What if you could hire a person who has been in your industry for many years or who has successfully scaled a business like yours to the highest level? How long would it take you to accomplish those same goals?
The answer is simple — you could get there much faster than if you hire a team of individuals without comparable experience.
This guide will give you the strategies and procedures you need to hire exceptionally talented people and information about who they are and where to find them.
What is the one thing that would be a game-changer for your business if you could get it? Who could you hire if money were no object who would help your company grow more quickly?
If you have an answer to those questions and are looking to grow, then start thinking about how to make an aspirational hire.
An aspirational hire might have a reputation for taking an entire company to the next level. These candidates may have worked with other high-level entrepreneurs or even started their own businesses. They can bring new ideas and perspectives that challenge the way you think about your business and expand your vision for what’s possible.
These people can be hard to recruit because they’re already employed and may not be interested in making a change, but if you can convince them to join your team, they’ll bring a wealth of experience and knowledge with them.
Although it may feel like a challenge to attract these types of employees and executives to your business, many people are keen to take their skills to a smaller company hungry for growth. Be prepared to offer competitive compensation and benefits to entice these individuals to be part of your team.
To make an aspirational hire, you need to understand what it will take to grow your business. You also need to be honest about your company’s strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can decide what skills are missing from your team and begin networking to attract the right people.
The first thing you need to do is understand what you want your company to look like in three years, five years, and ten years. You need to figure out what culture you want to create and what your peers or competitors are doing.
The best way to think about this is in terms of aspirational companies — who do you want to be like? If you can find those companies, you can use them as a benchmark for the kind of person you want to hire.
If you want to build an organization that’s a destination for top talent, you’ll need to think big.
Make yourself attractive to these people by understanding their needs, pain points, and interests. Clearly articulate the value of your company, including learning opportunities and personal and professional growth.
Who are your aspirational peers hiring? What are they doing to attract talent that makes an impact?
Your peers are your competitors, and tracking your progress against theirs is a great way to see how your business stacks up. Getting your company in a position to attract top talent is a core part of making aspirational hires, and you can get started by identifying what your peers are doing right.
What makes working for your company different from working for any other business? Think about that and then put it into words. You’ll want to use this when recruiting candidates.
You’re looking for someone who can help you “change the world.” But what does that actually mean? You want someone who’s aggressive about growth but is also responsible with resources — you want somebody who knows best in class systems and processes.
And you need someone who can get along with all types of people, from your co-founder to the interns. Think about what the company needs most right now and what it will need six months, one year, and five years from now.
It’s common for companies to have a lot of immediate needs but forget what they’ll need in the future. You want someone who can get past the immediate needs and be able to build out infrastructure for long-term growth.
The key to hiring high-value employees is identifying the most important responsibilities for the position then finding candidates who have experience performing those tasks successfully.
Aspirational candidates usually have many years of relevant work experience in your industry and their references will confirm that they perform their duties well.
One of the keys to attracting high-value employees is to build a strong network. You want people with similar values who will help you expand your reach. In fact, it’s often said that if you want to be successful, you need to surround yourself with other successful people.
To find the right people, you must network and be proactive about your search. Your current employees should be part of this process as well. They may know of people who could be beneficial to your company and make great employees.
Put yourself and your organization out there. If you want to find talent, get out and meet people. Join industry associations related to your field and look for networking opportunities on LinkedIn or at trade shows and conferences. You could also create new networking opportunities by hosting an open house or webinar.
As an entrepreneur, networking should be second nature. You never know when connections you make might come in handy. The best way to find top talent is through word-of-mouth. Use social networks and your professional network to attract high-value employees.
Hiring great talent is hard, but making an aspirational hire is even harder. However, if you take the time to define what your company culture entails and what role you’re trying to fill, you’ll be well on your way to finding a candidate who not only fills a position but also shares in the goals and values of your company.
Our renowned executive recruiters have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEO, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and include vice president, general counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.
Cowen Partners delivers 3X more qualified candidates than the competition. Through our proven retained executive search process, we find, vet, and deliver the top 1% of candidates for positions across the C-suite. Our process works for all industries, including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, real estate, financial service, private equity, and more.
Learn how we deliver top talent, no matter the need, with our industry-leading research and resources. Discover the strategy that made Cowen Partners the top retained executive search firm in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond.