Executive Search Case Study {SaaS}: Vice President of Sales 

Client: Halogen Software 

Industry: Software as a Service {SaaS}

Position: Vice President Sales

“Sales have been record- breaking, quarter after quarter. The number of new customers we’ve gotten has just been phenomenal. When he came on board, we were a little under 400 customers. We are now close to 1,000 one year later.” –   Stanley Janus, Director of HR Halogen Software

For this case study, Peter Clayton from TotalPicture.com is interviewing by phone Halogen Director of Human Resources Stanley Janus about working with David Perry a year following the hire of a new Vice President of Sales.

SaaS Case Study Details

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SaaS Case Study – Full Transcript

Peter Clayton: Hi. This is   Peter Clayton. Joining me today is Stanley Janus, the Director of Human Resources for Halogen Software, based in beautiful Ottawa,  Ontario, Canada.    Stan, thanks for talking with us today.

Stanley Janus: You’re quite welcome.

Peter: Tell us a little bit about Halogen. What does your company do?

Stanley: We are a software developer for employee performance management. We currently have a fleet of products for appraisals, compensation, and succession planning, as well as surveys.

Peter: Back in 2005, you were looking for a senior executive to join your team, a V.P. of Sales; a rather important position for most companies.   How  did   you go about conducting this search?

Stanley: We started off with the usual “Let’s advertise for it. Let’s put it out on Monster. Let’s see what’s available and go from there.” Of course, we had some bites. Then the bites weren’t what we were looking for, so         we       got       into   a       more  aggressive advertising mode. Over the period of about nine months, when we finally saw that there just wasn’t any way we were getting the results we wanted – yes, we were getting lots of candidates, but we weren’t getting the right candidate – we did an ad across Canada in the career section of all of the large papers that you would normally associate with executives reading. Again we got quite a few names and quite a few  interviews, but they just weren’t what we were looking for.

Peter: I would imagine this was eating up quite a bit of your time.

Stanley:    Not    just    my     time,    but     our president’s, as well. This was a direct report to the president, so of course he wanted to see who potentially was coming on board. Every time I interviewed someone and passed him up the line, then he spent a bit of time with them. Then, of course, you get into “Maybe this person, so let’s go to the next step. Let’s get references done.”   We had a psychologist do a profile on the candidates, as well, so that took time and money. We finally got to the realization, “We have to go outside. We cannot do that efficiently and cost-effectively on our own.”

Peter:   So, you went outside and you hired my      friend,  David   Perry at Perry-Martel International. How did you learn about David, and how did you end up using his services for this search?

Stanley: I had heard about David through the local Human Resources   Association here. The feedback was quite positive, so I got a hold of him. I was comfortable with the way he was approaching our search. The next step was arranging a meeting with our president. The thing that struck us the most, and the predominant reason why we chose David was that David listened, but he also gave us ideas. He really seemed to get the grasp of what we were looking for. There was an interesting comfort feel. As it turned out, what we couldn’t do in nine months,   David did in under three. We had a good range of candidates. David made sure that he presented candidates to us that met our requirements, not just from a technical point of view, but also on our corporate culture point of view, which is very important to us.

Peter: That is so important with so many companies; I think with every company. There has to be a cultural fit for something to work. Obviously, a Director of Sales is a very important position and, culturally, that individual really has to click with your organization.

Stanley: When you think that back in 2005, when we were a third of the size we are now, bringing in someone as a V.P. of Sales and basically giving them the mandate to grow that area, the cultural fit was extremely important.

Peter:   I guess, since your company is three times the size it was in 2005, the person you ultimately ended up hiring through Perry- Martel really has done an exceptional job.

Stanley: Very much so. Our sales have been record-breaking, quarter after quarter. The number of new customers we’ve gotten has just been phenomenal. When he came on board, we were a little under 400 customers. We are now close to 1,000.

Peter:   That’s terrific! How many candidates did David actually present to Halogen for this position?

Stanley: David presented three to us.

Peter: That saved you a tremendous amount of time itself: instead of having to wade through 600 résumés from Monster, to have three pre-qualified candidates presented to you.

Stanley: Very much so. Here’s the other thing I liked about David. The first candidate he brought in, after we interviewed him, David came back to us and said, “Okay. I’m going to use him as our benchmark. What

does he not have that I need to get for you guys, and what does he have that I have to make sure the other candidates have?”

Peter: That’s a pretty unusual approach.

Stanley: It is. It’s very much so.

Peter: Then you really start getting into, “Here’s this one candidate that we liked. He certainly met the qualifications, but wasn’t quite right.”

Stanley:    Exactly.     So,    when    the    other candidates were brought   forward,   they were as close to a perfect match as we could have hoped for.

Peter: This was all in a period of two or three months?

Stanley: Correct.

Peter: After you had spent nine months.

Stanley: Nine months, right; and the amount of money and effort that we had put forth was unbelievable.

Peter:   Well, sure. Then, for nine months, you were without a Director of Sales to build your organization.

Stanley: Right. Also, our president was handling that role in the interim, but he had other things to do. We got the V.P. of Sales in, gave him what our mandate was, and told him to go for it. David picked the winner!

Peter:   That’s great. So, I would guess that if you have a need for a senior executive in the future, you’d probably be calling David up instead of going through nine months of frustration.

Stanley: We actually have already. He did another search for us, and now we have engaged him to find marketing individual that will be a second in command.

Peter: Stan, thank you very much for taking time to speak with us today. It’s been great having the chance to meet you over the phone.

Stanley: Thank you, Peter.