Justin Dennis, the VP of Growth at Breezy HR, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores the business technology landscape through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode we discuss recruiting trends, the impact of SaaS business technology, and how the consumerization of IT effects how companies buy software.
Below are a few highlights from our conversation:
TechnologyAdvice: What is big in HR right now?
Justin Dennis: The biggest thing we’re seeing is smaller companies are on an HR tech buying spree. These can be early stage startups, small businesses with less than 100 employees. They’re buying tech like recruiting software and an employee management system like they never have before. The entire industry is in a growth stage, so SMBs and enterprise are retooling and rethinking HR departments. That’s mainly from a macro perspective, that’ the biggest trend. People who weren’t thinking about streamlining or recruiting before are doing that now.
Our customers have a different makeup from a team perspective and how they use a recruiting platform. We work with a number of really great startups from around the world. Mostly software companies who have received funding. They are going from 5 to 10 to 50 employees. They’ve never had to do that before. It can be a challenging thing to do. They’ve got this great product, it’s got market fit, it’s growing exponentially, now they need to figure out how to scale this with human capital. They may have never hired anyone before.
The approach is somewhat different than what applicant tracking was initially built to do — HR managers reviewing thousands of applications to accept the best ones. Small teams are now hiring from their networks, a team of 5 people, everyone’s involved in recruiting and hiring. Referrals, interviews, feedback — no one with the HR title. Now anyone that is involved in the hiring process can use Breezy.
There’s a lot changing about the way companies hire. The CEO may publish an opening on a job board; that process is still somewhat effective, but for really fast-paced, rapidly growing companies, they need to flatten out recruiting duties across the entire team.
TA: Why is now the tipping point?
Dennis: It’s a definite combination of quickly growing teams and access to software. That’s probably been the easiest it’s ever been. Google something, sign up for free, invite someone else to join your team, and you’re pretty much off to the races from a SaaS perspective. What we’re seeing is software buyers and business decision making from a software purchase decision is becoming more of a millennial demographic.
There’s no way you or I will download a clunky piece of software. If I have to download something for a meeting, I don’t wanna go. There’s a shift in purchase decision maker, to a younger audience who has grown up and embraced social media. The way really fast growing products were built and the experience people have with them — FB, Twitter, Pinterest — the buyer wants that experience in their daily work life. You see that in the huge growth of products like Slack, Trello, and Dropbox.
They have a consumer-like feel and are easy and fun. I think that’s really a big transition for all kinds of business decision-making in tech. Now it’s happening in the recruiting and HR need-based. I’ve got to hire some people, the last thing i’m going to do is pay $590 to post to Monster’s website. I’d rather get on LinkedIn and find a few friends with skills that fit. That’s just how modern teams are making decisions. They can take things on their own without having to add a whole lot of work.
TA: Millennials are pushing for more software and making decisions. What challenges does that present?
Dennis: From a growth perspective, you have to give free trials. People want to see if there’s a fit. People want to get in, and see if there’s a solution and get the experience before they make a purchase decision. I think the signing of the big three year contract is a much harder thing to do right now. People are picking up the phone less, they’re preferring to do search, read content, become educated in the space and make a purchase decision. Having a free trial is very important.
Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes.