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Ask HN: You're a founder, do you ignore recruiters?
6 points by chris_dcosta 1772 days ago | hide | past | web | 8 comments | favorite
Like most people here I'm working to get my company up and running. But I come from a freelance background, and I still get plenty of calls and emails proposing jobs.

I'm in two minds as to whether I just politely tell them I am no longer in that industry and no longer available, or do I stall in case it all goes wrong and I need to get back on the treadmill to feed my family.

I also see good relations with everyone as a very good thing to have because you never know when you might just need someone or an opportunity (not a job) presents itself.

What's your thoughts?

I just tell them exact truth. I'm dedicating everything I have to my company (Intercom), and as such I'm not listening to offers. If they want to check in in a year or so, it's no harm but the answer will be the same.

Firm politeness never hurts. But it has to be firm.

I think you've answered your own question.

My opinion: There's almost always some $ threshold above which it makes sense to take on a freelance job. Choose your threshold and make it clear to any recruiters. It's always worth keeping good relations, as you say.

Say you've raised your rates because the industry lately have been getting you A LOT OF WORK, then ask for a value that would be interesting to you($200+/h?). If the client runs away, you still have chance to get back to him after a while.

This sounds alright in principle, but I could be shooting myself in the foot for later - I hate to go down on rate ever so setting the bar higher is probably not the answer.

I take the sentiment though.

Unlike some of my colleagues, I am polite to recruiters. I never know when they might put me in touch with an early stage hire, even if it's out of scope from what they're doing now. Also, you never know when you're looking to scale and having some relationships in place can be helpful.

Don't forget, that even though they can be annoying and a bit out of touch with what position reqs actually are, they're human too, and a little short but polite response about your situation can go a long way.

Others have made excellent comments here. I want to add this:

- Mention that unless it's for a certain price range, you're no longer in the market. However, you will keep them in touch when you're changing the policy again.

- If the pricing/arrangement doesn't work for both parties, say you're happy to refer them to someone else who could use those projects.

Also, stay in touch with them regularly, but you don't need to go overboard on this, as you want to focus on your company.

No because First, because you might know someone who WOULD be a fit for what they are pitching. Second, you can let them know if your company is looking or will be looking for someone with a skillset. Third, if they are someone in your industry there is the chance to learn a few things if they are a GOOD recruiter.

I wouldn't put a lot of time into dealing with them, but a minute or two won't kill you.

Neither. You say that you're currently working on a project and they should contact you again in X months.

I usually say 3 months - but it depends on your confidence.

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