"Satterfield Renzenbrink Associates partners are smart, resourceful and know their business--they operate at 'PE-speed'."
-Heather Smith Thorne

Recruiting Observations, Principles and Thoughts

  1. HR is Usually Addressed Too Late - i.e. commonly, only when there are problems
    • In early stage companies (probably half our work), 100 employees seems to be the "magic number" for professional HR help
    • Get a business person, not just an HR Director or VP
  2. Recruit to Disappoint - Even people you reject should feel they missed out on an opportunity.
    • Rejected candidate anecdotes can be great positive PR.
  3. Business Athletes First, Contacts Second - Don't get caught recruiting for short-term utility.
    • "Contact" hires (people hired for their rolodex or address book) tend to focus on contacts, not best client targets.
  4. Fit is Everything - Skills are important, but not without cultural fit.
    • Know your top 5 cultural "what counts" factors and recruit to them.
  5. Mentor Like Crazy - You get out of people what you invest. Good companies believe they are always "recruiting" current employees to stay (and providing guidance to be better).
    • Can't afford traditional training & development? Start a mentor program.
  6. Read "TopGrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching and Keeping the Best People" - Spectacular book by Dr. Bradford Smart, Chicago (originally published in 1999, revised in 2005 by The Penguin Group -- sales oriented version published in June 2008)