Here Are the Most Important Traits to Look for in a Software Sales Recruiter

Published on Jul 12, 2020

The Saas industry is on fire. According to a global forecast, it’s expected to grow from $272 billion in 2018 to $623 billion by 2023, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 18%. 

While this presents plenty of opportunity, it also comes with growing competition. And the SaaS companies that thrive are the ones with skilled software sales recruiters, as they’re integral for assembling a winning team. 

Here’s a list of the most important skills — both hard and soft — to look for in a software sales recruiter. 

A Proven Record of SaaS Success

First off, they need to have a track record of success and plenty of proven experience. Ideally, a software sales recruiter will have at least a Bachelor’s degree in business, human resources, technology, or a related field. However, this can extend into other areas of study as well. 

In terms of real-world experience, common jobs qualified experts have before becoming a recruiter include sales, operations, administrative, support, and research. 

Candidates should have a minimum of five years of experience and firsthand knowledge working with SaaS products. This brings us to our next trait. 

Being Comfortable with SaaS and Recruiting Technology

To thrive in this position, a recruiter needs to have in-depth experience both with SaaS and recruiting technology. When it comes to SaaS, this can include:

  • Sales
  • Programming
  • Digital operations
  • Virtualization
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Administrative tasks

As for recruiting technology, this can include:

  • Sourcing talent using software programs
  • Candidate profiling and screening
  • Using data-driven tools for candidate evaluation

Familiarity with Software Sales KPIs

When evaluating candidates, there’s a definitive list of key performance indicators (KPIs) a software sales recruiter should pay attention to. This allows them to make an objective assessment and determine how good of a fit a rep would be for your team. 

Here are some specific KPIs a recruiter should be familiar with:

  • First response time – How long it takes a rep to follow up with leads
  • Sales closing ratio – How many quotes a rep sends out and how many deals they close
  • Average conversion time – How long it takes for a rep to convert a lead
  • Sales targets – The number of deals that are closed over a period of time

A Deep Understanding of SaaS Trends 

As you’re probably well aware, the SaaS industry is rapidly evolving. There are currently over 10,000 private SaaS companies, and 80% of businesses use at least one SaaS application. 

At the current rate of adoption, both of these numbers should only continue to increase. Just look at how the SaaS market has grown over the past decade. 

For a software sales recruiter to be successful, it’s vital that they see the big picture and pay close attention to statistics like these. They should have a genuine passion for SaaS trends and always be up-to-date on what’s happening in this incredibly dynamic industry. 

Besides simply knowing the numbers, they need to have a deep understanding of the greater context and how everything fits together collectively, as this will inform their recruiting strategies and impact the direction of your business. Additionally, being open to new ideas, like participating in a sales recruiting training and certification programs, will help a recruiter continually evolve and stay ahead of the pack.  

A Science-Based Approach to Recruiting

Up until now, we’ve discussed the hard skills to look for in a recruiter. But there are also some essential soft skills they should possess. One of the most important is that they take a science-based approach to recruiting.

“The future of recruiting is scientific, data-driven, and businesslike,” explains author, professor, and HR advisor Dr. John Sullivan. “The roadblock to that transition is our current ‘art not science’ approach where intuitive recruiters act like artists who want 100% freedom over how they work.”

Sullivan also adds that scientific recruiting has some major benefits, including:

  • A more efficient, systematic hiring process
  • More consistency
  • Faster hiring speed
  • The utilization of concrete data to fine-tune hiring over time
  • Recruiter accountability

And in the long run, it often leads to increased team productivity because of the overall higher quality level of your hires. The bottom line here is that you’ll want to look for a software sales recruiter who turns to science rather than merely “a hunch” when assembling your team. 

Exceptional Interpersonal and Communication Skills 

The other main soft skill is being inherently gifted at communication. This role requires exceptional verbal and written communication skills, with a recruiter acting as liaison between company leaders and job candidates. It’s also a position that at times demands brutal honesty with candidates where they may have to provide unpleasant feedback.

Although certain elements of social skills like these can be learned, it’s ideal for a recruiter to be gifted with them naturally. So, how do you assess this when looking at a potential software sales recruiter?

First, see how their in-person communication compares with their resume or cover letter. “A person’s ‘voice’ or way of communicating should be similar, whether they are writing or speaking,” says career coach April Klimkiewicz

Next, ask a few communication centered interview questions. Some examples include, “Tell me how you go about giving bad news to a candidate that they won’t be hired for a position,” or “How do you handle conflicts that arise in the workplace?”

Finally, pay attention to how they listen because this accounts for 45% of communication

Landing a Top Tier Software Sales Recruiter 

Finding the right recruiter is vital to your SaaS company’s success. It improves the overall quality of your hires, lowers turnover, and gives your business a competitive advantage

Knowing which specific traits to look for should help you systematize your approach and base your decision on the most critical criteria.  

Note that many companies have greater success outsourcing this process to a professional technology sales recruiter. See how HireDNA can help you source, screen, and qualify candidates using powerful recruiting technology and science-based sales assessments. 

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