PlanGrid's Rapid Growth and Referral Success

July 30, 2015

It seems like a no-brainer, and PlanGrid’s customers and investors certainly agree, that moving paper blueprints into the 21st century is a huge opportunity.  PlanGrid, founded in 2011, raised 18M in funding this year and continues to take the industry by storm, providing construction workers a way to view, edit and collaborate on electronic blueprints versus the hard copy paper versions of the not-so-distant past.  

Shaya Fidel, Head of Growth Operations at PlanGrid, recently shared with us what challenges she faces recruiting for such a fast growing company, as well as some of the solutions that have helped her overcome them.  

Hiring for Hypergrowth

When Shaya began at PlanGrid about a year ago, she joined a 30 person company. Drawn immediately to the culture and mission of PlanGrid, she has helped build the company to over 130 employees. Before Shaya came on board, the company’s founders were doing the bulk of the recruiting and hiring and using Desk for incoming applications, and Trello as an ATS.  While that process worked well for a small volume of candidates, Shaya knew that in order to scale, things would have to change.  

With founders deeply immersed in the hiring process, they understood first hand the challenges Shaya faced, and were committed to partnering with her to create a more robust recruiting process. The first step was getting up and running in a new ATS, and with Greenhouse that process took less than a week.  Shaya chose Greenhouse in large part because of the flexible workflows as well as how customizable it was -- being able to make the process uniquely PlanGrid’s was imperative. 

Shaya points to her founder’s support of the recruiting process as one of the reasons growth has been so successful over the last year.  Along with that, Greenhouse’s flexible interview kits allow for interviewers to carefully screen for qualifications and culture, while tracking in the system makes sure no one falls through the cracks.

Interview kits not only help Shaya ensure that every interviewer is prepared, but also helps hiring managers and recruiters stay on the same page. Instead of a back and forth involving forms to fill out, everything is now tracked in Greenhouse and hiring managers can easily work with Shaya to make sure each interview workflow is properly set up ahead of time.  

Staying Competitive

Having well crafted interview kits and complete buy-in from leadership can’t change a competitive talent landscape. Shaya says the biggest challenge often faced is filling the top of the funnel, something that many fast-growing companies can relate to.

So how do you stay competitive in a tough market? Shaya points to PlanGrid’s culture as just one aspect that brings in great candidates, but also a solid employee referral program. Greenhouse has made it easier to get everyone involved in the recruiting process. Shaya says employees are eager to be involved, and getting set up in Greenhouse is a part of every employee’s onboarding.  Employees are eager to connect their social media channels and a strong referral program helps incentivize them as well.

While monetary rewards help, Shaya suggests that a culture that values hiring helps bring in great referrals, as does messaging from the top about how important great talent is.  PlanGrid reminds employees of the referral program on Slack and other company channels, and makes sure to acknowledge those who have submitted referrals at all hands meetings. With a strong plan in place, PlanGrid’s referral hire rate is over 65%!  

Staying Focused on What Matters

With such rapid growth and a competitive market PlanGrid has been careful to make sure that hiring is never rushed, and that culture is preserved.  Culture is what initially drew Shaya to PlanGrid, and is what she cites as the major factors that brings in and retains talent. PlanGrid's culture is one of transparency, open communication, and one that focuses a lot of talent and recruiting. It is everyone's mission to build a great company, and that's one of the things that makes PlanGrid's referral program so successful. 

PlanGrid moves fast, with a quick time to hire, but is also constantly raising the bar and will never fill a role simply for the sake of having headcount.  The culture of hiring and recruiting that initially drew Shaya to PlanGrid is the same culture the entire organization strives to maintain, and so far after more than quadrupling in a year, it sounds like they’ve done a great job.

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