This time around for our #disruptHR series, #disruptHR lead blogger, Faye Holland, interviews Matthais Wolf, Co-Founder of Firstbird.
Faye Holland, disruptHR lead blogger interviews Co-Founder Matthias Wolf who shares the success to date of Firstbird of recruiting with referrals.
FAYE: Hi Matthias, why don’t you give me the quick elevator pitch on Firstbird?
MATTHIAS: Firstbird is a digital employee referral platform that connects talents with jobs through the power of referrals. We offer an easily implementable employee referral platform to SME and MNCs that outclasses traditional recruitment concepts in terms of success rate, speed, and cost.
Firstbird was founded in Vienna in 2013. In 2014, it was picked among 500 startups to participate in Microsoft’s Accelerator Program in Berlin. In 2015, Firstbird closed its pre-seed investment (315K). The new Freemium version of Firstbird launched in 2016. Over 1,400 companies have started using Firstbird since then, including Manpower, Swisslife, PwC, Stadt Zürich and Bertelsmann. In June 2016, the seed investment (650K) was closed with JobCloud AG, the biggest Swiss online job portal (87% market share).
FAYE: Why did you decide to take part in disruptHR this year and what would you like to achieve as a result of your participation?
MATTHIAS: DisruptHR has been recommended to Firstbird as an excellent conference for innovative companies. We hope that by participating in this event, we will build brand awareness on an international scale. We are looking forward to making new contacts in the global HR space and expanding our Firstbird network.
FAYE: You’ve been going since 2013 and have an impressive number of clients, so how do you plan to compete with the other, and often bigger players?
MATTHIAS: At Firstbird, we believe smaller companies have the great advantage of being agile. We can adapt quickly to the needs and demand of clients so speed is a key factor in our approach. We placed a lot of value on our partnerships, and we have recently secured a partnership with jobs.ch who has 30,000 clients. We are also in the process of closing more international partnerships.
FAYE: What makes your product unique?
MATTHIAS: Firstbird is the only freemium and self-setup referral platform worldwide. Our USP is to create user engagement through gamification, simplicity and connectivity.
FAYE: You talk about being the first freemium service – can you explain your revenue model?
MATTHIAS: Firstbird offers a Freemium SaaS-Model. There’s a Free Trial, a Basic Package (€99/month) and Standard Package (€375/month) that can be booked & paid for over the platform. Additionally, Firstbird offers an Enterprise Package, starting at €475/month, depending on the size of the company. Enterprise Packages include unlimited features, key account support and integrations.
FAYE: Why should HR take an interest in your product or service?
MATTHIAS: Firstbird means more referrals, faster hires and less time & costs for your HR: +45% more referrals, 1 out of 4 referrals via Firstbirds gets hired, 30% less time-to-hire.
FAYE: What are your plans for expansion?
MATTHIAS: We have focused on the German speaking market until now. We very recently expanded in the Nordic countries, our first being Finland. Keep an eye out for more information on this topic at the beginning of 2017!
Company size: 25
Key customers: Bertelsmann, Tamedia, Manpower, PwC, Swiss Life
Target industries: Industries with a strong recruiting need like IT, engineering, health, retail, e-commerce, automotive, banks & insurances, tourism
What function within HR is your product designed for: Recruiting, Talent Acquisition, Sourcing
Matthias is co-founded Firstbird with Arnim Wahls (CEO & Founder) and Daniel Winter (CTO & Co-Founder). He grew up in Baden near Vienna, Austria and enjoyed a Finnish-Austrian childhood. Matthias studied International Business in Krems and at the Arizona State University (US). With 24 years of age he became Managing Director of the Great Place to Work Institute in Austria. Before founding Firstbird, he was Head of Sales in one of the biggest Austrian Media Companies. At Firstbird, Matthias is in charge of sales, business development and partnerships.
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