5 Strategies for Identifying Innovative Candidates to Replace Yourself as Founder
Founding a company is a significant achievement, but ensuring its success beyond your direct involvement requires strategic planning. If you find your business overly dependent on you, it can have detrimental consequences down the line. The most valuable businesses don’t rely on the owner’s involvement to succeed. However, finding extraordinary talent to replace yourself can be challenging.
Common Pitfalls in Hiring a Replacement for the Business Founder
Many founders encounter substantial challenges when seeking a general manager, second-in-command, or Chief Operating Officer to take their place. Regardless of whether you engage a recruiter, use paid advertising, or tap into your personal network for candidate searches, a crucial initial step is a thorough examination of their background. Herein lies a common mistake: being swayed by a Fortune 500 name on a resume or LinkedIn profile.
While experience at a large corporation might seem impressive, the skills valued in such settings often differ from those crucial in younger, dynamic companies. Established corporations boast well-defined processes, systems, and hierarchies that contribute to their success. Individuals excelling in such environments may struggle in a small business’s more fluid and entrepreneurial landscape.
Rather than relying on impressive company names, prioritise candidates with innovation, adaptability, and comfort with uncertainty—traits synonymous with an entrepreneurial mindset.
Strategies to Identify Innovative Candidates
- Prioritise Problem-Solvers: Innovation often stems from creative problem-solving. Seek candidates who have demonstrated strategic thinking and the ability to generate inventive solutions to past challenges.
- Probe Problem-Solving Approaches: During interviews, delve into candidates’ problem-solving approaches. Understanding how they’ve produced innovative solutions in the past provides insight into their thought processes, risk-taking propensity, and creative thinking.
- Assess Learning Agility: Innovators are typically open to learning and adaptable. Look for candidates with a history of tackling new challenges and acquiring new skills.
- Evaluate Teamwork Skills: Innovation frequently involves collaboration. Identify candidates with a proven ability to work effectively in teams. Inquire about their past team experiences and contributions to team success.
- Consider Creativity: Explore candidates’ creative portfolios or involvement in creative hobbies or projects outside of work. These indicators can predict their potential to introduce fresh, innovative ideas to your business.
Your business may currently rely on your creativity, but employing these five strategies enhances your chances of identifying innovative candidates who can inject new thinking and creativity into your business and ultimately make your business less reliant on your involvement to succeed into the future.
Take our Value Builder Score Questionnaire to get your Value Builder Score, measuring how your business compares on lack of reliance on you as the owner, as well as the other key drivers of business value.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to speak to one of our advisors about how you can improve the value of your business, please do not hesitate to contact us or call our office on (08) 6212 7200.