Especially for earlier stage companies, each new hire can critically change a company's trajectory. In today’s market, founders are now finding it harder than ever to identify and hire top talent.
Recently, I joined Capchase as VP of People and in my short time thus far, we've already started to implement changes in our hiring and onboarding processes. I’ve spent the past 10 years working with founders to scale their teams in an efficient and cost-effective way. I wanted to share some quick wins to consider when making your next critical hire.
5 Tactics to overcome hiring bottlenecks in SaaS
Differentiate your job postings
Invest time into building job descriptions that distinguish your company from others. At the start of the job posting, highlight your mission, professional growth opportunities, and your unique employee benefits. Consider why top talent would want to join and ensure you weave that into the entire job posting. Work with your team members to craft the employee value proposition at your company. Below are some of the top benefits that candidates are looking for in their next opportunity. If you have them, make sure that you highlight these unique benefits in your job descriptions. If you don’t have them, consider adding them:
- Ability to work from home or general flexibility in workplace
- Work from home equipment stipend
- Career development reimbursements
- Health and wellness reimbursement program
- Generous paid family leave
- Company offsites
Hire a recruiter early
Early founders often spend more than 40% of their time on recruiting. While this may be necessary as you begin to build out your leadership team, it’s clearly not scalable. Hire a recruiter- with a broad talent network- to build a consistent and repeatable recruitment process across your teams. The best way to keep top candidates’ interested in your company in a competitive environment is constant communication. The recruiter will be responsible for maintaining that communication and being available for candidates to voice questions or concerns along the way.
Condense your hiring process
One of the first questions I get asked by candidates is, “how long is your interview process?” In this market, you should expect that strong candidates will already have 1-2 competing offers by the time you get them on the phone to pitch a job. The longer your process, the more likely in demand candidates will drop out of your process. A shorter interview process means increased efficiency not lowered standards. To avoid wasted interview time, assign each member of your interview team a very specific set of questions that are critical for the role and not repeated in other interviews. Consider conducting group interviews to maximize a candidate’s time. This is something we have been doing more of at Capchase to get candidates moved along faster through our pipeline. This has meant that offers to candidates have often been sent the day after they interview in order to show them that we’re committed to their candidacy and to give them ample time to ask us any additional questions they may have. Conversely, we have also been committed to transparency and speed for candidates who don’t move through to next rounds to ensure that everyone’s time is respected.
Shorten feedback loops
Require interviewers to provide faster feedback to help make hiring decisions quicker. Before you add anyone to an interview team, make sure everyone is clear on their role and expectations in the hiring process. Create custom scorecards for each step in the interview process with automatic reminders for interviewers to speed up feedback loops. Block off 15 minutes after each interview to submit feedback to the hiring manager and hold others accountable to do the same. A delay of 24 hours waiting for feedback could be the difference between an open role and a filled one.
Set company-wide recruiting OKRs
OKRs serve to connect the vision and mission of the company with the operational business. If it’s agreed that recruiting top talent is critical to your long-term success, then companies should be communicating and tracking recruiting goals alongside their most important business metrics. By assigning a recruiting OKR, there will be greater accountability, alignment, and focus across the company. Especially for SaaS, getting tech and GTM hiring right can make or break the company. The reason why hiring bottlenecks can be so detrimental to an org are because often these key hires cannot or should not be delayed. Building in hiring efficiencies using the 5 tactics laid out allows you to get ahead of these issues (especially in a really hot hiring market like today), and continue to build your SaaSco at the rate you want to grow.
Keep going and don’t compromise your standards
Everything that happens early on in a startup is important. The nature of our companies is that what we do in the beginning gets magnified in time. There is something exponential in our nature. If you have product-market-fit twice as fast as a typical company, you won't grow twice as fast in a year, but rather in a faster, non-linear way - maybe 4 or 8 times faster. The same thing happens with culture and hiring.
The base you set early on expands very quickly in the organization, and so the kind of people you bring on at the very beginning can define the culture for years to come. This is why it’s critical to avoid hiring bottlenecks, question inefficient recruitment processes, and constantly be on the path towards hiring the right talent, at the right time (without compromising your company and hiring standards). Especially in these uncertain market times, it’s especially important to focus on retaining your current top talent while continuing to attract the best new candidates for the open roles in your SaaS organization.
In many cases, SaaS companies experience hiring bottlenecks if they aren’t offering compensation that’s commensurate with market value and trends. In these cases, Capchase can be a financing partner to get you the upfront capital you need to get the 1-2 criticals hires onto your team sooner rather than later. For an early SaaS business, or a business in hyper growth mode, snoozing on critical hires can cause thousands of dollars in lost revenue down the line or slower ramp up of revenue and product development. If you’re already a Capchase customer, reach out to your Growth Advisor if you'd like to discuss making additional investments in your org or learning more about what our top recommended HR tools are. Hiring can be an expensive, frustrating, and time-consuming part of business building. Avoiding these bottlenecks will help you bring in the right talent, at the right time, without compromising your companies’ standards.