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The Hidden Cost Of Founder-Driven Hiring [8 Key Facts]

The blog highlights the hidden costs of founder-driven hiring and provides eight key facts to consider. It also discusses the value of building an in-house recruitment team and provides practical solutions to improve recruitment practices, reduce costs, and drive business growth.

By Chris Smith

25 Apr 2023 · 4 min read

The Hidden Cost Of Founder-Driven Hiring [8 Key Facts]

In the high-stakes world of startups, every second counts. Founders play a vital role in driving their company's success, with research by Deloitte attributing 20% of annual revenue growth to the founder's direct involvement in key business activities. 

However, finding the right talent becomes an increasingly pressing concern as startups scale and expand. 

When founders take on the hiring process, they may inadvertently create a significant financial impact as their focus shifts from growing the business to recruiting new team members. 

In this eye-opening article, we reveal the hidden costs of founder-driven hiring. We provide a comprehensive analysis supported by data, metrics, and practical solutions that will make you rethink how you approach recruitment.

The Time Investment in Hiring

A National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) study reveals that the average hiring process takes 23.8 hours per job opening. 

According to Glassdoor, the average length of the interview process in the United States is 23.8 days. 

This timeline can be extended for startups due to the founder's involvement and their need to balance multiple responsibilities. 

For example, the average interview process takes 28.3 days in the technology sector, adding even more time to the founder's recruitment efforts.

Also Read: How to Conduct a Successful Interview 

Opportunity Cost of Lost Hours

We must consider the opportunity cost of this time to measure the true cost of lost hours during the founder-driven hiring process. 

According to a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, startup founders work an average of 66 hours per week. Considering the increased workload, a founder's opportunity cost during the hiring process can be even higher than previously calculated. 

With an average founder's salary of $130,000 annually and a 66-hour work week, the hourly rate rises to approximately $38. Considering the extended interview process for the technology sector (28.3 days), hiring a founder costs approximately $1,270 per job opening.

Impact on Business Growth

A study by Deloitte found that 20% of a startup's annual revenue growth can be attributed to the founder's direct involvement in key business activities. 

A study conducted by McKinsey & Company shows that high-growth startups can experience a revenue increase of 2.2 times more than their slower-growing counterparts. 

The founder's involvement in key business activities can significantly impact this growth trajectory. By reallocating the time spent on recruitment to activities that drive growth, founders can double their revenue increase.

Scaling the Hiring Process

As a startup grows, the founder will need to hire more employees to keep up with demand. This can result in an exponential increase in the time spent on recruitment and the associated costs. 

For instance, if a founder hires 10 employees, the potential revenue loss rises to $12,700, based on the previous example.

Effects on Employee Retention and Turnover

Another crucial aspect to consider when evaluating the costs of founder-driven recruitment is employee retention and turnover. According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost of replacing an employee ranges from 50% to 60% of their annual salary, with additional indirect costs potentially reaching up to 200%. 

A Gallup study found that the cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary. 

This means that for a position with an annual salary of $50,000, replacing the employee could range from $25,000 to $100,000. 

High employee turnover rates can severely impact a startup's bottom line, making it essential to focus on hiring processes that ensure long-term retention.

The Importance of a Structured Onboarding Process

A well-designed onboarding process can significantly impact a new employee's productivity and retention. According to the Brandon Hall Group, organisations with a strong onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. 

A recent survey found that 31% of new hires have quit their job within the first six months, with 16% citing poor onboarding as the main reason. 

Furthermore, the Aberdeen Group found that organisations with a well-structured onboarding process experienced a 60% year-over-year improvement in revenue per full-time employee.

When founders handle recruitment, they may not have the bandwidth to devote adequate time and resources to onboarding, leading to lost productivity and potential attrition. 

By outsourcing or automating the hiring process, founders can free up time to develop and implement a robust onboarding program, increasing the chances of new hires' long-term success and reducing the costs associated with high turnover.

Outsourcing and Automation Solutions

Many startups are turning to outsourcing or automation solutions to mitigate the costs of lost hours during the hiring process. 

A study by Korn Ferry found that 63% of talent acquisition leaders believe that AI and automation will significantly impact how they hire. 

AI-based recruitment tools can reduce the time spent on manual tasks such as candidate sourcing, screening, and interview scheduling. 

For instance, a LinkedIn report showed that companies using AI in their recruitment process witnessed a 35% decrease in time to hire and a 20% increase in candidate quality.

By delegating recruitment tasks to specialised agencies, founders can free up time to focus on their core business activities. 

Similarly, using applicant tracking systems (ATS) and artificial intelligence (AI)-based recruitment tools can streamline the hiring process, reducing the time investment and minimising the potential revenue loss.

The Value of Building an In-House Recruitment Team

As startups mature and grow, building a dedicated in-house recruitment team is one potential solution to minimise the financial impact of founder-driven recruitment. In-house recruiters can develop a deep understanding of the company's culture and requirements, leading to more efficient and targeted hiring processes.

Related Read: How to Build a Work Culture That Attracts Top Employees

A LinkedIn report revealed that 18% of talent acquisition leaders cite cost reduction as a top priority when building an in-house recruitment team. According to a study by BountyJobs, companies that switched from using external recruiting agencies to an in-house recruitment team experienced an average cost reduction of 38%. 

By shifting hiring responsibilities from the founder to a specialised team, startups can reduce the opportunity costs and potential revenue losses associated with the founder's time investment in recruitment.

The numbers don't lie: founder-driven hiring can have a profound financial impact on startups, diverting valuable time and resources from growth-focused activities. 

With 2.2 times more revenue growth experienced by high-growth startups, according to McKinsey & Company, founders must recognise and address the hidden costs associated with their involvement in recruitment. 

By gaining a deeper understanding of these financial implications and embracing strategies that streamline hiring, such as outsourcing, automation, or building an in-house recruitment team, founders can keep their eyes on the prize - innovating, scaling, and shaping the future. Don't let the hidden costs of hiring hold you back; it's time to unlock your startup's true potential.

By Chris Smith

25 Apr 2023 · 4 min read

Founder of GoHire, dedicated to simplifying hiring for SMBs across the globe. Passionate about tech, SaaS, business, and recruitment innovations. Always up for a chat about the latest in our field. Let's connect!


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