Recent experience with two clients – let’s call them “Get’s it, Inc.” and “Bumbling fools.com” are two firms that recently approached us to recruit software engineers for their new Venture capitalized startups here in the Boston, MA area. As part of our due-diligence, we always want to evaluate the opportunity — who are the entrepreneurs, VCs, what space is the product in, and most importantly – how does the VP Engineering and/or other members of the team “sell” their company/role/position to us. Most tellingly, I like to ask “what do you think makes your job/company ‘cool’ to another star engineer?” Now, “Get’s It”, as their name implies, understands that they need to understand their strengths and sell to those strengths in this market — a star candidate I represent has a choice — and when there is a mutual fit, we want their strenghts to go recognized at each distinct phase of recruiting. “Bumbling fools.com feels like they know they’ve got the greatest .COM since 1999 and that “any reasonable software engineer would just figure it out”.
WRONG ANSWER! We’re all very busy people, and nobody can sell their job better than the company — and if that is not a part of the entire recruiting process (from phone interview and each onsite interview – Plus time with a C-level executive) you will never hire someone you want. So, it’s not surprising when “Get’s It” has now hired 3 people out of 3 offers in the past few weeks while “Bumbling fools.com” has interviewed 8 people, made 2 offers and had 0 acceptances. At this point, if our client will not take our advice, as a contingent recruiter on the case, we’ll have to politely decline working together, until they can figure out how to sell themselves.