BioLite designs solutions that revolutionize the way people experience energy worldwide. The team at BioLite is focused on meeting real-world market demand for durable and affordable energy products. Through the support and sales of its products to outdoor recreation enthusiasts, BioLite is able to bring clean cooking, charging and lighting technology to off-grid households in emerging markets.
Providing accessible electricity to developing areas requires not only the development of cutting-edge technology but also a sustainable business model, designed to manufacture products, build markets and measure the impact of these solutions.
Similar to other thriving startups, BioLite was ready to recruit new talent to support a growing product line in its expanding markets. Lorrie Harrison, Head of People and Culture at BioLite, was faced with the task of handling job openings in both the United States and in Kenya using a rudimentary system that consisted of multiple tools. The company’s method of receiving applications and communicating with hiring managers proved to be labor-intensive, time-consuming, and not sustainable for growth.
"The process was tedious and not effective as far as being able to have one place where we retained dialogue between the hiring team or even recorded where a candidate was in our internal process." - Lorrie
The BioLite team began researching modern software to solve the inefficiencies experienced in both its time tracking and recruiting operations. It was important to find a solution that could accommodate their needs in terms of features and cost that were relative to where BioLite was in size and open hire positions. They were looking for a product that could grow with them.
"It was really hard to find a just-right fit. The products were pretty heavy in terms of too many bells and whistles coming at us from our very rudimentary email and excel configuration. Too big to manage, to learn, and to figure out for the team. They were very expensive because you had to have a yearly subscription. You had to go all in and it didn’t make sense for us." - Lorrie
BioLite was trying to avoid an investment in a complicated system where it’s common to pay for unnecessary features. In the end, the goal was to find an affordable platform that solved the specific inefficiencies the company was prepared to tackle.
Photo from biolite.com
As an expanding US-based startup, BioLite was faced with the challenges of hiring for positions abroad. Kenyan facing roles needed to be filled and a new process was required to manage time tracking for this international team.
"It is very interesting to work with teammates based in a country outside of the US when the main HQ of the company is a US based start-up. How do you find a flexible solution that allows company leadership visibility into things like PTO?" - Lorrie
A flexible solution was needed to support PTO policies unique to Kenya’s workforce and labor laws. In order to lead recruiting efforts, Lorrie also needed the ability to differentiate and organize job applicants by position and location.
Searching for the just-right fit led BioLite to Built. In 2015, Built became the solution BioLite needed to manage how it hires both domestically and abroad. Since 2009, The BioLite team has grown from its founders, Jonathan Cedar and Alec Drummond, to a team of over 80 BioLiters working across the US, Uganda, Kenya, and India.
BioLite Team Locations
The Built cloud-based application allows BioLite to manage both time-tracking and hiring efforts for its Kenya location. Despite the physical distance between this site and the US headquarters, BioLite’s leadership can easily toggle between data for each location.
"Built has made it possible for me to have a one-stop-shop, so I can look at different locations for teams really easily." - Lorrie
Built is estimated to be saving BioLite up to 20 hours per month. The intuitive software is now a core part of the company’s current operations.
The system not only saves Lorrie valuable time but also provides a single communication platform for the designated hiring team. This collaborative process makes it easier to find the applicant with the right skill set whose values align with BioLite’s belief that advanced technologies, built on sustainable business practices, have the power to change the world.
"Built further refined our own internal process by creating the workflow. We could bring anyone into it that we needed to by adding them to Built. It became a really helpful “just right fit” tool." - Lorrie
Applicants are now immediately filtered by the correct position and documents are automatically stored on each applicant’s profile. There is no need to track down a missing cover letter or send emails back and forth to discuss a specific applicant’s qualifications.
With an a-la-carte platform style, no annual contract and a pay-per-active-employee billing model, Built met BioLite’s price point. Not only did the cost fit BioLite’s budget, but the software was configurable to solve its unique problems, without any unnecessary investment. The company is only paying for what it needs, with confidence that the software could continue to support its growing operation.
"The cost of Built for teams is very affordable. It does a great job for what we need it to do. It is the perfect tool for us at this time." - Lorrie
As BioLite continues to grow in size, the demand for certain software functionality will change as its operations expand. Lorrie stressed how important it is that the software is able to adapt and accommodate the company’s developing needs.
"The great thing about Built was that there were ears that were active, support that was active, and response that was proactive." - Lorrie
Built continues to evolve and improve alongside its customers. Continued feedback shapes the product and helps Built remain a perfect fit for BioLite.
Photo from biolite.com