5 tips for making functional hires in the Go-To-Market phase

Thomas Hartenfels Robert Walters

With the biggest economy in Europe, a central location in the EU and an attractive network of family-owned SMEs as well as globally operating corporates, Germany is an attractive place to go to market for international companies as well as local start-ups. At the same time, the current talent shortages pose a real challenge when hiring professionals in finance, legal and HR.

The first functional hire in each area of your business is essential for establishing your company culture and setting your business in the direction of success. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when hiring Go-To-Market professionals.

1. Employer branding is incredibly important in this phase, since you don’t yet have an established reputation.

The first thing a potential candidate will do is gather all the information they can about you online. Don’t underestimate the value of a company mission statement page. Consider sharing your company’s origin story, particularly if you built the business to solve something that was impacting you personally. Just as people want to buy from people and not an “entity”, people also want to work for other good people who share common values.

2. Understand that in the Go-To-Market phase, you are perceived as a high-risk (but potentially high-reward) opportunity.

Every founder believes their product or service is the best new thing to hit the market, but convincing top talent at a prestige brand like Google, Apple, or BMW to leave their high-comp strategic role requires more than just passion. Developing a strong elevator pitch now will be important for the interview process later. Open every interview and close every interview with this pitch and be sure you have buy-in on your vision before pursuing a new candidate.

3. Define how the success of a hire will be measured.

Really sit down to assess what you need. That might be new traffic, new business generated, growth or profitability. Defining that in a clear way will help you identify candidates that have a proven track record for achieving those goals.

4. Always be building a talent pool.

In the beginning, lean on personal referrals and advisor networks. Once you have exhausted personal networks, you may consider posting your roles publicly. Lean on your recruitment partner to assist with job descriptions, head hunting and sourcing.

5. Avoid homogeneity.

You can’t build a 100-person team and then later decide to incorporate a diversity and inclusion program. If you hire based solely on referrals, or only choose people who “remind you of your younger self”, you will ultimately create a stagnant environment. Build your team with diversity and inclusion in mind from the start, and you will have better engagement, employee retention, creative problem solving, and higher profitability. (It’s been proven time and time again.)

Do you plan on expanding your business? Feel free to reach out to Thomas Hartenfels to receive consultation or contact one of our local offices.

More information

Our Go-To-Market brochure will give you an overview of the most important legal requirements from our cooperation partners at the law firm "Oppenhoff". Moreover, we provide recruitment tips that specifically prepare you for your German market entry.