This is a guest post by Shayla Price, a freelance content marketer.
SaaS recruiting requires a human resources team dedicated to the needs of the company and the job candidates.
If you’re seeking to hire the best talent, your business should take the necessary steps to create a pleasant experience for everyone involved. Sammi Caramela, a contributing writer at Business News Daily, explains:
“Hiring new talent is an inevitable and critical part of being a business leader, and it’s more complicated than just reviewing resumes and conducting interviews.”
Before posting your next job ad, take a moment to craft a plan. Here are five strategies to strengthen your SaaS recruiting process.
1. Determine your hiring needs
Hiring is a collaboration that involves several key stakeholders in your SaaS company. Without the right people at the decision-making table, you may waste time and money searching for candidates.
Depending on the position, you should enlist the help of senior managers, middle managers, and individual contributors. Together with people operations, your whole team can determine the business’s goals for hiring new talent.
Starting to recruit before you understand your team’s needs squanders resources and the candidate’s time. Below is an email I received after an initial interview and confirming a second meeting. The company decided to hire an internal team member for the role.
These types of interactions can ruin your reputation with qualified talent. It shows disorganization within your team and a lack of appreciation for the candidate.
The good news is that these situations are preventable. By designing a hiring plan before posting a job ad, you know exactly how to execute your talent search. You can decide the level of experience, the required skill sets, and the budget for the role.
It’s not in your SaaS’s best interest to begin the recruiting process without a strategy. Collaborate with your team and evaluate the current skill gaps in your workforce.
2. Avoid discounting candidates
Recruiting is an extension of your brand. It reflects how you treat your employees (and customers).
It’s important for your hiring team to approach candidates with respect. If not, you risk destroying your brand’s image and gaining an adversary.
Give candidates the same courtesy you expect from them. This expectation includes arriving to interviews on time, responding to emails in a timely manner, and avoiding combative language in an interview. Michelle Braden, president and CEO of MSBCoach, agrees:
“I have found making people wait when they have a scheduled appointment with you, interviews included, leaves a person feeling devalued and disrespected. Keep this in mind and honor your appointment times.”
Also, be mindful of how you approach the overall interview. Train your team to ask questions from a neutral standpoint, rather from a perspective laced with assumptions.
Don’t ask: I don’t see X tool on your resume. Do you know how to use X tool?
Ask this instead: Are you trained in X tool? If so, tell me more about your experiences.
Negatively-phrased questions puts the candidate in a defensive mode. As a result, you receive poor responses and might possibly make an unfavorable impression
Interviews aren’t just for you to evaluate future employees. Candidates are interviewing your company, too. So make an effort not to embarrass your team.
3. Minimize trial projects
Every SaaS team searches for a skilled candidate who can perform specific job duties. To assess a candidate’s work product, most companies assign a trial project. This assignment allows candidates to showcase their skills, while giving the hiring staff a glimpse into how an applicant approaches a problem.
Trial projects offer value to the recruiting process. Candidates get to see what type of work the job entails, and the hiring team receives confirmation of the individual’s skill level.
However, without specific internal guidelines, trial projects can become a deterrent to recruiting the best talent for your job opening. Through my own experiences, I’ve noticed hiring teams straying away from the purpose of trial projects.
Companies are demanding brand-specific projects that require more than eight hours of work. They are fishing for ideas on current tasks in their pipeline and getting free help from their job candidates. This practice is unethical and drives talented people away.
In the example below, this company asked me to complete four deliverables within two days. They wanted a research process document, content pitch, content outline, and a 300-500 word introduction.
The solution is to minimize your trial projects. Start by defining the purpose of the assignment. What do you want to learn about the candidate? Select one to two skills to test.
Also, move trial projects to the end of your hiring process. Only two to five candidates should be completing an assignment.
Excessive trial projects place an undue burden on the candidate and your team. You can alleviate that pressure by having more focus in your assignment.
4. Give undivided attention
Juggling the responsibilities of hiring top talent is an overwhelming process. From posting on job boards to scheduling interviews, it’s vital that candidates receive your undivided attention.
Distractions ruin the hiring experience. It’s also a sign of disrespect to the candidate. So, what counts as a distraction? It includes anything that interrupts your attention in the interview.
For instance, you don’t want to eat your lunch during a meeting with a job applicant. You also should avoid replying to emails or responding to Slack messages. Here’s expert advice from Hirenami:
“Human touch is crucial. Your hiring department should be responsive to any questions, and guide candidates along the way. Meet them where they are, rather than expecting them to come to you. The smoother the process is for your candidates, the more likely the top talent will be to make it through to the final interview and decision.”
I’ve experienced interviews where the hiring manager walked on a busy street or sat in a loud coworking space. These distractions aren’t helpful. All interviews should take place in a quiet room.
Coach your team about the significance of being mentally present in the interview. By listening with attentive ears, you open the door to the right talent.
5. Be transparent ASAP
Honesty and integrity should be present throughout the entire hiring process. It provides a baseline for your team to measure its performance.
Recruiting isn’t a perfect operation. Unexpected obstacles can halt everything. That’s why your team must develop a plan to resolve these issues.
By doing so, you can allocate your team’s time to more pertinent tasks, and candidates can make better decisions about their job search.
Take a look at the email below. After completing three interviews and a trial project over several weeks, the recruiter informed me the position would be on hold.
These issues can give your business a bad reputation. Candidates leave disgruntled and questioning your team’s transparency. If you’re going to place a position on hold, it’s imperative that you do it before interviewing candidates.
Reduce any unappealing hiring snafus by communicating with candidates frequently. You can provide them with a hiring timeline that outlines every stage of the process, from the number of interviews to potential delays.
More importantly, you never keep the candidate’s job search stagnant. If you’re not going to hire the person, it’s your responsibility to send a follow-up email as soon as possible.
Job candidates understand that unforeseen circumstances can alter the hiring process. When that happens, your team must take action to quickly notify candidates.
Hire with respect
SaaS recruiting is more than resume submissions and phone screens. So, ditch unhealthy habits, like requiring complex trial projects. Instead, strive to offer candidates full transparency. With this strategy, you add respect and dignity to your recruiting process and your brand.
Want to read more about hiring? Check out Omer Molad’s article, Why hiring is the growth hack you never considered.