WSJ's The Experts

Why Startups Should Hire the Big Company Black Sheep

Why Startups Should Hire the Big Company Black Sheep

Fast-growing businesses can find the experts they need by spotting highly skilled employees who found their companies stifling and slow.

  • min read


Why Startups Should Hire the Big Company Black Sheep

This article was originally published on's The Experts.

As entrepreneurial businesses grow, they reach a point when they also have to grow up. The 20-somethings who pulled heroic all-nighters start to burn out; the systems they cobbled together during the heady growth phase can no longer handle the company’s scale. A spectacular salesman turns out to be spectacularly bad at managing a sales force. The IT programmer who normally works miracles makes a hash of an enterprise software rollout.

It’s time to get professional.

Recognizing their company’s next phase, the founders often will try to fill key talent gaps by recruiting from blue-chip firms. With revenue growing faster than talent, why not hire the best and brightest from companies that have the scale and scope to which the founders aspire—or even poach from the very market leaders they hope to someday unseat?

Read the full article at's The Experts.

James Allen is co-leader of the global strategy practice at Bain & Company.

Learn More

Founder's Mentality

Fast-growing companies can become global leaders without losing the values that helped them succeed. Bain’s research explores how large incumbents can also reignite their growth by recapturing their Founder’s Mentality®.


Ready to talk?

We work with ambitious leaders who want to define the future, not hide from it. Together, we achieve extraordinary outcomes.