Twitter Summary: Hiring is Timing. The timing of who you need, when you need them, and when they are available.
I have had the joy of helping three friends get job offers in the past few months at two Seattle area startups (www.groundtruth.com and www.jambool.com). Offering to help people is nothing new, its just that the last few months have had an unusually high hit rate for matching people with a unique skillset and introducing them to companies that needed those skills now. The whole process reminded me of an adage I was taught at my last startup that “Hiring is Timing.”
Deciding what you need next at a startup is generally simple. If something is not getting done and is core to the business, you should either prioritize the job higher for the people working at the company, or hire somebody to do it. If you don’t have the money for it you either need to raise the money, or generate enough to support the role. Resource constraints (Lack of money) really help the prioritization process. In a software company, I have always heard the rule-of-thumb is that you shouldn’t really need to worry about hiring a full time HR person until you hit employee 25 or in-house legal help unless you are creating revising lots of contracts and have the revenue to support them.