Top Five Tips from Chris Bell of Moss on Navigating Hyper-Growth

April 11, 2022
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Liz Marchetti
Top Five Tips from Chris Bell of Moss on Navigating Hyper-Growth

How can your company successfully navigate hypergrowth and “The Great Resignation”? HiPeople hosted a Fireside Chat with Chris Bell, VP of Talent Acquisition at Moss to find out. 

Industry veteran Chris Bell is a thought leader in resourcing, recruitment, and talent acquisition. Chris has been instrumental in leading and building TA at hugely successful FinTech start-ups Moss and N26. Drawing on nearly 20 years of experience, he shared his personal learnings and trend predictions with Julian Tesche, Market Development at HiPeople

The conversation is a goldmine of information on all things HR tech and TA-related. We’ve identified five key takeaways for you below to help you turn Chris’ learnings into actionable steps. You can also watch or listen to the full HiPeople webinar on-demand here.


1. Use “The Great Resignation” as a catalyst to put the right practices and tools in place

Statista shows that in November 2021, 4.53million people quit their jobs.
Statista shows that in November 2021, 4.53million people quit their jobs.

With more than 19 million Americans quitting their jobs since April 2021 in the US (and counting), “The Great Resignation” appears to be an ongoing trend. How has this impacted Talent Acquisition – and is it an opportunity or a threat? According to Chris, it’s both. 

It’s an opportunity for TA managers because there is a lot more talent on the market. On top of that, there has also been a huge influx of funding into tech companies since the global pandemic, leading companies to hire at an immense scale.

This has profoundly changed how we hire. Pre-pandemic, it was a company-driven market with candidates selling themselves to employers. Today, it’s the opposite: businesses need to sell themselves to the candidate. Therefore, candidates are becoming more demanding. 

Overall, the pandemic has given those who work in TA the chance to review their hiring strategy – from tools to attracting talent – and forced them to change it. For example, as Chris shares:

“Pre-pandemic, there may have been up to seven rounds of interviews per candidate for a single role – but it doesn’t make sense anymore, because there is so much competition in the market, and we may lose candidates.”

Ultimately, there is no right solution or one-size-fits-all. However, it’s clear that the “The Great Resignation” can be a threat to companies unless they adapt by creating and maintaining a good working culture.

2. Make employee retention your top priority 

There are many reasons that prompt people to leave a job. What’s certain is that The Great Resignation has forced businesses not only to rethink how they hire – but also, how they retain staff. 

With candidates driving the talent acquisition space, your employees might also be looking for something new. So as a business, your top priority should be equally on attracting talent and on retaining staff. 

Losing your workforce not only creates a bad culture internally but also has a negative impact on the cost of re-hiring – which is getting bigger, especially during the probation period. 

This means that more so than ever before, you need to have the right practices and tools in place to give employees what they need and value. Today flexibility, remote and hybrid working, development opportunities, and succession plans all play a key role.

When in a hyper-growth company, consider how your company’s ambitious hiring goals may be impacting your TA teams (whom Chris likens to “today’s engineers”) negatively.

Chris noticed that TA managers felt disengaged at the start of the pandemic. Many companies realized they made a mistake in reducing workforce and work hours – so after receiving funding, they now expect their TA teams to work twice as hard to meet hiring goals, which incurs the risk of resignation en masse.

To conclude: the loss of your own workforce is the biggest threat you face today, both as a business owner and TA manager. So, to ensure retention, use “the Great Resignation” as an opportunity to revisit your policies and plans around staff development, career and succession planning, as well as internal mobility.


3. To attract and retain talent, focus on honest employer branding

The balance between what you sell as a company from an employer brand perspective, compared to the reality internally as a company is something that all TA managers face. But it’s paramount to get it right, Chris says: 

“People are looking for more in terms of culture. They will make a decision based on their genuine personal interests. But it’s a positive thing. We should embrace that the market has a candidate focus.”

In doing so, remember that there is a difference in “Brand Culture VS Candidate Attraction.” And that promoting an honest company culture when attracting candidates is essential. Chris shares:

“Do you need to be perfect in everything you do as a company? Absolutely not. But you do need to be honest about the state of the workforce and the challenges you are facing.”

Ultimately, your focus should be on communicating honest employer branding. Be transparent from the start of the hiring process, so that candidates can assess if it’s the right culture for them. 

After all, hyper-growth is not for everyone. Hyper-growth companies often thrive on “organized chaos”. Things will rarely be perfect. So as a TA expert, keep in mind that there are two different types of people: those who love a fast, high-growth environment, and others that prefer a more steady workload:

“If a candidate is looking for a steady role and a more balanced life, then hyper-growth isn’t right for them. Be honest upfront to avoid candidates leaving later.” 

4. Use automation to support your hiring process

As we mentioned previously, reducing time-to-hire is more important than ever in today’s hiring market.

Use HR tech tools to take away that administrative burden. As a business, invest in TA tools that enable people to succeed, especially when going through hypergrowth. For example, Chris uses candidate coordination tools internally with his TA team to ensure a smooth hiring process. 

You can also use HR tech to measure the hiring journey – but don’t miss out on the next step. Dig deeper by having conversations and gathering qualitative data: 

“Ask yourself: What is your candidate NPS score and candidate proposition - do you have one? Check-in with recent hires. Candidate surveys are great but qualitative data from a conversation will always give you a better insight.”

Ultimately, the best HR tech tools to help your hyper-growth start-up succeed are the ones that make sense for you, your team, and the candidate. “Don’t automate for the sake of automation”, says Chris.

5. Mental health and career development are equally as important in today's world

What needs to change in how we attract and convert talent during “The Great Resignation”? Some tips from Chris are:

 

Be fast with your candidates and give them what they deserve. They’re putting a lot of time and energy into going through the hiring process with you. If the candidate has five offers on the table, companies need to give them the red carpet treatment when giving out that job offer. Also, remember that inbound is often as good as sourcing. And you need to effectively show candidates the career path through clear interviews and assessments.

Diversity and inclusion strategies are something that candidates really want to see in a business – and rightly so. Chris shares: 

“The biggest priority for DEI is to make sure we are as honest as we can be in how we deliver the diversity and inclusion piece: are we internally what we are displaying on the employer brand?”

Today, 70-85% of teams are working remotely. Companies need to check on employees and make sure people feel comfortable saying “I don’t feel great”. With everything that happens in the world mental health and well-being needs to be a huge focus for leaders as they will stay with us in the foreseeable future. 

 

Watch the HiPeople webinar with Chris Bell on-demand here. Contact us to book a demo with a HiPeople expert. Learn how you can automate reference checks to reduce mis-hiring and reduce time-to-hire.