We've all heard of that fantastic SaaS business that has the coolest office, the funkiest swag, and the best staff benefits that everyone dreams of working for. But how do you make your SaaS business that desirable?
Strong culture is critical to success. It's an accepted fact.
Culture is easy to establish when your team is small, the crunch time comes when you start to grow and suddenly maintaining your culture starts getting pressured by commercial aspects such as;
- Time Constraints - you need that extra feature to make that big sale
- Hiring Shortages - there are no perfect candidates applying for your roles
- Competition - that other SaaS business is offering salaries you can't afford
Standard issues such as these often lead to a SaaS business hiring team members that 'just fit the bill', as the overall perception is that it is better to have someone on board.
At which point do you compromise?
When 'culture is king' it is important to remember that specific skills can be learned. A brilliant employee with the right attitude who needs to learn a particular skill will always be more valuable than a lacklustre employee who has the necessary skills. Just as bad news travels at the speed of light - so does a negative attitude. It is always better long term to compromise on skills, not on attitude. Just one team member with a bad attitude can rot the whole basket.
If specific skills are urgently required, outsourcing or using contractors is a much better solution - just make sure you get recommendations from a trusted source. The outsource cost can often be more than a full-time resource, but weighed against the potential cost of exiting an employee.. it can still be much better value.
Trying to scale a SaaS business and manage all of your recruitment requirements quickly becomes a juggling act. Getting help sooner rather than later can be game changing in the cultural development of your business, and allow you to find the best candidates in which to help your business grow.
Talent & Culture Manager
Forget about those HR & Recruitment Managers that you've had in the past, focused purely on checking timesheet entry and sick leave. Today's HR requirements are focused on building and maintaining a strong company culture, and ensuring new hires are the best fit possible to keep the engine running smoothly.
"By bringing on your own full-time recruiter, early in your growth, you get total focus on this function." - David Skok, Matrix Partners
A great talent and culture manager can help to define what your businesses culture is, and the key values you need in your team. They also work with your team to leverage existing networks, and undertake all of the myriad networking abilities to ensure your business is seem as 'the one' to work for.
Qualify your Leads
In the same way that you qualify your sales leads, make sure you are qualifying your employee leads. It's easy to receive over 100 applications for each job application if the application is generically worded and the potential employee has no set hoops to jump through.
Getting a potential applicant to interact with your recruitment process directly helps you to filter out those that are not truly interested in working for your business. Being selective upfront also ensures that those that make it through to the interview rounds recognise that this is the right fit for them too.
You wouldn't use a spreadsheet to track your sales leads and paying customers (hint - if you are then you're doing it wrong) so leverage some of those great tools out in market to help you throughout the recruitment process and onwards.
Find team members who fit your company culture. Using a customised quiz, Weirdly helps you screen applicants by how well they fit your company culture, reducing your risk of a bad hire.
Leverage collaborative recruitment planning and insights for your team. Use Populate to get alignment on hiring plans and minimise time spent in spreadsheets. Track your headcount progress and use insights to help plan future growth.
And most of all don't forget - recruitment doesn't end when the contract is signed. Part of a great culture is ensuring your staff feel like a part of something bigger than themselves, and that they believe in the dream.
Amy Walker - Specialist in SaaS Strategy & Business Execution
I work with SaaS companies to develop their key strategies, and assist them to get the right tools in place to be able to execute seamlessly in market. I believe that the only thing preventing a great idea from scaling globally is a clear strategy supported by strong execution.