Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear CR: I Need To Hire Engineer #1. Can You Help?!

DEAR CAPTAIN RECRUITER,

My co-founders and I just raised some seed capital for our startup and now we're ready to grow our tech team! Can you help us recruit our first software developer? I've never worked with a recruiter before, but I've heard helping startups grow is what you do! We currently have 4 people, 3 founders and an awesomely fabulous office manager.

SINCERELY,
IMA HIRIN'



DEAR IH,

Your company is at a stage where you need every dime you've got. I'd love to help you, but there's a good chance you're not ready yet. Here's why:

  • You don't know how to value recruiting services.

    If I send you a bill for a couple thousand dollars and you haven't made a hire yet, how are you going to feel about it? My past experience in trying to help super early stage companies tells me you're at a stage where taking risks that cost several thousand dollars and don't go directly into building your product aren't a good bet for you.

  • Your needs are going to change.

    If I spend a couple weeks looking for A, you're likely going to discover that you really need B. Can you afford to spend money on something that doesn't produce results immediately? Probably not. It's the same reason you probably don't want to be spending a lot money on PR, marketing, advertising, or a big fancy sign in front of your office. Premium services can be quite effective, but getting you to the point where you really know what you want is expensive at your size.

  • You'll respect me later if I don't take your money now.

    Even if you said you'd be willing to take a risk and hire Captain Recruiter knowing it might not work out, you'll never really feel good about. I'd rather take you out to lunch, answer a few of your questions, and make a recommendation on how to do recruiting yourself on a budget. When you've reached the next stage, you'll trust me more since I didn't take advantage of you when you only had a few bucks to spend.

  • Recruiting is inherently unpredictable.

    I've stopped trying to guess what people are going to do. Even when I manage to be perfectly consistent, clients and candidates throw me curveballs all the time. For example, if I tell you that a filling a position costs $X and you can afford to spend $X, you may be thinking that I can help. But it's easy to forget that $X is the average; filling half the positions cost more than $X! The unpredictable nature of recruiting and people makes recruiting more suitable for companies with deeper pockets who can let the costs of filling a position average out over time.


It's an exciting time to be you! You've got big dreams and money in the bank that buys you the time to chase those dreams. Be wise with your money, making small bets and taking calculated risks. When you're ready to scale, I'll be here to help you build the team you need.

CHEERS!
CAPTAIN

4 comments:

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  3. There is a webinar that we are organizing which can help you learn about the above topic.

    It will be on successful recruitment strategies for startups. Everything you need to know about hiring recruiting for a startup. We will discuss factors such as current trends, different stages of startups, cultural fit, and the benefits of hiring an intern.

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