How The Lab17 enabled Shippit to scale successfully during an unprecedented and aggressive stage of growth
"With this change in pace of growth you need to quickly establish appropriate processes for the shift in tempo."
Chief Operating Officer
Cloud-based Shipping Software Platform For Ecommerce
2014, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Sydney, Singapore, Manila
As for many, 2020 started off in an unusual manner for Shippit. As COVID reared its ugly head, Shippit actioned its fiscal responsibility and implemented a recruitment freeze.
Redundancies had to be made (fortunately most employees were later re-hired), and they focused their one person TA team on looking after existing employees.
"We were having a huge downturn in the economy that would seriously impact our customers."
Shippit’s COO, Mat Lawrence, looked back at that period which held a mix of uncertainty alongside opportunity, “We were having a huge downturn in the economy that would seriously impact our customers,” he said, “and at the time there was a prediction of a short-lived rise in online shopping, but what actually occurred was a new baseline for the industry - people began shopping online that had never done so before, Mat exclaimed. “We grew by approximately three times our normal volume, running with a much smaller team.”
During this short period of time, the eCommerce industry experienced an acceleration rate of +5 years
Shippit had a lot of evaluation to do. “We held off on hiring until we had a better understanding of the situation,” said Mat. “Our main fundamental was: let’s not bring anyone into the business that we can’t sustain - we don’t want to hire anyone that we can’t keep employed.”
“Upon making the decision to start hiring again, we considered collaborating with The Lab17 because we were looking at an aggressive growth phase,” he said, “and our key driver to partner with them was a big one: whether we could commit to growing the business at a rate faster than we could handle internally,” Mat stated. “During this time we also determined that we would launch our series B capital raise, being confident that we could achieve this due to the interest in the market.”
These factors cemented Shippit’s decision to engage with The Lab17. Mat confirmed that, “Yes, we believed we would be growing quicker than what we could handle internally - even though at that point in time we were growing at a healthy rate, we wanted to grow beyond those capabilities.”
"If you’re growing faster than your internal capabilities, you’ll start experiencing things such as poor candidate experience, you’ll hire the wrong fit, there’ll be bad onboarding, and it will choke the existing team with the number of interviews and processes - we wanted to avoid all of these pain points."
The Lab17 joined Shippit at the start of August 2020 and set out some clear goals for an initial two month partnership
Make the key hires to ensure the company could effectively scale - requiring those that understand the Shippit mission, meet the functional and cultural standard and will enable the company to scale. Number one priority was a Head of People and Culture.
Establish and build employer brand initiatives and collateral.
Build an interview process which is refined and optimised for scale, including all documentation and training.
Build a Talent Acquisition reporting system with supporting documentation for all activities and processes.
Train the organisation on effective interviewing techniques.
Document decision making on the recommendation of a new ATS.
Partner with hiring managers and key stakeholders to define best-practice job descriptions, up-skill interview capabilities, make unbiased, well documented decisions, evaluate talent and problem solve candidate scenarios
Establish scalable processes for onboarding, as well as build ing scalable job descriptions that map to quarterly goals or onboarding period goals.
Head of People & Culture
Head of Customer Experience
Head of UX
People Operations Manager
People & Workplace Specialist
Talent Acquisition Lead
Talent Acquisition Manager