According to First Round’s 2018 State of Startups, hiring is the #1 thing that keeps founders up at night. So why do B2B SaaS companies wait so long to hire someone to specialize in this role? If you were struggling to create a necessary product update, would you hold off on hiring an engineer? Most seed stage companies do not need to hire an internal recruiter and can scale to Series A by finding talent through the founding team’s network, investor connections and outsourced agencies and job boards. A large reason to raise a Series A is to create runway for hiring in order to scale, therefore, we firmly believe that once you’ve reached your Series A (and have goals to hire more than 15 people across the organization), it’s vital that you hire an internal recruiter. Here’s why:
1. Solidifies your employer brand. Now, more than ever, employer branding is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. But where do you start? Employer branding is more than having pictures of team events on the website or posting your values on your career page. It’s the little things that start with the hiring process– most notably, being efficient and organized in the interview process such as taking the time to pass on candidates who have applied to postings rather than just going dark, or taking weeks to get back to someone after a phone screen. Founders are constantly overwhelmed just trying to keep the business afloat, which makes something like getting back to candidates quickly seem like a menial task. In reality, these steps set the tone for how people in the market perceive your company. Is the company organized and efficient or scatterbrained and dismissive? You never know when you might want to re-engage with a candidate down the road or who in their network they will share their experience with, so be thoughtful about how you handle the interview process with everyone that comes in contact with your company. By having someone who owns the candidate pipeline, you ensure that you’re setting the proper tone for candidate experience early on.
2. Manage external resources and organize hiring data. Every scaling company relies on external recruiting resources eventually. By having someone to manage those relationships, founders are able to take some of the pressure off of themselves to both find, evaluate, negotiate and manage those relationships. But it’s not enough to just work with agencies– it takes time and effort to set them up for success. These agency recruiters are another layer of marketing for your company if managed correctly. Most agencies have anywhere from 5-10 recruiters who may be pitching your role to candidates. That’s potentially 50 conversations about your company every day, so create a streamlined process for your agencies to tell your company’s story effectively. One way to do this well is by creating a recruiting one pager about your company. It’s also vital that you have consistent contact with your recruiting partners and provide real time (or as close to real time) feedback about candidates. This feedback allows them to fine tune their pitch on your company and also keeps you top of mind. Managing these relationships properly takes time, which is where many internal recruiters focus their energy. By having an extra layer of support on the hiring front, you also ensure that candidates are being added into the ATS properly, which makes pulling data and reporting on headcount projections, goals and updates significantly easier.
3. Saves money in the long run. We know that time is money, so it goes without saying that having someone internally who can free up a founder or manager’s time by owning the hiring funnel is worth it. But time aside, given that most agencies charge 20-30% of a hire’s base salary, it’s significantly more cost effective and easier to control burn by having someone on staff full time doing most of the hiring. Take this a step further by accounting for the retention piece that an internal recruiter can influence and the savings continue to mount. The average cost to replace a $40k employee is $8k, and with quit rates at an all time high, it seems like a no-brainer to hire an internal recruiter who is focused on onboarding and retention, beyond just filling seats.
We often hear that “People are your most important asset,” yet few founders commit to making finding, hiring and retaining top talent early enough in their company’s lifecycle. Get ahead of the game and hire an internal recruiter so they can ensure that your company’s brand, processes and runway align with your overall goals and increase your chances of success.
If you liked “3 Reasons To Hire An Internal Recruiter Sooner Than You Think” and want to read more content from the Bowery Capital Team, check out other relevant posts from the Bowery Capital Blog.