January 3, 2019
August 16, 2021

Providing a Better Recruiting Experience for Startups

Michael Varley

Originally published on LinkedIn.

Early last year we began to ask ourselves a question, what does the Talent Firm of the future look like?

We have always felt privileged and humbled to help some of the most forward-thinking technology startups hire exceptional talent. We were also surprised at what some of our “power users” would pay over a year for our classic model of pay per hire model (usually between 20-25% of yearly salary) and the level of service we were restricted to give them and came to the conclusion the model is fundamentally “broken" and we can "do better".

In January 2017, we attempted to tackle this. We switched our business model from a traditional “Pay per Hire Model” to a “Subscription Service Model (pay per month)” where you as a client have a recruitment team when you need it, for as long as you need it, onsite or offsite with an aim to “provide a better recruiting experience for startups across Europe”.

We have aimed to offer speed, price predictability, transparency and fantastic customer experience for our clients in an industry known for the opposite. Since the switch, we have grown over 140% and helped our clients hire over 130 talents using our new model and learned so much! So what does the future hold?

Building the Talent Infrastructure for the Future

We believe the way companies are being built is changing and it is starting with startups. There is a rising trend of certain functions like Legal, Accounting, HR essentially being outsourced to people or firms who have “been there and done it” with ready built standardised solutions. This coupled with the rise of the freelance economy among many other macro factors makes us believe this adoption will continue to acelr8 (excuse the pun!).

It makes perfect sense when you think about it, startups fundamentally rely on “speed to market” as a main competitive advantage but having to figure out how to do the hiring, and operational work from scratch is time-consuming. We have firsthand seen it kill many a promising company. We believe it does not make sense to force people to fail because of this when they should be focusing on product and outputs at such critical stages.

We have also always been fascinated with the business models adopted by many of our clients and in particular SAAS. A software distribution model which provides a company with access to a computer program on a subscription fee (think Dropbox, Salesforce) and offers the client better scalability, flexibility all at a lower cost.This is where ACELR8 has drawn inspiration, we now offer “a plug and play human solution” (let’s call it RAAS for now) where companies can have an "expert recruiter backed by technology" to take over the “entire talent function or part of it” when you need it, for as long as you need it. They are also equipped with standardised and purpose-built talent solutions to fit your workflow and have the startup DNA to succeed, allowing our clients to hire the top tier talent faster and cheaper with a greater client and candidate experience.

Do you think hiring may slow down in 6 months? No problem we can drop off. Is it cost effective? We are on average 40% cheaper than hiring through a traditional recruitment agency.

2019, is already shaping up to be an exciting year at ACELR8, we are planning to invest in our people, technology and community and continue to challenge the status quo to help build services and products to help build the “Talent Firm of the Future”.

In 2018 we scaled from 5 people to a team of 18 great employees in Berlin and Paris who are motivated to change this industry and still proudly 100% bootstrapped. I couldn’t be more proud of our team so far. Thank you to our clients for joining us on this adventure so far. We are always looking for more amazing people to join our Berlin and Paris teams so don’t hesitate to get in touch at for a conversation.

More details on our service here:


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