Hiring Senior Management For Your Start-up

Also, once you identify and hire someone to play a role in your startup’s senior management, it is essential that you give them the time to settle in. Although you have hired a rockstar, it does not mean that the senior manager will dive right in to perfectly take charge.

Hiring is an extremely critical activity for an organization. Every recruit affects the workplace culture, team bonding and company goals. The hiring process is a time, research and resources investment. A wrong hire can be excruciatingly painful and expensive. This process is so much more crucial when an organization is trying to hire a senior manager. So, when you have the next set of big startup ideas, remember that as your startup grows, you will need to take steps to make effective hires.

The startup scenario

The startup ecosystem is experiencing a radical change. As these young companies grow, startup founders end up doing everything, spreading themselves far too thin. Hiring a CxO level employee, in such a scenario, is a sensible move. This frees up the founders’ time, permitting them to stay focused on the more critical aspects of the business.

If you happen to be searching for the right person or people to join your company’s senior management, these practices, especially curated for you, should help you narrow down your hiring criteria.

1. Find out if the hire is a cultural fit 

It is a proven fact that a company’s culture is strongly impacted by its employees’ aspirations and attitude. This is why culture-driven organizations enjoy an edge over the competition. Let us take some of the giant corporations of our generation, like Google and Facebook as examples. They were startups, not too long ago. They owe their growth to higher employee engagement and positive workplace culture.

Which is why, while the qualifications and experience of the applicant matters, what matter more is if they are a cultural fit with your startup. Hiring a senior leader with these things in mind strengthens the core beliefs of a company while improving employee satisfaction.

If the applicant’s previous company followed a teamwork-based culture, and if he or she survived there for a decent duration, you can be sure that this person is a team player.

Alternatively, if the applicant comes from an organisation that maintains strict login and logout times, it is almost certain that the individual enjoys and practices punctuality.

2. Find out if the hire is a network fit

Successful startups and firms are upgrading their hiring criteria for senior management. Companies are now beginning to focus on an applicant’s network fit. Network fit can be categorized as an individual’s adeptness to fit into, belong to or even complement the existing team’s working style. For network fit, you need to look at the way only a particular team works, to see if the recruit is a fit to become part of or lead the team.

If, while hiring a senior manager or team leader, you come across someone who is team-centric, hire them. He or she would not only play an active role in boosting employee morale and engagement, but they will also enhance the company’s performance in no time.

3. Hire a trusted search partner

It is tiresome to do everything by oneself. As mentioned earlier, startup founders do everything, stretching themselves far too thin.

Onboarding a trusted search partner will help greatly. Your hiring partner will help you skim through the crowd and recruit skilled and deserving senior talent to match your business targets. Such firms know the senior management of other firms, big and small. They also have access to databases of individuals who can be the right fit for you. This not only reduces your search time but also helps you find the best of the top talent pool.

Your search partner, however, must be informed in detail about your company’s goal, mission and vision so that they know the right recruit for you when they see one. You should choose a staffing and recruitment company that uses efficient research-based searches to shortlist the potential candidates.

4. Look within your network

Everything is changing, from the manner in which people are connecting with one another to how they network. Technology plays a vital role in all this and the hiring industry is using it to find the best fit for organizations.

People, instead of placing traditional ads or looking for employees the old-fashioned way, are now looking within their existing networks. This could be by efficiently using their WhatsApp network, LinkedIn connections, new age business/networking associations, etc.

5. Weigh external hires versus internal promotions
As a startup founder, you might have found yourself on this very crossroad before. When filling a senior position in your company, you may have struggled between choosing to promote an existing employee or hiring someone from outside. While this is a tough decision, it is absolutely worthwhile to spend time weighing the pros and cons of both sides. This activity will aid you in making an informed hiring decision.

A Harvard Business Review survey shows that while hiring leaders and senior managers, companies, more often than not, choose external talent over their existing employees.

While this may seem unfair, hiring partners and startup founders understand that external hires come with a fresh perspective, ideas, experiences and skills, which can aid the firm’s growth. This decision also decreases the possibility of internal conflict and resentment.

As a startup founder, you must thoroughly weigh your choices based on benefits, drawbacks, need and other criteria. Keep your company’s goals at the forefront and understand the impact the newly hired senior manager will have on everything in the organization.

6. Take and give time

Remember that hiring a senior manager is a critical decision. So, as urgent as it is to fill the position, take the time, follow the tips shared here and ensure you are making the right choice with the hire.

Also, once you identify and hire someone to play a role in your startup’s senior management, it is essential that you give them the time to settle in. Although you have hired a rockstar, it does not mean that the senior manager will dive right in to perfectly take charge. Give them the time they need to settle into their new role, understand the company’s expectations and identify a roadmap to achieving those.

As your company grows, you will need to keep hiring people at various senior management positions to help out with strategic startup ideas and decisions, maintaining workplace culture, managing different teams, ensuring smooth operations, marketing, sales, admin, HR, etc. Therefore, hiring the right CxO becomes a vital job.

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