The problem with running a business is that you have be two specialists in one person: you have to be the ultimate expert in the services and goods you provide. When you’re representing your company to other CEOs, to high level clients and potential investors you can’t be vague. You have be the best salesman, knowing the details of what you’re selling, what it can do, and what’s in development and coming down the pipeline. If you can’t, you undermine the whole business at a critical time and could lose a vital contract.
That’s a full time job. And on top of it you have the second full time job of actually running a company. Coming up with goals and strategy, arbitrating disputes and making decisions across a whole range of areas from HR concerns, to IT procurement to hiring. And if you’ve started a small business you may well not have the experience to do all this competently. Hiring is the most important area, as this allows you to bring new expertise into the company that makes all those other decisions easier – it gives you more resources, more information and more points of view to consider.
Hiring well is a skill in itself, and it’s not one that’s easy to acquire unless you’ve worked in HR, and got the vital experience of writing job descriptions, conducting interviews that allow you to properly judge the value of candidates and negotiating salaries. Many people found companies and launch start ups because they’ve seen a way to solve a problem in a new way, faster and cheaper and more attractively that everyone else in the market. They don’t necessarily do it because they’re simply good at running a business.
To way to beat this issue is to find some expert support. Headhunters and recruitment companies are not always easy to deal with but they are the experts in finding candidates. You need to pick carefully. If you’re hiring your first executives you need an executive recruitment firm like Savannah Group – going to a standard high street recruiter for executives isn’t going to get you the best candidates.
When you’ve found a firm that specialises in high level recruitment in your niche, you need to establish a collaborative relationship. Just sending them an outline of the job and waiting for a list of candidates is a waste of the resource you have. Make sure you have a full conversation with them: they know the market, so they can advise about salary, about the experience level of candidates you need. Work together and you’ll beat the hiring dilemma and find the people you need.