Always Be Recruiting

Most founding entrepreneurs I know would rather focus on the product more than anything else.

They are building something they personally want to see in this world and are scratching their own itch.

And that is why they started a company and raised money.

Then the hardest part comes. Execution.

The most critical skill to execution is having the best team and that requires a constant attention to recruiting. 

I’ve noticed a few recruiting issues that I thought I’d point out. 

-be careful of new technology. When are building your web service it’s often best to stick to the time tested on the back end (lamp stack and AWS). It’s far easier to recruit if you are using established platforms than trying to hire developers experienced with “newer” things like Tokoyo Cab as one example. 

-hiring users. My favorite model is to hire people that come from your community. Stack Exchnge literally uses their own product to find the best people. In the early days Tumblr and Twitter only hired people that were active users. It’s an excellent compass. 

-hiring groups. I’ve seen entrepreneurs get excited about group hiring. For example, hiring the top three mobile devs from company xyz. There obvious benefits: in one fell swoop you get an instant team that works well together. The downside : if one member of the group doesn’t perform and needs to go, you risk losing the group. Or one member of the group gets wandering eyes. Take the time to interview each member of the group before loving the group hire concept. 

-ABR. The last thing i want to mention is also probably the most important. ABR – Always Be Recuiting. You may think your team is set for now but there is always team risk. Risk you don’t have enough folks. Risk that you don’t have the right team. Risk that a key person leaves you. The only way to deal with this risk is to always be recruiting. Many founding CEOs I know spend 50% of their week recruiting. Some spend more than that. I know it can be frustrating and precious days and weeks will go by where you feel like you hit a recruiting wall. But you can’t give up. That just means you have to keep it up or even turn up the gain even more. 

A great team will make your life better. 

(please excuse typos and lack of links. wrote this on my ipad)