Q&A with David Smooke of SmartRecruiters

Posted by on September 25, 2014.

FWD.us sat down with David Smooke, SmartRecruiters Content Marketing Director, to talk about SmartRecruiters’ vision, his experience as the company’s first American hire, and why he comes to work everyday.

FWD.us: Tell us about SmartRecruiters. How was the company founded and what does it do?

David: SmartRecruiters is the technology to find and hire great people. Salesforce to sales is SmartRecruiters to recruiting. It’s the management of all existing and potential candidates, coupled with, access to other recruitment service providers and applications to find and evaluate a business’ next hire. Everything hiring is everything we help you do.

 Jerome Ternynck, of France, founded SmartRecruiters in late 2010. I joined in early 2011 as his company’s first American hire.

 FWD.us: You were there at the beginning, and now SmartRecruiters has hired dozens of Americans. Can you talk about your experience watching the company grow?

What I’ve always admired about Jerome is his sheer will to execute. What is it that makes an idea a company, and what is it that takes a company to a true market changing enterprise?

I wouldn’t trade my apprenticeship with Jerome for 1 million Snickers bars, and I am a hungry man. In late 2010, I quit my job as a small town Pennsylvania newspaper reporter after I had saved enough money to move to San Francisco. In my head, it’s the city of opportunity. The city where the quality of ideas trumps status quo of business processes. I drove across the country with the confidence to find work when I arrived. And just maybe, I read too many Beat novels and TechCrunch stories. I applied to job after job, not hearing back, or hearing that I was unqualified, or hearing maybe we can meet next week. I know now, successful startups are made by executing today.

I found SmartRecruiters on Linkedin, sent a short message to Jerome and he responded in 6 hours. Nothing too elaborate - just like a quick message from a friend. When it comes to humanizing recruitment, he’s walking the walk. We met and I thought: here’s this crazy Frenchman who is speaking my language; a language of “Why Not?” He sees how businesses should recruit... and it makes sense to me. It’s funny, you meet people all the time, and within a long minute it becomes clear: it’s about how they see the world - and not where they’re from - that matters. This vision has led SmartRecruiters to help businesses hire for 500,000+ positions.

FWD.us: What motivates you to come to work every day?

On the walk to work, I know the steps I made yesterday will make today’s steps more impactful. It’s all aggregate. Working for new business with a real purpose, a startup who is driving down costs for the small business, a startup who is bettering processes for the enterprise, a startup who sees the big picture - real business growth for all who meet the company - is the way I want to work in my life.

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