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Start-ups – What is the Cost of a Bad-Hire?

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Published Date: 21st June 2024

I recently attended the Electrify Conference, "Electrify Aotearoa," held in Wellington. It was organised by the Ministry of Awesome (MoA), which is focused on driving New Zealand’s economy through founder-led startup innovation. The Electrify Conference was aimed at women founders, and I must say, it was one of the most inspirational events I have ever attended. It gave me insight into the fascinating and incredibly challenging world of startups, particularly for females and gender non-binary individuals.

The night before the conference, I had the privilege of attending the New Zealand premiere of “Show Her The Money,” an American documentary that is a must-see for anyone interested in understanding the entire startup journey. It addresses how women receive less than 2% of venture capital funding and demystifies venture capital itself. Find out more at I highly recommend watching this movie, as it sets a tone for the next day and should be mandatory viewing for all college-age girls, setting the stage for the next generation of female startups.

One of the key messages from the inspirational speakers at the conference was how many startups operate on a shoestring budget and often neglect crucial areas. One such area is ensuring you have the right people on board. One speaker discussed how a poor hire, their Head of Sales, set their startup back six months in wasted traction and funding until they were able to replace them with the right person. For many startups, this misstep could mean the end of the organisation.

Many startups not only have a shoestring budget but also a shoestring operating team, where every member is crucial to the organisation's growth and success. So, how do you ensure you have the best person for the roles you need?

You could post a job ad, but what would that bring? It will attract people actively looking and who have seen your ad. Even if you receive a high level of interest, it doesn’t guarantee finding the best candidate or that the best candidate has applied. Alternatively, you might reach out to people you know and are comfortable with, but are you biased by your existing relationships, and are they truly the best fit?

The optimal way to ensure you have the best person for the role is to engage with a trusted recruitment partner who understands your business and goals. They should have extensive networks within your required expertise. When the need arises, they can tap into those networks and identify candidates who are up for the challenge. They will compare applicants, test their resilience and ability to meet challenges, and present you with pre-qualified candidates passionate about joining your organisation. From there, you can decide who best fits your needs. If they can't do the job, they won't make it through the initial process.

Of course, using a trusted recruitment partner comes with a cost, but consider the cost of not using one. Beyond Recruitment prides itself on the partnerships we have built with our clients over nearly 20 years, with a nationwide presence and an outstanding track record. It’s never too early to start building a relationship with your trusted recruitment partner. Connect with me, and I'll ensure our team gets to know you and your business well. When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to find the best person for your needs.

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