How SEO Can Boost Your HR SaaS Business

Business owners tend to view search engine optimization (SEO) as either a silver bullet for all of their marketing challenges or as complete fraud marketers use to rob their clients.

In reality, neither assumption is true. SEO is not about selling smoke, but since its tactics can take months to take effect, it can be easy to believe no results are forthcoming. It also isn’t a magical way to quadruple sales.

What SEO can do for you is the following:

Make You More Rankable

SEO, when done right, sets the stage for page-one rankings. People often forget that it’s not just about finding keywords, writing content, and building backlinks. It’s also about on-page and technical activities that help search engines better index and rank a website.

The best search engine optimization agencies will always start by auditing a website to uncover any errors and potential room for improvement. They will work on metadata and image optimization and ensure a website complies with Core Web Vitals and adheres to other Google Webmaster principles.

Help You Understand Your Users’ Needs

In order for your HR software product to succeed, you need to understand what your user base needs and how their problems are currently being solved by your competitors.

SEO can help you discover what it is these HR professionals are trying to achieve and what they are actually looking for. Their search queries can not only tell you what they are searching for in terms of keywords, but those keywords can inform your product development.

You will also be able to uncover the questions your audience is looking to get answered, enabling you to write high-quality content.

Enable You to Promote Cutting-Edge Content

A lot of SEO revolves around content, i.e., creating and promoting materials that will help you drive sustainable traffic over the long term. Understanding what you need to write about and what terms to use to rank this content well is what SEO is all about.

A lot of HR SaaS brands make the mistake of writing content no one ever sees because they aren’t able to rank for it well enough. What you should be doing instead is answering the questions your audience is actually interested in, without necessarily having to compete with the biggest names in HR for the top position.

Google does not favor big brands, as many believe. It favors quality content. If your article is the best, it will rank at the top. SEO can help you make it the best by teaching you how to research and formulate your content.

Drive Better User Experience

User experience is a ranking factor. If your users can’t navigate your website, or can’t find what they are looking for, if they keep bouncing off the website, you will start to go down in rankings.

SEO can help you connect the dots better. The topics you write about and the way you promote your services will make more sense, since you will know which queries have brought someone to your brand. This can help you create better sales funnels as well and ensure HR professionals understand how you can help them do their job better.

Generate Sustainable Traffic

SEO is often described as a marathon. If you do it right and you keep ranking well, you can expect to see sustainable traffic in the long term. Unlike paid advertising, it will keep giving even when you stop paying for SEO services.

For instance, if you write a good article about a human resources dilemma, people will keep landing on it long after you’ve first published it. If you then drive traffic from that post to your Features page or another post that details why your solution works, you can expect to see organic conversions that you haven’t invested in directly.

Cut Down on Paid Advertising

SEO also allows you to cut down on the money you may be investing in paid advertising. While paid campaigns can certainly help you raise brand awareness and get some initial traffic going, once you start to rank high, you can start saving money and re-invest it in organic marketing.

There are, of course, those who believe that paid ads also help organic search results, but this is most likely a myth. Redirecting your PPC budget to SEO will result in a paid traffic drop, but organic traffic should make up for it over time.

Invest in Long-Term Success

The fact is that SEO can’t make your HR SaaS business a success overnight. But when executed correctly, it will help you get and stay on the radar of your target audience, without a doubt. Most marketing campaigns take time. Going viral is more a matter of luck and timing (and, of course, creativity and planning), and it can’t be relied on as a long-term strategy. SEO, on the other hand, lets you plan, forecast, and adapt, ensuring long-term success.

Wrapping Up

SEO can do a lot for any SaaS business. As long as you base your decisions on facts and figures and learn how to analyze and apply data, you should be seeing an increase in all key performance indicators within a few months.

Image source

HR Future Staff Writer

Are Product Management Jobs Recession-Proof?

At present, there is a phenomenon happening in the tech industry. We have and are currently observing big tech companies implementing hiring freezes, revoking job offers, and laying off employees. According to, a website that tracks the number of employees that have been laid off in the tech industry, over 67,000 employees have been off thus far in 2022.

If you’re an aspiring Product Manager or a professional who wants to shift into the role, it could be worrying especially when the ones that are implementing the freezes and layoffs are big players – Coinbase, Google, Meta, Netflix, Twitter, and more.

Although experts say that the United States did not fall into a recession during the first quarter of the year, it’s apparent that big tech companies are changing their strategies and buckling down for the worst. But, what does this mean for those who might want to go into Product Management? We answer the question today.

What is a Product Manager?

A product manager is responsible for the overall conceptualization of a product or an added feature to an existing product. This means a Product Manager or PM has to be involved in all stages of product development, from feasibility studies to building and shipping, and product feedback.

The responsibilities of a PM vary. It will depend on the company, the product the PM is working on, and on what level the PM is on in terms of his or her career. For example, a PM with a customer-facing product will have different responsibilities from a PM who is working on a more technical product. As for the PM level, an entry-level PM position will have very different responsibilities than a Senior PM which is a mid-level position.

Why Do Companies Need Product Managers?

A company that offers any kind of product or service typically has a Product Manager in their organization to focus on building something useful. As the product is being developed, it is a PM’s job to ensure that everything and everyone is aligned to the goals that have been set.

This can translate to different tasks like communicating with the stakeholders, conducting market research, gathering user data, and so on. Managing all of these processes plus handling the different teams involved will fall on the Product Manager.

The specific responsibilities of the role will differ from company to company. It will also depend on the type of product or service the company is offering. However, what a company expects from a PM is the same across the board:

  • Manage the development process of the product;
  • Communicate and collaborate with different teams to ensure that the development is aligned with customer feedback;
  • Oversee the entire project and manage the development according to the scope, time frame, and allotted cost;
  • Work with the different teams as a product leader;
  • Identify challenges and come up with innovative solutions to challenges;
  • Meet forecasted development goals;
  • Manage and build data pipelines;
  • Measure performance KPIs and evaluate experiments;
  • Define the product success criteria; and
  • And more…

Companies would likely want a candidate who has strong Product Management skills, sufficient technical expertise, and in-depth knowledge of the specific industry the company is in.

As you can see, there is a lot that a PM needs to do. When the job is done right, the existing features of the product can be expanded and it could outperform its competitors.

Are Tech Companies Still Hiring PMs?

Before we answer that question, let’s dive into the different reasons why the hiring freeze and the layoffs are happening, and why it’s happening mostly in the tech industry.


It was no secret that during the height of Covid19, one sector that benefited from the circumstances the most was tech. We needed technology to adapt – from video conferences, food/grocery delivery services, and other tools that allowed us to function while staying in our homes. It’s industries like this that hired the most product managers during that time.

Today, because the pandemic is winding down, and almost everyone has fully adjusted to the new normal, it could be the same industries that could be inversely affected, especially now that a recession is looming.

Economic Downturn

It’s unclear yet if we are indeed going into a recession. Reports say that a recession did not happen during the first quarter, but it’s evident that tech companies are preparing to face the worst. The layoffs and hiring freezes could indicate that tech companies are rethinking their priorities.

Despite these, according to the Labor Department’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, near-record numbers of people continued to quit and get hired into new tech roles in June. This result tells us that people working in tech have plenty of options as well as opportunities.

But how about Product Managers? Are companies still hiring PMs? According to CNBC, “tech workers are still well-positioned to look for a new job or land on their feet if they’re laid off.”

In short, companies are still hiring Product Managers because they are vital to a product’s success. More than ever, it’s critical for companies to focus on priorities as well as fulfilling the goals of the organization to survive and thrive through the downturn.

Tips for Product Managers Seeking Employment

Under these circumstances, finding a Product Manager job in tech could seem intimidating. So here are a few tips for those who are looking to break into the industry of Product Management:

Try Startups and Small Businesses

Because the cases are predominantly happening in big tech companies, you might find better job security with smaller businesses. If you’re a new Product Manager who wants to gain experience, you can try your luck by applying to startup companies.

Do Your Homework

When you’re in your PM interview, don’t be hesitant to ask hard questions about job security and the status of the company. For you to do this, you have to do your homework to get a feel of what the status of the company is.

Look Beyond Tech

There are so many more companies that are looking for Product Managers. If the pickings are slim in the tech sector, you may want to consider checking out Product Manager openings in other industries.

Try Something New

New PMs might be able to find new opportunities with remote work. Since the pandemic, more tech companies have adopted the work-from-home and remote work setup. In fact, tech is one of the first industries to do the shift.

Here are some companies that have remote Product Manager openings as listed on Indeed, a popular online job board:

Dell Technologies Consultant, Cloud Product Management & Strategy (Remote, US)

As an APEX Product Management Consultant, you will join an influential and highly visible team that identifies customer requirements and defines the roadmap for a modern cloud console that spans public, private, and hybrid cloud deployment models.

Affirm Senior Product Design Manager, Debit+

Affirm is looking for a senior manager of product design to support their existing products and build the next generation of products. The right candidate will have a breadth of product experience in conceptual designs, 0-1, and scale to grow with the passion and drive to change consumer finance for the better.

Global Payments Manager, Product Strategy

The Manager, Product Strategy is part of the Global Product team and will focus on delivering value by leading the vision, strategy, and product roadmap for a key element of the payments products.

Mayo Clinic Product Manager – Remote

The PM will be responsible for the strategic direction, planning, execution, monitoring, and delivery of profitable/high-value digital products and services as well as ensuring that the product supports Mayo Clinic’s overall strategy and goals.

Guardian Life Insurance Company Digital Product Manager – Google Analytics (Remote)
Guardian Life Insurance Company is looking for a strong candidate to join their fast-growing team as a Product Manager – Insights and Analytics, pending on experience and match. The PM will be working on optimizing user experience on across different product lines, driven by data, analytics, and insights.

These are just five examples of remote openings that you can apply to. A quick search online will get you more results, and perhaps make you realize that there are so many opportunities for PMs despite the economic downturn.

Final Thoughts

Although a recession is impending, there are still a lot of great opportunities for Product Managers.

Based on what we presented today, it seems like the PM role is still in demand. The downside to this is that competition is going to be stiff. Aspiring PMs should prepare for their job interview as well as they can.

For this, it can be an advantage to check out PM Exercises where you will find a Product Manager Interview Course along with 2000+ Product Manager Interview Questions with sample answers from our PM community.

The website has a proven track record, with Product Manager members getting accepted to companies like Meta and Google. Along with the prep course and database of questions, PM Exercises also has a Practice feature where you can find other product managers who are also prepping for their interviews.

Bijan Shahrokhi is an employment expert, Web3 product executive and founder of Product Management Exercises.




Are you working with any serial killers?

Innovation. That’s the name of the game today. If you can’t come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things, you’re drifting to the edge of the waterfall. Sooner or later you’re going to get sucked into the unstoppable current that will pull you over the edge. And it’s pretty difficult recovering from that, as a company or as an individual person.

“Ah!” you say, somewhat relieved, “that doesn’t apply to me. I lead people, so it’s business as usual for me.”


Think again.

“The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.” So said L P Hartley in his 1953 novel The Go Between. You simply cannot afford to live in a foreign country – in the past, where things were done differently from the way they’re done now. You’ve got to live in the present, which is not as long as it used to be!

And the only way to live and work in the present and stay relevant as you move into the future is to embrace new thinking, new ideas and new ways of doing things. Not simply for the sake of newness, but because most new ideas and new ways are smarter, more effective, faster and better than the older ones. That’s because they benefit from new thinking, new perspectives, new learning, the support of new technology or some other innovation.

It’s therefore important for you to set yourself free to embrace newness – and to beware of the serial killers that lurk all around you – the ones that kill every new idea that either you or your team comes up with.

Yes, when it comes to new ideas, companies are teaming with serial killers – people who delight in killing new ideas as soon as they emerge. These serial killers do not want to embrace new ideas because they have no new ideas of their own and feel threatened by the new ideas of others. They also lack the vision to see the potential of new ideas. Or they simply want to preserve the status quo that happens to suit them. So they either try to ensure that new ideas are still-born before they can grow strong enough to stand on their own, or they wait for their opportunity to kill them off as soon as they get a chance.

Don’t expect these serial killers to be walking around with caps on their heads that say, “Serial killer” on their peaks. They will go to great measures to keep their intentions and identities hidden, but their intentions will still be the same – to kill off all new ideas that colleagues come up with to improve the business.

The danger of these serial killers is that they will never stop – until they are recognised for what they are and dealt with accordingly.

It’s therefore important to identify and stop the serial killers of the new ideas your company so desperately needs to embrace because, left to continue their dark deeds, these serial killers have the potential to kill off the company, causing it to become irrelevant and ineffective as time passes. Then just before the company ship goes over the waterfall, they jump ship and move off to another company to continue their murderous ways.

So encourage, nurture and protect the new ideas in your company, your division or your department. Be on the lookout for the serial killers who stealthily try to kill off any of these new ideas, particularly when those ideas are still vulnerable. Take firm action to ensure all new ideas have the freedom to be born, to grow and to mature into winning strategies that will take you and your company into a better, more successful and more fulfilled future.

Alan Hosking is the Publisher of HR Future magazine, and @HRFuturemag. He is an internationally recognised authority on leadership competencies for the future and teaches experienced and younger business leaders how to lead with empathy, compassion, integrity, purpose and agility. In 2018, he was named by US-based web site as one of the Top 25 Future of Work Influencers to Follow on Twitter“. In 2020, he was named one of the “Top 200 Global Power Thought Leaders to watch in 2021” by peopleHum in India. In 2022, he has been named on the Power List of the “Top 200 Biggest Voices in Leadership in 2022” by LeaderHum.

The Conscientious Quitter

What’s the hype over “quiet quitting” really is about?

During my college years, I worked at a Sears store—from stockroom to cash register, housewares to clothing to appliances.

Wearing my work shirt with Sears embroidered over the pocket, I was glad to have the job. But, in my 20-year-old’s mindset, if I was being honest, it was simply a means to an end—paying my next tuition bill.

So, if I could sneak in some studying on a break, or if maybe I ushered a customer or two to the door at closing time so I could punch out at the stroke of 9 p.m., well then…. The fact was my true purpose and passion—my overarching why at that time—was getting my degree.

Now tell me—is that different from what we’re seeing now as everybody seems to be talking about quiet quitting, as some employees dial back on how much time and energy they devote to work? And, after all, is it really quitting? Perhaps people are just being conscientious about prioritizing and recalibrating their purpose—finally able to pause and take a breath after the tumultuous last three years.

This recalls a parable I heard years ago about a tourist—an investment banker on vacation—who met a fisherman at a pier in a small coastal village. Noticing the large fish in the fisherman’s small boat, the tourist asked how long it took to catch them.

“Just a few hours,” the fisherman said.

“Why don’t you work longer and catch more?”

The fisherman shrugged. “This is enough for my family’s needs.”

“What do you do for the rest of the day?” the tourist asked.

“Spend time with my wife and family, play guitar, watch the sunset. It’s a good life.”

The tourist shook his head. “You should spend more time fishing, then you could buy a bigger boat or even a fleet. Start a processing plant. Move to a big city. Maybe even an IPO.”

“Then what?” the fisherman asked.

“In 15 or 20 years you could retire,” the tourist replied. “Move to a small coastal village, fish a little, spend time with your family, play guitar, watch the sunset—you know, have a good life!”

These days, everyone seems to be asking the deeper questions. So maybe it’s not giving up but rather giving thought.

And it makes total sense. First, we’ve all been through a monumental event. Second, it triggered a huge reset in the office, out of the office. We still don’t know what this will look like or how this will shake out.

Reflecting back to the start of the pandemic, when everyone hoped for a quick end, my gut was telling me it would last at least 18 to 24 months—followed by a few years of transition. And so here we are….

That’s why I reached out to a few leaders of various organizations this week to get a pulse—on quiet quitting, work/life balance, and more. Their array of answers reflect the perfect storm that we’re in:

“Employees quit for a reason—it’s up to leaders to create a sense of purpose.”

 “Performance still matters.”

 “Wait till things change—this is not going to last.”

“Too much has changed—this is here to stay. And we need to embrace it.”

Paradoxical, perhaps. Contradictory, maybe.

Korn Ferry has data from 86 million assessments of professionals, analyzing their experiences, traits, competencies, and drivers. When looking specifically at what motivates people, one small but interesting component is how professionals value work/life balance. Here’s what we know to be true: it hasn’t changed over the past three decades—it didn’t even blip over the last three years. I know—it’s probably not what everyone would expect.

Taking a deeper dive into that same data also reveals a perhaps inconvenient truth: work/life balance has a negative correlation to advancement, especially the higher up you go. So, no surprise that the senior-most executives of organizations are almost always lower on the work/life balance scale because they derive most of their meaning from their work and careers. And this can change over time and interests, from stages of life to phases of our careers.

Perhaps the late Kobe Bryant captured this dichotomy best when he said, “If you really want to be great at something, you have to truly care about it. If you want to be great in a particular area, you have to obsess over it.”

But we also know that great leaders are high in self-awareness, learning, empathy, humility, and openness to differences—knowing that what motivates one doesn’t necessarily speak to another. To find our purpose, we ask ourselves, “How does our what connect with our why?”

Which brings us back to the world we’re in. Purpose precedes the first step of every journey—whether someone is charging ahead or stepping back to reflect.

So, this isn’t about quitting. Rather, it’s all about people conscientiously finding the purpose that defines their lives—in their moment.

Gary Burnison is CEO of Korn Ferry and the author of The Five Graces of Life and Leadership.

Follow these golden rules to manage people in your growing business

Today’s growing businesses know they need to become innovative ‘people companies’, transforming how they acquire, engage, and manage talent if they are to grow and prosper. However, business owners who don’t have a background in people management find it challenging to get the best out of people.

The good news is that even if you are not a natural leader, managing people is a skill you can learn and improve with practise and the right advice. Here are seven golden rules for people management in a growing business.

  1. Learn to delegate

Delegation is one of the most difficult yet important lessons for business owners to learn when their company grows from a handful of people to a larger team. It can be hard to let go if you’re used to doing most of the work yourself. As tempting as it might be to hold onto as many responsibilities as possible and micro-manage when you delegate, it’s important to share the workload.

Start with repetitive tasks that drain your time and add little value to the business, such as admin tasks. Monitor how employees are doing, be available to support them, and invest the necessary resources in training them. Most people are eager to learn, so if they’re properly motivated, they can save you a lot of time. 

  1. Understand the basics of labour law

Whether you have one employee or 1 000, it’s important to understand tax and labour laws. While busy business owners often lack patience with paperwork and compliance, knowing the laws and regulations inside-out can avoid unpleasant disputes with employees. South African labour law sets out rigid procedures for disciplining an employee, and it’s important to follow them to the letter.

If you hold a disciplinary hearing, keep accurate records to defend yourself, especially if the employee wants to challenge your decision at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Also, be sure to document the rules of your workplace, the requirements of the job, and your policies so employees know what is expected of them.

Speak to an HR or labour expert if you aren’t familiar with South Africa’s legal framework complexities.

  1. Treat people with professionalism and consistency

Inexperienced managers often fall into the trap of treating staff members as friends or family. This can make matters more difficult if you must correct a staff member’s negligent or unprofessional behaviour or say no when they ask for a favour. Being friendly is necessary to drive good company culture; however, keep it professional. Never allow the lines between friend and manager to become blurred. Above all, be consistent and fair in treating each team member.

  1. Communicate clearly

A good manager is a good communicator. Make sure your employees know their tasks, how they need to be done, and their deadlines. Give them regular feedback – positive and corrective – to help them improve and grow. Be honest and transparent with your team about how the business is doing and your strategies for the future. A transparent management style helps to keep staff motivated.

  1. Build up your conflict resolution skills

Inexperienced managers often shy away from conflict, whether confronting an employee who is late to work every morning or mediating disputes between employees. It’s important to develop the skills to resolve conflicts constructively before they slow down productivity or dampen morale. Many business schools in South Africa offer training in this field.

  1. Listen to your people

Active listening is about paying close attention to the person speaking, not interrupting them, and absorbing what they say. As a manager, it can help you better understand your employees’ thoughts and feelings. This builds mutual trust, equips you to address any obstacles preventing them from reaching their potential, and keeps you attuned to what’s happening in your business.

  1. Automate admin and focus on relationships

As a business grows its workforce, the amount of HR and payroll-related admin grows, too. Sage research shows most businesses (83%) spend a significant portion of their time on repetitive tasks, administration, compliance, and maintaining employee records. Automating repetitive, low value activities frees up your time to focus on more strategic parts of people management. Leave the paperwork to an automated system so you can focus on nurturing talent and employee wellbeing, and how you will operate in the age of flexible work. An HR solution can help businesses with record management, leave management, staff scheduling and expenses, among others, creating an integrated experience of digital and human connections.

Gerhard Hartman is the Vice President, Medium Business for Sage Africa & Middle East.

Finding talent doesn’t have to be tedious: How to maximise your online recruitment strategy

It may no longer be much of a revelation, but the internet has radically transformed how jobseekers go about looking for and securing their ideal employer and position. For decades, the internet has served as the primary resource for jobseekers worldwide. From an employer perspective, the internet helps recruiters widen their search parameters, decrease search costs, filter various criteria based on their requirements, and instantly engage with prospective candidates if they’re suitable.

But recruiters could be getting so much more out of online recruiting. From basics like providing all the essential details of a job vacancy to listings that promote authenticity, an informed approach can make online recruiting even more effective.

The benefit of a good job listing

South Africa is experiencing a resurgence in hiring following the COVID-19 pandemic period. According to our Pnet Job Market Trends Report for Q2 2022,vacancies in the local job market have continued to rise, with a year-on-year increase of 23% between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022. Recruitment activity has also increased by 75% since the second quarter of 2020 when the country underwent its first lockdown.

With more candidates searching for jobs online, an effective listing is all the more important to help businesses make their vacancies more attractive to the right jobseekers. This is critical in the South African context, where scarce skills in certain sectors such as IT mean companies face additional challenges when it comes to securing the ideal talent.

In contrast to older, more traditional methods such as database searches or head-hunting, advertising job vacancies on online recruitment platforms helps companies not only achieve greater reach, but also access fresh talent who are looking to start a new chapter in their careers. In addition, companies can establish talent pools to which they can add shortlisted candidates for roles that they are consistently recruiting for. A candidate may not be suitable for one role, but they may be perfect for another. This is how technology helps businesses find talent and promote job vacancies to match the right candidate to the right job – and that’s where today’s built-for-purpose recruitment platforms truly demonstrate their worth.

Draw on your employee value proposition to promote authenticity

To get a prospective employee to notice you, for them to really understand what the opportunity entails and what you’re offering them, recruiters need to pay extra attention to the details and information they provide in their listings beyond just the job role specifications.

A company’s employee value proposition (EVP) can help convey authenticity to jobseekers, helping them connect with a company and a role. The EVP is a collection of factors that not only lets recruiters showcase specific, tangible qualities of the opportunity, but that also goes a long way to entice candidates and demonstrate a company’s commitment to their employees’ wellbeing (which is arguably the biggest work-related discussion happening today).

The five components of the EVP are:

  • Compensation – think salary, annual increases, and the company’s evaluation and promotion protocols.
  • Benefits – including holidays, retirement and insurance, and the type of working conditions (flexible or hybrid).
  • Career – candidates are inclined to positions that are both stable and scalable, those that offer growth prospects and the opportunity to climb the chain of command in both individual and team leadership.
  • Work environment – from clearly defined responsibilities to goals and work-life balance, jobseekers want to know what it’s like to work at a company.
  • Culture – a company’s core values and how people interact are essential.

Research by McKinsey in the wake of COVID-19 indicates companies need to look to multiple solutions to attract the right talent and retain a productive workforce. Hence, companies must find ways to creatively demonstrate the value that candidates are looking for and how they have the wellbeing of their staff at heart. Recruiters should consider how they can convey the five components of the EVP to jobseekers.

Getting proactive with your recruitment

It’s important to always be striving to improve the experience of advertising employment opportunities for recruiters. Through sophisticated job-matching technology, you can aim to make it smarter and easier, transforming the process of online recruitment above and beyond simple job listings. This, combined with authentic listings that promote a company’s EVP, contributes to better candidate responses and feedback.

Companies can use listings and online recruitment to not only decrease search costs and reach more jobseekers, but also to attract and retain the best talent for the right position. When recruiters choose the right platform, they stand to gain a lot more than just a new hire.

Leandré van der Merwe is the Customer Success Manager at Pnet.

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