I met Jerome Ternynck for the first time in 2008. At the time, he was the Founder of Mr. Ted (a popular recruitment solution in Europe) and he was about to launch a free ATS called SmartRecruiters. He made the announcement at ERE Fall and if you were at the conference, you probably remember that this was a very BIG deal. Jerome was offering an ATS with all of the basic functionality to anyone – even small companies with just a few employees. His vision was simple. He wanted to make recruitment simple for both employers and job seekers. Anyone could sign up and start using SmartRecruiters. To be honest, the solution was just ok. Remember, it was free. But, the beauty of SmartRecruiters was its integration and its vision to be something more than a traditional ATS. It was designed as a platform that could truly integrate with many third-party solutions such as background checking, assessments and onboarding. Today, integration is still one of its key differentiator but a LOT has changed.

I was fortunate enough to attend SmartRecruiters’ first user conference this week and below are a few things I learned.

  1. Integration is still a Differentiator: SmartRecruiters’ marketplace allows companies to discover and connect with pre-integrated solutions such as job distribution, assessments, and video interviewing. Solutions are added regularly. SmartRecruiters recently announced integration with LinkedIn, DocuSign, and Tableau. It is a solution that appeals to both recruitment and IT.
  2. Going Global: The company has made significant product enhancements and it is looking to compete at the global enterprise level. This is not the same solution from 2008. It can support multiple brands, handle high-volume and manage the complex needs of global companies. Oh, and it just landed Visa as a client.
  3. Customers Come First: SmartRecruiters is looking at its customers rather than its competitors when making product announcements. Customers helped develop this product and product enhancements and releases happen often. This year 573 ideas were submitted by 3,000 users. I had the opportunity to chat with the Head of Talent Acquisition for Atlassian who said that SmartRecruiters listened to what they wanted and helped to make changes to the product based on their feedback.

The ATS market has changed significantly over the past few years and companies are looking at next generation talent acquisition platforms such as SmartRecruiters that can support a more holistic approach to identifying, attracting and hiring talent.