Entrepreneurial Story of Perry Oostdam and Pawel Smoczyk who founded Recruitee located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Poznan, Poland
- Perry Oostdam is CEO and co-founder of Recruitee. Perry studied New Business Venturing (Msc) and Financial Law (LLM) in Rotterdam and Singapore and is currently active in Rhodan Ventures as an informal investor.
- Pawel Smoczyk is CTO and co-founder of Recruitee. Pawel is a senior programmer with more than eight years of experience.
When Started: 01/08/2015
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Poznan, Poland
Tell us about your Business
Recruitee is an all-in-one solution for your team to recruit talent together. It replaces separate emails, spreadsheets, and hidden files and collects all in one online platform. We save you time and you can be sure that the whole team is up-to-date and collaborates better in hiring.
The idea for Recruitee came out of our own frustration when we recruited new people for our previous company. We noticed that there was no system available which was simple enough as a start to grow quickly without being tangled with administration. That idea developed quickly as the concept for Recruitee.
We work in two teams: The development team is based in Poznan and the marketing team is in Amsterdam. We work remotely with each other and also from day one as an international company. Our customers are all over the world, from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv and New York.
Tell us what an average day in your life looks like.
I wake up checking Recruitee’s Slack channels, checking my emails, scheduling things to be done within the day. Then I go to the office and start coordinating my team’s work, mainly via Trello and Slack. During the day I can have meetings, talk with the sales guy about sales, or the marketing department about campaigns optimization. I often call my co-founder to discuss which features to focus on next. Then I go home, have dinner, check emails and work on Recruitee a bit more before going to bed.
One particular skill you got right and gave you best results.
Make everything simple. It’s a fight to keep Recruitee clean and clear, while having a roster of must-have features. We’ve managed it pretty well so far.
What have been your biggest challenges in running your Business so far? How did you overcome these challenges?
Time! We are going to put a lot of momentum behind online marketing and continue to expand the team. We have been preoccupied with content marketing for several months, we reach many people with it. For now, we are mainly represented in Europe, so a few big American names would be obviously fantastic.
What have you found the most effective way to get new clients?
It sounds out-dated and came as a surprise, but it works: pick up your phone and start calling.
What advice do you give to other business owners?
Pick up your phone and start calling to get new customers.
How did you keep motivated through difficult times?
The vision we have for Recruitee in the future.
What are your Marketing, Funding, and Team Building Strategy?
The market for HR software is very busy. There are many players who are in each other’s way, including us. Of course you can have all the functionalities that other companies also have, or even more. But the important thing is always and ultimately the experience that the users have with the software. We realized this great importance since it’s reflected in the feedback from customers, especially those who have experience with other systems.
We also distinguish ourselves by offering additional functionalities, including employer branding. Through Recruitee, any company can easily create their own “careers site” to introduce their story and culture to potential candidates. We see that this is going to play a much larger role in the future, and it is very important to show what you’ve got the right talent as an employer.
In the first year, we had funding from our previous company. Last September we had a seed funding with three informal investors. We used that to enlarge the team in Poland and Amsterdam, and to focus on the expansion in the US.
Recruitee is a cloud solution, which means that the entire organization can work from their browser without installing anything. This also means that there is no extensive implementation required. Usability comes first, so generally everyone can quickly pick up the software. That is why many customers choose us; there is a lot of unnecessary complexity in other systems they used, and Recruitee offers a simpler and clearer solution.
What’s your favorite quote?
“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” ― Mario Andretti
Who inspires you?
My dad, who is a great entrepreneur.