When I will be running my own startup, I’ll do my best not to hire recruiters for as long as possible. Hopefully, until the company reaches 100 people.
I strongly believe that people make all the difference and recruiters do not posses industry expertise to understand and qualify a good candidate. Recruiters spend hours looking at resumes and talking to potential candidates about your benefits and perks (see first-day-desk pictures on LinkedIn — great candidates don’t give a damn about this stuff).
This leads to:
- Generic questions during interviews and artificial answers
- Overlooking great candidates with unconventional backgrounds
- Inability to excite candidate about position and company
Tom Brady wouldn’t have been drafted by a recruiter only by the hiring manager.
At a good company, managers spend significant time recruiting in many cases they are building relationships over months and even years.
Personal anecdote that is not very uncommon: I have been turned down by a recruiter, only to be reached out by a senior executive a two weeks later after he read my article on Medium. He was quite surprised to learn that I had a conversation with the recruiter and was passed on. And this is not just me, I have heard quite of few similar stories.
How will I solve the hiring problem?
I will institute a policy where each manager will spend at least 15% of the time recruiting people. Only after candidate passes conversation with hiring manager, will he/she be passed to recruiter to figure out the rest of the process (salary negotiations, breakdown of benefits, number of t-shirts/free lunches / corporate parties / vacation days you provide).
As Andy Grove said the output of a manager is combined output of all people under his/her leadership.
This is just my personal opinion based on consulting and advising many SaaS companies.
And then you hear this —