January 29, 2013

Recruiting is sales

Hiring the first ten to twenty employees to a startup can often be done from the founders' networks. But when a startup starts to do well, one core activity the company will have to deal with over the next few years is recruiting staff. The faster the company grows, the more time it will have to spend on recruiting and interviewing.

Still, most startups will hire slower than planned. Even those with venture capital backing that can actually afford to hire aggressively. This isn't rocket science, but it took me a long time in the startup world before I really started to grasp the implications.

- Recruiting is like sales. You need to build a pipeline, interview and finally close candidates.
- A great "product" (company brand + role + current staff) make it easier to get people to sign on
- Price (salary) is obviously very important, but not the only factor
- Your throughput is dependent on how many "salespeople" (recruiters) you have
- Recruiting has a sales cycle like all qualified sales (in Sweden likely at least 5-6 months from start of recruiting of role to first day of hired employee)
- Hiring managers and team members will have to spend quite some time on hiring
- A good process saves time and increases efficiency
- One should always complement interviews with skills testing (for technical and non-technical roles)

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