What is your most valuable piece of advice for new startups?
Don't buy a tool if you don't have a tool problem. Before I know what I'm trying to accomplish, or what processes I need to establish, the last thing I want to do is buy a tool and put in place a new system. That makes it way harder to change in the future. Until we know if something is a good idea for us, I'd rather proceed slowly, see if it's the right fit for us, and then automate and ramp up later. Once you know that a certain process works for you, that's when you can turn up the volume and buy the appropriate tool.
As an expert in human capital, when would you tell a company that it’s time to bring on a recruiting solution?
The biggest indicator is that you feel pain around recruiting. You feel that you have to make decisions about who to hire, and you don’t have confidence in your questions, don’t know how to rate candidates, and different people have different opinions. You may also start to feel as though you don’t have enough candidates and you don’t know how to get more.
When does that typically happen?
If you’re hiring people on a regular basis, which generally kicks in at 25-50 people, and if you have a full-time recruiter in the company, then you need a solution like ours. Our clients range from small, growing startups to global companies with thousands of employees.
Speaking of Greenhouse, what differentiates your platform from other recruiting solutions?
We compete with other recruiting technologies, but what really sets Greenhouse apart is that we’re not just another applicant tracking system. In order to achieve effective recruiting across your organization, you have to manage a complicated workflow across the entire company--it’s not just recruiting. Our data-driven software helps you manage that workflow, including interviewing, decision-making within the hiring team, as well as how the hiring team works.
Of course! We have actually set a goal for ourselves to be a world-class user of our own product. As we grew quickly, we found that sometimes we were being cavalier in how we used it, which hurt our ability to get good data and run an awesome recruiting process. So we set goals for ourselves to use Greenhouse 100% the way we would recommend our clients to. Things are SO much better now, and it’s given us a ton of insight into our customers’ perspective on using our product too. For any SaaS company that uses their own product, I’d recommend that they try to be your own best customer. It’s hard and can feel artificial, but that approach has definitely paid huge dividends for us.
Some people are wary of using services that are themselves startups. How would you convince them otherwise?
If you’re buying a SaaS platform that is a startup itself, you’re buying into the company’s philosophy of what they want the product to become, not just what it is today. The product is going to change massively while you’re with them, and the total value you get out of a SaaS platform is way more than just the features of the product. That value includes interaction with the company, support/services that come along with it, the community you’re a part of, relationships with other users, and the way they support their customers’ goals—this is all very different than working with a big company. A small company is going to be more likely to hustle to help you with those things, while for a big company, you’re more likely to be just a blip on the radar.
About Daniel ChaitDeeply rooted in the technology community, Daniel has co-founded three startups (Greenhouse, Lab49 and Business Velocity), and has advised startups through his affiliation with New York Angels. With his latest venture, Greenhouse, Daniel has become a trusted leader in human capital, recruitment and entrepreneurship; he has been featured at numerous venues, including Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report, the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship, the Launch SCALE Conference and the Wharton Entrepreneurship Conference.
About GreenhouseGreenhouse is one of the industry’s leading recruiting platforms, dedicated to optimizing every facet of the recruiting process and helping companies make data-driven hiring decisions. With clients ranging from early startups to global corporations with thousands of employees, Greenhouse prides itself on helping clients implement best practices and scale them quickly.