January 24, 2024

James Conway

How BambooHR scaled their Talent Acquisition team to 25 people?

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Podcast Summary: Episode of #TalentBuzz with Guest James Conway from Bamboo HR


  • Host: Welcome to #TalentBuzz.
  • Guest: James Conway, Bamboo HR.
  • Topic: Talent acquisition strategies in fast-growing SaaS companies.

James Conway’s Background:

  • First talent acquisition hire at Bamboo HR.
  • Grew the team to 25 members.
  • Previous experience: Recruiting in a company that grew from 330 to 550 employees in 11 months.

Joining Bamboo HR (2015):

  • Situation: Bamboo HR had around 130 employees; James was the first external recruiter.
  • Initial Challenges: Handling hyper-growth and ensuring sustainable organizational development.

Scaling Talent Acquisition:

  • Strategy: Focus on both growth and the quality of growth to prevent destructive outcomes.
  • Leadership and Team Building: Transitioned from recruiter to senior talent acquisition partner and then to head of talent acquisition.
  • Emphasis on establishing credible, sustainable practices with hiring managers.
  • Utilized Bamboo HR's user-friendly HR software to streamline hiring processes.

Key Approaches in Talent Acquisition:

  • Prioritized search engine optimization for job ads.
  • Focused on the right kind of growth for the company.
  • Advocated for balanced and patient hiring processes.
  • Avoided over-emphasizing time-to-hire metrics, instead valuing long-term employee satisfaction and retention.
  • Encouraged thoughtful hiring decisions for both the company and candidates.

Building and Leading the Team:

  • Avoided standard bonus systems; focused on job satisfaction and doing right by candidates and managers.
  • Recruiter Empowerment: Reduced requisition load, enhanced training, and broadened role scopes.
  • Team Structure: Diversified roles, avoiding excessive specialization.
  • Emphasized training in employer branding and candidate persona analysis.
  • Fostered strong partnerships with marketing and other departments.

Leadership Philosophy:

  • Focused on understanding team members’ needs and aspirations.
  • Aimed to prepare team members for future leadership roles.
  • Encouraged manager training and involvement in talent acquisition.
  • Advocated for alternative career tracks for individuals unsuited for management roles.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion:

  • The importance of self-awareness in career paths.
  • Emphasis on creating a work environment conducive to both the company’s and employees’ long-term goals.
  • Invitation for listeners to share topics and feedback.

Closing Remarks:

  • Host's sign-off, encouraging listeners to follow the podcast and share episodes.

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