SmartDreamers is a recruitment marketing automation software
Please introduce yourself and your startup SmartDreamers to our readers!
Hi, I’m Adrian Cernat, CEO & co-founder of SmartDreamers, a recruitment marketing automation platform that helps companies engage with candidates across the web, powering up their employer brands and building brand gravity in the process. We launched SmartDreamers in 2014, and we were quickly able to help a number of companies here in Romania to run social campaigns that successfully engaged their ideal applicants online. Since then, we’ve expanded our operations throughout Europe, the US, and the APAC region.
How did you get the idea for SmartDreamers?
Say you’re walking down a street in your city or town’s downtown area. You notice that the grocery store is advertising a sale on your favorite cereal brand. This is a no-brainer: you go in and grab a few boxes, knowing that you’ll save a little bit of money in the long run. Later on in your walk, you see a sign for an open house. The place has been on the market for months, so they’ve lowered the house’s asking price by a huge percentage.
This is another moment where you could save a lot of money in the long run—but how many of you are going to walk into the open house and put down an offer, just because you notice that it’s a good deal? I’m guessing not very many, and with good reason. Buying a house is a huge commitment, and it’s not the kind of decision to take lightly.
When I looked at the world of talent acquisition, people were treating jobs openings like cereal: posting an ad here and there and expecting people to come running. But taking a new job isn’t a decision that most people make lightly. It’s much closer to buying a house in that regard, and I had a strong suspicion that companies could recruit more effectively if they acted like it.
What does that mean, exactly?
Well, for starters, it means understanding that your next hire is already hired. The best candidates often aren’t the active job seekers (who make up about 20% of the market), it’s the 80% of passive candidates who are already employed elsewhere. Many of these folks could be convinced to switch to a new company, but it’s a really big decision and recruiters need to meet them where they are.
SmartDreamers was born out of a desire to help recruiters do that—to meet passive candidates where they spend their time online and help move them through the stages of the candidate journey. This means encouraging people to ditch the job boards (where passive job seekers rarely spend time) and instead empowering them to focus their efforts on social media sites and niche web platforms where passive candidates are already engaged.
Four years ago, putting this idea into practice was a little intimidating. We were staring down a large global market from a small town in Romania; now, we’re meeting the challenge head on. After a $700,000 investment in 2016, the team focused on automating the recruitment marketing process. With hard work and grit, we’ve managed to optimize the product in CEE and test in several international markets. Top brands across the United States, Singapore, Australia, and the UK are now running recruitment marketing campaigns on our platform, and it speaks to the power of the idea that first motivated us: that finding the right job is a journey, and a recruiter’s job is to make that journey go smoothly.
How difficult was the start and what challenges have you had to overcome?
When I first started the business, I got pretty lucky: I landed the support of a local business right off the bat. But when that support was cut off (the company was dealing with financial struggles), I faced what most entrepreneurs have to face at one time or another: no money, and a ton of ambition for building a company that I knew could be the next big thing. Over the next 8 months, we had no income whatsoever, and every day I had to ask myself whether it was time to pull the plug. Luckily, at the end of those 8 months, 3 angel investors came onboard. Suddenly, we were able to grow the team to a whole 7 people! This got the ball rolling again, and I haven’t looked back since.
Who is your target audience?
Enterprise companies and fast-growing startups.
Our ideal partners are companies that understand recruitment marketing, automated and at scale, actually saves money in the long run. Besides that, they understand that a job is not an FMCG; it’s a big life decision that requires a lot of deliberation. This means that recruiters need to constantly put employer branded content out into the world to keep potential candidates engaged.
What is the USP of your startup?
SmartDreamers is the only end-to-end recruitment marketing automation software on the global market.
Can you describe a typical workday of you?
Running a growing startup means that I’m up bright and early every morning, working to empower my team and my customers. The 2-3 hours before the start of the work day I dedicate to brainstorming new ideas for the long-term strategic development of the company. After that, I’m usually on the road between our two offices in Romania, or I’m in meetings with potential investors in the US or Europe. At SmartDreamers, we promote a lot of openness and communication. So, I hop on calls, take meetings, and answer any questions from my colleagues and collaborators. In the evening, I spend an hour at the gym and take some time with my family. Then, I’m back at my laptop for a few more hours.
Where do you see yourself and your startup SmartDreamers in five years?
A global leader in the recruitment marketing automation industry, with hundreds of customers around the world.
What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
Higher the best people, not the most affordable.
No amount of money is too large when there is a good chance of a positive ROI.
If you’re excited about an idea and you think it has a great chance in your market, don’t spend too long fretting and analyzing. Just dive in–you’ll figure out the details as you go.
More information you will find here
Thank you Adrian Cernat for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.