Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hiring Employees for a Micro MNC

Before starting Heaven Fresh,  I worked for various companies and during my job hunting process I always wondered about the reasons for the existence of head hunters.  My thinking was that there was no justification for an employer to pay to an employment agency just to get a resume forwarded especially when the employer could get resumes directly from the candidates. Probably I developed this thought process simply because I was always able to find jobs by sending my resume directly to the employers.

Having been on the other side of the table for past 5 years, I can say that finding right people to work for your organization is probably the most difficult and challenging task.   When we first contacted a head hunting company, I was quite astonished to find out that they charge around 20% of the hired person's salary which meant that if we hired someone for $40,000 / year, we would pay $8,000 in fees to the head hunter.  However, scanning resumes, calling candidates and interviewing them is such a lengthy and tiring process that not only head hunting companies start making perfect sense but also their fees sound very justified.

The process of hiring people is particularly difficult for a micro-multinational because of the preference to find people who can wear multiple hats and can handle variety of responsibilities. We have been looking for a bilingual person who can speak fluent English and French to help us with marketing and sales along with alleviating some of the burden of incoming customer phone calls in the Canada office.  We have not been able to find the right person yet and seeking help from a head hunter is getting more and more tempting but then again, the money that we will pay to a head hunter can cover the compensation of an employee for two months.

I feel lucky to have found very talented and responsible people to work with  just by coincidence . But I guess the lucky streak has to end somewhere and now we have a decision to make whether to bite the bullet and pay the fee to a head hunter or to ease our search criteria. We will see who wins, cash strapped bank account that need preservation for slow summer season or already stretched resources desperately in need of having some additional help on board as soon as possible.

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