Welcome to Hired! where we look behind the scenes to find out what's going on in the world of hiring and HR. On this episode of Hired! by ModoHR, we spoke with Kathy, Vice President of People at Klue, a competitive intelligence platform that enables the collection, curation and distribution of competitive intel within an organization.
On this episode we discuss:
- What Klue stands for as an organization.
- The type of people that thrive at Klue.
- Their future plans.
- What differentiates them from the competition.
- How candidates can stand out.
How did you end up at Klue?
Klue is experiencing hyper growth. That’s what I've been doing since I was brought on board, really to help enable everyone on the team put the things in place, to help fuel the growth, to help scale and to find more people to join the Klue crew, as we like to call it. A big focus is on things like branding and recruitment.
I joined Klue because I used to work with Jason Smith, who is one of the co-founders of Klue. Jason and I worked together for many years back in the early days of vision critical when that company was getting up and running. Both Jason and I love the startup scene, we love building and the hyper growth. When I knew he needed some help on the people and culture side of things, I jumped at the chance to work with him again, it’s and it’s been a great ride so far, and a lot more exciting things to come.
What do you enjoy most about working at Klue?
I love the startup culture, I love to build, I like to create things and put things in place that that are going to have a lot of impact within the organization. That’s one of the things I love, but when it comes down to it, it's the culture. You have to love the culture and Jason and Sarathy, the two co-founders, have created an amazing culture. It's a lot of fun to work with individuals that are just as passionate about building and enabling as I am, and we're all in this together. They're lovely human beings, with no ego that are wanting to innovate and create. It’s a lot of fun to all do this together.
What is the work environment like and what does Klue stand for?
It's a typical startup in that the work ethic is strong, everyone is working hard, heads down, to do what we can to make sure that the product releases are on time, to make sure that we're getting new clients in and that they're staying with us and that they're happy with Klue. We all feel like this is our company and we take a lot of pride in that.
We’re a very open, transparent company. I think that's one of the benefits of being in a small startup, you can be open and transparent with everyone and share as much information as possible so that we can be our best selves. I love that aspect of it as well. We’re a bunch of builders and innovators. We're all trying to create, and this is a fairly new segment, so I think that that's exciting - we really are leading the pack when it comes to competitive intelligence and enablement area. That's a lot of fun.
If you were to build an avatar as far as personality traits, what type of people thrive at Klue?
I'm actually going to do an exercise with everyone to build a mascot for Klue, so we’ll see what the other employees come up with. For us, it is someone that is a visionary in whatever they are doing, whether it's HR or sales or development, someone that isn't afraid to voice their ideas, and maybe to fail, someone that gets things done, you can't be left behind. We hold each other accountable in a good way. We’re self-motivated to get stuff done, it's nice to see the movement and the momentum that we're creating. Also, we don't have egos - we're checking egos at the door - because that just doesn't work at all, it's super collaborative, we're here to help each other, no one really has a job description, because you are going to have to step in and maybe do other things and help other people out. As to what the actual avatar looks like, I don't know but those are some of our common threads. It's just that supportive nature, transparency, we have open communication, and someone that really likes to ignite other people around them, they are trying to uplift people around them and make them their best selves.
Where do you see Klue going in the next one to five years?
Initially we're looking at a lot of organic growth, through doubling in revenue, doubling in staff size, we envision that over the next few years, and in our immediate future, past that, who knows, we are still aggressive with respect to our growth plans, it could include an acquisition, us acquiring someone if we think that that will help us speed up our growth, I see us going more global as well. As we are successful, we're going to start to tap into new markets. That's really going to be exciting - new markets, and new use cases as well, within companies, we're trying to expand in each of our client organizations as well.
As you as you continue to grow within the market, what's helping you differentiate from the competition?
Right now, our key differentiator is the fact that there's a lot of information about your competitors, whoever your competitors are, and our competitors are scraping that data, as are we, but what makes us different is that our software will combine that with the data that you're collecting internally, we’re able to get that into our software as well and into the battle cards. That’s usually some of the meatiest and most current information that you can find, it’s that insider view and insider information. That’s what's really separating us, that combination of internal and external data.
With the recent Series-A funding of $15 million USD, what can we expect in the year ahead or the years ahead from Klue?
We’re at about 60 employees today, but we're forecasting, if things go according to plan, that we're going to be about 120 and then we should double again the year after that. We are looking for more Klue crew to join us in all departments. We’re wanting to speed up the development of our products so there are huge opportunities for developers to get in at the ground level and help us create new features and products, as well as sales, marketing, customer success - because as we bring clients on, we need customer success to help keep them, and of course, what I like to call strategic office, HR, finance, legal - all of that needs to be in place to help everyone do their jobs and scale. We are literally exploding at the seams in a good way and looking to expand on all fronts. It's exciting!
For those who are interested in joining the Klue team, could you tell us a little bit more about the application process?
We're actually looking at changing things up right from the time we start posting, and we're looking at the job requirements. We're trying to limit the long list of requirements that you usually see on these job postings and get down to the key competencies that we're looking for and the values matches that we're looking for because those are important. Also, a little bit around experience, there's going to be some experience or knowledge needed that will be specific to each role, but we really wanted to limit the number of requirements to make sure that we're opening it up and welcoming as many applicants as possible, because you just never know, who is out there and who may have different experiences that could still have a ton of impact within Klue. We’ve sort of rejigged the job posting and made it a little less daunting and we’re trying to get it to speak to our culture and our personality so hopefully that's coming through.
We're also about to launch a new applicant tracking system. One of the things that we're doing when we launch that within the next couple of weeks is, going public with the recruitment process, right on our system and right within each job posting, so the applicant is going to know, first step is probably HR. After that, you get to meet the hiring manager, and then maybe it's a test or a final interview with the team. We're going to be posting that so candidates know upfront, what to expect from us and how long it may take, again, back to our value of transparency, we want to be open with our candidates.
Klue is on the hunt for talent in 2021. How would you advise candidates to stand out and where should they be looking for these jobs?
Klue’s career page. We will be on all the regular job boards out there, but everything will be on our website, so that's a great place to start. Candidates can get in, take a look at what we do and what our software does. We have some good videos on our culture to make sure that there's a good alignment when it comes to who we are. You have to find that right fit for each applicant, so do your due diligence, make sure that you're super excited. I like it when candidates are super passionate and excited about what we're doing and try and find a way to get that across to us. Why are you excited about Klue and what impact do you think you're going have on us? There’s always a good insider tip to see if you know anyone else at Klue and talk to them and maybe get a referral or a nudge as we love referrals.
Is there anything exciting happening at Klue that you’d like to announce?
Lots of growth. I'm sure that we'll be refining and adding more to the product, it's just going to be exciting.
From a people and culture perspective, this is the year that we are focusing a lot on diversity and inclusion. I really hope to make a big change and move the needle internally at Klue - we're already pretty good but, like any other company, we could be better. We really want to open things up and make sure that we are quite a diverse and inclusive organization because we all believe that's going make us even better. Stay tuned on some initiatives that we’re going to undertake in that area.
Kathy Enros brings more than 20 years of global human resources experience in the software, consulting, alcohol beverage, and retail industries. With a strong focus on building a healthy corporate culture, Kathy has in-depth experience creating HR programs that enable colleagues to be amazing at what they do. This includes training, compensation and benefit programs, employee communication and performance management. Kathy believes that the heart of a great company is its employees and has built in-house recruitment and employer branding engines to ensure that only superstars are sought out. Kathy has had significant experience building companies organically through rapid global expansion plans with HR experience in Canada, U.S, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Kathy is currently the Vice President of People and Culture at Vancouver based Klue.
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