Before Laurence Capone stepped into the CFO office at Pipedrive, a cloud-based software-as-a-service company, she spent more than two decades climbing the ranks at ADP Corp., the payroll processing and human capital management (HCM) services company
However, her very first role—and one that she credits with grounding her professionally and personally—was a public accounting position with Arthur Andersen in Paris.
Reports Capone: “It’s the best experience that you can get when starting a professional finance career because it accelerates your climb into the world of finance.”
After her time with Arthur Andersen, she joined a French multinational that was acquired by ADP, which shortly invited her to relocate to the U.S. Capone accepted the invitation and soon found the door swinging open to new finance and operations experiences.
Later, Capone was appointed CFO of ADP’s worldwide sales and marketing arm—a very large organization with new business bookings of about $1.6 billion at the time.
“You really had to redefine the way to grow, to find new sources of growth, and to reposition the incentives in the organization,” recalls Capone, while reflecting on the experience that is no doubt helping to inform her decision-making as CFO at Pipedrive.
Capone: Obviously, when you’re a growing company like Pipedrive, you grow with talent. This human capital strategy is very important because, in the end, it’s all about the talent. To attract this talent, I think that Pipedrive has incredible assets. We have just been recognized on the list of the Top 100 Software Companies, and it’s so incredible to be part of a group that includes companies like Adobe and Microsoft.
This is a big accomplishment that reflects the appeal of new technology and digital solutions in the market right now. It’s a hot market from a talent standpoint, particularly in this environment. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Great Resignation. While it’s true that this is pandemic-related, the reality is that everybody’s looking around. I’m probably one example. This is how I took on this new role.
For me, when it comes to hiring, it’s about pipeline and pipeline management and the metrics behind it. You would apply this to sales as well. But it’s really from the pipeline viewpoint that I think of it. Obviously, there’s always the concept of organizational design and competencies and so on, but at the end of the day, purely from a metrics and management standpoint, it’s about making sure that you have your seats filled because you need those people to handle your clients and the volume that you’re experiencing.
It’s important to be ahead of this situation. Being ahead of it is all about managing the metrics. How many days does it take to fill a requisition for a job? Certain types of job profiles vary by market. Looking at your attrition is also very important—by role type, by geography, and obviously with an eye on salary and compensation as well. These are the metrics that we look at to make sure that in the end, we have a good understanding of our hiring capacity and of our head count plan and capacities as we think about our planning and forecasting processes.
“At the end of the day, purely from a metrics and management standpoint, it’s about making sure that you have your seats filled because you need those people to handle your clients and the volume that you’re experiencing.”
– Laurence Capone