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5 Ways to Hire Superstar Talent Without Going Broke

Surprise! A million-dollar vision may be more enticing than a million dollars.
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There's a point in the growth cycle of every early-stage company when an infusion of new talent is necessary. Not just any talent--rock-star talent. These superstars have been there, done that and know what it takes to catapult a company to a level of insane success. Sadly, many entrepreneurs behind startups with limited resources believe that hiring these stars is impossible.

Not true, according to David Manshoory, CEO of real estate crowdfunding platform AssetAvenue. Manshoory scored big when he managed to woo Adam Chapnick, a former principal and employee of the leading crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, into leaving his position to come on board at AssetAvenue.

Why would someone with Chapnick's experience leave a global crowdfunding platform to join a virtually unknown startup with no venture funding? Because Manshoory laid the perfect groundwork to entice him. Here, both men offer their insights and perspectives to show you how to attract rock-star talent of your very own.

1. Share your vision.

Talented employees want to feel like they're a part of something new, exciting, and market-moving. If you share with them the long-term vision for your company, they can envision themselves as part of something bigger where they can make significant waves. "Working at Indiegogo was an incredible experience, and I wouldn't move on for anything less than something I thought was an extraordinary experience with huge potential," said Chapnick. "Ultimately, vision is worth more than gold. Entrepreneurial talent can't resist building something from nothing, and if you've laid the groundwork to support that, you'll be irresistible."

2. Build culture, not just equity.

It's natural to assume that employees who have a literal stake in the company are that much more willing to go the extra mile for you, and it could be the icing on the cake that seals the deal. However, building a supportive and collaborative culture can prove to be more important for keeping your new talent around.

"As an experienced entrepreneur, I understand that hiring the right people is the most important part of ensuring a new company's future success," says Manshoory. This CEO knows all about hiring the right staff: His previous venture grew to 100 employees in less than a year and a half. "While stock options are great," Manshoory says, "you can have equity in a company where you don't get along with anybody, and it won't be enough to keep you around. Startups should work on building a family working together to create something that lasts long term."

3. Provide plenty of autonomy.

Though it's important that everyone work together as a team, when bringing on a team member with a particular skill set, trust the person's experience and expertise and give him or her the freedom to own the particular niche. "People want to feel like their opinion matters and that they have some independence to help shape the company in their own way," says Manshoory.

4. Give recognition for successes.

Many companies, startup or otherwise, are increasingly realizing that salary alone isn't enough to attract or retain skilled Millennials (those workers in their 20s and early 30s). A recent Deloitte survey showed that 62 percent of this generation describe themselves as "innovative." Fifty-four percent of the class of 2014 said, in a new survey, that when job hunting, the opportunity for career advancement was more important than compensation.

5. Focus on the team.

Rock stars want to work with other highly competent, ambitious people. "Part of the reason why I joined AssetAvenue, even though they're relatively new to the space, is the impressive level of talent and relevant experience on the team," says Chapnick. "Everyone carries their own weight and has an infectious enthusiasm and passion for what the company is doing."

 

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: May 6, 2014

MARLA TABAKA

Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.




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