In May 2014, new startup Igneous Systems closed a near-record $23.6M Series-A round, taking their next step towards bringing Zero-Touch Infrastructure to the enterprise data center. Cofounded by Kiran Bhageshpur, Jeff Hughes, and Byron Rakitzis, this stealthy startup now looked to build an engineering team capable of developing a complex product.

Igneous needed a world-class team of Systems Engineers with the talent, passion, and aligned values required to take on an extremely ambitious challenge – building real, enterprise-scale product. They needed a way to identify, engage, and hire effectively in one of the country’s most competitive markets. It would have to be fast, cost effective, and entirely run while still in stealth.


No strangers to building successful teams, Kiran & Jeff explored a wide range of options including traditional recruitment agencies and building an internal recruitment team. Eventually they were introduced to Recruiting Bandwidth, a preferred talent partner of Madrona Venture Capital, for what would become a very successful partnership.

Immediately our data-driven approach proved to be the ideal fit for Igneous Systems. Kiran & Jeff brought with them an extremely high technical bar as well as strong team/culture requirements. Adding our startup growth expertise to the mix, we were able to develop a multi-channel recruitment strategy to identify, attract, and hire the top performing engineering talent Igneous needed.

“Recruiting Bandwidth doesn’t feel like an independent hiring agency, nor does it act as an in-house department,” commented Bhageshpur. “They combine the skill and resources of a networked agency with the professional intimacy we foster within our own company… I sometimes get multiple call per day from people wanting to help me solve my recruiting problem, and I must be one of the only CEOs who can say I don’t have a hiring problem.”

Our strategy involved a mix of industry participation, traditional advertising, social media, referral programs, and highly targeted sourcing. We worked together to create an engagement and interview process that would resonate with the people we needed to hire, and used real data to refine that model at every step. And we remained dedicated to providing an exceptional candidate experience, which is often the key to successful hiring programs.

Recruiting Bandwidth managed the entire process from end-to-end – from identifying exceptional Open Source contributors to closing offers. Igneous had high expectations of us, and backed it up with an unerring commitment to making hiring a top priority. Our close partnership, and their constant ability to provide the time and attention needed, continues to be a major contributor to our shared success.

With events like corporate meetups, college recruitment fairs, and a fruitful employee referral program, Igneous has been steadily growing and will continue to fortify its talent. Best of all, Recruiting Bandwidth established and ran these programs for the company, allowing management to focus on what was and will continue to be important.

When asked about the Recruiting Bandwidth people themselves, Jeff Hughes said, “Our Recruiting Bandwidth representatives have gone above and beyond our expectations of recruiters. Not only do they do their job with integrity and efficiency, they spend time melding with our own cultural climate. They work with us, not for us.”


Igneous Systems and Recruiting Bandwidth achieved great success and continue to work closely together. We created an environment that allows us to hire the amazing people in a hugely competitive market, while still in stealth, and with exceptional ROI.

The number speak for themselves. Together we hired more than 25 people, achieved zero attrition from members we brought to the team, and created a sustainable long-term pipeline – all with a startup scrappiness.

Together, Recruiting Bandwidth and Igneous Systems were able to:

  • develop an effective short- and long-term recruitment strategy to meet custom growth goals
  • implement the technology and process to run a world-class recruitment campaign
  • consistently hire exceptional people in a highly competitive market
  • measure, report on, and modify strategy in real time for optimal results
  • provide an exceptional candidate experience to drive referrals and long-term relationships
  • beat both headcount and cost goals

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