The J. David Group

How To Hire for Growth Without Overhiring, with Karl Sharman

How do you hire for growth without over hiring?

That’s part of what I spoke to Karl Sharman, Head of Talent at Forgepoint Capital, about in this episode where he shared his perpective on the following:

  • Why paying attention to ARR/Revenue per employee is so important and the alarming trend he saw happening 2H of 2022
  • The role of talent management and why he advices their porfolio companies to focus on performance efficiency
  • How he helps their Founders/CEO to understand what great talent management looks like 
  • Why it’s important that Forgepoint Capital invest in Founders and CEO’s that are coachable
  • What he looks for when evaluating CROs
  • Why having the proper organizational design is so critical to managing burn rate

All that an more in this episode. 

Karl Sharmans Linkedin Profile

The Southampton Football Club ([00:01:10]) Discussion about the guest’s experience and role at the Southampton Football Club.

Talent Spotting in Football ([00:03:50]) Talent spotting process and decision-making in football recruitment.

Transition to Forge Point Capital ([00:07:41]) Karls transition from the football world to working with Forgepoint Capital.

Forge Point Capital’s Investment Focus ([00:10:07]) Overview of Forgepoint Capital’s investment focus and portfolio companies.

Talent Acquisition and Performance Management ([00:15:03]) Discussion on the shift from talent acquisition to performance management and its impact on companies.

The portfolio benchmarking ([00:19:14]) Discussing the mixed portfolio and the benefits of sharing data and benchmarking for better understanding and decision-making.

Performance management and development ([00:21:32]) Exploring the positive aspects of performance management, including employee development, and dispelling negative connotations.

Culture and talent management ([00:23:24]) Discussing the impact of culture, naming, and positive language in talent management and the importance of coaching and educating founders and executives.

Coaching and influencing founders ([00:24:23]) Exploring the role of coaching and influencing founders and executives in making informed decisions and having a positive impact on their companies.

Distribution of organization ([00:27:07]) Examining the distribution of organizational resources, particularly in relation to engineering, and the importance of achieving a balanced organizational design.

Measuring the value of a CRO ([00:30:03]) Introducing the concept of valuing a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and discussing the criteria for measuring their impact and success.

Factors affecting CRO tenure ([00:31:24]) Exploring the reasons for the average 17-month tenure of CROs, including transparency, expectations, and onboarding, and the importance of context and experience in evaluating CRO candidates.

Attributes of a top CRO ([00:37:47]) Discussing the qualities and attributes of a top CRO, including energy, positivity, and previous experience, and the importance of building scorecards to identify top candidates.

Tom Brady and NFL Player Comparison ([00:38:40]) Comparing Tom Brady’s role in NFL to hiring the right candidate for a company.

Onboarding Responsibility ([00:39:43]) Discussion on the responsibility of onboarding new hires, particularly for CEO and CRO positions.

CEO’s Role in Onboarding ([00:40:22]) The importance of CEO involvement in onboarding, with a reference to Elon Musk’s approach.

Motivation and Impact ([00:43:28]) Discussion on what motivates the speaker and the impact of making a difference.

Long-Term Goal: Becoming CEO of Disney ([00:44:44]) Karls ambition to become the CEO of Disney and the long-term goal associated with it.

Community and Collaboration Impact ([00:48:42]) The significant impact of community and collaboration on the speaker’s career and business operations.


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