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How do I scale recruitment when I've just gone through a funding round?

Scaling recruitment after a funding round is an exciting, albeit challenging, process.


You know that to accelerate and achieve your organisation’s growth objectives, you must expand your existing team quickly and effectively.


You also want to attract and hire the right people to support your business’s evolving needs.


That’s why scaling recruitment when you’ve just gone through a funding round requires a strategic approach.


First, assess your staffing needs by analysing your current team and pinpoint any gaps or areas where additional resources are needed.


Then, determine which roles are most critical for your business’s growth and success.


Once you’ve identified your talent needs, design a hiring plan that outlines your recruitment goals and objectives, including the roles you need to fill, the skills and experience required, and the timeline for hiring.


The idea is for you to build a strong team that helps you to achieve your organisation’s growth objectives, including expanding your operations and developing your products and services.


Your challenge


How do you manage that hiring plan? What’s your capacity as a business to be able to cope with that? What processes have you put in place to manage it?


The reality is your existing in-house talent team probably doesn’t currently have capacity to cope because it isn’t set up to deal with recruitment at such a pace and volume. 


“When you've had a funding round, it's usually for rapid growth, and you might potentially be doubling, if not tripling, your headcount in a short window,” said Ben Fitzgerald, Rullion Client Solutions Director.


So, what do you do?


Well, you can either augment your in-house recruitment team or you can outsource to a third-party.


Yet, sourcing quality, permanent recruiters can be challenging in and of itself as good recruiters can be hard to come by, especially in times of high demand.


You’ve also got to consider the costs involved in hiring someone yourself and then the time it takes to get them fully onboarded and up and running. They might also need to learn about your business and the industry / sector you work in, and when you’re under time pressure to scale, that can put additional strain on your existing team.


However, before deciding which route to take, you’re best answering if you expect this growth to be for a sustained period.


If yes, then expanding your own existing internal resourcing team, and everything that comes with that, is perhaps worth the investment. Including the expense, time, and effort it takes to hire those individuals, as well as implementing better technology and AI tools to attract and source the best candidates in the market.  


If the answer is no, then bolstering your internal team might not be the best option for you.


Overrecruiting to have staff on hand to deal with potential sudden growth can backfire if that growth doesn’t materialise. Just look at Meta’s decision during the pandemic to hire huge numbers of talent acquisition staff to deal with a hiring spree that almost doubled its headcount, only to be followed by its latest announcement that it was freezing hires next year and cutting 10,000 more jobs – primarily affecting its recruiting team – following on from last November’s mass layoffs which also massively impacted recruiting staff.


That leaves you with the option of outsourcing.


Your first option is to outsource your permanent hires to specialist agencies that are experts at finding candidates with the skills you’re looking for.


If you’ve used agencies in the past and you’ve got several on your books (i.e., a Preferred Supplier List – PSL – which is a list of suppliers approved by your organisation from which to purchase products and services) that have been reliable and have done a good job filling your roles thus far, going down this route is a valid one. Both your time to fill and time to hire will also be faster. 


The only drawback is that this option does tend to incur higher costs, as the agency margins / introduction fees related to this model are generally steeper than other outsourcing options. They will also do nothing to bolster your brand in the market by either supporting you with your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) or putting out branded adverts on your behalf. However, if they’re doing a good job at filling your vacancies, sometimes taking a “better the devil you know attitude” can feel safer and easier.


There is, however, another outsourcing option to consider. And this is to partner with an existing or different supplier that provides Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) on Demand services.


Utilising an RPO on Demand service essentially allows you to grow your permanent headcount without having to invest more money in your own permanent recruitment team.


It gives you access to a dedicated team of people  that can fill your jobs and gives you access to the data and tech that they have in their arsenal.


Like the agency model, an RPO on Demand will invariably reduce your time to fill and time to hire, however you also have the additional benefit of having greater visibility over spend and the process itself. This is because an RPO on Demand service puts a project plan in place to get your vacancies filled and works to a defined timeline.


An RPO on Demand service can also support your brand by putting out branded adverts on your behalf. This amplifies your brand rather than the agency’s own brand.


Both the PSL model and an RPO on Demand service will give you access to job boards and will get better deals on adverts than you will doing it inhouse because they have a bigger spending power.


However, the difference between using multiple agencies, or even one agency on an ad hoc basis, and partnering with an RPO on Demand service exclusively is that you will receive a more dedicated service at a reduced price.


An RPO on Demand partnership also takes a more consultative relationship than an ad hoc agency relationship, and, if required, can help with other things such as hiring manager training on unconscious bias and interview techniques.


Because RPO on Demand works to a defined timeline, for example 6 to 12 months, the benefit is you get help with your peak following your funding round, and the team exits as soon as there’s a trough because you don’t need to be spending that money anymore.


The reason RPO on Demand works well when it comes to scaling your recruitment after going through a funding round, is because you literally plug in a partner to deliver a piece of recruitment for your organisation to a defined timeline, for a reduced fee, and then unplug them once that hiring wave has gone and you no longer need that additional support.


The beauty of this is you’re not left with the additional headcount like you would have been if you’d hired permanent staff into your internal team nor must you deal with the management of those individuals, including going through a redundancy process when your hiring needs change. An RPO on Demand partner will simply mobilise that same dedicated account team into other projects, as it’s unaffected by a reduction in your recruitment needs.


To conclude


Effectively scaling recruitment after going through a funding round can be a complex process but there are options out there.


If you do believe you will continue to hire at scale over a long period of time, having a permanent team does make sense.


However, even, if you do have to scale quickly after a funding round and recognise that it will take time to get that internal team augmented, you do have the option of outsourcing to either agencies or an On Demand service up until you get those permanent hires into your recruitment hires up to speed.


If expanding your internal resourcing team is not for you, you can, as outlined above, opt to outsource and consider using agencies on an ad hoc basis or entering an RPO on Demand partnership.




Have you recently gone through a funding round and need help talking through your options about how best to scale your recruitment? If yes, fill out our contact form below and one of the team will come back to you.