How Important is Education Background in Your B2B SaaS Hiring Process?
Guest Post written by Astrid Brenda Chambers
Exclusive for Intrinsic Executive Search
The SaaS market is competitive and it can be difficult for even the best company to stand out from the crowd. Our previous post on ‘Intrinsic Executive Search’ highlights how hiring, especially for senior positions, is especially difficult for B2B SaaS companies.
Lots of factors can feed into this. Obviously, the best path to success is by building a team that can help your company maximise innovation and efficiency. Hiring managers in B2B SaaS need to be able to pick out applicants that are highly skilled and capable. We’re going to take a look at one aspect of that search — namely, how big of a role does educational background play in B2B SaaS hiring?
What Matters More in a Hire?
Weighing the pros and cons between education and experience can be a challenge for any hiring manager. It’s an age-old debate that no one has found the solution to just yet. In an attempt to shed more light on the matter, Investopedia simply states this: yes, experience is always a plus, but higher education is more important for early on in a career, and doubly important for specialised fields.
Hiring managers should always be open to the possibility that candidates have built their skills through alternative educational means, true. However, a well-educated applicant will most likely already have the skills you’re looking for. So although the option for hiring based on experience should always stay open, sometimes hiring based on education is simpler and easier.
Does Education Attract the Most Talented Candidates?
Does including educational attainment in your hiring standards attract the most talented candidates? While it’s hard to say for sure, it definitely can’t hurt. Higher education isn’t just about putting in more hours in the classroom, but about learning specialised skills that may not always be readily available.
Strong educational paths attract the best talent. Take Software Development, for example. Every company, including B2B SaaS companies, needs a capable R&D Department. And with online degrees and specialised courses so readily available, there’s now a wider pool of skilled talent to choose from.
Take this example: Maryville University’s online master’s in accounting overview states that the curriculum is built not just to keep students on pace with the industry, but to keep them ahead of the curve. Schools will often have industry experts on the teaching staff as well, which is a great avenue for students to learn about theoretical concepts and practical skills at the same time.
Does Fast-Moving B2B SaaS Need Higher Education?
This is a bit of a tricky question. There are several skills that are essential for B2B SaaS that don’t necessarily need a higher education degree. When writing about whether pursuing a career in SaaS sales may be the right decision, Forbes highlighted three things: a willingness to learn, a desire to be helpful to people, and an aversion to boredom.
Most of these traits don’t require a specialised degree, and it is possible to cultivate them through experience. However, B2B SaaS is also highly specialised. It requires an understanding of the field, trends in technology, and user experience in order to pull in clients. Much of the new trends in B2B SaaS don’t require a degree, but many of these trends can be predicted through careful study and analysis— which degree holders have.
Is Verifying Educational Background Possible?
The short answer is: yes. While a specialised field like B2B SaaS is often enough to deter unqualified applicants, it’s sometimes necessary for hiring managers to verify an applicant’s credentials.
Entrepreneur has a list of things to do in order to prevent resume fraud, including doing due diligence during the interview and verifying all references. While this process takes a lot of time and legwork, it’s a necessary part of hiring in order to ensure you’re getting the best talent fit for the job.
Hiring for B2B SaaS can be difficult, given the field’s competitiveness. But higher standards pull in better talent. Hiring managers shouldn’t be afraid to ask for the best applicants, especially in such a highly competitive field.