What happens when you scale from 50-500 people?

October 8th, 2019 | 5 minute read

Scaling from 50 to 500 people, requires a huge strategic shift. This exactly the challenge that Airbnb found themselves in when they needed to grow their team ten fold.

With so many of our clients experiencing similar scale up challenges, and the need to increase resource quickly, we thought this might be an interesting case study to explore further.

Joe Gebbia, one of Airbnb’s founders, recalls feeling uneasy about the company’s HR blindspots as they grew from 50 employees, to 500. Job interviews weren’t happening on schedule, recruiting was unorganised, strong candidates were being left in limbo – essentially they had lost ahold of their candidate experience, and only 50% of candidates who were offered positions said yes, this might be resonating with some of you.

The company recognised the need for change, and they embarked on a recruitment transformation, resulting in now more than an 80-90% candidate acceptance rate and a candidate pipeline of 100 times the applicants to job ratio.

Jill Riopelle, Airbnb’s Head of Recruiting, talks about how they re-wrote the playbook at Talent Connect in Sydney and outlines further detail in a slide share about their recruitment transformation. 

If you’re looking to embark on a significant change in your business, we have years of experience supporting businesses of all sizes and scales in executing successful cultural change, please reach out if we can help.


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