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When is the right time to hire a dedicated recruiter?

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Wondering at what point a startup becomes too big for the cofounders to be conducting interviews. Ideally, the cofounders know who the right people are for the job, but there has to be a point when they pass that job off to someone else who can dedicate all their time to these matters. Regardless of money, when is a good time to bring in someone or a small team to take over the hiring process at a startup?

11 Replies

allison simpson
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allison simpson Entrepreneur
non-for-profit, administration, leadership
after you hire key core people. I have no experience but my view is I need to personally know the players who are making vital core decisions. and they have been vetted after that people who can be replaced or outsourced should be hired by recruiters to whom that I can clearly articulate my vision and wishes trusting they know my vision and have the capacity to find the right people. but im new at this, just my instincts. good blessings.
Juan Ramon Zarco
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Juan Ramon Zarco Entrepreneur
Managing Director, Silicon Valley Ventures Growth Partners llp
Apply Ronald Coase's theory of Firm -- transactional costs: when it is more effective to bring a person into make the internal process more cost effective. Founders and senrio executives time is more efficiently applied to increase shareholder value, not screen hundreds of applicants.
Fernando Muniz-Simas
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Fernando Muniz-Simas Entrepreneur
Managing Partner and Founder at IVD Mining
Ryan, how big is your team and how much time do you dedicate to HR? This is a key function and my advice is that you should always be close to hiring decisions, even if you make the last interview and give the last word. People will value having you close to their careers.
allison simpson
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allison simpson Entrepreneur
non-for-profit, administration, leadership
when recruiting is taking you from your primary mission you have enough key people, if you are interested in reaching more customers after having found or obtained basic operating support you need a recruiter. if you are sacrificing you mission to hire more ppl you dont have enough support.
Scott Crowe
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Scott Crowe Entrepreneur
Lead Recruiter at Canva
Hi Ryan,

I am curious why you are considering hiring a recruiter?

I assume if you are hiring a recruiter it would be to maintain the talent bar you have set not to replace yourself in the interview panel completely. If it is a matter of not wanting to interview, I would empower those you hired to take on the majority of the process and only become involved toward the later stage or in key positions.

Best of luck with your search!
Patty DeDominic
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Patty DeDominic Advisor
Chief Catalyst, Managing Partner at DeDominic & Associates (Also Chief Catalyst for Maui Mastermind and Exec Coach)
Developing a relationship with a search firm for executive and talent recruitment is a good idea. Some will work for part fee part equity. I love to use a company called Decision Toolbox and have successfully referred then to ten of my clients.

You will never want to give up "interviewing" nor signing off on the job description, but you will want to outsource the recruitment and the screening early on. Top talent can be expensive, the only thing more expensive is "cheap" help or no help.
Travis Scott
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Travis Scott Advisor
Managing Partner and Recruiting Consultant @ RainierDigital
Hi Ryan- The answer to your question about when to hire a dedicated recruiter depends on what your hiring numbers look like, how sustained your hiring will be at that level and the types of roles you're looking to fill. It doesn't make sense to hire a recruiter if your hiring levels will fall off every few months. It might make more sense to hire a RPO or agency that can help put processes in place, help you develop a strategy, set realistic expectations, train hiring managers to effectively interview and do the heavy lifting for you in the beginning. These types of agencies have the ability to scale and contract/expand based on your business needs. Usually allowing you access to a recruiting team without adding additional headcount. This is exactly what my company, RainierDigital, does and I would be happy to jump on a call to answer any follow up questions you may have about any of this. Travis *Travis Scott* *Managing Partner* Direct: (425) 270-8424 | Mobile: (425) 443-3973 2018 156th Ave NE | Suite 100 | Bellevue, WA 98007 www.rainierdigital.com [image: Facebook] [image: Twitter] [image: Google Plus] [image: Linkedin]
Taj Sateesh
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Taj Sateesh Entrepreneur
CEO at Sphinx Resources--The Preferred Recruitment Partners in Hi-Technology R&D & Manufacturing
Hello Ryan,
A lot depends on what the objective is......IF it is to delegate the complete hiring activity/process to another person & you focus on other tasks, then that stage would come only much much later.

As a thumbrule, until you build-up the company where there are at least 2-3 tiers between you & the level you need to hire/interview, you WILL have to participate in the hiring process. I know of companies where the CEO still meets....even if for 5 mins......every hire [despite there being ~5-6 tiers between him & the bottom-most level] to give a psychological impact to the hiree. In the long-run, this is quite important for any Company.....big or small.

There's also another reason why it's imperative that you excuse yourself from the hiring process 'as the last resort': A wrong hire will be far more expensive for the organization than a delay in filling any position.....if you find it tough to spare time to participate in interviews. As a Founder, the buck always stops @ your desk.....be it a bouquet or a brickbat.

Like Fernando mentioned, Hiring is a crucial function.....especially until the scale is reached.
Delegate the coordination activities [thru RPOs, Agencies, etc] IF you wish to save your time.......but NEVER delegate the decision-making until you reach the critical mass--obviously goes without saying that this means that you really can't distance yourself from the hiring process for sometime to come. If that's telling on your precious time, it would be better to find other ways to handle the situation(s) than cutting your involvement in the hiring process.

TS
Bob Smith
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Bob Smith Advisor
Consulting to Boards, CEO's and Key Management Teams, Strategic Investor and Fast Growth Companies
There is no absolute time. Depends on how you want the Recruiter to make a difference and where they can be helpful in a really meaningful way.

We do a program at Draper University on How To Hire Well and fire Well. As a result, we have heard a lot of different situations that Entrepreneurs experience.

The big thing is to balance time, money and rate of growth. Also, your first 50 people have the greatest influence on your capacity to become a really robust company.

Each situation differs. If you want to talk about it, let me know. We have seen a few different things work well.
Rob Smore
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Rob Smore Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing Strategist | Revenue Acceleration Specialist | Lead Generation
Sure - give me a call - [removed to protect privacy] or we are having our meeting at 3:30pm today and can discuss then. -- (813) 300-4524
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