About a year ago I came up with a brilliant startup idea.
It was based on an idea that many good candidates visit websites of different companies looking for a possible job opportunity and if they don’t find anything interesting they just leave. In some cases, the same companies might be looking for those exact people the very next day, but because they are already gone, and didn’t leave a note they are impossible to find. The Startup was supposed to somehow capture those people visiting career sites and make them leave any a kind of trace, so that HR people have easier job reaching out to them in the future.
I managed to gather a team of very experienced IT developers very quickly. We did a business model canvas, drafted an MVP and we did everything that should be done at such an early stage. Then the next big step was to talk to potential customers. We reached out to many different HR people, and believe me, we reached a lot of them. We talked to people from a variety of companies, everything we could put our hand on, including a 15-people software house, large international IT corporations, and even major government-owned entities employing over 700 people just in HR.
Nobody wanted to tell us that our child was ugly, so the feedback was very polite, but generally negative. “We don’t need it right now…”, “It’s very interesting, but maybe someone else might need it more…” were the most common answers. All the companies shared a common problem though. A problem which could be summarized by “We actually do have many job applicants; the problem is to find the most valuable ones among those who apply”. This is how the new idea was born.
Facing a new, existing problem we did the basics again, starting from the research. Multiple sources like Techcrunch scared us that hrtech is full of amazing companies doing great stuff in all the aspects of recruitment processes. There are many Applicant Tracking Systems, many different projects creating marketplaces trying to connect companies directly with applicants, but none of them solved the exact problem we had heard about, so we decided to build our own solution.
Getting help from mentors
I really like the sentence “If you are the smartest one in the room, you are in the wrong room” and following its wisdom I went out and talked to people once again. This time I’ve decided not only to talk to HR people, but also to other founders, who besides of being our first potential customers might additionally share their path to success. I’ve managed to get feedback about the business side of Inhire from guys like Michal Sadowski who publically shares almost all business numbers of his Brand24 or Artur Racicki who always posts valuable knowledge online, I am currently waiting for one to one with Mick Griffin. Public speaking expert Piotr Bucki and journalist Michał Kaczmarski helped me to craft initial brand communication. Not even one person, no matter how busy she or he was refused to give feedback, I believe it’s because people who are striving to success themselves are always open to help others succeed.
What is next
All of our conversations about Inhire resulted in a complete to-do list of things that needed improvement. And that is exactly what this Blog will be about. We will be sharing our path to success while making great software. Preferable outcome of all of it is to write a book “how inhire.io became a unicorn” once we reach that point, but if we just manage to help anyone by sharing our path that is fine as well.