A year ago I decided to try my hand at entrepreneurship, leaving a stable and exciting job to tackle another one of life's problems and build a mobile app to solve it. I saved up what I could and invested in everything needed to get the company started, from registering a limited company, thinking of a name and website domain to writing user stories and choosing a tech stack.
Month one went great, easily being able to relate to what we were trying to do, we got the glowing validation we needed to continue chasing the dream. Our concept and the pain relief we will bestow on a (potential) large number of London-based millennials (and in fact a much larger demographic). We had a great development team, a cool brand and a clear vision. Nothing could go wrong, could it?
I regularly got together with my co-founder to work out ways we could monetise amongst the vast competition (that you never really realise is there until you leave your day job!) and slowly started to get a grip. We changed the name of the company multiple times and pulled our hair out navigating the world building an online marketplace. One thing leads to another and we quickly realised we needed help. For the first time in a long time, my ego was crushed and I had to face the fact that I couldn't do everything. I rarely felt in the past that there wasn't something I couldn't learn, or 'wing', but I was wrong and this awakening happened in the bat of an eye. I was in the unknown and desperate for advice. I had to hire a team or bring on advisors.
Month five and I've still not found the right people to help us take the business to where it needed to be. Our network dried up and we gathered that, as good as we thought our idea was, it was much harder getting buy-in from from people with limited time and a million opportunities on their desk. I started to realise why I was motivated as a recruiter - It was to grow a specialism and consult on areas of business that founders and hiring managers may struggle with. The benefit a good recruiter can bring being in the market every day started to become clearer and clearer amongst my struggle. I got myself to a position where I genuinely needed expertise and time back. I reached out to recruiters I knew and trusted and low and behold I got the intro's I needed.
Recruitment isn't just about filling an open role with whoever is available, it's about gaining access to the talent needed to compete in the ruthless digital climate. I learnt, like me, a lot of companies hold out for people they think they can attain without realising that (a lot of the time) there is a compromise needed to get other aspects of your business on track. As good as your company's vision and performance are, there is a lot of opportunity for candidates today and it becomes a struggle to hire. A product roadmap or a development runway can drastically change if you don't hire quickly enough or the right people. You need recruitment market insight for the areas you're looking recruit for.
Hiring managers; using a (good) recruiter isn't a last resort. Build relationships with them and you will organically form hiring strategies that are realistic to what you are trying to achieve. A huge percentage of companies fail due to not being able to scale quickly or correctly, especially in technology and creative areas. Reach out, see how they can help.