The funny thing about startup (and other) CEOs is that they think the product and problem space they are providing to a designer candidate is remarkably interesting.
In reality, that is not often the case. Improving a trivial B2B software solution in a “dynamic” environment isn’t usually what unicorns are looking for.
The unicorns aren’t stupid — that’s why they are unicorns in the first place. They are usually better than an average person to spot whether the company has potential or not. Why would unicorn work for you — wouldn’t an unicorn be capable of starting his own company instead? There are a couple things you can offer to attract an unicorn:
1. Capital and connections. If you can provide significant connections and capital, you can provide something that unicorns don’t necessarily have. Typically, an experienced entrepreneur can start a company with excellent individuals, because they have access to enough capital to hire talent.
2. Decent salary and meaningful problem space. If you can provide a decent salary and a meaningful problem space for a designer, you might just get lucky. Designers work to design and make impact for the world.
3. Excellent salary and working environment. In this category, the competitors are basically companies like Google, Facebook etc. There are excellent designers working on even the tiniest design challenges there. Although you manage to hire a designer with this setting, great designers tend to look for new challenges after a while unless they are provided meaningful challenges and problem space, mentioned in the previous point.
If you are really lucky, you might get one with candidness, perseverance and **right timing, **but it is still a long shot. Instead, try to rethink, what you have to offer and how can you improve that offer.