At Bearhug Recruiting, we’ve put enormous effort into attracting a candidate pool that represents the upper tenth percentile of high performance executives in our unique, high demand industry of Enterprise SaaS.
Whether you’re the CEO of a Marketing Analytics, Talent Management, or Sales Automation & Enablement platform, or a Data Enhancement, Dashboard & Data Visualization, Customer Intelligence & Data Science or Marketing Automation solution, if you’ll trust our contrarian methodologies, we’ll deliver a higher level of candidate performance in each and every executive-level role. Guaranteed.
We surface technology forward leaders that have the intelligence and “intrapreneurial skills” to act as thought-simulators for our clients and the internal staff they serve. Our candidates will make you and your team think, stretch, and stay clear of comfort zones.
Our commitment is focused on quality over quantity. That means a collaborative, transparent, hands-on approach with fewer clients, driven by the highest possible standards, resulting in a partnership where all parties are consciously aware and appreciative of this more thorough way of running a critical executive-level search assignment.
As operators ourselves, we understand your day-t0-day.
My name is Kraig Ward.
I started my first company (Full Circle Productions) at the age of 19. Think Burning Man, but on a much smaller scale (and without the desert!).
At the age of 22, I founded my second enterprise (Executive Wellness Group), promoting the corporate wellness services of a large network of curated providers (Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Yoga Teachers and Nutritionists) who served the unique needs of the C-Suite.
At 26, I began packaging and licensing our high-performance marketing systems to wellness entrepreneurs around the world. This began my journey into the world of online publishing, digital marketing, SaaS, and later, Venture Capital, Management Consulting, and Executive Recruiting.
I’ve sold over 10M of my own products and services, hosted over 1,200 live group coaching sessions, crafted dozens of webinar presentations (viewed by over 1,000,000 attendees), and have built countless end-to-end online lead generation campaigns and marketing funnels responsible for hundreds of thousands of marketing qualified leads for myself and my clients.
More recently, my team and I played a role in helping 3 US based startups raise venture funding, build out their marketing and sales teams (and infrastructure), and fast track their revenue.
But, the story of Bearhug started way before all of this…
Bearhug’s Early Beginnings
I couldn’t make this stuff up.
I was born #10 of 11 children in a very large Mormon family in Salt Lake City, UT.
You read that right. I have 7 sisters, 2 older brothers, and 1 who’s several years my younger, and we all came from the same 2 parents, still together to this day. My early childhood revolved around the idea of how important it was to convert non-believers into the Mormon way of life. Yet, things didn’t go quite the way my parents had planned.
When I was on the cusp of turning 8 years old, on my way out the door to be baptized as my whole family was piling into the family van, I was the kid who stopped his Dad and asked him why he was so sure the Mormon religion was better than everyone else’s religion.
Needless to say, at a young age, I found joy in asking very direct probing questions, challenging people’s comfort zones, gathering large quantities of information, and as I grew older I got better and better at synthesizing what I learned into a persuasive format that got people excited and helped them see things in a new light.
This unique perspective has served me well in my professional life. Prior to getting deep into the world of venture funded SaaS startups over the last 4 years, prior to that, I ran an online training and education company for startup entrepreneurs and grew my student base to over 125,000 teaching sales and marketing best practices.
And as I transitioned recently into my 40th year, I made the decision to devote 100% of my professional life for the foreseeable future to focusing in on what I believe I can be the best in the world at in business. Which I’ve come to realize is being the best Executive Headhunter I can possibly be within the world of enterprise SaaS.
My specialty is and will continue to be my ability to build out compelling recruiting funnels for each of my clients and taking their unique jobs to market in a way that captures the attention of the right candidates and gets them to respond with genuine interest when they would have otherwise ignored most other recruiters efforts.
Should we decide to work together, you’ll see that in 90% of cases, when you’re interacting with the candidates I bring you, they’ll likely tell you during the interview process that there was just something different about the way I approached them that got them to engage in the process.
And that’s why it’s so important for us to be discerning with the clients we take on, as there has to be a relatively cohesive experience between the way we work with candidates on through to the way my clients work with our candidates for deals to come together in a way that makes everyone feel lucky.
But all that aside, what I really believe is the secret sauce that makes it all come together, is the way we work with both sides during the negotiation stage to keep deals from falling apart by providing a level of transparency in the process that helps avoid a majority of upset that makes hiring so hard for most people i.e. sourcing the wrong people to begin with, losing candidates by not moving fast enough, holding out false hope due to not surfacing issues early in the process or not properly setting expectations at the start for what success truly looks like. It’s very nuanced, but it’s a process I care a great deal about and feel we’re uniquely qualified to facilitate.
I believe that true happiness comes from having a vision for one’s life and seeing daily progress towards the realization of that vision. Professionally, Bearhug is my vision. And, fulfillment for me and my team means, we only work with the best clients who appreciate the way we do things. Because, that then means we get to go out and source candidates of the same caliber who’ll be able to have a powerful, immediate impact on the business both in the short and long-term. And it’s this vision that we hope will be the fuel for your vision.
Today, after more than 20 years as an entrepreneur, I’ve come to understand my real love and passion when it comes to business.
That’s why my team and I are 100% focused on supporting our client companies in attracting the very best talent available, and helping them design a culture that makes winning easy.
Meet the Team
ONE OF BEARHUG’S CORE VALUES IS ADVOCATING FOR A DISTRIBUTED VIRTUAL WORKFORCE.
So, while we take pride in being a boutique retained executive search firm and let very few hands touch each aspect of our workflow, we have outside helpers that we’ve trained and can bring in at a moments notice to allow us to “flex up” to handle the unique needs of our clients.
PAPA BEAR (MANAGING DIRECTOR)
“The 1MM to 10MM+ B2B SaaS Startup Talent Advisor”
I'm the guy that early stage SaaS founders here in the Bay Area call when they need help crossing the chasm from ~1MM to 10MM+ and know their biggest point of leverage is headhunting the best executive-level talent as a distinct competitive advantage. (sample here).
MAMA BEAR (MANAGING PARTNER)
Kris, has either co-founded or played a key strategic role in every business I’ve touched since 2002. In addition to being a talented brand strategist and copywriter, Kris is a Managing Partner and helps oversee Bearhug’s day to day operations.
The Bearhug Vendor Network
ANOTHER COMPANY CORE VALUE
“Go above and beyond the level of expected service at all times”. This starts with how we work together as an internal team and flows out into everything we do with our strategic partners, clients and candidates.”
One of the ways we demonstrate this cultural differentiator is by providing access and oversight regarding point solutions fulfilled by our carefully curated “vendor network”. These solutions aid our clients in more easily hitting their revenue targets.
Marketing & Sales Stack Implementation Services
Data Science, Data Engineering & Data Architecture Services
CRM/ATS Database Cleanup & Data Enrichment Services
Top of Funnel Lead Generation & Appointment Setting Services
Content Marketing, SEO & Copywriting Services
When appropriate, we’ll make these strategic introductions in order to help you win!
You know where to find us. We’re here to help get you across your next big bridge.
X marks the spot
115 Belle Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901
Ready for your bearhug?
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