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Routinely Evaluate and Streamline Processes to Maintain Manager and Candidate Buy-In

The Speed to Hire Show – Routinely Evaluate and Streamline Processes to Maintain Manager and Candidate Buy-In

Episode 13 – Amber Schwartz, Salesloft

SalesLoft is a powerful sales engagement platform designed to empower sales professionals and teams to achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively. With its comprehensive suite of tools and features, SalesLoft provides a seamless end-to-end solution for sales engagement, enabling reps to engage with prospects, build relationships, and close deals with ease.

In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive sales landscape, staying ahead of the game is crucial for success. Sales teams are constantly looking for ways to streamline their processes, optimize their strategies, and ultimately close more deals. This is where SalesLoft comes in.

This episode of the Speed to Hire Show features Amber Scwartz, Director of Talent Acquisition at Salesloft.

Key Takeaways

  • [9:00] Achieve buy-in from candidates through brand marketing – Sourcing the right talent is the most critical step of the hiring process. Creating engaging and accurate branding materials and job descriptions ensures the best-fit candidates enter the hiring process.
  • [13:06] Collaborate with your marketing team to increase your talent pool – Marketing is essentially the voice and face of your brand. Collaborating with marketing to ensure the right messaging gets through to candidates improves your quality of hire.
  • [14:44] Reassess your interview process and training every year – Make time at least annually to fully audit your interview process and retrain managers to continuously improve your hiring speed and outcomes. 
  • [17:45] Define multi-layered ideal candidate profiles to improve hiring outcomes – Assess fit based on a multitude of factors that define the most successful and satisfied candidates, and reevaluate these profiles regularly.
  • [20:29] Force yourself to evolve and adapt your hiring process with the industry – Updating and streamlining your hiring process is not a one-and-done strategy. You have to constantly evaluate your process for efficiency and effectiveness.
  • [22:28] Collaborate closely with hiring managers to improve speed to hire – Collaborating with hiring managers from the sourcing stage through offers ensures manages buy-in to the hiring process but also produces higher-quality hires faster.
  • [29:40] Get buy-in from hiring managers to engage earlier in the hiring process – When possible, get managers involved as early as talent sourcing to connect with candidates that bring the greatest value to their teams but also to improve the hiring experience for everyone. 
  • [31:54] An exclusive look at Salesloft’s hiring process – Salesloft has a unique approach to hiring. Take a look at how they approach growth hiring and maintenance hiring with ease.


Video Transcript

JOSH TOLAN: Well, let’s get it going. Amber, tell me a little bit about yourself.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. Of course. So personally, I am a wife and mother to two little girls.

Professionally, today I am the director of talent acquisition at Salesloft based out of Atlanta, Georgia.

And I’ve been at Salesloft now for the last three and a half years.

JOSH TOLAN: That’s awesome. And when you started at Salesloft, what role did you start in? 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: So I actually came into Salesloft. And intentionally, when I came to Salesloft, wanted to go back to an IC recruiter as I was making the transition from my previous company. So I joined Salesloft as a senior recruiter supporting I think when I came in, I was supporting marketing, revenue operations, finance, all of those things, and then it quickly morphed in as I joined January 2020, which was an interesting time.

By July 2020, I was supporting essentially anything that was not tech related at Salesloft.

JOSH TOLAN: Got it. So, like, go to market teams then?


JOSH TOLAN: Cool. And for those that don’t know, can you tell us a little bit about Salesloft as well? Yeah. Of course. So Salesloft is the number one sales engagement platform.

And in simpler terms, we are essentially the workflow workflow solution for all revenue function. So anything from sales development to AEs, sales leadership, rev ops, yes, Ms, it doesn’t really stop, but we’re the platform that sort of powers the day-to-day activities that they’re doing.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. I mean, I’m very familiar with the category. It’s definitely one that has blown up over the last, you know, call it five to ten years or so. I’ve seen Kyle speak at a few Saster conferences, so I feel like I’ve followed the Salesloft trajectory.

Over the years, and it seems like, you know, your category is really where most reps are working on a day-to-day basis. So everybody, you know, seems to have a CRM like a Salesforce or a HubSpot or something like that. But seemingly, your category is what sits on top of those platforms and where reps manage, as you said, their day-to-day workflows. 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. Exactly. I mean, we’ve all heard it before. Right? Like, reps don’t like to work in their CRM, and they’re typically not the best documenting and working, and that impacts sort of downstream.

JOSH TOLAN: So, certainly, I think most reps would prefer to be working in sales loft day to day than having to kind of work in their main serum.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. For sure. And tell me about the talent acquisition team in particular. How many people? Yeah.

So today, we, obviously, like, a lot of businesses out there have kind of shifted over the last three years of how we support our business. So today, we have six total recruiters.

Varying levels.

We support global operations. So not only here in the US, but also a development center in Guadalajara, Mexico, a go-to-market, Mia Headquarters in London.

So, our team right now is kind of primarily split between We’ve got three recruiters who focus, go to market G and A. Three recruiters who are focused on product and technology. But obviously, over the last, you know, six months, we’ve really taken the approach of making sure that everyone kind of acts as a utility player when needed. Sure.

So we’ve seen a lot of success surprisingly in with our tech recruiters migrating over and supporting sales and kinda putting a new lens or perspective on our process there. So think it’s been overall a good experience for everyone, but that’s how we’re set up today.

JOSH TOLAN: Got it. So is that more on the lines of, like, just trying to be more efficient and then as a result being less rigid about you only work with these types of roles, so you can kinda cross paths and depending on what the business needs at the time.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. For sure. I mean, I think capacity planning has definitely gotten a little bit more difficult this year.

We are primarily focused on sort of maintaining head counts. So when you get in that position, it’s a lot it’s a bit harder to anticipate, like, what’s coming next. And so we could have a month where we’re really heavy on the go-to-market side. We could have another month where we’re really heavy on the product side, so giving them the opportunity to sort of cross-pollinate and work on each other’s jobs.

Partly by design to make sure that everyone can do a little bit of everything, but also, again, I think a result of it has been a fresh lens or a fresh pair of eyes on processes that we’ve been running for longer.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. Which is great and tangible, you know, other than just being able to scale up resources in a particular area if you need it at that time. How big is the company now from an employee standpoint? Yeah.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: So we’re somewhere between eight and nine hundred. Obviously, hard to keep track. We had a really big week last week where we had twelve offers accepted, and so… which this year’s is a lot for us. In previous years, it would have been just another week.

So I think we’re somewhere between eight and nine hundred today.

JOSH TOLAN: And how big were you guys when you started?

AMBER SCHWARTZ: We were right around four hundred when I started. And then again, January 2020 was when I started. So there’s been a lot of growth and fluctuations over the last three and a half years for sure.

JOSH TOLAN: Could you have imagined that you would be in a position where the companies doubled or more than doubled, you’re working on multiple international offices, you know, like, where you guys are at now?

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Probably not. Right? Well, I think it split. You know, when I joined Salesloft, it was a very intentional move. I knew that this was a really special company. And I knew that the solution that we were offering was one that kinda didn’t have limits as to how far we could grow.

But I think if I really put myself back into the shoes of what I saw myself doing a year, two years, three years down the line and kind of how that would impact our company’s growth, I probably wouldn’t have said. Like, this is where I’ll be. Three years now. For sure. Yeah.

JOSH TOLAN: That’s awesome though. Are you guys using the platform at all in your own recruiting efforts?

AMBER SCHWARTZ: We have dabbled in it. You know, I wish we could use it a little bit more. I think it’s once again, of capacity. What are, like, the business-critical things that we need to deliver? And then how are we sort of reserving time?

Because I get jealous when I talk to salespeople that have this one tool that kinda does everything for them. And then I look at our tech stack, and while we, you know, there are wonderful tools out there for recruiters today. And But it’s a little piece meal still. And so, I know I’ve got you know, our recruiters have four different tools that they’re working out of.

And I’m like, we just need a sales law for recruiting. And so we started we’ve had conversations with even, like, our product team of, like, would be really neat if the integration between sales loft and an ATS could be similar to. 

So we used cadences quite a bit going back to, like, 2021, early days where we were trying to, like, pick up the speed on candidate outreach and starting to build out some of those pipelines of talent. But we haven’t been able to focus on it as much as I wish we could, but it’s certainly something that’s top of mind for our team.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. It’s got a lot of potential just, you know, and what it has to offer from a candidate engagement standpoint. But to your point, it’s tough because it’s not a platform for recruitment, and therefore, you know, isn’t integrated with all the ATSs of the world that you might need it to be integrated with.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: I think there’s a lot I  will say though, I think there’s quite a few, you know, quite a few customers on the agency side that you know, that are using a CRM versus an ATS, that are able to take advantage of it. And so it’s really reimagining how we look at that internally — Mhmm. — that I think really opens up a lot, especially if it’s an organization that’s using it across their go-to-market team. Right?

It’s it becomes a little bit more natural.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. Totally. I mean, I think there’s to your point, like, there are endless opportunities for the platform, not only in, like, the sales world but also, like, we see investors using Salesloft all the time in their outreach.

There’s potential in recruitment. So there’s, like, infinite possibilities of where you could go. But for now, it seems like the right move is to focus on the sales enablement space because there’s a lot of growth still to be achieved there. So I’m this is interesting to me because, you know, you guys are selling a product — Mhmm.

— that the people you’re recruiting would use in their day-to-day. How does that factor into your hiring process? Like, are you getting a lot of people that just know of sales loft and want to work for you guys because they’re familiar with the tool? 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. I think, of course, on the go-to-market side.

Of course, on the go-to-market side, we see it’s interesting. It’s like this cross between we’ve been really fortunate as a talent team that our company marketing also applies to these ideal talent pools that we’re we’re looking for in revenue in there was a lot of positives. Yes. We get a lot of people that either I’ve used it.

I’ve used a competitor. My best friends used it. My company thought they were gonna purchase it but didn’t or my last company did. So we do get a lot of people familiar with our platform, which is obviously extremely helpful when it comes to, like, onboarding a new employee.

But we do also see folks that aren’t as familiar. Right? And some of those, like, support functions or on the product tech side. But I think to your point on, we’re hiring, you know, salespeople to LA sales platform to other sellers.

Right? Like, specifically if we’re just talking the go-to-market side and even more specifically account executives, It definitely impacts sort of, like, our ideal profile versus maybe what an ideal profile would look like at another company because You’ve gotta be really passionate about sales because that’s all you’re gonna be talking about all day. Right? And Yep.

You have to really be a student of sales as well.

And even when we start to look at those, like, product engineering, they’re gonna be interacting with sales. But with internally a lot as they develop the product, but also externally as they’re talking to customers. So there is this element of everyone’s gotta be rally behind the mission of our company.

Yep. And so it does make a recruiting especially if you’re someone who likes the go-to-market side of business — Yeah. — which I do because I think recruiting very much sits very similar to sales. So Yeah.

JOSH TOLAN: And I have to imagine that you guys have, like, the candidates that are advancing through your pipeline and that know, the people that you end up hiring, they are extremely bought into the mission of the organization because, again, they’re and they go to market side specifically.

Like, they have to sell the product that they’re going to be using. So, like, they have to be all in on multiple levels because the company they’re joining is gonna impact their day-to-day workflow and the stuff they’re doing and the tools they’re using.

They also have to sell that to customers.

So I imagine you have, like, really, you know, high buy-in from those candidates and the people that you get at the end of the process or like super pumped about coming to Salesloft.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. For sure. And I think it’s cool because we see it at all levels.

Right? Even for like, entry more entry-level SDRs. Right? This is their, like, sales degree by coming to sales often, learning the tool, and being the front line of using it.

But it’s really neat when you get up into, like, the enterprise seller who’s very experienced and seeing how they now can use the tool. And maybe they’ve been in an organization where it was an STR tool, but it’s really not. Right? They can get as much value.

And so even seeing some of those, like, light bulb or seeing people come in who are really excited and then seeing them use the tool and then be able to go out and say, like, these are all the pain points that I’ve had during my long career?

Yep. It resonates both with the customer and the employee.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. And I’m sure it helps with customer acquisition too when a sales rep is selling something that they’re using on a daily basis.

So that’s really cool. And how much are you guys collaborating with the marketing team? Because I find that interesting as well that you know, obviously, when you’re you’re recruiting salespeople that are gonna be using the tool that you’re selling, but you’re also your marketing team is putting out content. They’re reaching a broad audience of customers or non-customers, but people that are in the sales in the orbit of the sales sphere, if you will, that are getting your content.

Like, is that a channel you guys tap into for potential candidates? 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. For Absolutely. Absolutely.

We partner extremely closely with our marketing team.

And again, we’re kind of lucky because it doesn’t have to be necessarily separate employer branding. Right? Like, our company branding kind of bleeds into our employer branding, so we also get to make sure that we’re fully utilizing that. Like, we can utilize marketing materials in so many different ways.

So, yeah. I mean, we’ve got a great collaboration, and it certainly increases our talent pool.

Especially with, you know, some of the new features that, like, LinkedIn has come out with. Right? Like, customers may come to follow because they’re down customers and using our tool, but now they can also say, hey. I also wanna maybe work there at some point.

And so, certainly, it’s helpful. And I haven’t had really that experience in any former companies. So it’s been neat to see kind of the partnership and collaboration around how we present ourselves to the market.

JOSH TOLAN: Yep. And tell me a little bit about you mentioned the way you’re hiring is going right now, you’re not pressing down for a lot of growth hires. It seems like more backfills, kind of spot hires as needed. So since it’s maybe not the same as previous years where it’s like, go go go. We need to hire a gazillion people or grow headcount.

Where are you focusing I don’t wanna call it that leftover time, but the efforts that aren’t going towards growth higher is where are you putting attention to right now.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: So I think there are a few key areas that we’re focused on right now.

Some are, like, very natural within the TA space and things that I think regardless of market, we kind of always are evolving like a project never ends, like evaluating our interview process.

Are we identifying the right things? Are we clear on what our ideal candidate profile is?

There’s a big chance that that profile has shifted just with the market over the last year. Right?

So spending some time with our stakeholders to really get clear on that. But beyond that, it’s how we enable the stakeholders and the interviewers in the business.

So refreshing interview training, we are also starting to look at, you know, capacity as a whole as I mentioned earlier, and really looking at it from three different ways. It’s like, do we have the right people in the right roles?

Do our processes enable us to be able to do more with less and sort of work in this create proactive opportunities in a reactive situation? And then, lastly, when do we introduce technology?

To make us be able to take on more or help us move quicker or slow us down whatever it might be. And then I think in a broader sense, you know, in partnership with our employee experience team or talent management team, we’re looking at processes overall and how all of our teams work and support the business.

Of course, DEI is always top of mind for us. So what is our impact there? We’re identifying new partnerships. Right?

We’re the lens of DEI, and it also applies to all the projects that I spoke about earlier. So — Mhmm. — we’re staying busy, and still, right, like, I think it’s a balance that all of us are trying to figure out.

We have, like, business-critical things that we have to deliver on, which is finding great talent for Salesloft and then ensuring that we’re carving away and prioritizing time for these things that are gonna set us up to be better, you know, six months, twelve months whenever that kind of faucet turns back on.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. And, I mean, honestly, being at eight, nine hundred people anyways, even if you’re not pursuing a ton of growth hiring, you’re still gonna have a baseline level of consistent hiring. Like you said, you said twelve offers accepted. 

Whatever combination of those roles are, it’s still twelve people you had to hire into the business. So there’s always, you know, some high level of recruitment activity going on. Curious to hear more about you talk about ideal candidate profile. How do you guys go about defining that?

Is it on a per-hiring manager basis?

You know, talk a little bit about that process. 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: I think it’s it’s multi-layered. Right?

So there’s there are the elements that apply to anybody at Salesloft, which for us are very much rooted in our values. So, like, the way we do things, it’s the and other things that apply to everyone is, goes back to, like, we are a sales platform. And so you’ve gotta be interested in that to probably be successful, but also feel fulfilled in your role here. And then there are things that are, like, department-wide that we can work with senior leadership on to help define, like, where are you at today?

But where do you wanna be six months, twelve months, and what’s pressing?

How does you know – how is your current team made up? And then, like, how do we either replicate or, like, evolve what that profile looks like? And then there are very simple things, like, you know, you have a new leader that comes into the business, a front-line manager, and maybe they’ve got this new fresh perspective on what sort of talent might perform best here. And so we’re also open to that. So I think it’s on several different layers.

But overall, I think in order to get there, it kinda starts with where the role as, like, advisor or partner here at Salesloft. Like, we’re very intentional that we are a support function, but we also wanna be a partner to the business.

And so I think with any of those layers, it all starts with, like let’s just understand what our overall mission and, like, goals are as a company and then how does talent play into that.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. So there are, like you said, multiple layers. There’s a layer of the price of admission stuff of does this person align with the mission. Are they passionate about joining a company that develops a sales platform?

Some things, if you don’t check those boxes, you’re probably not gonna fulfill the be fulfilled as an employee. So it’s not gonna make sense. And then you go a layer deeper or with the hiring manager – maybe you’re even within you know, getting with individual contributors on the team to talk about, you know, from their perspective — Right. — what does it take to do well?

In this role and feel fulfilled and be successful in the company. So sounds like it’s a multilayer process that’s also never done. It’s never done. You have to constantly come back to it, which is why you mentioned, it’s one of the things you’re focused on right now.

Like, maybe growth hiring is slower. So let’s focus on redefining if needed, our ICP. 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yep. So the next time we go to market, we have a better view of who we’re looking for.

Right. Yeah. I mean, to your point. Right? I think, like, sales is a great example of something that’s always evolving.

If you look back at, like, what it took to be successful the last two years, we’re in a different market.

Like, gotta be maybe slightly different. And so so, yeah, I think it’s even as recruiters going on to the business and making sure that it’s clear, like, hey, like, what worked a year ago may not work today. So, like, how are we thinking about even evaluating this, like, defining what the new skills that are needed are, but then taking a step further to now say, like, how do you evaluate that in an interview?

And does our current process still do what we need it to do?

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. It’s a great point that you have to evolve with the strategies that are being deployed within the business to find the right people to execute those strategies and make as I personally think about, you know, recruiting for sales reps years ago versus today, you know, five, ten years ago, you might have placed heavyweight like outbound, high volume, cold calling, like, you know, smile and dial types of experience.

But now we live in a different world, especially with people being remote, like, At least we found that it’s more difficult to get in touch with people over the phone. You have to find more creative ways to reach your target audience.

Counting the phones all day long. So that requires a different skill set because now you’re talking about a person that might need to be a little bit more creative.

You know, a problem solver somebody to really think through their approach — Mhmm. — as they’re trying to reach out to their prospects versus just picking up the phone following what the cadence tells them to do, and that’s it. And that might have worked five years ago, but it might not today. And so you have to adapt the recruiting strategy accordingly.


JOSH TOLAN: So really good point.

And then you mentioned enabling stakeholders interview training sounds like a lot of things to just level up. Hiring managers and people within the org, can you tell me more about some of the things that you guys are doing to do that? Yeah. Of course.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: So currently in process, we’re sort of doing, like, a complete overhaul of how do we train interviewers? What’s the cadence? What’s the content? Is this relevant?

Because I think we found, like, some interview training through our, like, audit, there was, like, pre-COVID where people were still coming into the office. And, like, we don’t have anybody. We don’t have our on-site is now all virtual. Like, why are we making sure that people understand this when it’s just not relevant? And so we’re like long overdue for that. But I think the other thing that we’re doing around enabling hiring managers And it goes back to the capacity of the team. Right?

How do we bring them in earlier into the process?

Whether that’s helping define the ideal candidate profile, like getting a LinkedIn recruiter up next to them, having them source themselves, having them pull profiles, we’re also having them do some of the outreach. Right? Like, we wanna make sure that we’re standing out.

And even though the market is starting to shift, the like, recruiters are still really active and people are still getting a lot of in-mail. So how do we steam out? And one way that we found success is, maybe the recruiter sends the first message, but a hiring manager is following, or hiring manager is personally connecting and sharing interest. And we’ve seen a lot of success in that in our hiring managers or also I think kind of enjoying that part and really feeling like they have more of a hand in the hiring aspect.

So it’s helped in that regard, but it also just speeds up the process. Right? Like, we’ve recently had a role in our marketing organization that historically has been a difficult skill set to find, and the process is, like, forty-five to sixty days long.

And by enabling our leaders a little bit earlier and pulling them into that, we closed the role in, like, less than thirty So we’re some data behind it that we can now go take out to the business and say, we get your busy. This is really important.

And this is, like, the impact that it made for so and so across the business. So those are the big things we’re doing. We just wanna make sure you know, our hiring managers feel like they are fully supported.

And they’re hiring, and they really understand what we’re doing and sort of what our goal is, which is important as we’ve grown, obviously. We’ve got a lot of a lot of new managers as well. So 

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. I love what you’re doing. You know? I’ve heard a lot recently from talent acquisition leaders that you know, a lot of people are trying to make an effort to evolve hiring managers earlier in the process, mainly because they have a huge stake in the success of that process because the people are gonna work on their respective teams.

So having better collaboration earlier on results in typically a faster hiring process with a better outcome.

But what I haven’t heard a lot of people doing, which I think is really unique to you guys is having hiring managers part of the sourcing process — Mhmm. — are engaging with candidates, like, way up at the top of the funnel. And I think that’s a really great thing you’re doing because candidates are used to recruiters hitting them up everywhere and anywhere all the time.

About open job opportunities. And so for a hiring manager to reach out, one, it shows that it’s personalized just by the nature of the hiring manager taking the time because candidates probably have an assumption that recruiters are the same message that they got as a candidate. Twenty-five other people are getting it. So with the hiring manager reaching out, it’s signals like, hey.

This is legit the person is really interested in me. They took the time to reach out to me. Mhmm. Therefore, hopefully, the candidate is more likely to respond and convert and continue down the funnel at probably a higher rate than if outreach was just coming from the recruitment team.

So I imagine that has an impact on time to hire just by getting better conversion rates at the top of the funnel and more engagement that leads to having more candidates progressing through the funnel.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s a benefit right to the fact that we do work for a company that is enabling sellers to provide a great experience.

And so we’ve got all this research on the back end about outrage and quite frankly, we’re learning about law from some of our sales leaders through the outreach and through, like, the messaging that we’re putting together. And so it ends up being a win-win for everyone.

And, again, I think it’s been a really positive experience on both sides. So Yeah.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. That’s great.

And I also think, like, you bring up a good point because Salesloft has a great brand in the market. So even though you said, like, some people that you’re reaching out to, maybe have not heard of Salesloft or aren’t as familiar. I’m sure a lot of people in the sales community are. So you have that working to your advantage, which then makes hiring manager outreach even that much more powerful.

But I think for a company that, like, doesn’t have that employer brand in the market, that’s where they could really take this advice of getting hiring managers involved to your point to stand out in a crowded marketplace with a lot of recruiters reaching out like a company that doesn’t have the backing of a strong brand that people don’t know about. Any extra step you can go. Can prove to be really impactful on the outcomes of the hiring process.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. And I think one thing that I didn’t mention that I think is interesting about sort of, like, the origin or how we started to see success with this model early on is that it wasn’t actually within the sales org. It was specifically for our development office in Guadalajara, Mexico. Right? Until in that market, it was, there were a lot of cultural things that we had to adjust within our process, and it was a trial-and-error situation.

Right? There’s which is difficult when you already are dealing with a much smaller population, I’m available talent. And so we actually early saw success by utilizing the hiring manager step in Guadalajara, and then we’re able to sort of take those early learnings and try and apply them to some of our other hires in the US. But So it’s interesting.

It’s not even specific to sales or specific to having, you know, a well-known brand because we didn’t. In Guadalajara quite frankly. Right?

And we weren’t hiring salespeople either. We can work across so many different cases. And, again, it’s all about standing out and, you know, getting someone’s attention, like, in sales. And trying something creative that everyone else isn’t doing.

JOSH TOLAN: Yep. That’s great. And along the lines of getting hiring managers and developed earlier in the process, I’m a big believer in that, I think. All companies should do whatever they can to get hiring managers more involved in the hiring process in general, but the earlier the better — Mhmm.

— while balancing, obviously, they have their regular today’s to-do.

But with that, comes more coordination, more alignment needed, and some challenges as well. So what are some of the things that you guys do to stay on the same page with your hiring managers and get them bought in to engage earlier in the process? 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. I think it’s we’ve got really great relationships. Right? And so that relationship or communication cadence or style or medium looks different across the business.

But we’re always really intentional in making sure that we are utilizing the time we have with our managers so that they’re just seeing the most value out of it. Right? So if it’s at the kickoff process. Again, not only are we talking about this is the outline of the process.

This is what we’re working off of the job description, and ideal candidate profile. We’re getting really specific into, like, what is going on with your team today? What are you hoping this higher solves? And then, like, what does this look like twelve months from now?

And you know, people like talking about things that they’re passionate about and that they know. And so starting to, like, plant the seeds and build their relationship at the beginning. And maybe even before you have a role, even? –Mhmm.–

And then, typically, we’re working off of, like, a weekly cadence with the hiring team or hiring manager.

At the check-in of, like, who’s moving through the process? Hey. Like, we need feedback. What are we doing with this candidate?

But then most of our teams actually have, like, Slack channel set up. Too. So it’s like but again, at the beginning of the process, you learn really quickly, like, is this manager gonna reply to texts, slacks, emails, everything, you know, smoke signals, whatever it might be.

And then really making sure that we are you know, joint expectations.

I think it’s an absolute piece of that. Right? Like, this is what we’re gonna do for you. Like, this is, like, your ownership in the causes, and this is what you’re accountable for, and making sure that we’re following through on both sides.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. That’s awesome. Give me high-level, like, what I know you’ve recruited a bunch of different positions, but what does the hiring process generally look like from a stage standpoint? 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. And I’ll start this by saying that we do not have the shortest process at Salesloft.

But we have a very intentional process, and we are very transparent about our process on the front end. So there really shouldn’t be surprises.

So for most of our roles, it’s you know, they’re talking to a recruiter.

They have an initial screen with the hiring manager. And then they’re going into sort of, like, the big chunk of the interview, which is for some role, some sort of competency, whether it’s mock discovery call, whether it’s a presentation or something of the sorts. And then we have a peer interview.

A core values interview, a top-grade interview, which is essentially a, like, deep dive going back to someone early in someone’s career and sort of chronologically working their way up. And that’s the bulk of our process. In some cases, there may be, you know, a cross-functional. There may be an executive-level interview. It’s kind of a little bit we allow for a little bit of flexibility.

But, again, post recruiter screen, we’re providing a road map of the interview to the candidate so that they already mentally know, like, Okay. I sit here. These are all the steps I have.

And I very much believe that the interview process is a place for both parties to evaluate. And so we’re really intentional with making sure that the candidate knows Like, you should be interviewing the interviewers just as much as they’re interviewing you because ultimately, we want this to be the best fit for everyone. And we want this to be the best long-term fit for everyone. So yeah.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. And so even though there are multiple interview rounds by the nature of them getting to speak multiple people and you guys encouraging them to interview the interviewers. Mhmm. Those are getting while you’re getting a deeper perspective on them, as a candidate, they’re doing the same with you as a business in being able to talk to multiple people versus just somebody from your team and the hiring manager, and that’s kinda.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. And I think we see so much value in we hear such great feedback on even some of the steps like the peer interview. Right? Not every company has you interview with someone who’s gonna be your peer.

Right? It’s an opportunity to learn more about the manager from someone who works on their team what is the day-to-day actually like? What are the challenges that you have, whatever it might be. And then on the core value side, it’s typically run by two people who would be not on the team that you’re on, varying ten years, experiences at Salesloft, and the conversation is solely based around our values.

And we get a lot of really positive feedback about that stuff of our process because our core values are important to us. And so why would we not make that a part?

You know, evaluation on both ends again. 

JOSH TOLAN: And how do you structure that interview? What types of questions are you asking? 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. So their behavioral questions, So we’re very, you know, specific with the question that we have associated with every value and consistent.


And, you know, our interviewers on the back end, I will say when I went through the process at Salesloft, as someone who, quite frankly, is like a professional interviewer at this point.

I was so impressed by the two individuals I met with. Like, how they interviewed and the style, and their follow-up question. I was like, what are you guys doing? Like, these people are awesome. And they were like a product person and I think it was, like, a support person that I was talking to.

And we’re really in digital with it goes back to training enablement. Like, we give candidates as well as interviewers, an overview of the star method of answering to say, hey, candidate, this is what we’re looking for. And this is how you should structure your answers to get the most out of your time. But interviewer, this is what we’re providing to the candidates. So for follow-up questions or, like, second, or third questions, utilize this model to kinda get to what you’re looking for in the answer.

JOSH TOLAN: Interesting. I like that you’re providing guidance to candidates as well before the interview process of what you’re looking for — Mhmm. — and how they structure their responses and respond to the questions. Yeah.

AMBER SCHWARTZ:  I mean, I came up in the infancy world. So I’m a big proponent of, like, I wanna make sure our candidates have you know, everyone equally has the same opportunity to be able to present their best self in an interview, which can be a very stressful situation.

And so very clear that we are advocates for our care needs just as much as we are advocates for our stakeholders and Salesloft as a company.

But I’m really big on that. And again, I think it comes from spending so much time in the agency world where you know, my candidates were equally as much as my customers as were the companies that I was staffing them for.

JOSH TOLAN: Interesting. Yeah. That’s that’s a good point that people that come from that side, you have your clients who you’re trying to fill a jobs for, but you have your candidates which are equally your client. And then when you bring that to an in-house role, having that perspective, you know, makes you treat the candidate experience completely different. Right?

More white-glove – ensuring that are set up for success.

You know, goes a long way both for you guys because now that you’re preparing somebody, also, you get to see when they’re given what we’re, you know, what we’re looking for, how prepared do they actually also come to the inner you said there’s some intangibles of that as well. 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. I mean, you can evaluate that. It’s like, it’s coachability. Right? It’s the same thing. Someone comes out of the hiring manager screen and the hiring managers, like, their experience is great.

However, you know, they were to seem as we would be looking for. They weren’t as specific. And so as the recruiter going back to the candidate and saying, listen. We’re really excited about your profile and your background.

Here’s some feedback to take into that competency round. That’s also a gauge of, like, is this person coachable. Right? So it’s while also providing a great experience, which is obviously top of mind.

So It’s a it’s a win-win. And I think the other thing when it comes to candidate experience that we really hold true is whether or not someone comes to work at Salesloft or not, what their decision, our decision is, like, we want people to go out and be advocates. They know they know people that could be a fit. They may be related to someone who can be a fit, so making sure everyone walks away with the idea that Salesloft regardless of it was a good fit for them.

Is a great company and provides a really great experience for keen events.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. That’s great. Yeah. I like having that mindset. I think it’s it’s just also great that you guys are providing that feedback to candidates in between stages.

I think a lot of companies wait to provide feedback until the hiring if they provide feedback at all until the end of the hiring process. Right? Yeah. By providing it in between stages, you give the chance to the candidate for them to be coachable and improve for the next round or — Mhmm.

— you know, maybe they were just nervous And so they didn’t communicate in the same way that they would communicate in their day-to-day. And so by giving them certain feedback, those are things they could be conscious of going into the next interview and therefore show, you know, improvement, coachability, or this is really how they communicate when their mindful of adverse like, you know, I’ve just got interview nerves and it’s throwing me off a little bit. 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Yeah. I think that’s also why, you know, as I mentioned earlier, our process is, by no means, the shortest process out there.

But it also provides so many unique perspectives as you’re looking at a candidate as you know, like, whole sense.

And so, you know, when we’re debriefing post an interview process, that includes twelve different people in some cases.

It’s also nice to hear different perspectives. And so what we find is, yes, that first hiring manager screen, like, it is stressful and, like, most candidates are a bit nervous. Right? But, like, the peer really gives someone to kind of come out of that and be speaking with people who are at the same level The core values, it – you know, we try to combine both, like, personal and professional experiences, you know, our on the table however you wanna respond. And so you start to see a little bit more of the Kim, it’s natural personality come out as well.

JOSH TOLAN: Mhmm. And I think just because in a hiring process has multiple steps, doesn’t necessarily mean that it also has to be slow. Right?


JOSH TOLAN: I think those are also often conflated. And I think that by you guys doing certain things such as getting the hiring manager involved early, getting better conversion rates, and buy-in at the top of the funnel, you have higher quality, more engaged candidates working through your process. And when you are intentional in your process and transparent about what’s left in that process, candidates stay engaged throughout it. 

And ultimately, by being so intentional, you’re balancing really high quality and ensuring when we get to the end of this process, we’re not gonna have to do it all over again because we’ve really vetted and we know the person we make or two is gonna be a great fit for the position.

—Mhmm.– But by doing all the other things that you’re doing, by getting hiring managers aligned, setting joint expectations – communication and how quickly they should get back to you and having a Slack channel set up and having them involved in the sourcing like you’re finding efficiencies along the way. So even though you have all these steps, you find efficiencies along the way — Mhmm.–

— in the way that you work with your team. And so in the end, you might feel like a lot of steps to even put, it might not be that long — Sure. — of a process from a timeline standpoint. 

AMBER SCHWARTZ: Exactly. And I think also we’re intentional about, again, constantly evaluating our process to make sure that it still makes sense. And is there a bottleneck? Is there something that’s causing this process to slow down? Because you know, we’re looking at data not only around, like, time to fill from an open to close standpoint, but, like, how long does it take a candidate to progress? 

And so there have been instances where we’re like, hey. The offline that we have for this role is slowing down the process significantly.

How do we rework this? Is there a live option? Is there something else? And so it needs a balance, and I agree. If you can’t look at one part at determining the efficiencies, you truly have to look across everything. And maybe you can’t get time here, but you can pick up time somewhere else throughout the process.

JOSH TOLAN: Yeah. And I think constant evaluation is key. Like, there’s no point in having additional steps for the purposes of just – Exactly. — You know, activity in having another step.

If you’re intentional about it, then you ensure that every step in your process is deemed necessary in order to have the best outcome, you know, that’s ultimately what you want. And then from a, you know, time to fill, time to hire standpoint, it doesn’t matter if you have to run the process again in six months because you didn’t end up with the candidate that you need for the business. 

So in essence, you just double your time to hire because you have to do it again and you have a whole lot of lost productivity. So I think you guys are going about things in a really awesome way.

I’ve always loved observing Salesloft from afar. I think you guys are a great company, so it’s been really nice to hear.

How all the magic happens, you know, and from somebody that’s leading the charge on building the team, you know, for a company that’s now eight, nine hundred people.

You know, from when I first heard about you guys and you were probably like fifty. Mhmm. So it’s been a really cool story to follow, and I appreciate you taking the time. Yeah.

AMBER SCHWARTZ: It was a pleasure. Thank you so much. For having me. Thanks.

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.