3 signs elastic recruiting is the strategy your startup needs to scale quickly

Magda Cychowski

Despite the adverse global effects of the coronavirus pandemic, venture capital firms continue to back startups, allowing the industry to flourish. Last year, entrepreneurial interest reached record highs, claiming six of the top 10 months for likely employer business filings on record. There are more companies than candidates, and now more than ever, startups must be flexible and adept at adopting new recruiting strategies to keep up in today’s rapidly changing market.

Up until now, the standard practice was to outsource recruiting in what is called an RPO: recruitment process outsourcing. These are contracted recruiters who act as an extension of your team, sitting on-site and handling all of the necessary administrative tasks required of a staff recruiter. They typically have expertise across a multitude of personas, and can significantly lower your time-to-hire. The convenience lies in the flexibility: if you’re not ready to hire a full talent team but don’t have the bandwidth to handle the time-consuming task of recruiting on your own, an RPO is a near-perfect solution.

However, an RPO is still a human: subject to human error and with limits in terms of how many roles you can outsource at a time. There’s where elastic recruiting comes in.

What is elastic recruiting?

Elastic recruiting, or elastic search, is a cross between software and a service, combining automation with a human-in-the-loop so you can more efficiently scale your recruiting up and down to meet hiring needs. Elastic recruiting is like an RPO in that it becomes an extension of your team. However, unlike an RPO, there isn’t a significant on-ramp period, and you can add a job at any time without losing quality in outreach messaging, brand, and candidate experience.

On Dover’s platform, we pair you with a dedicated account strategist who, in turn, works with a team of experts behind-the-scenes to source and schedule candidates that fit your criteria, making sure that your pipeline is packed with talent you actually want to talk to.

We send automated personalized outreach (the key to great recruiting) at a higher volume than a human recruiter and manage your ads on job posting sites to make sure that you’re sourcing never goes stagnant. Our customers average 5 interested candidates per role per week, lowering their time-to-hire by nearly 30%.

Not sure if it’s the right solution for you? Here are 3 signs it’s exactly what you need to scale your team:

1. You’ve exhausted your network.

Similar to investors, it's usually a bit of a red flag when the founder can't convince family, friends, or old colleagues to work with them. Though you may never get this feedback directly from candidates, knowing that you have a team who trusts in your vision and product (and enjoys working with you!) builds your credibility.

Additionally, it'll be tough to get anyone on the phone in the preliminary stages of hiring (we’re talking less than a five-person team) if they don't know you personally. Your first hires are going to take on the biggest risk (and potentially a pay cut) when joining your company — these are going to have to be folks who trust you, not just your product.

If you’ve exhausted your network, you’re ready to bring on a hiring team to help you unstick passive candidates and post your job in the right places for the personas you’re hiring for.

2. You know exactly what you’re looking for, but don’t have the time to find it.

Until you've made your first hire, you won't know what the trajectory of that role, what the department will look like, or what that person will need to do their job well. Waiting to see what your departments shape out to be, as well as making your first few hires will ensure that you build out teams that are cohesive and work well together.

We can define this question as "recruiting-market fit." In other words, you might know what a data scientist does generally, but what will they specifically do at you company, and how can you effectively address all their needs and pain points? In other words, what do you offer that their current company does not?

In addition to knowing what candidates are looking for, you should be able to provide highly-calibrated role types and personas to a hiring tool or hiring manager. This isn't just a wish list of ideal criteria, but a job spec that you have conviction in and know candidates will be excited about — a key foundational step to attracting and retaining high-quality candidates.

Once you’ve made your first hires and figured out a formula that works, you’re ready to scale and bring in hiring help to rinse and repeat.

3. You have a limited recruiting budget.

If you’re going to hire an agency or an RPO, you need to be ready to shell out upwards of $25,000 to 50,000 depending on the length of the contract and seniority of the role. At that point, it’s almost better to hire a full-time recruiter or talent team, even if you know your hiring needs are going to ramp down after you’ve hit your target numbers.

Elastic recruiting, on the other hand, is tech-enabled, meaning less time and money spent per role. These aren’t small savings — through our subscription model, you’re looking at savings of up to 20,000 to 40,000 per role with better results and a higher volume of candidates afforded through automation.

TL;DR, elastic recruiting through Dover’s platform is a cheaper, faster and better RPO. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.