How to Hire the Best Startup Team
Startups can be a tricky hiring environment. You need to balance hiring good employees and workers who have an entrepreneurial spirit. Melding the two to form the best startup team might be easier than you think.
TechRepublic.com says, “The team behind your idea is the most important piece of the startup puzzle. Once you choose a great co-founder and go as far as you can with just the two of you, it’s time to start building the rest of your team. If you are a non-celebrity entrepreneur, you will have to do some determined recruiting to convince the right people to fill the roles on your team.” Unless you’re Dr. Dre or Sean “Puffy” Coombs, keep reading.
Hone Your Time
Katie Hughes, director of talent at VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, told TechRepublic the top hiring challenges are, “Lack of time and a less-than-inspiring story.”
What that comes down to is enabling others in your company to do the recruiting for their departments. “Referral programs, function-specific recruiting teams and consistent feedback metrics are cost-efficient ways I’ve seen founders offset recruiting responsibilities by empowering their employees,” Hughes said.
TheGlobalRecruiter.com offers some good perspective on hiring that is relevant to startups. “Very few companies have any effective means of working remotely or of capturing information at meetings with candidates … Firms that build a portable IT resource that is fully compatible with, and connected to, the main office infrastructure will save hours,” the article says.
Be prepared to get out of the office to recruit. Just make sure you have the right tools with you to make the process time efficient.
Experts also say that it’s important to stick to your guns when hiring. Don’t settle for people who meet 90 percent of your needs because that is 10 percent below your company’s needs.
“Startups are risky for everyone involved. Convincing people to drink your particular batch of Kool-Aid is one thing, but you also have to acknowledge that they have something to lose,” the article points out.
There’s also more to employment than Foosball tables and free cappuccinos. As TechRepublic observes, “As you hire, focus on the personal and professional growth of your employees. This is the best way to show employees that you care and that you see the value they add to your team.” There’s a need to make employees, especially at high-turnover startups, want to stay there for the long term. Turnover is always disruptive but even more so at a startup company that more than others needs consistency during its volatile first year.
One good example of personal growth would be no vacation policy. That doesn’t mean no vacations for employees but, instead, allowing employees to take time off as needed with the understanding that their accomplishments justify the policy.
The no-vacation policy goes back to the point that you hire people who are 100 percent in sync with your organization’s needs and culture. You’re not going to hire slackers who abuse the vacation policy and they will appreciate your trust in them.
Another benefit to consider is free food from breakfast through dinner and including snacks. An obvious benefit is it keeps employees at the office and, ideally, eating nutritious food instead of fast-food fare to keep employees healthy.
Plus there’s the added benefit of freeing up their personal time. Errands can be accomplished during time spent packing lunch or buying it. It makes for a less stressful personal life.
Finally, one last benefit for professional growth would be putting the right tools in employees’ hands. Don’t enact a top-down policy on acquiring technology. Give employees a budget and let them find what works best for them.
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