Sramana: What did you do after you sold your company?
Jerome Ternynck: I moved to San Francisco because being an entrepreneur in Europe is harder than it needs to be. If you are going to try and solve a big global problem you need to do it from the US or from an area where you have access to a significant market with significant capital.
In my previous company we saw the burst of the market and we were at the very start of it. In Europe our market went from $0 to $100 million in 10 years and we were happy about that. Meanwhile in the US it went from $0 to $1 Billion. The biggest European vendors had revenues of $25 million while the biggest US vendors had revenues of $250 million. At that point it is game over.
I did my first company in Prague and my second from London. I committed that I was not going to do another one from Europe so I moved here with my family. We moved here in 2010 and I founded SmartRecruiters. I am now trying to fix recruiting. That is the heart of what we are trying to achieve. We are building one platform that makes hiring easy for businesses and allows people to find a job in a more effective way. That has been my journey since 2011.
Sramana: Crystalize for us the core ideas of SmartRecruiters.
Jerome Ternynck: It is one workspace to find and hire great people. In that statement I have three parts. I have one workspace. We give businesses one platform and environment to manage all of their hiring processes, jobs, candidates and employees. It is one workspace to manage recruiting.
The second part is one workspace to find candidates. Companies today have to find and engage candidates from various channels. We have a complete sourcing solution that allows people to easily create jobs, share them with their networks, ask their employees for referrals, dispatch new jobs on the website, advertise jobs on external job boards, search through databases for candidates, and everything else. We give them one place to go and find candidates. We make it extremely easy for candidates to raise their hands and tell people that they are interested.
Once you find candidates the second part is to hire them. This is something that companies struggle with today because recruiting is disconnected from the business. They have no technology that helps the hiring team manage the interview process. Hiring managers are disconnected from HR. We have a very easy consumerized app that helps hiring teams make better decisions.
Sramana: Are you focused on enterprise customers?
Jerome Ternynck: Customers are anyone who wants to hire.
Sramana: How do you drive the sales effort? What customers do you go after?
Jerome Ternynck: We started as a free app. Anyone who wants to hire can use our app. In our first years we saw that everyone needs to hire. It could be a hot startup or the UN or a police force. We have restaurants and law firms using us. We really focused on helping someone who needs to hire make the hire. This is what we are really optimized for.
We just announced a pro version that has a set of features that could allow a company to manage their recruiting and optimize processes around that using our features. We are talking about a premium version that is sold to the HR VP and covers compliance, integration, planning, and controlling the accounts.