Looking Outside of the Education Box by Todd Hand

Idea Bulb Concept Drawing on Blackboard

“Should we look exclusively within education, or should we consider people outside education?”

Some version of that question is asked more and more in our pre-search discussions as we launch senior level executive searches in the for-profit education sectors.

Though my search practice is in education, the early part of my career in recruiting was in the technology sector. You name it, I’ve worked with that type of tech company; eCommerce, B2B, B2C, mobile, software, hardware, cleantech, material science, semiconductor, etc..

My advise when and where to look for leadership outside of education depends on several factors. However, there are no hard and fast rules so often each search should be examined on a case by case basis.


5 Things Private Equity Firms Must Consider When Their Portfolio Companies Hire C-Suite Executives by Todd Hand


This article was originally posted on LinkedIn

The vast majority of my clients for C-level searches are at a private equity backed companies in the education sectors (K-12, higher ed, and corporate learning). While private equity partners are some of the most networked people you’ll ever meet, it is not possible to know every star, especially the rising ones. Moreover, private equity partners are often investing outside their “sweet spot” of knowledge and networks; this is one reason why they prefer to work with a search firm.
Hiring the best executive can make all the difference to the portfolio company, and eventually getting the best ROI. My team and I at BSG Team Ventures have conducted over 200 executive searches for private equity firms and their portfolio organizations. In my experience, these are five often overlooked but essential considerations when companies in their portfolios search for executives.


The Importance of “Discovery” in Executive Search: Measure twice, cut once by Todd Hand


This article was originally posted on LinkedIn

Over the past year, I’ve written articles that speak to the strategies that significantly help when searching for C-Suite executives. I’ve discussed looking for CEOs and CFOs, the difference between Marketing and Sales Leadership, and have even tried to demystify what a VP of Business Development is actually supposed to do. The point I always come back to is that to manage a successful search, to find the best executives for positions, real heavy lifting must be done before candidates are interviewed. This part of the search is called “discovery,” and without it, the search can go astray and drag on.

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BSG Executive Search Track Record in Private Equity–an Infographic

BSG focuses on building executives team for investor-backed businesses.  Below is an infographic summarizing 2014-2015 trailing 24-month slice of search activity for the firm.  New infographic encompassing 2016 soon to be released.

Tearsheet - BSG Team Ventures - Over the last 24 months ... [PE only] - rev. 2015.10.28

BSG MD Clark Waterfall interviews HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan

BSG Managing Director Clark Waterfall had the opportunity to do a Fireside Chat with HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan as MC of the EO Nerve 2016 conference in Boston in late September. Brian shares several themes around start up to scale up, hiring, leadership, and lessons learned in taking a start-up from idea to IPO.




Vice President of Strategic Sales



Catapult Learning- SESI Merger
Catapult Learning Hires Jeffrey Cohen
Catapult Learning Announce Acquisition of Ohio-Based Autism Schools

Reporting directly to the CEO, the Vice President of Strategic Sales is responsible for playing a key leadership role in the sales and business development functions of the company. This newly created position will plan and direct all aspects of the sales organization including sales strategy, new customer acquisitions and existing key account management and growth.

This position will lead an intimate team of ten national consultants that are directly responsible for driving top-line revenue growth. The VP of Sales will be accountable for the overall sales organization performance, aligning sales and objectives with Catapult’s business strategy. This position will play an integral strategic and tactical role in serving as a catalyst and leader within the organization.








Sound Seal is an independent company owned by members of its management team and its primary investor, Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners. Hamilton Robinson acquired Sound Seal with the strategic objective of evolving an already prosperous and profitable company into the market leader in noise control solutions. We are successfully working toward achieving this goal through both organic growth and acquisition. IAC Acoustics, a division of Sound Seal, will be a critical part of meeting this objective.

The promise of a quieter world. This is a business imperative across several vital sectors of our economy. The IAC Division plays a vital role within Sound Seal to deliver a host of highly engineered noise control solutions for its industrial and architectural customers. These customers seek noise control for a wide variety of applications ranging from high end acoustical products such as HVAC silencers, windows and doors for recording studios and practice rooms to engineered dynamometer rooms for engine testing applications.

IAC is the synthesis of two business ventures. Its genesis began with Sound Seal acquiring Industrial Noise Control led by Mark Rubino in October 2014, followed by an add- on acquisition of Industrial Acoustics Company based in Lincoln, NE in December 2015. Its assets were moved to North Aurora over the past year and the two entities are now merged into a single Division of Sound Seal called IAC Acoustics.

IAC Acoustics serves as the metal products entity of Sound Seal’s overall business. Its offerings are offered across the following applications:


Searching for a Head of Product for an Education Organization by Todd Hand

Blog #15 Head of Product

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.

One of the most difficult positions to fill in the ever-evolving edtech market is that of Head of Product. The reasons for this challenge are plentiful, but if a prospective employer takes the time to consider what I’m about to explain, you should be able to find a great fit.

Compared to other markets, technology is very new to the education space. When you consider education, on most levels you’re looking at institutions, businesses, and systems that were created for a model that was sustainable over 50 years ago but no longer is. From a business perspective, education is also slower moving, often with only one or two sales seasons per year, beholden to policy, and not well funded.


BSG Team Ventures successfully completes VP of Business Development Search for Burning Glass Technologies



BSG Team Ventures Successfully Completes Vice President of Business Development Search for Burning Glass Technologies.

We are delighted to announce our placement of Dan Silverburg as the Vice Presudebt of Business Development at Burning Glass Technologies. In this role Dan develops channel relationships in the education sector, bringing Burning Glass’ data-driven applications to students to help them choose educational goals to build the skills they need to get ahead in their careers.

Dan comes to Burning Glass Technologies with a deep background in marketing, a keen eye for product, and a natural ability to develop and drive relationships. He spent 3+ years with Macmillan New Ventures, most recently as Chief Commercial Officer ensuring effective operations across client channels, regions, and products helping portfolio companies become more productive, efficient and valuable. Dan brings to the team proven leadership skills in sales, marketing, business development, and services. A versatile and dedicated edtech professional with an extensive record of experience and achievement, Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Ohio University.

About Burning Glass Technologies:
Burning Glass Technologies delivers job market analytics that empower educators, employers, and workers to make data-driven decisions. Burning Glass is connecting education and job markets, with data that identify the skill gaps that keep job seekers and employers apart and tools that enable both sides to bridge that gap and connect more easily.

COO Executive Compensation Highlights–growth equity SaaS software company

iStock_000004784207_MediumcountingmoneyAs executive recruiters, we are often asked about executive compensation.

When we complete an assignment, we aggregate the compensation data we have collected across the search, and share it with the executive talent community from which it came. In this case, in Q2, 2016 we finished a Chief Operating Officer/General Manager search for a growth equity SaaS software client located in Southern California.

Our search strategy focused on the target talent pool comprising those who either currently or in recent past roles held titles of COO, CEO, General Manager, or EVP Sales & Marketing. The goal was to identify an executive who had extensive experience and a successful track record with investor backed companies, running the P&L as President, COO, EVP Sales, or similar who would be able to help scale the company beyond current ~$5M in revenues and EBITDA profitability, focusing on sales expansion, channel sales enablement, and operational efficiency.   Below is the summary compensation data–


Graphing each compensation component of base salary, bonus, and OTE (on target earnings) this is what takes shape when you break it out into quartiles–



In looking at bonuses, it was interesting to ascertain bonus as a multiple of base salary.  Below is what we found, again broken out into quartiles–


This data is relevant for either venture capital backed, or private  equity-backed/growth equity-back SaaS software businesses that are profitable and with 15-100% annual top line growth rates.  This particular client was a B2B software ISV.

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