- Filling executive positions faster gives companies a better shot at top talent.
- Diversifying leadership teams means casting a wide net and recognizing certain resume biases, like school attended.
- Retaining executive talent may mean allowing them to explore new projects and fractional work.
Strong talent and company leadership are vital to a startup’s success, including its ability to scale and grow. Yet finding diverse candidates with the right skills isn’t always easy. And keeping them around can be even trickier.
This blog features a collection of articles from our partners at Bolster, a platform helping scale startups and leadership teams with access to executive level talent, providing information to streamline your hiring processes, diversify your talent pool, hire the right executives and retain top talent at your company.
Watch a short video to learn more about Bolster.
Finding the right talent faster
Finding the right candidate to fill a position can take months for many companies. Yet there are many reasons that a faster time-to-fill can be a huge benefit.
First, filling a position takes a lot of time and attention, and filling it sooner leaves you more time to tackle other priorities.
In some cases, the hiring decision-maker is the person taking on the most work, making it even more critical to produce a timely hire.
An expedited hiring process also gives you a better shot at attracting top talent. It’s imperative to provide candidates with a good hiring experience in a tight job market. If the process is too long, you may lose out on top recruits.
So, how do you speed your hiring process while maintaining the quality of your search? Here are a few tips from the experts.
Tips to streamline your hiring process:
Define your needs by seeking stakeholders’ input regarding the type of skills required for the role.
Incorporate an audition in the interview process, where you can watch a candidate in action in a crucial part of the job.
Set a timeframe to choose a candidate and hold yourself accountable to it.
There may be more at stake when hiring for executive roles, so consider taking some of the pressure off—and removing some risk—by hiring part-time first.
Want to learn more? Read Getting the Help You Need in 2022.
What to look for in a CFO
As your business grows and its finances become more complex, you may find you need the expertise of a CFO.
For one thing, CFOs must know the ins and outs of the company, including spending time with partners and customers, to gain a holistic view of its financial situation. In this way, they become a resource for every team member to better understand the company’s financial situation.
They strike a balance between optimism and pessimism, and they aren’t afraid to deliver bad news on time. This approach can help identify realistic opportunities for the company.
Finally, a CFO needs to understand strategic objectives and have a visibility across business units while tuning in to minor details. These skills can make the difference between failure and success for your startup.
Read the full article for more insights on What Does a Great CFO Look Like.
Companies have placed increased focus on diversifying their leadership teams. But when hiring new talent, companies often tap into existing networks, which is not always effective in delivering a more diverse candidate pool.
For example, to assess a candidate’s quality and credibility, a company might look at LinkedIn to see who candidates are connected to, if they’ve worked for recognizable companies and what schools they attended. This approach can be biased, leading founders to interview and hire people with backgrounds and qualifications similar to their own.
For example, a resume that doesn’t include experience at a name-brand tech company may not mean a candidate wasn’t smart enough to work there. Perhaps instead, they wanted to play a more significant role at a smaller company. When assessing candidates, look at the actual work and the skills they gained—no matter where they worked.
Keep an eye out for other biases.
For instance, you might be inclined to pass on candidates with no past board experience, gaps in resumes or a lack of C-level experience, believe that going to a specific university is indicative of personality or intelligence.
Learn more about combatting these tendencies in How Busting Your Bias on Resumes Can Maximize Diversity.
Trends in on-demand talent
Bolster’s experience placing executives in open roles in different industries provides vital insights into what companies are looking for from on-demand executive talent (executives with experience in specialized in niche roles).
On-demand executive work tends to fall into the following four categories:
Interim positions, where someone is fully dedicated to the company, but only temporarily.
Fractional employees who work a few days a week on a long-term basis.
Mentoring, coaching and advising roles.
Project-based work for someone who completes a fixed scope of work.
As these roles become more popular, it’s helpful to look at the data for trends.
Top on-demand executive hiring trends:
Fractional work is the number-one type of work searched for by Bolster clients.
Independent board seats are being leveraged to build more effective and diverse boards.
CEOs are looking for coaches to help guide them to increase their skills as their company grows.
Get the inside track on more trends by reading the blog On-demand Executive Talent Market Trends.
Employee retention in the time of the Great Resignation
Vast swaths of the American workforce were swept up in the Great Resignation — that massive employment shift led as many as 38 million people to quit their jobs in 2021.
This trend challenges companies to look for creative ways to retain their C-suite talent.
In many cases, employees appear to move simply for a change of pace. As a result, companies should consider expanding options for career diversification by giving executives a chance to try their hand at new projects, balancing at-home and in-office work, considering offering fractional work and encouraging executives to take on board or advisory roles.
Read the blog, How to Think About Employee Retention in an Economy Where Your Execs Just Want Change, for a look at what company leaders can do to retain senior-level employees.
Startups often succeed based on innovation—identifying novel ways to meet a need or solve a problem. Approaching talent attraction and retention with that same mindset can pay dividends, allowing startups to find the talent they need to take their business to the next stage.
If you’re interested in more content like this, or you’d like to explore partnering with us on your search for leadership talent, visit Bolster today.
Bolster is a talent platform that helps startups scale themselves, their teams, and their boards. To learn more about Bolster, visit bolster.com.