How LAB17's partnership with invoice2g0 rebuilt and strengthened their new
"We're on a mission to simplify the lives of small business owners around the world so they can focus on what matters most."
Small business invoicing, expense tracking and reporting
2002. Sydney, NSW
Cloud based mobile and web app
Sydney, NSW / Redwood City, CA
Australia and US.
The Lab17 were tasked with rebuilding and strengthening Invoice2Go’s leadership team after the company advanced on a new strategy in 2018. Naturally, such events cause challenges in employee culture and engagement, so it was essential for The Lab17 to not only focus on new acquisitions, but to drive a re-engagement strategy with the existing team. Confidence needed to be restored and the culture salvaged. The plan moving forward was to make these fundamentals stronger than ever before.
Invoice2go’s Snr. Director of Engineering Sebastian Urban, outlined their demands at the time: “We needed high quality talent acquisition, and quickly,” he said. “We needed to build robust pipelines with real urgency, and being the size company that we are, we needed a flexible model to fit our staffing requirements,” he noted.
RE - ENGAGEMENT
Snr. Director of Engineering
The Lab17’s, Nick Ingall, was involved in the early successes of Invoice2go, so when the opportunity arose to be re-engaged with the company and solve the issues present, the partnership already had strong foundations. The connection was reignited with a renewed focus on strengthening and rebuilding a sustainable leadership team.
“Nick is exceptional at what he does,” acknowledged Sebastian. “He really understands tech startups, and their business really thinks on a global scale - not limited by borders or boundaries which is something I really like,” he said, “It’s expansive.”
Nick Ingall from Lab17 highlighted the importance of longevity and efficiency when scaling, saying, "These hires are more than just ‘bums on seats’ to us; they are part of a strategic plan to effectively scale Invoice2go with the right people, who fit the product and the culture.”
Invoice2go recognised this quality over quota approach, as well as the necessity of re-engagement with the existing team. Sebastian explained that “Our ability to tell the story about ourselves, one that we were comfortable with internally and externally, really depended on our ability to bring in the right talent.” He also noted the challenges faced, “If you need to hire and you can’t, or you are hiring slowly, the obvious occurs: there’s an inability to fill roles, inability to develop strategies for functions, and eventually morale suffers,” he said, “When you want to grow and you can’t, people notice internally.”
Sebastian added that Lab17 have a particular strength and focus that works really well for their situation. “They use a model that builds on a deep understanding of the business needs, to apply a quality over volume approach.” He recognised that Lab17 “integrate really deeply, both into the business and the goals as well as the culture - they get results.”
Lab 17 have successfully placed 26 hires in 12 months across Product, Engineering and Design departments for Invoice2go, with their ongoing partnership continuing to grow since its May 2019 inception:
Since May 2019, Lab 17’s Claudia Giugovaz joined the partnership to drive the changes needed, adding top talent and contributing to the culture.
Claudia gives her thoughts on the journey and the achievements thus far:
The challenges Invoice2go were facing at the time I joined the business, were based around rapid and effective talent acquisition: hiring was ramping up again, the volume was high and the need was urgent - agencies were just not cutting it. My initial focus was to hire ten people across engineering.
The Lab17’s approach is that you operate inside of the partner’s business day in and day out, so you essentially feel and get treated like an internal employee. The process goes beyond just presentation of just candidates: by working alongside hiring managers, building relationships with the engineering teams, and taking the time to learn the purpose of each function, we continuously evolve the hiring process and indirectly build strong culture and engagement.
We’ve definitely hired some awesome people during my time here at Invoice2go, but for me seeing the growth and impact of those individuals past the twelve month mark and their contribution to the company’s longer term growth is the most exciting part. Given that we’re still continuing with the partnership that started as a six month contract, it represents the impact we’ve had across rebuilding the team but also re-igniting the culture.
Head of Product
Head of Design
Director of Engineering
Lead Product Manager
Lead Product Designer
Lead Design Researcher
Director of Engineering
Senior Product Designer
Senior Product Manager
Lead Design Researcher
2x Senior Product Designer
Senior Product Analyst
2x Senior Software Engineer
Senior Software Engineer, iOS
Software Engineer, iOS
2x Software Engineer
Senior Android Engineer
Senior Software Engineer, Android
Full Stack Engineer
Engineering Project Coordinator
claudia giugovaz- Talent acquisition manager - tl17 & invoice2go
Standout components during the scale were identified by Invoice2go as the ‘structures’ that Lab17 put into place around talent acquisition and candidate experience.
“The key for us with Lab17 has been all of the processes surrounding talent sourcing: finding candidates, reviewing candidates, building a pipeline, representing our brand and our company to these candidates,” Sebastian said. “And really helping to drive that onboarding experience for the successful candidates.”
“At times with limited or random recruitment support, getting sent resumes doesn't equate to filling a role - you can get 1000 resumes and none of them are right,” said Sebastian. “In some ways it becomes less about taking a long time, and it becomes more about ‘you are never going to be able to complete this task’,” he said. “The value that Lab17 provides is very much around being able to complete something that we couldn’t have done, it’s not clear that we would have solved that problem for some of the roles within a reasonable time like they did.”
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Sebastian acknowledged that being in partnership with Lab17 has ensured that Invoice2go are constantly evaluating how to improve.
“The nature of the engagement and the work that we are doing with Lab17 drives us to continually assess how we recruit people: how we find them, how we interview them, how we assess them, how we bring them into the company,” he said, “and as a result we just continue to get better and better.
“This is also in a way that survives the relationship, at some point in time Lab17 will step away and move onto other engagements, and many of these improvements we will retain and carry forward.”
Sebastian sees Lab17 as part of Invoice2go’s continuous growth journey, saying that “We recognise the value of the people and the talent that Lab17 have. Our plans are certainly expansive, we want to grow, and would like that growth to include Lab17.”