So many startups fail to ever get off the ground. For your business to make it through its first year — that alone is a major accomplishment.
While making your way through those fledgling years is definitely a milestone to celebrate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your business has any guaranteed longevity, nor is it any indication that you’re creating a “unicorn” company, which is a privately held startup worth more than $1 billion.
The truth is that 80 percent of companies survive their first year. A more telling statistic is that only 30 percent of companies are still in business after a decade. When you take a good look at the unicorns and other industry leaders, you’ll find they aren’t the overnight successes they might seem to be. Most are nearly 10 years old — meaning it took the company that long to be considered successful.
If your goal is to create a unicorn, you need to prepare yourself for the process to take at least a decade. It may happen sooner, but luck favors the prepared.
Building a company that can stand the test of time requires assembling a team with unique skill sets, drive, and stamina. Here are five tips for recruiting and retaining the people your company needs in order for it to grow and thrive for a decade and beyond:
1. Hire Based on Needs and Organizational Structure
Too many companies hire for the wrong reasons. For example, some entrepreneurs hire because their business plan says they should have X employees in their first year. This is a mistake. Make sure you are hiring to support the immediate and future needs of your business, not because of some script you devised months ago.
Your company should have a clear organizational structure for what the business will look like in 10 years, and that structure should be constantly re-evaluated as your team grows. While the decision to hire someone should be driven by current needs, the choice of who to hire should be informed by how they fit into the long-term vision for the company. This prevents you from hiring average employees just to fill positions and ensures that you focus on the best talent, no matter how long it takes to find them.
2. Hire Up-and-Coming Talent
Average employee retention rates are low, and employees are constantly looking for new challenges. The odds are the leaders you hire now will not be the people most impacting the company in 10 years. While hiring established leadership talent is key, it is just as important to hire candidates for mid-level and entry-level positions with the understanding that they will be the future of your company.
By creating a culture of engaged employees, promoting from within, and nurturing career growth, you’ll improve retention now and set the stage for strong new leaders to rise up through the ranks.
3. Hire Employees Experienced With Change
Your organization is bound to go through incredible periods of change over the next decade. For reference, consider just how much has change for Apple in the 11 years since the iPhone was introduced
Rather than hiring based on past experience and talents that may already be obsolete, look for candidates with proven track records of adapting to change. Often, these employees are able to fill multiple roles, have deep knowledge of the industry, and have demonstrated that they excel in chaotic or fluid circumstances […]