Hiring & Retention

SaaStr Podcast #160: Mark Mader, CEO @ Smartsheet with Why People Over-Index Culture Fit

Harry Stebbings

Welcome to Episode 160! Mark Mader is the CEO of Smartsheet, the company that allows firms the best way to plan, track, automate and report on work. To date, they have raised over $105m in funding from some of the best in the business, including Insight Venture Partners. Prior to Smartsheet, Mark served as senior vice president of global services for Onyx Software, leading the consulting and customer operations teams in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Due to this success, in 2015, he was recognized as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Technology for the Pacific Northwest.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

* Why Mark’s being disrupted by Salesforce led to his entry into the world of SaaS and how he came to be CEO of Smartsheet?

* How does Mark think that startups should approach hiring across market cycles? What have been some core lessons Mark has learnt in frothy markets and the war to win “hot talent?” How does Mark think about “paying up” for certain candidates? How flexible should startup founders be on moving their compensation bands?

* Why does Mark believe that too many people over index culture fit? How does Mark look to balance between raw IQ and culture fit? How does Mark look to really stress test someone’s ability to perform a role, pre-hire? Where do most startups go wrong in their early hiring processes?

* How does Mark think about creating a structured framework for giving employee feedback? Why do people overestimate the importance of the feedback itself? What else should they be focusing on?

* In terms of providing that feedback, how does Mark assess the importance of output? How does Mark look to balance the complicated elements of output vs input? Is it really all about activity?

60 Second SaaStr

* What does Mark know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?

* Management upscaling is the most important role of CEO?

* When is a stretch VP a stretch too far?

Listen on iTunes.

Subscribe to SaaStr on iTunes.

Listen on Google Play Music.

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin
Harry Stebbings
SaaStr
Mark Mader

Published on February 2, 2018
Share This