How We Work: Why High-Growth SalesLoft Takes Candidates Through Five Interview Rounds

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This is part of our How We Work series, which focuses on how successful southeastern tech companies are developing authentic work cultures.

Since raising a $15 million Series B early last year, the company has grown to over 200 employees — and with product and market growth, they’re projecting to add another 150 this year.

With that much rapid growth, SalesLoft’s Chief People Officer has been busy building out resources for employee onboarding training, leadership development, and continued education. However, Christine Kaszubski says that much of their success has stemmed from ensuring the right employee fit at the very beginning.

“A lot of thought went into honing the details around the interview process. Some people might say it would be a lot easier to take out one or two of the components so that we can move faster, but we know that this has been vital to identifying the future talent of SalesLoft,” Kaszubski says.

That process can require as many as five or six interviews with anyone ranging from her HR department, to potential members of the candidate’s future team, to SalesLoft’s chief executives and maybe even founder Kyle Porter himself.

“We’ve purposefully kept the process pure because we know it works  for us as we continue to see the company grow,” she explains, citing the company’s continuously low turnover rate and increase in our employee referral rate.

Kaszubski broke down SalesLoft’s intentional interview process, how they seek out diverse Lofters to join the team, and how their core value-driven culture has helped drive SalesLoft’s success.

How did you design your recruiting process to identify the candidates that are really going to succeed at SalesLoft?

The recruiting process at SalesLoft is very intentional, with a focus on our core values and culture. It’s truly a multiple-step process and I think that helps to benefit not just the company, but the candidate as well. They need to make sure that this is the right fit for them.

It starts out with the normal recruiting phone screen and hiring manager interview. Then there’s an additional layer of peer interviews where candidates can interact directly with potential future team members. From there, candidates go through a core values interview, with people that don’t work in the same department as this candidate talking about our core values and how they connect with our culture. The hiring manager then takes a deeper dive with the candidate to learn more about their experience and background to understand how they make decisions.  Then, as a final step, candidates meet with a founder or an executive team member.

So I know that it could be viewed as a lengthy process, but I really believe in the process itself — it’s part of what’s helped to ensure the right fit, especially as we experience so much growth.

What are some of the things that you’re looking for besides hard skills?

When it comes to our core values, having a connection to them is vital to individual success here at SalesLoft. When they can identify examples throughout their career where they can talk about putting customers first, focusing on results, taking a half glass full approach, looking at the positive side of tough situations, that’s what we are looking for during that part of the interview process.

Our core values are putting customers first, putting team over self, glass half full, focus on results and bias towards action. Being able to personally relate to these are key.

You’ve talked about making sure that you have a diverse employee base. How are you doing that?

Diversity and inclusion is something that we are very passionate about. I think that being a diverse company just makes us better. Diversity helps us make better business decisions, with understanding our customers, with seeing different perspectives. It really does have to begin with the recruiting process. We intentionally target areas that provide more of a diverse pipeline.

We are also consciously growing our effort with local community groups that help build our pipeline. We are doing outreach with local colleges, participating in local events like the Atlanta PRIDE parade, in groups like Women Who Code. We support Girls Who Code, Women In Tech. Being a part of these organizations helps to support community efforts as well as build a future of diverse candidates.

Once you identified the candidate and they’ve accepted their offer letter, what’s the next step?

When somebody becomes a Lofter, I want to ensure that they have continued communication up until that first day. There’s standard communication talking about details of what the first day is going to look like, but also outreach from the team such as sending them welcome e-mails, a personalized SalesLoft card and event some swag to put a personalized touch to it.

We’re also in the process of building out a much more robust onboarding program. Currently we are looking at a two-week integration process that includes company history, meeting with our leaders, hearing from our founders and from all of the other individuals that can speak to our core values. That will help us set new employees up to be core value ambassadors. We’re piloting that right now with our sales team and then will scale to the rest of the organization.

Let’s talk about retention, because that’s another big issue that tech companies are seeing now. What are some things that you do to make SalesLoft a place that employees want to stay at?

Our culture is naturally a derivative of our core values, but it’s much more than that. The culture is genuine. You know that everybody is working together towards the collective goal. One thing I think is unique to SalesLoft is that you really do want to bring your best. People just passionately believe in the work that we’re doing and you can see that in the person sitting next to you, in the leaders, that they really are elevating and bringing their very best.

One of the things that we actually put in our role descriptions is that you will grow more here than any place else, guaranteed. And it’s very true. You have an opportunity to take on new challenges, to call out ideas and to problem solve — that type of open environment is encouraged and fostered.

You mentioned a little bit about continued learning programs for employees. What does look like?

We have a leadership development program that I am continuing to build out much more robustly this year. That includes professional development programs for all employees by the end of the year and creating programs for future leaders and first-time managers.

In addition to that, SalesLoft is really a place where everybody is exceptionally open to sharing their knowledge. You can go to any individual within the organization and ask to learn more about engineering, IT, the sales process. It’s a very organic and natural way that we share information.

What do you do to foster employee connections, and to make SalesLoft a fun place to work?

We do lunch multiple times each week in the community lunchroom, which is a great opportunity for all of our teams to interact and mingle together. We have all-hands meetings on Fridays. It’s casual and we get to ask questions. But we also foster activities outside of the work environment. We sponsor sports teams, community events, we had a float in the Pride parade. We support the Atlanta roller derby girls and give out tickets so we can go together as a group. You really get to have an opportunity to continue fostering and building relationships both inside of work and outside of work.

How does all of this — your recruiting process, core value-driven culture, and focus on retention — how does it all make SalesLoft more successful as a business?

It all comes back to fit. We have this very intentional recruiting process where those that are hired here at SalesLoft feel like this is a fit for them as an individual, and we as an organization are excited to have them as part of a team as we continue to grow. And I think that is a huge contributor to our success. Employees have this ability to ramp up quickly. It keeps turnover low when we have a connection with skill set, team environment and core values.

The employees love the culture. They helped create it, they want to hear about it and be part of the team. And when you have such a high performing culture and employees that gravitate toward that, I think that just equates to success. Success is the outcome when all of those components click and work together.

Photos provided by SalesLoft