What Is A Startup Recruiter? HR Expert Explains All

What is a startup recruiter? A recruiter is a professional who is hired as part of the business to help address human resource needs. They are focused on increasing the headcount and employee footprint of that business.

Startups can be found hiring recruiters most frequently. Startups are given venture capital funding to increase their footprint. That's where the need for a recruiter comes in. When the executive leadership team is following through on their promises to investors and board members.

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Why Do Startups Hire More Than Other Businesses?

Recruiters are becoming the most searched for resource within technology startups. Competitive job markets and an increasing number of other technology startups wanting to hire has created a difficult hiring environment. Recruiters are brought into technology startups to help.

Software Engineers are often in focus for recruiters within technology startups. They can be the most difficult resource to hire for. The reason is that Software Engineers are sought after within other technology startups, too.

Related: Best "Thank You" Email To A Recruiter

What Are Recruiters Responsible For Within Startups?

A recruiter is tasked with a few primary responsibilities. These responsibilities include:

  • The sourcing of candidates. This process refers to the efforts where a recruiter understands the businesses human resource needs. For example, a "Software Engineer". And then proceeds to execute a process where they find potential candidates that could be interviewed for this position. This is performed through either job listing efforts, such as posting the available position on job boards. Or through direct outreach to potential candidates.
  • The interviewing of candidates. A recruiter may not perform the full interview process required to hire a candidate. They perform "pre-screen" interviews which ensure that the candidate is vetted before they are brought into the company. Once that occurs, the recruiter may set up a proper interview session with many employees. This may change depending on the internal recruiting and Human Resource process.
  • The discussion of compensation. Recruiters often discuss compensation with their candidates. This happens because a recruiter is given a budget for hiring a certain number of employees on behalf of the executive leadership. It is the recruiter's responsibility to manage that budget and hire accordingly. This puts the recruiter in a position to where they may discuss compensation with the candidate at an early stage of the hiring process.

Related: Recruiter Job Description: Salary, Duties, Skills

What If A Recruiter Is Reaching Out To Me?

If you're being contacted by a recruiter, this is a great sign. This means that you are a talented professional in your industry. And that you are working in a job function that is sought after.

When contacted by a startup recruiter, it's best to consider your options. First, startups aren't the most secure businesses to be part of. They are built to challenge large industries. And often fail. Startups often go bankrupt. And you should consider this before you decide to engage with a recruiter. Are you in the position to be able to take a risk? Those with families may opt not to go with a startup for this reason.

Second, startups don't compensate very well. Their primary allure is to earn either stock options or stock rewards. And they use these employee benefits to encourage the employee to join the business, in leu of cash compensation. This is a deal-breaker, yet again, for those with families.

Aside from these factors, startups can be a great way for you to develop your career. There's a great chance that you could change your job title to a more senior-level position. And use that as a great opportunity to make upward mobility in your career path.

Related: 12+ Best Questions To Ask A Recruiter

Should I Join A Startup As A Recruiter?

If you're looking to join a startup as a recruiter, the good news is that you could be compensated quite well for your efforts. Startups are in dire need of recruiters with talent. They need recruiters who know how to source, interview and hire high-quality talent.

When this is the case, your compensation package as a recruiter could be quite appealing. You may be able to earn more compensation in the form of a bonus for each employee that you hire (and that stays with the business for a certain period of time).

Related: 2 Emails To Recruiters That’s Guaranteed To Get A Response

Your cash or salary compensation may not be as high as a corporate recruiting position. But your bonuses for each employee hired may be far more competitive than any corporate benefits package.

The biggest issue with joining a startup as a recruiter is that you'll be challenged with the competitive job market. It may not be as easy as you believe to hire for the role of "Software Engineer" for example. If you feel as though you have the talents required to hire highly sought after positions, then I absolutely recommend that you join a startup as a recruiter.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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