These days, we're spending more time thinking about new hires and organizational structure. In particular, we're thinking about the hires we need to manage the different functional areas of our business - sales, marketing, client services, etc.
We actually have a list of the functional areas and a list of the people - some we know, some we don't - that we think might be a good fit for the role. For each of these roles, we try to fit the prospective hires into one of three seniority buckets:
Director - younger person that might currently be a Director elsewhere and have his eyes on the VP job. We would expect this person to get his hands dirty at first and grow into a leader/VP type. Probably has a chip on his shoulders, probably hungry to work hard. Big risk, potentially big reward.
VP - more senior person that is more about managing, less about doing. She is probably already a VP...or maybe a Director looking to step-up. More experienced. Less risky. More expensive.
CXO - very senior person, definitely with a track record, probably a game-changing hire. Very expensive...but also most likely worth the price. Biggest concern is cultural fit given our stage.
(I'm a stickler for accurate titles - so this stuff matters to me.)
There are obviously trade-offs across each - compensation, risk, experience, cultural fit, scalability, etc. And as is often the case, I tend to liken trade-offs to sports.
On one extreme is an inexpensive young player with all-star potential and big ambitions - you might draft Kevin Garnett...or you might end up with Gred Oden. On the other end is very expensive veteran player that is a known quantity with a track record - sometimes it works out perfectly, just like Kevin Garnett going to the Celtics.
Ultimately - I think - it comes down to the person. As our "people we'd like to hire list" migh imply, we'll look for the right person for the role - regardless of experience - and then figure out a way to make it work.