Founders Note

We Need To Talk About Hiring

I meet too many founders who’ve read 27 blog posts on landing page optimisation but make it up as they go along in interviews. Startup literature urgently needs more guides to headhunting and fewer how-to’s on the email etiquette of VC introductions.

CEO, Workable

The hardest thing you've not been told

The Series A crunch may be tough but the talent crunch is brutal. I talk to high-growth startups every day and I keep hearing versions of “compared to recruiting, fundraising was easy”. Just like fundraising, it’s very competitive. It takes time, preparation and selling, and getting it wrong can slow down or kill your startup. It’s the hardest thing to get right, so I find it perverse that it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

You need to be a hiring obsessive

Whether it’s two founders talking to an angel investor, a team of ten making something from nothing, or a high-growth company with fifty staff, team quality is the single best predictor of success. If you can get great people then everything else becomes so much easier.

Growth hacks versus talent hacks

Silicon Valley has figured out how to build great products and turn them into successful business models. Methodologies have emerged like Lean Startup, agile product development and growth hacking. They function as roadmaps for the non-experts and inspire conversation and innovation in those fields. In comparison hiring practices have remained in the dark ages.

Getting from 5 to 50 and beyond

Your first five hires pretty much picked themselves but in getting from 5 to 50 you will need the best tools and analytics, and you will need to be systematic. It’s about more than ping pong tables and bicycle racks. We’ve spent the time to curate the best thinking on everything from employer branding and headhunting to the interview process. We’ve thrown in ideas, tricks, talent hacks and real life examples from great companies. The result is a simple guide that offers some structure to your journey from 5 to 50. It’s a starting point. And my aim is to get all of us to talk about hiring.