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Post by Rich Moy on Feb 25, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Startup companies looking to scale quickly often identify technical hiring as one of their biggest challenges. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that many organizations find it just as difficult to hire the right recruiters to lead technical hiring. As your startup company continues to grow, you’ll undoubtedly have less time to focus on recruiting, making it even more crucial to identify great technical recruiters to take the challenges of hiring developers off your plate. While you could easily be overwhelmed by the prospect of turning this responsibility over to someone else, here are a few things to look for that will put you at ease about identifying the right technical recruiter for your company.

Look for a Willingness to Learn

While you should want to hire someone who is pretty sure of their abilities, the best startup recruiters have a healthy combination of confidence and a willingness to learn. It’s no secret that developers are eager to tinker with new technologies, so even an experienced recruiting professional should understand that he or she will need to do their best to keep up with the latest technology trends. If a candidate comes off as overly confident about his or her abilities to recruit developers based on prior experience, you’ll probably be better off waiting for someone else to come along.

Identify Candidates Who Can Tell Your Company's Story

Recruiters at larger organizations can often lean on the company’s brand awareness to attract great candidates, but you’ve likely figured out that your startup doesn’t have that advantage. This makes it clear that anyone you’re considering to lead technical recruiting should be able to identify with your company’s mission and goals, and also be able to articulate them to developers. Andrew Stoe, Head of Talent at Asana, recently wrote that it’s always a good idea for startup founders to ask recruiter candidates to pitch your company and their current company. He adds, “This approach should also allow you to both understand how good this person is at storytelling as well as help you understand how much research the potential recruiter has done on your company.”

Hire Someone Who Gets Things Done

Readers of this blog know that here at Stack Overflow, we hire people who show us they’re smart and get things done. Our CEO Joel Spolsky literally wrote the book on hiring this way, and while it’s specific to hiring developers, it’s still important to apply this principle to every hire, especially if you’re looking for someone to take over your developer hiring process. I bet you could talk for days about the pace at which your startup company works, so when it comes to hiring your first technical recruiter, make sure the person who steps into that role can help you get things done at the speed the entire organization is moving.

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