5 min read

Hiring our first employee: What did I learn from the process?

Hiring our first employee: What did I learn from the process?
Photo by Eric Prouzet / Unsplash

From the beginning of the TalentBee journey, we knew we wanted to grow to be a significant player in the talent acquisition market. This also means growing our team and finding right people in the right positions.

So from the beginning, we started to build our talent pipelines to make this happen!

Before TalentBee, I have a background in service businesses, and there has always been one challenge.

šŸ‘‰ You have to balance between getting new customers and getting new employees with the right timing.

Before, I have been in a situation where a customer would like to start faster than we could ā€“ because we're not done with the hiring yet.

We wanted to make sure that problem wouldn't happen at TalentBee. That's why we decided to start building the Talent Pipelines.

What does building Talent Pipelines mean precisely?

You are most likely familiar with Sales pipelines. The idea is to make sure that you always have cases in the different stages of the pipeline:

  1. Prospecting lists
  2. First meetings
  3. Second meetings
  4. Presenting offers to customers
  5. Closing & signing deals
  6. Starting with new customers

Companies do that all the time.

But in recruitment, most companies do the opposite way. They tend to wait until the moment they need someone urgently, and only then start to look for a candidate. That's stupid, in my honest opinion. This way, you will end up in a situation where a person can typically start 4-6 weeks or even months later than you would need them.

"Imagine if you would run your sales that way. "

So turning this thinking into Talent Pipelines would mean:

  1. Attracting with inbound marketing & sourcing potential candidates all the time
  2. Having first intro calls
  3. Having interviews
  4. Organizing case challenge phases for the candidates
  5. Creating job offers for the candidates

And guess what. You can make the job offers to people already before you can hire them.

We, for example, have seven people in our pipeline in the stage where we have already made an offer for them, and they are ready to start when we need them. You just need to be open about the fact that you don't know the exact starting date just yet.

If you have a great brand and have run the process smoothly, people are typically ready to wait for their dream role (while of course it's good to understand that the situation is different if the person is unemployed at the moment!).

What if you don't know who you will need to hire & when?

Don't worry. We didn't know either.

Here's how I would recommend starting:

  1. Go through your business goals & product roadmap
  2. Create the first version of your hiring plan: what kind of people & when (your hypothesis)
  3. Start building talent pipelines based on that & adjust as you go

In our case, we identified that we people who are experienced in:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Employer Branding
  3. Bonus points from international & SaaS experience

That's it. We don't know exactly what kind of experts will be joining us, and in which order. We don't know when we can hire them (it depends so much on our sales cases).

How did we start to get people into the talent pipeline?

Our goal is to be the best possible workplace for Talent Acquisition professionals. That's where we start.

We send a message to a person on LinkedIn and share it.

"Hey! Our goal is to build the best possible workplace for talent acquisition professionals. Open for having a short chat around that?"

Most people are super happy to share their insights around this topic.

Ps. If you want to share your ideas around that topic book a call with us from here!

These discussions typically end up in 2 ways:

  1. We get a lot of valuable information from the market & the person seems to be super happy with the current place
  2. We get a lot of valuable information from the market & they get excited about our vision and want to explore the possibility of working at TalentBee

We have around 5-10 discussions each month with candidates. Around 50% of them turn into people in our talent pipeline (to be honest, the other 50% who are not considering new challenges also get the first intro of us & we stay top of mind for the moment they are looking for a new place).

What steps did our first employee Nea take to join TalentBee?

šŸš€ It all started long ago when our co-founders Siiri & Nea were working together at an employer branding agency. That's where they met. At that time, Siiri didn't know she would become an entrepreneur.

šŸš€ Later last June, Nea resigned from Emine, worked as a freelancer over the summer, and started looking for new challenges.

šŸš€ We decided to invite Nea to our "Best workplace" discussion, and Saara had that discussion with her on the first week of August.

šŸš€ Based on that discussion, there was a fit, so Siiri & I met with Nea the week after that for a casual interview & chat.

šŸš€ Then, it was time for the case challenge phase. It was around the topic employer branding. Here's the task if you want to check it & here's the presentation that Nea prepared for that.

šŸš€ We were happy with her performance in the case challenge, so we created a Growth Plan for Nea. The idea is to share with the candidate what we have learned about them and where their strengths & growth opportunities are. It also goes through the exact role, salary & benefits.

šŸš€ We had been communicating super openly with Nea that we don't know precisely when we could hire her, which is so much affected by the potential customer cases in our sales pipeline.

šŸš€ Our customer pipeline started to look great & we got some more customers, so we decided to hire her, sign the contract & set the starting date for 24.10.

Why did we hire Nea first from our talent pipeline?

First, I want to say that all of the other great people we have met are still in our talent pipeline, and we can hopefully soon hire more of them.

But here are the main reasons why we decided to hire Nea as the first employee:

šŸš€ Pipeline & customers: We are closing Employer Branding services more than recruitment services. Nea's background is in employer branding.

šŸš€ Nea's background working in a SaaS company. We focus in this niche & one of our value props for customers is that we understand the SaaS world. No need to explain to Nea what SaaS means & she can challenge our customers.

šŸš€ Understanding of a startup. Nea has been working as a freelancer & in smaller startups earlier. That's what we are, an early stage startup, so that background helps. Nothing will come as a big surprise to her.

šŸš€ Get shit done attitude & taking ownership.

Ending words

I've done some past hires to my sales team at Advance B2B. But damn, it's different to hire to your own company.

This was a great learning experience for me personally.

And here are the official Call-to-actions of this blog post:

  1. If you need help building talent pipelines for your SaaS company: message me.
  2. If you are a talent acquisition professional and want to join us: message me.