Build a Successful Team Without Breaking the Bank


  • Identify the needs. Take a look at a 1, 3, and 5 year plan as best as can be estimated and list out the roles that you can anticipate needing.
  • Triage: The art of prioritization.  One of my favorite reminders to myself throughout my work week is that there is a difference between urgent and important.  Urgent things tend to get attention, but sometimes it is at the expense of important things.  For example, a ringing phone is urgent, now.  We need to answer it, and if it goes much longer, the caller is going to hang up.  So we stop our work and we answer it even though it may not have been the top of our list of important items.    Finishing a presentation for a client or investor may have been a better use of your time but you sacrificed it for the ringing phone.  Same is true for hiring.  Identify which roles are the most important to fill (sometimes a role is urgent AND important) and focus on filling those first.
  • Big Picture: Just because you’ve prioritized, doesn’t mean you’re wearing blinders.  You’ve taken the time to identify your needs and preference of hiring order, but the world isn’t always equally so organized.  If a resume comes across your desk that fits a hire you had targeted for next quarter, don’t discount it solely due to your preconceived schedule.  Sometimes the best candidate is available a little early, and if you can be opportunistic in your hiring, you can grab great talent when it’s available.  We’ve all been in the situation where waiting a month or a quarter costs us 3-4 more months of searching and interviewing rather than bringing someone up to speed.  Let’s avoid that if possible!
  • Working with recruiters. Recruiting can be expensive so be smart.  It goes without saying that you should always mine your own networks first – not only do you save a recruiting fee, but you also often times have a built in reference for the candidate.  However, if  you do decide to use a recruiter, here are some tips:
  • Find a recruiter you like, trust and that has a track record of performance
  • Give them the big hiring picture and the immediate priorities
  • Give them clear guidelines and feedback – this saves everyone time and money
  • Decide what type of recruiting arrangement works best for your needs (contingency, mutually committed, or retained) and then build a relationship with your recruiter. Having recruited for almost 25 years, I can promise you that relationships matter here as much as they do everywhere else.  If a hiring manager is committed, respectful and responsive, recruiters will move them to the IMPORTANT  file- even if others seem more urgent…


Rob Reeves is the CEO of Redfish Technology ( and has recruited in the Technology and Clean Energy sectors for over 2 decades.  He lives in Sun Valley, Idaho with his wife and two kids.