The US tech world and its investors are navigating uncertain waters. While unemployment numbers remain at an all-time low, larger tech companies have made major headlines recently for layoffs, hiring freezes, and declining valuations.
The latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that while the number of job openings fell in the month of May, there are still approximately 1.9 job openings for each individual job seeker in the US.
This has added a new level of complexity to the ongoing war for tech talent. Companies of all sizes spent the last year struggling to attract and retain employees who were lured away during The Great Resignation. The recent rush of layoffs at prominent tech companies has added new top talent to the mix.
So how are homegrown tech companies navigating this moment? Amanda Georgoff, Salesloft’s Area Vice President for Enterprise Sales, gave us some insights.
Salesloft expanded out from the SMB space to take on enterprise clients over the last few years but saw substantial growth during the pandemic as “digital and inside sales evolved at companies,” Georgoff told Hypepotamus.
Expansion efforts, alongside a tight hiring market, meant Georgoff and her team had to rethink their recruiting efforts.
“It’s a very competitive environment for sales talent. Where I think that forced us to stretch and grow is that we had to be really specific in articulating the value that Salesloft brings to a candidate. We had to really refine our employee value proposition last year. We talked a lot about the value proposition for our customers. For candidates we had to make sure it is not just “why Salesloft” but we had to be more nuanced [and say] why join enterprise sales at Salesloft,” she told Hypepotamus.
She has some practical advice for those looking to hire talent right now.
First, she said it is important to “make sure your [hiring] process is intentional and specific to your organization.”
“We [at Salesloft] want to make sure our interview process is efficient but also thoughtful,” Georgoff added. This is important in today’s job market as candidates are often balancing multiple and competing opportunities.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to restructure the interview process.
We asked Georgoff to give some insight into the Salesloft hiring process now. She was quick to point out that while the process might not work well for every company’s hiring needs, the “important takeaway is that we were thoughtful and asked: What do we want our process to look like? How do we want our candidates to feel? What do we want to learn about them?”
All Salesloft candidates go through a culture and value interview. Additionally, those looking to join the enterprise segment go through a Deal Review and a Top Grade interview.
The Deal Review replaces a mock demo or mock discovery call that is standard practice in most sales interview processes. This, Georgoff said, is a chance to highlight how the candidate thinks about sourcing deals, collaborating with a cross-functional team, and handles the inevitable moment where they feel like they lost the deal.
“We can teach the product, but those process-level approaches are really important,” she said. “Enterprise selling at its best is getting people that you don’t report to directly really excited…an enterprise seller’s ability to rally lots of internal colleagues around [a] cause comes through in that deal review.”
The Top Grade interview gives the candidate a chance to walk step-by-step through their resume, expanding on why they took (or didn’t take) specific opportunities. “The intention behind this is to understand patterns and how you’ve made decisions.”
“It’s just a peek into their psyche and what motivates them,” she added. “What makes a great software seller is a commitment to small habits. It’s about being committed to accomplishing a certain number of things across the course of the day. That micro discipline serves you well. And that comes through in the TopGrade.”
Georgoff said the pool of candidates she is sifting through today is a mixture of those impacted by layoffs, those looking for hybrid/remote-first opportunities, or those looking to pivot careers or industries. But the new, more intentional interview process is helpful as Salesloft looks to bring in the top candidates during a continually tight applicant pool.
Her other piece of advice for hiring managers: Always be building your candidate pipeline, even if you aren’t currently hiring.
“Hiring is so important…and because the macro economic environment is so fluid and changes all the time…it is important that hiring managers are always building a pipeline of potential candidates,” she added.