E-resident Nevena Sofranic is a perpetual traveller and founder of Recrooit, a referral platform for employers to find and hire qualified candidates by harnessing the expertise and power of a community of industry peers.
A longtime digital nomad, Nevena runs Recrooit through her Estonian company Omnes Group OÜ while on the road, dividing her time mostly between Belgrade, Serbia and Los Angeles, USA.
When she found out about e-Residency a few years ago, she immediately saw that it would be a perfect solution for her business plans so she applied and received her digital ID card in 2019:
“The flexibility it allows, the simplicity of the entire process, and most importantly, the level of security and the fact that it’s completely in line with European laws made it a no-brainer.”
The art and science of well-executed recruitment
One of the most important yet challenging parts of running a business is attracting talented employees and keeping them happy and productive. Traditionally, employers have used professional recruitment firms or headhunters to help them research, identify, and attract the right people for not just the job to be filled but also their organisational culture, values, and direction.
More recently however, the internet has undeniably changed how recruitment and headhunting is conducted. What was once both a scientific process of researching and identifying candidates and an art of persuading them to take on a role is now a seemingly automated, and sometimes anonymous, online process. Virtual recruitment platforms and the expansion by professional networking site LinkedIn into a jobs marketplace, on which anyone can be a headhunter, evidence this.
Yet, the proliferation of virtual recruitment has not diminished the need for a personal connection in the process of hiring talent. In fact, referrals usually make up the majority of hirings for an organisation and are considered by many employers to reduce time-to-hire, eliminate costs and improve quality-of-hire. The art and science of recruitment matchmaking is still well and truly alive.
With Recrooit, Nevena and her team are ushering in the latest shift in referral-based recruitment. No longer is it simply an automated process of referral, but one in which industry experts, or ‘Recrooiters’, are crowd-sourced to boost a company’s prospects of finding great talent. If you’ve been working in the industry for a while, chances are you are qualified to be a Recrooiter. As Nevena puts it:
“Imagine the whole community sourcing the perfect candidate for your company. That’s Recrooit.”
Add to this the fact that Recrooiters have incentives to refer talented candidates to companies that post job openings. As a Recrooiter, you can recommend your peers for advertised positions on the Recrooit platform and if they’re successful, make some money in doing so.
When asked what the biggest challenge was in starting her business, Nevena’s response really confirms her entire business model. She said that putting up a quality team of people who are ready to invest their knowledge, time and enthusiasm into something completely new took a lot of research, time, and resources. This made it clear that her idea for Recrooit was on the right track:
“I’ve experienced what our clients are facing, so I am sure our platform will be a huge help to founders world wide.”
The most promising Estonian startup
In May 2020, Recrooit was accepted to Amazon’s AWS Activate Founders’ Program, and is considered the most promising Estonian startup in the program. Apart from credits for Amazon services, the Founders’ Program grants access to technical support and training to support business growth. Some of the most successful startups, such as Stripe and Klarna, have been a part of this Founders’ Program in the past.
Nevena says that the AWS Activate Founders’ Program is just one of the benefits of having a company registered in Estonia. E-Residency has offered security and stability in building and scaling her business.
“Being a digital nomad, e-Residency has helped me run my business online and easily integrate all the tools needed — from payment processing solutions to lead management systems — to build an automated recruitment platform.”
E-Residency has also provided Nevena with access to an inclusive, helpful, and friendly community of entrepreneurs — both in Estonia and elsewhere. In her view, this kind of support is crucial for founders looking to establish and grow their businesses.
Fighting unemployment during COVID-19
Right now, with the economic ramifications of COVID-19 hitting the bottom line of businesses around the world, many employers are having to furlough or let go of the talented people that they have spent time and resources recruiting. The job market is flooded with a supply of excellent people, looking for new professional opportunities. In this context, Recrooit was launched early as a way for founders facing layoffs to help their employees find a new job. Founder Recrooiters can recommend their employees to companies hiring.
The decision to launch during a pandemic by Recrooit was a brave decision given the resulting economic downturn and the fact that many people have been laid off or furloughed from their jobs. But available jobs have not necessarily decreased across the board. While they may have dried up in some sectors, like hospitality, tourism, travel, and events, they have increased in others or transformed into new types of roles. Lockdowns and stay-at-home policies have led to more demand for talent in industries and sectors moving or expanding online. These include sectors like digital marketing and communications, eCommerce, health and education technologies, call and video messaging applications, apps for organising teams and remote work, food and grocery delivery platforms, online classes and consulting — basically anything virtual.
Companies working in these areas are expanding their operations while others are pivoting online. And in order to do so, they need to hire talented people. They certainly have a big pool of candidates to choose from, not just locally but from all over the world. So, how can employers wade through this deep, global pool of talent to find excellent candidates, who are not only perfect for the job but also a good fit for their organisational culture?
One way is to count on the Recrooiter community for great referrals as well as the simplified, automated processes on the Recrooit platform. There is no obligation to sign a contract to join the platform. Rather, they can start a safe process of external recruitment of qualified candidates in just a few clicks.
While launching a startup during a pandemic might be intimidating to some, Nevena is optimistic. Since soft launching on Product Hunt a few weeks ago, job positions on the platform and the Recrooiter community are starting to grow.
Whether you’re currently hiring talent, or you think you can help employers out by recommending your peers, check out Recrooit’s website and sign up.
Nevena encourages aspiring entrepreneurs interested in the e-Residency programme to just:
“Do it! Just the idea of not having to deal with tedious administrative tasks and the ability to do everything remotely is what any entrepreneur needs. I travel so much it would be impossible to handle administrative tasks without e-Residency.”
Thanks for being such an enthusiastic and driven member of the e-Residency community, Nevena! We look forward to hearing about all of your successes with Recrooit and the Omnes Group.