How to scale: Series A-B and beyond…
What does the typical landscape look like at this stage of scale?
So, you have made it through the early phase of hiring when the founders were probably hiring people from their networks. These networks ran out and you had to compete in the real world and make your first wave of proper external hires.
To do this you had to start investing in Talent Acquisition and building capability.
So, what’s next?… volume!
By this stage you have probably found a system that is working ok for you and you are hiring a few good people and starting to go on the journey.
However, the numbers just got real! The funding rounds have got bigger, which means, you guessed it, the hiring volumes just got bigger.
The most fundamental gear shift needed will be around your processes and here we cover the 2 of the most important ones.
1) Interview Process:
Don’t assume the process you used to run will continue to work.
The biggest mistake we see holding companies back from scale is when the founding team want to run an identical process, but that process was designed for hiring maybe 20 people a year. Not 50 -100 people or more.
- Running a 4-stage process and then taking them to lunch to offer them may have been possible when the volumes were low.
- Having the whole leadership team hire by committee and havening 7 people on a panel may have been possible when volumes are low.
However, maintaining these types of process will make it impossible to hire at volume. Not only that it will prevent the senior team from driving the business forward as they will spend all day in interviews.
You can still run a robust process that also makes the candidate feel loved and engaged without lunches and without 7 people in an interview process.
However, the leadership need to be open-minded and learn how to redesign the process for scale.
Use data and reverse engineer the hiring funnel for the year. The volumes will get scary. To hire 100 people you will be looking at a minimum of 500 interviews. When the leadership team realise the task at hand they will realise they can’t be in 500 interviews or do 100 lunches and realise a new process is required.
2) Headhunting Process:
The cost of headhunting will be increasing rapidly to eye-watering numbers.
The volume of hiring just jumped significantly also meaning the operational admin of booking circa 500 interviews to hire 100 people just became year an operational nightmare.
You will need to get control of this in-house. To reduce the costs and also get control of the administration and project management required to deliver a scaleup of this size.
1) Build your own team
- At this stage of growth it’s still volatile and building a large in-house team to deliver growth probably isn’t the best use of a fixed overhead budget.
- Someone has to hire, train, build and manage the team every day.
- When this batch of roles is hired things will slow down and you are stuck with a massive team you don’t need.
- Your in-house team will typically struggle with the capability and experience to fill all the roles. Traditionally this means using recruitment agency support, which means you have to then pay the agency margin on top of your fixed overhead team.
2) Use an awesome Embedded Consultancy: (like Bond)
- flexible subscription model
- 50% cost saving Vs agency model
- our talent partners look and feel like your in-house team
- onboard within days
- 100% dedicated to you
- embedded 5 days a week
- extreme headhunting capability
- best practice from the world’s leading scaleups
Check out this further read on process design – https://bond-global.com/insight/process-design/put-a-zero-on-it/