Growing your startup? You better like recruiting!

sales recruiting

Yesterday it was announced that the Toronto Maple Leafs recruited a new head coach. For me this is an example of the importance of recruiting. Local sports reports are stating that this one hire can turn around a failing organization.

When it comes to recruiting I have a confession to make: I don’t enjoy interviewing people. I find it a bit boring and repetitive. That being said, whether or not I like doing interviews doesn’t really matter much. If I’m serious about growing Ideal Candidate, I’m going to do as many as I can to build the best team possible.

Lucky for me, we use Ideal Candidate for our sales recruiting and that does substantially minimize the number of interviews I need to do, but interviewing is still a big piece of recruiting.

Here’s my best advice on how to approach the recruiting process.

Recruiting is something you should do every day


If you’re an integral part of the recruiting process but you’re being a bottleneck because you’re “too busy”, you simply need to make it part of your daily routine. Sam Altman (of Y Combinator) wrote a blog post titled “How to hire.” His first tip? “Spend more time on it”. This is coming from a person that has seen hundreds of startups try to grow. I realize it sounds simple, but you just always need to be working at it. Doing interviews every second Friday just won’t cut it if you are serious about growing – especially in sales.

Sales managers should never be too busy to interview

At a growing startup, a sales manager is often tasked with being a hiring manager while simultaneously also holding a quota. I admit this is a very hard balance, but it seems too many first time managers I meet lean towards giving all of their time to the short term month end goal, which means they’re always too busy to interview new sales reps.

Think more than one quarter ahead

As a sales manager, you need to look beyond month end and think about next quarter and the quarter after that – and really think about how you’ll hit your goal (hint: it probably involves hiring more sales reps). Simple example: Your year end team sales goal is $1M, and each sales rep carries an annual quota of $200k with a 6-month ramp up period. if you don’t already have 5 productive sales reps by June, you’ve fallen behind already. This is a trivial example, but it’s important to understand how putting off recruiting can have a huge impact on your upcoming sales goals.

Hyper growth requires recruiting to be a priority

Experienced leaders know the importance of recruiting and how it impacts future quarter and annual results. In a recent case study about hyper growth startup Talkdesk, COO Gadi Shamia (who has lots of experience with high growth companies) talked about 8 things he learned after joining the hyper growth company. Guess what? Three of the 8 lessons focused on hiring. Nearly 40% of his suggestions revolve around recruiting! Experienced leaders get it: investing your time into recruiting is crucial when you want to win.

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Shaun Ricci

COO at Ideal
Shaun Ricci is a Canadian entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of Ideal. Shaun served as Co-Founder and COO of Field ID until it was acquired in December 2012. Shaun’s accomplishments include spots on the Profit Hot 50 and Deloitte Fast 50 Companies-to-Watch lists as well as the 2012 Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Shaun is also an active writer, documenting his wins and losses while building his startup sales team.