Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.

It’s been approximately six months since my last post and my first day @ SmartRecruiters.

That was one month after I gave this speech at UCSB as a guest lecturer around my view around what it takes to build an impactful technology company. I am not a paid professional lecturer nor did I stay at a Holiday Express last night. It was just based on what I have seen over the last 22 years working in the valley.

The title of that presentation and the title of this blog are stolen from the great NBC series “Friday Night Lights” and is Coach Taylor’s tagline. Now I am sure no one has an hour to watch some speech from someone you don’t know – probably much easier to watch this two minute two minute clip from Coach Taylor himself:

At the highest levels, to translate this for all of us “business” folks, to be a truly winning company – a company that makes a lasting impact – then you must have:

  • Clear Eyes: You know who exactly who you are, what you do, and who you serve. Your customers know exactly what you stand for.  Even your mom should be able to explain it.
  • Full Hearts: Your customers have a strong emotional connection to you because you made them a hero in some way. Your employees run through walls for you and run harder through walls for your customers.

And if you as a business can achieve both of these items, you may be fortunate to create something much more important than a thriving business – you have created a movement, a mission if you will.

If you create a movement, odds are you can’t lose.  I learned that from Marc Benioff & where even today, with more than 14,000 employees, I had a question around forecasting in the tool (yes I am the SFDC admin here as one of my duties), I sent an email to folks I knew and within an hour their PM on Forecasting was ready to jump on a call with us. Didn’t check to see if I had premium support. Didn’t pass me off to someone else. Scheduled a call that day. Wow.

For the last six months, we have been incredibly hard at work here at SmartRecruiters, focused on these same exact tenets. It’s an incredibly time-consuming process – with many many hours of blood, sweat, tears and a ton of heart to get right.  But by jove, I think, we have done it.

  • We know who we are: We are the new way to hire. We are your one workspace to find and hire great people. The workspace that works the way you do.
  • We know who we serve: It’s our mandate to save the recruiters (aren’t we all recruiters) from the misery of the systems of yore – dearth of great candidates, horrible candidate experience, hiring managers not engaged, swivel chair integration between systems and vendors, etc.

But far more importantly, we have heart – in spades.

We have assembled an unbelievable team who works tirelessly day in and day night as they realize this is a once in a life-time opportunity to create a great company that makes a huge impact on an entire industry.

They see what I see – what Jerome’s sees – we are on the cusp of a “movement”.  We are impacting our customers in a new and very emotional ways. How do I know this? Simple. Our customers tell us so.

I share with you the two messages below we received just this week from two new customers of our Pro edition (our paid version) who are managing their recruiting on SmartRecruiters.  These are folks who only became customers within the last 30 days.

When we people ask me invariably items around our “strategy” – such as what do I think about the competitors, about the market, about the team, etc. – I tell them one simple thing.  My job and everyone’s job at SmartRecruiters is just get more emails / phone calls like these :


Customer #1 got kudos from their applicants.

Happy Customer


Customer #2  got kudos from their entire extended leadership team. The email read, “I know how important feedback can be and that sometimes the weight of the feedback can get lost in email, so I wanted to can give you a call and share some thoughts.” Here are those thoughts:

  • You have made me a true hero within the eyes of my entire company. From our execs, to our management team, our engineers, and even those at our parent company, People can not stop raving about this new tool (SmartRecruiters) that we just rolled out.
  • I have tried many systems in my career and I cannot believe what you have built. I am truly impressed and more importantly I am grateful for what you have given us.
  • I have created monsters in my office.  It seems that every time I look up people are using your app on their iPhones and iPads. My engineers are in love!
  • Your team has been an absolute pleasure to work with. Anton Hooker is so responsive and professional. And we spoke with Natalia Baryshnikova today and wow. Just wow.


Wow, right?

Hard not to break out the tissues – this is what it’s all about. This is what it makes all the time and energy and sacrifice so worth it.  We are so thankful for our customers who have already joined the movement and we will never rest until each of our clients sends us a similar email.

And with that focus, we can’t lose. Feel free to reach out to me any time.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Cant Lose,


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Brett Queener President & COO, SmartRecruiters About the Author: Brett Queener is President and COO of SmartRecruiters, an industry-leading Talent Acquisition Platform with 700+ customers including AOL, Atlassian, Skechers, MicroStrategy, and Ubisoft. Prior to SmartRecruiters, Brett was a senior executive at for 11 years, including as the Head of Products where he launched many market-winners including the industry-changing Salesforce AppExchange.
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