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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

Today’s Question: You need to hire — where do you turn first for awesome applicants?

The answers below are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.


Brian1. AngelList

My company is at a stage where we need driven individuals who are looking to grow with a company. AngelList is a funding platform for startups with the nice added bonus of free recruiting functionality. I find that most candidates in the cookie-cutter job platforms are seeking predictable nine-to-five jobs. On the other hand, AngelList is a platform for skilled dreamers with a thirst for the unknown!

Brian Chiou, Enigma Systems LLC

Laura2. Our Interns

Since we launched our company, we’ve had many people reach out looking to participate. Although we were strapped for cash to make official hires, we set up an internship program to allow dedicated and interested individuals to gain experience and learn about our company. Some don’t stick around, but we’ve hired on some of our most dedicated interns who have continued to bring value and learn quickly.

Laura Johnson, Salty Girl Seafood

Kathryn3. LinkedIn

I like to use LinkedIn to seek out people with the specific skill sets that we’re looking for. I also like that LinkedIn lets me see who we know in common and what sorts of testimonials and track records candidates have. While job listings can help you get a large number of applicants, these applicants not always the right people. When you have a tough role to fill, LinkedIn enables to you seek out people with niche skill sets.

Kathryn Hawkins, Eucalypt Media

steven4. Universities and Industry Contacts

I check local universities and law schools. They turn out fresh-faced applicants eager to get their start in my industry.

Second, I talk to my contacts in the legal industry to see if they might know anyone talented. Generally speaking, I avoid posting job advertisements on boards that aren’t highly specialized for my industry. I don’t have the time to sift through hundreds of applicants.

Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates

Jules5. Your Existing Team

Your current team members are an invaluable resource when you’re looking for candidates who have similar skill sets and work ethics. Some of the very best hires I’ve made have come from existing team members’ suggestions. Plus, when there is a personal connection already in place, it makes for an easier transition and, often, a better cultural fit as well.

Jules Taggart, Jules Taggart Marketing Strategy

jessica6. Friends (and Friends of Friends)

Who better to work with – who better to understand what you are striving for – than your friends? You already know your personalities are compatible with yours. You know how reliable they are and what their resumes look like. There is built-in trust, too.

Friends of friends are also good because they are personally vouched for. These individuals likely want to see you succeed, and doing so together makes it even sweeter.

Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs


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