YOU MIGHT THINK YOU KNOW SAAS RECRUITMENT AGENCIES
You might have even turned to one in the past with varying results. But you haven’t really experienced the world of SAAS recruitment until you’ve worked with Abika Consulting. At Abika we do things differently. For us it’s not just about finding the very best qualified professionals in the industry; it’s not even just about our security vetting process – which is second to none, and includes DBS/MIE/CRB checks and fingerprinting as well as comprehensive job-to-job referencing.
At Abika Consulting we understand the importance of chemistry when it comes to matching our clients with our unrivalled pool of candidate talent – of not simply finding the best professionals in the SAAS sector, but finding the best candidate for YOU. It’s this personal touch that makes Abika Consulting stand out from the rest, working as a catalyst for creating the perfect client-candidate chemistry. Our SAAS recruitment specialists are experts in tailoring the perfect recruitment package to suit your specific business needs, whether you’re looking to fill contract, permanent, contingency or managed services positions.
And we deliver on our promises the first time, every time, providing our clients with unique candidates and surpassing expectations every time.
You don’t just have to take our word for it that no other SAAS recruitment agency is better suited to fulfil your highly-skilled recruitment needs. You can find out what our clients say about us here.
Exceptional talent powers exceptional businesses, and we are here to help you achieve excellence with the right SaaS candidates.
Top 10 Tips for Hiring the Right Employee
1. Decide What You Want For Your Business And Your TeamHaving new hires who don’t ‘get’ your business and your ethos, is just as bad as having no employees at all, so it’s important that you’re super-clear on what the big picture is for your business; what your guiding principles are, and how your hiring plan is going to fit in with that. Hiring for the right roles and reasons is going to be key. Before you even start thinking about advertising or writing a checklist for employees, or even getting a recruitment consultancy to do it for you, you need to know which SaaS role you need to fill and why. It’s not sexy we admit, but you need to get down to the nitty-gritty of specifics if you want to find the perfect candidate to fit in with your business and its existing team.
2. Advertising Your SaaS JobsDo you really need to advertise in this day and age? Surely qualified and talented individuals are beating a path to your door as we speak, without you having to lift a finger In a word, yes, you do have to advertise. While it’s true that SaaS is a much sought-after career path, not all candidates are going to have been created equal. In order to find the right SaaS employee for you, you’re going to have to have a really clear idea of who you and your team need, why they need them, and what results you want to gain from the role being filled. Yes, we’re back to those unsexy specifics. Instead of simply listing the responsibilities a new hire will have, offer potential new employees an understanding of the position on offer - and its purpose. This shows candidates from the outset how their skills will impact the success of your business. Simply listing a rigid set of requirements you expect a candidate to have can be the quickest way to shoot yourself in the proverbial foot, and you could end up turning down the perfect candidate because there’s one measly box they didn’t tick. If there really is a ‘must-have’ requirement for your SaaS role, list it as a bonus skill or a plus. For example; ‘....a Masters degree would be a plus.’ That way you’re not instantly shrinking your candidate pool - it’s always better to be spoilt for choice when it comes to new SaaS hires! Saying that, of course there are going to be deal-breakers when it comes to hiring someone to fulfil a specific SaaS role, so you just have to work out where you’re willing to be flexible and where you’re not. You might ideally want someone with five years experience, for example, but you’ve found a star candidate with only three…so what do you do? Perhaps for the role you’re advertising, those extra two years experience are essential. Or it could be that for someone who is the perfect fit in all other respects, you’d be willing to let them learn on the job. Be clear in what you’ll compromise on and what you won’t, and it will save both you and potential employees a lot of time. And then there’s the sordid subject of coin. In this day and age candidates admire companies who are transparent enough to be upfront when it comes to pay, so while it can be tempting to leave salary out of job descriptions, again, it’s only going to save everyone time if you’re upfront about what you’re offering. As much as there is a wealth of SaaS talent out there, just waiting for the opportunity to be hired by a company just like yours, they’re a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of competitors you have who are also looking for the perfect new hire. If you want to give yourself the edge when it comes to welcoming the next big thing in software sales into your fold, make sure that your ads are inclusive, jargon-free, and packed with clear, accessible terms. Companies with inclusive talent practices have a 30% higher revenue per employee than those that don’t, and 67% of job seekers in any industry care about a company’s diversity statistics, as well as their policies on social equality and environmental sustainability - so don’t let an archaic, stuck-in-the-stone-age attitude get in the way of the perfect match for your company.
3. Give The People What They Really Want‘Pay’ is definitely up there when it comes to winning candidates, but income alone (somewhat surprisingly) isn’t always enough. You’ve proven through your company branding and the banging job ad you’ve put out that you are a business that cares about its employees, and is inclusive; offering equal opportunities and support for all. So, what more do they want? The answer is: sweet, sweet benefits. A lot of candidates, especially millennials and younger, are more likely to accept a lower base salary if they’re offered certain benefits. And this goes for those working in SaaS as well. Some benefits to think about (if you don’t offer them already!) are:
- Inclusive benefits. For example, maternity leave is cool - but offering paternity leave as well is cooler. The same goes for child care benefits and flexibility for both mothers and fathers
- Acknowledging cultural differences and being flexible accordingly. Allowing employees to take days off work when it is relevant to their culture, rather than when it’s relevant to yours
- Allow remote working. In today’s technological age it isn’t always necessary for your SaaS business to have everyone working in the office all of the time. Remote working has become even more popular in the wake of the pandemic, and businesses are reaping the rewards of lower costs, higher productivity, increased profits, and happier, more motivated employees
4. Make Sure You’re Looking In The Right Places(Very) long gone are the days when you’d stick a ‘wanted’ ad in the local paper and then wait by the phone for eager hopefuls to call or drop in their CVs. Thanks to advances in technology, particularly those that have made with regards to social media, you now have an unlimited pool of talent - local and otherwise - right at your fingertips. Companies of all shapes and sizes, including SaaS businesses are finding their hires online through sites such as Linkedin, job search websites like Monster Jobs, and even platforms like Facebook and Instagram. But, if you’re looking to hire help for your software as a service company, one of the best hiring tips we can possibly give you is to work with a recruitment consultancy that specialises in hand-selecting the perfect candidate for you. Abika has one of the biggest pools of SaaS talent around, and taking a dip could save you time, effort and money - AND give you the very best results.
5. Find Out What’s Below the SurfaceHowever you go about finding the right employee; a recruitment agency, online ad, or through industry contacts, when it comes to the interview stage don’t make first impressions that be-all and end-all. Of course, they’re important, and they can tell us a lot, but they should never be set in stone. The nervous-looking person who shuffles into the office in the cheap suit could be just the software-whizz-come-genius that you’ve been searching for your whole life, whereas the confident interviewee in designer threads might be able to talk the talk, yet might not actually have the skills they’ve boasted about. Ok, so it’s a cliched and extreme example, but the point is, dig a little deeper than first impressions during the interview process if you really want to find out if the person before could be the right employee for your SaaS job.
6. Don’t Hire Someone You Wouldn’t Buy From YourselfSaaS: the clue is in the title - SALES. And when it comes to new technology that a lot of people don’t know about yet, being able to actually sell it is a skill and talent all of its own - and it’s exactly what you’re looking for in your reps. Marketing and sales are undoubtedly the two departments that keep your SaaS company going, and you don’t want to be handing over those all-important positions to someone who doesn’t seem convincing enough to you. CVs, personal recommendations and years of experience don’t mean diddly if your instincts are telling you that you personally wouldn’t buy from them - so trust those instincts.
7. Let The Candidate Interview YouAs we said earlier, finding the right employee for your SaaS job is all about chemistry - and that has to be a two-way street. A great tip for recruiting the ideal employee for your SaaS business is to flip the script and allow them to interview you. You’ll be able to tell a lot about the potential employees knowledge and skills by the questions they ask and the language they use, much more than you can ascertain from a written resume or the answers they give to your carefully thought-out questions.
8. Only Recruit If You Really Need ToIt seems obvious, but there are companies out there - SaaS included, that do a big recruitment drive every year whether they truly have SaaS jobs that need to be filled or not. Unsurprisingly this ends up leading to hiring the wrong people simply because hiring has become the norm. It can also result in a high turnover of staff, as candidates could end up using your company as a ‘stop-gap’ job (‘I’ve been offered it, so I’ll take it’), before moving swiftly on to somewhere else. If you want to build a scalable and loyal team, you need to ensure that you are hiring the very best match for YOUR business, someone who wants to build their career and share their experience and expertise with you and your team for the long-haul.
9. Make Sure You Can Sense Their Passion For The RoleIf you’re hiring help for your software as a service business, chances are that the majority of your candidates are going to be passionate about software sales and marketing, and are looking forward to a long and prosperous career, and it’s easy to spot those who are just ‘trying it on for size’. Of course, everyone has to start somewhere, and one of your criteria might not necessarily be someone who has years and years of experience and glowing references under their belt. But, whether a potential employee has been in the industry for aeons, or is shiny and brand-spanking new, their passion should be palpable. You don’t want to recruit someone who is unsure that this is the world for them, nor do you want an employee who is burning out and losing enthusiasm for SaaS after doing it for so long. You want passionate and dedicated individuals who are going to bring their own special brand of enthusiasm to the company and be a real asset to your team. Which brings us to our tenth and final tip for hiring the right employee for your SaaS job…
10. Let Abika Consulting Do The Hard Work For YouRunning a business is an all-encompassing task that requires a lot of balls in the air and spinning of plates. Recruiting the right candidate for those all-important SaaS roles can often fall by the wayside, or be undertaken in a hurry, leading you to not hiring the right person for the job in question. Why not let Abika handle this delicate process for you? We already know who the most passionate SaaS candidates are. We know what lies beneath the surface, who has the skills and experience you require, and what they want to glean from the role.
How?Because they come to us, trusting us to find the very best match for them in order to start along and potentially lucrative career in the world of SaaS. We have matched tens of thousands of SaaS clients and candidates around the globe through our unique selection and matching process that focuses on the chemistry between businesses and employees, and our untouched pool of SaaS talent continues to grow. Follow our tips for hiring and join our extensive list of clients who trust us to help them hire the right employee for them, today.
What Is SaaS?
What is SaaS? In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business world, it won’t come as a surprise to learn that jobs in SaaS are among the most sought-after for those wanting to develop a lucrative career. In fact, when it comes to serious earning potential, SaaS jobs can be right up there with high-paying careers such as those in finance and law.
The best part of heading down a SaaS career path is that you don’t need to have extensive software development skills or have launched your own unicorn tech startup in order to succeed!
The greatest weapons at your disposal for forging a rewarding and lucrative career in SaaS are great communication skills, the ability to network your butt off, and sales experience.
But what exactly is SaaS? What are the benefits? And what is the future looking like?
Abika Consulting takes a look…
What Is SaaS?
In a nutshell "what is SaaS", SaaS (Software as a Service) is where, instead of downloading software on-premise to your PC or business network to run and update, you access the apps from any device via an internet connection and a web browser. Whether you work in an office or on the go, have your own business, or work from home, you would have undoubtedly used SaaS, whether in the form of a simple calendar app, an accounting app, or even a project management app.
You might know SaaS better as ‘web-based software’, ‘on-demand software’, or ‘hosted software’, but, regardless of what name it goes by, SaaS apps run in a SaaS provider’s servers - with that provider managing every aspect of the software including access and availability, security and performance.
This cloud-based way of doing things is so common now that over 60% of businesses use only web-based products.
But why so popular?
What Are The Advantages Of SaaS?
For SaaS customers, it’s really a no-brainer: with Saas there’s no software or hardware to buy, install, maintain and update - which is going to save you valuable time and energy that could be better spent elsewhere - plus, access is super-easy because all you need is an internet connection. In a weird twist, it’s the ‘needing an internet connection’ that is often cited as SaaS application’s one downfall. But, in this world of superfast broadband and high-speed mobile phone networks such as 5G, it’s pretty much a non-issue. In fact, there are even some SaaS applications that have an offline mode that still allow for basic functionality when you’re not connected to the internet.
Another big benefit of SaaS is that the upfront costs are lower than traditional software download and installation, which means a wider range of businesses can access them - no matter how big or how small! There’s no need to invest in an IT infrastructure that supports software across your whole business; even the smallest companies can have access to software tools that used to only be affordable for the big boys! With everyone from small startups to huge conglomerates being able to take advantage of this technology, it’s really no wonder that there’s no shortage of jobs in Saas out there!
The fact that SaaS apps run through an internet browser means it doesn’t matter which operating system you’re using. Whether your company is all using Windows, MAC, or even smartphones (running on Android or iOS)...sitting at your office PC or working on the train from your phone or iPad, the apps are still accessible - pretty handy when a vast amount of us are now working from home or on the move. Another huge advantage is that you no longer have to invest in reliable backups to safeguard against lost data or a hardware crash. You and your employees can switch between devices whenever the mood strikes or circumstances demand, without losing work by logging into a single account. Simplicity and efficiency at its very best.
What Does SaaS Look Like?
Software as a service has been the fastest-growing market segment since 2019, with a growth forecast in the billions so, not to put too fine a point on it - it’s looking pretty good! Today, businesses are spending 50% more on this technology than they were in 2019, and they’re growing more and more reliant on SaaS as time goes on, a fact that was proven in January 2021 (during the pandemic when people were working from home), when a popular instant messaging platform went down, putting more than 12 million active daily users out of touch with coworkers and clients for over three hours. Panic ensued and the hilarious memes appeared online within moments of the platform’s demise.
Because of the stability and opportunities for growth within the industry, jobs in SaaS are one of the most sought-after business opportunities, and that doesn’t look set to change any time soon. Careers within SaaS include creating, developing, hosting and updating the products themselves, as well as providing them to customers. And the best part is, you have access to a huge global market, so you’re not going to see your client pool suddenly dry up on you!
If you’re in SaaS, you’ve got the option to be in it for the long haul.
SaaS For SMB
We’ve already mentioned that the great thing about SaaS is that it’s accessible to all. So, what can you expect if you’re working for an SMB SaaS company?
First off, you’re selling to a highly fragmented market. Selling software to small to midsize businesses means that you’re selling to companies with less than 500 employees, and with revenues somewhere under £100 million. Despite this, it would be a mistake to think that just because a business is smaller it won’t survive, or that they are poor prospects for a recurring business model. It’s easy to think: ‘small business’, and envision a lone ranger working from their garage or spare bedroom, but that’s rarely the case. In fact, SMBs are one of the fastest growing in terms of interest and reliance on SaaS. And they hardly ever plan on staying small - making them a very valuable market to sell to.
Of course, in any sales job - and SaaS jobs are no different! - you need to know your audience, and the needs of an SMB are going to be different to the enterprise market (we’ll get to them in a bit). Aside from the fact that they’re working with smaller budgets, SMBs want products that will deliver maximum and immediate impact to their customers, with minimal effort. Their main interests are going to be survival, success and repeat business, so you need to keep that in mind when selling them software as a service.
Sure, you’re going to find the buying process with SMBs less defined and less content-intensive, but the good news is that it tends to be quicker - as there are going to be less people ‘sticking their oar in’ as it were, with generally only one or two people making the big decisions, rather than an entire board who all have an opinion. This means you’re going to see a lot more action as a salesperson than in an enterprise environment where 60% - 80% of the buying journey could already be completed before you’re even taken onboard.
Another great thing about working in SaaS for smaller businesses is that you can go old school - with the majority of SMB’s favouring phone calls and Facebook over Linkedin and email. Prospecting and contacting SMB buyers is simply a case of going back to basics:
- Find their website
- Find their email address and phone number (usually that of the owner)
- Give them a call/drop them an email
Easy peasy. At least compared to an enterprise where you might have to email back and forth with various departments before being granted an audience (or phone call) with the head honcho.
SaaS For Enterprise
If you’re looking for a SaaS job that offers more of a challenge, selling to enterprise customers is it. It’s stating the obvious, but enterprise deals are BIG compared to SaaS for SMBs, and the process is decidedly more arduous. On average it can take 6 to 18 months to close an enterprise deal, so it’s not for the faint-hearted or those who love instant results.
Where your SMB customers are concerned mainly with survival, enterprise customers are all about security, and having more control over users and data. If you can’t make it clear as a salesperson that you understand that, the deal is dead in the water. As we’ve already said, making first contact isn’t going to be as easy as with an SMB, so you’ll probably find yourself cold-emailing until you get your man/woman.
There are going to be a lot more people involved in the decision making too, and there’ll probably be several different voices challenging everything that makes Saas, well, SaaS…such as wanting customised versions of ready-made apps or wanting on-premise versions when SaaS is typically in the cloud.
When you think about how much growth a large enterprise client can bring to an SaaS business, the different approach and the extra time and patience could be well worth it. If your sales experience and patter is top-notch, and you could sell ice to penguins, a job in SaaS for enterprise could be the one for you.
What Is The Future Of SaaS?
Well, I think we’ve established that SaaS isn’t going anywhere, especially with more and more businesses moving their software from on-premise to the cloud with the advent of the ‘new normal’.
But, even though we can admit that the pandemic was a contributing factor in the SaaS popularity, it was really only ever going one way thanks to faster and more reliable internet, as well as easier access to multiple markets paving the way for a new generation of SaaS tools.
Companies large and small are constantly in need of new solutions to solve problems with CRM, accounting, ordering, shipping…and everything in between - great news for those in SaaS sales who continue to find themselves with a large and captive audience who are eager to makes their sales and communications processes, recordkeeping, and other functions as smooth and simple as possible.
In short, SaaS is here to stay, and a career in Saas is as rewarding as it is profitable, being fast-paced, exciting, well-established - and one where sales representatives have the opportunity to make high commissions.
If you’re interested in SaaS jobs, or if you’re looking for someone talented and dynamic to join your SaaS sales team, we’d love to hear from you. At Abika we specialise in matching our clients with the ideal candidate so that businesses and careers can flourish together.
A Guide To Growing Your SaaS Business
The main aim for any business is growth, and in today’s technological age, growing your SaaS business is relatively easy if you incorporate certain strategies to bolster the key ingredients of growth. These include keeping your current client base happy, managing a successful team, advertising, and of course, acquiring new customers in the first place.
SaaS companies aren’t exactly a rare breed any more, and the industry is growing at an exponential rate - in fact at around 13.1% a year growthmarketingpro.com and with new competition springing up every day, SaaS businesses need to pull out all the stops to ensure that their business enjoys a continuous period of growth - the stage of a business when it is at its most profitable.
Allow Abika to enlighten with this handy guide.
How Can Creating A Growth Mindset Grow Your SaaS Business?
There are no magic spells or secret incantations that you can use to grow your SaaS business - unfortunately your company’s success is all going to have to be down to your own hard work and determination. Every good entrepreneur knows that using a growth mindset is a critical skill and in simple terms is the belief that the efforts you put in will lead to your success. But it’s not about ‘positive vibes only’ or wishful thinking. Having a growth mindset involves looking objectively at problems or failures within your SaaS business and understanding that they are lessons to be learned that can help you to become better at what you do. Facing obstacles head-on, conquering those set-backs and moving forward are key if you want your SaaS business to grow.
Setbacks can often be seen as a surefire way to stunt the growth of any business, but that doesn’t have to be the case - if you embrace a growth mindset. If a metaphorical bump in the road causes you to lose some clients, for example, you shouldn’t let this affect your business goals. Instead, stay in your growth mindset and focus instead on how you can turn the situation around by thinking of ways to improve your SaaS services or products.
If you’re running a SaaS business with a growth mindset you’ll understand that, like with any business, there’s a certain level of risk involved. The trick here is not to dwell on those risks, and yet always be prepared to deal with them if they arise. Entrepreneurs with a growth mindset are committed to focusing on the end results, while always keeping in mind that they have to create new products and services if they want to get there - SaaS businesses included!
How Building An Email List will Grow Your Business
Email is a SaaS business’s number one channel of communication, so make yours work for you and help you to grow your business. An email list is built by collecting email addresses from visitors or users of your website, and allows you to communicate with both prospective and existing clients. Your marketing team will know better than anyone that building that list is essential for growth, with marketing emails being responsible for either positively or negatively influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions. An engaged email list could very well be your best asset because it is immune to algorithm changes, lets YOU shape the story of your brand and has much more of a reach than paid media - not to mention being a lot more cost effective!
Of course, you can’t just build an email list overnight, and creating one will take patience and a strategic plan of action if you want to use it to grow your SaaS business.
For most businesses, it is your website and social media presence that is the foundation for building your email list, so use those to draw in new customers (and therefore email addresses!) by posting enticing content, offering loyalty and referral schemes, discounts and offers.
How Can Finding The Right Customers Grow Your SaaS Business?
Knowing who your ideal customer is is pretty critical for your SaaS business if you want a smooth running sales process. It might seem like the smart thing is to have a generic offering or have a ‘one size fits all’ attitude - but niche is key. Something that could be for everyone rarely catches the attention of anyone.
You might think that this will narrow your market, but what it actually does is allow you to appeal to an audience that really values what you do - and the more you know and understand who those people are, the easier it will be to create content that speaks directly to them. Identify the habits, likes, dislikes and goals of your customers, and identify how they make their purchasing decisions. That way you can tailor your marketing and advertising campaigns specifically to them, enabling your Saas business to grow by targeting those who are the most likely to make a purchase from you.
How Can Customer Retention Grow Your Software Business?
Getting customers is almost the easy bit, it’s the keeping a hold of them that is really going to allow your SaaS business to see some impressive growth, as they continue to use your services over and over again, and hopefully recommend your SaaS business to everyone they know!
Retaining customers is so important for Saas businesses because it is a good indicator of not only how much your customers value your product, but also whether they’re happy with the service you’re providing as a business. But how does that contribute to growth?
Well, the saying goes that it will cost you five times as much to get a new customer as it does to retain an existing one - and while there’s no concrete source for this saying, the huge majority of companies do recognise that, in their experience, keeping hold of customers is definitely cheaper than trying to attract new ones. If you’re looking for sustainable, long term growth - the kind of growth that makes a business profitable - retaining and growing your current customer base is key.
You can continue to add value for those loyal customers and also encourage them to make upgrades or pay for additional services and features, and knowing that they’re not going anywhere means that there’s the recurring revenue needed to expand and grow your SaaS business.
Can Scaling Your Marketing Efforts Help Your SaaS Business To Grow?
The simple answer is, ‘yes, absolutely’.
As we said at the beginning, there’s no shortage of SaaS businesses out there, and if you want yours to be one that’s growing to dizzy new heights instead of being here today, forgotten tomorrow, scaling your marketing efforts is one of the most effective (and easiest) ways of doing that.
Content marketing is one of the ways that businesses of all shapes and sizes - including SaaS businesses - are building their brand, attracting website traffic and generating leads. One of the huge advantages of content marketing is that it will continue to drive leads and increase in value over time, unlike something like PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, which will only get you leads all the while you continue to fork out for it.
Another great marketing idea for SaaS businesses is product trials - something I’m sure you’re used to seeing a lot of in the industry. Offering customers a ‘test drive’ of your product is an effective lead generation tool, and if, as a SaaS business you’re not already doing it - you might want to think about starting.
SEO is another marketing tool that is simple to implement and yet incredibly effective when it comes to getting your SaaS business ‘out there’ where customers are searching. SEO (search engine optimisation) works alongside your content marketing to make that content discoverable on search engines like Google. SEO works in two complementary packages: on-page and off-page SEO. On-page SEO is entirely in your hands. As well as creating content that people are going to want to read and share, you need to think about things like including keywords and search terms and internal links. Off-page SEO is about building good quality links sourced from trusted sites and influential social media accounts.
Building and growing a successful SaaS business is no easy feat, but it’s fair to say that the devil is in the details. Following our handy guide will help you to identify your weaknesses and the areas that you need to focus on so that you can get a better idea of what will drive your business where you want to go. So enjoy the ride.
10 SaaS Recruitment Tips For Startups
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.
4 Top SaaS Trends
The rapid and impressive rise of cloud technology has enabled businesses large and small to operate offsite through SaaS products, rather than having to invest in on-premise infrastructure to reap the benefits of CRM software and automation like they did ten years ago. Nowadays companies can take advantage of applications that result in rapid growth without the headache of expensive overheads, changing the way that businesses operate forever.
But SaaS software is constantly changing, having already evolved from simple cloud features to complex platforms that offer advanced features that are benefiting businesses from small start-ups to huge global enterprises - and these evolutions don’t show any sign of slowing down or stopping as we head into 2023.
So, what can we expect some of the biggest upcoming SaaS trends for the end of 2022 and 2023 to look like?
Abika takes a look…
1. SaaS For Remote Working
Nothing in history has brought to the forefront the benefits of SaaS more than the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, companies now need digital solutions that let all of their employees communicate and collaborate with ease, all while minimising cost.
The progression of the pandemic changed the way people work forever, changing the expectations of employees the world over in terms of work-life balance and job flexibility. With many now continuing to work remotely with no intention of stepping back into the office, employers have had to make adjustments within their companies to accommodate remote work, meaning the faster adoption of Saas.
The clear winners in SaaS software over the last couple of years have been applications including video conferencing and screen-sharing, with CRM and sales platforms quickly following suit. As we finish up this year and head into the next, businesses are going to continue bringing more and more operations online through productivity platforms, remote delivery systems, and people management apps in order to make the permanent shift to remote or hybrid work.
2. AI Is Set To Become A Standard Feature Of SaaS
Artificial Intelligence is quickly becoming a standard feature in the SaaS industry, and is a trend that is set to continue into 2023.
The graphic at the top of this page for instance is AI generated based on the content of this article. Now it may have taken "cloud technology" a bit too literally but if gives you an idea of what can be achieved within seconds.
As a copywriter myself I have dabbled in AI SaaS trends and the AI content creation is something else. With only a small nudge of styling and a description of myself, it is scarily accurate.
Businesses are able to use AI to improve efficiency and spend less money, by using autonomous innovations that can enhance service and better understand their customers’ needs thanks to data-driven analysis. Companies’ desire to do more for less is a huge driving force when it comes to making improvements in AI technology, and this rapid growth in the demand for AI as a feature is going to improve the key features of many software models.
Combining the capabilities of both AI and SaaS is going to increase the possibilities of automation and personalising services, as well as improve and enhance security - innovations that look set to advance even further in 2023 as it becomes easier and faster for developers to gather more and more and more information from both users and customers.
3. The Development Of Mobile-First SaaS
Believe it or not, mobile SaaS is more often than not a bit of an afterthought for developers, but not having a mobile-first approach could be causing companies to miss out on some valuable opportunities.
The world and his dog have a smartphone (95% of adults between the ages of 30 and 49 according to Pew Research Centre in 2021), so it’s safe to say that the overwhelming majority of business owners, employees and customers have access to a mobile device throughout each day.
It seems crazy then, that so much in terms of time and resources are spent creating efficient desktop versions of SaaS products, while mobile versions are left by the wayside. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a massive increase in mobile app downloads across many different industries, and it’s time for the SaaS industry to sit up and take notice, increasing their development of mobile-first apps to take us into 2023
4. An Increase In Low-Code And No-Code Platforms
One of the challenges faced by companies at the onset of the pandemic when it came to shifting to digital solutions was the lack of engineers, and as a result, low-code and no-code platforms saw a huge surge in popularity. It made it easier to develop and deploy new applications quickly, and so more and more developers began adopting these low-code tools.
This looks set to continue into the future, with hybrid teams of business users and developers using these low-code cloud-native platforms to build apps. 66% of workers have adopted low or no-code solutions in the last year or so (Formstack 2021), and this only looks set to continue to rise as more and more companies make the shift to cloud technology and online-first operations.
It’s safe to say that SaaS isn’t going anywhere, and businesses in every industry need to embrace it if they want to keep an edge over the competition. The ‘working from home’ trend is also here to stay, and the higher demand for tools that support this is going to see SaaS working hard to meet those needs as we head into 2023 and beyond. The new generation of SaaS is going to see less complexity in order to make doing business as uncomplicated as possible, making it especially easy for small and medium sized businesses to build, manage and streamline their operations with fully-integrated solutions for all.
Why Your SaaS Company Needs A Good Hiring Strategy
One Bad Apple Can Spoil The Whole Bunch
A Quick Hire Isn’t Time Effective
If You Have To Let A New Hire Go It Will Affect Morale
Despite The Old Adage, It’s Not Just Who You Know
Good Hires Mean Good Vibes
- Filter out unsuitable candidates early by employing a screening process before taking a closer look at applicants. A good way of doing this is to put together a questionnaire to determine what applicants already know about the industry. Those who answer poorly - or who don’t bother at all - can be immediately ruled out.
- Tap into networks beyond your own by offering an incentive to current employees who can refer people who might be suitable.
- Make sure your website is top-notch, showing potential employees what you can offer them in terms of flexibility, growth and development
- Be absolutely clear on what the role is before you post a job ad. If you don’t, you won’t attract on-target applicants.
- Be upfront and honest about salary, that way you’re not going to waste time interviewing your dream candidate only to find out that they won’t work for what you’re offering. Make sure that you’re clear on the salary range candidates can expect, as well as emphasising other benefits such as flexible working and paid leave.