11/09/2012 01:15 pm ET Updated Jan 09, 2013

A Startup Avoids the Hockey Stick of Staffing

Meetup trades rapid growth for a quality team.

Recent years have seen a return to taking your time -- the slow movement has given us slow food, slow travel, and the lines at Duane Reade. One space that could use a healthy dose of the Slow Movement, however, remains largely unaffected. We speak, naturally, of the startup scene.

We've seen the companies that grow from three employees to 300 strangers in what seems like a month. For New York's Meetup however, rapidly staffing the company is not in anyone's interests.

"Hiring is sometimes slower than we'd like," Meetup's head of Human Resources Erin Dertouzas told us. "But we only hire a person if everyone who interviews the candidate is a strong yes -- typically they'll meet with six or seven of us. It impacts our growth, but it helps us in a lot of other ways."

And while such a rigorous process might mean Meetup's head count doesn't grow like a weed, there are other, significant advantages to the company's methods.

"We have a really high retention rate," Dertouzas said. "And the slow and steady growth has allowed us to maintain our culture. The team has gotten really good at onboarding people, and there doesn't become this us-versus-them mentality that I've seen at other startups."

"What makes Meetup really unique," Dertouzas continued, "is that we're committed to maintaining a size where people can impact the product. They can see it changing lives and they see what they're adding to the product."

Meetup is hiring for nine open positions right now. You can check out the jobs here, or just meet the team at Monday's Uncubed event. Score tickets for the event here.

Now go forth (and hold your horses).

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