Startup Recruitment: How to Land A-Players Bringing Your A-Game

by VentureBeat

Settling for anything other than A-players during your startup recruitment is a hand-written invitation for mediocrity. And in the startup world, mediocrity quickly leads to failure.

“Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg famously commented that a great engineer is worth a 100 average engineers (something every developer knows deep in their heart),” write Ben T. Smith IV, CEO of ShopCo, and startup advisor and investor Victor Belfor. “He was talking about A-players, and in [our] opinion the worst thing any startup can do is accept less than the best and brightest.”

In this guest post for VentureBeat Smith and Belfor identify the traits that set A-players apart, foremost being the two qualities that Jim Collins point to as the “highest expression of leadership” in his book, Good to Great: humility and will. But in order for startups and small businesses to land top talent steeped in these qualities, Smith and Belfor acknowledge they have to be clever in order to compete with tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Zynga and the top dollar they can dish out. In order to do so, they suggest startup founders and CEOs leverage the one aspect of their companies the big guys can’t directly compete with: their vision and company culture. Attract an employee with a high salary and he or she can always leave for a higher one. Bring an employee on board with your culture and vision and he or she will be much more likely to feel invested and stay on with your company to drive its success.