A CEO does only three things. Sets the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders. Recruits, hires, and retains the very best talent for the company. Makes sure there is always enough cash in the bank.

Fred Wilson

Fred wrote a great post on the responsibilities of a CEO. Since the article’s writing in August 2010, venture investments have grown 19% year-over-year. I can attest the volume of disruptive companies and the pace of innovation have reached unparalleled heights in the 3 years that I’ve been in the industry. 

As a result of the improved fundraising market and the new market sectors developing, the key role of CEOs is shifting to the remaining task: hiring. It’s getting harder with Google, Facebook and hundreds of startups in pursuit of the same talent.

Like most things in business, hiring is selling. It involves defining a role concretely, generating a large volume of applicants (a sales funnel), qualifying & evaluating candidates, and finally selling the opportunity like crazy.  Selling a business to a future employee is very much like selling to an investor. A CEO must knock down the major objections and satisfy the basic questions about role, culture, benefits…

But the most important element in a successful pitch is building an emotional connection with the candidate. You must sell the dream of the company: sell the company’s potential and the role a candidate can play in shaping, designing and realizing that dream. You’ll build better teams, faster.


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