Start-up Recruiting: How Do You Measure Up?


June 5th, 2012 | Posted in by

Recruiting has become a full-contact sport. Some companies make a science of reaching the best talent in the pool, while others are fishing in the remaining puddles. If you’re not suffering in this market, then you’re doing something wrong. Not sure how you’re doing? Consider these three simple measures.

Are you filling your vacant jobs in 6 weeks or less?

Tech companies are about time and execution. If you consistently get people on-board within 40 days, then you’re doing fine. If it’s taking longer, it can cost you. Of course, some roles, like software engineering on the bleeding edge, can take a little longer.

If you’re waiting months to hire perfection, be sure that your criteria are correct. There’s a good chance you’re ruling out great candidates who lack only the knowledge or experience that could be picked up in a few weeks on the job. What’s this time worth to you and your clients?

A little rejection is a good thing. One out of four ain’t bad.

It can hurt when a recruit turns you down and takes another offer. The good news is that it validates that you really do recognize a quality person when you meet one – especially when they accept a counter-offer to stay where they are. Don’t feel bad if you lose on one out of four offers – it means you’re going after the good ones.

Don’t fool yourself because no one turns you down. You should be competing for every recruit you hire. It could be that you’re settling for mediocrity or your comp plans are inflated.

Beware: Recruits with bad job records do well in interviews. Practice makes perfect.

A good gauge of quality recruiting is based on the job records of your hires. As a benchmark, you should hire people that stay longer than 18 months per employer. If the tenures are too short, let someone else hire them, or you’ll be replacing them in the near future.

This 1.5 year threshold gets murky for juniors and newcomers to the country. But, for intermediates and seniors, it can indicate a personality issue or incompetence. Manage this risk by evaluating each career move. You need to know if the moves represent a promotion or a lateral move. The former is much better than the latter – what does your team need?