Sramana: When did you reach the $5 million mark?
Jerome Ternynck: We passed that mark some time ago. From a revenue standpoint, it hasn’t been our focus in that we really want to build a tool that people love using.
Sramana: If you are a venture funded company, you must focus on revenue.
Jerome Ternynck: The focus should be on where you want to go. It would have been very easy for us to take our money, hire account people, and pass the $10 million mark a lot earlier. We didn’t do that. We didn’t hire a single sales person or marketeer until we raised our Series B. That is the price to pay to build an organization that is not relying on sales for a revenue, but relies on the product instead.
Sramana: It sounds like you have an extensive product vision.
Jerome Ternynck: Yes, the vision is grand. I want to fix recruiting. There is a lot that goes into that statement.
Sramana: Everybody is on LinkedIn. You are vying for huge dollars spent on recruiting and they get a lot of it.
Jerome Ternynck: LinkedIn is one of our partners and was a very early partner of ours. They are in our store. If I am an organization and I spent all of my money on LinkedIn, I might find that they only account for 10% of my hires. LinkedIn is just one of the many places companies go to get hires. I am providing a platform that manages 100% of your hires. Some might come from LinkedIn, others from a referral program. Others would come from recruiters and from Monster. Wherever they come from, we want to have one platform that allows you to hire great people.
Sramana: Does that mean you are trying to compete with Taleo and SuccessFactors? They are trying to build the same thing.
Jerome Ternynck: Yes. They have failed to achieve that. If you look at a customer who uses Taleo, you will find that they have a hard time finding and engaging candidates on Taleo. They have a candidate conversion ratio of 3%. That means that most people who use Taleo and have a good candidate lined up will ask that candidate not to apply through Taleo. Does Taleo allow you to post jobs across multiple sites? No, they don’t. They don’t have a good referral program. They completely miss this generation of recruiting technology. If you go to the largest Taleo customers and ask if their managers use Taleo for hiring, they will say that they don’t. The systems are not built for that. They email the CVs and receive feedback on a piece of paper, and then they manually enter the data. That’s not the system that modern organizations want to use. We are bad news for Taleo.
Sramana: Have you been able to get customers to move off of Taleo and onto your product?
Jerome Ternynck: Every day.
Sramana: You said that Taleo converts 3%. What is your metric?
Jerome Ternyck: We convert 44%.