As technology fueled start-ups begin to attract more and more venture capital in this fledgling economy, entrepreneurs are now finding it easier to attract mid to senior executive level talent from Corporate America. As executives get more and more frustrated with the stagnant economy and continued bureaucracy within the corporate word, they begin looking for exciting opportunities that allow them to get back to making decisions and producing results. This is a win-win for entrepreneurs who have venture capital.
Although you may have lots of capital to now attract and hire top talent to help run your company, it’s important to consider a few factors before turning to the corporate world for talent:
- Consider giving up extra stock options versus paying the high base salary. Executives are generally motivated by the upside. By giving up more stock options early on, you’ll most likely get your candidates interested in the long term potential. Also, depending on the stage of the company will generally determine the structure of the comp package.
- Don’t hire an executive who won’t function in your start-up environment. If your candidate is used to years of administrative support, trips to the golf course, weeks of vacation, a mahogany desk, and a company vehicle you may need to rethink if he/she would survive in your world. The candidates need to convince you that they are willing to bootstrap with you and sacrifice some of the corporate perks.
- Stay out of their way. Remember mid to senior level executives are generally very driven, highly motivated individuals who don’t need to be managed. If you hire someone who needs to be managed and directed, you’ve probably found the wrong person for your team.
My experience has been that corporate level experience can be a tremendous asset to your business, but the top executives of your company must have an entrepreneurial fire to persevere through the good and bad as well as have the willingness to do whatever it takes to win, even it if takes writing their own memo.