Resumator.

“There wasn't any software to help with hiring, but also allow me to do my full-time job,“ he said. “I have no recruiting experience or HR experience. I'm just a person who likes to build software.”

He quit his job to work on The Resumator full time after he signed an initial client for $49 a month, Carthage College in Wisconsin. At first, he worked from his apartment on an Apple Mac Mini with an investment of about $700.

Kim Leonard is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5606 or kleonard@tribweb.com.

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