SmashFly: Modernizing Recruitment

July 23, 2014

SmashFly large logo
We’re very happy to have recently invested in recruitment marketing platform SmashFly. This past June, we closed a Series A investment of $9 million, which SmashFly will put towards bolstering their sales, marketing, and R&D to help them maintain their position as a next-generation recruitment leader.

Recruitment Has Changed

The buzz phrase is “recruitment marketing platform.” But what does that actually mean? To begin to understand that, you need to have a basic understanding of existing recruitment systems, namely applicant tracking systems (ATS). The ATS (generally part of a larger ERP system) is a database/repository for collecting, storing, and organizing applicants and their applications. These systems can be pretty clunky, not necessarily strategic, and, in the end, they don’t really make a recruiter’s job any easier or help the company attract and retain top-tier candidates. But they’re needed for compliance workflows, so they’re not going away anytime soon.

SmashFly Levels the Playing Field

SmashFly equalizes the relationship between job seekers and recruiters by allowing for streamlined, one-to-one candidate engagement at scale. It makes it easy for candidates to stay up-to-date on companies, and simple for companies to communicate directly candidates. SmashFly’s platform combines analytics, job distribution, candidate relationship management, employee referral management, career sites, and social media. It allows for consistent messaging, more powerful recruitment capabilities and an overall better candidate experience.
For candidates, that means a personalized experience when they’re job searching.
That cuts down the extraneous information and keeps things relevant. Before even applying for a position, an applicant can now stay up to date on all of but only the information that is relevant for them.
For recruiters, SmashFly enables them get to know the job seekers who are interested in their company, dig down into the possible reasons as to whether or not they apply, and allows them to market to potential candidates and establish a relationship without requiring the entire online application process. Now, with limited candidate information, they can begin to engage the candidate from multiple angles.

The People Behind SmashFly


The entire team at SmashFly has some of the deepest domain experience we’ve ever seen — it’s truly off the charts. Michael Hennessy, the founder and CEO, was the primary architect at HireSystems/BrassRing, which was bought by Kenexa. Mary Grace, who runs product, was a senior product manager at Taleo. Their head of sales, Scott Fowle, was brought on from HireVue (and has historical experience at SuccessFactors and Taleo) last year. In other words, this is a company filled with some serious industry experience and lots of street cred in the HCM world. They’re very product-oriented, and have a great understanding of what their customers need.
It’s also important to point out they bootstrapped this company up to this point, building the platform and successfully growing by following a very simple tried and true formula: responding to customer feedback and adding critical components over time, resulting in a very robust platform.
In fact, when we first met the team (roughly eighteen months ago), they weren’t looking to raise capital. They were profitable and had an incredibly impressive customer list. We maintained contact with the team and continued to develop the relationship gradually. For us, it was too good of an opportunity to give up on — a terrific mix of a solid product that fulfilled a market need no one else was really hitting and driven by a great team. Eventually, they came to the point when they realized the advantages of accepting outside capital from a value-add partner, and that’s how we came to make the investment.

SmashFly Will Change How You Recruit

SmashFly is very well-positioned for success: A strong product lens, strong leadership, great clients, and a strong platform with compelling value prop. SmashFly fills a need in a market that’s large and in flux — something we’re specifically drawn to.
Putting the best people in the right positions will always be a top priority for any business, and this is the tool to help companies do that.
Learn more about SmashFly at their website.

Ricky Pelletier


<strong>Ricky Pelletier</strong> focuses on identifying and analyzing various market and investment opportunities. As a Partner, he works with other members of the OpenView investment team to structure and conduct diligence on new investments.