We had the good fortune to spend a day last week with the recruiting leaders from a dozen of our customers. Given our mission to “reinvent recruiting for candidates and companies”, it was reassuring to receive positive feedback that we are on our way and get amazing guidance on where we should focus next.
I have been in the software industry for 20 years and run hundreds of “advisory boards”, but have never experienced the level of “we are in this together-ness” that emanated from that room. To a person and company – whether from centralized tech hiring models at Ancestry.com, Atlassian, IAC, Informatica or Okta, or from decentralized field hiring models at Equinox and Skechers – the feedback was universal that everyone felt they had finally discovered, in their words, a recruiting platform that “doesn’t suck” and a vendor that “doesn’t disappear” post-sale.
Admittedly and somewhat unfortunately, the bar to jump over is not high. As I wrote in HR Deserves Great Software Too, the technology that has been peddled to HR and especially to recruiting has been abysmal. Even worse, the level of partnership post-sales is non-existent. Our approach as a product-centric, user-centric and customer-centric company, is to enable Hiring Success. This only occurs when one combines a comprehensive platform with a talented post-sales team who is with the client every step of the way as they drive transformation across their organization. Why? Simple. We are in the hero-making business. If our champions don’t accomplish amazing “stand up and take notice” things, then we are no different than every other promising but ultimately “it’s all the just same” technology vendor.
Some of these clients have been with us less than six months and have already seen amazing results. My favorite quote of the day was “we received more candidates with SmartRecruiters in 2 months than we did with Taleo in 7 years”. Almost as impressive were those echoing that “for the first time ever, our hiring managers not only log into our recruiting platform frequently but there is demand from new hiring managers to get set up on SmartRecruiters because they hear it’s terrific”. Others raved about the candidate experience they now can provide, unlocking inbound channels that they had long ago given up on. Wow. That is what’s all about. Most reassuring was the level of intimacy and appreciation for our post-sales team – often the folks who go unnoticed in software companies. Literally every customer raved about their implementation and account management team, considering those folks as part of their ongoing team.
We had a very interactive day where we spent the first half receiving pointed feedback about our go-to-market strategies, especially “if they worked here”, how would they adjust our marketing, sales and support approaches. This isn’t a traditional question posed to customers but I have always felt your customers will guide you best. For the afternoon, we went deep into our product roadmap and allowed the customers to play “product manager”, prioritizing the areas we should focus on for the next six months (“needs”), along with what would be life-changing for them in a year (“dreams”). We then went deep into defining and prioritizing Hiring Success metrics, because our platform (where you have all the data from source to close, and where candidates, recruiters and hiring managers actually use the system) enables Recruiting leaders to access in real-time the key metrics around Quality, Speed and Costs –for what they need to present up to the C-level and what they need to better manage their teams.
Then we wrapped it up with a terrific meal – good food, good libations and good cheer all around.
What’s my take-away? We are on the right track for sure. This is a noisy and confusing industry, with literally hundreds of companies claiming to help customers “find-engage-hire” and literally thousands of customers dissatisfied with the actual results. Our approach to hiring success is unique, and our approach to how we partner with our clients is special. Our clients, as evidenced by some of their comments below, will drive us forward to effect the change that they seek.
“I just feel so lucky to be with a vendor that cares so much about their clients. Honestly, SmartRecruiters is part of our culture now. This was simply amazing”.
“I think SmartRecruiters is at the point where we just see it as an extension of our team…A lot of that was validated when we heard similar feedback from the other clients”.
“Great to get some early insight into the process and hear all the success other clients have had. It is really important for us to have a highly engaged vendor. We have never had that before”.
“We’ve only just begun, but we already feel like our voice is being heard and we are part of the SmartRecruiters family”.
“We’re growing so fast and literally couldn’t ever imagine we’d find a partner like SmartRecruiters.”
“We never imagined there would be a tool out there that can amplify the quality of hires that we are forced to make in the way in which SmartRecruiters has”