Executive Strategic Recruitment & Talentmanagement (the short version).
Thanks Sam Cooke.
During growth periods in young companies, it is vital to look at the senior management and honestly ask if they are the right individuals for that job moving forward. Most startups don’t even consider this point until it’s too late, allowing minor problems to become substantial issues; Uber had to learn this the hard way. Simply asking this question and keeping a side note during quarterly meetings is enough to plant the seed. This topic is perfect theme to discuss with outside advisors, or Greyhairs.
- Do we need to bring in someone with better financial or operational experience to be CFO or COO before an A or B round of financing?
- Is the current head of product development really the best candidate before we hit hyper-growth?
- Is the head of sales a great strategic sales leader or just a good one?
Most time, the C-Suite simply fall into the positions as the company is formed. Yes Jim may have the desire to be the Sales Director long-term, but his 6 month internship in sales prior to help starting the company doesn’t mean he has the strategic vision (Sorry Jim, we still love you). Applying talent management and delegating new responsibilities among the executive team may be vital for success moving forward. Approaching these topics is extremely difficult, after passion and sweat equity have been poured into the job for years.
Important – it’s not about trying to separate individuals from the company but rather assign responsibility to key members which is best for the organization. These discussions should happen over the course of 3-6+ Months, and not be reactive. Let Jim consider doing what he really loves, product sales, rather than forcing him to be strategic – there is a good chance he thanks you in the end (See Jim, we really do love you!).
Change is tough. Moving people within the company can be difficult. These are emotional talks. If all stakeholders are aligned to see the company grow long-term, a solution can always be found. Adding a Greyhairto the conversation as a mediator may help.
Do you have any different experiences or thoughts?