2015 - hiring in a high growth business...

Much has been written about start up hiring, mainly from a west coast perspective. Whilst it is undoubtedly a challenge growing a business in start up mode I now think it is those 'growing pain' organisations that suffer the most. Big enough to need to hire a reasonable number of people, yet too small to have them running through the front door and without the cool of being a start up.

As soon as you become a something. The expectations change, you may have experienced failure and survived, weathered the storm of growth and yet still need to get people to buy into you.

Whether hiring at a corporate, mid market, start up or something in between there are some common themes...

Get the business to take hiring seriously...

Getting the right people, people that care, people that will drive your business, drive your customers is still the hardest thing any business will do. You will live and die by the hiring decisions you make. I would suggest that is it tougher than getting funding (there is always someone with money to spend), tougher than creating the product you make, the app you have developed, the service you provide. Without the right people you will have nothing, your cool idea will be stuck on the drawing board, your expansion into Europe will flounder.

Get good people.

Take is seriously and find people who get what needs to happen next.

Always be hiring...

Conceptually, organisations get hung up on this. HR teams particularly who will only think about hiring when everything is absolutely signed off to the nth degree by which time the business is baying for someone's blood as it has taken so long to get to this point. Most of us, me included, found our last job by talking to someone we know, networking, pursuing that conversation with that person that we met once and deciding that a coffee with them would be a good idea.

Candidates have to work harder but so do you. If you want great people to join you, meet them half way, get out for a beer, a coffee or something else. As a recruiter I made my first hire at a children's birthday party. Not as bad as you think, both me and the candidate were having a beer, chatting and it was that informality that made it easy for us both.

Get into the habit, a daily task that you will seek out potential. Spread the word, this is everyone's responsibility, get the whole company involved. Reward good behaviour, those that bring you talent, even if you don't need them today. As a business you will know what you are likely to need in the future, so get people to hang out in those places that you will find them so that we you are in a position to actually hire you will find it easier and quicker and if you are getting it right candidates will already have started their psychological on boarding.

Make it easy for candidates to get a feel for what you are before they get there...

Finding good candidates is just like selling to consumers. You need to get out and market what you, make it compelling and make the experience the best that it can be. In hiring going the extra mile should be the norm.

So with your marketing head on make it easy for candidates to 'get you'. Give people something to buy into, the compelling reason to join you and make it honest, keep the hiring expectation gap to a minimum (that gap between what you thought the job was vs. what it actually is). So this is hard work but better to do the hard work up front, make sure your website has a decent 'work for us' section, that you are sharing interesting content (not just posting jobs) on Twitter, Linkedin or wherever your target is audience is likely to be hanging out. Don't be afraid to volunteer to talk about your business, get invited to things where your company looks good, makes an impact, creates a stir in fact anything that is likely to make potential candidates come to you. That is the real secret isn't it. Get them to come to you.

Experience isn't everything...

I have done this myself (where I have managed to get away with it). Hire good people that are smart and get it and will be able to grow into the role, the company, the situation. Some of my best hires have often been when people are by no means the finished article, but they are hungry to learn, easy to work with and have an attitude about them. An energy if you like that is undeniably positive and can do.

Importantly it rubs off. It increases the capability of your team, your business.

Sometimes you.

Hire people that are a good fit for you and your business, then create an environment that allows them to develop skill, gain experience and then get them out hiring as well.

I know you got to this point looking for the big finish. No big finish today. Read this again, there is something in what I have said and it is based on a load of hiring in a number of different shaped and sized organisations. Then send me an inmail to let me know when you are free for a coffee and let's see what we can do together.


I have background in executive search and selection, headhunting and senior level recruitment combined with people and business management experiences. My focus has always been on the IT services, technology and management consultancy sectors on a permanent and interim basis where I have developed a personal portfolio that covers areas such as EVP, social recruitment and the successful creation of talent pools as well the management and leadership of corporate talent acquisition teams.

Currently working across Europe with high growth, high tech organisations to develop effective blended onshore/offshore recruitment models, covering full commercial engagement, transition and ongoing delivery management.

I am an avid blogger, writer, public speaker and traveller of trains across the UK.

Follow me on twitter @MDangerfield or have a look at http://www.linkedin.com/in/martindangerfield for more details.