Long before catching the eye of Andreessen Horowitz investors or deploying its technology nationally, Flock Safety’s founding team was thinking about company culture.
That piqued the interest of veteran recruiter and Emory graduate Aynn Collins, who first met Flock’s young team over three years ago when she was Director of Employee Experience at Mailchimp.
Even though Flock was just around 10 employees at the time, Collins said CEO Garrett Langley was already looking to emulate Mailchimp’s culture along with its ability to attract and retain top talent.
Collins ultimately joined the Flock team about a year ago as the team was closing its Series C round and had grown from 50 to 125 employees quickly.
As Flock’s Director of Talent Acquisition, Collins helped build up the startup’s headcount to its current 320 people. Central to the growth has been finding talent aligned with Flock’s core mission and building up its employer brand.
Building An Employer Brand At A Fast-Growing Startup
While Collins said the term employer brand is relatively new in the recruiting world, it is about “doing discovery on what the founders built and what’s important to them…and how you build that in a way that appeals to the right type of candidates.”
Collins said that Flock’s “brand” was easily identifiable from the beginning.
“What’s really cool is everybody talks about Flock in the same way, and they haven’t been trained to do that. But a lot of it comes down to the mission,” she added.
That mission centers around making neighborhoods safer by deploying community-level technology to help solve and stop violent and non-violent crime.
“People in tech go to work for different reasons. Maybe a big company can pay a lot and move [someone] to San Francisco or give them all the office perks. I think what we offer here is a true chance to make an impact,” Collins added. “Eliminating crime is huge…and we’re seeing Flock’s impact day in and day out.”
Flock Safety has some unique recruiting needs that many other high-growth startups don’t necessarily have. In addition to hiring both hardware and software talent, Collins and her team are charged with finding full-time installation technicians, operations specialists, and sales team members to interface with law enforcement and community stakeholders.
Many of those team members are remote or in cities where Flock’s technology is being rapidly deployed. In fact, Flock Safety currently has employees living in 30 states.
Despite having to recruit for a wide range of roles, Collins said that Flock is dedicated to creating a “high-touch recruiting organization” that provides a positive experience for every candidate they work with.
“I’m a big believer you should do most of your recruiting from inside. Your inside recruiters are going to be partners with your hiring managers, they understand the employer brand, they understand why people want to come here and why they might not want to. They can actually sell that process in a very direct and ethical way to candidates.”
For now, Collins and her team are continuing the search for more talent, particularly on the engineering and operations side of the business.
“I think in a few years having a Flock Safety pedigree is going to be a big deal, much like I feel my Mailchimp pedigree will forever be part of who I am and something I’m proud of,” she added. “We’re building something similar here.”
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Images provided by Flock Safety