Finding talent is a tough ball game nowadays. So difficult in fact, that many technology companies end up overlooking critical factors when strategically hiring the talent they find. After all, a position left unfilled means the work that needed to be done yesterday is still left untouched. And when filling such critical roles, especially early on, speed and efficiency in hiring is everything. But what about the future? What does the perfect candidate for today’s needs look like a few years down the road? What needs will you have after your company has gone through shifts in direction, moved on to the next phase or even a new project altogether, evolving overall, as most technology companies do and must? Does your hire for today align with your needs for tomorrow? Yes, I know. Hiring was tough enough before introducing yet another aspect to consider. But along with everything else, if you consider the impact of today’s hire on tomorrow’s needs, you will set yourself up to get past present hurdles, and remain successful in the future. With that said, what does the right candidate look like for your company’s life cycle?
Considerations In The Short Term
When considering your hire for the short term, focus on what is needed “now” to move towards the next major milestone. For ex: If you need to finish the product to launch, then you need that developer or tech guru in place to get that product completed. This person would be crucial to finishing the code and backend details before launch can occur. As the decision maker, you probably know what your immediate needs are, and know what the appropriate talent looks like to help achieve your goals. After all, without a significant focus on the “present,” and what is vital to resolving your immediate needs, today may be lost. And there may be no tomorrow if a hiring mistake is made.
Considerations In The Long Term
Startups move fast, and the right person today has to be the right person tomorrow. Things that are important to knock out today may not be the same as tomorrow’s demands. The talent you add today must be aligned with your “Vision.” fitting in place with the bigger picture. If you don’t see a candidate aligning with this vision, then the answer is simple; don’t hire them. This is why it is so much harder for startups to capture the right person. At a larger organization, where the environment is not as fluid or as dependent upon a small sector of their employees, the blend of present and future fit is not as imperative. For your startup’s success, it is critical.
What a Good Hire for Both the Short Term and Long Term Looks Like?
Hires made in an environment early on need to understand their roles and how they will evolve. All things aside, a good hire that satisfies your short term needs and fits into your long term strategy is one who buys into the founder’s vision, believes in the work and product, and recognizes what needs to be done to get there, both today and tomorrow. They should share the same passion, and be prepared to roll up their sleeves early on. And when the needs change, they must be willing and able to adapt and evolve into the next role. And what’s more, they need to have the attitude that you want in your culture. Candidates who have previous experience in high-growth startups understand this and are generally the best fits for these roles. Those who may have been part of high-growth spurts or startup divisions within bigger companies can also understand what it takes in the short term to survive and succeed over the long term.
How to Hire a Good Fit for Today and the Long Term
No one has the “Perfect” solution, because everyone’s background and presence is different. However, one of the best recommendations for strategically hiring at a startup is to seek out talent that comes from a startup pedigree. They will have experienced failures along with victories, giving them the experience to know what it takes to survive in the startup market. They should also know that nothing is perfect, but they have to dig in and be flexible with severe changes of direction at a moment’s notice without frustration. Ideally, if a candidate comes from the same sector/space as your startup and has contacts which add value to their background, they will have a better chance at being solid in the short term and stellar in the long term. Be sure to perform your due diligence with the startups they were involved with. Speak to the founders they reported to, the customers they worked for, and the partners that they supported. This will give you insight and clarity to help you hire the right talent for your present role, and the role it will transform into as they contribute to your startup’s future success.
For startups, finding talent is challenging, but finding the RIGHT talent is critical. Are you a startup looking for strategically hiring help. Partner with Millennium Search, the premier executive search firm for technology companies, today!