April 13, 2020
Like many other industries, recruiting is in the midst of a coronavirus-driven slowdown. At Underdog.io, we’re seeing it play out in our business metrics, we’re hearing about it in conversations with founders, and we’re feeling it in emails from worried job seekers.
In the face of all this, we’re spending a lot of time thinking about how our company can survive the crisis. I keep coming back to one organizational trait that should help us adapt to whatever the new normal looks like: our small size. From the earliest days of the company, we’ve deliberately run a lean shop. Today, we’re a team of 10 folks, split between full-time employees and contractors. We’re small by design.
Team size is one of those casual cocktail party topics that people ask about as a circuitous way to gauge how legitimate a startup is, usually as a follow-up to, “So, are you in a WeWork or something?” In the past, I’ve always felt self-conscious about how small our team is because of the perception that small is somehow bad. I’m not feeling self-conscious right now. Over the last few weeks, our industry has seen its share of turnover; AngelList, Triplebyte, and Hired have all laid off staff, and Seen by Indeed (fka Indeed Prime) is shuttering entirely. Our team, on the other hand, is in a good position to weather the storm; we’ll probably even add a few hires over the next few months.
Our small size has become an asset. We’re lean, focused, and nimble. As the economic downturn unfolds, we’ll be able to make small course corrections that larger organizations will struggle to pull off, and we'll avoid the inevitable morale hit and momentum loss that accompany layoffs. For our users, our size means stability and singular focus. We've positioned ourselves to outlast this contraction. In the meantime, we'll continue to provide a high-quality hiring and job searching tool for those that need our services.