A Systematic Approach: How Bloom Helped Easly Find 4 Senior Team Members
When a small team is ready to grow, every hire is critical. Each person you add to the team will have a massive impact down the line, setting culture, delivering work, and hiring future employees. That was the challenge Minal Shankar, CEO and founder of Easly, was facing in late 2019.
Minal’s company Easly helps startups claim government grants and tax credits like SR&ED, and business had grown steadily throughout 2019. But when it came time to hire critical staff positions, Minal wanted a systematic approach that asking her network for referrals simply wouldn’t provide. After loving Bloom’s deep-dive, holistic approach to talent acquisition and growth, Easly worked with Bloom to first place a country manager in less than a month and three senior sales professionals again in less than a month.
Ready to grow and choosing Bloom
Minal knew she was ready to hire, and started with the tried-and-true method of asking her network for recommendations.
“My initial thought was to send the job posting out to everyone in my network, and the results weren’t bad,” said Minal. “But I wanted a systematic approach to hiring since these positions were critical to the business.”
When it came to finding someone who could take a systematic approach to building teams and hiring, Minal talked with a lot of recruiters that didn’t quite make the mark.
Ultimately, she chose Bloom because she valued Bloom’s strategic approach:
- Learn about the whole business and the overall goals of each role.
- Focus on building a team, not just inserting individuals into the company.
- Thinking about organizational culture, diversity & inclusion, and building a great candidate experience that will reflect well on the company after the right candidate is hired.
“Avery was willing to get into the weeds immediately to brainstorm and see what worked,” said Minal. “She — and Bloom — had a good balance of looking for the right skillsets on top of thinking about culture and the kind of team we wanted to build. I really appreciated that kind of working relationship.”
Changing priorities and placing candidates
The Bloom team walked Easly through the entire process of finding the right people for the role and helped strategize when things got tough.
The Bloom process starts with understanding business values and goals, which meant that some Bloom team members were embedded at Easly, working from their offices occasionally to deeply understand how the business worked. From there, Bloom strategists would regularly check-in with Easly on shifting priorities.
In Easly’s case, there was a debate about hiring: Should the team hire junior level individual contributors first to get work done faster, or hire a strategic senior leader first to build out the team. This debate flip-flopped throughout the process, but Minal ultimately decided that they needed to hire the strategic leader first since that leader would be building out the rest of the time. Since Bloom came in as a business partner first then focused on recruiting, Easly was able to flesh out this debate in partnership with Bloom founder Avery Francis.
“Avery was a great strategic partner,” said Minal. “She was flexible enough to move with the evolution of the business.”
Once the decision was made to hire a leader first, Bloom found and placed Andrew Kareckas as the General Manager for Easly. From there, Bloom worked in tandem with Minal and Andrew to place three more senior level individual contributors, in Toronto and Ottawa, that would help grow Easly’s Canadian business.
In both cases, the search and placement process took less than a month, much to Easly’s delight.
“Avery found a number of good candidates,” said Minal. “We could have kept getting more good candidates if we waited, but we were happy with what Avery found. It can be a never-ending search if you want something perfect.”
Ready to scale
With a new General Manager and three senior hires on board, Minal is excited for Easly’s growth and happy to have partnered with Bloom for those foundational hires.
“I’m very happy with the team we’ve created,” said Minal. “What I realized working with Bloom was that I wanted a leaner team than I initially thought. Only 1–2 people fewer than we’d imagined, but it’s going to allow us to grow as those people grow in their roles.”
And in particular, Minal loved that Bloom not only took a holistic, strategic approach to hiring but also managed all the heavy lifting.
“Bloom did a good job of setting expectations and delivering on them,” said Minal. “I didn’t have a lot of people or resources when I started working with them. I told them I needed them to provide structure and organize the process, and they absolutely did,”