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The Submittable Strategy: Using Tech To Hire Tech Talent

Morgan Lichtenstein
4 min read

Leading social impact platform, Submittable, builds a digital team with critical tech & engineering roles to support growth and a new partnership with Microsoft

Natural disasters, war, poverty, critical local funding. It’s nearly impossible not to be distracted by the compounding effects of the world’s current and ongoing list of tragic, altering events. 

Many of us want to help but are unsure how to truly make a difference. From volunteering to fundraising, social impact comes in many shapes. However, it can also come with complicated processes.

Submittable, a social impact platform used by thousands of companies, government entities, and philanthropic organizations, is on a mission to change that by making it easier for those who want to drive change to do so at scale. 


collage of Submittable SaaS platform product overlays



As the fastest-growing social impact platform, Submittable is a SaaS tool used to launch, measure, and manage any application-based social impact program to suit both the receiving entities’ and applicants’ needs. It streamlines receiving, reviewing, and managing submissions of all kinds, from grant applications to proposals, corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, and even creative work like short stories to literary journals. 

Headquartered in Missoula, Montana, Submittable isn’t so much a B2B business, but a B2Everyone business with the ultimate aim of helping their customers reach distinct goals and drive social change in ways that matter to them.


Submittable and Microsoft Join Forces To Drive More Social Impact

From companies like Nike and Dell, to state government organizations and universities, Submittable has helped big and small organizations worldwide run 145,000 programs and distribute up to $2.4 billion in grant funds. Backed by investors like Accel-KKR, Next Coast Ventures, True Ventures, Next Frontier Capital, StepStone Group, and others, the platform has experienced tremendous growth on its mission to revolutionize and streamline social change through technology.

But as we all know, there is always more work to be done. 

Banner with Submittable and Microsoft logos

To help dramatically accelerate the reach and utilization of Submittable’s powerful tool, Microsoft and Submittable recently announced a strategic partnership to deliver market-leading grantmaking and corporate social responsibility solutions across Microsoft’s cloud offerings. By joining forces, the two tech companies are poised to increase awareness and create an even more robust product that can be delivered on a larger scale.


An Intentional, Tech-Focused Hiring Strategy To Power Growth and Innovation

Even the most advanced tech like AI has its limitations. People and their unique skills, intuition, and creative problem-solving are still needed to guide and adopt such high-powered tech. But even as we’re learning how AI is changing the world of work, it’s clear that it’s an integral part of our future. 

At the same time, many companies are quickly realizing how small and competitive the talent pool for this niche, skilled engineering and tech professionals really is.

As Submittable geared up to migrate its product to Microsoft Azure, the company needed to build the organizational structure necessary to support and develop its next phase of growth. This included welcoming a Director of Science, a Senior Machine Learning Scientist, two Senior Software Engineering Managers, and a Senior Technical Program Manager for their Cloud and Fundamentals practice that will be overseeing the migration.

“It’s a really exciting time to be at Submittable, we've seen over 70% growth the last 3 years running and we're hoping to continue that trend in 2024. I also think we'll see our focus shift slightly as we get more and more surgical about how we scale,” said Amanda Davenport, Director of Talent Acquisition at Submittable.

To help fill these niche, critical roles, Submittable partnered with Hunt Club to assemble their strongest digital team possible, starting with their very first Director of Science.


You Need Tech To Fill Tech Roles 

With new technology (and new partnerships) comes the need for new roles. The first of its kind for Submittable — and for many other talent acquisition teams right now — the Director of Science would establish and lead a new OpenAI-focused science department, responsible for aligning and managing the company's research and development in AI and related technologies.

Submittable knew filling a pipeline of candidates with these highly specialized skills would require extensive diligence and subject matter expertise. 

The search was run through Hunt Club’s network recruiting approach, which granted access to a robust pipeline of technology leaders that other traditional recruitment methods or cold outreach often fail to create.

Within the realm of such niche and specialized tech roles as this, the key to landing this talent often boils down to both personal connections and the strategic use of technology. Long gone are the days when it felt like every company was in hyper growth, or when engineering talent felt “good enough” and came by the dozen. Today, a new category of growth is emerging called calculated growth, signaling a shift in the candidate profiles and skills required for roles just like the Director of Science.

The nature of these roles requires a much more targeted and tech-centric recruitment approach, complemented by a robust professional network. To navigate this changing terrain, we tapped into the Expert Network, which includes 252K+ engineering leaders, 15K+ CTOs, and 138K+ product leaders, as well as our automated sourcing technology. The intersection of a powerful community and cutting-edge tech proved instrumental in helping Submittable find their perfect hire just after 48 days.


headshot portrait of Amanda Davenport. Director of Talent Acquisition at Submittable

“Hunt Club has the ability to fill unique, cutting-edge, and niche specialty roles. For example, our Data Science function was a business-critical need we had to build from the ground up fast. We knew we needed an exceptional leader in a Director role to lead that team, we had incredibly specific requirements, and Hunt Club helped us find the perfect fit in record time.”

Amanda Davenport, Director of Talent Acquisition, Submittable


In addition to placing Submittable’s Director of Science, Hunt Club worked as an extension of Submittable’s talent acquisition team, helping them source and hire several key roles that directly align with their recent partnership with Microsoft and tech-focused hiring strategy. These key hires were chosen to specifically increase Submittable’s capacity to drive innovation, integrate their product with Microsoft’s cloud platform, and strengthen their commitment to social responsibility:

  • VP of Product
  • Director of Product
  • Director of Engineering
  • Senior Product Pricing Specialist 
  • Enterprise Account Executive 
  • Alliances Partnership Manager

Engineering & Tech Roles Take Center Stage In Submittable's Future

2023 proved to be very engineering-focused for Submittable, with over 60% of net new hires being a part of their Engineering investment. This will likely continue into 2024 as they expect to add even more tech, product, and dev talent. As their new partnership with Microsoft unfolds, Submittable plans to hire more key roles in data engineering, front, back, and full stack development, machine learning, UX/UI design, and AI modeling.

“I think our hiring strategy will be heavily impacted as we narrow the scope on specific experiences and talented folks with unique skills that bring an innate desire to share their knowledge to drive us all forward," Amanda shares.

Hunt Club specializes in sourcing uniquely skilled talent and filling roles that tech companies need. 

We’ll work alongside your internal talent acquisition team to source, vet, and hire top candidates. Leverage a powerful combination of innovative technology and our network recruiting model to get warm introductions to highly skilled, digital talent.


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