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Entrepreneurs are a busy lot, and the busiest startup owners may take shortcuts when interviewing job candidates. But failing to ask the right questions in such situations could cost your business plenty.
In this Collection overview article, this entrepreneur and director argues boards of directors are critical success factors in fast-growing companies. This expert debunks a set of common misconceptions many entrepreneurs have about boards and outlines why an entrepreneur should build one.
A growing economy constantly creates new job opportunities in new sectors, but also displaces and even destroys existing jobs. The workforce in an entrepreneurial economy must always evolve as well. Government efforts to protect jobs are often misguided, hindering growth and new job creation. Pro-growth workforce rules should instead focus on developing worker skills, allowing maximum hiring and layoff flexibility, and focus adjustment efforts on getting displaced workers into new jobs as soon as possible. Small firms employ half of all private sector employees and create 60-80 percent of net new jobs in the U.S., according to the SBA. Labor rules are one of the largest barriers to entrepreneurial ventures. The World Bank’s cross-country comparison of labor regulations shows lower job creation where workplace rules are more rigid. Labor rules must move beyond the early 20th century framework of management versus labor and encourage new firm formation as well as a dynamic, not static, worker.
When considering the optimal number of founders for any new entrepreneurial adventure, the calculus extends well beyond simple formulas seemingly supported by observations of startup cohorts within specific industries. Famous technology twosomes that come to mind include David Packard and William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, Paul Allen and Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. In these examples, it is widely observed that these buddy teams complemented each other well in the early formative years of their companies.
Chasing an entrepreneurial dream can be an all-consuming effort. Particularly in those crucial early days of a startup, founders seem to eat, sleep and breathe their businesses. This naturally occurring tunnel vision has a purpose, of course, allowing entrepreneurs to give their business babies the time and attention they need to mature. But this heads-down mode is not without its drawbacks, one of which is neglecting to stay up on current events--particularly the happenings that can impact the entrepreneurs who are inadvertently paying no attention to them.
In today's extremely tight labor market, small-company employers must approach hiring just as they approach selling. To lure able and enthusiastic candidates, the author writes, a CEO should consider such steps as contacting reluctant candidates personally, offering equity compensation to augment salaries, and sending welcoming gifts like fruit baskets. Of particular note is a discussion of factors the author says "count" in the sales-whoops!-the hiring process.
Specialized or technical advice or skills not closely related to your company's core objectives can often be handled effectively by outside contractors. Typically less expensive that hiring full-time staff, potential outsource services should be carefully considered with these topics in mind: expertise, experience, proposals, and attitude.
Lately, there's been a lot of talk about these people we call millennials. Namely, the current generation, Generation Y, those "entitled, narcissists who still live with their parents", according to Keith Wagstaff. From complimentary to derisive, countless writers have deemed it their duty to predict exactly what this generation will add or (as most reports warn) detract from our current society. But the truth is, nothing has been said about the "Me, me, me generation" that hasn't been said about every generation before them.
Hiring smart people for a new company is not enough, says Kim Popovits of Genomic Health. Read more about what she thinks is important when growing a company.
People infected with HIV, whether or not they have AIDS symptoms, are protected in the workplace by federal and state laws concerning discrimination and disability. These guidelines for education, testing and accommodation policies can help entrepreneurs avoid problems.
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