Podcast

34

min

January 24, 2024

Mikko Honkanen

Learnings from scaling Vainu to +100 employees

Listen now on

Podcast Summary: Episode of #TalentBuzz with Guest Mikko Honkanen from Vainu

Introduction:

  • Host: Discusses talent acquisition in SaaS companies.
  • Guest: Mikko Honkanen, Founder of Vainu.
  • Topic: The episode delves into Vainu's growth from its founding team to 130 employees, highlighting key learnings and strategies in hiring.

Early Recruitment Success:

  • Mikko recalls Vainu's first job opening in late 2014, which surprisingly attracted over 100 applications without a well-known brand or extensive promotion.

Recruitment Challenges:

  • The most significant challenge is finding individuals with specific skill sets in sales, customer success, marketing, and product development.
  • These roles are highly competitive, as candidates often have numerous opportunities.

Hiring Strategy:

  • Initially, Vainu focused on hiring individuals early in their careers, particularly in sales, due to the lack of brand recognition and financial resources.
  • Successful early hires motivated the strategy to develop junior employees into senior roles.
  • Later, Vainu began hiring more experienced professionals, especially in enterprise sales.

Onboarding Process:

  • Vainu has a structured onboarding process, utilizing sales playbooks since 2014.
  • New hires undergo systematic training, including company history, product knowledge, and department-specific education.

Role of Founder Brand in Hiring:

  • Mikko's existing network and professional brand played a crucial role in early hiring, especially when Vainu lacked a corporate brand.
  • Personal connections and familiarity with candidates facilitated successful early recruitment.

Data-Driven Recruitment:

  • Vainu uses a mix of data and intuition in hiring.
  • They emphasize building a strong candidate pipeline and use objective assessments and tests to evaluate candidates.
  • The company also considers candidates they didn't hire, analyzing their career progression to assess and improve their hiring decisions.

Evolution of Hiring Roles:

  • Initially, Mikko was heavily involved in the hiring process.
  • Over time, his role shifted to supporting the recruitment team, providing company insights, and ensuring cultural fit.
  • Vainu's hiring process has become more inclusive, with various team members involved in interviews.

Expanding Internationally:

  • When establishing offices in new countries, Vainu sends existing employees to ensure the transfer of company culture and methodology.
  • The focus is on covering time zones and languages rather than specific countries.

Advice for Scaling Startups:

  • Mikko advises startups to stay focused and choose battles wisely.
  • It's essential to identify areas where the company can excel and make deliberate decisions to invest resources accordingly.

Closing Remarks:

  • Host's Conclusion: Encourages sharing the episode to spread insights on talent acquisition in SaaS companies.
  • Sign-off: Reminds listeners about the importance of strategic hiring in the growth of SaaS companies.

Listen now on

You might also like

Recruitment

How to Measure Your Talent Acquisition Function?
Read blog

Recruitment

7 Metrics to Measure if Your Talent Acquisition Strategy Works
Read blog

Recruitment

5 Talent Acquisition Strategies for Fast Growing Companies
Read blog

Recruitment

How to Make Talent Acquisition Scalable?
Read blog