Things happen quickly around Snowflake, a fast-growth, cloud computing-based Data Cloud company that’s transformed how companies store, process and analyze data.
The story of Snowflake has been one of hyper-growth from the beginning, scaling from 300 in early 2018 to 3,400 employees when the company introduced Rolebot to its recruiting process in the summer of 2021. Snowflake continues to grow at an incredible rate.
In the company’s infancy, word was already spreading to many tech professionals, particularly engineers and sales reps, who had heard great things about Snowflake’s revolutionary data platform.
The potential of Snowflake’s platform was even recognized by academia. Case in point: A well-known professor and database expert at a high-profile computer engineering school taught Snowflake in his coursework, leading many of his students to seek internships and their first-job experience with Snowflake.
Filling a Critical Need to Capture Passive Talent
For any large, rapid-growth company, capturing passive talent is essential to attracting the type of top-level candidates who are constantly courted by recruiters and yet may never fill out a single application. In a highly competitive field, the team at Snowflake was going to need to actively pursue that talent.
A year before the company went through its IPO, recruiting for Snowflake had become a “game of resources,” says Director of Recruiting Reed Putnam. Having transitioned from a full-service recruitment model to a self-service model, the recruiter-to-hiring manager ratio had changed significantly.
“The question then became, ‘Do we have enough resources to engage the talent and drive the process?’” Putnam says.
The situation required shifting recruiting priorities to educating and enabling managers with the tools and resources to drive their own hiring process.
Referrals were still a strong source of hire for Snowflake, but due to non-compete agreements, many would-be employee referrals were never positioned, and the number of applications wasn’t enough to keep up with the company’s immense demand.
Snowflake needed a solid scalable sourcing solution.
Uncovering Top Talent with a Scalable Solution
An important component of Snowflake’s solution came from one of the company’s investors, Redpoint Ventures. Redpoint first introduced Putnam to Rolebot and its innovative recruiting algorithm. By surfacing candidates often left uncovered by a recruiter’s manual search, Rolebot has provided the breadth and quality of passive talent Snowflake needed to fill many of its open roles.
“Rolebot has been really helpful by doing some of the preliminary work for our managers,” says Putnam. “Rather than have our managers perform searches, comb through hundreds of profiles, craft templates and message the candidates, hiring managers can just give a thumbs up to a prospect from their daily list of the top 15 profiles that match their job qualifications.”
Putnam says since Snowflake implemented Rolebot in the summer of 2021, it has been “one of the best tools we have for candidate engagement,” affecting both the quality of candidate conversations as well as the diversity of candidate representation.
For instance, when sourcing a senior front-end developer position, a difficult hire for any enterprise software company, Snowflake ultimately found talent in the form of a senior female engineer sourced directly from the Rolebot demo.
In another case, Rolebot found a candidate who came from a company, which coincidentally, was the former employer of another Snowflake employee. The Snowflake employee not only knew the candidate but had previously managed her and recognized her as a top performer. Due to a non-compete, however, the employee had been unable to refer the candidate.
The Rolebot algorithm, on the other hand, had been able to identify this candidate and other great talent for Snowflake’s recruiters and managers while engaging them in a compliant way, says Putnam.
Best of all, the algorithm has helped Snowflake to seamlessly scale through its growth. “It’s one of the best scaling solutions that I’ve ever worked with, allowing us to ramp up or down our sourcing with minimal effort,” says Putnam. “It’s been a great product and has definitely delivered.”