SaaS recruitment tips are a much sought-after commodity within startups – after all, get a solid team of the right SaaS bods behind you, and your company can hit the ground running. Hiring the most talented individuals is not as easy as simply advertising the SaaS job, and then sitting back and waiting for the applications to come flooding in. Why? Because SaaS jobs are in huge demand and in short supply, making finding just the right candidate for your company a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So, how can you narrow the search? What should you be doing to narrow the search, separate the wheat from the chaff, and find just the right SaaS talent to skyrocket your startup’s success? So this is where our recruitment tips for SaaS come into play.
The team that you build is going to be instrumental in your business’ success, and so attracting the right candidates to fill those SaaS roles needs to be right at the top of your list of priorities. Every new hire you make is going to alter your company’s DNA; and you want to make sure those changes are positive ones. Startup businesses are naturally on the smaller side, and so any upheaval in morale, company culture and values – as well as changes in levels of productivity and motivation – is going to hit hard and fast.
Our 10 SaaS recruitment tips for startups offers a definitive guide to those looking to find and recruit the best fit for their company.
1. Focus On Your Startup’s Values When Recruiting For SaaS Jobs
It makes sense to know exactly who you are as a company, and what your values and goals are before adding to your team. Not only do you want to make sure that they have the relevant qualifications, experience and training to do the job you’re hiring them for, you need to also make sure they are a good fit for your company’s personality. The only way to ensure this is to know your startup inside and out; its essence and spirit, and what it stands for. Only then can you clearly define the values you want running through the veins of your blogs and website, and across your social media platforms.
The first few people that you hire will determine the types of personality you will hire in times to come, so before you start searching for suitable applicants, speak to your current employees and sound them out for their opinions on the type of person they think will help the company’s success.
Values-based recruitment isn’t anything new – it’s a long-held understanding that a person’s values and beliefs will drive their behaviour, and so it’s important that when searching for SaaS talent for your startup that you find someone who’s values align with your company’s. Finding someone who fits the bill is going to benefit your startup in a number of ways, from improved productivity and a positive work atmosphere, to better staff morale, decreased employee turnover, and increased employee engagement.
2. Establish Your Hiring Needs (And Standards!) Before Recruiting SaaS Jobs
It’s not going to be good enough to simply know that you need to hire someone to fulfil a particular SaaS job within your startup. As SaaS recruitment tips go, this one might sound particularly obvious, but you need to be very clear on exactly what you’re employing someone for before you start searching for the right person to do it.
Have a comprehensive list of duties and expectations you want fulfilled by a new employee, as well as knowing in which areas you are willing to compromise – and which you are not. For example, are you willing to be flexible on how many years experience or training a potential candidate has, or is anything other than the time-frame you have in mind a deal-breaker? Are you happy to employ someone less experienced and let them learn on the job? Would you be willing to increase what you were going to pay for the ‘right’ person? Would you take on someone who is more of a SaaS generalist, or do you want to hire a specialist with a very specific set of expertise?
Knowing the answer to all of these questions before you start advertising the position, rather than once you’re interviewing for it, will help you to narrow down your search and means you’ll be able to tailor your ads to fit your exact requirements.
3. Improve Your Networking Skills To Find The Right SaaS Talent
There is no more effective way to get your company vision out there for all the top SaaS talent to see, than to network, network, network. A lot of startups underestimate the absolute goldmines that are networking events, tech talks and conferences, and if you do the same you are shutting the door on a wealth of opportunity and recruitment-worthy talent.
Networking in all of its forms is the best way to build strong and fruitful relationships with others in the industry, and to learn from their experiences. Well-established businesses may well be able to point you in the direction of the best SaaS talent-pool, and maybe even be able to give you the names of individuals that are worth seeking out. Improving your networking skills is also going to help you to build a more impressive online presence, which brings us to our next SaaS recruitment tip…
4. Maintaining A Fantastic Online Presence Will Help You Find The Best SaaS Candidates
Having an excellent online presence across social media platforms and having a top-notch website are crucial when it comes to showing your success, and a robust presence is going to have interested candidates reaching out to you in droves.
Talented individuals are unlikely to approach or desire to work for a company with a website that isn’t up-to-date or well laid-out, or one who either has no or limited social media accounts or, even worse, has them and uploads one lack-lustre post a month. Keep your content fresh and exciting, and most importantly – regular! Make sure you are up-to-date with all the current trends in your industry; the world moves fast, and you have to move with it – keeping one step ahead if possible. Become the go-to website for industry news, easy-to-read and interesting blogs. Fill your social media accounts with exciting product developments and relatable, colourful content.
This isn’t just for the benefit of your current and potential customer base. Those looking for a SaaS role are going to be drawn to companies who have their finger on the pulse, and who are oozing with the confidence of success. These are the companies that look exciting and profitable to work for, so make sure that your website and social media presence stands out among the crowd if you want to attract the best prospects to fill the Saas jobs within your company.
5. Don’t Overlook SaaS Candidates Based On Their Age
As far as SaaS recruitment tips, this may also seem painfully obvious, but, particularly if your startup has been born out of years of experience and knowledge, you might find yourself leaning towards employees in the same age bracket as yourself. Get out of your comfort zone by not immediately dismissing a candidate whom you might deem too young or too old to do the job the way you want it done.
A younger SaaS candidate is unlikely to have years and years of employment history under their belts, but they are likely incredibly motivated and keen to get started, perhaps even desiring to grow with a new company by starting on the ground floor, as it were. However, on the other hand, they could just be looking for a stop-gap job, until they gain enough experience to realise their dream of working with a larger, more successful company. Someone older may have worked for many companies over the years and hold in their hands a wealth of knowledge, ready to impart it on your startup and help grow its success, in the same way that they have with businesses in their past. All the hard work is done; they have encountered every problem, there is nothing they haven’t seen or don’t know, and now they want to see their career out somewhere fresh, new and exciting. On the flip side, they may well be set in their way of doing things, and be unwilling or more difficult to be moulded into your way of doing things. Perhaps now that they’ve ‘been there and done that’, they are a bit jaded and less enthusiastic about the job, and just want somewhere to lie low quietly until retirement.
This is why our first SaaS recruitment tips are so fundamental – know exactly what type of person will fit in with the values and ethos of your company, and hire accordingly.
6. Weigh Up Skills And Attitude When Hiring To Fill SaaS Roles
As an employer, you’ll most likely say that you would prioritise talent over attitude, but in reality you need a balance of both within your SaaS team; a good, competent and relevant skill set, alongside a positive, collaborative and communicative attitude. In a small startup, there’s no room for someone with a ‘rogue’ personality. It’s even more important that your whole team can get along without one lone wolf ruffling feathers.
Of course, hiring someone with the ‘right’ attitude is much easier said than done. Assessing skills and evaluating someone’s SaaS experience is easy; these things can be proven, talked about, demonstrated and explained…and a candidate’s experience in particular can be easily reviewed and validated. A person’s attitude is easier to disguise, and harder to detect. However, putting the work in to find a hire with a positive attitude is well worth it, and can lead to increased productivity within the whole workforce, higher morale, better teamwork and faster business growth – so it’s not wise to overlook it at the interview stage.
7. Make Sure What You’re Offering Is Attractive
I’m not talking salary here – it’s not uncommon for startups to pay less than a more well-established company in the early stages, so it is important that you look for ways to get those wages up as soon as possible. However, to sweeten the deal, you’ll want to offer some employee benefits in order to make you as attractive as possible to the SaaS talent pool out there searching for the best roles.
It’s worth noting that as fun as ‘dress-down Fridays’ or ‘donut Monday’s’ may be, potential candidates are going to be much more impressed by benefits such as commissions, a pension and paid holidays.
8. Look For Long-Term Relationship Managers
Technical skills are of course vital in anyone you want to employ to fulfil an SaaS role within your startup, but there is one secret ingredient that is prized within candidates: someone who can manage and sustain good relationships with clients and customers.
This is especially important for those in a sales role, as the long-term relationships that are formed with your consumers are going to be what keep you going through the inevitable downtimes, as well as the good ones.
One of our top SaaS recruitment tips is to seek out candidates who have sustained good customer relationships in previous roles, or understand the importance of it and the part it plays in taking on this new role.
9. Get Your SaaS Employees Up To Speed To Harness Their Full Potential
All you want from your SaaS team is their very best, and extracting their full potential is only achieved if you make sure that they are all onboard and up to speed as quickly as possible. Plan ahead as if you’ve already hired the perfect candidate and you’ll be able to explain how things are going to go (if they are hired!) at the interview stage.
Make sure that when you are recruiting you let potential employees know that thorough orientation and software training will be available. Let them know your strengths and weaknesses, and how you expect them to counteract or support those. If they’ve done their research – and they should have – they’ll know who your competition are, so let them know your ideas, and ask for theirs, on how best to use that knowledge to better your own startup.
10. When Recruiting For SaaS Roles, Honesty is The Best Policy
When you are recruiting to fill the SaaS roles within your startup, you expect candidates to be upfront and honest – and rightly so, but of course, in order to attract the very best SaaS talent, you need to remain transparent yourself, exercising due diligence and integrity throughout the entire process.
Anyone who accepts a role that then goes on to discover that role or company aren’t what they were led to believe, won’t stick around very long. Don’t lose out on your dream employee by not laying all your cards on the table from the very beginning.
The secret to hiring the best SaaS talent is to take these SaaS recruitment tips on board, and to search and interview with a combination of technical prowess and empathy. Finding the right person for the job takes time, dedication and energy – especially in a job marketplace as competitive as SaaS. But, when it’s done well, there’s every chance you will find the perfect candidate to help you grow your startup.