This post was written by Josh Jackson. Josh is a member of the SmashFly Sales Operations team, helping provide support to our prospects, customers and internal staff in the sales process. We encourage you to connect with him on LinkedIn.
I’ve been asked this a million times from family and friends – “What is this ‘SmashFly’? Why’d you choose them over others? What do they do? What’s in this for you?”
First, a little bit about me. I grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Boston College in 2013. My senior year of college, I started a company called Phyre with two friends. Our first endeavor was to build a portable device that you could plug into the HDMI port of any TV/projector, and wirelessly display content from a mobile device. Our second and last endeavor was called Rally, a mobile consumer messaging app. We raised $39k of non-equity seed funding through the Boston College Venture Competition, and a program called Summer@Highland at Highland Capital. We had a blast and I’ve never learned half as much any other year of my life.
When it was time to look at startup jobs (that actually paid me), SmashFly was a clear winner. I have 23 reasons for joining SmashFly but I’ll save the other 20 for other posts. Here are three of the biggest things that stood out to me as I was going through the hiring process:
Product Market Fit
I walked into the office of SmashFly Founder and CEO Mike Hennessy on July 17th 2014. We chatted for a bit and then he got right to it. In the last year and a half, I interacted with quite a few startup founders – both successful and unsuccessful. The ability of a Founder to clearly articulate the value of their business is critically important:
“Alright. A long time ago Sales and Marketing were the same thing. Salespeople did full life-cycle sales – they’d go out and find leads, nurture them, qualify them, educate/sell them, and close them – all by themselves. Eventually, businesses realized that having salespeople go out and find each individual lead is quite inefficient, and that there was a comparable advantage to get leads to come to them instead. Marketing was born.
The same thing is happening with Recruiting. Recruiters are doing full life-cycle recruiting – they’re sourcing candidates, nurturing them, qualifying them, educating/selling them on the company, and closing them – all by themselves. Just as marketing grew out of sales as a separate discipline, Recruitment Marketing will grow out of Recruiting as a separate specialized discipline. And in the same way that businesses started attracting leads instead of going out and finding each one individually, recruitment marketing teams will focus on proactively finding, attracting and engaging qualified candidates that they can supply to recruiters to sell. SmashFly is the single Platform that companies will use to do Recruitment Marketing.”
This clicked immediately, a telling sign of a promising start-up, but it was only the beginning. After I accepted the offer, I listened in on calls with customers and partners. I was amazed as Recruiting professionals asked questions and oogled our product. “It does what? AND that? THAT TOO? No way.” Yes way. Recruiters are giving the first part of our pitch on calls for us. We are in tune with their problems and provide a comprehensive Platform to help solve them! I had stumbled (in an educated way) on a company with some strong product market fit, a unicorn I had been chasing for two years prior. We’re overflowing with unicorns – do you need some?
When I had my first interview at SmashFly with my now (kick-ass) boss Tara Cooper, I heard one word consistently from the beginning – partner. She repeated that she was looking for someone to “partner” with her on Sales Operations at SmashFly. She wasn’t looking for a direct report or a minion to do some manual work. It wasn’t until halfway through the call that I realized I would actually be reporting to her. The way she positioned the role was that of a working partnership – a team. Of course she would be telling me what to do, but first and foremost, she was looking for team member #2 (of many to come) on Sales Ops. It didn’t matter that I was 23 with no experience in the space. She wanted someone smart, motivated and ready to build a strong foundation for a future Sales Ops. I was a valued team member whose contributions meant just as much as anyone else’s. She was committed to teaching and exposing me to everything she could. She wants me to realize my personal goals as much as I do. After this interview, SmashFly could have actually been selling Fly Swatting as a Service – I think I would have still considered joining.
This is telling of the entire team at SmashFly. Everyone’s voice is heard, ideas realized, and contributions recognized. There is no passive aggression. No condescending attitudes. Never have I been in an environment that is simultaneously nurturing and extremely challenging. If I could just be a tweeting millennial for a second – everyone’s very nice, but we kick ass.
We sell HCM software, and most of our team has been in this space for years. Our CEO was Chief Architect of one of the first ATS systems. Our CPO was the Head of Product for one of the other first major ATS systems. Our Customer Success team has been making customers successful for like hundreds of years (combined – there really aren’t that many of them either). And we have developers capable of landing in any environment and hacking their way out – with vast amounts of experience both in and out of the HR space.
And lastly, our Sales and Marketing team. I’m the youngest on this team, but I don’t feel like it. Scott Fowle, our Chief Sales Officer, has a rockstar track record at HireVue, SuccessFactors, and Taleo, among many others. My second interview was with Scott, and he echoed Tara’s sentiments. They weren’t looking for a direct report or a minion, they were looking for a partner. Scott is committed to my learning and growth at SmashFly. He is constantly going out of his way to teach me on this or that, happy to take a half hour out of his day to call me and tell me some very entertaining yet educational stories. Not a week goes by that he doesn’t start a sentence with, “When you start your next company…”
The Sales team and Chris Brablc from our marketing team have taken me in as their own. Everyone on the team is a proven expert in their trade – and it shows. I’m learning a ton from all of them, and they remind me that I’m just one AIM away if I have questions.
I’m thrilled to be surrounded by some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. I’m very happy to be working in a nurturing and challenging culture. And I’m pretty excited for the future of this company. SmashFly is growing like crazy and customers can’t get enough of us. I’m buckled up for a wild ride.
Interested in joining an experienced team for a company that is driving innovation in how companies attract, find and engage with their next employees? Check out the SmashFly Careers Page and reach out to us.