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S3E10: Partner Success = 
A Culture of Collaboration

Show Synopsis

This week, we’re back with host Tori Barlow and for this episode she’s joined by Allbound Award winner, Stanislaw Wasowicz of Smart Recruiters. The two are talking all about creating a culture within an organization that enables and encourages collaboration. 


  • What the makeup of Smart Recruiters partner program looks like
  • What it means to have a collaborative culture
  • What three things a partner should prioritize to have a successful year

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The Script

Welcome to the Partner Channel podcast, the podcast for partnerships. In our episodes, we discuss ways to power your programs and gain actionable insights for all company sizes and partner types. We sit down with industry thought leaders to get the best tips and tricks for you, the listeners, to achieve your channel goals.


Tori Barlow: Welcome to the Partner Channel podcast, The Voice of the Channel. I’m Tori Barlow, VP of Marketing at Allbound. Excited to be here with Stan Wasowicz. Global Director, Alliances at smartrecruiters. Welcome, Stan. I’m really excited to have you. And also I know we’re in the in club because you asked me to call you Stan versus Stanislaw, so I feel like a great friend already.

Stanislaw Wasowicz: Absolutely. And they’re really happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Tori Barlow: Yeah, you are doing great things at Smartrecruiters for the partner program. You also recently won the Allbound Award for most collaborative partner and partner program excellence. So I’m pretty sure you can rest peacefully knowing you won those awards, right?

Stanislaw Wasowicz: Let’s say a little bit more peacefully. But a partner leader rarely sleeps peacefully. But but it definitely helped. No, I’m really grateful for that, especially because it was pure voted. So those are the awards that I like best.

Tori Barlow: Yeah, We appreciate your willingness to participate. And today we’re all about creating a culture of collaboration. And I think you can take this in many different directions. But before we get into the meat of it, I do want to talk about a little bit about your partner program. You know, where is Smartrecruiters headquartered? Where are your partners located? Kind of tell me the mix of everything you have going on right now.

Stanislaw Wasowicz: All right. Awesome. So it all starts with our conviction that you are who you hire. That’s. That’s why we exist. We’re a SaaS business headquartered in San Francisco, but we have offices all over the world, you know, in Paris, London, Berlin, Sydney and everything in between. There are Martians, as we call them, working hard to connect people to jobs at scale. That’s that’s our mission. And in order to support that mission, we’ve built a hiring platform. I dare to say the most robust and market leading hiring platform in the world. And it’s got wonderful features to attract, select and hire talent. Thousands of in-house teams from small startups to the largest enterprises and everything in between. Use our platform to attract, select and hire amazing talent. But where I come in and what excites me about working for a SaaS platform is that we also rely heavily on our ecosystem of partners. So we’ve got hundreds of Pre-integrated ISV partners, you know, market leading global conglomerates, small innovative startups, disrupting the industry and everything in between that. And then there are there are services, partners, recruitment process, outsourcing companies, consulting firms, CIS companies, and do a little bit of all of that and even some PEVC partners. Yeah, we we have different programs fitting all of them. But the red line in between is that call for collaboration that that you that you talked about. You know we try to work together at a common goal and that’s making our mutual customers achieve hiring success.

Tori Barlow: Yeah you’re doing a lot. And the culture of collaboration is something I do want to hone in on specifically with. You know, you’re managing, I think, hundreds of partners at this point. You know, some folks who are listening might be managing 5 or 10, some might be managing upwards of a thousand. So how can someone think about the culture of collaboration from all angles and what does that mean to scale?

Stanislaw Wasowicz: Yeah, great question. So the answer is I don’t manage hundreds of partners. It would be impossible. I’m trying to find this balance between breadth and depth, where we’ve built programs that allow us to operate really decentralized partner collaboration model, where we essentially try to embed partner motions into every aspect of our organization. So on the product and R&D side of the business, we Co-innovate then when we create these beautiful joint value propositions, we we co market, we the teams work together, sales teams collaborate on, on open deals, exchanging intel, giving each other plugs, recommendations. We went as far as to embedding our most either valuable or the most beloved type of partners in the market into our demos with a demo innovation director. Patty, I have to I’m going to shout out a few people probably during this podcast on our team and and James, who she runs into our pre-sales team. You know having a relationship with your pre-sales team as a partner org can really make a difference really set you apart. And I think one of the reasons that we’re winning is because of that. And then, yeah, the customer success side, right? You know, collaborating on again getting intelligence. Your customer will tell your partner things they won’t tell you about your performance or where you stack up or what you need to change. So it would be impossible for me. 

We have thousands of customers, hundreds of partners to manage all of that. And what we’re trying to do is enable everybody in the organization to be able to work with all of our partners independently. And that allows me and my team to focus on our most strategic partners where we try to go deep.

Tori Barlow: You know, I think the way that it sounds like Smartrecruiters has really enabled the partner program company wide is a few steps ahead in the industry compared to where other companies might be with partner adoption or partner program acceptance. And that’s really like exec buy in. So for folks who maybe don’t have that partner aspect embedded in every piece of the company, where’s one aspect that they can really focus and hone in on to get that collaboration started?

Stanislaw Wasowicz: Money talks. So become really good friends with your finance department. Here we go. Another shout out Eric Fitterer, partner in crime on that side for me, internally. This is a guy that can calculate the heck out of if a partnership makes sense up front. Right?  So he can model out, hey, we have x many customers in x segment. This partner wants to do something strategic with us, but that will require X investment from the R&D side. He can calculate that down to the payroll level of the the engineers building a solution, you know, up to how much of the solution we expect to be able to sell in terms of a total addressable market conversion ratios, different scenarios, growth. Yeah. If you have these figures, you can actually partner with confidence. You can go to your your senior leadership and ask for budget for, for, for tools, ask for investment in campaigns, ask for resources on your team, all of that sort of stuff. So you know it you know exec buy in you know the board the board or the exact same they look at the numbers and you know, that’s part one. And the other part I think is having a strong vision and being able to articulate it.

Tori Barlow: Yeah, I think you’re right. I think at the end of the day, you know, you can talk about influence, pipeline, influence, whatever you want from a partner program. But the question the board is going to ask is how? How can you make me money? And I think if you can show that bottom line, it’s really helpful and it doesn’t have to be all at once. You know, I think folks can tackle it little by little. And, you know, I know you have a good amount of partners. You mentioned you it’s impossible for you to manage all of them. And that would never be a measure of success. But you have found success in removing the human from the equation. That sounds interesting. What does that mean exactly?

Stanislaw Wasowicz: Yeah, and that’s a bit of a harsh way of putting it right, because partnerships intrinsically need humans to collaborate. Otherwise who’s exactly collaborating or eyes or something? But what I mean by that is that, you know, I’m a millennial, so I will always ask, can we automate this? And if we can, then we probably should. So that the humans can focus on the stuff that the computer isn’t. The robots haven’t figured out yet. You know, the level of creativity, the level of collaboration, trust, relationship building. I think that’s where the rubber meets the road. That’s where the humans should interact. But for example, you know, we use a tool called Reveal. Simon Boucher. Alexandra Jo. Man I’m missing Delphine How can I not almost shout? Delphine All the hard work she’s been doing for us. That tool, that team are amazing. We’re a so-called, I think, super user. I bet it my you know, my credibility on the company with three FTE year and a half or two ago I don’t remember exactly. Now these guys are past the 50 million Series A and I’ve got over 340 partners connected on the platform, which allows me to see and not just me. What it allows our entire revenue organization to see is where we have mutual customers with partners, where we’re both pitching accounts, which of our prospects are our partners, customers, and where do we have open opportunities? Same thing.

Stanislaw Wasowicz: Vice versa. What prospects, what customers do they have in their CRM that aren’t even in our CRM that we could be approaching with our joint value proposition proposition, making our business development more effective? And that tool by itself is more valuable than than hiring, I think ten partner managers and not having it because it allows marketing to choose who to co-market with to reach certain a certain audience. It allows BD to reach out to customer success teams and partners and ask for recommendations, introductions, openings, intel that can help them, you know, open doors. Account executives can get invaluable intel on where they stand and how the decision making unit of a buyer operates at the most strategic level. Build embedded demos really showcase the value proposition in the way the competition isn’t doing. And on the customer success side. It allows you to collaborate much more closely.  I said what, we take the human out of the equation?  Maybe a better quote would be empower the human through technology.

I said what, we take the human out of the equation?  Maybe a better quote would be empower the human through technology.

Tori Barlow: I like that. Yeah. I think that’s also a key way to scale know as we think about 2023 and what it might unfold. You know, I think there’s a lot to be said about technology and how do you really elevate what you do for the partner program, showcase that And to your point earlier, how do you actually show money and value and and bottom line, I think automation or the tech stack that you grab can be key. And as 2023 is underway, you know, I guess a takeaway, what are three things partner leaders absolutely need to prioritize to have a successful year.

Stanislaw Wasowicz: Yeah. So the relationship with the finance department is already mentioned that one. So for your forecasting, so for your business cases, so for your attribution, all of that stuff, you know, and we’re partner with these people. So that would be number one. Number two is get the heck out of spreadsheets, you know, and add technology to the equation. We just talked about it besides reveal, you know, there there are tools like yours, but there’s this incredible ecosystem landscape unfolding. You know, if you’re not connected yet or if you’re not following the guy yet. Jay McBain I’ve only been a full time partner leader for for three years. Before that I had different roles. And so when I got into the partner game, I just started Googling, Googling relevant articles and folks and he produces some, some awesome stuff, you know, including these ecosystem landscape that can really help you get acquainted with with the tech ecosystem in our space. But then the third and last one for me, the number one, what I’m focusing on when I’m trying to get better at as a partner leader is building these multilateral partnerships. Partnerships for a long time, you know, have been one on one, creating joint value proposition together with one other party bilaterally. But actually it’s better together. You know, I’ve seen the most success come from a combination of multiple partners. Um, whether it’s a marketing campaign or an event. I have an example where we were at one of the biggest HR tech conferences in Las Vegas earlier this year, and all the big boys had their own party. Vizier was in the LaFleur sort of Skyfall bar, and I said, Right. Vizier was there. Adp and LaFleur highlighted Prohibition bar shout out to hire right? If they’re listening Chris Sullins or really like the old fashioned that they treated me to there and but we had the blues the blues bar which was the biggest bar there.

We paid the least amount of money. We had more people there than anyone. And the reason that was that way is that we partnered with four partners so we could reach more people, split the cost, get a bigger bar, offer a better experience. And that’s just a simple example or maybe a bit more complex, you know, for for for me working for a SaaS business, many SaaS companies will focus on that, that that service partner or that affiliate to refer them or that technology company to, to create a joint value proposition with. And that will be it. But I think the biggest goldmine lies in creating a combination of all of these factors. Find your consulting partner that that that identifies opportunities for some kind of joint value proposition because this thing of multiple technologies to drive value to to to solve for that issue then find an implementation partner that can handle all four of these implementations and they start grabbing you and being involved. And now suddenly, you know, your, your the synergy that you create becomes so much more as a whole than the sum of its parts. And slowly but surely, I think technology is actually catching up with that. You know, I’ve been demoing these ecosystem business management tools. I see companies in your category starting to become more multilateral, where multiple partners collaborate in the same environment and are able to make mutual account plans and segment them by geography. Vertical. Et cetera. Et cetera. And highly interesting stuff. 


I think the future of ecosystems. So the sooner you can get with that program, the better.

Tori Barlow: There’s so much unfolding with the ecosystem landscape. I wonder if that could be our next podcast that we do together. Stan, you’re up to so much and you bring a wealth of knowledge to all sorts of partner programs. Thank you to our guests, Stan Global Director Alliances at smartrecruiters. And thank you to you, the listeners, for joining us here at the Partner Channel podcast. If you like what you heard, subscribe to our podcast episodes wherever you like to listen to podcasts.

That’s all for this episode. We’d like to thank you for taking the time to listen in. If you like what you heard, we’d love the chance to take the talk to LinkedIn and continue the conversation. If you want to stay up to date with all of our new episodes, subscribe to our series wherever you like to listen to podcasts.

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