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Challenge

LoveKnitting (LoveCraft), backed by Balderton Capital, had recently closed a round of funding and were scaling rapidly with a platform which melded traditional e-commerce and a social network/community offering to ‘creators’ in the craft space.
They were looking to grow the company aggressively and were hiring across all areas of the business including:

  • Product Managers
  • Office & Administration
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Stock Administrator
  • UX / UI
  • QA
  • Software Developers (PHP, Front-end, Magento, Navision)
  • Visual Designer
  • Country Expansion Managers
  • Head of HR

At times there was accelerated hiring for a number of intern positions which arose at short notice in order to deal with sudden spikes in activity. LoveKnitting have a very seasoned senior management team - with many combined years of previous experience in building teams in start-up environments -  they already had processes in place and with an internal ATS in place. They needed to hire a large number of people within critical deadlines. Agency costs were high and they had no central point for recruitment in-house, with diverse roles, they had exhausted their immediate network and needed an onsite recruitment manage to manage the entire recruitment department. They simply did not have spare management time to invest in screening CVs, dealing with external agencies and ensuring the quality of candidates being seen by the organisation were of the required high standard. Some of the roles were so specific that they needed to look beyond the confines of the EU to hire appropriate people which created the added complication of understudying and managing the international VISA application process.


Our approach

We installed a senior recruitment manager on site with LoveCrafts for 3 days a week. The initial task was to created a more streamlined approach to recruiting - from CV screening, pre–qualification of candidates and interview process through to on-boarding. A tracking system already in place which documented all recruitment activity using an ATS to provide instant snapshots of the recruitment landscape at any given time, with a weekly update reports which were used to provide business critical insights and MI for board meetings.
A preferred supplier list of the 2 highest performing agencies was established removing issues with duplicate CV submissions and hugely reducing time spent on managing agencies. The on-site recruitment manager acted as single point of contact to manage agencies thus removing the need for any senior management to deal with agencies resulting in significant in-direct cost savings. All of this activity had the desired effect of increasing the number of direct hires  - all but 3 hires during the period of our involvement were direct. Additionally, we worked with an external VISA application agency, managing the process to bring in technical and marketing talent from outside the EU where necessary.


Results

With a streamlined process and single point of contact to manage the full recruitment life-cycle and increased internal visibility of the recruitment team, all hires were made within deadline and under budget - with large cost savings being made resulting in a significant ROI for the project. With a dedicated 3 day a week presence, a total of 22 hires were made in under six months, culminating in a full hand-over to a permanent Head of HR at the end of this period. The project almost completely reduced the reliance on external agencies whilst generating major costs savings in agency spend and reduced demands on valuable management time.   LoveKnitting’s people brand visibility was increased through direct advertising in appropriate channels, as well as working with marketing/ PR across all channels including social media to maximise recruitment and head-hunting activities.

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