As I've disclosed, I've started a internet business, focused on lifting the value of "social network" publishing inventory.
The company is HERE.
I am currently in the midst of hiring world class talent, to help me build the company from a vision - to a kick-ass place that employees want to work, and our clients get value from.
Convincing key employees to come on board early, is a tricky, delicate proposition - frought with risk, and challenges......
There is VERY little money.
It's HIGH risk.
You are basically trying to SELL a good individual, on the merits of this VISION, (and this person is most probably gainfully employed, and is earning a VERY decent wage) and is also, VERY valued by his/her current organization.
It's gambling. Gambling all around.
Entreprenuer's face this challenge every single day. It is a challenge of epic proportion -- because you need to balance two very key elements.
The two elements are:
1) You as a entreprenuer, do NOT want to have to SELL your business "too much or too forcefully" to a potential new hire. They (the prospect) at a certain point, early in the conversation needs to grasp the concept, ask good, pertinent questions....and RUN WITH THE BALL. If you are selling the dream, hyping the vision -- and talking too much, about big picture stuff - then, this is PROBABLY NOT, the proper candidate for the startup. I've hired a few employees, and when the candidates, starting formulating my embryonic vision -- into THEIR CREATIVE LENSE, OF HOW THE PRODUCT COULD LOOK -- THAT WAS THE KEY TO MAKING A OFFER THEY COULD NOT REFUSE.
2) EXPECATIONS AND GOALS. Clear communication about the next 12 months. Small logical steps, to get to the next phase of the company. Making sure the candidate, understands and can process the goals that have been shared to all investors and future employees. I do not believe in the "hype machine" for the FIRST 5 to 10 employees. These folks need to see the 1st down markers, and 10 yard gains, instead of hearing about a Super Bowl Victory - or some unrealistic, improbable win.
Empowerment, and Communication are essential in any business, but I've found for me -they are VERY key ingredients to early success, and momentum....
The risk to the potential employee, becomes somewhat mitigated - when you can clearly communicate goals, and allow the individual the freedom to be creative, and put their unique talent of their personality (I call it, "DNA working stamp") on the vision of the company.
Startup companies are very risky. As a business owner, I've realized lowering risk, through clear goals - and effectively making candidates become, EMPOWERED AND CREATIVE THINKERS....has been key.
I am confident I will be successful in my new venture.
I'm more than confident that my employees will be REWARDED by working with me, and they will be TRAILBLAZERS, in our field - as well as, EXCITED TO GO TO WORK....
And, that is the reward (enjoying work) - for all of us.
I've clearly communicated that.