FIRING SQUAD: SquarePeg CEO Claire McTaggart

Back in the day matching - or shall we say - eHarmony wannbe sites really sucked. Now they're kinda good, thanks to AI and a bunch of available online profile data, which was NOT the case in 2006, for example. So here comes SquarePeg. Does this matching contender have what it takes, or are they gettin' the guns?

You'll have to checkout this Talroo exclusive to find out.


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Joel: Hey, Joel.

Chad: What up?

Joel: Would you say that companies find it hard to attract the right candidates to apply for their jobs?

Chad: Well, Jobs2Careers thought so.

Joel: Jobs2Careers? You mean Talroo.

Chad: Talroo?

Joel: Yeah, Talroo. T-a-l-r-o-o.

Chad: What is that, like a cross between talent and a kangaroo?

Joel: No, it's a cross between talent and recruiting.

Chad: But-

Joel: Talroo was focused on predicting, optimizing, and delivering talent directly to your email or ATS.

Chad: Ah, okay. So it's totally data-driven talent attraction, which means the Talroo platform enables recruiters to reach the right talent at the right time and at the right price.

Joel: Okay, so that was weirdly intuitive, but yes. Guess that the best part is?

Chad: Let me take a shot here. You only pay for the candidates Talroo delivers?

Joel: Holy shit. So you've heard this before. So if you're out there listening in podcast land and you are attracting the wrong candidates and we know you are or you feel like you're in a recruiting hamster wheel and there's just nowhere to go, right? You can go to Again, that's and learn how Talroo can get you better candidates for less cash.

Chad: Or just go to and click on the Talroo logo. I'm all about the simple.

Joel: You are a simple man.

Announcer: Like Shark Tank? Then, you'll love Firing Squad. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest, baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they've got what it takes to make it out alive. Dig fox hole and duck for cover, kids. The Chad & Cheese podcast is taking it to a whole other level.

Joel: Oh snap. After a holiday hiatus we are back and we are feisty

Chad: We back.

Joel: And ready to put a young, nubile startup through the Firing Squad and on that note, let me introduce Claire McTaggart from Square Pegs ... Is that right? Square Peg Hires.

Claire: Square Peg, yes.

Joel: How do you pitch yourself? Square Peg, Square Peg Hires?

Claire: Just Square Peg. We're just one peg.

Joel: Square Peg. All right, we'll go with that.

Joel: She's the Founder and CEO of that company. Claire, welcome to the show. Give us a quick elevator pitch about you.

Claire: Sure, so I'm the founder of Square Peg. My background's probably a little bit different from some of your guests in that I worked in Management Consulting, mostly doing strategy work for one of the big consulting firms. But during that time, I spent four years running a hiring team working at everything from campus recruiting to sourcing strategy to writing and delivering the infamous consulting case study interviews. And we were always just frustrated with the process. Put up a job post, receive hundreds of mostly unqualified applicants, whoever happens to be cruising the job board that week. And either use a ATS to pull out key words or a human to make five second decisions based on a little data. And just, we were kind of hoping to get results. That amount of guesswork and lack of analytics sort of astounded me so I left to go build a product I would have wanted to use. So that's sort of how Square Peg was born.

Joel: And what school did you attend, undergrad again?

Claire: I went to Michigan Undergrad and Georgetown for grad school.

Joel: Ooh, so you know this song because you're always getting your ass kicked by the Ohio State Buckeyes. There it is.

Claire: It's a sensitive subject.

Joel: It should be sensitive.

Claire: It's been sensitive for many years, especially this season it was especially sensitive. So, yeah, off to a good start here guys.

Joel: We like to get you off balance here at the Firing Squad. Play your rival's fight song before you go on.

Joel: Okay, Chad, tell her what she's won before we get to her pitch.

Chad: Well, Claire, on today's show you're going to have an opportunity for a two minute pitch of Square Peg. At the end of those two minutes you're going to hear the bell. Then, Joel and I are going to hit you up with rapid fire Q and A. If your answers start rambling, Joel's going to hit you with the crickets and we will move along. That's also the signal you need to make your shit more concise. At the end of Q and A, you're either going to receive a big applause. That means you knocked it out of the park, golf clap means you need to tighten up your game, or the firing squad. Hit the bricks, close up shop, pull out the drawing board because it pretty much sucks.

Claire: And that could also be the OSU fight song, right?

Chad: The only worse song would be the Michigan fight song.

Claire: Oh!

Chad: Yeah.

Chad: That's Firing Squad. Okay, Joel, let's slam this Square Peg into a round hole. You got that timer ready?

Joel: Slam it. I am ready. Claire, are you ready?

Claire: I am.

Joel: Two minutes starting.

Claire: Okay, so Square Peg is a data-driven hiring platform that helps employers source and match a curated batch of candidates to their jobs based on hundreds of indicators that fit, so not just resumes. We're also now starting to provide HR teams with insights and analytics to help them understand data behind who they're selecting and rejecting and help them improve over time.

Claire: So as you know, there are a lot of factors that make an employee thrive in a

particular job or environment that can't be found on a resume. And what those factors are actually differs depending on the company, the role, or the level of seniority. So Square Peg helps employers identify what skills, experience, personality traits and softer attributes are most important for a specific role in under ten minutes. And then, we source a batch of highly qualified applicants in just a few days. So all of the candidates on Square Peg's platform have been assessed across hundreds of indicators of fit before they're matched with a job. So our algorithms have a really rich data set to help identify top talent and invite those candidates to view the match and share their data.

Claire: So most of these pasts are pasts of candidates who aren't looking for job boards, but are open to the right position. So hiring managers or recruiters will receive a curated batch of interested candidates who might not otherwise had applied or who might have been filtered out. And they get a lot of data to help inform the section and interview process. And because we remove the bias of a human resume review and use alternative data sources, we actually help improve diversity outcomes, unlike your favorite Amazon case study you've been referencing.

Claire: So right now we focus specifically on corporate or business hires like marketing sales and customer experience, which are actually the hardest to get right and it's usually due to soft skills fit. So we launched a little over a year ago, paid plans starting this summer. We've assessed over 12,000 candidates and have 30 company clients, including a few Fortune 100s.

Joel: And dammit, Claire, where can we find more?

Claire: So you can find more at Square or you can email us info at Square

Joel: Now, that was a tight pitch. That was a tight pitch, but if you've listened to Firing Squad, every single person who's pitched, every single CEO, founder, they always forget the end. Where do we find more?

Chad: They do. They do. It's amazing. They're so intimidated by us.