Case study – Recruiting a new start up team

Case study – Recruiting a new start up team

Case study - Recruiting a Start Up Team

Where do you go as a hiring manager based in India with a senior manager based in California when you are looking to identify someone to spearhead a new team in Scotland!?

Being a multibillion-dollar global organisation can have advantages and one of these is footprint in many countries. However, when you are recruiting a new start up team in a location where you don’t have a large presence and have done very little recruiting in the locale, the fact that you are a large multinational matters not one jot. You are competing against all the companies that have put years of effort into positioning themselves in the consciousness of target employees to be an “employer of choice”.

Sure, the company could utilise a huge budget and resources and spend inordinate amounts of time marketing themselves to all the potential candidates in the market. They could then have a flood of prospective candidates knocking down their door. They could also find that all the noise they create falls on deaf ears and discover that they are trying to recruit in a market that is short of active candidates. The hangover from Covid-19’s impact on daily and working life is an extreme reluctance and cautiousness around the idea of moving company when “things still felt so uncertain”.

So, what is the solution? Well, our client found that partnering with a specialist search company with great local connections as well as a national and international reach was the answer. This is just the sort of assignment that we Enigma People Solutions love most. The collaboration was with an HR Manager based out of England, the hiring manager based in Mumbai, and a Senior Manager based in California, thank goodness for Zoom (other online meeting platforms are available). In fact, Zoom was to play quite a part in this process, more on that later.

The brief! – We were looking for an experienced engineer who would stay hands-on but lead a team day to day in an agile environment and who would collaborate with and report to the hiring manager and the team in Mumbai. Key to this was the opportunity for the candidate to take technical leadership and have a significant impact and imprint on the direction of new technologies. This role would attract aspirational candidates but required a tried and tested Principal Engineer. Difficult to find and, in the market conditions we were in, even harder to persuade into the process. The perceived risk, as one prospect we spoke with put it, was of joining a remote start up team that could then easily be closed down if things didn’t work out. The rewards however were significant in terms of technical freedom, influence, growth, and impact.

The Search! -This specific role required Senior or Principal Embedded Software Engineers, whilst this is absolutely within our core skillset still significant amounts of time were spent searching and contacting prospects. In fact, it took a couple of weeks to develop the shortlist as so many people were simply reluctant to look at new opportunities. The search was conducted over the Christmas and New Year period and there are different opinions as to whether this is a good time to recruit. Some people are actively looking to review their life and career at this time of year others feel they are just too busy with other things. We were able to identify, approach, and ultimately present some excellent candidates with varied backgrounds.

Qualification and introduction – Once found and engaged how do we help the client see the value of the candidate? A simple CV does not suffice, we needed to set up a way of getting the personality of the candidate across. This is where the process of recording interviews with the candidates and sharing these alongside the CV allowed the client to review and assess the candidates from the 3 different time zones. This also meant that the recruitment process was moved forward a step negating the need for the initial screening interview often carried out by clients ahead of engaging the whole interview team on calls. Interestingly in a world where we have all gotten used to communicating online and over online meeting platforms still the idea of an online interview is challenging for some and the thought that it is recorded is even more so. For some, it was slightly off-putting whereas others seemed to relish the process. We found that our job as a recruiter is to be supportive and sympathetic to all comfort levels and once people understood the process and how the interviews would be used, they were more than happy to proceed.

The outcome – This all worked well, and the shortlisted candidates were well received and from the presentation pack the client was able to pursue and interview the preferred candidate. This led to a very efficient process and an excellent outcome. We were able to work with the preferred candidate as they had other suitors and make sure that our client was clear on what they had to do to create an irresistible offer.

It all goes to show that when you have a properly engaged client and make use of the tools and processes available that distance and time zones do not impede decision making in recruitment.

Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. We find technical leaders for the emerging and enabling technology industries. Visit our services page for more information. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, software and IoT in Scotland and the UK. Check out our blog page for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us or call us on + 44 131 510 8150