Is it the right strategy?

Cesar Herrera is CEO and co-founder at Yuvo Healtha technology-enabled solution for administrative and managed care for community health centers.

Founders are reminded time and again that their first hires are the most important, but the hiring process is challenging and costly. You need to consider hiring efforts – job openings, personal reach, time spent on interviews – as well as competitor offers, salaries, benefits and retention strategies. Finding the best candidates under these conditions is incredibly difficult, especially on a budget.

Hiring “generalists” is often touted as the best approach for budding founders, and with good reason. Generalists can take on a variety of roles and responsibilities, such as building operational structures, directing IT efforts, and developing marketing collateral. Depending on your business and industry, you will thrive best with a dedicated team of generalists, but if you are building a solutions-based business within a highly specialized industry, I would recommend a team of specialist experts.

At Yuvo Health, we have taken a unique approach to recruitment. In addition to establishing a four-person founding team, we allocated a large portion of the funding to attract highly skilled executives with over 10 to 15 years of experience in specialty areas. Due to the complexity of the space, our first hires needed to have an in-depth knowledge of the job and a proven ability to run every aspect of their area of ​​specialty. This, of course, comes with pros and cons.

This is what I recommend.

Evaluate your needs and take an elite approach to recruitment.

Before hiring, assess your company’s most pressing needs, knowledge gaps, and level of expertise needed to thrive. From there, go to the mission.

Consider seasoned specialists who have in-depth knowledge of both the problem and the solution. Look for people with expertise who can take ownership of a particular area of ​​the business and make sure the people know and agree with your vision. I have found that this technique can provide the greatest value to your business.

Hire executive leaders on a budget.

As a startup startup with limited resources and resources, you can’t always offer the most competitive package in the industry. Recruiting top employees is a gamble. You are probably asking these individuals to leave high paying, permanent jobs.

What can you do to draw them in? Build an achievable and impactful mission, for starters. Make sure your company culture is diverse, inclusive and empowering. Empower these individuals to innovate and change the industry. If the company is moving toward something meaningful and the potential for success is significant, it can be a major draw for potential employees. If not, the feature may not be right for them.

Even if you find the perfect candidate, don’t exceed your allotted budget. Try not to offer more than you can afford. Rather, I suggest offering other incentives, such as agency and equity interests, that can entice and motivate the new employee to create a significant impact on the company’s growth. Of course, this remains a challenging task.

Finding the right people takes time, deliberate effort and expert negotiation skills, but it is feasible and necessary, especially if you are building a business in a highly technical and regulated industry. Tap into the networks of your founders and investors. Look for candidates with multiple levels of specialist experience and ties to the mission.

Set expectations for the role.

Senior leaders often hold senior management positions. They may have established themselves as opinion leaders, overseeing high-level managers and leading their own teams. These individuals may be more than a decade away from the actual work that catapulted them to their current level. Joining a newly established company means returning to the work they did at the beginning of their career.

To quickly scale a complex product, I have learned that I must be able to rely on individual experts to not only manage their own business premises, but also to work on the ground. This means that our Chief Population Health Officer at Yuvo, for example, coordinates directly with our partners, conducts analysis and schedules meetings with clinical providers. I fully entrust her and expect her to in due course build a team from the ground up, which will free her from entry and mid-level responsibilities and allow her to shape the department as she sees fit, but in the meantime she will have to be willing to take on all levels of work.

Before committing to your initial hires, outline role expectations. Make it clear to senior leaders that they will join the daily grind of building a product or system before they can hire their own teams. This won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s better to lose potential candidates in the hiring phase than weeks or months after they’re hired.

Prepare for the grind.

Expect obstacles. First employees, regardless of experience, must be willing and able to jump in and tackle the most complicated tasks, as well as the less important tasks, such as managing spreadsheets, booking their own meetings or navigating CRM files. systems. This may require some learning or relearning at first.

Be patient as you navigate through these difficult months. And remember, this time is temporary. Once the foundation of the business has been laid and a new round of funding secured, executives can begin building their own functional teams. However, the knowledge gained in those early stages is invaluable. When senior leaders experience the day-to-day work, they recognize the challenges their inbound teams face, and the hope is that they will learn how to streamline processes, create better support structures, and ultimately become more empathetic leaders.

As the business evolves, the roles of senior leaders will also change. Once they hire their first employees, they can start handing over projects and switch back to managing and leading, which will be their light at the end of the tunnel. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?