The Broken Hiring Process for Customer Success Managers: Navigating the Chaos

The Broken Hiring Process for Customer Success Managers: Navigating the Chaos

Navigating the broken hiring process

The hiring landscape for Customer Success Managers (CSMs) has undergone a dramatic shift in recent years, leaving both job seekers and employers grappling with challenges that seem insurmountable. What was once a promising career path with ample opportunities has transformed into a chaotic and frustrating journey.

In this blog post, we will explore the various facets of this broken hiring process, highlighting the struggles faced by both CSM candidates and hiring managers.

The Flood of Applicants

The first glaring issue in the world of CSM hiring is the sheer number of applicants for each open position. Single job openings you see on Linkedin for example are now inundated with thousands of resumes, making it an arduous task to sift through the qualified candidates. This flood includes both qualified and unqualified individuals, further complicating the selection process.

The Rise of Misleading Career Coaches

One contributing factor to this applicant overload is the emergence of career coaches who paint an overly rosy picture of the CSM field. These coaches, often operating on social media, encourage individuals to pursue CSM careers without adequately preparing them for the realities of the role. As a result, many unqualified candidates flock to CSM positions, overwhelming the job market.

The Pressure for Six-Figure Salaries

Social media, with its constant stream of success stories, has placed immense pressure on newcomers to the field to expect six-figure salaries right out of the gate. This unrealistic expectation further fuels the influx of applicants, with many chasing high-paying roles they are not prepared for.

The Role of Referrals in Hiring

In the midst of this chaos, referrals from internal employees, a once-considered valuable asset in job hunting, have lost their effectiveness. Internal recruiters are swamped with numerous requisitions, making it challenging to respond promptly. As a result, qualified candidates are left in the dark, while hiring managers grapple with the overwhelming number of applications.

External Recruiters and Unrealistic Expectations

External recruiters are often caught between a rock and a hard place. They understand the scarcity of qualified candidates but are frequently tasked with finding “unicorns” who meet exceedingly high expectations. Unfortunately, many clients remain stubbornly fixed on offering below-market compensation for roles that are high-stress and retention-based.

The Shrinking Pay Scales

Companies, once willing to invest in experienced and expert CSMs, are now unwilling to pay the deserved compensation. Despite requiring years of experience and expertise, they offer salaries that are well below market rates. This pay discrepancy drives away talented individuals, particularly those residing in high-cost-of-living areas like California.

The Pain of Wasted Time

For job seekers, the frustration of a seemingly endless interview process is compounded by instances where they invest significant time only to discover that the company is not willing to accommodate their location. The result? Precious hours wasted on both sides, with no tangible outcome.

The Puzzling Persistence of Fake or Unfunded Roles

Another perplexing phenomenon is the persistence of seemingly fake or unfunded job postings. Positions that go unfilled for months are reposted repeatedly, raising questions about the intentions behind these listings. Are they merely collecting resumes to inflate applicant numbers?

The Impact on CSM Professionals

For CSM professionals like you, these challenges can be daunting. Despite your experience and expertise, you find yourself competing with an overwhelming number of applicants, struggling to get noticed, and often facing underwhelming compensation offers.


The hiring process for Customer Success Managers is undeniably broken. It has become a frustrating experience for both job seekers and employers alike, plagued by an influx of unqualified candidates, unrealistic salary expectations, and ineffective recruitment methods.

While there is no quick fix to this issue, it is essential for all stakeholders to acknowledge the problems at hand and work towards solutions. Job seekers should remain vigilant, focus on acquiring relevant skills, and consider alternative career paths within the tech industry. Employers must reassess their hiring strategies, offer competitive compensation packages, and streamline their recruitment processes.

In this challenging landscape, perseverance and adaptability are key. Acknowledging the broken aspects of the hiring process and taking proactive steps toward change is key. Then, both CSM candidates and hiring managers can hope for a more balanced and effective hiring ecosystem in the future.

Author: Hakan Ozturk

Driving Customer Success | Top CS News from Silicon Valley to Paris and beyond.

Hakan Ozturk

Hakan Ozturk
Founder,, #1 Weekly Customer Success Newsletter

Hakan Ozturk is a Paris-based Customer Success leader with over 15 years of experience in the computer software industry. Passionate about driving growth and delivering value to strategic customers, Hakan has established himself as a trusted industry expert. As the Founder of The Customer Success Café Newsletter and, Hakan provides valuable industry insights and daily-updated job opportunities worldwide in the field of Customer Success. Connect with Hakan to boost your career in CS and your company’s potential for massive growth.

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