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The hypergrowth playbook

Nasser Oudjidane
December 19, 2022

The greatest tech brands of our time, from Apple to Airbnb, all started life as humble ideas on a flipchart. But while their rise might seem ‘obvious’ in retrospect, there was nothing inevitable about their rapid growth from start-up to scale-up, then global behemoth. So, how do recruiters and hiring managers navigate their organisations through a period of hypergrowth? Luckily, we have some answers to that question in the excellent Hypergrowth Playbook put together by Dipti Salopek, VP of People at Snyk.

It’s a detailed but highly readable guide on how to manage a period of hypergrowth – defined as an annual headcount increase of 50% or more. Is your business scaling up and causing hiring headaches? This is the paracetamol you’re looking for.

Here are some of Dipti’s key insights:

“Model the inhouse recruiting team on a typical sales team”

When you expand your recruiting team, “plan for recruiters (quota carriers), sourcers (top of funnel), coordinators (interview scheduling, offer letter generation), and recruiting operations (systems, tools, planning and scalability)”.

Hiring effectively means having a “workforce plan”, writes Dipti, and knowing what roles you want to fill, and why.

Consider budgeting for as much as 10% of roles to be filled externally.

“For some roles (e.g. niche skills, or a unique geography, executive leadership), the ROI just doesn’t exist in filling those roles within the internal recruiting team,” Dipti writes.

In many cases, employees may find it difficult to step up into senior positions when the size of an organisation outgrows their actual skills. Dipti argues that exec-level involvement in the hiring process could be key to ‘raising the talent bar’.

Train your team

Dipti extols the virtues of a weekly recruiting scrum, where “all recruiters attend to share/discuss ideas around: (a) refining the initial pitch/story; (b) effective candidate outreach emails; (c) objection handling; (d) branding best practices; (e) closing discussions”.

Try a hackathon

Dipti describes peer-to-peer learning as “one of the most scalable and effective means of building a mindset of constant learning into your culture”. Hackathons, team QBRs and regular lunches are just some of the ways you can embed a learning culture.

Adapt how you communicate.

How can you cut through the noise and ensure important comms are seen? Dipti highlights the importance of tools like Pyn (for personalised communications) and Spokn (for internal podcasting) to help build internal engagement.

Strengthen your core HR processes.

People operations can get “immeasurably more complex as you scale”, so investing properly and staying on top of processes – from hiring and terminations to payments – could help keep everyone on-side.

While hyper-scaling can present a threat to any organisation’s culture, reviewing your structures and defining your values could help seasoned employees and new joiners on their journey.

Use the data at your fingertips

“As you scale, you want to be identifying trendlines that guide you in making sound business decisions,” writes Dipti. But as your business grows, how can you stay on top of your headcount? The playbook recommends tools like TalentWall and Twine.

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