Tuesday 21 August 2012

Recruitment strategy for start-ups

It's been a few years since the last blog update but as I was responding to a question from a friend about recruitment strategies I thought this could be interesting to share.

The recruitment strategy for a startup depends a lot on the role and your conditions (location, salary, industry, etc) but simply put every startup with more than 20 employees really needs to focus on employing the best people available for each job. This means going through 100s of CVs, interviewing lots of candidates and finally narrow it down to a few top candidates. The hiring criteria then comes down to a combination of the following:

1. Skills and experience for the job - CV, references, test the skills
2. Ability to grow / develop in the role - This is almost always a top criteria and probably where I've done the most mistakes when recruiting
3. Will this person love the job - this is one of my top criteria as we want people that are passionate about the job and company
4. Cost / location - who can we hire for the budget that we have and the location Other than this, it's a matter of having a great mix of people that complement each other. So it's that easy? Not at all, I've made huge mistakes in the past:
* Hired people too fast because we needed more people and they happened to be available
* Hired people without having enough candidates to a job
* Waited too long to hire more senior people both in commercial and development (which was partially due to budget constraints)
* Hired lots of junior people in sales to complement the more senior people which completely failed what we actually needed was more independent people
* In some instances we focused on quantity rather than quality which was a huge mistake in retrospect. 

In summary we are constantly learning and I think this is the most important thing in the end.