There is a growing number of online recruiting tools out there to help startups manage their employees without hiring full-time HR experts.
You can choose from a wide variety of options: there are different apps for increasing productivity, tracking projects or managing payroll. If you have a specific HR task you want to get covered, chances are you will find some online tool out there to make your job easier.
Let’s have a look at a few that will help you in managing small to mid-sized teams in the US:
Apptivo is a CRM (customer relationship management system) but its wide range of features makes it a great tool for team management as well. If you sign up for the free trial, you get a handful of online tools for recording employee info, managing recruitment, vacation tracking and team communication.
It’s being a CRM means it might be missing some more specific HR functionalities, but it makes up for this shortcoming with its numerous other business features.
It’s highly customizable and affordable, too, starting at just $8.33 per month per user. Or, alternatively, sign up for the free trial and see if it’s a good fit for you.
Zenefits is a HR software for US startups and small to midsized businesses with special focus on managing employee perks and benefits. It has a very intuitive interface and easy-to-understand instructions for setup. You can also integrate it with existing benefit plans with just a few clicks.
Zenefits is free, and it makes most of its profits from collecting brokerage fees from referring companies to medical and other employee benefits providers, so it’s no surprise benefits management and administration is a big part of the features they offer.
Bamboo HR is an online recruitment tool with a great interface. Its clutter free and intuitive design makes it one of the top HR apps out there. It also offers API integration which means that it’s very easy to set up and connect to any existing tech vendor systems you’re currently using.
Bamboo HR has a very straightforward dashboard with modules for employee data, time-off tracking, reports and mobile apps. It also has a performance review with stripped-down reporting function to make it more straightforward. It’s not free as Zenefits, and it lacks some of the benefits administration features Zenefits has to offer, but you can just sign up for both and see if you can make them both work for you.
Harvest is a time-tracking software which allows you to track employee hours, manage projects and monitor expenses. You can set the harvest timer when you are starting different projects, and let it run in the background. It has an app for ios and android as well, so you can track time through different platforms.
Furthermore, you can manage team time and timesheets and create invoices based on work time. It has real-time reports of the times tracked and Harvest Forecast helps to plan team project schedules.
It is also quite affordable, with a free plan for 1 user, 4 clients, and 2 projects and from $12/month for a solo plan for 1 user, unlimited clients, projects, and invoicing.
Time tracking can actually be very useful if it’s not a timesheet related activity and you are doing it to help you become more productive. It is always surprising to see what percentage of your time is taken up by different types of tasks during the week.
Productivity doesn’t mean working a lot, it means working on the right things at the right times. And if you can actually combine employee management with time tracking, the results might be a game changer.
Toggl is another time tracking software that lets you manage projects, track time and boost your productivity. It has a very simple one-click time tracking system and you can reach the start (‘Toggl”) button from various platforms and apps. It has a Chrome extension as well and it can be integrated with a number of project management apps (like Trello).
It has a great user interface overall and it is designed to manage teams with its project-based reporting suite. Your employees can download the reports as professional pdfs and submit them instead of filling out timesheets.
Toggle comes with a Pomodoro timer as well, which will notify you after every 25 minutes to stop working and take a 5-minute break.For those who regularly tend to get absorbed in their work and loose track of time, the Pomodoro technique might be just the thing they need. This way you can avoid burnout and get more done with a steady but continuous work pace.
If it comes to payroll in the US, Gusto is the right choice for you. It’s a cloud-based payroll solution and offers all the features you need to manage monthly payment for your team at an affordable price.
Gusto has a very well-designed and straightforward user interface. After providing some information and a brief set-up, you can automate payrolls, calculate and pay taxes automatically. It can be integrated with multiple accounting software.
Gusto offers a free trial so go and see for yourself if they offer what you need to manage your team’s finances.
This is a payroll management system like Gusto, with additional HR functionalities. One of its differentiating features is that it has 24/7 live phone support and the help of an actual person can be very useful when managing payroll and taxes.
After signing up, you will get your own specialist who will assist you whenever you need help. They take you through the setup process personally and help you whenever you have questions. This can make a huge difference when tackling tax issues.
Paychex flex is very robust and scalable but it is also more expensive than it’s competitors.
UltiPro is a comprehensive payroll, human resources (HR) and talent management system that offers employee management services for all your HR needs.
It includes hiring management, on-boarding, payroll, benefits administration, real-time reporting, performance reviews and more.
One of the most appealing things about UltiPro is that it lets you tackle the most complex calculations with ease. This is the ultimate tool for a company that has a complex payroll.
These are some of the top online recruiting tools out there that can make your job easier when it comes to recruiting and employee management. All of them have different features for specific needs, and the best way to see what suits you the best is to sign up for a trial and compare them.
How are you managing your HR processes? Do you have any experiences with any of these tools? Is there anything you tried and worked for you?
Finding the right recruiting agency in NYC can be very challenging if you don’t have the right connections in your niche or your company is still in the early stages of formation.
New York City is a very competitive area and it might be difficult to reach top talent without the help of one of the top recruiting firms In NYC. Especially if you have little or no experience with recruiting.
But when should you use the services of top NYC executive search firms?
The Time Factor
Finding the right candidates used to be much faster a few years ago. This has changed since the economic downturn in 2008. The market has improved and there are several emerging startups and larger corporations looking for talent, too.
This change has resulted in more open positions and fewer candidates applying for them. At a time when a quick hire is crucial for business growth, this can be a decisive factor in choosing to work with headhunters.
The time factor is also very important when bad hires happen. Hiring the wrong candidates means great losses for both the hiring company and the job seekers. It can decrease revenue numbers, hinder growth, and disrupt company culture. NYC businesses tend to have strong growth rates immediately after formation and a bad hire can result in fatal losses for the company.
Bad Hires Cost You Time And Money
The fear of a bad hire can also result in prolonged hiring processes. The number of assessments and the length of interviews tends to be too high if the company lacks the right hiring experience. Many times the candidates don’t get sufficient amount of feedback from the companies during the assessment period and this can result in high drop off rates.
However, if the company chooses to work with top NYC headhunters, it is more likely that their tried and tested interview and assessment processes will decrease the number of rounds and the length of hiring.
Recruiting consultants are also more likely to be available to candidates during the entire length of the hiring process and this can result in more rapid hires. The best way to avoid bad hires and decrease the hiring time is to use reputable NYC recruitment agencies.
High Turnover Rates
Another important factor that can result in outsourcing recruiting is high turnover rates.
High employee turnover can result in losses in revenue and it damages company culture as well. Frequent changes in the company structure reduce productivity and harm the general morale among the remaining team members.
The best way to decrease employee turnover is to hire the right people from the start. Make sure to filter candidates carefully: first, assess their role-specific skills and then assess these top 5 employee strengths.
Niche Specific Positions
If you first decide to handle hiring internally and you end up with a very low number of qualified applicants, you might consider hiring a recruitment firm. NYC search firms have extensive databases of candidates who would otherwise be out of your reach. This is particularly true in the case of niche specific positions.
Niche specific and higher-level positions require special search methods. The number of qualified candidates is lower than in the case of more general roles and you might not be able to reach the right people by only addressing active job seekers.
Niche specific search firms usually have large databases of passive job seekers and might find you just what you need. When choosing a recruitment firm, make sure to check that they have hired for niches like your own. If you’re a location dependent business also make sure to choose from New York search firms who have direct access to local talent.
Finding Top Recruiting Firms In NYC
The best way to find the right search firm for your needs is networking. Make sure to build out connections among the top recruiting consultants in your niche before you actually need their services. This way you can save a considerable amount of time when in need of an urgent hire.
This should be easy by doing a short research among top executives in your niche. Reach out to them either through industry specific platforms or simply LinkedIn. Make sure you find people in similar roles that you want to hire for, or at least try to approach niche specific executives. Most of them were probably approached or even worked with NYC search firms throughout their careers and they will be able to give you some valuable advice.
If you lack the right connections or you didn’t manage to get any useful referrals from executives you can simply use online tools to find top NYC recruiters.
Beyond Personal Referrals
Nowadays when recruiters can be found and approached easier than ever it is very important to find the right ways of networking with them. Personal referrals are the best most of the time, but in cases of niche and location-specific choices online and offline databases might be of a great help, too.
How to find the right search firms online?
LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search function might be the best choice for you. It is accessible from every LinkedIn page and you can find niche and location specific recruiters very easily.
Just make sure to set your location to NYC and select ‘Staffing and Recruiting’ in the industry category. You can refine the search by adding some niche specific keywords or just hit the search button for a comprehensive list. For example, search the term “technology”. This will turn up thousands of names for IT recruiters in New York. LinkedIn’s search allows you to specify company name, location, job title, and other useful options.
Search recruiter directories. There are several offline and online recruiter directories that might help you find the top NYC search firms in your niche. For offline lists, try your local library, or search these sites for online databases:
RileyGuide.com: you can find free recruiter directories on this site such as Oya’s Directory of Recruiters and others. While free directories might be less comprehensive, they get updated more often so best is to search both free and subscription-based lists.
Searchfirm.com is a free online directory to help you find top NYC recruiters in your niche. It helps you filter different models: contingency, retained, outplacement, intern staffing, and RPO. It also has the option to select between a list of niches and add keywords to your search.
BlueSteps.com is a membership based career service primarily for job-seeking executives. But after becoming a member you can search their international executive search firm directory and find the best consultants for your needs.
Another two free and searchable recruiter directories include recruiterlink.com and onlinerecruitersdirectry.com.
Whether companies want to streamline their hiring processes or they are in an urgent need of a good hire, using one of the top recruiting firms In NYC will improve their chances of finding the right people. Hiring requires years of experience in the field and more importantly the right connections in specific niches, so outsourcing the recruiting process might be the right choice for both small and larger corporations as well.
Large corporations have long been using search firms for outsourcing recruiting processes. With the Bay Area’s competitive environment and the growing number of emerging startups and mid-sized firms, the traditional views on recruitment are rapidly changing. A growing number of search firms are focusing on smaller companies and offering services for targeting the needs of early-stage startups.
Recruitment firms can help alleviate the strains of hiring while startups can focus on core business processes. Here are the top 5 benefits of working with a search firm for small companies:
#1 Reducing Costs
This is one of the most basic arguments for outsourcing recruiting, especially for small and middle-sized companies. Small companies rarely have the resources, connections, and expertise to conduct a thorough search, and finding the best candidate for high-level positions is the key to future growth.
Collecting resumes, conducting interviews, setting up meetings and doing background checks are all very time-consuming and require a lot of connections in the industry. Not to say that each day the job remains unfilled, the company loses the benefit of growth.
#2 Employing The Best People Right From The Start
Every startup wants to have a pick from the top 10%, particularly in the Bay Area, where everyone is looking for talent. And it is of utmost importance to maintain a high level of standard, or else the team will suffer. There is nothing worse than team members not liking your executive hire. Not to mention a bad hire can cost you a lot.
To be able to pick the right candidates, it is very important to have the right connections in place when it comes to the selection process. You may be expert in your field, but recruiting requires years of networking and if you truly want to find the best fits for your positions, you might need all the connections a search firm has to offer.
#3 Focus on Business Growth
Having the right employees is the fuel of growth. And anything that takes away resources from core business functions will hinder growth.
This is also true for outsourcing recruiting and finding the best employees without taking away resources from early-stage company growth.
Another key question is: Do you have the resources to keep up with critical hiring in high-growth periods of the company?
#4 Fluctuating Recruiting Periods
When a high volume of needs arises, it is crucial to address the demand with the same level of scrupulousness as in regular periods of company growth.
Rapidly growing small and middle-sized companies often have fluctuating recruiting needs. Periods of rapid growth means periods heavily focused on hiring new people and in-house recruiting lays a huge burden on existing staff.
Finding the right candidates in this environment requires being constantly up-to-date on new recruitment tactics and the emergence of new trends. Not to mention that you have to keep up with social media, nurture ongoing relationships with candidates and do the background checks yourself.
Busy hiring managers can only cope with a spike like that if they outsource at least part of their hiring processes. Outsourcing recruiting to experienced search companies can assure that the staffing requirements of rapid growth patterns are addressed with the right expertise.
#5 Competitive Advantage
Companies in the early stages of formation simply don’t have the same amount of resources available as their larger competitors. Outsourcing recruiting can guarantee that top talent will be placed on crucial positions from the start without losing on the competitiveness front and securing growth with the most skilled experts.
The outsourcing process makes sure small companies get access to passive job seekers as well and find the most skilled candidates for their recruitment needs.
With a competitive global job market, and an ongoing hunt for top talent in the Bay Area, startups and small companies can find it very difficult to keep up with the hiring needs of a rapid growth period and find the very best candidates for the most crucial positions as early as company formation.
Nowadays it is becoming more and more common to address these needs by using the services of executive search firms not only for industry giants but high-growth startups as well.
Have you tried coping with recruiting in-house in the early stages of company growth? If yes, what were your experiences? Tell us in comments!
Hiring Your Next Recruiter
It feels like there are a gazillion recruiting firms and agencies competing for your business. Recruiting is a tough job, but it pays pretty well if you can do it well, and plenty of people are trying. For startups, this makes for a tough situation. How do you know if a firm can deliver? Can they handle what you need? Are they dependable? Will they provide a good working relationship? These are legitimate concerns, especially when it comes to the impact early hires have on a startup’s success. How do you overcome these concerns? Ask the right questions.
Can they handle your needs?
What job functions do you specialize in?
What industries do you specialize in?
When it comes to recruiting for your company, finding a firm with experience in your industry goes a long way. For a company to understand your hiring needs, they need to understand your business, and not just the position at hand.
What level of seniority do you deal with the most?
Finding a talented Developer is a different ballgame than hiring a VP of Technology. A recruiter may have easily found success delivering candidates for lower level positions, but could have no experience recruiting at the C- level. Be sure to vet out the breakdown of their successful placements.
What geographies do you focus on?
Today’s recruiter can work remotely from anywhere and still deliver top-notch results, but geographic focus is still an important consideration. Recruiters who focus on a specific geography, even without boots on the ground, develop stronger networks within those areas. Even if relocation is an option your company would consider, for most positions your immediate geography is the most likely source of candidates.
What Clients have you worked with, and what do they say about you?
Most recruiting firms can materialize a client list fairly easily, but testimonials from past and current clients are more tangible evidence of a firm’s caliber. It’s one thing to hire a recruiting firm, but to give them an endorsement speaks volumes about their results.
Is the firm dependable?
How long has the company been in operation?
A history of operation and longevity is a good sign of dependability. It shows that a recruiting firm has been stable enough to startup, grow and survive, through both hiring frenzies and the lean times.
What is the average experience level of the recruiters?
Most typical firms in operation will have a few senior level recruiters with experience and solid track records, and then a fair spread of more junior level people, either sourcing and learning the trade or taking on less challenging accounts and openings. A team full of entry level recruiters should be an immediate red flag. A team of veterans is a good sign, but will come with a price tag as well.
What is the average tenure of your recruiters?
As a profession, recruiters tend to have a higher turnover rate than others, similar to the sales industry. A solid average tenure for a team of recruiters is right around 2 years. If you come across a firm in your search whose team tenure averages less than a year, turn around and run.
Who is my point of contact?
This is an important question to ask. Many firms have a level of internal competition, and thus may have more than one recruiter reaching out to you. A firm should be able to clearly articulate who your Account Manager is, and this person should be informed on the aspects of your search.
How do you source your candidates?
Some firms are guarded about where they find people, but most firms are looking in many of the same places. What you really want to discern is whether or not they will send you a stack of resumes or a smaller, more manageable pile of vetted submissions. Alongside this, you should determine how the recruiters match candidates to your position.
What is the average placement time?
Some of your hiring needs may be ongoing or lack urgency, but for a startup, most hires need to happen yesterday, so timeline is an important consideration. This is data that a good recruiting firm knows up front and can use to demonstrate that number to you.
Do you offer any guarantee?
Hiring is a tricky ball game, and even the best hires don’t always work out. Realizing this, recruiting firms will generally offer some sort of guarantee around their placements. The details of that guarantee can either legitimize it or leave you out of luck should your hire not last through a specific period of time. Dig into the firm’s placement guarantee, and make sure you know exactly what you are promised.
Hiring Your Next Recruiter is just as important as choosing the people you employee. When making a decision about an executive search firm, be sure to ask the right questions and get the right answers. Speak with us today to get OUR answers!
Recruiting Passive Job Seekers
If you are in the market today for quality employees, your chances of success are slim if your company isn’t seeking out passive talent. There are simply too many companies with too many openings and not enough candidates actively seeking employment in the technology industry to rely on inbound resumes. Every company today must be recruiting passive job seekers, but approaching this strategy is not something to jump into unprepared. Creating a plan of attack is key to winning the battle.
Define Your Job Parameters
It would seem like an intuitive step, but many companies begin looking for candidates before ever clearly defining the company’s needs. Everything from the job function to the focus and scope of work will have an impact on how you recruit. If the work is outside of your company’s existing knowledge base, it can be difficult to understand what you need. Get help from advisors, former founders, investors and recruiters if you have difficulty describing the role in question. Clarity around the job will reveal the attributes of your ideal candidate.
Find and Research the Right Channels
Once you have a clear definition around the job and the ideal candidate, determine what channels to approach for sourcing candidates. Although mostly dominated by online activity nowadays, there are still valuable offline resources to consider too. Mainstream tools like LinkedIn and Indeed are on the table, but consider digging in and locating industry and function-specific locations for your sourcing of the right people, whether on a career-focused platform or not. Any place, from professional and career sites, to technical forums and membership sites, to local meetups and groups can be considered sources, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
Plan Your Pitch
Based on the ideal candidate and your sourcing locations, craft a motivating sales pitch. In recruiting, when you approach recruiting passive job seekers with nothing more than a job description and a handful of details, it is a recipe for failure. Remember, you are speaking to professionals in a market with high demand for their profile, who most likely have a good, stable job and an ocean of options to choose from should they decide to go fishing. You need a compelling case to present to prospects and an effective pitch strategy. Conversations must be massaged, and a well-reasoned argument must be made for them to consider jumping ship for both your company and the role at hand.
Create an Effective Offering
You can define the role to a T, spend weeks looking through websites, make calls and attend meetups, and deliver the perfect pitch to everyone you find. But when it comes time to make an offer, delivering anything subpar to potential hires, and passive canidates especially, will generally leave you with an unfilled position. Define the ideal candidate, and then research the compensation that correlates with that caliber of talent. If the price is over budget, you may need to take a look at your parameters and drill into the core non-negotiables. But delivering below market offerings to passive candidates of interest just won’t fly like it could with actively seeking professionals.
Engage Your Target
Once you have crafted your plan of attack, it’s time to execute. It may take weeks or even months to find the right person, but if executed well and with the right time and consideration, you will find the right person for the job.
Experienced recruiters have been through this process hundreds, if not thousands, of times, and have overcome the same roadblocks and mistakes that you will inevitably encounter. Partnering with a top executive recruiting firm can help you navigate the waters of talent sourcing and acquisition, increasing your chances of making a great hire exponentially. If your company is ready to find the top talent it needs, speak with us today about the hundreds of startups and technology companies we’ve helped find the right people for the job. We’re battle ready, here to help you win the war for talent.
Hiring C-Level Candidates
Finding top talent for executive roles at your startup can be one of the more challenging tasks in your talent aquisition journey. And between resumes, interviews, references and test runs, your candidates will be feeding you an abundance of information, which can be just as problematic as not having enough. Knowing what to evaluate, how to collect the information and how much value to place on each component can help you better navigate the evaluation of executive level candidates for your startup. Here are some tips from our executive search team to improve your process.
Find References through Due Diligence: A critical component to hiring for your startup is putting in the research to discover whether anyone from your own network can recommend your executive candidates in play. Endorsements, or a lack thereof, from people that your candidates have worked with in the past will paint a truer picture of who you are interviewing and how they operate. Utilize your own network and connections to get in touch with the people that have surrounded your candidates during their work history.
Identify Experience Within/Related to Your Industry: Experience alone is not a predictor of success by any means, nor does it demonstrate expertise. That being said, experience with and exposure to your specific industry implies a familiarity with it, and is a starting point for assessing the knowledge and expertise levels you desire. The importance of industry specific experience very much depends on your own needs, product, and team. And while it doesn’t always tell you everything you need to know, it is something that, as a recruiting firm, we often look to as an early indicator for an appropriate fit.
Gauge Ability To Complete The Work: As obvious as this item is, the method by which you qualify candidates is not. Experience in a similar role may seem like a solid qualifier, but all too often that is not the case. Because companies are so different from one another, success at one organization does not necessarily translate well to success at another. History of success across multiple organizations is a far better predictor. A useful tool to gauge how well a candidate’s efforts match your needs is the “take home test,” providing you with insight around whether they can get your job done, not just how well they’ve performed at other jobs.
Evaluate Personality, Character, Judgment and Soft Skills: At the executive level, a candidate’s most important qualities are not easily defined in a resume, are often just as hard to capture during interviews, and can become lost in translation when comparing past experience. Ultimately, your goal is to learn who your candidates are as people, what motivates them, and how they think and operate. Evaluate their ability to lead peers and their capacity to manage teams. Determine their level of intelligence, and the wisdom with which they wield it. Determine how they respond to extreme pressure, on top of the onslaught of daily ones. For early-stage startups, these qualities are imperative across all hires, be they executives, management or individual contributors. The weight of startup employment will be felt by everyone in your organization, so you need to confirm your executive candidates can handle and navigate that world.
Confirm Alignment With Your Values: Their caliber, experience and overall talent levels will amount to little if your executive candidates do not buy into your organization and its philosophy. Your executive hires won’t just be completing crucial work; they will be executing your company’s vision based on many unknowns, while leading others to do the same. The HR world continually buzzes about finding employees with the right cultural fit; but for an early-stage startup your hires will be defining your culture. Their buy-in to the product and vision, their methodology and their personality will shape almost every aspect of your organization, from conception to implementation, and from growth and scaling to success and exit.
Take Resumes With A Grain of Salt: There are several issues with resumes. For one thing, resumes are purposefully crafted to display candidates in the best light possible. Aside from the omission of blemishes, the crafting of resumes often leads to exaggerations. Furthermore, some candidates will create an elaborate resume, while others will take the straight shooter approach. As a result, the variety of styles and approaches regarding resumes today makes it difficult to compare them side by side, and can lead to a bias on the part of HR or the hiring party. Another issue worth noting about resumes is that the work and accomplishments outlined do not generally demonstrate the environment or circumstances of that experience, making it difficult to translate success from a prior role to the one you are hiring for. This is not to say that resumes are unimportant, but their most practical application should be in the beginning of your hiring process to determine who earns further consideration. Once they are on your radar, the value of the resume diminishes severely.
No One Delivers Bad References: While it is important that your executive candidates can deliver people who will endorse them, they can often represent a very biased view of the candidate, regardless of merit. Even those who worked directly above or alongside them can present an unrealistic or inaccurate endorsement of a candidate. With the exception of heavy hitting names on a reference list, you should take these endorsements, like most items a candidate hand-delivers, with a grain of salt.
Do Not Rely On Your Own Analysis: Our own biases can be most detrimental to the hiring process, especially for executive hires. We make unconscious judgements automatically when we meet someone, and those judgements will guide future interactions. We tend to like people who align with our own personal values, opinions and social aptitude, but these attributes do not always equate to the best hiring criterion. On the contrary, putting individuals in place with a different perspective than your own can present a great deal of value, and can give exposure to issues that you may otherwise overlook. So don’t take the burden of interviewing upon yourself alone. Get others in your company involved, and discuss candidates openly. You may find the rest of your team identifying tremendous value that you overlooked.
The team at Millennium Search is made up of seasoned C-Level executive recruiters for early stage startups and cutting-edge technology companies. We bring years of expereince and success helping young technology companies build and scale their teams, and have seen many of our clients skyrocket to success. To learn more about we can help your early stage company build its executive team, speak with us today!