SaaStock Local Talks #6: interview with Adrian Wolak [Traffit]5 min read
SaaStock Local Talks are interviews we at Brainy Bees carry out with people who live and breathe SaaS.
Over these virtual coffees, we’ll discuss everything SaaS related.
The sixth interview features Adrian Wolak, CEO of Traffit.
You’re Adrian Wolak and you are…
the CEO and co-founder of TRAFFIT – the modern applicant tracking system.
How did your journey in TRAFFIT begin? How did you get to where you are today?
The idea and first version of the product came out in 2011 as a side-project. It has been slowly developed after hours. I had few customers and in 2014 I sat down with my business partners and co-founders of TRAFFIT (Mariusz Bessman and Bartosz Cieśliński, they have a software house JIT Team where I worked) and we decided to run a company. I bring to the company the product, they bring business knowledge and the funds for the development TRAFFIT.
2017 was really breakthrough for us, because we had only few employees and we sign up a big contract with an international recruiting agency for implementation TRAFFIT in their companies in 20 countries.
Till 2020 we were growing without any sales and marketing activities, and last year Mick Griffin joined TRAFFIT and right now we are in rapid growth.
What is TRAFFIT? What makes it stand out from the crowd?
TRAFFIT is all-in-one recruitment software. You don’t only manage candidates around current jobs but you can build your own candidate base, where you have all your emails, meetings, notes, smses you exchange with candidates. We believe that you don’t have to post a job every time you want to hire someone but you should start with your own database.
As a product, TRAFFIT is also very flexible, we believe that every company hires differently so we give you a tool that you can adjust to your needs.
What are TRAFFIT plans for 2021?
We have really ambitious goals. 2021 is the first full year where we will grow with our marketing and sales strategy that we implement 9.2020. We want to grow around 170% with the new customers. We focused a lot right now on the IT market so a lot of changes in a product, new features will be really useful for IT recruiters.
We also want to bring some additional value to the HR community, not only the tool. We changed a lot of internal HR processes and we will share all that information. We created something we called TRAFFIT Pathways, transparent salary and develop pathways of our employees. You can visit our website and see exactly how much money our employees earn, what they have to do to develop, how much money you can earn in specific roles etc. We will share more information like this publicly: how we recruit, how we onboard people, how we celebrate our anniversary, what eNPS we have etc.
Go bootstrapping or go to investors?
Go bootstrap first, create the company, create the product, verify the product, win some customers and later think about raising money.
How has the pandemic affected your growth? Did you have to cope with churn, or did you deal with more clients?
In the first months we saw some slow down with number of trials, number of new customers but after 2-3 months it has stabilized. Fortunately we lost only a few customers and we have a churn less than 1%. Right now we can see that companies hire more than before and an ATS is necessary if you want to grow fast.
When you’re not feeling motivated, how do you motivate yourself?
Running a company is a journey where 1 day you will be fully motivated and the next day you won’t feel so great and it’s normal. I don’t have any specific ways to motivate myself. Spending time with my family, kids helps me to clean my head and focus on the things that are important.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of our company right now?
People for sure. We have a great product but we know that the market is always changing and we need to also be ready to change product, company and to do this we need to have great people.
What is something you wish someone had told you during your career journey?
That you don’t have to be the best in everything, you don’t have to and you can’t manage everything by yourself. You will fail, it’s not the end of the world and you can just ask people for some help.
What is the best and the worst part of being a CEO?
You create something from scratch and you can see how it grows and it depends on you what kind of company you will build, what values you will share with the world.
But it’s a really stressful job, sometimes you are lonely with some decisions.
What is your greatest professional challenge? How did you overcome it and what have you learned from it?
I’m happy I learned that I don’t have to manage everything by myself, it was a long journey to learn this and also that we all make mistakes, we are just humans.
What would others call your communication style? Are you close to your employees or do you prefer to maintain a healthy distance, and why?
Definitely close to our employees but I think with some healthy distance when it’s necessary 🙂
If you had to give one business lesson to people who think about launching their SaaS, what would it be?
Just do it, you can do this after hours, you don’t have to raise a money to start and verify the idea. Launch the product as soon as you can, don’t spend time improving it, there will always be a lot of things to improve.
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