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Get your hiring in shape

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

In this short blog, PT and GrowthBuilders in-house startup recruitment expert, Michael Walker, explains how an innovative new subscription service can support startups and scale-ups with their hiring needs and gives you training and tools to recruit the best.

On the face of it, running a personal training business and giving recruitment advice for startups may seem very different but not if you are Michael Walker. Like many people, the first lockdown forced Michael to pivot when his HR & Talent Consultancy for startups was put on hold. With a background in sport and a passion for helping people to improve their wellbeing through diet and exercise, Michael has successfully launched his business Kapla Fitness.

However as 2020 has gone on, Michael is now seeing demand grow for both of his services and he’s able to see how they can complement each other. Michael’s experience in advising startups on how to market themselves to new employees, coaching founders on how to attract talent and the psychology behind interviewing are all transferable to his new business. Look out for future blogs from Michael on lessons from PT that can be applied to startup hiring.

As part of the Scale programme GrowthBuilders run with PwC, Michael runs a popular masterclass on Hiring Strategy: Building and scaling your team (watch the condensed version now!). And now, to address one of the top 3 challenges for startups and scale-ups: recruitment and retention, Michael has joined GrowthBuilders to offer an innovative new subscription based recruitment service. The aim of which is to support founding teams who need to hire on an increasing scale but who either don’t want to pay high agency fees or aren’t sure about having in-house resource.

Below, Michael explains how it has been developed and why it’s already generating a lot of interest from founders.

Who is the service aimed at?

It’s aimed at founding teams who are finding that they are spending more and more time on recruitment and are struggling to manage it alongside their other commitments. They are recruiting at least 2-3 people per month and are using an agency. They may be considering hiring an in-house resource to manage demand and who will have insight into the business.

If you aren't yet at this point of hiring and are making your first few recruits, then make sure you are clear about who you are looking for and what they are doing, if you want a helping hand, check out our handy New Hire Briefing Template.

How does your service work?

We’re working with Canda to offer an outsourced recruitment service which operates as a squad model for each project. The team comes together to work on a specific company or project, building up knowledge of the company and providing a range of skills from headhunting to recruitment marketing. Effectively a startup can rent the services of a diverse team without having to employ them all full time.

Why is this service better than an in-house recruiter?

A couple of reasons: firstly the diversity of people, skills and experience in the squad. Between ourselves at GrowthBuilders and Canda we have over 20 staff specialised in recruitment for startups. If you hire an in-house recruiter you are relying on them to do everything and they may not have that end to end process knowledge. For example our offering has recruiters who specialise in social media advertising and know where and how to attract talent to fill startup roles.

Secondly you pay a monthly subscription fee so you aren’t incurring the fixed cost of an employee or the higher costs of an agency. The subscription is flexible, so you pay a set monthly fee and then if we outperform the targets there are no additional costs. For example you assign us the task of finding a CRO, we estimate it will take us 4 months but it only takes us 3 months, then you can move us on to other hires or consultancy work immediately afterwards. We’ll have built up knowledge of your business (and your strategy) so won’t need to be briefed from scratch for the next project.

Are people still hiring in the current climate?

In short yes! It’s an interesting market at the moment with companies at both ends of the lifecycle. Of course there are companies that have cut staff and have others on furlough. However, there are companies that are booming and they are soaking up a lot of talent in the market. I’m still seeing a lot of demand for developers, sales people and early stage startup hires. There is a lot more availability of people who have been laid off looking for roles but the best people are being snapped up even in the current climate.

What type of founding teams do you work with?

We are industry agnostic but I’m definitely seeing demand from tech based/tech enabled startups. I’m also seeing increasing demand from post series A or larger seed rounds where companies are looking to hire 2-3 people per month as a minimum.

We regularly talk to and advise companies at an earlier stay but they might be a few months to a year away from being ready for this service.

How can people contact you to find out more?

Get in touch with me at to discuss your hiring needs or book a talent strategy call here. If you are interested in more in-depth learning about hiring best practice, Michael has also put together this 45 minute webinar on Building and Scaling your team.

If you like what you hear, one of the tools we recommend is our New Hire Briefing Template below to get your ideal candidate profile sorted before going out to market.



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