LMRE: Recruiting in a scale up environment

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Over the last 12 months we have helped over 50 UK based start-ups with their hiring strategies and have first-hand experience of what a successful recruitment process should look like and what pitfalls can easily be avoided in order to secure the best available talent on budget and on time.

Once founders and entrepreneurs have secured their funding and more importantly have proof of concept, they are understandably in a hurry to expand their business and take their products and services to market. We have worked with some incredible Founders who in many cases have literally changed the RE landscape, and by their own admission, after securing funding rounds, scaling teams and hiring top talent in a candidate short market has been their number one headache.

This for any organisation is an exciting but challenging next step and one that often takes people out of their comfort zone.

Here at LMRE we are specialist in our field, which makes us uniquely qualified to guide our clients through some of the many challenges that may be encountered when scaling at pace. In doing so we will also consult on what systems and processes need to be in place before the first and invariably key hire can be made.

Here are our top tips on recruiting in a scale up environment:

  • Corporate structure, payroll provision and employment contract in place well in advance of hiring process.
  • Detailed JD clearly summarising company and core elements of the role and not a wish list of what the ideal candidate should look like as they rarely exist!
  • Clearly communicated and condensed interview process. The longer the process the more at risk you are of losing the right candidate and being back to square one. One month is the average time a top candidate is on the market for before being snapped up.
  • It is vital to sell the opportunity and your vision to any prospective candidate. The best talent is highly in demand and they will be assessing you as much as you are assessing them.
  • Don’t assume that the perfect candidates exists. Are we accessing the widest possible candidate pool. What are the key components of the role and what are you prepared to compromise on.  Do you really need 10 years sales experience or could you settle for 6 years with someone who clearly has great potential to grow. Do you really need industry experience or could you look at someone from a difference sector. Is that Master’s degree really a prerequisite?
  • Make your first offer count and clearly communicate the whole package and benefits. In a candidate short market this is not the time to try and be cute and undercut the market. Candidates are very aware of their value and will lose buy-in very quickly if they feel that the offer stage has been an uphill battle and does not fairly reflect their worth in a competitive market.
  • Talk about the investment you will make in learning and development and how you are fully committed to developing the skills of your key people.
  • For the first time ever, recent employment polls are showing that values and company culture is more important than salary when assessing a new role. This is something that should be engrained in the interview process in order to be seen in the best possible light.
  • Finally, use your recruitment partner, we are here to save you much need time in helping to identify the best candidates in the market, whilst also being the best possible advocate of your organisation in the market.

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