The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best SaaS Sales Recruitment Agency

April 3, 2024

Are you struggling to find the perfect fit for your SaaS sales team? You’re not alone and hiring a SaaS sales recruitment agency could be the answer - if you know what to look for. Both can feel like trying to find that perfect needle in a very big and messy haystack. In this guide, Machiel Kunst, founder of Bluebird, shares expert insights to help you choose the best SaaS sales recruitment agency.

From deeply understanding your hiring needs to effective collaboration with recruiters, I'll share insights gained from my experience, both as a hiring manager and now as a recruiter. This blog acts as a guide and offers actionable tips to elevate your recruitment efforts and build a high-performing sales team, whether you're a startup or a seasoned scale-up. Allow me to quickly introduce myself first.

Machiel Kunst: From SaaS sales to recruitment breakthrough

My name is Machiel, I’m the Founder of Bluebird. The first 10 years of my career I worked for SaaS scale ups. My first employer was N-able. During the 9 years I worked at N-able, we were acquired by SolarWinds, we acquired our biggest competitor, raised millions and we IPO’d TWICE!

During my tenure at SolarWinds I was responsible for building out the sales team for Continental Europe. By the time I left I had hired over 40 salespeople into my teams. SolarWinds at that point was a public company with $1B in revenue and 5K+ FTE. After SolarWinds I joined FastSpring, another scale up with approximately 100 FTE and 30M in ARR. They had no real presence in Europe yet and I built a team of 15 FTE and grew the European market from $0 to $3M in ARR within a year.

Working with recruitment firms was overall a poor experience

During those 4 years I have worked with a dozen recruitment agencies specialised in SaaS, but unfortunately none of these experiences were tremendous. I found myself in a situation where I was receiving enough CVs, but not the right ones. The recruitment agencies I worked with didn’t seem capable of qualifying the candidates and spotting real talent.

I realised my only option was to qualify these people myself or to put my top sales rep in front of them - but who would take their best sales person out of the field? I decided to tackle this problem.

Why Choose a SaaS Sales Recruitment Agency?

Partnering with a specialised SaaS sales recruitment agency could offer numerous advantages - if they know what they’re doing. From helping you identify the positions you need to create in your hiring plan to saving you valuable time in the recruitment process, a dedicated agency can be a game-changer for your hiring efforts. The end goal should always be to deliver value to you. What does that look like? I’ll give you 4 pointers to start with.

A good SaaS sales recruitment agency:

  1. Helps you identify what positions you should create in your hiring plan.
  2. Takes you by the hand in understanding exactly what you should be looking for in the people for these positions.
  3. Saves you time in the hiring process by doing a thorough qualification of the potential candidates for the role and filtering out the people that are not a fit.
  4. Helps you in hitting your revenue goals by making sure they introduce the right people FAST. We’re all looking to hit our yearly targets. Most companies can’t achieve their goals if you don’t receive a set of high caliber people within 1 to 2 weeks.

Now that we have set the ground rules, it’s time to look at the key criteria on how to assess your next agency.

Key criteria for evaluating SaaS sales recruitment agencies

When evaluating potential recruitment agencies, it's essential to assess their caliber properly. Do they understand the unique language and nuances of the SaaS industry? Are they proactive in their approach and advice to sourcing and attracting top talent? Are they using any creative approaches to trigger top talent to speak to them?

Trust me, just a regular InMail doesn’t work for the absolute best people out there! Do they organise their own events? Do they stay top-of-mind on LinkedIn? Do they have an overwhelming amount of social proof or can they only give one or two references? If the agency passes your assessment it’s time to get in-depth with your potential SaaS sales recruiter!

In short, look out for:

  • Detailed industry understanding
  • A proactive & unique outreach approach
  • Ample proof of positive reviews, testimonials & references
  • Sufficient action taken to remain top-of-mind with candidates

Questions to Ask Potential SaaS Sales Recruiters

Selecting the right recruitment agency is similar to choosing a pivotal member of your team and it should have a significant impact on your company’s success. They must thoroughly understand not just who you are but also where you're headed and how best to help you get there. To ensure you're partnering with an agency capable of elevating your SaaS sales team, here are essential questions to pose to potential recruiters:

  1. Can you describe your experience in the SaaS industry?
    Look for specifics in their answer that align with your company's niche, size, and growth stage. Their experience should mirror the complexity and challenges unique to your sector.
  2. How do you source and vet your candidates?
    Understanding their sourcing strategies and vetting processes is crucial. It's not just about the volume of candidates but also the quality and fit. Their methodologies should reflect a deep understanding of the SaaS sales landscape.
  3. What's your success rate in placing candidates in roles similar to ours?"
    Ask for metrics or case studies that demonstrate their track record. Success rates, retention rates, and the speed of placements can offer insights into their effectiveness and efficiency.
  4. How do you ensure a candidate's fit with a company's culture?
    Cultural fit is as important as skillset in today’s work environment. The best recruiters have a keen eye for matching candidates' values and work style with your company's ethos.
  5. What is your approach to understanding our specific hiring needs and goals?
    A good recruiter doesn’t just take a job description at face value, they dive deep to understand the nuances of the role and how it fits into your broader company objectives.
  6. Can you provide references from companies similar to ours?
    Genuine testimonials from clients similar to you provide valuable insights into the recruiter's working style, effectiveness, and the overall experience you can expect.

Asking these questions will not only help you gauge a recruitment agency's capability to meet your specific SaaS sales hiring needs but also their commitment to becoming a true partner in your growth journey. The right recruiter will welcome these inquiries with detailed, thoughtful responses that reflect their expertise and dedication to your success.

Case study: Planhat

Let’s take a look at how Planhat, a Swedish software (SaaS) company selling a flexible and powerful Customer Success Platform, benefitted from choosing the right recruitment agency.

Ready to scale

When Planhat first started working with Bluebird in July 2020, they were ready to scale. Their goal was to build a high-quality team of exceptional salespeople. In less than a week, Bluebird delivered high caliber candidates for any open role and has since brought in a total of 30+ new hires. From Sales Directors & (Enterprise) Account Executives & Customer Success Managers across Europe, the US, and Australia. Planhat showed 350% growth since the beginning, and its team is still growing.

Uniquely positioned

“The aspect we like most about Bluebird and which makes them really stand out compared to every other agency is that they've successfully sold SaaS and have built sales teams in the SaaS space themselves. They are uniquely positioned to get in touch with the right type of candidate and to qualify their sales & leadership skills. In our business, it’s all about the people. If you build a fantastic team, they’ll figure out the rest. When you work with Bluebird, you’ll have an AHA-moment in terms of what ‘good’ looks like!”

Tips for Collaborating Effectively with SaaS Sales Recruitment Agencies

Finding the right SaaS sales recruitment agency is only half the battle. Fostering a productive partnership is key to maximising your investment and achieving your hiring goals. Let me share 10 essential tips for collaborating effectively with your recruitment agency:

  1. Define Clear Objectives:
    Before initiating your search, have a clear understanding of what you're looking for in your sales roles. Whether it's expanding into new markets, building a foundational team, or scaling rapidly, conveying your objectives clearly can ensure your recruitment partner aligns their strategy accordingly.
  2. Communicate Your Company Culture:
    A candidate's fit with your company culture can be as critical as their skills and experience. Share insights about your company's values, working style, and what makes your team unique to help the agency find candidates who will thrive in your environment.
  3. Engage in Open Dialogue:
    Establish open lines of communication from the start. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions can help adjust strategies in real-time, ensuring the recruitment process remains aligned with your evolving needs.
  4. Leverage Their Expertise:
    Your recruitment agency brings a wealth of knowledge about the SaaS sales market. Be open to their suggestions on role specifications, market trends, and competitive compensation packages to attract top talent.
  5. Provide Detailed Feedback:
    When reviewing candidates, offer specific feedback on what aligns or doesn't align with your expectations. This information is invaluable for refining their search and screening processes.
  6. Streamline the Interview Process:
    Work with your recruitment partner to create an efficient interview process that evaluates candidates comprehensively without drawing it out unnecessarily. A streamlined process respects everyone's time and keeps top candidates engaged.
  7. Trust Their Process:
    While it's important to stay involved and informed, trusting your recruitment agency's process is crucial. Their expertise and methodologies are designed to find the best match for your needs.
  8. Plan for Onboarding:
    Discuss onboarding processes with your recruitment agency. They can offer guidance on best practices for integrating new hires into your team and setting them up for success from day one.
  9. Evaluate and Adjust:
    After each placement, evaluate the outcome with your recruitment partner. Discuss what worked well and where improvements can be made, using these insights to refine future hiring efforts.
  10. Build a Relationship:
    Developing a long-term relationship with your recruitment agency can enhance the quality of their service over time. As they become more familiar with your company and its needs, they can more effectively anticipate and meet your hiring requirements.

By following these tips, you can foster a productive partnership with your SaaS sales recruitment agency, ensuring a smoother hiring process and better outcomes for your company.

Not only hire, but retain talent

Effective collaboration not only fills your immediate hiring needs but also strengthens your team and company for future success. Remember: after the successful hire it’s key to make sure your top talent stays on board. Hiring the right agency means hiring the right people, which means retention goes up as well.


In conclusion, choosing the right SaaS sales recruitment agency is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on your company's success. By understanding your hiring needs, evaluating potential partners, and fostering a collaborative relationship, you can ensure that you find the best agency to help you build a high-performing sales team.

Put this guide to the test!

The experience I described at the beginning of this guide is what led me to found Bluebird. Our team is solely made up of former SaaS professionals, ranging across former sales people, marketeers, customer success managers and we even have former IT professionals and developers filling IT positions for our customers. We’re the only recruitment agency in the SaaS space that has this USP. So, are you ready to take your SaaS team to the next level? Put this guide to the test and feel free to apply the guidelines on us!