The holy grail of hiring is finding a way to get more talent than you’re paying for.

The easy and unsustainable way to do that is to find somebody who has established themselves at the level you're looking for, and lowball them.

The difficult but more rewarding way is to develop the ability to identify a high-aptitude candidate before they are well established, and offer them a fast track to where they are inevitably going anyway.

Pay them fairly (above expectation for them, below market for the role as it currently stands) with a clear understanding of what they need to achieve, and by when, in order to grow into the role (and the commensurate compensation package).

By the time you’re paying them market salary, they’ll have grown enough to be legitimately earning it. Win win.

Sidebar: This is why we recruit for junior and mid level creative roles in addition to executives. Attracting and procuring an established boss is one thing, but if we only focus on today’s leaders, where does that leave us in 5-10 years? Our obsession is identifying tomorrow’s leaders today.