Startups Need To Hire A Recruiter…Now

Jeff Bussgang, Seeing Both Sides – Apr. 29, 2011

 

The unemployment rate in America is hovering around 9%. But if you are a competent engineer, sales executive, online marketer or general manager in Silicon Valley, NYC, Boston, or other startup hotspots, the unemployment rate is 0%.

The talent market has gotten as competitive and aggressive as I have ever seen in the last 20 years. CNN recently reported that 40% of the 130,000 job openings in Silicon Valley are for software engineers. Senior executives have never been harder to secure. That's why, even though it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, I'm advocating that all my portfolio companies hire recruiters when they are trying to fill senior or key positions. Immediately.

Typically, when a young company gets financing and begins to hire, they seek to leverage the network of the founding team and their investors. This network provides some valuable leads and perhaps a few hires. Leveraging existing networks has greater benefits than simply cost savings and convenience. Teams that have worked together in the past simpy are well-positioned to out-execute those that haven't due to their common history, language and relationships.

I have read studies that show that one of the factors that correlates highly for success in a startup is if the team has worked together and made money together in a previous start