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Paving The Future Of The Workforce Through SAAS - With Carla Serra

Jun 02, 2021

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Carla Serra.

Carla Serra is the founder of the Futturwork project and a talent management industry expert. She has spent the past 10 years implementing SAAS software with global enterprises and has now made it her mission to work with scaling SAAS start-ups to implement the right HR strategy from the get go.

Why you've got to check out Carla's episode:

- Hear how Carla supports the B2B SAAS industry and has made it her mission to change the way employers and HR Software providers design the future of work. 

- Understand the biggest challenges of the scaling SAAS startup looking to hire and retain top talent and how HR Software Providers are facing such a competitive market, and how Carla can help these companies define a better strategy for their minimal viable product.

- Learn why the cost of hiring and the risk of losing talent has a huge impact and risk for their business as investors will be seeing a close eye on their team. And how the risk is high for another HR / Talent tool that doesn't have a competitive advantage.

- Discover how both of Carla's categories of clients need to be pioneers in their industry and what opportunities are out there for SAAS startups and HR Software Providers.

- Get access to and book a free 30 minute Futturwork strategy call with Carla using the below link.

Resources / Links


Tom Bailey: Hello and welcome to the Flow And Grow Expert Interviews. The place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results.

Hello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in today's episode, I'll be getting to know Carla Serra, who is the founder of the future work project and a talent management industry expert. So, Carla, hello and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

Carla Serra: Thank you, Tom. Excited to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Tom Bailey: No, thank you so much. And Carla, whereabouts are you in the world right now?

Carla Serra: I'm based out of London in the Southeast, in Kent.

Tom Bailey: Amazing. Thank you. And let me just share a little bit more about Carla before we do get started. So, Carla has spent the past 10 years implementing SAAS software with global enterprises and has now made it her mission to work with scaling SAAS startups to implement the right HR strategy from the get-go.

The title for today's episode is therefore, Paving The Future Of The Workforce Through SAAS. And Carla is going to show us how to do that in just under seven minutes. So no pressure at all, Carla . First question today is who are your ideal clients?

Carla Serra: That's a great question. Now, under the future of work project, my focus is on the B2B SAAS industry. My mission is to change the way the employers and software providers can help design the future of the work. On one hand, I provide strategic advice, articles and consultancy and vendor assessment to B2B, SAAS startups struggling with getting their first steps in HR. On the other hand, I provide strategic insights and consultancy to HR software startups at ideation stage, wanting to understand this space and gather the strategic insight to develop their product offerings. So, that's what I do. 

Tom Bailey: Excellent. So, you've got these, but these two buckets, or these two sides of what you do, what's typically the biggest challenge for these clients that you have?

Carla Serra: Well, you can imagine the scaling startup who needs to start hiring outside of their network, their close network. Usually, they're all friends in the beginning. We'll be faced with these questions. How do I hire, what skills do I look for and how do I assess them? How do I engage and retain these people? Especially now that they're working remotely, you, you likely have not met your, hirees for the past year. So, to keep that relationship to establish a culture is very challenging and I can help with that.

Fourth companies wanting to launch a talent management tool. Now they are facing such a competitive market. There are new startups being launched almost every month. My experience and industry research over the competitor landscape, along with point interviews can really help these companies define a better strategy for their minimum viable product.

Tom Bailey: Okay. Great. So, let's stick with these two different channels that we're talking about then for a moment. What are the biggest impacts that these challenges have on, on both sets of clients?

Carla Serra: For scaling startups, the cost of hiring and the risk of losing talent has huge impact over their business, their investors will be asking them about that. If they're losing people, why is that happening? But it's so easy for top talent to slip through your fingers while working remotely, it is so easy to take an interview at any time and move to a new job, especially in the software development and sales categories where the studies are showing that employees will last up to two years within the company at a startup scaling startup. And often they will leave in their first month. Now for the startups looking to set up a new product and talent management. I think the risk is high of creating another learning or recruitment tool that does not offer competitive advantage. I mean, 90% of startups fail. And from these about 42% suffer failure due to lack of proper market insight. And they have poor product strategy. So, the right insights does not only improve chances of market fit as it will back up their business case for seed funding.

Tom Bailey: Okay. So, let's say that someone's listening to this podcast and they're starting to resonate with this message. What's the one valuable piece of advice that you might give them to really help them start off on this journey to success?

Carla Serra: Wonderful question for both five categories that I have, I would strongly suggest being pioneers, reinvent the workplace, and really do not follow any of our past knowledge or structures. This has to be broken down it has to change. The opportunity is out there for the employee or for the employers and the software brands that really listen to the new workforce.

Employees want the freedom. To work remotely in their own time from any location. It's not about balance between being in the office and at home. It's more than that. Studies show that individuals thrive on work that is meaningful, that keeps them challenged and accountable. And curiously compensation is almost at the bottom of the list of these motivations and engagement strategies.

So, the software vendors that can provide flexible tools for engagement. Feedback and skills-based learning will catch this new wave beautifully and supporting much needed transformation in the way we work and deliver value.

Tom Bailey: Fantastic. Thank you so much. And what is one valuable free resource that you might offer to somebody that wants to start off on this journey with you?

Carla Serra: I will provide a free, 30 minute future work strategy calls so that we can assess your needs of your organization spot and opportunity to set up the correct way of working the right, HR plan from the get-go. Using the future work blueprint. So, my consultancy has a background in management consultancy and remote run, a good interview business case, and then define the right model, the right framework to work with you in, but providing a wean and R drive prototype that you.

That is workable that you can deploy. So, all you need to do is go to and use the contact form to book your free strategy call. And this is the same form equally for those that are looking for strategic insights to develop their product.

Tom Bailey: Amazing. Thank you so much. So, what I'll do is I'll post that link in the show notes below this episode, and you can click on that and you'll be able to book that call with Carla this week.

Carla Serra: Perfect.

Tom Bailey: Okay. So, moving on to a slightly. Different topic. And the next question is, what would you say is your greatest failure that you've ever made over in life or business? And what did you learn from it?

Carla Serra: Well, I think one of them, more than failure, I'd call it almost a regret of not having started this project earlier. I think as many of us, when we want to start something, and then you have responsibilities of family and you have mortgages, you think too much. And if I had done this or that instead of, keeping changing jobs, trying to find the right company, the right culture, the right work, rhythm and structure. I think I would have set up the project. So, and really that's what I did. I decided to create my own company as I couldn't find the right fit in the end. However, changing jobs frequently and having seen different size organizations, different cultures, different models in the last three years has really provided very valuable input into my strategy. Really feeding into my future work project. Why? Because I noticed there and then the huge churn. In the sales teams in the development and professional services teams. For example, when I started wondering why, because it's so competitive, there's always a new job around the corner, but of course, this is all because the corporate world is in desperate need for an upgrade.

Okay. We have to move away from the industrial revolution model. The work has to change, but for this to happen, the change must come from both the employers and software vendors. And that's why I chose to work with scanning startups and companies trying to develop a new product because the opportunity is there to start well from scratch.

So, software will automate a lot of the work we currently do. So, really the new jobs, really new jobs will be a rising. Some jobs will be disappearing. We're starting to see that. And for those new jobs, upskilling is urgently needed. And for this transition to be successful, we software companies have to help us with tools that allow us to do good triage of scales and to be able to run a forecast on skills that will be needed based on business requirements. So, this is a really exciting time and I'm happy that my future work project will be able to help the companies that want to ride this way.

Tom Bailey: Perfect. What amazing journey you've been on? And the last question from me today is what is the one question that I should have asked you that will also give great value to our audience today?

Carla Serra: Oh, you haven't asked me, how does the future of work really look like?

Tom Bailey: What does that look like? 

Carla Serra: Well, you know, there's many assumptions. You can hear a lot around blogs in the HR industry space. Everyone is talking about it, but no one has really defined that though. I think we've let the pandemic to design the future of our workforce. What we are seeing is a lot of talks around the remote work and no one is really talking and about the benefits, how the benefits will change because they're not working remotely. You don't care about breakfast and the office, the cycle to work scheme. Maybe you want childcare. Maybe you want a gym, a bigger gym compensation or massage.

There's a lot of things that really need to change, but as I see it, we will be relying more on the software to automate the repetitive tasks. And we will move to a concept of startups working in, in partnership with other startups, more than relying on mass hiring as in the past. So, instead of having your subordinates and having that type of relationship, we're moving to a partnership and a contribution really to create something. I do believe that the future is brilliant, but it's way more flexible and it's way more equal. So, watch this space.

Tom Bailey: Great. What a fantastic view of the future. So, Carla, thank you so much again for your time today. I've really enjoyed getting to know you today and finding out more about this future workforce. Perfect.

Carla Serra: Thank you, Tom. Same wise. It's been a pleasure. Thanks a lot.