Spotlight Interview with Torc VP of Talent Operations, Mark Bosma

By Angelos Katrantzis

Torc Mark Bosma
min read time
In the fourth interview spotlight with members of the Torc team I spoke with VP of Talent Operations Mark Bosma about his background before joining Torc, key strategy for matching talent with jobs, top tip for job seekers, and more.

Q: Starting off, can you tell me about your background pre-Torc?

A: My background is in engineering and computer science, which I went to school for. After that, my early career was spent building high-performance Linux systems for universities and government labs. I later built websites hosted on Linux servers, gained an interest in online marketing, and started doing sales for a company I had previously marketed for. The mix of sales experience and technical background got me into the talent marketplace industry. I've experienced leading sales teams and doing operations at marketplaces for 10 years.

I started at Torc after a mutual friend introduced me to Torc’s CEO, Mike Morris. Mike connected with this friend of mine and explained that he was looking for somebody to help with operations at the company. That's how it came to be. 

Q: What's your key strategy for matching talent with jobs? 

A: The key strategy for matching talent with jobs is understanding the technical requirements. You have to know what is needed for the job. You should also be aware of personal requirements. You must appreciate the vision of who and what the client is looking for. The same bullet points in a job description could be two different types of people, depending on the company and who they're looking for. 

You might have a startup founder who's looking for somebody completely different to what a mid-sized corporation is looking for. A person who is going to jump into a startup environment, fill multiple roles within the company, and be willing to take on more every single day, is not the same person who is ideal for a larger, more structured team.

Q: What metrics define a successful match? 

A: There are a couple of perspectives to consider. 

From the perspective of Torc, we want to match people to a position as quickly as possible.

From the client's perspective, it’s about how quickly we could find a qualified person. And, how quickly can that person ramp up when they start working with them? Are they a fit for the client's needs? 

And from the talent's perspective, are they quickly getting an opportunity once they start looking for work? Were they able to proceed through the matching process efficiently? And then, do they feel that they are a fit for the team for the duration of the project or longer term goal? Do they feel like they can contribute and grow with the client over time? Those are things that they would be looking for.

 Q: What is your biggest challenge in talent operations? 

A: I think the biggest challenge in talent operations is that regardless of the level of automation, and the level of technology that you are leveraging, there are multiple customers to serve at the same time (talent and enterprise). This means there are two sides to the equation where there are specific personality traits, preferences, vacations, and scheduling ideas. You have to understand that's going to be the case and embrace it.

I think the companies that try and disregard that, the companies that try and treat talent acquisition processes as a soulless machine, are the ones that ultimately don't have success. 

Q: How do you manage quality across international talents?

A: The same way that you manage quality across any talent pool. There are baseline requirements for skills and capabilities. You can measure these with automated tests and AI. You can measure them with technical coding interviews, screening calls, and more. The international component can impact language communication skills, along with time zone and the working shift a person might need to be involved with, which can be things to consider.

Q: How do you anticipate and meet evolving client needs?

A:  Anticipation of client needs relies on the relationship that you have with the client. If you do not build a solid relationship with your client, you're not going to be able to anticipate what their needs are, because they're simply not communicating with you about those needs before they arise.

If you have a solid relationship with your client base, they are much more likely to mention future needs to you before they become a reality. That gives us time as a marketplace to build and work with the community, to ensure that we have the base of candidates they are going to need when they come to us ready to hire.

You have to understand the trends in the marketplace. You have to understand that AI and machine learning are here to stay. They're growing, they're going to be a continuing point of demand on the client side. The community has to evolve to meet that demand. That's going to be the same for dealing with the changing needs of both existing clients and new clients

Q: How does Torc attract and keep top talent?

A: This goes back to the founding team within Torc and the approach that we take toward our community. Torc has an inclusive, far-reaching community of individuals who are very interested in looking for work and growing their careers. We understand that there is more to the community than just getting people a job, and I think that is an attitude that permeates through the entire culture of Torc and doesn't exist at many other marketplaces, which are often solely focused on getting bodies in seats for the client.

We typically look for long-term, full-time, stable opportunities for our talent. We also take an approach where we check in with both the talent and the client regularly to ensure that everything is going well. We're sharing feedback and ideas. We're helping them with best practices. We're helping them grow in their careers continuously while engaged with clients. Some enterprise teams are better managed than others. We help level the playing field and make sure our developers are getting the support they need to continue being successful and deliver high quality work.

Q: What is your top tip for job seekers on Torc?

A: Make sure you have a Torc profile that is complete, comprehensive and well-written. That's going to improve our platform's ability to surface you when the an appropriate job opening comes. This extends to your contact information, too. If you include your phone number, WhatsApp, email address, and LinkedIn profile, we can easily let you know we have a job opportunity for you. The easier you are to contact and the more complete your profile, the better your chances of getting hired.

All of those things that make it feel very professional, but also very personal, and those are the things that stand out to clients when comparing candidates side by side. Improving your Torc profile will have a huge impact on your ability to find a job.

Mark’s adherence to the importance of matching developers with the right clients, and vice-versa, highlights both his and Torc’s dedication to ensuring that jobs are not merely filled, but filled right. Talent matching is a complex process with many personal, human elements on all ends of the spectrum to cater to. Mark’s clarity and focus towards the matching process shone through during our discussion and the methods of operation he utilizes are carefully measured.


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