No man is an island. No successful startup can thrive in a vacuum. You may have the knowledge and expertise to get the enterprise off the ground, but to make it fly you need to hire people with specialist skills in different areas.
To ensure your new business scales upward, you'll need a strategy for hiring and retaining talent. Otherwise it could endure a stop-start pattern while you search for a change. Hiring people without a clear plan could doom your venture before it even takes off.
Here are seven things to do when hiring for a startup:
There are two schools of thought here: some say you should hire generalists, while others favor specialists. It’s wise to hire someone with a blend of these characteristics. For example, strong expertise in a specific discipline mixed with a broad range of experience in other areas of business.
The best way to build a dynamic startup team is to hire people with diverse skills, outlooks and backgrounds. This way you encourage innovation and constructive challenge to your ideas. Of course, you don’t want to hire people so different that you can't agree on anything.
Avoid hiring someone accustomed to managing large teams and delegating work. That might come later if your company grows. Hire people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in. In a startup, you need all hands on deck getting involved.
Teamwork and an atmosphere of collaboration are essential to success. Every company starts with a small team, so be sure each member fits in to the group culture.
You'd better define your ideal culture before interviewing anybody. Do you want a formal or informal approach to communication and collaboration? Choose people who will work and grow within your framework.
Of the people you interview, pick a couple with eyes for talent. Get them on board first and involve them in interviewing others. Three good brains are better than one.
A résumé that's impressive on paper doesn't always mean much. Prepare your questions so you can probe an applicant's true knowledge and skill. Asking applicants what their major achievements were with each of their employers is a start. Then follow it up by talking to those employers to verify. What you want to hear is how they went about solving problems, the resources and skills used, and the results achieved. If applicants can quantify the benefit of a solution, you get a better measure of their competence.
When hiring for a startup, you are bound to compete with top established companies who may be in a position to offer higher salaries. Obviously, your company should offer attractive benefits and incentives. This can be a collaborative effort, too, you know?
A good start is bonuses for achieving targets and profit sharing. Shares in the company can be good, also. Look at different types of healthcare benefits because they are often a big selling point. Another option is to offer a tax effective salary package that can be tailored to suit an employee’s needs.
As your business grows, you need to be proactive in hiring by anticipating need before it becomes urgent. Cultivate contact with potential talent by participating actively in industry networks, social media groups, and industrial exhibitions and shows. Keep your ear to the ground.
Although this is not a definitive course of action that every business should follow, it gives a framework to use in hiring for your startup. In addition to permanent employees, you may well need the services of outside consultants to partner with you in designing websites, developing UI and UX, creating apps for Android and iOS, and online marketing techniques, just to name a few. There are great web design and development companies that excel in supporting successful startups. Try the advice of one today.
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