Nina Eigerman, VP of Alliances and Business Development at Recruiting Software and Staffing Solutions Platform – Bullhorn joins us for an exclusive interview to share her experiences and key learnings in the field of Business Development.
Tell us about your role at Bullhorn, what’s a typical day at work like for you?
My role is incredibly varied – which is part of why I like it so much. I do a wide range of activities: everything from working directly with customers about their technology choices to helping startups think about how to address the needs of search and staffing. We have a team of partner managers, but we also work cross-functionally and touch pretty much every aspect of the business – sales, service, support, product, legal, finance, et al. We get to see the whole life cycle from product conception through implementation. It’s very satisfying.
As VP of Business Development and Alliances, what are some of the biggest challenges you face when building/establishing a business relationship?
We are always looking for the win-win-win — what’s in it for the customer, the partner, and then for Bullhorn. If one of those areas is not aligned, it makes it harder to get to a satisfactory outcome. Luckily, there are a lot of creative ways to get to this win-win-win. We are in an excellent position to help customers discover, evaluate, and select new technologies for their tech stacks… and to help partners get to market efficiently. And that leaves plenty of room for Bullhorn to benefit as well. We love to see our customers get more out of the platform.
Given the current market dynamics, what are your top tips when it comes to hiring for a Business Development team in the tech/B2B marketplace?
That’s a tough one! The talent market is so tight right now that it’s hard to find great people. But, one of the things I really like is to find people who have experience working at our customers – we won’t hire directly from a customer, but it is valuable for a candidate to have experience using the tools and then transitioning to the tech provider side.
For first-time adopters of Recruitment Software, what according to you should be the top selection parameters when choosing a product?
The most important thing is to find tools that are easy to use and easy to adopt; what’s the point of having great tech if your team won’t use it? Bullhorn is pretty intuitive to use, but we also have a number of partners in our Marketplace who can make it easier for first-time users to ramp up quickly – workflow automation tools like Sense or Herefish, training tools like Whatfix, or communication tools like CloudCall or Textus – making the process easy and streamlined.
Could you share 5 best practices for team to optimize use of their HR Tech/Tool?
(1) Create a single source of truth by integrating all your tools into your system of record.
(2) Automate as many of the processes as possible, particularly the repetitive and less value-added tasks.
(3) Tailor the tool to your unique processes and needs – even if that means customization and additional integrations.
(4) Leverage innovation; keep a pulse on new technology and try things out.
(5) Learn from the experience of your peers – check out what integrations other people are using, and evaluate companies that are official Marketplace Partners because you know that other companies are using them.
What are the sectors that will see a complete shift in HR/Human Capital Management/ Recruitment according to you? (How and Why)
Maybe it’s just that I’ve been in this industry for a while… but I tend to think more about gradual evolution than “complete shift.” In the last 25 years, we’ve seen tremendous growth in new models of procurement – VMS, MSP, talent platforms – yet the traditional staffing firm still exists and still provides a valuable service. I think we are going to continue to find ways to automate parts of the process, to make the job of recruiters less stressful and more enjoyable. I like to think that automation will free people up to do the things that only people can do – to be empathetic and creative. To see past prior experience and to see the hopes and aspirations of people and truly help them to achieve their goals. That’s what this industry is all about.
What is the best recruitment/leadership/sales advice you have ever received?
I want to give a shout-out to Greg Savage from “the Savage Truth.” We worked together at Aquent and he gave a presentation at one of our sales kickoff events where he gave us a metaphor that I may have repeated hundreds of times. He described recruitment as an iceberg, and that the client can only see the part that’s out of the water. When a client calls up looking for an accountant, they think that what the recruiter does is to open a file drawer and pull out a resume and submit that candidate… they don’t know all the work that leads up to identifying that candidate and getting them ready to be submitted. So in order to be effective, and justify our fees, we need to make sure that the client sees the rest of the iceberg. We have to describe all the steps to them and make sure that they see how much effort and work goes into what we do. I won’t repeat all the steps he cited, because they included putting ads in the paper and using a fax machine – that’s just how old we both are – but I think the metaphor stands.
Your smartest productivity/Business Development hack?
Is hiring great people a hack? Because that is seriously the smartest thing I have ever done.
One of the managers on my team swears by Calendly and allowing people to schedule time self-service. It seems like a good idea, but I have to admit I’m not disciplined enough to use it myself.
I do try to use my time efficiently by only touching things once – just get it done rather than continuing to push it off. Although sometimes that means I just never open the email!
Tag (or mention/write about) one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
Andrea Wagner from Checkr, for sure. She used to be a sales executive at Bullhorn and has experience from CareerBuilder and Monster as well. I’m a huge fan and I think she’s one of the most insightful, thoughtful, and well-connected people I know.
Any parting thoughts here you’d like to share…it could be on anything, work-life balance, etc.
I would like to share another piece of advice I got recently, this one from an external consultant who ran executive training at Bullhorn- Ann McCloskey. She’s a big proponent of Simon Sinek’s “Find your WHY” process and she really helped me to keep coming back to my why. My why is all about helping people free up time to be more human – getting rid of the tasks that encumber them and keep them from being empathetic and creative and uniquely themselves. If I keep that in focus, it’s much easier for me to work through the daily challenges of a fast-moving SaaS software company. I highly recommend taking the time to identify or document your own purpose and keeping it someplace where you can remind yourself on a periodic basis.
Thanks a lot, Nina! This interaction was fun and hope to see you back on TecHR Series soon.
Bullhorn is the global leader in software for the recruitment industry. More than 10,000 companies rely on Bullhorn’s cloud-based platform to power their recruitment processes from start to finish. Headquartered in Boston, with offices around the world, Bullhorn is founder-led and employs more than 950 people globally.
Nina Eigerman is Bullhorn’s VP of Alliances and Business Development, responsible for the company’s technology and services partnerships. Prior to joining Bullhorn, Nina ran the Business Services practice at G2 Capital Advisors, helping agencies and their providers with capital market transactions. Earlier in her career, she was the President of Aquent Solutions and a consultant with McKinsey & Company. She also ran a full desk at a-connect, a global strategic staffing firm. Nina has a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College and graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Management.