We have been working with PeakData almost from the beginning of Scale Up’s existence. Initially, we started with a single recruitment, then another, and another. As our agency grew, our recruitment capabilities expanded, which meant we could propose to PeakData to transition to the Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) model. This solution allowed the client to outsource part or all of their recruitment processes to the agency. It met the client’s needs because the number of recruitment processes began to multiply, allowing them to focus on developing their own organization while leaving us with the responsibility of providing additional employees.
As an agency, we were faced with the challenge of not only delivering individual employees to meet the company’s current needs but also building an entire organization that was growing in strength month by month. This marked the beginning of a comprehensive and multi-level collaboration that lasted for over a year and a half.
PeakData is a product company that offers a platform for the pharmaceutical industry. Using artificial intelligence, they provide insights and help accelerate the introduction of new drugs to the market. AI and the rapidly evolving health tech sector have become crucial aspects for attracting candidates to this startup.
Collaboration with PeakData and the challenges we encountered – what did our RPO look like?
The aforementioned RPO for PeakData involved dedicated efforts initially from one, and ultimately two recruiters. They were significantly more involved in building the recruitment processes for the client than during one-off recruitments. The activities we offered to PeakData included:
- Developing a recruitment strategy.
- Sourcing candidates.
- Conducting interviews and application screening.
- Recruitment marketing.
- Collaboration with hiring managers and the internal HR department.
- Coordinating recruitment efforts.
- Providing support in other HR-related areas.
With such a high volume of recruitment and the desire to fill open positions in a rapidly growing startup quickly, we encountered numerous challenges along the way. In February, we initiated a collaboration based on a success fee model, shortly after which we transitioned to the RPO model. By June, a second fully dedicated recruiter had joined the team. Having two individuals entirely focused on the client allowed us to ensure efficiency. This efficiency was further achieved through close cooperation with the client in terms of modeling and optimizing our activities.
During our collaboration, we successfully added around 40 employees to PeakData’s ranks. Transforming a small team into an organization was the most significant challenge we faced. It required recruiting managerial staff and technical specialists responsible for all ongoing projects. Subsequently, while continuing to build this organizational structure, we were responsible for selecting employees to fit into the newly formed teams, ensuring they met both the client’s technical needs and aligned with the existing company culture.
PeakData was seeking individuals interested in long-term collaboration, and based on our experience, we knew that in this case, candidates’ personality traits were as important as their technical skills. We also had the opportunity to conduct additional recruitment processes with employees we had previously recruited – these candidates seamlessly transitioned into hiring managers and partners in the recruitment process.
An important aspect to consider is that PeakData is a startup, which means there is a fairly dynamic situation where assumptions and needs change relatively frequently. We made continuous efforts to adapt to these changes as they occurred. Ultimately, our role extended beyond recruitment tasks. We provided support to the client in HR-related matters, participated in contract negotiations between candidates and the client, and actively engaged in internal HR processes that needed to be secured as quickly as possible.
Another success we achieved was finding the right office space for PeakData when they needed their own office in Wrocław. Our responsibilities included negotiating prices, coordinating the contract signing, and preparing for the office opening event.
In summary, our role in the collaboration with PeakData went beyond recruitment, as we provided HR support and successfully facilitated the acquisition of office space in Wrocław, including negotiation and contract coordination, culminating in a successful office opening event.
Results of the Cooperation
The most significant outcome that we, as an agency, undoubtedly achieved was the substantial growth of PeakData in terms of the number of employees.
We successfully closed recruitment processes for positions related to technologies such as:
- PySpark / numPy / Pandas
- HTML / CSS / Vue.js / React.js
- Docker / Kubernetes / Helm / IaC / Terraform
- BigData / ETL / DataLake / SQL
- AWS Lambda / Cloud Watch / CloudFormation / Glue
Thanks to this collaboration, we can confidently label ourselves as specialists in searching for candidates for positions such as:
- Delivery Engineer
- Data Engineer
- Big Data Engineer
- Data Integration Engineer
- Senior Python Developer
- Mid Python Developer
- AWS Developer
- NLP Engineer
- Head of Product Management
- Senior Backend Developer
- Product Designer
- Staff Backend Engineer
- Senior SysOps Engineer
- Staff DevOps Engineer
- Senior Fullstack Developer
How did we achieve such success?
For the acquisition of candidates, an extensive direct search proved to be the key, where we frequently adjusted our strategies and demonstrated perseverance in finding specialists. We also developed communication between PeakData – Scale Up and Scale Up – candidates to precisely showcase what a potential future employer has to offer.
Efficient collaboration, which we successfully established, was certainly facilitated by the openness of hiring managers, the assistance and involvement of technical specialists, and the accessibility of the emerging internal HR department. We had the opportunity to consult on requirements, clarify which ones were crucial and which were desirable, negotiate rates based on market feedback, and discuss any challenges we might encounter. At the same time, we remained available to every individual involved in recruitment on the PeakData side to ensure smooth and open communication.
It’s also worth mentioning that we guided candidates from the beginning to the end of the recruitment process. By staying in constant contact with them, we maintained their interest in the position even when the recruitment process was prolonged. This approach made us feel that not only the client was well taken care of but also every candidate with whom we had the opportunity to discuss new career opportunities.
Grzegorz Gembara, currently serving as Head of Delivery at PeakData, also shared his thoughts on the cooperation between PeakData and Scale Up:
My collaboration with Scale Up began even before I joined PeakData because I was initially recruited to PeakData by them. As a result, I have a comprehensive view of the agency’s collaboration – both from the candidate’s and the client’s perspective. As a candidate, I can say that the entire process was conducted very professionally and informatively from the very beginning. I received a lot of essential information about the position and obtained important answers to my questions.
Working with Scale Up as a client, I can attest that the candidates they sent met the needs of our organization, and their profiles were largely consistent with our expectations. The recruiters were very proactive in communication – we were practically in constant contact, allowing us to exchange insights regarding ongoing recruitment processes and candidates in real-time. Every candidate who came into our view had been preliminarily verified by the recruiter, which made my task as a hiring manager easier – having information about the candidate’s profile, motivations, personality, etc., from the outset.
If the need arises in the future, we will gladly seek their assistance again.
End of the cooperation
Our collaboration spanned from February 2021 to the end of September 2022 when PeakData decided to significantly expand its internal HR department while simultaneously reducing the volume of recruitment.
Undoubtedly, it was an exciting period filled with challenges and learning experiences. Together with Sandra, the second recruiter from Scale Up associated with PeakData, we would summarize it as follows:
It was a collaboration that offered a multitude of opportunities and a tremendous learning experience. We had the chance to be a part of building a startup, putting in every effort to help the company grow. Throughout this journey, we had the opportunity to delve into various technologies and positions. It was a time filled with challenges, but also immense satisfaction.