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Meet Chuck Taylor, Affinity Circle’s VP Marketing – Sourcing Tool Enhances Passive Talent Relationships, Part 1

Posted on June 23, 2008
Filed Under Interviews, Sourcing Technologies | Comments Off on Meet Chuck Taylor, Affinity Circle’s VP Marketing – Sourcing Tool Enhances Passive Talent Relationships, Part 1

By Dave Mendoza, Master Cybersleuth, Affiliate Partner,

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I met Chuck a few weeks prior to Kennedy Expo Las Vegas. His sense of passion is rare among those marketing their products, and from personal observation, it is because he lives and breathes the potential and the immediate strengths of building passive talent relationships; a subject matter close to our hearts at SixDegrees. Articulating a feeling is one thing, presenting product potential is quite another.

I have had two demonstrations of InCircle Recruiting and each time, I see Web 2.0 in practice with a robust branding element for both employer and practitioners of their trade. The innovative technology application deserved a closer look and Chuck was kind enough to share additional details on the growth of Affinity Circles and its solutions.

Chuck Taylor
Vice President of Marketing and Business Development

Contact (650) 810-1536 or
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Taylor is responsible for all marketing and business development activities at Affinity Circles, including setting market strategy, overseeing strategic partnerships, and running brand, field, product and channel marketing efforts. He recently authored a white paper about recruiting through social media, entitled Winning the War for Talent, which is available at the company’s website. Taylor has experience developing innovative consumer and enterprise web services and has been frequently quoted in articles about recruiting in a web 2.0 world. Prior to joining Affinity Circles, he was director of product marketing for Yahoo!, where he had product P&L responsibility for HotJobs, a $100+ million Yahoo! property serving the online recruitment advertising market. He also worked as a product manager for Progressive Insurance, where he ran a national marine insurance business with over $7 billion in assets insured. As a consultant for Bain & Company, he advised Fortune 100 business leaders on a host of strategic issues, and as an operations manager for Procter & Gamble, he boosted manufacturing capacity and return on capital assets within the company’s consumer paper products division. Taylor earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and his Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He resides in the San Francisco bay area.

LinkedIn profile:

Six Degrees: Chuck, tell us about your company, Affinity Circles

Chuck Taylor: Affinity Circles is the leading provider of exclusive social networks for alumni and professional associations. The company hosts over 140 “inCircle” networks, serving more than 15 million degreed professionals. We also offer inCircle Recruiting, a candidate sourcing tool that allows employers to target and build relationships with qualified, passive candidates within the exclusive social networks they trust.

Six Degrees: How was Your Company Founded?

Chuck Taylor: Affinity Circles was founded in 2002 by Stanford PhD students. The company is currently venture-backed and located in Silicon Valley.

Six Degrees: Where did attract and develop investors?

Chuck Taylor: The company has attracted investment from Amizad Ventures, Concept2Company Ventures and Storm Ventures.

Six Degrees: Tell us about inCircle’s Value Proposition?

Chuck Taylor: The company’s value proposition to associations is three fold. First, inCircle allows them to connect their members online in a trusted, exclusive environment featuring their brand, which increases member participation and loyalty. Second, inCircle facilitates the exchange of valuable career opportunities between members and attracts valuable career opportunities from employers who value the association. Third, inCircle provides the association with valuable member data, which can be used to more efficiently develop and market member services. The company’s value proposition to employers is that we help them more cost effectively source qualified candidates than traditional recruitment media or contingency recruiting services. With inCircle Recruiting, employers can build their own talent pipeline of qualified candidates from our inCircle networks, greatly shortening the recruiting cycle and reducing yield loss caused by unqualified applications.

Six Degrees: What is the pricing structure for your services/products?

Chuck Taylor: Our inCircle network is sold as a hosted web-based service, and is typically sold as a multi-year, exclusive service agreement. inCircle Recruiting is sold as a subscription service, in 6 and 12 month terms, which includes the ability to target an unlimited number of candidates from our networks.

Six Degrees: What is the future for Your Company?

Chuck Taylor: Affinity Circles has a lot of room to grow in many ways. In the past year, we have more than doubled the number of official networks we host, and anticipate similar growth for the next few years. On the inCircle Recruiting side of our business, we currently serve approximately two dozen F500 employers across a range of industries. Now that we have taken the product out of beta, we anticipate growing this customer base significantly in the coming quarters.

Chuck Taylor: Do you blog?

Chuck Taylor: Affinity Circles will be launching a corporate blog in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Six Degrees: Tell me something others may not know about you.

Chuck Taylor: I am passionate about endurance sports and am currently training for my first Iron Man triathlon.

Case Studies


View a video of Wynn Smiley, CEO of ATO National Fraternity Organization

“inCircle® is one of the best ways we’ve found to build our global alumni community. Providing housing searches, targeted, pre-qualified networking opportunities, and connections with old friends are just a few of the ways inCircle helps us provide value to our alumni, no matter when they graduated. We look forward to adding new inCircle features that will excite alumni of all ages and encourage lifelong connections with the Alumni Association and Santa Clara University.”

-Kathy Kale, Executive Director, Santa Clara University Alumni Association

“The technology behind Affinity Circles’ online social networking solution and the customer service of its team are the perfect combination. Our inCircle community is hugely successful and allows us to provide a meaningful benefit to our alumni and friends. The Gator Nation Network is one of our best programs and we are thrilled with the product and service of Affinity Circles.”

-Randy Talbot, Executive Director, University of Florida Alumni Association

“Affinity Circles is helping us realize a dream we have held for years – a virtual community of Stanford Alumni…”

-Howard Wolf, President, Stanford Alumni Association

User Testimonials

I was on the inCircle site and thought I would search for Switzerland. I didn’t expect to find any results. Sure enough, there is another GE working in Switzerland. We are planning to meet for dinner in the coming weeks. Kudos to the inCircle team for making this happen.”

-UIUC Alumnus

[Alumnus above] and I just figured out that we’re both in Switzerland, and are going to have dinner in a few weeks!”

-UIUC Alumnus

“Because the rush chairman sent me an invitation to join his circle of friends, I sent him a private email asking him to tell me a little about the chapter today. I’ll be honest with you, Terry, Trey’s kind response made my eyes a little misty. It brought a whole flood of wonderful mental images and thoughts of nearly a half-century ago when I became an ATO. As a result of inCircle and the contacts I’ve made, I am sending a check to help the chapter with their summer rush efforts! And, if the young men from my chapter really include us old alumni in their successes (as well as their challenges) during the year, I will be honored to continue my correspondence with them! To sweeten the pie, I shall be pleased to send a check every so often to the house scholastic leaders or maybe for a special event. I feel a bit like a grandfather wanting to help his grandsons to become the best men they can be. Sometimes, a little check helps to lubricate the wheels in that process.

There is a LOT of power available from us old duffer alumni. InCircle can be the basis for an enthusiastic new era in chapter participation.”

-ATO Brother ’62

“I signed up for inCircle almost two years ago but didn’t really use it until recently. Once I started seeing all of the potential of this tool, I was really excited and hooked! I did a search for the word “Canada” (since I am a Canadian) and scrolled through the list of hits. I was extremely surprised to see a pledge sister who I have not even heard about let alone heard from in more than 10 years. I sent her an email and she replied very quickly. We had a good email “catch up” session and are meeting this week for dinner in person. Her life in the past 10 years sounds so interesting that I thought I’d share the opportunity to meet her with anyone who was in the area so I used inCircle to invite others. I believe we have about 10 women from a variety of years joining us. I am really looking forward to the event this week. ”

-Laura, University of Toronto

“Being out of the country, Gator Nation Network is the best way to stay connected to the Gator Nation. It has also been helpful in finding Gators in other parts of the world. I love it!”

-Stefanie, University of Florida Class of 1998

“Experiencing the popularity of Facebook and MySpace makes me appreciate that Gator Nation Network is both a professional network as well as a social network. It’s a great way for younger alumni to stay connected to University of Florida and find useful connections to start a career.”

-Sarah, University of Florida Class of 2006

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