Don’t Give up on the A Team

“We are competing more for talent than customers,” is something I hear more and more. I know unemployment in the NYC area is still relatively high, but many entrepreneurs I speak with say that it is as hard as ever to find “A” players. (Does anyone really ever want to hire a “B” player?). Growth-minded entrepreneurs know that getting the right people on the bus is one of the most important factors in their companies’ success.

What is an entrepreneur to do? Start with making sure you are communicating your employer brand to the workforce community. 

Next, make sure to let everyone in your world know about your openings. In addition to the basics like posting the job openings on LinkedIn, leverage your employees (have them mention the openings on their social media updates) and let your vendors and clients know, as well. Now, more than ever, getting new team members is about who you know.

There are other options. We are well into a freelance economy. More and more people, for many different reasons, are working as freelancers. At the same time, technology continues to make collaborating easier than ever. So companies can “rent” rather than “buy,” as well as stop limiting themselves to talent located within commuting distance. That said, if you are thinking of going this route, it is critical to develop best practices in working with freelancers, as well as human capital that is working remotely. I recently had a coffee with Steve Krein who said he runs his company via Basecamp, an application that allows his company—with employees working remotely—to keep him updated on projects.

The bottom line is that if you want unconventionally talented employees on your team, you have to find them through unconventional methods . . . or your competition will.