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How to Make the Best Hires to Complement Your Founding Team

 

Your founding team is your Fantastic 4. You’ve beat the odds together and your team is on the cusp of reaching your startup dreams. You’ve already been in the trenches together, but now comes the harder part. Sustaining the same level of high growth will be an even greater trial you’ll face together – and this time you’ll need more than just your founding team. The added challenge will be to identify and secure the A+ executive leaders who can fit within the culture you’ve already established, and take your business to the next level.

If you want to make the best hires to complement your founding team, keep these two critical concepts in mind:

HIRE FOR CULTURE FIT & CORE VALUES

Hiring for technical chops alone is one of the gravest and most common mistakes CEOs make. Keep in mind that there are other defining characteristics that are of huge importance in a hiring decision. The biggest reason why someone will succeed or fail at any company has everything to do with whether his or her personal DNA matches the cultural DNA of the CEO, the founders and existing executive team. A candidate’s personal DNA is made up of their core values, unique personal experiences, capabilities, biases, and critical thinking. An executive search is not just about finding top leaders, it’s about securing an executive leader who is uniquely qualified to succeed at your company. That shift towards tailor-matching the right leader for the right role at the right organization changes everything.

BUILD CLARITY & COMMITMENT AROUND THE MISSION

How do you determine if a new hire is a good culture fit with your organization? You first need to build clarity around what your organization’s grand purpose is. If you and your co-founders were successful in reaching Series B round funding – then you’ve probably got a winning mission already. Be sure that the new leaders you hire understand your mission and have the same devotion to it that you as a founder do. You can accomplish this by making sure his or her core values are in line with your company’s greater purpose. If the new battles you face together are in service of your mission, your growing executive team will be as unstoppable (and hopefully even stronger) than the groundbreakers who started your organization.


Reprinted by permission

About the author: Dave Carvajal

Dave Carvajal built HotJobs (650 employees, IPO & $1.2B market cap then sold to Yahoo!) as Co-founder & TheLadders (400 employees, $80M revs) where he focused on attracting, retaining and developing all employees. These days he’s asked by top VCs and CEOs of high-growth startups to build their Boards and leadership teams with the top 1% of A+ executive talent. He is an Ironman and lives in NJ with his wife where he is co-founder of twin boys and a pup named Clover.

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