Hiring fast vs hiring well

The ability to hire quickly is vital for fast-growing SaaS organisations. However, sometimes more haste means less speed. 5 hiring experts tell us how they get it right.

In June we staged our first Sales Confidence conference at HereEast, in London’s Olympic Park. We called it SaaSGrowth2018. We had over 200 SaaS professionals in the audience, watching more than 30 of London’s foremost SaaS experts share their knowledge. Even if you couldn’t make it, we want to share the inspiration and education with you through our SaaSGrowth2018 articles.

Hiring questions

‘How to hire, onboard, coach and develop successful sales teams’ was the title of one of the afternoon sessions. We were excited to welcome 5 hiring experts to the SaaSGrowth stage to talk about how they mould teams for success.

After the individual talks, we invited our speakers back to the stage for a panel discussion. Maddy Cross from Notion was asking the questions. Maddy’s first question was:

‘How do you balance pressure from investors to build your teams quickly against the need to build them well?’

It’s an interesting question. It stands to reason that the longer and more rigorous your hiring process is, the more likely you are to employ the right people. However, quotas need to be hit. You don’t always have as much time as you would like.

Our experts shared how they solve this problem.

Jacqui de Gernier

Jacqui De Gernier, VP of Sales at DocuSign, stepped up to the plate first. For Jacqui, you can hire fast and well if you get the preparation right.

‘Be really efficient with your process. Make sure you have a clear brief. We have a checklist of must-haves and a wish list for items we’re looking for. We don’t have unnecessary steps in our recruitment process. It helps us to reduce that time.’

However, while Jacqui makes every effort to make her recruitment as quick as possible, she will not hire someone she doesn’t think is suitable, just because they need someone quickly.

‘Don’t give in to any pressure. Don’t hire somebody just because you need that spot filled. It takes longer to sort out a bad hire than it does to hold out for the right hire.’

Great advice.

Carleen Boyle

Carleen works with Jacqui at DocuSign as a Senior in-house Recruiter. She had more to say about how DocuSign attract the best people.

‘At DocuSign, we never compromise on talent. Even if it means we have to go back to the market again, we won’t compromise.’

On hiring fast:

‘We implemented a speed interview (a bit like speed dating). We invite 4 or 5 candidates to the site and they see 4 or 5 different members of the team. We then get 4 or 5 opinions on who to take forward to the next stage.’

Patrick Traynor

Pat is VP of Sales at The Dots and a long-time friend of Sales Confidence. He agreed that hiring well is more important than hiring fast.

‘When you look at the numbers, it’s transparent. My weakest hire will do 20% of target. My best hire will do 200%! That speaks for itself.’

‘The reason everybody doesn’t hold out for the best is, particularly in new business, we still carry the quota even when a role is empty. It’s a structural problem which puts pressure on sales leaders to hire. Maybe something can be done to encourage the whole business to hold out for the very best.’

Dimitar Stanimiroff

CEO at Heresy and former Stack Overflow-er, Dimitar has always been concerned with hiring the best people, not hiring for the sake of it.

‘Always hire with retention in mind. Don’t just fill the vacancy. The average cost per hire is $4000. Then you have onboarding costs. If you don’t get it right, you leave a lot of money on the table.

‘If you get pushback from your investors, that’s how I would justify it.’

Jennifer Bers

Jennifer is VP of Sales at Onfido and has spoken before at our Sales Confidence live events. Jennifer is lucky that this question doesn’t apply to her!

‘We’re lucky. Our VCs and investors trust us. It’s not fair to the company to bring in a bad hire, or the people who help them onboard, or the person you hire themselves.’

‘It’s better to wait. There’s too much at stake to just hire a ‘body’.’

How about you?

What do you think? Do you feel pressure from your investors to hire quickly? How do you deal with it? How do you make sure you hire the best people in the shortest time available? Let us know down in the comments.

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