Prospecting for Recruiting Gold: The Turazo Story

Turazo, founded by an Olympic gold medalist and programmer, transforms how companies find, attract, hire and retain great talent.

Idea origination: “a lot of talent goes unnoticed; we need to address that”

When friends and mentors suggested Pete Cipollone follow his passion in 2015, there was only one response: coaching. So Pete founded an online sports coaching startup. When Under Armour suggested Pete talk to their talent acquisition team who had been considering career coaching as a recruiting tool, Pete shared his platform. The Under Armour campus recruiting team was looking for a way to showcase the diversity of its workforce to prospective talent and engage directly with candidates on hundreds of campuses nationwide. When Pete and his team solved those problems in 2017, Under Armor became Turazo’s first customer.

Turazo today makes recruiting more expansive and inclusive. It connects companies’ employees with talented prospects who don’t necessarily have networks to help them land their dream jobs.

From emerging employer brands to bulge bracket investment banks, Pete heard one common refrain: they invested heavily in recruiting diverse candidates beyond traditional target schools but when those prospects got to the interview stage, to the one-yard line, they often lost out to candidates with family or classmates who could offer advice about interview preparation. Turazo addresses that.

 

 Pete Cipollone’s connection to Turazo’s core mission

As an Olympic champion, Pete saw race outcomes driven as much by great coaching and training as by talent. Over the course of his athletic career, coaches saw potential in Pete, coaches who had no obligation to Pete but wanted him to succeed. With a background in technology, Pete turned to making that happen at scale.

 How do talented people navigate to a place to maximize their talent or show the world that talent? Education and access often are generationally cumulative. If Turazo could connect talent with coaches from companies wanting to hire great people – especially those overlooked – it would start to address systemic and structural inequities.

 

 Turazo listens as they grow

During their first year with Under Armour, Turazo focused on helping them achieve their goals and learning the market rather than getting new customers. They were out having conversations, doing market research, making sure the product was delighting their client. 

 

Rowing: A boatful of lessons begin

Pete’s father was a coach and coxswain (the person in charge of navigating and steering a boat) at a working class Catholic high school in Philadelphia and focused on getting his students recruited into great universities. When Pete became serious about rowing in 7th grade, his dad took him to watch the Olympics in Los Angeles. Pete made the U.S. youth national team and was invited to the senior National Team Camp while at UC Berkeley.

 It was crystalizing for Pete when the team didn’t perform well at the 1996 Olympics, and he went directly into training for the 2000 Sydney Olympics while working at Dow Jones.

 The team won the World Championships in men’s eight and was the prohibitive favorite heading into Sydney. When they placed fifth it was Pete’s toughest moment: “Failing to meet your own expectations teaches you a lot if you're willing to learn the lessons.”

 Pete Cipollone winning Olympic gold

Above: ATHENS - Coxswain Peter Cipollone of the United States celebrates their victory in the men's eight event on August 22, 2004 during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at the Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Andy Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

Olympic race as metaphor

When Pete’s next team won the bronze medal at the World Championships, it was off to the 2004 Olympics. Team veterans focused on what was within their control and ignored the other noise. Their strategy was to not do anything insane, not to overdo it, not to veer off plan; the other competitors would tire themselves out.

 One minute from an Olympic gold, the boat surged. Winning was a magical mix of luck and preparation. Individual rowers were talented enough to win but they also brought out the best in each other. When incredibly hard working and mission driven people see and feel progress, they will have the energy to keep going.

 “As a coxswain I was really good at identifying the superpowers of individual athletes even though to the outside world it's four athletes rowing with oars on the left and four on the right. Everybody has superpowers they bring to a team.“ 

 

Why Pete started Turazo

As he says: “My purpose is to make the power of coaching available to those who want it most. People who are ready to seek it out, book sessions with a coach. This matters to me because in both sports and business, even when I was starting from zero, I was given access to increasingly amazing coaches as I got better. I sought advice that helped me level up. But I was often afraid to ask for help. 

So we made a service where the answer is always ‘Yes.’ For companies seeking to recruit, grow, and retain the best talent from anywhere, it starts with identifying those who want to learn.

Coachability may be the most important trait for long-term success. Followed by persistence and grit. Talent is important, but it’s not as useful without the other traits.

As companies increasingly seek these different traits in their workforce, Turazo is built to help identify and nurture them.”


Pete reflects on his path here.

Pete reflects on Turazo's HR opportunity here.

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