As is often the case in tech, timing is crucial. It’s hitting the sweet spot of offering a solution when a market is just ready but not saturated with competitors.
Hanno Renner, CEO and co-founder of German HR solution Personio, and the latest guest on the SaaS Revolution Show got his timing just right. He launched the company two and a half years ago in Munich at a time when the HR industry in Europe was ripe for digitization. In fact, it was so ripe in the small and medium businesses segment that to this day Hanno hasn’t had to do a cold call to sell his product. 30% of prospects still come from organic referrals.
However, there is more to scaling and success than timing and luck.
In Personio’s case, the hardest thing has been growing the organisation that supports the somewhat easier product adoption. That journey has been far from easy for Hanno. Growing the company to 72 people and looking to hire another 35 people has involved designing an organisation very early on and creating a disciplined hiring process that avoids the temptation to just hire at all costs.
In the interview, Hanno reveals what the steps he has taken along the way to make sure that Personio will be a healthy organisation well able to scale are. A five-step hiring plan that assures that candidates are not simply the right fit for the job but also for working with the rest of the team, bespoke onboarding at each department, and a culture that is guided by the core values that the company was started with, have all played their part. The strong organisation has fueled the incredible traction, which in turn has given Personio access to $14 million VC funding.
Hanno set up Personio with three co-founders in their last year of university. A lot of the tactics they implemented have come from the kindness of mentors and the founders’ diligence to think scale through rather than hurry after it. That is the tricky thing about growth – you have to go at it quickly but not without setting the right circumstances for it to be allowed to happen and not cause chaos.
If you want to become a better people person, leader of a healthy organisation and 10x growth CEO, this episode is a must.
Listen on to hear:
- How to interview candidates for fit
- How to avoid making hiring decisions out of necessity
- What guiding principles to use when setting an organisation
- Why you should seek the advice of business angels
- How to rely more on your gut feeling when you hire