This sub-stage is all about hiring for your launchpad. (Not for your ventures, but for your launchpad.) After all, to succeed, it all comes down to the people!
As you’ll see, the people part is so important that each of the three stages — Setup, Launch, and Scale — always has a sub-stage dedicated to people.
In this sub-stage, Task 7, Design Target Organizational Chart, shows that you first create the target org chart for your launchpad. The slide for the actual task will look like a shockingly large org chart for a launchpad. That’s done on purpose because you need many different types of skills in order to build ventures at scale. However, please note two things that show that the org chart (and thus the payroll!) for the launchpad is not as big as it first seems.
- First of all, we differentiate between on-payroll and sub-contracted in the target org chart. For example, I have always advised my client, Francois, a senior executive at a consumer goods multinational to try to minimize payroll costs of their launchpad. That’s why I advised him to have some key roles on the payroll of the launchpad — like general management, business development, business intelligence, finance, legal, and HR. Other roles — like design, social media, and event management — he should sub-contract as needed.
- Secondly, we differentiate between someone who is an internal hire and someone who is an external hire. For example, I advised Francois, in staffing the target org chart of his company’s launchpad, to try to get internal hires whenever possible because that’s usually much easier and faster. By internal hire, I mean that the entrepreneurial people in your parent organization who are doing HR, finance, or legal. Since you already have those functions in your parent organization, why not leverage them?
- By external hire, I mean people hired from outside of the parent organization — like product, engineering, and business development. External hires are hired for roles that bear little similarity to roles in the parent organization. To illustrate, the consumer goods multinational had no people with the type of product, engineering, and business development skills necessary to thrive in a startup environment.
Then, Task 9, Kick Off Hiring Roadmap, is all about quickly starting to staff your launchpad. A few general guidelines for hiring faster:
- Start hiring as soon as possible. Having a fast recruiting process is a competitive advantage for you. I’ve had multiple clients — corporates, consulting firms, and startups! — who told me that it takes them at least 12 months to go from “we need to hire for position X” to “the new hire starts for position X”. Why are they so slow? Because every single step in the hiring process is slow: It takes months to get the approval to hire for that position, months to get the job description out there, months for active recruiting to start, months in dragged out interview processes, and then months for the best person to start (due to notice period).
- Hire top-down. You want to hire the more senior people so that they can hire their own team using their networks. Sometimes you get lucky and you can hire an entire team.
- Perform direct search. By that I mean, do aggressive, outbound recruiting (e.g. using LinkedIn) as opposed to waiting for inbound applications to trickle in. You’ll not only be faster, but you’ll be more likely to get the best people to meet your needs.
Thus, when completing sub-stage Staff Launchpad, you should have the target org chart of your launchpad fully staffed.