Building the CloudNC senior team
Case Study: How we helped an innovative autonomous manufacturing scaleup build and evolve their senior team – assembling the optimal mix of fractional and full time execs.
Our mission isn’t just to help founders find and onboard senior talent; it’s to help them design and assemble the right team for each stage in their journey, quickly and cost-effectively, then continuously adapt the team based on company priorities, cash situation and skills required.
For CloudNC, that meant sourcing a mix of mentors, consultants, fractional leaders and full-time leaders that would collaboratively deliver their mission to create autonomous factories driven by AI, ultimately reducing the cost of production, decreasing the industry’s carbon footprint and expediting the speed at which complex metal parts are produced in this $100B global industry.
CloudNC came to us during a vital period on their journey. We supported them as they navigated a limited cash position, then later successfully raised a £35 million Series B round. We worked closely with their leadership team to define the critical work that needed to happen at each stage and designed a talent strategy that could accommodate their ambitious plans for the future.
What this resulted in was the hiring of nine professionals over 12 months in a mix of fractional and full-time positions, all of whom were sourced through our community and extended network.
The Portfolio Collective deeply understands our mission, culture and priorities and have used this to great effect in finding us the most appropriate talent. They have been incredibly effective at helping us find and hire an amazing team of interim and permanent executives.
Our unique approach
For many startups and scaleups, filling a role whilst fundraising can be complex, costly and time-consuming, especially when alternating between what is commonly known as ‘famine’ and ‘feast’.
Running low on cash
Need to minimise long-term hiring
Recently completed a raise
Need to gain momentum fast
As a startup ourselves, we understand the struggles of finding (and retaining) good talent through periods of fluctuation – all whilst still ensuring strong forward momentum and morale. A flexible approach to staffing is key.
When cash is low, you can save money by getting work done using portfolio professionals (i.e. part-timers, interims, consultants) who get started right away and don’t need long term contracts. After a raise, you’re better positioned to add a few permanent roles. What makes our approach unique is the way we encourage a healthy blend of the two, finding that perfect balance between the fractional and the full-time.
Building a talent partnership
Our relationship with CloudNC started when they came to us looking for a mentor to help the founders prioritise critical tasks, address talent gaps and improve teamwork.
After a few weeks, they then needed someone to design and facilitate a strategy offsite, and we brought in the perfect person - a former CEO turned coach/ facilitator/ author from our community.
Soon after, CloudNC were ready to hire an experienced HR leader, but their budget was limited and a long-term employment contract seemed irresponsible.
So we sourced an interim Chief People Officer (also from our community - are you seeing the trend?). As the Series B raise gathered momentum, they were then able to convert this interim professional to permanent.
When their hunt for a Chief Finance Officer was taking longer than expected, and it was clear that the Head of Finance was developing quickly, we halted the CFO search and saved them money by onboarding an ex-CFO as mentor to the Head of Finance instead.
That way, they had someone who could guide their Head of Finance through personal development, building the finance function and making tricky decisions.
Over a period of 12 months, we built a strong working partnership with CloudNC, continuously balancing speed, quality and cost to deliver what was best for their business. We brought on more flexible and fractional workers when times were tight and added full-time positions once funding was secured.
Now, CloudNC has a strong cash position and a world class team that delivers on their mission to revolutionise manufacturing.