Workable: The Greek Software that worked worldwide

By Endeavor Greece Mar 8, 2021

An idea, that was born in 2012 when Greece was still immersed in the debt crisis, has evolved into a top hiring worldwide platform with official funding 84 million dollars and more than 20,000 companies using its services. The company in question is Workable, founded by Spyros Magiatis and Nikos Moraitakis. It is based in Boston and has set eyes on every part of the planet.

Nikos Moraitakis talked to “Outliers,” Endeavor Greece’s podcast, whose media partner is MoneyReview, about how the company was created, how it scaled and about its future plans. 

Workable has developed a software which helps small-medium companies from all over the world to tackle a number of issues arising in any hiring process; to find and attract the right applicants, to meet them, to run tests, to schedule interviews and gather feedback. “It is important that you perform this task consistently, quickly, and in a scientific way,” Nikos Moraitakis says. “Since everything is done online – from cvs to interviews – Workable has gathered everything in one package.” 

The first tools for this effort were the knowledge and experience that Nikos Moraitakis had acquired in Upstream. He joined Upstream when the company was manned with just 10 people and stayed there for 6 years. When he left, Upstream had developed into a company of 350 employees. “It was a great experience, I travelled all over the world, I learnt a lot… At a time when the whole country was not outward-looking, Upstream was something special. We kept and put into practice everything they did right,” he claims. 

Did he think it was risky, after all, to take the first step and set up his own company? He did not consider it to be harzardous. “We were all successful executives and we had enough savings. We actually thought it was a kind of vacation, at first it was more like a game,” he recollects. 

How did a Greek team manage to come up with a product that is competitive worldwide? First of all, its members are excellent at what they do. The second thing that was of great help was that they did not try to sell their product to all their acquaintances. “We found out that big companies would not buy a new software, which is based on a novel philosophy. Then we realized that we had to look for new clients abroad. We said it’s ok, we will build a software for all the world,” he said and added: “Being Greeks, this was not a difficult decision. If we were Germans coming from such a big market, then it would have been more difficult.” What is the biggest success of the company? “That it reached 10 million dollars in revenue, without having a fixed line phone, without having hired a salesperson.”

How did Boston come into the picture? Well, it was a matter of chance. They both, Spyros Magiatis and Nikos Moraitakis, went to Boston to meet some investors. In the end, they liked the city so much that within a few months they decided to move. 

Nowadays, Workable, having faced the implications of the pandemic successfully, has reached a maturity stage. Last year was not easy. Due to the pandemic, they had to move fast and cut the expenses (they reduced their staff by 6%) and had to look for extra capital and investors. However, since last summer, the market has started to recover again. The Coronavirus outbreak has also had some positive side effects. “Some time ago we were concerned that technology would take us apart, but now we have realized that technology can be a solution, after all. Even a grandmother knows that Zoom brings her closer to her own people,” he added. 

This year Workable’s aim is to achieve financial independence and in 2022 to continue to scale. What do they think of the end game? They don’t. They are just getting started…

The article was originally published at moneyreview.gr
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