Hiring Mindset and How to Avoid Indecision Paralysis


The mindset in the tech industry has shifted dramatically from “growth at all costs” to “how do we stay afloat.” Startups and established tech giants alike are now prioritizing sustainability and risk management over aggressive expansion. This change has been driven by a combination of market downturns, political instability, high inflation, and fluctuating interest rates.

Risk Profiles in Hiring: Now or Later?

Companies are grappling with the question of when to hire. Should they act now or wait for potential economic stabilization in six months? The uncertainty of future market conditions makes it challenging to predict the optimal hiring timeline, leading to indecision and prolonged vacancies.

Expensive vs. Cheap: Balancing Costs and Experience

Another critical decision is whether to invest in expensive, experienced talent or opt for more affordable, less seasoned candidates. The dilemma revolves around balancing immediate needs with long-term growth potential. Hiring experienced professionals may offer short-term gains but could strain budgets in an unstable economy.

Is now the time to take advantage to hire the talent previously unattainable?

‘Never waste a good crisis, ‘ said the CEO of one of France’s Unicorns. ESOP package reduction, unfavorable competitor outlook, cash flow issues, budget constraints, etc,. all play a factor in why people are open to leaving their current role. Can you offer them something different?

Can We Fill the Position Internally?

Making use of the tool and talent you already have is actually quite smart. It created career progression, positivity, buy in and often a new but quick informed perspective. It’s also a good way to reduce on you average hiring cost. Each coin has two sides though…

Opportunity Cost of Delaying Hiring Decisions

Every delayed hiring decision comes with an opportunity cost. Companies must weigh the potential losses from not having a critical role filled against the benefits of waiting for a more information to base a decision upon. This balance is delicate and quite frequently, we’ve seen this lead to indecision and opportunities not created or taken.

Activating Networks: Access & Cost/Benefit

What’s your network? And what’s your network’s network? Do you remember that movie Six Degrees of Separation? You’ll be surprised by whom you know sometimes. These people will generally consist of your most trusted advisors, old friends, colleagues family etc. Ask for advice! Make sure though you ask for advice to people that know their stuff in that specific thing you are asking them about.
It does take time to build and maintain though. Sometimes you just need to have the experts that do that for you so they find the people that are most relevant to you, your company and your goals.

Executive search - The Impact on Hiring Dynamics

Candidate Priorities: Runway vs. Potential

Candidates’ priorities have also shifted. They are now more focused on the financial runway and stability of potential employers rather than just growth potential of their ESOP package. This change requires companies to be transparent about their financial health and future prospects. There will always be risk takers and safe players.

Down Round, Down Job: Adjusting Expectations

The concept of “down rounds” has extended to job roles. Professionals are increasingly willing to take lower-level positions at more stable companies. For instance, a Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) moving to an Individual Contributor (IC) role in a larger, more secure firm is becoming more common. I honestly wonder how sustainable this is though. What happens what a job is offered for ‘previous’ money and/or responsibility? And can we expect loyalty from people that have a burn rate at home as much as the company does out there?

Economic and Political Uncertainties

The economic and political landscape remains volatile, contributing massively to decision paralysis. With over 50% of the world population voting for leadership in their country, war, potential financial crisis, etc. etc. etc., Seeing as we are so incredibly interconnected, you’d have to have the composure and strategic mind of Tommy Shelby to create a path to victory. The path is there though, you just have to look a bit harder than a couple years back!

Mixed bag of Investors

One the one hand, some Venture Capital and Private Equity firms can be happy that none of their portfolio companies went bust. And ofcourse, writing off an investment isn’t fun to do. But is that the business they are in? That money needs to be returned with a nice profit for it’s own investors of course. So are they betting on the one Red? Number 3? Or a strategy in between?

They expect bold moves and significant returns, which is difficult to achieve in a risk-averse environment. This tension between maintaining investor confidence and managing internal risk profiles adds another layer of complexity.

The New Power Dynamic in Hiring

The tech scene has enjoyed a bullish streak for almost a decade. If you were not hiring like crazy, you were ‘doing it wrong.’ (not my words). Finding great leaders for your thriving and well-funded startup was hard. But now, the power dynamic has shifted. Where two years ago, companies reached out to their networks, now those networks are reaching out to them. This reversal has placed companies in a position of power, allowing them to be more selective and strategic in their hiring processes.

At the same time, companies need to acknowledge the shift in needs of candidates for more stability and runway. Ask yourself, is my company the best for this exceptional hire to join and stay?… Why?

The Global Venture Capital Pullback and The Effect on Startup Hiring

We organized a webinar last year about the impact of the global venture capital pullback on startup hiring with Key Search. Understand the trends and strategies for navigating this challenging landscape. Learn how startups can adapt to funding constraints and attract top talent. Gain valuable insights into the current state of venture capital and its implications for startup growth.

Enhancing Leadership with the Right Talent

As startups navigate growth phases, finding leaders who align with both strategic goals and company culture is crucial. For insights on effectively leveraging leadership talent, check out our latest article, “Identifying and Preparing the Right Leadership Talent”. Discover strategies and real-world examples that demonstrate how the right leaders can drive your startup forward.

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