Working with Recruiters in Startups

Diana looks for leadership at the U.S. Capital
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For many years I was against working with recruiters as I felt the best candidates were the ones proactively looking for a new position through word-of-mouth or online job listings. Over time I’ve come to appreciate that recruiters help for hard-to-fill positions as well as time sensitive positions. There’s also the rare time when the company is growing faster than it can hire or just landed a round of investment capital.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when working with recruiters:

  • Use your personal network and offer employees a $1,000 bonus if they refer someone, as hiring via referrals is generally the highest quality source
  • Make sure there is at least a 90 day refund period if a new hire doesn’t work out (give the recruiter 60 days to replace the person first but if they can’t deliver someone that you hire, get your money back)
  • Employ an applicant tracking system where all candidates fill out a form online for efficiency as well as if you have concerns about multiple recruiters supplying the same person and getting double billed

My recommendation is to use your network first to find candidates and then go to recruiters if that doesn’t work out. Recruiters have a role for startups and should be used where applicable.

What else? What other tips do you have for working with recruiters?

4 thoughts on “Working with Recruiters in Startups

    1. We use Newton (newtonsoftware.com). What do you guys use? I imagine you have had great growth challenges.

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