Great Ideas for your Small Business:
Tips for Recruiting Executives
Gregory h. wingfield, president of the Greater Richmond Partnership Inc., suggests the following guidelines for recruiting small business executives:
- Make certain the executive is not a dyed-in-the-wool corporate player. Those spoiled by the trappings of a huge support staff and a battalion of secretaries may resent having to roll up their sleeves and write a marketing plan.
- Look for decisive individuals capable of making choices without the support of blue-ribbon committees. The bureaucratic gamesmanship that goes with the turf in a giant corporation cannot be tolerated in smaller firms where speed and agility are vital weapons. The owner’s top aide must have the self-confidence to act.
- Seek those executives with an entrepreneurial flair. Managers experienced in working for other small firms may fit the bill. They are likely to have the right skills and can withstand the economic pressures that are a way of life in small companies. An ideal candidate will relish the opportunity to net a large bonus while simultaneously accepting the risk of no bonus at all. He or she must be a bit of a gambler.
- Stop short of hiring former entrepreneurs on the rebound from their own losing ventures. Most will want to call all the shots and will seek to introduce the same management tactics that failed in the past.
- The best bet is to look for someone who is not looking for a job. That way, you raise the odds of finding a winner. Come up with a strong-enough salary and benefits package to lure away a well-established executive presently contributing to another firm. The last thing you want is for your company to be a haven for those executives seeking any kind of work that comes along.
- Be wary of the “small business is a family affair” syndrome. Although hiring brothers and sisters may be a kind gesture, it should be done only if the individual is the most qualified person for the job.
- Look for those who lead by example rather than by force. The team effort is too important in small business for the executive to alienate workers, prompting good people to resign. It is a good idea to check references to establish evidence of a solid track record in companies like yours.
- Consider asking executive recruiters and business associates for referrals. It’s important to use all of your contacts to locate a pool of suitable candidates.