If you’re reading this, odds are that you already know this: hiring for top tier talent has become exponentially harder and more important in the last 5 - 10 years.
Why is that? I believe there are at least three core reasons worth calling out.
First, with the number of high growth and venture backed companies increasing significantly, competition for that top talent is fiercer than ever. Even in the current, cooler market environment, it is still very challenging to hire top talent in many roles.
Second, top-tier companies are growing their revenues at rates not seen 5–10 years ago. In these high growth companies talent is the biggest bottleneck. This means that hitting hiring goals has become mission critical, leading recruiting functions to become more strategic and operationally minded.
Third, the pandemic era has accelerated many of these trends. Remote hiring has made talent markets more efficient leading to candidates being matched with more companies at a faster pace. It has also made the logistics of interviewing easier, leading to faster interview loops which has further shortened the time that top tier candidates are in-market.
Carving a Path to Hiring Excellence
As a result excelling at hiring has become a strategic advantage for high growth companies and has led to the rapid maturation of talent functions at top-tier companies. Talent leaders now often have a seat at the table when it comes to some of the most strategic decisions businesses face - namely headcount and organizational planning.
And for early stage founders the ability to hire well has increasingly become an important criteria investors focus on.
While today is a challenging time for many talent teams we strongly believe that the trends set in motion over the last couple of years are here to stay. And we see a lot of talent teams use this time to prepare for the next wave of hiring.
The difference between how recruiting was largely done in the past and how the best teams operate today is striking. We’re seeing the best companies making hiring excellence a top priority. While the term hiring excellence lacks a formal definition, we see companies and recruiting teams aim to excel at all of the below (and oftentimes much more!):
What is the quality and speed of your candidate communication? How well do they get to know the company and their prospective team during the interview process?
How good are your interviews at predicting job performance and how consistent are you at evaluating candidates?
Are you building enough top of funnel via sourcing activities? Are you generating diverse pipeline? Are you improving your talent brand to make it easier to attract candidates? Are consistently closing strong candidates?
Defining and hitting realistic hiring targets
Are you able to capacity plan and track progress to goal? Is the recruiting function a true partner to the business in headcount planning?
How good are you at sharing metrics out to stakeholders? And how good are you at holding them accountable for their role in the hiring process?
How many resources do you need to support your hiring goals? How much time is the company spending in interviews for each hire?
The list above is certainly not comprehensive, but it shows how multi-faceted the demands on modern recruiting teams are. Anyone who has never been exposed to an extremely well run recruiting function is surprised just how much goes into achieving hiring excellence.
The Age of Recruiting Operations
To support talent teams in these (largely new) demands more and more teams are building out a recruiting operations function at much earlier stages than used to be common. Taking a page out of the playbook of go-to-market teams where Sales and Marketing operations have been well established for many years now, talent teams are focusing dedicated resources on recruiting processes, tools and strategy, knowing that these investments in a strong foundation pay off manifold down the line.
Before starting Ashby, my Co-Founder Abhik and I were heavily involved in hiring for our own functions. In the two years leading up to the founding of Ashby I had such a strong focus on Engineering recruiting that I took on a lot of recruiting operations tasks that our relatively lean talent team did not have the bandwidth for (at that time, recruiting operations for earlier stage companies was still emerging).
I focused heavily on maturing our approach to recruiting analytics and interviewer training and calibration and it had an immediate and huge impact on hitting our hiring goals and doing so efficiently.
I became increasingly passionate about the impact strong recruiting operations could have on a companies’ trajectory.
What We’ve Set out to Build
Abhik and I went out to interview over 100 Talent Leaders, Recruiting Operation Leaders, Recruiters and Hiring Managers at high growth companies and we came away strongly convinced that a huge shift in Talent Acquisition was underway - and that there was a big opportunity to build a product aimed at the most ambitious and forward-thinking talent teams.
What we’ve set out to build is a product that empowers hiring teams in ways that existing recruiting software does not. In addition to a customizable and powerful ATS we’ve decided to make analytics, scheduling and sourcing automation core parts of our product. We have built all of this with a recruiting operations mindset - always thinking about how operationally minded teams can leverage and customize Ashby to improve recruiting workflows for both their teams and their candidates.
How Ashby enables hiring excellence
Hiring has changed and so should your tools. Companies that excel at hiring have a strategic advantage. Our approach to building Ashby centers around ambitious teams that question the status quo:
We've designed Ashby to:
Be easy to get started with, powerful when you're ready
Enable structured hiring end-to-end
Automate with a human touch
Provide instant visibility and reduce clicks
Enable custom reporting to unlock real insights
Offer one integrated system for your entire hiring process
To help you achieve:
Improved candidate experience
More accurate and fair candidate assessments
Hiring team productivity
Continuous improvement through data feedback loops
Visibility for the entire hiring team
Stronger, more diverse candidate pipelines
Where we are Today and What’s Next
We are launching to the public now because we have accomplished a lot of what we have set out to do. And while it’s a bit cliché - we are at the same time just getting started.
Over the last few years we have made deep technical investments in a strong platform foundation, on which we are building Ashby’s modules. At the same time we’ve worked closely with customers at high growth companies to continuously refine the Ashby product.
And while there remain near infinite improvements we will make and want to make over the coming years, we are already seeing talent teams that adopt Ashby to its fullest being uniquely enabled by the product. They are able to build out a world-class recruiting function that is truly supported by software. We have seen customers drastically improve the efficiency of their process, the experience for candidates and the involvement of the broader hiring team. And with our strong focus on analytics we have seen recruiting team members be enabled by data in ways that continuously excite us.
Our plans going forward are pretty simple (albeit not easy!). We’re committed to continuing to deliver a world-class customer experience (for which we’ve quickly become known for). And we’re equally excited to carve a path towards a suite of products that uniquely support hiring excellence - alongside our current and future customers.
If you’ve made it this far - thank you! Thank you for listening and being a part of this journey.
If you want to learn more about Ashby, you can get in touch with our team here. If you’re interested in joining our team —yes we’re hiring— and our open roles are