Kissflow's Suresh Sambandam on the importance of great talent

Patrick Campbell Sep 7 2021

Big countries like the United States are an amalgamation of many cultures. If you’ve been to each state or even a number of them, you’ve probably experienced radically different foods, different types of attire, and some wild fringe festivals. My personal favorite is the lumberjack festival in Hayward, Wisconsin. 

While you may not enjoy the fried Oreos of the Utah state fair or the political views of a neighboring state, these experiences, even if just witnessed, give you a sense of the differences and similarities of what makes everyone’s clock tick. This empathy builds and you begin to realize commonalities that can bring folks together, and even those that will push people apart. 

This type of empathy is exactly what you need to do as an operator of a business when it comes to understanding your customer. You don’t necessarily need to travel to meet every customer across the globe, but setting up conversations is crucial to understanding the strengths and vulnerabilities of your product, as well as the thoughts, wished, hopes, pain points, and even dreams of your customer. 

You can also take it to the next level though, like todays’ guest Suresh Sambandam, CEO of Kissflow. He left Kissflow’s HQ in Chennai India to voyage across most of the lower 48 states in the US to understand the interests and needs of his customers. But the wisdom of his journey to develop customer relationships is not even close to what he’ll unpack for you today. All that and more coming up next.

 

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Here we summarize the main takeaways for you to implement or hand off to your team for implementation.

 

Key term

What is employee customer churn ?

Employee churn rate (aka attrition or turnover rate) refers to the number of employees who leave a company during a specific period of time, usually a year. It’s the overall turnover in staff—the act of replacing employees with new ones.

Why is it important?

Understanding your employee churn rate is crucial because it will have a direct impact on your business’ productivity, performance, and bottom line. A high employee churn rate will hurt your business financially, as hiring new employees is costly and takes time to see the ROI. It also hurts productivity because of the ramp-up time needed for new employees. Furthermore, a high employee churn rate can also damage your company’s reputation, making it even more difficult for you to hire qualified talent.

 

Action plan:

What to do today: 
  • Follow Suresh Sambandam.
  • Schedule a time to meet with your People Operations team and hiring managers to discuss and evaluate your current hiring process.

What to do next quarter:

Begin to restructure or make improvements to your hiring strategy. A hiring strategy is a plan or process developed to help you identify, attract, and hire the most suitable and qualified talent for your company. Having an effective hiring strategy is crucial for the growth of your business. Because hiring new team members is costly and can take up to six months for a company to break even on that investment, hiring the right people is imperative. If you’re not taking the time to ensure you’re hiring the right people, you’re essentially throwing money away and crippling the growth of your business.


Below are five solid ideas/steps to help you improve or develop a whole new hiring strategy to find and hire top talent.


    1. Change the way you think about hiring – Don’t rely solely on applicant tracking systems, instead have more valuable conversations. And keep the application process simple. Top talent likely doesn’t have patience for complicated application processes, so you could be losing out right from the get-go.
    2. Clearly communicate your value proposition & build brand awareness – Just like you market your product or service to attract the right customers, you should also use this concept for attracting the right candidates. Clearly articulate and outline the benefits of working for your company.
    3. Qualify your applicants – Set clear expectations for what you’re looking for, and about the type of company you run. Talk about compensation and work-life balance early on, as it will save you time in the long run.
    4. Focus more on culture fit than skills – Spend more time really getting to know your candidates and their personalities. Skills can be taught, but how they learn, think, communicate, and work,  is hard to change. Take time to observe attitudes and work ethics.
    5. Start your search before you’re desperate to hire – Whenever possible begin your search for candidates before you need to fill the role. Evaluating candidates with time versus when you’re desperately needing to fill a role, will have a big impact on the quality of your choices.

 

What to do within the next year:

Implement your new or updated hiring strategy, and continuously evaluate the quality of candidates generated. Assess and modify as necessary. 

 

Who should own this? 

Hiring managers and your People Operations team.

 


Who's up next week?

Next week, we talk remote work and culture with Jeremy Johnson.

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By Patrick Campbell

Founder & CEO of ProfitWell, the software for helping subscription companies with their monetization and retention strategies, as well as providing free turnkey subscription financial metrics for over 20,000 companies. Prior to ProfitWell Patrick led Strategic Initiatives for Boston-based Gemvara and was an Economist at Google and the US Intelligence community.

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