Raise, the virtual marketplace for buying and selling second-hand gift cards, is one of the fastest growing tech companies Chicago has ever seen. Since the startup’s launch in 2013, the team has already ballooned to 250 and counting — but they didn’t get there through sheer luck.
Rob Crawford, a former Googler and Raise’s current director of talent acquisition, shared with us his thoughts on the hiring process and how to ensure responsible, intentional growth.
Unsurprisingly, structure is paramount.
“I think it’s really important when you’re going through this growth stage that you have a steadfast and thorough process to be able to scale,” he said, adding that infrastructure for every step along the way — from applicant tracking and interviewing all the way to onboarding feedback and data collection/analysis — only helps oil your scaling efforts.
Those processes should be at once flexible and sturdy enough to grow in tandem with your business. If you can’t replicate it at a larger scale, Crawford said, it’s probably not a model you want to bet on.
Launched in 2010, Hireology provides tech that helps companies turn their hiring efforts into clean, data-driven science. Those insights support companies along every step of their hiring journey, from job description design and recruitment sourcing to compensation analysis and interview guides.
When the tech you’re selling is packaged as a one-stop-shop for hiring management solutions, it’s crucial that your customers see your own faith in the product.
“Not only is it important that we practice what we preach, but our customers appreciate knowing that their favorite Hireologists were recruited using the same tools and processes that they are using every day,” said Melissa Ryan, Hireology’s director of talent.
Hireology’s team has grown to a headcount just shy of 100. Ryan added that identifying and abiding by core organizational values is the cornerstone of successful scaling.
“We believe that authentic culture starts with authentic core values that employees use to guide behaviors and decision making on a day-to-day basis,” she said.
An organization’s strategy for growth shouldn’t end once an employee has signed their contract. In addition to structured hiring processes, responsible growth also means developing and improving the at-work experience of employees who are already part of the team. If a worker is more engaged at the office, it leads to a level of professional development that benefits everyone at the table.
No one knows that more than HighGround, a company whose mission is to transform the way organizations motivate, develop, and recognize their employees.
“Today’s modern employees expect the workplace to provide them the same level of service, convenience and instant access to information that they get from consumer technology,” said Libby Rapin, HighGround’s director of people and culture. “Meanwhile, according to a 2015 Gallup study, 70% of all employees are disengaged.”
Their solution? Provide employees with a work environment where peer feedback is celebrated, where coaching is valued, and where goals and progress are easy to track.
This year, HighGround's 70-strong team has been building out its sales, marketing, product, and engineering divisions.
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