Funded and failed – where start-up CEOs got it wrong


Nearly 1/4 of all start-ups no longer exist because they invested in the wrong people. Scary, right?


tl;dr – you’re not getting enough data from your recruiters.

Picture this…You’ve slogged for over 60 hours last week just hustling to get your tech out there. Your investors are DELIGHTED with your efforts and you get more funding. Winner.

As you find new ways to get your platform noticed in a crowded market… do you even know what the talent at your competition thinks of you? Or if they’ve even heard of you? 14% fail due to poor marketing.

It could be that you are falling behind your sales targets as someone just left your team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the guy on a performance plan who’s left. It was the guy you spent A LOT of time and money on who has just left after 9 months to move to a different tech vendor.

How much data do recruiters provide to help your employer value proposition (EVP)? For example, did you know 55% of candidates abandon their application after seeing a bad review online?

Do you know why talent is joining other Fast Growth Tech companies over yours?

If you’re working with a recruiter – they are an extension of your brand. They are representing your business and they spread the word quickly. They generate positive vibes about you… your tech… your story… your goals. If recruiters are truly having meaningful conversations with talent, why aren’t you getting the data from these conversations?

Let’s have a look into what your recruiter should bring to the table… SPOILER ALERT: it’s not just resumes.

  1. How much time are recruiters saving for you?

It’s hard enough trying to sell new technology, competing for budget, working with developers, going back to investors etc. Your time is very valuable, and your recruitment partner needs to understand that. Are they providing highly qualified resumes? Do your recruiters interview your candidates for you? Or are they sending over resumes and hoping to see which of them will stick??

  1. How efficient is your hiring? 

What gets measured, gets managed. With you being time poor, you need to ensure that you’re not wasting time meeting people that do not fit the brief. How many resumes do you see before you interview someone? How many interviews do you have before you hire someone? There is a lot of data a recruiter can provide, all with the end goal of making your hiring more efficient.

  1. What does the talent landscape think of your business?

Has your recruiter ever coming back to you and said… “this candidate didn’t want to meet with you because they’ve heard bad things about your tech”? Not nice to hear, but vitally important feedback if you’re going to grow.

Have you ever heard “The product looks great but I have no idea about the culture of the company. How highly rated is the CEO over there?”

After speaking with talent at other Fast Growth Tech companies, your recruitment partner should be helping you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your own EVP.

  1. What are your competitors paying? Not last month, or six months ago… TODAY!

You need to remain competitive if you want to attract the top talent. It’s that simple. Generally, if you can’t afford the best talent, you won’t retain the best talent. This is not just salary though – think about the commission plan. One of the most common frustrations and reasons for leaving amongst high-performing sales talent, is complaints around complex commission plans and lack of transparency. Think about the shares you’re willing to give up, think about the fringe benefits. You don’t want to lose out on talent because of minor details that could have been avoided.

  1. How available is the talent?

Jeff Bezos grew Amazon out of Seattle because he knew the talent was readily available from Microsoft. It was a smart move, you could say! He KNEW that the right people to help grow his business would be readily available. Does your recruiter show you how many candidates they’re approaching? Or better still, do they even give you an idea of how many people fit the brief – whether they are actively looking or not?

  1. Do recruiters provide you with talent, even when you’re not hiring?

If you are recruiting for rare and specific skills, then it’s important that if someone else comes along on the market – you are the first person to know about it. Maybe you like Data Scientists with a certain degree? Or you love the idea of talent who have been trained by a certain organisation. If so, you should get first pick from your recruiter and build up your talent pipeline for that crucial hire that is 7 months away.

It can take time to build relationships and turn the heads of passive candidates; they often need more touch points over a longer period.

Org 3D pipeline candidates for you; ready for when the timing is right. By doing this, we drastically reduce the time to hire to an average of 55%. Having full visibility of your hiring plans enables us to proactively pipeline the best people and introduce them ahead of schedule.

We help Fast Growth Tech firms to acquire and retain talent, providing invaluable competitive insights along the way. If you want more from your recruiters, reach out to us here or on +44 (0)161 791 1546 or [email protected].