Start-ups and scale-ups : how to support them in the recruitment of their COMEX?

Start-ups and scale-ups: how to support them in the recruitment of their COMEX?

Faced with increased competition in the start-up and scale-up ecosystem and the rapid emergence in France of so-called “unicorns” (companies valued at more than 1 billion euros – there are 25 of them, 23 of which are active in France after the IPOs of OVH and Deezer) and their massive need to recruit specialized expertise, the Executive Search firms must redouble their efforts to attract talent with “rare” skills in a highly volatile market around new professions.

Often questioned directly by investment funds/private equity or founders on the ability of a firm to accompany their search for talents “plug & play”, hands-on, to accelerate their growth, a question arises for these “fast-growing companies”. How, in a structure that is constantly changing, can they succeed in attracting profiles with experience? Thanks to its field experience, Fitch Bennett Partners has put together some ideas. Starting with the fact that the world of French Tech has taken more and more space on the French market… So much that France has become a real start-up nation (in a study published by the INSEE in 2021, the General Directorate of Businesses puts the number of start-ups in France at 1 million in 2018).

As early as 1942, the economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter* showed that entrepreneurs were the engines of economic development : thanks to their new activity, start-ups create not only value but also supply on the labour market.


The effects of start-up and scale-up innovation on employment


The effects of innovation on employment have also been analyzed in the economic literature. Report of the Reseau Emplois Competences of the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, published in October 2021, describes them.

In this report, it is noted that start-ups and scale-ups create more jobs than other types of companies. “A broad definition of a start-up taking into account only the age of the company attributed 1.5 million jobs to start-ups in 2018. This number varies between 40,000 jobs (start-ups raising funds) and 114,000 jobs (innovative companies) if, in addition to age, other identification criteria are used”, explain the authors. The boom in start-ups is creating a strong demand for experienced, high-potential profiles on the market to accompany the exponential growth of these companies


To accompany this hypergrowth: structuring, experience and leadership will be sought to strengthen the COMEX of these companies


In this context, a start-up/scale-up that wants to keep its “first-mover advantage” will have no another choice to hire experienced talent who have already successfully completed similar assignments. Indeed, this type of profile will enable them to :

  • Structure their organisation in a phase of hyper-growth;
  • Take over the operational management of the Co-founders for the support functions: Marketing & Sales, Accounting & Finance, IS;
  • Sustain the turnover and refine the value proposition;
  • Legitimize the desire to move quickly internally and send strong signals to the competition by integrating successful profiles.

Four points that make up the ideal candidate for managers who, busy with an overbooked day-to-day life, do not take the time to be accompanied in the recruitment of their talents. And that’s a shame, because a bad recruitment is a wasted investment of time and money.


Entrust your search to an executive search firm to attract these high value-added talents

Much more than recruitment, attracting this type of talent to join your organization, especially at executive committee level, which will have a big impact on the future of your company, is a real “seduction operation”… And in seduction, there are codes ! A confidential approach, an understanding of the sector of activity and growth issues, knowledge of the ecosystem (network; namedropping) and approved success stories in similar contexts. Hence the need to call on recruitment professionals to support you.

Ultimately, the best firm to accompany you in your search is the one that can best speak to the ears of your target audience and convince them to join your organization. 
At Fitch Bennett Partners, we allow you to capitalise on a network and a pool of experts of talented men and women. In addition, we guarantee a confidential and qualitative approach. We know the candidate market well, it is necessary to dig into the issues and the vision shared by the co-founders and/or the investment fund or private equity to support the development of the company and attract the best talent.


* Schumpeter J. A. (1942), Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, New York, Harper.

Discover also : the testimony of Murielle Machiels, an overworked CEO who switched to Slow LeaderShip.


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