When is it time to use a recruitment agency?

The number one reason that many startups turn to a recruitment agency, is bandwidth. We talk about founders needing to wear many hats when you set out and trying to focus on recruitment when it's time to hire, on top of everything else required to run a new business, can be highly time consuming.

I have spoken to many founders over the last few months who have started out trying to conduct their own resourcing, paying to place adverts on job boards or using word of mouth, only to then find that they have a huge volume of CVs to sift through, none of whom have been right. If you are a sole founder, it can also be quite daunting making that decision on your own, everyone wants a second opinion, right?

If the skills you are seeking are in high demand, using an agency that utilises a headhunting approach means you are receiving targeted candidates, who won't be sent out to 5 of your competitors at the same time. You don't have to pay a retained fee for this service either, contingency recruiters will most likely work harder and quicker in order to increase the chances of filling the role. If you want a contingency recruiter to deliver, then seriously consider an exclusive agreement. If a recruiter knows that they are the only one working on a role, believe me they will work every minute of the day until they have delivered!

You may not have considered this another benefit of using a recruiter, but in a small company /startup you have the added benefit of free PR and marketing. If you want developers to know about your company, then let a recruiter go to market and sell your story, especially one with 16,000 plus Linkedin connections!

The biggest objection I have had from founders in startups to using an external recruiter, is the cost. I agree, charging a startup 20% fees is ridiculous. Money is precious whether you are recently funded or about to receive your next funding. Find a recruiter who understands this, is empathetic and is willing to look at a variety of options to make life easier. You may feel that paying out money for a service that you could, in theory, do yourself is a waste, but can you really afford to spend your own time without the guarantee of hiring?

This isn't a shameless plug for you to contact Propeller-tech, however. I just want to leave this piece of client feedback right here for you to read:

"Having been awarded an Innovate UK grant, Famiio needed to quickly hire a unique individual with a diverse range of full-stack development skills and startup knowledge. Louise from Propeller-tech sent us the first candidate, a perfect fit, and within 7 days we had secured them as our new CTO on a novel arrangement that worked for both parties. The whole experience has been easy and efficient. We will use Louise again and would recommend Propeller-tech to anyone who is recruiting for startups" - Gary Todd, CEO Famiio

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