Buildertrend’s rise to 500 employees | Episode 32
On this exciting episode of The Building Code we are celebrating reaching a milestone of hiring 500 full-time employees. Yep, you read that right … 500. Paul and Tom are joined by Josh Kaiser, vice president of sales, to talk about the work and the process it took to reach this mark of 500 employees.
How Did We Get to 500 Employees?
If you have listened to our first episode with our three cofounders, you know how Buildertrend started – But how did we go from a team of three to 500? The first employee hired was our very own podcast cohost, Paul Wurth. (Tom was the 150th employee and Josh Kaiser was “somewhere in the 50s”). From 2006 until about 2014, the sales department consisted of Paul and four others. Today, the department houses 190 employees.
Four years ago, Buildertrend buckled down and started heavily strategizing. And this is where Josh Kaiser comes in. When Josh came on board, Paul was able to focus on the strategy side of gaining customers. Responsible for the scripts the sales team uses to guide their calls, he knew what they needed to be saying, how they needed to be saying it and why it all mattered.
Once strategy for attracting new clients was nailed down, Josh and Paul were able to forge ahead with training new sales team members. It’s all a trickle effect from there. More salespeople meant more clients. More clients meant more feedback and help using the software, which meant more developers and coaches were needed – and quick. The need for more employees meant Buildertrend needed more recruiters, and a marketing team to get the word out.
Although Buildertrend has grown rapidly, it is silly to assume there haven’t been significant challenges. From 2006 until 2009, the country was in a recession, which caused complications for many home builders. The sales department at Buildertrend had to change how they marketed the software. Instead of focusing on home building, they focused on remodelers. This was also during a time when web-based software seemed still so unknown to prospective clients. It wasn’t until later in 2009 when the industry started to accept internet-based software, causing momentum and a whole lotta opportunity.
As more clients were obtained, a new challenge arose: employees. Recruiting people was difficult, so the Buildertrend team visited nearby colleges. Today, we have a hard-working recruiting team who have hired nearly 250 people in the last year. The sales team alone has gone from 13 employees to 190 in just four years.
- When starting out, you have to find the best ways to do things using experience. Once you know the best way, find great people to challenge that process to make it even better.
- Onboarding is so important! Have processes in place for the new employees to walk into.
- Set clear expectations, so a new hire will know how they can succeed and how they could fail.
- Realize there are people who can do something better than you. Be willing to step away and let them take over. This is the catalyst for sustained growth.
What does the future for Buildertrend look like? One word: growth. There is still a need for project management software in the industry since many businesses still rely on pen and paper. If Buildertrend continues to do things the right way and keep finding the right people, growth is the only option. As the guys say in this episode, “the sky is the limit.”
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