So, you’ve raised a seed round and now what will you do next or better what is the next trick you’ll pull out of your hat(Humor)? Who will be your first big hire? Why hire someone at all. What to build out first – Human Infrastructure or Technology Infrastructure?
“Our immediate goal after investing in your seed round is that you get to your next round by hitting your numbers/projections in around a year so,” says Trace Cohen, managing director at New York Venture Partners. The reason for investors’ urgency is simple: Most startups don’t make it to their next round. The majority run out of financial runway long before they hit the numbers required for the next round, taking their company — and investors’ capital — down with them. If you’re progressing through your growth plan, you’re going to be constantly recruiting for new roles. In order to sustain this, you must develop a rigid structure for hiring, including:
- A talent-dedicated team member who is responsible for hiring.
- Clear avatars for every role on your roadmap.
- Company-wide buy-in to the hiring process.
1. Define your talent structure
When you were hiring on an as-need basis, you didn’t need a recruiter or head of talent. Now that you’re executing a long-term hiring plan, you need someone to lead the initiative.
2. Research roles you know nothing about
After your seed round, you’re going to be hiring for very specific roles—often ones you’re completely unfamiliar with. This can make it tricky to build good avatars. For example, how do you hire someone to run your financials if no one on your team has ever done accounting? How do you hire your marketing department if your team is full of engineers and operation leads?
The answer to this problem is simple. Go talk to someone who is already in that role.
Dave Koslow, COO of DocSend, is an advocate of this method. For him, it serves two purposes:
“On the one hand, it’s very direct. You’re using the insight to speed your interview process. On the other hand, you’re making really good connections. You might be hiring for one content marketer today, but six months down the line, you’re going to need another, and so you might be in a really good position to actually recruit that person.”
3. Build an employee referral system
Now that you have money to spend, you can incentivize employees to refer candidates. Pam Hart, head of talent at Flipboard, offers a referral bonus to any employee who suggests someone they ultimately hire. Referral bonuses are common practice for companies with the necessary funding, but Flipboard has a unique approach for paying them out.
All new hires are introduced in an all-hands meeting. The new hire then stands up, walks across the room to the employee who referred them, personally delivers their bonus check, and thanks them in front of everyone.