Recruiting Executives in a Startup

While there’s significant talk about recruiting great software engineers and sales people, even harder is finding key executives to join a startup. Like anything important, it requires tremendous time and effort to do well. Yet, with so few qualified candidates, it can be even more challenging than expected.

Here are a few thoughts on recruiting executives in a startup:

  • Build a candidate pipeline well in advance of the hire and work to nurture the relationships (go ahead, set up a recurring quarterly calendar notification just to nurture the relationship)
  • Bring the board and advisors in to the executive recruiting process to help identify potential candidates as well as meet with identified candidates
  • When a qualified candidate has been identified, and is interested, run a Topgrading chronological in-depth survey (plan to spend 4 – 6 hours on interviewing each candidate)

Recruiting key executives to a startup is incredibly hard, and one of the most important things an entrepreneur will do. Invest the time to do it well and build out a great team.

What else? What are some more thoughts on recruiting executives in a startup?

One thought on “Recruiting Executives in a Startup

  1. That is good advice if startup is funded. If not, it is difficult to even get the potential interest of an executive to trade their perks and momentum to join the startup company.

    Maybe if the exec has been downsized or has a hefty severence package and has no similar opportunities available to them at traditional companies. Otherwise, it is rare and difficult as you pointed out.

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