This is the final part of our Roadblocks to Hiring series, covering the most common and damaging assumptions tech Founders make when looking to hire their executive leadership team.
In our first article, we explored the assumption that everyone will want to be part of their venture and build a company. In the second, we covered why hiring a brand name leader isn’t always necessary or possible. Today, we explore the last assumption:
WE NEED SOMEONE WHO GETS SH*T DONE
It's fascinating how frequently we’ve heard a Founder/CEO describe their ideal ELT hire in this way. Literally.
The reality for many first-time and early-stage Founders is that they are challenged with issues stemming from resource constraints, budget constraints, and time constraints. For these reasons, it's normal for a Founder to think the hire needs to be able to make it happen and get sh*t done.
While hiring an ELT member who is able to roll up their sleeves and deliver outcomes, our experience has taught us that this is also the persona of an ELT hire who is most likely to be churned out when the company takes on its next round.
The expectation that a Board or Investor has of their portfolio ELT team is to be able to function at a strategic level. To be able to step out of the tactics of the business to run the business; to identify the opportunities that will result in investments to drive growth and success.
Overcoming the Assumption
Ask yourself if you need someone who can build the necessary components to get you to the next raise or if you need someone, more long-term, who can scale.
Someone who can get sh*t done is great for urgent builds or backlogs, but if they spend all their time executing, they aren't spending enough time vision casting, roadmapping, and building out the department.
Also, this hands-on persona is often more junior than those with experience scaling businesses. Generally, that level of leaders only wants to spend their time creating the strategy, vision, and team.
If the leadership hire is meant to be more long-term and focused on driving growth at scale, it may be more appropriate to find a leader with this experience. Someone who knows good people and can hire them to be the hands-on and get sh*t done team members.