What. A. Year. Wow!
2017 was fantastic. We started Jan. 1 with a lot of momentum and finished Dec. 31 with A LOT of momentum. In between was 363 days of progress in the form of sales wins, partnership agreements, product design and engineering achievements, customer service smiles and closed recruitments (our own). Here is a summary of where we started and ended:
In any startup trajectory discussion, the importance of team is repeatedly emphasized. The most important contribution to the success of the vast majority of startups is the people who join you on the journey. In 2017, we added some important new members. We expanded our sales team, particularly in the US, tripled our engineering roster, and made some key hires in operations and customer support. We also hired a new Head of HR to help scale our own recruiting activities in 2018.
No part of the org chart swelled as much as engineering. In late 2016, we decided to accelerate the product roadmap. This meant investing aggressively to add programmers and developers and engineering managers. Some joined us in the Tel Aviv office while many more joined us after we opened a satellite development office in Ukraine. (We’re still looking so if you want to join one of the most promising names in the HR Tech field, send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Esprit de corps is critical. You can hire people who are individually competent but the real magic―and progress―happens when everyone pulls in the right direction at the right time. (There’s a reason why 8-man rowing crews are so often used in financial management advertising to symbolize teamwork and timing; when everyone’s pulling as one, a rowing shell can move very, very fast). One of the keys to ensuring that the names on your org chart pull synchronously is the culture you create and support.
Once established and defined, one of the keys to its maintenance is through recruiting and like-minded additions to your org chart. While we don’t talk about it much in our sales presentations―perhaps we should―using our own platform has helped ensure that the culture we’ve developed inside Comeet will persist as we grow. All the features and benefits of collaboration, transparency and information exchange that we emphasize during demos have contributed to the great hiring decisions we made in 2017.
An Expanding Real Estate Footprint
With our expanding headcount, we were forced (a good thing) to upsize our real estate footprint. We relocated to a much larger office in Tel Aviv, found a great location in Brooklyn for our North American crew and are also flying the Comeet flag in Kharkiv, Ukraine
After people, the next most important thing for startups is sales. Everything goes better with sales. 2017 was a very satisfying year at both strategic and tactical levels. When we started commercial sales in 2015, our wheelhouse was primarily aspirational Israeli startups in a few technology sectors such as IT security, AdTech and B2B software. In 36 months, we’ve become THE recruiting platform of choice within StartupNation. Comeet customers are well represented whenever “Hot Startups is Israel” lists are published.
We’re starting to see similar results within the US tech scene with well-known brands like Zoom choosing Comeet after lengthy competitive reviews. (It’s truly satisfying as a founder when you reach the point when you can attend a family gathering and answer the “How’s the company going?” question with a list of customers they’ve heard of). We were also successful branching out into non-tech verticals such as logistics and healthcare. Here’s a small sample of some of the companies that selected Comeet in 2017:
BlueVolt, Integrichain, Planned Companies, Ron Marhofer Auto group and Spigit (all USA); Robots & Pencils (Canada); Wandera (UK); and ECI, Kaltura, Lumus, StartApp and Webpals (all Israel).
We made a lot of investment in our customer support department in 2017, in terms of people, technologies and processes. Our new Director of Customer Support has been a homerun hire. He’s formalized processes and procedures, investigated many support technologies and systems, and ensured that the support queue is as short as possible.
Word-of-mouth has never been more important to businesses. With the reach of social media, the ease of networking and handheld global communication with one’s peers, happy customers are one of the most important currencies young companies can leverage. We’ve been very fortunate that many of our new customers are originating from a favorable tweet or a positive comment at a conference. Here is some of the customer feedback we received last year:
“As a product, Comeet is awesome. It provides transparency, it provides efficiency and it helps you scale.
- Ithamar Sorek, Chief Revenue Officer, ReFUEL4
“Companies that need to recruit at least 10 positions in parallel will find enormous value in Comeet. Businesses that dedicate a lot of resources in recruitment and need to grow in a very short period of time are a perfect match.”
- Racheli Kamerling, Talent Acquisition Manager, Sisense
Investing in stellar customer service and responsive product management will pay off if you have patience. It has for us, yet we continue without any thought of taking the mass of testimonial feedback for granted. We continue to fill and prioritize our product roadmap based on the wishes and requests of those who use Comeet every day.
Our product roadmap is big and bold. We made a lot of progress in 2017 in many key areas. Here are a few of them:
- Better employer branding (beautiful, out-of-the-box career website templates)
- Improving the candidate experiences (from invitations to coordination)
- Identifying candidates among existing profiles (better searches & candidate tagging)
- Automating elements of LinkedIn sourcing
- Expanding internal use of Comeet by redefining team roles & permissions
- Restructuring scorecards for better talent ID
We closed some highly promising business development partnerships in 2017 with companies like Zoom. BambooHR, Namely, ZipRecruiter and Sisense. Some involve technical integration, while others are referral or reseller relationships. Whatever the flavor, we’re excited that the partnerships will introduce many more to the benefits of collaborative recruiting Comeet-style.
Looking Forward to 2018
That was our year in review for 2017; we’re happily confident about prospects and portents for 2018. The product roadmap includes some very promising AI elements as well as expanded functionality through partnership expansions. We’ll continue to expand North American sales and marketing. We’ll continue to make customers happy and we’ll continue to enjoy the “you guys rock” emails from those who matter most―Comeet customers and users.
Wishing you the best in your own 2018 endeavors.