Using Science to Identify, Hire & Retain Executives for your SaaS Firm

Using Science to Identify, Hire & Retain Executives for your SaaS Firm


We all know that making a bad hire is a real headache in terms of direct and indirect costs, morale, perception and lost time. A good headhunter should be able to identify a shortlist of candidates that offer a decent  fit in terms of skills, experiences and success in a given field, so long as they are experienced and well networked in your sector. 

So, why is it that seemingly well fitting candidates with all the right credentials, experiences and apparent motivations sometimes just do not work out? Why do candidates that have been supremely successful in one company just not make it in the next company they join. Why do candidates join one company only to leave a short while afterwards?

Why does our sector seem to have so many short term movers? Agreed, the software industry is seriously volatile with huge amounts of M&A activity that often results in leadership changes, but still, when I look around, I wonder if some of these short term moves could have been avoided? 

Another challenge that you may encounter as a software company hiring manager is actually keeping hold of your top performers. How painful is it when your best performer leaves you to join another company? Yes, pretty painful!

How useful would it be to have the knowledge required to understand factors such as motivations and behaviours before you hire someone?  Furthermore, once you have a team of high performers that fit well with your business, how helpful would it be to have a better understanding of leadership and motivational strategies that you can consider for each member of your team that can result in lower attrition, enhanced team cohesion, morale and ultimately a higher performing business?

As I approach my 20th year of Executive Search within the B2B SaaS sector,  I started to ask these same questions myself and I started to look at ways that we could improve the hiring strategies for our clients. 

There are numerous testing solutions available in the market today. Psychometric testing and analysis has been with us for a long time, some more useful than others. In a world where we seem to be busier than ever, anything that takes a lot of time to administer or generally eats into management time will be critically examined in much the same way as it would be for it’s financial cost. I was aware of various solutions that required extensive time, effort and cost to administer and almost felt like some were using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. 

What I was really looking for was a simple bolt on solution that could be seamlessly included into our existing Executive Search process and would  feature the following considerations:


  • Data would be brief and succinct and could be included within a candidate CV and application or form part of a shortlist
  • A snapshot report that could give an instant “acid test” of fit for a company, role and hiring manager
  • Easy to read by my hiring managers and giving them a chance to prepare relevant and appropriate interview questions based upon the data
  • Simple and painless for candidates to use. No more that 10 minutes
  • A take away report for candidates to keep 
  • Minimal disruption for all involved


Intrinsic has recently been testing and implementing a Scientific Software Solution that helps to fill in the gaps when making critical commercial hires. Initial testing has shown positive feedback from both clients and candidates alike and will help to enhance the service that we offer.


If you would like to learn more about improving your hiring activities, please feel free to drop me a line here..

Paul French Intrinsic

Paul French is a Director of Intrinsic Executive Search, and possesses nearly 20 years experience of Headhunting senior commercial Executives across the UK and Europe on behalf of Enterprise SaaS companies.



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