Introducing RAC's New Recruitment Service

At Riverside Acceleration Capital (RAC), we take pride in being a long-term partner for our portfolio companies, working to fuel their growth at critical inflection points and helping them scale to their full potential.

Yet scaling comes with its own set of challenges – key among these being the ability to attract, screen, and hire top talent. The right team can make an entrepreneur’s vision to reality, while even the most compelling idea may falter without the ideal people behind it.

That’s why we’re pleased to introduce RAC Recruiting, our new recruitment service available to our portfolio companies. Through this new program, we’re able to leverage our understanding of a portfolio company’s goals to help them identify talent gaps, source the right candidates, and make more confident hiring decisions.

The program will initially focus on hiring for go-to-market (marketing, sales, customer success), which has historically been a leading use of RAC’s capital. Currently, we’re prioritizing placements in North America, for US-based portfolio companies growing domestically and for international companies looking to expand into the US market, while companies looking to hire in other countries can use one of the external recruitment partners featured in the RAC Toolkit.

To spearhead this program, we’re also excited to welcome our new Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Chanler Martin. Chanler previously worked at two RAC recruitment partners, where she spent the last four years learning the needs of RAC’s portfolio and completed over 30 searches for RAC companies. She specializes in go-to-market recruitment activities, including candidate sourcing and screening, candidate experience management, compensation benchmarking, reference checking, and Diversity Equity and Inclusion strategy.

To give you a glimpse into Chanler's background and her vision for this program, we thought a Q&A would be the perfect way to introduce her:

Can you share a bit about your background and what drew you into the field of talent acquisition?

In 2018, I started at a nationwide recruiting agency that offered an accelerated training program to equip you for go-to-market (GTM) recruiting. I was 25 years old and had just moved to Silicon Valley. After my first placement, I instantly knew recruitment was for me! I quickly learned my recruiting superpower, which was the ability to be personable with both my candidates and hiring managers.  

Chanler Martin

Over the next few years, I joined a boutique recruiting firm, where I found my passion for early-stage software companies. I started working with RAC’s portfolio companies in this capacity and assisted in placing 30+ GTM positions within RAC’s portfolio over the next four years. This past May, I joined RAC full-time and worked with the team to launch RAC Recruiting, focusing on recruiting for RAC portfolio companies. 


From your perspective, what are the top challenges startups and growth-stage businesses face when it comes to recruitment?

Not having enough time in the day as, at an early-stage company, founders and executives typically own recruiting and it’s one of many priorities competing for their time. Often, our portfolio companies are in Seed to Series B with under 50 employees when we first meet them, and so they haven’t had the resources or personnel to build out an in-house recruiting function.

Additionally, top talent isn’t always on the market; but given RAC’s extensive network and resources, we’re able to make the introductions that matter. As we know from experience, every early stage hire you make can be crucial to the growth of the business.  


What do you think makes RAC's approach to talent acquisition unique and effective? 

Well first and foremost, RAC Recruiting sits alongside the other pillars of our Growth Advisory Program as an extension to the long-term partnership and strategic value we strive to offer our portfolio companies. Outside of recruiting, I assist our portfolio companies with evaluating short and long-term talent gaps. I also focus on employer branding, which includes creating job descriptions, interview guides, and additional material. A call with one of our CEOs might be as simple as benchmarking compensation for a specific position or speaking on market trends. When building RAC Recruiting, my top priority was to come in as a thought leader for our portfolio companies, and I was confident that the rest would follow. 

We’ve also been keeping a close eye on our trending response rates when reaching out to candidates. I was able to reach out to under 60 qualified candidates for a recent position and make the placement within 30 days from kicking off the search. In my previous six years of experience, I would have to reach out to 150 candidates on average per search, which speaks to the power of representing the RAC brand.


Can you discuss the process you’ve established for screening candidates? What are the key indicators you look for?

I ensure alignment on the position with the portfolio company and create a scorecard that I consistently reference throughout the duration of the search. When I meet with candidates over Zoom, I hold each candidate to this scorecard. Everything from the candidate's daily responsibilities to why they're actively or passively looking can be found in the scorecard. The scorecard can shift in the early stages of vetting candidates, but it's important we track this as we don't want to stray away from the core needs for the hire.


Lastly, any words of advice for businesses struggling with their recruitment efforts or for individuals looking to work with a startup or scale-up?

A business struggling with their recruitment should strategize with their team on what hires need to come first and then make sure everyone is on board. As a recruiter, there is nothing worse than executives being on different pages with a hire. Founders and CEOs should utilize their own connections. For example, your capital partners might have their own recruitment firms or agencies in their network that they can recommend. One thing I've learned since building a recruitment function at RAC is how hands-on we are with our portfolio companies. 

An individual looking to work with a startup should weigh out the risks during the interview process. That means don't be afraid to ask the hard questions. Ask about the challenges the company is facing, the operating performance, and the long-term plans.  



Current RAC portfolio companies interested in learning more about this program are invited to contact Chanler Martin, while companies looking to learn more about RAC’s model can visit or fill out the form below.

Jonathan Temple
Operating Partner
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