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Hire Good Talent in Bad Times

Perhaps now is the time for your family business to upgrade executive talent and recruit quality board members. According to The New York Times, those factors working against private companies attracting top executives---like the lack of stock options or family members holding top spots---no longer seem so important. At the same time, private company advantages---like operating out of the spotlight, smaller more focused businesses, simplicity of accounting and strong organizational future---seem to have increased in value.

“With every headline trumpeting another bankruptcy or accounting irregularity at a big public company, or heralding another plunge in the Dow…the job of wooing talent to privately-held companies becomes easier,” writes Times reporter Claudia H. Deutsch.

“Privately-held companies have become the soup du jour,” adds recruiting executive James E. Boone. Russell S. Reynolds, another recruiting firm executive says top candidates “view joining private companies much like taking membership in an executive private club.”

While recruiting directors for public companies has become more difficult, the opposite seems true for private company boards. Headhunter Andrea Redmond quickly recruited three top people to serve on a privately held financial service company advisory board. “Pre-Enron, it would have taken a lot longer, and even then, I wouldn’t have found people of this stature,” she said.

With hiring slow in the sluggish U.S. economy, executive interest in the private sector may exceed demand, giving family businesses excellent opportunities in which to choose talent.




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