Tuesday Mar 20, 2012 by Chris McMahon - Sr. Director of Human Resources, Endeca
The idea is working… you have great investors, you have hired exceptional people, your core product is built, your customers are happy and they want to know what is coming next! All of the hard work of bringing your idea to reality is paying off and now you are thinking about how to recruit that next wave of talent that will help you scale the business and create real value for your shareholders.
So the big question is… how do you attract and hire top-notch talent as you enter this next stage of growth??? Let’s focus on how to attract your next superstars:
1. Get organized. When you are trying to find the best people as quickly as possible, there isn’t a moment to waste! Spend the right amount of time answering the questions of Who, What, When and Where. Who is the right person that we are looking for? What is the scope of the role and what is the right background? When do we need this person? Where are they located? If you and your team are aligned on all of those areas then you are less likely to waste precious time as you ramp up your recruiting efforts. Don’t be afraid to make opportunistic hires of exceptional talent but being focused on hiring a Product Manager with 5 years of analytics and business intelligence experience in Cambridge next quarter as opposed to simply hiring a “great Product Manager” will help you find the right match that much faster.
2. Know your brand. You know what makes your company unique and what makes your company a great place to grow your career… right? I learned very quickly that to compete for top technology talent in Boston, you better know what makes you different or you don’t stand a chance! Are you committed to innovation? Do you have cutting edge technology? Is your product/solution solving an important problem? Do you heavily invest in your people? And remember the details… innovation sounds a lot more exciting when you can tell a story about a cool new feature or product that two of your software engineers created during the free time given to the development team!
3. Do your homework. Now that you are organized and know what makes your company an awesome place to be, it is time to focus on where to find that top talent that fits your company. If you are hiring the next great software architect then figure out where those people work, where they went to school, what events they go to, what they read, etc. Those areas will become focal points as you communicate your brand and start attracting candidates.
4. Spread the word. It is important to continue to do the things that helped you find your initial team… working your network, leveraging your investors, being visible in your industry and community, creating a recruiting culture within your company… but determine what additional resources are needed to achieve your goals. Sourcing tools, social media and recruitment technology are key resources to think through but when thinking specifically about people, adding some administrative help will likely be needed and a bigger decision is whether to add an experienced recruiter to your team. Some companies at this stage prefer to have their leadership handle the tasks associated with sourcing candidates but others look to centralize their sourcing and recruiting efforts by adding an internal recruiter or recruiting manager. Bringing a great recruiter into your team can create tremendous value, particularly as tools like LinkedIn have made it much easier to identify and contact great people.
Hiring first-class talent can sound easy but rarely is! There are many components to successfully attracting great people but the areas noted above are critical as you enter into your next stage of growth. Be sure to focus on the details as that can be the difference between getting your next top performer or losing them to a competitor! Next time we will walk through some key areas to think about as you move from attracting candidates to evaluating and hiring them.