The Opportunistic Startup Hire

Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom (NASA, Interna...
Image by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr

A difficult situation some startups face is the opportunistic hire they can’t afford. What I mean by this is that the startup gets referred a great person, and there’s no position available, but they really want to hire her.

Here are some things to think through when the opportunistic startup hire comes along:

  • What does the growth of the business in the next 12-24 months look like with and without the person?
  • What impact will this person have on the business outside of growth?
  • What ways can you get the person involved if you can’t afford them full-time? Advisor? Part-time?
  • What’s the likelihood you’ll be able to hire this person down the road when you can afford them?

I’ve found that opportunistic hires rarely come along, but you know it when you see it.

What else? What other considerations do you have when you find an opportunistic startup hire?

3 thoughts on “The Opportunistic Startup Hire

  1. Not a fan. In the early days of a startup, only hire when it hurts.

    Being compulsive makes for a sloppy business. Yes, keep them in your pipeline, bring them on as an advisor, etc. Don’t spend $100k plus the onboarding cycles until it hurts.

    When a company gets past the seed stage, then you can get good people and find spots on the bus for them.

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