Venture Capital and Private Equity
Complex organization structure and hierarchy
Tracking HR administrative tasks manually
Sharing inbound profiles with portfolio companies
Amazing customer service
Accel is a leading venture capital firm that joins hands with exceptional founders to grow their start-ups from inception through all phases of private company growth. They invest in technology-driven companies in SaaS (Software as a Service) and enterprise software, mobile, infrastructure, financial technology, IoT (Internet of Things), security, and media.
Over the past 13 years, Accel has backed multiple unicorns and some of the biggest Indian players across industries, such as Freshworks, Flipkart, Myntra, Swiggy, BrowserStack, Zenoti, Chargebee, CleverTap, and UrbanCompany. Accel Partners continue their successful run with more than 1700 investments and have had 340 successful exits worldwide.
We spoke to Naryan Thammaiah, Chief People Officer, and Deeksha Bhandari, responsible for Leadership Hiring at Accel, to discuss the unique HR challenges at a VC firm and how Freshteam helped them solve those challenges.
The cumulative industrial experience of all the Investment Partners and Venture Capitalists within Accel totals to more than 500 years. Incorporating requirements from these stalwarts and aligning the entire team on a single HRMS platform that was suitable for internal usage as well as for external usage was a massive challenge in itself.
Internal usage: They were on the lookout for an HRIS platform that could be used to manage everyday HR operations at Accel, such as onboarding new employees, maintaining an employee database, managing time-off, and more. “The need for a HR software in a VC firm is quite different. We don’t have a typical org structure like how most of the companies do. So, we were looking for something that was more customizable and offered great customer support,” says Deeksha.
External usage: Accel receives around 50-60 inbound profiles every day, including those of senior professionals and industry experts. Many a time, they may not have opportunities for them within Accel, but there may be relevant openings in their 140+ Indian portfolio companies. A lot of early-stage startups do not have the resources or the brand value to attract great talent in order to scale rapidly. And, that’s why it is vital to give these early-stage startups access to high-quality talent that Accel has at its disposal.
Maintaining all the inbound resumes in Excel sheets and Google Drive can become chaotic very quickly. Hence, Accel was on the lookout for a platform to seamlessly integrate and share all the information with their portfolio companies.
Considering the above challenges and use-cases, Accel started looking for an ATS + HRIS solution that can be customized to meet their needs. They ended up evaluating close to 14 products and finally chose Freshteam as the HR software of their choice.
Accel has a very complex org structure with multiple reporting heads. Freshteam worked very closely with Accel to customize the solution and map all the employees per their complex hierarchy. In addition, Freshteam was also able to organize a lot of processes that were disorganized in the organization.
“A lot of problems that we faced were very typical administration stuff. Using Freshteam right now, every employee can login to the portal, see their org structure, payroll data, time-off balance, etc. All the information that we require from an employee is now readily available in just one click, very transparent.”
Accel started this ambitious program called Smart Connect, where they reached out to candidates who spent a few years of their career abroad and were looking to come back to India. The idea was to leverage their expertise in any field (Product, Engineering, Sales, etc) and build something unique from India in one of Accel’s portfolio companies.
Using Freshteam, Accel is able to source such candidates with ease, communicate with them, and keep them informed about various opportunities. When those candidates find any relevant opportunity in any of the portfolio companies, they can apply directly on Accel’s career page and Freshteam takes care of the rest.
Early-stage startups need people who have been-there-done-that to scale rapidly. Accel, being a global venture capital firm and a well-known name in the industry, receives a lot of such profiles. Freshteam customized the platform in such a way that all the 140+ portfolio companies of Accel were given unique Login IDs and passwords to access these high-quality profiles.
“In Freshteam, we’ve completely compartmentalized the platform. We’ve made folders of functional capabilities such as Product, Tech, Marketing, HR, and Finance. Each of our portfolio companies have a unique User ID and password to Freshteam with which they can login and access all the candidate profiles.”
When Accel evaluated several HRMS players, they were looking for a great product that was extremely customizable and offered great customer support. And, Freshteam checked all the boxes. “Freshteam basically for me stands for extremely customizable and stellar customer service. It’s the combination of the two that makes it a great product,” says Deeksha.
Freshteam also provided a great platform to communicate. It not just stores candidate information on the platform but integrates effectively with Freshmarketer to communicate the marketing message and build narratives with the candidate.
“Over the last 26 years, I’ve had the opportunity to implement Oracle, PeopleSoft, and Workday. This is the closest I’ve come to experiencing Customer Delight - it’s about understanding the customer's needs with empathy. And, that came quite naturally to members of Freshteam. So, it’s not just a product, it’s an experience.”
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