5 Recruiting Tactics Firms Should Use When Scaling Quickly

by Mark Flickinger

Making the right hires costs leaders one of their most precious resources — time. If they do it well, finding that new team member can take months of effort. If they do it poorly, a lot of money can go to waste.

With that in mind, here are five tips for how to bring aboard the best team possible:

1. Become your own critic. As an investor, I have greater confidence in founders who are able to identify the gaps in their teams and in themselves. A June 2017 study by the University College of London found that authenticity is key to landing a new job. Instead of trying to hide their weaknesses, leaders should own them and then hire someone to add to and complement their skills.

2. Ignore conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom says companies should take their time with hiring. Yet there is such a thing as hiring “too slow.” Leaders should bring talent in to help them grow the business before it’s necessary. Assuming they’re already “firing fast,” there is no hiring mistake more detrimental than failing to scale their company because they didn’t scale their team.

3. Don’t get desperate. Startup CEOs often get bogged down in the day-to-day. They don’t realize the thing they need most isn’t another product feature but rather another set of experienced hands. Therefore, leaders have to learn to plan ahead. Experience allows my team to tell our founders, “We’ve been here before, and you’ll need a (fill in the position) in about three months.” With this foresight, leaders can begin the talent acquisition process before they need to.

4. Crowdsource Your Decision. Leaders will also increase their success average if they ask for help. For instance, it’s our job as a VC firm to have access to talent. So instead of turning to recruiting agencies, leaders should talk to their capital providers first.

5. Disregard the Past. While résumés can give leaders helpful context, what people accomplished in the past often doesn’t have much correlation to what they’ll do in the future. Matching the wrong desire with a company that is too big or too small for the candidate is a recipe for a short tenure.