Always Be Recruiting?

  • April 17, 2012
  • Scott

Along with  “Always Be Closing” and “Always Be Selling”, we can add “Always Be Recruiting” as Ben Yoskovitz of Instigator Blog writes:

Running the two processes of fundraising and recruiting simultaneously is incredibly challenging. Both are time consuming, frustrating and risky. You’ll often hear people tell you that when you’re fundraising it’s almost impossible to do anything else with the business (continue building / iterating on product, acquiring customers, marketing, etc.) And that’s surprisingly true. First-timers don’t believe it until they’re neck deep in fundraising, two months in and shocked that the rest of their startup has made little progress. But raising money and recruiting are very similar processes, which makes it easier to context shift between the two. And if you do manage to get people convinced to jump pre-funding (and they’re waiting for it to close), you can highlight those targeted recruits to investors. You don’t just have empty buckets with titles and job descriptions that you need to fill, you actually have people eager and ready to go.

I think we can sum up this post as – Always Be Recruiting (ABR).   And it is true.  You don’t start and stop the recruiting process for people who grow your business – you’re always making connections and keeping track of people who some day could impact your firm positively – even if they never work for you but just become an advocate for your business. Maybe “Recruiting” is the wrong word because to most people it implies the “hiring” part of the process rather than the “socializing/networking” part of the process.

I’ve had recruiting and hiring and interviewing responsibilities at every company I’ve worked with – and the one piece of advice I always gave was not to shut the machine down.  You can reduce the number of people you hire, or fly in for interviews. You can raise the bar in lean times (to hire only truly exceptional people).  But you should never shut it down completely – because it takes time to get the pipeline going – 3-6 months from a cold start – and you want to be ready when the demand shows up, or when you suffer attrition.  That 3-6 months will feel like an eternity – and you’ll miss business opportunities simply because you don’t have the right people available.

I’ve seen the cost of this stopping-and-starting first hand.  It is why we’re always listening at BP3.  Always keeping our eye on the ball for growing the business.  It has paid off time and time again.  And it is why I’m in Indiana tonight, doing a couple of college career fairs.  Time to find a couple of interns, and a couple of full-time hires, and import some talent down to Austin, and into the BPM ecosystem.



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