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Never Stop Recruiting (Even With No Current Openings)

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Back in Lesson #106, we talked about the importance succession planning for all positions within your company, but in the event you don’t have the right successor talent in house, you will need to recruit replacement talent for your startup, which we learned how to do in Lesson #34.  And, most likely, this means finding a quick replacement for an underperforming or lost staff member or adding a new staff member for unexpected growth.

As the old saying goes, time is money.  The longer it takes you to recruit and replace a terminated or lost employee, or fill that new opening, the longer it will take you to train and optimize the new employee and the longer it will take your income statement to see the results.

One strategy to employ is to never shut off your job postings or resume inflow, regardless of whether or not you have an open position, especially for high turnover risk or other key revenue driving positions (e.g., salespeople).  The small cost of the job posting should be more than offset by the weeks of time savings you will get by having a fresh batch of resumes in hand for when you really need them.

And, better yet, it doesn’t hurt to have had some active conversations with candidates for these positions so you have pre-screened and prioritized the resumes and know the first calls you are going to make when the time comes.  Understand some candidates may not still be available down the road, but at least you will have an opportunity. Sell them on the opportunity at that time, no different than professional recruiters stealing talent from one company to another.

Yes, I know recruiting can be a pain and often a time-consuming distraction in running your business.  I am not suggesting this becomes a full time job for you.  What I am saying is, during your free time, keep your recruiting process on a slow simmer on the back burner so that when you have the need to heat up your efforts, you are not beginning from a cold start.

Recruiting for talent is an everyday thing, whether you realize it or not, especially for high-growth early stage startups.  So, you might as well put a process around it to make it as efficient as possible for you, in good times (e.g., adding staff) and in bad (e.g., replacing staff).  Your bottom line profits will thank you as you do your best to minimize any negative impact on your revenue stream!

This article was originally published on RedRocket VC, a consulting and financial advisory firm with expertise in serving the start-up, digital and venture community.

Image credit: CC by Kevin Dooley

About the author: George Deeb

George Deeb is a managing partner at Red Rocket Ventures, a Chicago-based startup consulting and fundraising firm with expertise in advising Internet-related businesses. More of George’s startup lessons can be read at “101 Startup Lessons — An Entrepreneur’s Handbook.”

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