Working in SaaS vs Recruitment: read about Emma's experience
Sign up to our newsletterSign up now
Guest blog from Emma Baggs - Team Lead for Corporate Sales at Hinterview
As I near the 18-month mark in SaaS, I finally feel like I’ve got a good enough gauge on exactly how my current role compares to the 4 years I previously spent in recruitment.
There’s a lot of glorified BS around the comparison, and why wouldn’t there be! We’re all vying for the best sales people’s attention, marketing the rarest and most not-to-be-missed opportunity that LinkedIn ever did see.
However, what I really want to do is relay is a realistic comparison. Having stood on both sides of the fence, I’m confident that for those on the job hunt and perhaps at a bit of a crossroads in their careers, the following points might help aid decisions, or, simply just add a little insight…
How are they similar?
Truthfully, if you’ve worked in a 360 recruitment role longer than 18 months, you’ll have a pretty water-tight skill set to lend itself to SaaS & vice versa. You’ll be resilient, tenacious, and undoubtedly strategic; having recognised that building partnerships is a key element to your role. Without being reputable, you’re not going anywhere.
Being in SaaS, you’re constantly on the lookout for new opportunities, trends, and networking events whilst leveraging your current network and all of the aforementioned to seek out those whom you can add value to - again, incredibly similar to recruitment.
The principle of SaaS is allowing you to add value to a business and its people through the provision of software, thus enabling them to make more money. We know recruitment more often than not comes with securing better packages and impressive pay increases for candidates, so, again you're enabling people to make more money. It goes without saying that the skill set needed to achieve these lucrative outcomes is the same in many ways - something I was pretty pleased to realise.
How aren’t they similar?
Recruitment is tough. So is working in SaaS. There’s no beating around the bush here, it’s widely recognised that sales is one of the toughest, most testing professions. Speaking from experience, they’re not wrong.
In recruitment, you’re relying on a number of parties to move in the same direction to secure a placement; clients and/or hiring managers, candidates & sometimes their families too, and of course, yourself. Many parts have to align to get a deal over the line, and if one of these elements isn’t playing ball, you can say goodbye to that fee and the previous weeks, months, or even years worth of work it’s taken to get there. Heartbreaking to say the least.
In SaaS, you’ve got more elements under control. For instance, the software. Software can’t ghost you, say the wrong thing in an interview, pull the role, or accept a counter offer. It’s consistently available and after years of orchestrating clients and candidates through a recruitment process, I can safely say that it takes away a pretty large element of risk and so the stress that comes hand in hand with that.
However, you’re now relying more on yourself and your own ability to present the platform in a way to show it will add value, and demonstrate the proof of concept enough to empower your clients to want to invest. Your software won’t speak for itself at an interview or showcase its own unique skills under assessment. If you can’t ascertain each of your client’s unique challenges and present the platform in the most appropriate way, it’s unlikely to end well. You become more responsible and so more accountable for securing the desired outcome. For me, this works perfectly as I like having fewer moving parts in the process and being in more direct control.
In summary, the roles themselves are pretty similar in terms of the skills they require and the resilience needed to succeed. I think the main difference in whether one is more suitable for yourself, is simply what you enjoy the most. It’s entirely down to personal preference and I’d love to hear from people who can share their own experiences from either side of the fence.
If you’d like to ask me anything directly, feel free to drop me an email.
For those interested, I’ll be releasing another article soon covering my first 18 months in SaaS in more depth.