Why I Joined the ModernLoop Team as an Advisor

Adam Ward
Oct 4, 2021
Founding Partner at Growth by Design Talent and Former Global Head of Recruiting at Pinterest

Over the course of my 20+ years of recruiting experience in tech and in leadership roles with Pinterest, Facebook and Qualcomm and now in our work at Growth by Design Talent, I’ve seen a lot of high growth environments. I am old enough to have experienced the first dot com bubble of the early 2000s, the financial crisis of 2008 and the current unprecedented markets that we are experiencing today. Across these highs and lows - spanning single person start-ups and Fortune 50 companies, one factor holds true: talent is the differentiator. 

Rarely does the best idea or the company that is the first to market win. Rather, the difference between the companies that become iconic and those that fade to black is their ability to execute better than their competitors. And the key to execution, when it matters most, is having the right talent and the right time.  

The companies that get this concept uniformly do several things that build a culture of recruiting from the start, they:  

  1. Invest in systems and processes that scale and ahead of need. In most companies, recruiting is a reactive sport. A headcount target is established and then the work begins. Iconic companies invest in programs that scale like structured interviewing and play the long game via efforts like strategic university recruiting efforts.
  2. Focus on operational excellence and optimizing the collective time spent on recruiting via identifying the metrics that matter, building structured data around their recruiting process and continually looking for ways to improve all stages within a recruiting cycle. Only recently has Recruiting Operations been a distinct function within recruiting teams. The top talent companies are build ops alongside the traditional roles in recruiting organizations. 
  3. Invest in the candidate experience. The balance of power and leverage has shifted between companies and talent. Companies who understand the connectedness of top talent and value of a strong brand among talent circles invest in a candidate experience that ensures candidates feel like the process was efficient, tailored to their skills and strengths and fair.
  4. Emphasize shared accountability between hiring managers and recruiters. An interesting thing happens as companies grow and recruiting teams become more capable or large in size: hiring managers begin to shirk their responsibilities to build their teams and start to see recruiting as a service provider versus a trusted advisor. This is a slippery slope to mediocre talent and creating the systems that emphasize hiring manager engagement and responsibility can keep this in check. 

All of this leads me to my excitement around being the first advisor to the team at ModernLoop. Historically, most recruiting technology was focused on the top of the funnel and for mostly good reasons. Companies tend to focus their energy and metrics there.

However, I’d argue that the companies should really start at the bottom of the funnel and work their way up. Every percentage increase at a later stage in the funnel has an exponential impact on the previous stages. For example, a single percentage point improvement in acceptance rate can mean a dozen or more fewer candidates you need to engage at the top of the funnel. Here inlies the promise and opportunity for ModernLoop.

Starting with making the interview scheduling experience more tailored, seamless and efficient, ModernLoop is building the platform that scales the function while optimizing the experience for candidates and hiring teams. And by doing so, they are not only optimizing the time the team collective organization spends on recruiting and impacts better conversion rates at each stage of the funnel. 

Historically, companies have had to rely on a small army of coordinators, a manually updated spreadsheet and/or their own in-house technology to solve this problem. The best solution I was a part of was at Facebook where we built our interview scheduling tool complete with load balancing, interviewer specialty tagging, and heuristics on interviewer difficulty based on previous interview feedback scores.  While impressive, it took a massive investment of engineering resources to build and maintain its efficacy. Few companies can afford this level of investment which makes the ModernLoop platform so appealing. 

By connecting with the modern tech stack for recruiting and built on the premise of a strong candidate and hiring team experience, ModernLoop delivers the most compelling platform I’ve seen for building a recruiting function that scales without sacrificing quality of talent. Already, they are having a significant impact on the hiring velocity with their initial set of customers and I am excited to see how they invest their seed round of funding to continue to build upon this innovative platform.