A Startup’s Guide to Hiring Executive Talents

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs

A Startup’s Guide to Hiring Executive Talents

Hiring your first executive will be worth the effort to obtain long-term stability for your startup company. An experienced talent of top caliber can accelerate your business given their expert knowledge in the best practices. Thus, it’s important not to go wrong when you perform an executive search here in Manila.

Here are the top startup hacks to optimize your executive hiring process:

1. Don’t hire too soon!

It begins with finding the perfect product-market fit. When you’re too eager for fast company growth, you might not realize that keeping your burn rate low is better than having an expensive executive.

As per Marc Andreessen’s essay on hiring executives, your start-up company should consider opening an executive position “when it’s clear that it needs one.”

An executive’s experience and network can accelerate your business, but your startup might not go too far if the business is not in the right position to be steered at a fast pace.

2. Use measurable progress

Recruiting executive talent is more than just hiring them before other established companies do. Winning them over is about presenting measurable, realistic, and tangible progress in acquiring new customers, setting up processes, and hitting goals.

Doreen Bloch, CEO and Founder of Poshly, Inc., suggests managing candidates’ expectations by articulating the metrics of success for the position. “Ultimately, knowing the key success metrics will help the executive as well; they can better evaluate the job fit and will be more likely to succeed.”

Also, more than proper compensation and new experience, executives are in for a startup’s early stage without politics and baggage alike.

3. Involve your mentors and advisors

Other company stakeholders, your business advisors and mentors, have a say in who you hire. It’s important that they can rust and work well with the executive you will hire.

PerBlue CEO Justin Beck recommends having team leads involved in each step of the interview process. “Debrief regularly with everyone to hear their input and gauge their feelings. This will accelerate your efforts finding someone who meshes well with the organization, and adds to the established culture.”

Your startup’s investors and advisors are key in gaining quality leads so involve them in the sourcing, evaluation, and closing of the right executive candidates.

4. Go beyond an executive candidate’s professional experience

Sentry Centers’ Christopher Kelly warns about hiring big wigs from established companies. He raises that “individual success within those organizations is achieved by walking a different path than the one your start-up is on.”

It is, thus, important to consider someone’s ability to take you from where you are to where you want to be. It matters that you share the same beliefs and passion for your start-up’s vision.

Look past the title and professional experience. Instead, figure out the hows and whys of those achievements to gain some insight into the executive talent’s impact on the company culture.

5. Personally get to know your executive talent

You can tell what the kind of leader your executive will be by knowing who they care about and what their priorities in life are.

Greg Skloot, president of Northwestern University Entrepreneurship Club, says that you should spend a lot of time with an executive before hiring him. Sit down over dinner to talk to them and get to know them personally.

Don’t be dazzled by resumes and accomplishments alone. Yodle’s John Berkowitz says that a resume is, in fact, the last one you should look at. Background matters, along with cultural fit and ability to work with a team.

Remember that your key executive hires can potentially bring much more to the table than their job description. Your hiring decisions can make or break your startup. Always be patient when doing an executive search. Thoroughly research, and get to know your hires to ensure that your startup will find the right fit in them.




Manila Recruitment is recognized as the leading recruitment firm in the Philippines for headhunting, executive search, expert, technical and IT recruitment. We share an unrivalled passion to help your business succeed by understanding your goals, then sourcing and providing you with your number one asset – driven, dedicated and exceptional people!

Experience the Manila Recruitment difference, and give your business in the Philippines a competitive advantage by contacting us today. Whether you are exploring an offshore solution, or are an established entrepreneur, SME or Multinational in the Philippines, our team has the experience and a tailored recruitment solution to introduce you to the top talent in the Philippines.

Contact our Manila Recruitment team at hello@manilarecruitment.com.