Why SaaS For Sales Hiring Is HR’s Best Friend

Ideal Candidate is a software as a service (SaaS) company. Does that mean when we need a software tool to track emails or prospect for leads, we code it ourselves? Heck, no. We spend the money on a dozen different SaaS products instead. Why? We know that it’s a big waste of time and money trying to do something outside of our expertise when others have created better and cheaper software tools that make our jobs easier.

What does this have to do with HR and sales hiring? Plenty. I outline the business case for why you needs to invest in a data analytic SaaS tool for sales hiring.

The biggest challenges facing HR

The constant innovation in new technology and the pressure to adopt data analytics hasn’t been ignored by HR. According to a 2012 survey of HR professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the most critical competency for demonstrating business acumen in the coming years will be understanding HR and organizational metrics and analytics.


When it comes to talent acquisition in particular, an overwhelming 64% of business leaders agree HR’s top priority is sourcing according to Aberdeen’s 2013 talent acquisition survey ominously titled, “Adapt your strategy or fail.”


What are Aberdeen’s recommendations for HR not to fail? “Prioritize analytics” and “invest in innovative technology options.”

Aberdeen’s follow up talent acquisition survey in 2014 found 41% of hiring managers felt the need to update existing recruitment tools and technologies. This means that a large percentage of HR professionals feel the software tools they’re currently using for recruitment just aren’t good enough.


Towers Watson’s 2014 HR technology survey found that 40% of companies are only considering SaaS solutions to upgrade their HR technology due to their better functionality.


The worst criticisms against HR

A 2014 HR survey of executives – one-third being HR professionals themselves – by The Harvard Business Review found that the biggest obstacle to achieving better use of data and predictive analytics was “inaccurate, inconsistent, or hard-to-access data requiring too much manual manipulation.” 47% believed the biggest obstacle was a “lack of analytic acumen or skills among HR professionals.” Ouch.


According to Josh Bersin, a leading expert in HR technology and talent analytics

While no company would possibly run their business with inconsistent financial data, most companies are riddled with inconsistent HR data. Companies are waking up to this issue and are starting to invest heavily in talent analytics. One HR executive recently told me they would not hire any HR people who did not have some statistics understanding. Understanding how to use data is becoming part of the HR profession.

The best solutions available to HR

Job vacancies are up and time-to-fill is increasing. The competition for talent is heating up and that means HR is under more pressure than ever to find the best job candidates fast and prove the ROI of their budget spend. So what are you doing to help yourself become more efficient and cost-effective with your recruitment process?

Glassdoor, a large and successful software company in the Bay Area, hired 72 salespeople in 2014 and their average time-to-fill was 40 days. Companies who used our SaaS sales hiring tool – which uses data to assess thousands of sales candidates and ranks each one according to desired work experience, cultural fit, and personality – cut that time-to-fill by 32% on average.

Data analytics and SaaS are the future of HR

How have companies responded to the demand for leveraging data and analytical knowledge in their HR departments? John Berisford, Executive VP of HR at McGraw Hill Financial, hired five people with quantitative backgrounds outside HR. Nicole Theophilus, Executive VP and CHRO of ConAgra Foods, invested in two internal HR staff passionate about analytics and hired two Industrial Psychology PhDs.

The data analytic revolution is here. You can’t fight it. The intelligent use of data has vastly improved decision making in finance, operations, sales, and marketing. Now it’s HR’s turn. The next best thing to having a degree in statistics is to adapt and take advantage of SaaS tools that help you leverage data to hire salespeople who generate 20% more revenue while reducing acquisition costs by up to 40%. These are the HR professionals who are truly going to be able to prove their ROI and strategic value to their organization. Those who are unwilling and unable to adapt? Well, they’re getting replaced.

Has using a SaaS tool saved you time and money with your sales recruiting? Let me know in the comments.

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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min