Let the Startup Beware: Avoiding the Costly Mistake of Toxic Hires & Partnerships

Let the Startup Beware: Avoiding the Costly Mistake of Toxic Hires & Partnerships

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Let the Startup Beware: Avoiding the Costly Mistake of Toxic Hires & Partnerships
Friday 22 July Discovery HUBBA 20:30-21:30

As an entrepreneur and startup you have worked extremely hard and made significant sacrifices to get your business off the ground; to decant your dreams into reality. After working so hard to convince investors, businesses, family, friends, and everyone else you meet, to have faith in your vision and your ability to succeed, it would be foolhardy to risk throwing that all away by making a toxic hire that could seriously damage your brand, your reputation, your profits, and possibly the very survival of your company; with the possibility of costly, highly publicised, and time-consuming legal claims as well.

Lee Phanurat-Bennett will examine what startups can do to limit or eliminate the likelihood of hiring the wrong person, whether as an employee, or more worryingly, as an equity partner.

With a team that combines business, legal, and psychology expertise and experience, Lee will look at the qualities and attributes we need in our potential employees and partners to make our business a success, and how expertly tailored assessments can help ensure that the people we hire will possess these desired attributes and NOT the highly toxic attributes that can do so much damage to our business. 

Lee will explain how expertly designed tests can help provide important information about the capability of a person to perform a particular role or deliver on a project, as well as assessing a person’s ability and behaviour, identifying their critical characteristics and abilities, to ensure you select the right person for the role. This saves time and money both in the short-term recruitment process and in the long-term staff retention process. An in-depth assessment can also identify ‘undesirable’ characteristics including on well researched areas of integrity, counterproductive work behaviour, and dishonest behaviour.

Lee will examine how a toxic hire can seriously damage your business, and that no matter how detailed the interview process, CV and background check, these simply won’t tease out highly damaging hidden traits that could come to the fore in the months and years ahead. This can often happen when the business is facing some kind of crisis, and the last thing you need is a toxic hire who isn’t up to the challenge of dealing with the crisis effectively.  

No matter how good executives and HR think they are in assessing potential candidates, the undiluted simple truth is that one in five hires are ‘duds’ and 80% of staff turnover is attributed to bad hires (Harvard Business Review). It is therefore crucial to do everything you can to make sure you hire the right person and avoid the significant expense of hiring the one in five who are ‘duds’.

Lee will explain that the only effective way to protect yourself and your business is by using professionals with the requisite expertise, qualifications, and experience who can create, deliver, and interpret tailored assessments. This can avoid stress, bad publicity, cost, and time-consuming legal cases moving forward; all of which distract you from getting on with your business and making it a success.

All too often businesses believe they can hire people by using poorly drafted and irrelevant template assessments, that are then inappropriately used by inexpert and untrained people (often in HR) who aren’t equipped to deliver or interpret the flawed results that such inadequate assessments throw up. This is simply bordering on negligence, is of no practical benefit at all, and is unlikely to provide you with any meaningful data on which you can properly act.

So Lee Phanurat-Bennett will explain why it is crucial for all businesses, but in particular startups, to protect themselves from day one by ensuring they hire the right people who possess the desired attributes to perform the specific role and that they are a good fit for the organisation. He will examine and explain how tailored assessments that are created, delivered, and interpreted, by appropriate experts can help you ensure you don’t make the wrong appointments with all the adverse consequences that may follow. 

He will highlight the advantages of making the right appointment, including how that will appeal to investors and help keep them onboard, as well as emphasising the negative and expensive consequences of not making the right appointments. Lee believes that startups have to possess the mindset of an established company as far as risk management is concerned, and that the consequences of making bad decisions at the beginning can undermine or even destroy all the hard work that the startup has put in in order to give birth to their dream. So when it comes to hiring or forming partnerships with people: Let the startup beware.

Lee Phanurat-Bennett 

Lee Phanurat-Bennett is an Entrepreneur, Legal Advisor, & Communications Expert and Strategist, operating from offices in Bangkok & London, & involved in business projects internationally. 

Lee is called to the Bars of England & Wales & also New York State. He's headed teams at City of London law firms, acting for professional clients (including lawyers) and advising at boardroom level. He has acted for clients at the highest levels of litigation, in extremely demanding and challenging situations, involving multi-billion pound cases, Government Departments, and Law Agencies, in UK, USA, & other countries. His last confiscation case involved moneys exceeding £1.6 billion. 

In addition to his business interests he still acts as a legal advisor to City of London law firms as well as commercial entities globally, overseeing strategy and ensuring clients’ needs and expectations are fully met.

Lee provides an exclusive, high-end, portfolio of luxury services. He imports and exports luxury goods & services, brokers off-book property & business deals for corporations and HNW’s. 

He advises on business, legal, & communication strategies for individuals & companies; including an Asian company established 44 years ago with a sales force of 3,000, a health & well-being company selling across Europe, USA and Asia, an internet company, & professional services businesses.

He works with a number of companies globally advising on contract law, regulatory issues, and business matters; creating and implementing business, legal, and communications strategies and tactics to ensure the effective promotion of services, products, image and reputation, and to gain traction in the specific market and achieving desired targets.

As Director of International Business and Special Counsel for company in Asia, he oversees and advises on international business, communications, and law; brokering and negotiating deals with companies outside of Thailand, settling contract terms, advising on legal and business procedures in Europe and UK as well cultural and socio-economic factors. He is also working with business partners to assist companies in preparing for Brexit.

Speaker 2: 
Nigel Evans

Nigel Evans is a business psychologist with over 20 years experience providing services to leading companies in the UK and internationally. His career to date has included extensive consulting, training, research and coaching roles, working at managerial and director level. His strengths include client management, solution design, executive assessment and event facilitation.

Nigel graduated in Psychology from the University of Hull in 1990 and through corporate sponsorship obtained his MSc in Organisational Psychology from the University of Bristol in 1994. He was visiting lecturer in Occupational Psychology & Psychometrics at the University of Leeds and the University of the West of England, Bristol. He presents extensively at UK and international conferences, and is often invited to speak at trade and media events.

Nigel has been influential in the design and delivery of leadership programmes for high performers, encouraging senior managers to approach problems in an innovative and strategic way. He is a firm believer in building effective personal leadership skills, including communication and self-effectiveness, in order to achieve superior results.

Nigel uses proven behavioural and psychometric profiling in order to diagnose issues in a number of corporations, as well as delivering development solutions at the individual and corporate level. He is an expert on the use of psychometrics and objective assessment, holding the highest occupational test registration issued by the British Psychological Society (BPS). He is qualified to train others in the proper use of ability tests and personality questionnaires, and serves on the Committee for Test Standards.

Nigel’s consultancy takes him all over the world, working either with global corporations and national governments, or in his capacity as the nominated BPS representative for the International Test Commission.



Let the Startup Beware: HR Considerations & Legalities
Organized by
Thailand Startup Week