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Evona Combats Space Industry Hiring Challenges with Subscription Staffing Model

By Abbey Weltman | February 21, 2024

      Evona CEO Tom Kelly. Photo: Evona

      Space industry recruiting agency Evona has adapted its business model, pushing a new subscription staffing solution in response to industry trends, as space companies are seeing a slowdown in later-stage funding rounds. 

      In October 2022, Evona observed the slow-down in venture capital rounds, as space investment dipped overall in 2022, which the company suspected would lead to a decrease in hiring trends. In response, they constructed EvonaLite, to account for changing candidate pools and company spending habits. Evona CEO Tom Kelly recently spoke with Via Satellite about how the new model was influenced by trends in the space hiring market. 

      “We are still seeing a lot of companies that are still looking to grow, especially at seed and pre-seed, investment companies are still willing to write checks there,” Kelly said. “Series B through D is taking forever for companies, more than anybody thought before.” Without this funding companies have less flexibility to onboard new hires. 

      The subscription model is intended to drive down recruiting costs by utilizing Evona’s network to streamline the search process over traditional head hunting methods. The company launched the EvonaLite Model at the SmallSat Conference in August of 2023. 

      In the EvonaLite model, Evona is responsible for sifting through applicants and screening them to find talent. This model eliminates labor-intensive head-hunting and uses applicants from Evona’s sizable networking channel. This allows Evona to focus on screening applicants instead of searching for them.

      The goal is to save companies money, while the average head-hunt fee in the U.S. is typically around 23% of a hire’s salary. EvonaLite charges $1,000 per position, per month and is averaging 119 applicants per position, per month.

      Evona reported that since launching six months ago, its clients have saved a combined $368,000. Evona claims this model results in 65% savings in comparison to traditional agency fees. Kayhan Space is one of the customers that has used this model. 

      Reducing the cost of the recruiting process allows Evona to work with companies with established internal recruiting teams to help them grow through trying economic periods. 

      Working so closely with the space sector, Evona has captured a lot of detail on changing hiring trends.  With increased tech layoffs in 2023 to 2024, Kelly says there has been an influx of candidates for space industry developer and data analyst roles. 

      “If you’re looking for a data analyst or a full stack developer, because of layoffs in big tech, that part of the market is now swamped with candidates,” Kelly says. “That will unfortunately continue to be the case, which is why companies have a nightmare because they have way too many applicants.”

      There are still positions in the space industry that are in high demand and difficult to find talent for, such as electrical engineers and hardware specialists. 

      “There’s still definitely an appetite for companies to hire,” says Kelly. “There’s certain skill sets which every company needs, which are getting harder and harder to hire, no matter the number of layoffs. But it’s a fight for talent. Looking for a mid-level, five-to-seven years experience engineer is still an absolute battleground.” 

      Evona aims to foster their relationships with companies in the industry by adapting to changing needs in the market. Kelly commented, “With the VC landscape changing, you have to be so smart about the people that you hire. Companies have to consider how they’re able to expand.”