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Shane Douthitt headshot
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Location: Huntersville, NC
Founded: 2008
Industry: Human resources


Shane Douthitt
Co-founder and Managing Partner


SMD is a talent management and analytics company. SMD Link, its patented cloud-based talent software, identifies cause-effect relationships between talent management data and business outcomes. The software was designed to close a specific gap: Businesses were spending money on talent management and assessment tools that weren’t making an impact. At the same time, HR professionals were not able to prove the value of the programs they enacted. “The C-suite could never get the answer to the ‘What is the value?’ question,” says Shane Douthitt, co-founder and managing partner. “SMD set out to solve these problems with technology.” Since the launch of SMD Link, more than one million assessments have been conducted and analyzed on the platform.

QUICK TIP: “We learned quickly that delivering a sound value proposition and flawless customer service speaks volumes.”

SMD faces a large number of competitors in its space, including Fortune 500 companies. As a smaller business, SMD has to overcome concerns that it won’t have the capacity to support potential customers. However, the company has found a way to differentiate itself. “The majority of our competitors in the HR space don’t tie their products directly to business results,” says Douthitt. “Our approach is to directly link employee survey results to the company’s business metrics. This allows us to prioritize actions and show both expected and actual ROI.”