You’ve narrowed down the candidates. You’d be happy with any of them but you need to make an offer to one of them. Who do you choose and how do you know you’re making the best decision for your intellectual property licensing department? Here are a few things to consider before the job offer is penned:
Is This Candidate a Good Fit for Your Current Department or the One You Want to Lead?
This question is very nuanced. If you’re not satisfied with the direction of your current department, you can’t begin to become the department of your dreams overnight by hiring a completely different type of person without understanding the friction that will occur. This is not a bad thing and in many cases inspires and reenergizes your current department. It’s just important you are prepared for it and honest about it.
Does This Candidate Seem in It for the Long Haul or Always Looking for the Next Best Thing?
Nowhere does it say you can’t employ a great candidate for only a few years. A few years can still make a sizeable difference in your team, but if you’re looking for a “lifer” make sure you’re seeing that kind of longevity on his or her resume and/or there’s a reason they want to work at your institution or live in your town. Replacing hires can be very costly.
Is this Candidate an Independent Leader Because They Possess an Innovative Spirit or Because They Can’t Follow Orders?
A lot of entrepreneurs and business owners will tell you they are self-employed because they can’t work for someone else. Don’t be overly impressed by how many start-ups someone began. They might not be able to take direction. In IP licensing you need that rare quality of being a self-starter but one who can respond to the inquiries of stakeholders on many levels. You want innovation but an ability to understand the political ramifications of actions as well. You need an expert tightrope walker who is not afraid to try new feats but understands the possible peril of doing so. A wildcard, on the other hand, never lasts long in IP.
What would you add? What questions do you ask yourself to decide whether your ideal candidate is indeed ideal?