It’s All About the People

The Tel-Aviv team in April 2017
The Tel-Aviv team in April 2017

How Do You Hire and keep Great Employees? …OR why did I really join bob.

The biggest worry that most CEOs and founders have will surprise you. It’s neither finances, focus, nor lack of time. It’s how to recruit, engage, and retain the best people for their business.

 

A recent survey by First Round Capital confirms this. For the second year in a row, First Round reported that founders’ primary concern is talent management. Even more important than sales and revenue, company founders believe that hiring great employees remains their top priority.

 

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A global issue

Worldwide, 83% of company executives believe that acquiring top talent is “important or very important” to their business success, according to the “2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends” report. HR professionals and CEOs are trying to close a global gap between their organisations’ “technological sophistication and the amount of work actually being performed.” The solution to this talent management challenge, according to Deloitte’s Brett Walsh and Erica Volini, is to effectively

 

“organise, manage, develop and align people at work”.

 

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Everyone’s a recruiter

Attracting skilled and valuable employees isn’t just the responsibility of HR professionals anymore. Finding great talent is now a company-wide mission.

 

Collaborative recruiting, in-the-box, and out-of-the-box, hiring techniques are all important strategies for finding great people. More employers now realise that one of the best ways to find new talent is by encouraging current employees to recruit their friends, family, and friends-of-friends. At 888Holdings (my previous company), around 50% of our hiring was through referrals from employees and founders.

 

Personal experience

I’ve worked at many startups during my career. I am fortunate to have worked in many different roles, in the last decade I’ve been in the driver’s seat as a startup founder and co-founder. Establishing and growing businesses is in my DNA. Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of learning from people and teams at every stage of building companies.

 

I’ve discovered three incredibly important things from my experience with recruiting and managing people:

 

1. Review a Job Candidate’s Career History

The best way to predict whether someone will be successful in the position you want to fill is to look at their career history. If the employee was a rock-star, appreciated, happy with her job, and promoted regularly, then chances are high this career path will continue. However, if the candidate shares stories about bad managers or criticises their employers, they are likely to bring with them similar negative attitudes to their next position as well.

 

2. Recruit for Talent, Not the Job Title

When listing a job description on your company website or LinkedIn, be sure to specify the kinds of expertise and experience that you are seeking. If applicants for the position are superstars, their talents will add value to the company. You want to know if they’ve got great skills, that colleagues at previous employers enjoyed working with them, and that they get stuff done (GSD).

 

Its slowly becoming a trend. looking for the “full stack” employees – those who bring wide experiences and personal skills rather then very specific expert and experience.

 

3. Don’t Compromise

This can be tricky. You need to build a killer team, but you don’t have the luxury of being able to wait for the perfect candidate too long. I know this from experience when I ran an early-stage startup for 2 years without a CTO. Crazy, right?! We were using an algorithm in our incredibly complex and highly regulated venture, and mistakenly thought that we only needed to hire a part-time, external CTO. That was the wrong decision.

 

There is a saying in Silicon Valley that one great engineer is much better for a company than six mediocre ones. This is true not only for early-stage startups, but also for SMBs, and enterprise companies.

 

People are the one of most important things in your venture. They are a prediction of your success or failure, and as a CEO or any other manger, this is one of the areas you constantly need to evaluate and improve.

 

Why I Joined Bob

The people at bob are the main reason I joined this business. It wasn’t a trivial decision.

 

After spending ten successful and enjoyable years as an entrepreneur, I wanted to make sure the team, product, and culture were a great fit. Initially, I joined due to a specific few people I already knew, but very quickly it became about everyone else too.

 

Experience has taught me that talented people and a great work environment, along with real execution, are the foundation of successful companies and the very essence of happy, challenged and engaged employees.

 

Closing my first quarter at bob, I have the best of all worlds; I work with great people, help businesses rethink how to improve their organisations, and am helping to build a culture of inclusion whilst growing a killer marketing team. At times it feels like a lot, but even with an endless pile of tasks on my desk, I have never felt so excited, empowered and filled with purpose. Crazy and happy days indeed.

 


ABOUT SHARON:

sharon-headshotSharon Argov is bob‘s VP of Growth. She is a serial entrepreneur – at just 16 she began her entrepreneurial career, selling lemonade to thirsty beach-goers stuck in traffic outside Tel Aviv in Israel. At 21, she started a short-term rentals business in Spain (pre-Airbnb!). Eventually she sold to German tourist operators. In the last decade, Sharon has honed her skills as an online marketing expert in various industries. She played an integral role in 888 holdings which floated on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of $1.5 billion in 2005. She has also run her own boutique marketing agency, helping online brands and start-ups in all phase’s monetise their business models and build efficient user acquisition strategies.

Connect with Sharon on LinkedIn.

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