What Enterprise HR Product Managers can learn from SME


recruitee screen for onboarding


I've spent almost all my career focused on HRTECH and Worktech that larger companies use. The joys of global position management, inter-company transfers, mass changes, indirect evaluations, configuration transports and so on. I can bore you to death on these. I may already have done so.

What I figured out on a recent ATS due diligence project

More recently I’ve worked with some vendors targeting smaller organisations. I'm  doing some strategy and due diligence work with PSG, who last year made a majority investment into Sympa, this year they have invested in Recruitee, a Dutch recruitment vendor. Together with a colleague I did the product due diligence, and I continue to advise them.  

While the ease of use and core functionality of the application itself impressed me, I was more struck by the level of personalisation and sophistication in the customer and user onboarding process.

  1. Self service configuration and automated data import.  A simple business could be up in a matter of minutes.
  2. Easy to test-drive the product, makes a free trial a very viable sales mechanism.
  3. Price transparency 
  4. How to videos for every step of the set up process.
  5. Personalised help, automated  based on where you are in the process.
  6. Proactive support outreach during the onboarding process. (this worked well, I tested it).
  7. Detailed analytics to identify and predict upsell and churn risk
  8. Super tight loop between customer usage and the product managers. Allows data driven product decisions, and techniques such as A/B testing.
  9. Excellent user community management for feature requests and collective support.

First impressions are really important

 When I look at the successful players in SME, removing friction from the customer and user onboarding process is absolutely fundamental for scaling and success. It drives customer satisfaction (NPS), and it lowers the cost of support and sales.  The longer term benefits of a disciplined process mean that product team have really good data to understand how the customers configure and use the product.  When you know exactly which part of the configuration process are challenging you know what you need to fix. 

While I know “enterprise is different”, it isn’t always that different. I think we enterprisey types can learn a lot from the best SME vendors.  


Finally try this exercise with your product 


 Let me know how you get on.