Growing Out of the Startup Stage: Recruiting for Growth Stage

Here's Charlie's guest  post on Greenhouse's blog.  Greenhouse is hosting an event in a couple of weeks, where Charlie will be speaking on this hot topic. We’d love to see you there!  RSVP today!

You’ve grown out of the startup stage–what next?

Companies evolve over time, from the chaos and urgency of the early stage start-up to the structure and predictability that is essential to a mature enterprise. How companies hire naturally follows this evolution. Since the types of people who make startups successful are often not the types that make sense for a more mature business (and vice-versa) it’s important to that your hiring process evolves to address that evolution.

At a startup, the first dozen hires are usually:

  • More similar than diverse, coming from the same relatively small network of people

  • More generalist than specialist – they figure out what jobs they need to do and learn them

  • Highly passionate about the business itself, less interested in their career progression

In a startup environment populated by these people, too much structure can be a problem, and these people/companies thrive in a culture of flexibility and minimal boundaries. Hiring decisions are often made quickly and based on personal experience and relationships, as opposed to a thoughtful and objective interview process. This can lead to mistakes, but that’s ok because startups need to take risks and make mistakes, it’s a great way to iterate and learn.

A successful growth stage–that period of time between startup and maturity –when the company experiences its “adolescence” and gradually introduces process to prevent mistakes and make better decisions, requires a thoughtful and objective approach to recruiting.

Hiring for a growth stage company should start with a definition of who you’re looking for:

  • Does the position you’re hiring for require a startup mindset, or someone who knows how to scale the business efficiently?

  • What type of personal motivation will make someone want this job and be successful in this job? What qualities are good or bad for this?

  • Do you need another person from the same background as the rest, or should we be actively diversifying the team?

  • Does everyone on the hiring team agree about what you need? (This is a great place to start the conversation)

Hiring managers in the growth stage need to work through these and other questions about their hires, as well as create a thoughtful recruiting process if they’re going to identify and attract the right people. This is when relying on your networks and your instinct isn’t enough, and the science of hiring becomes critical.

Growing Out of the Startup Stage: Recruiting for Growth Stage

To learn more about how to develop your Growth Stage recruting strategy, join us March 6th, at HUGE headquarters in Brooklyn. Hear from Charlie about his experiences with companies like Google, Tumblr, Patch and SoundCloud. 

Event March 6th, 6:30-8:30 PM | Learn More and RSVP for the Event