Jessica Mah, cofounder and CEO of Indinero, talks about growing her company at an insane clip. She’s juggled the pressure to grow 5x a year with the ideal of keeping company culture strong, developed and messaged KPIs and managed a dispersed team. Read on for how she did it.
Over the next three days, DataFox will summarize the SaaStr 2016 panels. If you miss the tactical theater or strategy stage, are networking on the ground, or didn’t get a chance to attend this great conference, we’ve got you covered.Special thanks to Jason Lemkin of SaaStr for putting on this conference and giving us the chance to publish these summaries.
In a nutshell:
- As you gain experience in recruiting, you’ll be able to identify top performers more quickly.
- Choosing KPIs (key performance indicators) is easy, but getting your team to buy into them and measure against them is hard.
- PR and recruiting hires are often deprioritized - but they shouldn’t be.
What you learn when you’re hiring like crazy
Indinero puts a premium on training and culture. As a service organization, it’ll be judged on its worst employee, so it invests time in every new hire - Mah already has a full-time professor to do training, and another to focus on culture. But learning how to hire good people isn’t intuitive. Mah says that she gained a lot of experience by simply going through a lot of interviews. Here are some of her hiring tips:
- Put your interviewees through specific situations - mock calls with bad leads for SDRs, customer support calls, etc.
- Hire a PR specialist. Just one dedicated, determined employee focused on getting media coverage can make a huge difference.
- She asks SDR candidates to pitch her on signing up for yoga - rather than their own product (which they know best) or hers (where she’ll know what they’re missing), she goes with a neutral topic.
Mah says that having a full-time recruiter is critical. A first recruiter should have a lot of hustle, ideally corporate (rather than agency) experience, and a good network.
“If I were starting a new company, my first two employees would be an assistant and a recruiter.”KPIs, messaging, culture and more
As your organization grows, culture and metrics will change. That’s inevitable. But to keep the bar high, Mah says to define core values early, have your team focus on key metrics every day, and train new employees intensively. Taking cues from Zappos, HubSpot and other corporate culture leaders, she’s focused on instilling values in new hires early on.
Finally, she named two key metrics - one for customer success, and one for developers. Customer success should be able to know at a glance how many customers are a churn risk and how to address those customers; product and engineering should be judged on how many people engage with a feature.