The Art of Networking to Hire: 5 Tips for Recruiting at MeetUps and Networking Events

When you’re a founder or startup executive every networking opportunity is a recruiting opportunity. Here’s how to make the most of them.

 Recruiting at Meetups & Networking Events | OpenView Labs

When it comes to building your team, the obvious first choice is to tap into your own network. But what happens when your network dries out and you don’t have any in-house recruiting/HR resources or a budget to utilize outside agencies? The truth is, building out a robust and reliable talent pipeline takes time, and while building out your team may be a top priority, if you’re a startup founder or executive, time is likely one of the things you just don’t have.

One suggestion: Start attending networking events as often as possible. Not only will they give you access to talent, they’re also great branding opportunities to get your name out in the community. Here are five steps you can take to ensure you make the most of the opportunities.


photo by:

The 3 Worst Hiring Mistakes Startups Make

You may say finding the right people are your top priority, but if you’re making these startup hiring mistakes then you’re putting your company behind the eight ball.

Worst Startup Hiring Mistakes to Make | OpenView Labs

Hiring the best candidates can be a big challenge for any company, but especially if you’re a startup. Not only do you have less time and fewer resources to devote to the search, but it’s also far more difficult to recover if and when you make a costly “bad hire.” That means it’s even more important for you to be able to hit the ground running with your hiring process, and to avoid the common hurdles that most startups experience.


When Should You Follow Up with a Candidate?

When it comes to pursuing top candidates you don’t want to come off too strong, but you also don’t want them to slip through the cracks. Here are a few tips for determining exactly when the time is right to send that perfect follow up.

When to Send a Follow Up Email to a Candidate | OpenView Labs

As a startup recruiter, most of my day is spent sourcing for candidates, holding phone screens, scheduling interviews, and sifting through applications. It is quite rare, unfortunately, that the ideal candidate has applied to my posting via inbound, so much of my energy is spent on outreach to prospective candidates. As I go about my day, I also set aside time to check in on previous candidates I’ve worked with or others I’d like to reach out to for a second time. It is always a delicate dance to determine when to follow up with a candidate as I want to maintain a genuine connection with the individual, but also want to really make sure this person is or is not interested in my position.


photo by:

5 Ways to Master the Science of Hiring (As Well as the Art)

Consistently hiring the best candidates often means listening to the numbers more than your gut. Here are five ways to leverage data to your advantage.

5 Ways to Leverage Hiring Metrics & Data | OpenView Labs

Historically, hiring has been anything but a objective process. Even today, when the majority of business functions adopting more data-driven approaches, HR is typically lagging behind. According to a recent article by Dr. John Sullivan, “When you survey most frequent users of analytics and metrics in the corporate world…HR ranks at the very bottom.”

That needs to change. And it starts with a shift in mindset to acknowledge that great hiring is as much a science as it is an art.


photo by:

Purple Squirrels Aren’t Real: Time to Stop Chasing Them

Unicorns, purple squirrels — whatever you want to call them, perfect candidates don’t exist. Time to face the facts and make better use of your time and resources.

Startup Hiring: Stop Chasing Purple Squirrels | OpenView Labs

The hiring process is difficult enough. We all know it can take quite a while to sort out everything from approval to job descriptions, to candidate sourcing, to interviews and reference checking and finally, the offer stages. Why then, would you add additional roadblocks to make this process that much harder by searching for roles and candidates that you know do not exist?

It’s far more common than you might think. Recruiters are handed job descriptions for a new position with a caveat: “We know this person doesn’t exist.” Essentially, you’re having your talent team set off on a hunt for a purple squirrel.


10 Hiring & Retention Metrics for Fast-Growing Startups

Does your HR tracking start and end with headcount? Here are 10 simple stats that can provide a much clearer picture of your company’s health and growth.

10 Startup HR Metrics: Hiring & Retention | OpenView Labs

In talking with entrepreneurs who are considering partnering with OpenView, we often hear that the most serious impediment to growth is being able to hire the right employees and grow the company’s headcount according to plan. In response to this trend, over the past three years our talent acquisition support has become the fastest growing group within OpenView Labs, as we seek to screen thousands of applicants and fill over 100 positions (and growing) at our portfolio companies every year.

Given the extremely competitive market for top talent today, our CEOs and founders have to also consider striking the right balance between aggressively adding to their teams, successfully retaining and providing the right career paths for top performing employees, and terminating non-performing employees.

Most of the time though, as far as startup growth planning goes, “growth in headcount” is the primary focus. But this number does not take into account factors such as terminations, defections, promotions etc. Therefore, it typically represents a very simplistic take on the human resourcing strategy of the company.


photo by:

Recruiters: Step Away from the Computer and Get in Front of Your Hiring Managers

Recruiting technology is making sourcing, engaging, and vetting candidates easier than ever, but don’t underestimate the value of in-person meetings. Not every aspect of the hiring process should be automated.

Recruiting Automation vs. In-Person Meetings | OpenView Labs

At this point, there’s no denying that technology and software have changed the hiring process for the better. Tools like LinkedIn make it easier to source, engage, and vet top candidates, while total recruitment marketing platforms optimize your brand’s presence, educate top candidates on your opportunities, and allow you to generate greater value from your recruiting efforts.

I’m a big fan of that technology and other tools — like email and applicant tracking systems — that make recruiters and hiring managers’ jobs significantly more efficient and effective. But as great as those tools and technology are, they aren’t a complete replacement for what I think has become a forgotten component of the hiring process — regularly scheduled in-person status update and debrief meetings.


Annual Reviews: Are You Really Getting the Full Picture?

Don’t look now. Q4 is just around the corner. And for managers, that means it’s time to start thinking about performance reviews.

coffee meeting

Performance reviews. We’ve all been through them, and chances are, they’ve actually been unhelpful more often than not. The truth is they can vary significantly not only from company to company, but from manager to manager, and the odds of you actually having a productive performance review meeting are limited to how much the person sitting across from you consider them a priority.

Instead of placing the task of offering constructive feedback and coaching solely on the manager’s shoulders, another approach some companies are taking is getting more parties involved. The idea is that employees are far more likely to receive a balanced, well-rounded, and helpful review if it includes feedback from others within and outside of the organization they regularly interact with, in addition to the person they directly report to.