Categories: ArticlesPublished On: July 15th, 2021

Turazo co-founder Pete Cipollone reflects on the path taken

Kim Grant

Turazo is proven relationship-based recruiting software for internal mobility, candidate experience, mentoring, and proactive sourcing.

How did you know when you were onto something with Turazo?

Pete Cipollone: The Turazo platform provides companies with the opportunity to create authentic, inclusive candidate experiences, and to grow and retain current teammates through mentorship and internal mobility. Little things along the way started adding up: When we first saw evidence that a customer was getting more than they paid for. When the customer renewed and talked about all the ways they’d use Turazo. When a customer demoed their Turazo Network to Dell and then Dell became a customer. It added up.


How did it feel when you landed your first big customer?

Pete: Every customer is big! That said, a company signing a contract and sending a purchase order for something you made is validating and addicting. We’re motivated to create more and more of those moments.


What was most surprising about the last customer acquired?

Pete: It was a customer-driven upsell. One group inside a company saw a demo of another group’s Turazo Network and called us with an order.


Now that a candidate (or employee) has used this connection platform, how has their life changed, how has their company changed?

Pete: Candidates get a dose of clarity about their next career step. Would they thrive in a certain role or at this company? Did that surprise them? Churn comes from not knowing answers to those questions ahead of time. Employees get to share their enthusiasm about their company, and their roles and responsibilities, and the chance to identify potential future colleagues. Our data shows how much they appreciate that opportunity. Companies evolve, finding well matched and well suited talent from new sources, who join, perform, and stay.


Talk about a fork in the road, and why you decided one way versus another.

Pete: In the summer of 2002, my career was moving upward. My 2000 Olympic coach called to ask if I was interested in making a run at the 2004 Olympic squad. I YOLOed it (after getting approval from my boss) and two seasons later, we were Olympic champions. I ended that career with a win.


What was your first coding project?

Pete: In third grade, I wrote a BASIC program on a RadioShack TRS-80 at my school to calculate average test scores. This was when IBM PCs were pricey and before Lotus 1-2-3. Programs were stored on cassette tapes. After showing it to a some teachers, several were using it for real.


Who was your best mentor/coach and why?

Pete: There have been so many: teachers in grade school and high school; my Olympic coach; Clare Hart, CEO of Williams Lea, who hired me as a 25-year-old “intern” at Dow Jones when I moved to New Jersey to train for the Olympics. Though I didn’t have a paper pedigree, they all gave me a shot, they coached me to grow as a person, a professional, a competitor. When I failed, they dusted me off and nudged me. When I succeeded, they celebrated, too.


What values are important to you?

Pete: As both a manager and a human being, it’s simplicity and clarity. If people know what to do and the impact we are aiming for, the best possible results follow.  


How has founding Turazo changed you?

Pete: Founding a startup is a gritty experience. For every person excited about what you’re building, others think it’s dumb and will say so. I’m hyper-focused on my goals. Startups can change the world; the stakes are all-or-nothing, a lot like sports. I love that about it.


What’s your favorite quotation and why?

Pete: “It’s only a mistake if you do it twice.” Having failed (and succeeded) many times and on some pretty big stages, I know that winning is fun but you don’t learn much from it. When we have the confidence to study our mistakes and failures, they become milestones on our path to succeeding. We stress with our team: line up your shot and take it with confidence. If it fails, let’s figure out why and get back to it.


If Turazo disappeared, what would people miss the most about it?

Pete: For customers, it would be the scale and simplicity. We often hear on sales calls that, “We just finished a pilot like this and a few of us managed it in a spreadsheet. The results were great but there’s no way we could sustain it, let alone grow it.”

For candidates and mentees, it would be what they learned, how fast they learned it, and how it changed their career trajectories. 

For employee mentors, it would be the satisfaction of helping someone advance their career and meet new colleagues. 

All would miss the connections they made. Employees constantly remarked about  how much they enjoyed their conversations with candidates and looked forward to more.

Read Turazo’s founder story here.

Pete reflects on Turazo’s HR opportunity here.