Awesome People List - Week #16

WTF is People Ops? And 86 Full Time gems 😍.

Hi Founders and Fellow VC Friends!

Awesome People List is getting a new look! I’ve officially stopped bcc-ing everyone and I’m testing Substack. It was time. Last night a friend told me that my emails reminded him of 1990s Canon injket cartridges 😂. 

I’m terrified that this will get stuck in spam so if you’re an email guru, please send help 🙏.

On that note, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

People give companies superpowers 🚀. Each week we deliver one awesome person to your inbox. These are the people you need to know. The best part is, everyone is hirable on an interim basis. 


Please meet Shera, your Interim Head of Recruiting or Recruiting Operations 

Shera was recommended by Maddy, an HR-tech founder who previously worked with Shera at Snapchat. Shera scaled Recruiting Ops at Snapchat and Twitter. Both of these companies saw 3x growth and IPO-ed while she was there - holy smokes 🔥! She also led Recruiting at Blue Bottle Coffee, where she helped them grow at a rate of 50+ cafes per year. When I first met her, I was impressed by her friendly and calm demeanor and ability to get shit done. Outside of work, you can find her walking her Golden Retriever and Pitbull rescue or volunteering on local farms 😍. 

You can hire her part-time to:

  • Be your Interim Head of Recruiting or Recruiting Operations

  • Optimize your hiring processes and applicant tracking system (ATS)

  • Create training materials for your recruiting team, hiring managers, or interviewers 

If you want an intro to Shera, respond directly to this email and I’ll connect you! 


Shera was gracious enough to give us the DL on Recruiting Operations 101

My first startup scaled from 3 people to 200 in 3.5 years. TL;DR recruiting ops can give you wings!

What is Recruiting Ops? 

Recruiting Ops focuses solely on recruiting efficiency. It will increase your hiring speed and quality, while using fewer resources. 

Here are 4 key functions:

  • Standardize and define recruiter workflows.

  • Implement, and manage your recruiting tools - primarily your Applicant Tracking System (ATS), your source of truth for all your hiring data.

    *Notably, the two most popular ATS options are Greenhouse and Lever. If you have high-volume, hourly workers, Workstream and Fountain are made specifically for you. 

  • Build out reports and analytics, enabling the team to make data-driven hiring decisions.

  • Create important programs like employee referrals and interviewer training.

Here are 5 signs that it’s time to hire a Recruiting Ops Manager:

  1. You have an in-house Recruiting Team of 5-10+ 

  2. You are, or will be, growing by 1x, 2x, 3x for the foreseeable future.

  3. You’re investing in expensive hiring tools like an ATS or LinkedIn Recruiter

  4. You want to start gathering more data about your hiring activity

  5. Your employees are asking for help with interviewing best practices 

Keep in mind that recruiting gets technical debt too — lots of it.

Don’t wait to hire Recruiting Ops. Your Recruiting Ops Team outlines how to use your ATS and recruiting tools. In the early stages, people often cut-corners to hire quicker. For example, using outside resources like Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Notes to keep track of candidates instead of entering them into your ATS. The problem is, with poor (or no) data in your ATS, it's impossible to build accurate reporting. Bad data in is bad data out. If you wait too long, Recruiting Ops will have to spend a majority of its bandwidth in “clean up mode.” This amounts to huge costs (time and $$$) for your company. 

Take a data-driven approach to hiring. Focus on these key metrics:

  • Prospect Response Rate - What % of people you reach out to respond and are interested in interviewing for your open role?

  • Conversion Rate - What percent of candidates move from one step in the hiring process to the next. This helps determine how many people you need to interview to make a hire.

  • Activity - How many candidates are currently interviewing in each stage of your hiring process? Considering conversion rates, is that enough to make a hire?

  • Offer Acceptance Rate - What % of your candidates accept your offer

  • Offer Decline Reasons - Why did candidates decline your offer?

  • Candidate Experience NPS - Would candidates recommend interviewing with your company to a friend? How was their experience and what are they saying about you to others?

If you want an intro to Shera, let me know and I’ll connect you via email! 


FT Gems are back. 86 of them ✨!

As many of you’ve heard, Atrium, Justin Kan’s latest startup, shut down last week. Their team was strong, so here’s a gift: an opt-in list of 86 employees who are now looking for their next thing. 


Have a friend with a fast-growing startup or know someone hiring FT gems? Please share this.

And, if you made it this far, ❤️ this so I know.

Stay safe and stay awesome, 

Julia Lipton

Founder of the Awesome People List (subscribe here)

Founder of Awesome People Ventures

P.S. What you think of this new format? What feels better, what feels worse? So curious to hear your thoughts!