Five “Musts” If You’re Hiring Right Now

The market is crazy right now! (#IYKYK). According to HBR, job openings have increased by 35% since the start of the pandemic, yet job applications are down. There’s a real talent shortage, and it’s making it harder for early-stage founders to meet their headcount goals.

Our team of Executive Recruiters is on the front line daily. Here are their “musts” for early-stage founders looking to make strategic hires right now.

Must #1: Be prepared to pay more, especially for sales talent.

Early-stage companies are expected to generate revenue much earlier, which means they need experienced sales leaders in place sooner. According to our internal data, this level of demand has resulted in a 20% increase in sales leader compensation over the past year. Additionally, this talent pool is now dispersed across the county, meaning higher salaries aren’t just reserved for the East and West coasts anymore.

Worth mentioning, non-cash rewards and recognition no longer do it! Sales leaders want to see a clear path to more cash (e.g. equity, bonuses for meeting KPIs/OKRs, profit-sharing, retention bonuses, matching retirement fund contributions, etc.).

Must #2: Let the people work remotely (or at least flexibly).

According to INC., about 43% of workers say they’re quitting to find jobs that don’t require being in an office. Now this trend isn’t quite as applicable for entry-level talent, but if you’re looking for tenured ICs and/or leaders, remote flexibility is a must.

Additionally, according to theSkimm, this is especially true for women. Two-thirds of millennial women say that remote options are a priority (when considering their next career move).

Must #3: Forget stack ranking candidates.

Historically, our team submitted 5-7 candidates at a time, which allowed our clients to stack rank them, once they had all gone through the entire process. That style of recruiting doesn’t exist anymore.

There isn’t time to stack rank candidates (or run a 10-step interview process) because the best candidates are off the market within 10 days. (Source) If you like a candidate, you have to move them through the process quickly and make an offer fast...even if you’re not able to compare them to other candidates.

Must #4: Outline compensation upfront.

The conversation around compensation used to be saved for the end of the interview process. We don’t live in that market anymore. Now, before a candidate will even get on a networking call, they expect to know compensation details.

It might feel risky to share your cards up front, but it keeps your pipeline honest and helps ensure a search doesn’t implode at the very end. (That situation is heartbreaking!)

Must #5: Know when you need to bring in an advisor.

If you’re not deeply informed on the function you’re hiring for, bring a trusted advisor into the interview process from the beginning. (Some of our early-stage founders pay their advisors to ensure they’re fully committed to the process.)

Yes, your search partner will vet candidates at a high-level, but you’ll want someone on your team who can get into the weeds. Having a strong advisor fortifies your company’s credibility through association.

Want us to help with your next go-to-market search?

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October 20, 2021

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