If it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun, it would explain why it feels like our VP of Talent Suzanne Salzberg started yesterday, and not back in January 2021. Suzanne was brought in to relaunch the recruitment function and help scale the company. Now that six months have passed, we wanted to check in with her to hear first-hand her take on successes, lessons learned, and her general outlook on TextNow.
So how has the first six months of working at TextNow been for you?
It’s been great! We had some pretty lofty goals for hiring, building processes, and assessing what was working and how we could improve. It’s been so amazing getting to know all the fantastic people here at TextNow and building relationships with other leaders, our hiring managers and the rest of the Talent Team.
I know you’re not operating out of our San Francisco or Waterloo offices. Where are you based, and how do you feel about our remote work “Work Best” policy? Is it working for you?
I’m based in Seattle, and I am loving the Work Best Policy. From a Talent perspective the work best policy (which allows people to work from wherever they feel they work best) enables us to recruit from anywhere in the US, Canada or in any other country where great talent is. It allows us to target markets that have more diverse populations of great talent across all our functions. This is something that is very important to the culture here at TextNow. While we do have a remote working model, it has been great for people in cities where we have several employees to be able to meet up as the restrictions are starting to lift in different areas.
Tell us about some of the things you’ve accomplished in your short time at TextNow.
Right off, we hired more people in the first six months than in the entirety of last year, which put some pressure on the company with regard to onboarding and engagement. Now that’s a great problem to have, and to help solve this we hired a wonderful new Onboarding and Engagement Manager and Learning and Development Manager, both of whom have really hit the ground running. We have also had three months of new interview trainings that are mandatory for anyone interviewing here that I lead with the help of some of my Talent Team members. This training is crucial towards the candidate having an amazing candidate experience. Reducing the hiring process time by nearly 65% has also enabled us to remain competitive in this market while hiring. And establishing new processes and making the hiring process consistent throughout the company has also helped to improve our ability to hire with velocity. We have also really ramped up our recruiting marketing and have seen much more traffic to our site and views to our key marketing partner pages.
What were your takeaways from that work?
As I reflect on the past 6 months, I’ve learned how important education and evangelism of a new process truly is to make it effective and ensure that people buy into it. Data never lies and the proof is in the numbers. Being able to be agile and pivot is key to success and having the correct data helps to have a proactive versus reactive approach.
Where did you come from before TextNow and how do you see your past experiences helping us?
My previous experience was at Highspot, a rapid growth Sales Enablement SaaS company. It was an amazing experience to be able to help that company scale from 15 people to over 500 people and I learned so much that I have been able to apply here at TextNow. The success of a company is all about the people and you cannot have a great product or great customers without the great people that will build and sell that product. That concept is the same wherever you are.
What’s your outlook on TextNow for the rest of this year and into 2022?
The outlook for TextNow is so exciting. While we continue our mission that everyone should be able to have free texting and phone service, it has been great to see some new iterations of the product and new areas that we will be focusing on. We have hired some fantastic new leaders like our new CFO, VP of People and VP of Ad Monetization that will help take TextNow to the next level and they’ve already made great impact here and I’m looking forward to working with them to continue to build out their teams. We will continue to hire across all functions to be able to continue this great momentum that we have. Did I say we are hiring? Check out our open roles here!