Hiring Dilemmas/ Keeping Top Performers-ENT600

There are many trials and dilemmas a founder can face with new hires. As mentioned in The Founders Dilemmas, these have been categorized into three categories: relationships, roles, and rewards (Wassermann, 2012).  These decisions can vary based on the different stages of the startup.

When choosing personnel for department leads, some may begin looking at counterparts which whom they already have a relationship. They may also look at associates within their network.  The position being considered will help in deciding who is better suited.  Incentives such as compensation and equity are often used to incise interests for hires and retain hires.  

A-players, or top performers, are important to a business. These candidates stand out, even as early as the interviewing stage. To seize these high-level performance workers, a company should have an idea of their ideal candidate before the interview. This can be achieved by creating an organizational strategy for their business. Performing a SWOT analysis of team members is easier to achieve after creating this strategy. Any personnel that is not performing to company standards, i.e. C-players, can be identified and replaced. This creates space for additional A-players ultimately strengthening the business.

For my venture, I plan to apply these concepts to ensure I am surrounded by as many A-players as possible. I plan to have an advisor that can help with creating and executing my organizational strategy. I also plan to eventually have a staffing coordinator that can assist mw with the interview, hiring, and employee evaluation processes.  I plan to be an involved founder that spends time with my employees. Sending time will be another way I can assess who the A-players are.  I plan to make it a point that they are aware of their value with not only my appreciation, but rewards such as pay raises. I will also use these members to help train B-players so that they can grow into A-players as well.

Works Cited:

Herrenkohl, E. (2010). How to hire A-players finding the top people for your team – even if you don’t have a recruiting department. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Wasserman, Noam. The Founders Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton Univ Pr, 2012.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hi Shayna,
    You made some valuable points in your post! I, too, think that it is vital to do a skills analysis to verify skills and verify skill gaps. I had not heard of SWOT prior to reading your blog. After reading up on it (novice level approach) I understand it to be a successful tool in facilitating the business overall. Great post and thank you tremendously for the info!


  2. Hey Shayna,

    It’s understandable that we would all go to personal relationships for the first hires. If I remember from the text correctly I think it was around 70% of all employees hired before the first round of funding was from the social capital that founders already knew. I found it curious that you used the term “staffing coordinator” what is that vs an HR manager? is that a better skillset for finding Strong performers?



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