HRTech Interview with Eric Levin, EVP Client Development of Model Match

HRTech Interview

The HRTech space is an infinite domain ranging from client relationships to candidate experience. Is there something more that HR leaders miss?

1. Can you tell us more about yourself and your career before Model Match?

I started a small business in college in the health and fitness industry and became comfortable with the “eat what you kill” model of small business and startups. After graduating, my wife and I moved to western North Carolina where I was introduced to the “passive” recruiting industry where I built a team supporting the Real Estate Finance industry.

In 2008, the financial crisis put many of our clients and competition out of business but we saw this as an opportunity to double down so to speak and put ourselves in a position to differentiate and pick up market share. During that time I partnered with Drew Waterhouse to form Hammerhouse which was the precursor to Model Match.

2. Could you brief us about Model Match and your role there as an EVP of Client Development?

Model Match was an idea that came from our work at Hammerhouse supporting companies in their strategic growth/recruiting efforts. At Hammerhouse we started a specific process called “Model Matching” which incorporated not only the vetting of shared core competencies between “recruit” and company, but also staged and trackable processes from identification, engagement, meeting/trust building, to onboarding and retention.

This concept became the foundation of Model Match, a Sass platform designed to provide an enterprise and individual user better candidate identification, visibility, collaboration, reporting, and overall efficiency in the relationship building process that is integral to successful recruiting and retention. As Co-Founder and EVP Client Development I am involved in all aspects of the business with a focus on Enterprise Client engagement, support, event speaking, and consulting/best practices.

3. What’s your favorite part about working in this industry?

The human aspect. “Jobs” are only a part of recruiting. People follow/join people and people leave people.

Managing recruiting as more of a relationship-building process not only leads to stronger retention but it makes the process more engaging and enjoyable.

Learning what problems individuals and organizations are having and building solutions to those problems is what I enjoy the most. Model Match is a tech solution, but we engage as a partner not a vendor, and that is what I enjoy the most.

4. How do you perceive the term “recruiter” in the HRTech landscape?

That’s a great question. When it comes to engaging with talent that does not necessarily “need” a job, the word “recruiter” is wrong and out of touch. If you are truly engaging on both sides (company and candidate) as a trusted advisor then you’re creating value that goes way beyond filling an open position.

Even in the environment where someone is accountable to filling open positions and targeting those with public resumes, full cycle recruiting only works if you are collaborating across the organization and in partnership with hiring managers. That collaboration creates efficiencies that add tremendous value. And there again, the word “recruiter” does not do the work justice. We need a survey/competition to come up with a better word! 

5. When it comes to defining a process in Human Resources, which points would you like to highlight?

Collaboration, Visibility, and Reporting. Obviously there are many other components that fall into a well rounded HR process but when HR is siloed and lives outside of the lines of business it supports, those key points are necessary to ensure you don’t create opportunities for “black holes” and mistakes.

6. What are the key elements that go into building a candidate pipeline in Human Resources?

First, clearly identify who you are as an organization, line of business, and the role itself. This audit will help you create the criteria necessary to then build the proper pipeline and “Model Match” opportunities to not only the individual needs but your organization overall. This takes work in the beginning but creates efficiency going forward buying you more time. After this, the use of a tool that will help you identify opportunities (candidates) and add them to an actionable project environment is invaluable as well as adoption from other stakeholders in the process.

7. Which pain points do customers usually approach you with?

Time. Many times organizations don’t realize on the surface that this is their primary problem, but after a discovery discussion there is generally a realization that an overall lack of efficiency is their greatest pain point. Early in our evolution we looked to solve this pain by throwing recruiters and human capital at the problem but that is not scalable. Adoption of Saas platforms like Model Match create efficiencies that are scalable and then if more human capital is necessary that can be added on top…versus the other way around. This is also much more cost-effective in the long run.

8. What is the importance of client relationship building in the Human Resources landscape?

As it relates to our client relationship building and development it’s paramount. There are certainly times where a client user knows exactly what they want and has the internal champion to support platform training and adoption…in those cases the software can stand on its own. That said, our business development and success team work closely with our clients in the beginning stages and throughout to establish a trusted relationship that leads to a clear understanding of the challenges that Model Match will solution and support. One of the best compliments we get is when our clients see us as a partner and not simply a technology vendor.

9. How can we create a “value proposition” as a part of client communication?

Identify the core competencies of your company and industry and match those against the individual opportunity (candidate) in the vetting process. Core competencies can include examples like “Business, Leadership, Culture, Technology, Operations (processes), and Geography (where are you, where is the candidate, where is the business).” Once the value proposition is created at the corp level and can be communicated consistently across hiring managers and stakeholders it will then support consistency in the process of pipeline development, relationship/candidate development, vetting, and ultimately onboarding and retention.

10. In your opinion, what are the most exciting topics in HRTech right now? How do you keep up with the constantly changing landscape?

I think the balance between technology solutions and adoption is one of the most intriguing topics. There are individual industries ahead on tech solutions and others way behind…but both tend to continue to struggle at some level with adoption. This lack of adoption leads to decreased ROI and confusion across an organization that can result in painful attrition. It’s up to both the tech provider AND the organization to own the challenge of adoption and that starts with leadership (from the client) communicating with confidence and strategic direction to the internal “users” of the platform. Going in with a “pilot” mentality is a recipe for failure.

On the second half of the question – “Keeping up” is always a challenge but it is made much easier by attending as many onsite opportunities that puts us in front of other tech providers. We can all learn from each other and some of the best are not afraid to share what is working and what isn’t. Nobody created anything successful completely on their own…you have to be open to what others are doing and learn from it. In addition, you better listen to your users. 

At Model Match we created an infrastructure that included internal Model Match users that would help us stay ahead of things that could be improved and added…this has been highly valuable as we tend to learn and improve ahead of our client users feedback. 

11. Can you give us a sneak peek into Model Match’s development plans?

Well, I could tell you but then I would have to…ok, just kidding! NDA’s aside….we have a fantastic crew of developers and the best Product Manager on the planet that continues to push our solution to some exciting places. Additional advancements in automation will continue to be a big topic on our roadmap to better align the user experience to the processes that create the most value. 

In addition we see huge value in aligning the candidates themselves within Model Match allowing for additional automation and dynamic communication tools to support prospect and opportunity identification, vetting, reporting, and overall pipeline value. We could keep going but since this is our first date my corporate attorney is whispering for me to slow down!

12. What is the biggest piece of advice you would want to give to company leaders? 

View failure as part of the process and try to embrace it. I remember shortly after starting Model Match my partners and I were in a meeting in front of a whiteboard moving priorities up and down. In the midst of the exercise 2 of us were pushing the need to get something correct out of the gate and whether or not we were ready. 

Our 3rd partner calmly said, “We’re ready to roll that out…if you think it could break, then let’s break it. How else will we know how to get it right.” That has stuck with me since then. We don’t know what is perfect and quite frankly perfection may not exist. It’s actually necessary to break a few things on the way to the solution that works.

13. How do you stay motivated? What are your key learnings from your career so far?

How do I stay motivated? I don’t sit still well so that is helpful. I also never want lack of effort to be the reason I or anything I’m involved with doesn’t work out. We can’t control market conditions but we can control how we react to them and the effort we put in along the way. Control what you can control…and effort/motivation is one of those things. 

Key learnings? With effort and surrounding yourself with the right people, you never know what is around the next corner. I never would have thought that I would be involved in a technology company that has accomplished what we have in a short time. We have a LONG way to go and zero motivation to slow down….I’m excited to see where this continues to go and where the user community takes us.

14. What movie/book has inspired you recently?

Random answer to this one – I was a guest on a podcast recently and the host asked me about current economic headwinds and how they’re impacting our clients. I started talking about investments in “down” markets and that these are the markets where the next “winners” are made. 

Without hesitation I quoted – “This market will be a defining moment. And in defining moments you either define the moment, or the moment defines you.” So…since that quote is from the movie Tin Cup, I’m gonna go with that one. Probably not the profound answer you were expecting – I could have said Atlas Shrugged or Shawshank Redemption…instead you got a quote from a comedy movie about a struggling golf pro managing a beat up driving range in nowhere Texas. But…great movie and great quote!

For more such Updates Log on to

Eric Levin, EVP Client Development of Model Match

In his role as EVP of Client Development, Eric leverages his more than 20 years of industry experience to support the strategic growth needs of clients within the Financial Services Industry as an external recruiting partner with an internal “value add” approach. Eric utilizes a hands-on/client partnership approach that extends into on-site coaching and training. Along with authoring articles for various industry publications, Eric also hosts The Walk podcast.