SmartRecruiters Blog
SmartStart - Free Recruiting Software

Hiring Changes Today for the 99%

Today marks a very exciting day, both for SmartRecruiters and for the overall recruitment technology industry. It also marks an interesting and innovative pricing and packaging alternative to what 99% of software companies provide.

With the launch of SmartStart, we are now providing our world-class recruiting solution – the same one more or less used by folks like Visa, Optimizely, IKEA, and even 200,000+ employees at Bosch – absolutely free – to 99% of the businesses worldwide.

There is no catch, no hidden surprises, no missing features, and no forced upsell.

For companies hiring less than 10 people at a time (which is about 250 employees or less) our core next gen recruiting product is free. And according to US Census Data, there are 18,204,679 companies in the US and 18,136,977 of them have less than 250 employees.

Starting today, 18,136,977 companies in the US and an order of magnitude more than that worldwide, can use in my mind (I am biased) the best recruiting solution in the market for free.

This is in a way a return to our roots.

For those not familiar with SmartRecruiters, we started as a completely free software with an integrated market-place. We then, like other tech companies do, started to add “miums” to get people to pay more for the free software and so on. However, along our commercialization journey we discovered that there was terrific demand from and defensible differentiation for mid-enterprise to large global organizations. This was simply because these organizations were already using sub-par recruiting technology which was hurting their ability to compete for great talent and they completely and quickly “got it” why we were better. It also helped that they had readily available money to spend. This then became our primary go-to-market and we have effectively competed here vis a vis the legacy laggard HRIS and recruiting tech competitors.

So the question is – why not just ignore that market segment that isn’t your primary focus? Why bother with launching what appears to be a silly business offering – the same great product for free for 99% of the world’s companies?

I will tell you why:

Because We Can. The secret sauce of SAAS providers is that for most companies, the variable cost of supporting an incremental customer (at least from a software development and hosting perspective) is de minimis. Our success up-market allows us to cover financially whatever incremental expense is borne by supporting our SmartStart customers. Furthermore, unlike most software companies which serve the enterprise and lose the plot in regards to ease of use and as such can’t effectively serve SMBs, our platform is and must always be incredibly easy to use – otherwise candidates and hiring managers, the two populations that most ATS’s ignore/abuse, would reject the software in less than five seconds.

Because We Should. Per the last point, ensuring that we have a product that 99% of the world’s companies can easily sign up for and use in a self-service manner will continue to keep our product and design teams honest and prevent us from becoming Taleo in 2027 that everyone has selected but hates. With SmartStart we will immediately add thousands of customers (albeit free) who may not provide immediate revenue today but will likely become amazing brand advocates and buzz-generators (which is often priceless) and some of them will grow large enough at some point to pay us for our software.

Because We Care. This is the most important reason. Our mission at SmartRecruiters is to connect great people to great jobs. Frankly, it is simply too hard for companies to find the great talent they need to thrive and achieve their goals. Given our raison d’etre, given our business success and given the fact that we can offer a great free offering for 99% of the world’s companies without it being what our investors might call a “great distraction”, we simply believe we must do it. Anything to the contrary would be disingenuous to the higher purpose we are trying to serve at SmartRecruiters.

You are who you hire,



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