“My company is young, but growing fast. We have to start thinking about building our leadership team or we are going to have problems with fulfillment and scaling. How do I attract the kind of executive I want when I can’t pay what the other company pays?”
Often, hiring decisions come down to money for a business. Can we afford another person in the operations team? How can we add more capacity without increasing the payroll by 5%? This focus on affordability creates the (often) incorrect perception that individuals make decisions about where they want to work based on money alone. However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, it almost never is. According to Tom Judge and the Journal of Vocational Behavior, there is a less than 2% overlap between salary and job satisfaction. And in a Gallup poll about work engagement, salary didn’t crack the top 5 incentives that employees list as motivators.
So if money isn’t the thing that will be the big draw for top talent, what is?
How you sell your vision.
Starting a company is a huge risk and resource investment. You have a reason that keeps you working so hard at helping your company grow. But can you sell that reason, that vision, to someone else?
How you demonstrate your passion.
One thing that you will not see at a successful start-up is a founder who is concerned about his or her work/life balance. When you’re building a business, life comes later. And when the leader is giving everything to the vision, it inspires others to do the same.
How you support your weak side.
We can’t all be the best at everything. You know your business. And you know your business needs skills and expertise that you can’t provide, whether it’s in finance or marketing, operations or information technology, an executive leadership team is about bringing in skills and abilities that complement you and each other.
The next time you’re visiting a high-growth company or start-up, pay special attention to the culture and working environment. Start-ups usually can’t pay the full market wage that more established companies can, especially on executive salaries. Health care and benefits are typically missing from compensation packages. Hours are long and the work is demanding. And yet people love working at start-ups. There’s a buzz and excitement that comes from helping to build something. A pride that comes from being part of something from the ground up.
When you’re looking to build your executive leadership team, remember this. When you’re looking for a candidate, look for someone with the passion to be your partner and the willingness to put some skin in the game with you. Compensate with equity as well as salary. Seek skills and abilities that complement yours. And if you need a partner to help you find someone spectacular, Andcor is a phone call away.
Stay tuned for Executive Hiring Plans for Start Ups, Part 3: The Who.
Miss Part 1? Read it Here.