EqualTo is a Berlin-based startup that help software teams integrate spreadsheet technology in their products.
The EqualTo team has developed a spreadsheet technology for software engineers. This allows engineers to easily add spreadsheet functionality to their products.
But as a software business, EqualTo is always looking for ways to automate and optimize its processes. One area of internal inefficiency for EqualTo was hiring. In a competitive job market, not moving the process forward quickly enough can cost you good candidates, time, and money. For EqualTo, the recruitment process could be delayed not only by the need for wet signatures but also by the extra step of having to mail out four different documents. These contracts include an employment agreement, an NDA, a private-internet-use agreement, and a stock-option agreement, not to mention additional documents if a visa is needed.
“Imagine you hire four or five people in one month. There are so many documents already that need to be signed. If you do it with paper, it's just a waste of time and so inefficient,” says Dmitri Kemenev, vice president of Finance and Operations at EqualTo. Plus, extra days spent sending and waiting for documents could also mean new hires back out of their new employment with EqualTo after receiving an offer from a different company or changing their mind.
As well as wanting to hire the best talent, it’s also crucial for EqualTo to capture deals as quickly as possible. When working with customers and third-party suppliers, EqualTo needs to get a wide range of documents signed, including sales contracts, NDAs, supplier forms, and vendor agreements. But the process can drag on when sending documents via mail. Having been mailed, a document can take a few days (or more) to arrive. The person receiving the document (who may not be the intended addressee) must bring the contract to the signee. “You want to get things signed fast. You certainly don't want to spend time on printing, going to the post office, and sending documents by post. Who knows when the documents are actually received?” Dmitri says.
The role of eSignature has been essential in EqualTo’s hiring and overall business success, which is why the company turned to Dropbox Sign.
“Using eSignature in the recruitment process saves us 3–5 days… We’re able to hire good candidates because we’re faster compared to the other companies, and we’re faster because Dropbox Sign helps us.”
Dmitri and the founders of EqualTo had used Dropbox Sign at their previous company. They trusted that Dropbox Sign would deliver the efficiency their new startup needed, so they deployed eSignature early on.
Per German law, employment contracts must be signed in ink, but EqualTo uses Dropbox Sign to sign these contracts electronically first, as a gesture of good faith, which helps EqualTo lock down candidates even as new hires wait to officially seal the deal with physical contracts.
For other new-hire documents, like NDAs, private-internet-use agreements, and stock-option agreements, EqualTo can rely solely on eSignature, which speeds up onboarding and makes hiring more efficient overall.
“Using eSignature in the recruitment process saves us three to five days,” Dmitri says. “It's critical in the hiring process. We’re able to hire good candidates because we’re faster compared to the other companies, and we’re faster because Dropbox Sign helps us.”
Getting documents signed by customers and suppliers is a much smoother process, too. Instead of going through a cumbersome process of mailing documents and hoping they get to the right person in a timely manner, eSignature allows EqualTo to easily send documents directly to the person who has the authority to sign, which speeds up sales and vendor-management agreements.
What’s more, Dropbox Sign’s real-time document-tracking means EqualTo has full visibility into the status of contracts—so its staff knows if a signee has received or seen a contract and when it’s time to follow up. “Instead of sending contracts by post, especially now in the remote world, Dropbox Sign allows us to get signatures quickly. With Dropbox Sign, you can also see the status of signatures, who has signed already, and who hasn't, and you can set up automatic reminders. I think the main benefit is that it saves a lot of time,” Dmitri explains.
The streamlined process has saved EqualTo’s staff time to focus on more-pressing priorities. In the past, an office manager would have been tasked with sending, receiving, and keeping track of all these contracts and related documents. By automating these administrative tasks with the help of eSignature, EqualTo removes the need to hire extra personnel to do this mundane work.
Sending the majority of hiring documents via Dropbox Sign has helped speed up the hiring process and cut down the chances of candidates taking another offer.
EqualTo avoided hiring an office manager to juggle sending and collecting signatures via mail.
With eSignature, EqualTo can send and receive signature requests directly to and from the right people, cutting out extra steps and wasted time while waiting for documents to be received.
As a two-year-old company, EqualTo is currently in the seed stage. Its next step is securing Series A funding—a feat the startup hopes to achieve by 2024 or sooner. According to Dmitri, “It depends on the market situation. Right now, it's relatively quiet on the investment side, but we're very optimistic about where we're going. So once we go into Series A, we're probably gonna scale and hire a lot.”
eSignature will also remain an essential part of EqualTo’s overall operational processes. “It's not going to go away. Wherever we can, we're going to use electronic signatures,” Dmitri explains. “So I could see the volume of electronic signatures going up as we grow. There's no reason to think it's going to stay the same or reduce.”
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