Posted on 11th September, 2017

by Simon Calver
Partner at BGF Ventures



1.    Take control of the process

If you want to make a quick decision about someone for a role in a competitive situation, act quickly! Don’t let bureaucracy get in the way. Ideally, say you’re popping out of the room for five minutes at the end of the interview and come back with an offer letter. It impresses the candidate incredibly. Operate swift decision making; make the right call and act on it.


 2.    Raise the bar

If you’ve been trying to fill a position for a little while and are starting to think ‘this person will do’ then you know that person is not going to do! 1st division people recruit 1st division people, 2nd division people recruit 3rd division people. Don’t compromise on absolute talent, get the best possible talent, all the time.


 3.    Have a clear brief

Make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. If you don’t have expertise in a particular subject matter get help from someone who does. Board members, advisors and friends can all be useful to help you challenge a candidate and discover if they really are what they seem to be.


 4.    Get social

If you’re going to be working closely together you need to like a person so make sure the chemistry works. You’ll be spending a lot of time with a successful candidate so make sure they pass the long haul flight test!

 5.    Don’t rush it

Clear the diary and be prompt; don’t turn up late for an interview and expect to do a good job. Allow for plenty of preparation time and give yourself sufficient time to think and time to spend face to face with the candidate.



Who’s out there?


Part of the challenge of finding the right talent is an awareness of where the talent comes from.


Social media allows people to find out when there’s a candidate available or a vacant position. Whether it’s through Linkedin, Facebook or via a friend of a friend, it can work famously well and comes with the added benefit of no fees!


Obviously, you can’t fill all jobs like that, sometimes you need to hire expert help. It’s important to recognise where you’re likely to make it work and when you’re not.


As an investor, one of the key roles we can help companies with, is through reaching out to our networks and getting people in contact. Often the best referrers are people who work for a company already as they aren’t going to want to work with someone who isn’t good enough.




Technology has changed the speed of access. There are sites and tools to help you prepare a CV, present yourself well, plus give you access to people looking for jobs.

As an employer, the access you can get online to a candidate is quite phenomenal, and it can really help with the referral process. Through technology there is more visibility and more transparency.











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