Most founders of start-ups work on the basis that they will find the people they need within their own network. That route isn’t always successful, or even the best financially in the longer term. Whilst I am certainly an advocate of having a great network to call upon, sometimes someone you don’t already know is the better hire.
Start-ups with a small team of people and perhaps not even a website or office, often wonder how they will ever attract a potential director?! I like to use the ‘marmite’ analogy – this scenario either attracts or repels potential candidates. That being said, someone who is happy in their current role and well remunerated, will want to explore and mitigate the risks involved with joining a fledging business. Employers will need to be even more open and transparent with information, and there has to be a very strong personal connection.
Candidates who are excited about joining a new business might be prepared to consider reducing their current base salary potential, but will be looking for an upside in equity and/or guaranteed bonus. It may be that to secure your preferred candidate however, you will have to offer a market rate base salary, or even slightly higher. If you want a genuine ‘partner’ in your business then accepting that he/she needs to have ‘skin in the game’, will pay off.
As the saying goes, ‘a business is only as good as the people within it’. When adding to your team, recruit the best you can get, and that investment will be returned many times over.