I asked my friend Mike Bateman recently how he helps the companies he’s on the board of. He said the #1 way he helps is with recruiting new people. A+ people are really hard to find. Recruiting should be something companies do everyday even if they’re not hiring so that when they do need someone there’s a developed contact base of local candidates. Staying in touch with candidates — either jobless or employed elsewhere that you’d want to poach — also makes it easier to fire underperforming people.
I agree with Mike that finding good people is perhaps the hardest part of a growing start-up, and that each morning on the way to work the CEO should “go through a recruiting motion” — i.e. think about connecting with possible future employees of his/her company.