Business

US recruiter SmashFly expands into Belfast - and offers £90,000 salaries

SmashFly chief executive Thom Kenney (right) with Alan Wilson, head of international investment at Invest NI
Gary McDonald Business Editor

A NEW American investor has chosen Belfast for its first overseas expansion, where it will be creating 70 jobs with salaries as high as £90,000.

Massachusetts-based SmashFly Technologies provides recruitment marketing software solutions to help global companies run more effective recruitment campaigns - in short, engaging with talent before they even apply for a job.

The company's software-as-a-service platform claims to help employers and recruiters to understand their talent pipeline, target their recruitment activity and provide candidates with an improved experience.

SmashFly started life in Concord in 2007, and says its recruitment platform and services empower businesses to master the art and science of attracting and hiring the right people who fit that organisation.

"Unlike disconnected recruiting tools that break the candidate experience and lack trustworthy analytics to make smarter decisions, SmashFly provides the only enterprise-class recruitment marketing solution to support a brand-led, relationship-based and data-driven strategy so you can hire with purpose," the company's chief executive Thom Kenney told the Irish News.

"Belfast is our first investment outside of the US, and it's from here we want to build our global brand.

"It's an easy hop, skip and jump across the pond for one thing. But we've got a lot of similarities with the talent pool that exists in Belfast and the technology we're leveraging to build our platform.

"The talent that exists here is a really good match for us. We're a small company of just 125 but we aim to expand the business globally with Belfast's help."

He added: "A number of the jobs are paying between £80,000 and £90,000, because we're looking for good highly technical senior staff. We're looking too for junior entry level graduates who are young and eager.

"Invest NI have been a huge help in getting us to Belfast. They're the only reason we're here. The reception has been hugely positive, as is the business climate, and the engineers we're seeing are of the highest quality, so it makes sense for us to continue to invest here."

The company, which will be initially based at Glandore's new co-working space at Arthur House, has already hired its site lead up and an operations and HR specialist, has eight signed offers and expects its payroll to be at 20 people by the end of the year such is its aggressive hiring.

"We're looking to bring in some key technologies, particularly those with experience of artificial intelligence, and are partnering with Ulster University and Queen's on training for data scientists," My Kenney added.

Invest NI has offered £455,000 towards the creation of the new roles, which will be created over the next three years and will contribute more than £3 million a year in salaries.

Alan Wilson, the agency's head of international investment, said: “SmashFly will be recruiting both graduate and experienced software engineering roles, plus a sales and marketing team.

“Its new centre will focus on developing new technology solutions to help grow the company's customer base, looking at new features using artificial intelligence and GDPR compliance. The company also has ambitious growth plans, including breaking into the European market, which the team in Belfast will support.”

SMASHFLY - AT A GLANCE:

Headquartered in Concord, Mass., with an office in Boston

Privately held, backed by OpenView Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners

More than 100 customers including 25 of the Fortune 500

2016 Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Award for Best Advance in Recruitment Marketing

5-Star Glassdoor Employee Rating

2016 Top Place to Work by the Boston Globe

2016 Best Place to Work by the Boston Business Journal

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