Hiring effective people that complement an efficient team is one of the greatest challenges faced by SaaS companies. As such, onboarding has become one of the most critical growth steps for businesses. Ingenio has formulated a hiring strategy that will help you secure the best candidates for your team –  let’s take a look at how it works.

Let’s Talk About Your Process

Interviewing and onboarding are key.

The most critical and fundamental element of finding the perfect people for your team is your process. Your hiring process determines the effectiveness of the individuals you hire, and so do your onboarding and training methods. Following this comes your team structure and the work processes into which you place your new people.

When hiring the optimal team, you need to start at the very start – your hiring process.

Simple SaaS Hiring Strategy

The tech industry revolves around systems that work. Consider this your step-by-step guide for breaking free of the hiring chaos to build an agile hiring process that increases efficiency, saves you time and money, and helps you scale.

If you want to scale right, you must ensure that expansion and recruitment do not consume your revenues or resources. 

The SaaS industry has a phenomenally aggressive requirement for talented people. In the current labour-driven market, it is critical to firstly make your business stand out for potential candidates and to refine your recruitment process.

Ingenio serves technology, software and SaaS organisations from a recruitment and hiring perspective. Our team helps organisations to hire by employing improved hiring techniques and the provision of coaching for people who are involved in the recruitment process. 

Building A Hiring Plan

Step 1 – Create A Strategic Recruitment Plan

Accelerated growth demands a strategic recruitment plan that supports your company dynamic. Consider your financial and headcount growth forecast on a quarterly basis. Start thinking about the strategic medium to long-term hiring plan and apply this against each quarter.

Many employers and hiring managers face unprecedented setbacks such as churn, key employees handing in their notice, or prolonged hiring periods. This methodology allows you to plan ahead for each quarter and mitigate hiring setbacks. 

Building a hiring plan always works with a backwards planning methodology. Put simply, this means planning effectively from a staff or people-effectiveness perspective and working backwards.

1. Backward plan and date model

The process for an employee to be hired, onboarded, trained and performing comfortably in their role by delivering quotas and reaching KPIs can take up to six months. 

To make reaching a new hire’s ramp period smoother, it’s important to build your own process well. Map it out completely before attempting any engagement for the new role if you are dealing with much shorter timescales, it is important to disconnect any open and immediate roles from positions that are being hired for later down the line.

2. Start at an effective in-role date

When hiring new recruits, it’s important to acknowledge that will take a certain amount of time for them to reach full effectiveness in their roles. When calculating when they will reach  their ramp period, you must consider the length of time it will take for offers, salary negotiation, start date, onboarding, induction, training, etc.

It’s important to determine your ‘effective in-role date’ for each position. For example, a sales candidate’s effective in-role date may take three to six months – at a minimum of three months. Having established the date, work sequentially backwards.

There are not many areas where you can save time in this process. You may be able to speed up the onboarding if the candidate is available to start immediately. However, taking shortcuts in role training, learning and development in getting new candidates to their effective position quicker will impact your profit and loss. 

3. Include ramp, induction, start date, offer and negotiation, interview process, sourcing and definition

It’s very important that every team department and every hiring manager understand what the ramp period looks like in order for the new hire to be productive within a certain period of time.

To manage the criticality of timescales around the hiring process, you are best advised to:

  • Decide on the length of your induction process?
  • Consider the start date, and work back to the offer and negotiation periods.
  • Work back into sourcing and then role definition scope.

4. Who is involved and who owns it

It’s important that it is implicitly clear who is involved at each stage and who is ultimately accountable for the hire happening or not happening at each stage. It is also crucial to consider the process is not finalised at the hiring stage.

With the right amount of planning and preparation, hiring becomes relatively straightforward and becomes like any other project you may deploy. If the process and stages are mapped out and very clear to all stakeholders, it becomes predictable.

If you don’t start planning, resourcing and holding people accountable for this type of activity – it will impact your budget, operational efficiency and financial performance.  

For shorter timescales, assess the following:

  • Is the role defined clearly?
  • Has there been a strong sourcing campaign?
  • Is the interview process designed to reflect your criticality?
  • Is it a long interview process?
  • How many stages are there? Can this process be shortened?
  • Have you backward planned and dated this model?
  • Have you started at an effective in-role date?
  • Have you included ramp, induction, start date, offer and negotiation, interview process, sourcing and definition?
  • Who is involved and who owns/takes accountability for it?

Step 2 – Writing The Best Job Descriptions

To write and appropriately place a great job description, first, you must determine who your audience is. Ask yourself, who are they, what makes them tick, which channels can I reach them on, create personas, etc. Writing excellent job descriptions will also not be as effective if you do not distribute them in the right places.

Following this, determine what your message is. Fundamentally, what you are offering is a career, so be precise with your requirements and ensure the tone reflects your company culture.

Lastly, what is your call to action? You must be very clear about what will happen next to encourage the potential candidate to take action.

Ingenio’s top tips for writing the best job descriptions:

  • Provide a compelling pitch 

The job description is an opportunity to put yourself out there for future employees, champions, partners and customers. Constantly use this opportunity to pitch yourself. 

  • Outsource or train staff for effective copywriting skills

Everyone should have access to a marketing or sales individual to get access to compelling copy. This is ultimately your sales pitch and it should include high-quality content. 

  • Get the job title right the first time and be precise

In the SaaS industry, the global consistency has various teams and functions. Within each function, there is a clear categorisation of job titles. Don’t try to swim against the job titles tide – you will end up creating a job title that isn’t clear and you are immediately at a disconnect. 

As with the rest of your job description, the title should be clear and concise.

  • Convey what impact or output the role will produce

Break down success in the roles – one month, three months and six months to enable the candidate to envision themselves in this role and evoke emotion. Talk about what your candidates will be doing and delivering in your role. Be clear about the title, location and skills as very few organisations do this. 

  • Clarify your culture quickly 

You must be implicitly clear about your team, product offering, position in the market and where people can start to develop or further their careers. This is your opportunity to evoke emotion for candidates that resonate with your company culture.

  • Clarify your salary, bonus and benefits 

Many employers may be reluctant to publicly post their salaries for negotiation purposes or to avoid internal conflicts regarding salaries. However, if you want a speedy and efficient hiring process this significantly narrows your hiring pool to candidates within your budget and salary range.

Step 3 – How And Where To Advertise

If you find yourself losing out on candidates to your competitors, you need to make sure that your job advert stands out and distinguishes your company from other businesses.

  • Your careers page and aggregators

Make sure your careers pages clearly inform candidates of the benefits, values, culture, internal/external sessions with staff and social activities.

  • Utilise marketing strategies through SEO and social media

Are you doing any SEO or advertising/promotion for that particular careers page? Do what you can to increase traffic volume so that the right people see your offering. 

  • Run webinars and podcasts

Running webinars and podcasts is free and easy – build an audience/community of potential candidates, employees, and salespeople to communicate, engage, and build relationships while you are building a content bank.

  • Advertise on less crowded platforms such as AngelList, GitHub, WeWorkRemotely

In the current labour driven market, many platforms are crowded with competition from other organisations. Using platforms such as AngelList, GitHub, WeWorkRemotely and other relevant outlets, you are likely to find more talent with less recruiters. 

Step 4 – Designing The Best Interview Process (Mid To Senior Hires)

Before designing the interview process, you need to clarify the role you’re recruiting for. The clearer you can visualise the position, the better you can interview.

Ingenio has spent a vast amount of time analysing successful outcomes from recruitment, even making the most volatile processes unbelievably buoyant. 

Our bespoke and proven methodology is called the ‘Loop’. The process works for you, hiring organisations and also for the candidate. Split into simple segments, the hiring process is broken down into four distinct weeks. 

Week 1

Schedule sessions between the hiring manager and candidate to get to know each other. This stage is relatively informal and lasts approximately 30-45 minutes maximum. This can be done remotely, specifically to allow the hiring manager to understand and meet who they will work with and who the candidate will work for. 

Run a number of these sessions in the immediate instance to meet all potential candidates.

Week 2

Conduct four or five back-to-back 30-45 minute sessions between candidates and people in your organisation – interview with someone from marketing, sales, finance, or other departments for the interviewees to understand what good staff in your organisation look like.

This is also a great way to reduce candidates who are not willing to commit this time. For others, it shows a keen interest in the role, given the time commitment. 

All employees from various departments who participate in the Loop need to give a yes or no answer to individuals within 24 hours and set a scoring threshold.

Week 3

This consists of the final interview and references. At this point, you should have two final candidates interviewing, with references.

Week 4

Once you have made a decision, proceed to offer, contract and negotiation. 

There are many success metrics and statistics from candidates and clients using the Loop. The process moves very quickly and is clear from the outset to the managers and candidates of what the hiring process will look like. Schedules and holidays can also be accommodated with this strategy.

This method provides valuable opinions and views from the key departments in your organisation For the Loop to be successful, it needs commitment from all parts of the business to deliver. 

Bonus: The Best Interview Tweaks

You can immediately action the following to significantly improve your hiring process.

1. Overprepare in advance. Most interviewers spend less than ten minutes preparing for each interview – push this up to 15/20 mins to clearly define your desired outcome. 

2. Open with a pitch about you, your team, your business – warm up the candidate rather than directly asking them to tell you about themselves.

3. Appeal to the candidate, perhaps by highlighting wins, clients and problems they can fix. Start planting seeds for results, outcomes, and deliverables. Encourage the candidate to start thinking and talking about what they will be doing so they leave the interview visualising and evoking emotion.

4. Ask the candidate the following question: “On a scale of 1-10, how much do you want to work with us?

The outcomes will transform your follow up with this candidate. 

At Ingenio, we are committed to creating valuable content about SaaS hiring processes, such as the best strategies to recruit, select and train employees. Contact our team for more information on great hiring solutions for your business.

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