Best Practices for Start-Up Hiring
If you are establishing a start-up, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is waiting too long to hire. The other top mistake is hiring the wrong people to help you grow your business. Follow these tips to avoid these and other issues and get your business started the right way.
Look for Smarts and Experience
When you are looking for a senior hire, choose a candidate with experience. That industry experience and the knowledge that comes along with it can fill in the gaps left by you and your co-founders. If you are trying to fill a junior position, focus on smarts. Look for a candidate who is an open slate and capable of filling any function immediately. Every start-up needs smart players who can adapt to changing roles over time as the business grows.
Take Your Time
This may seem counterintuitive because the first piece of advice was to not take too long to hire, but you should take your time and put every single person through a trial period before they become a full-time employee. If your company is experiencing hyper growth, that may not be possible, but you should nevertheless take your time as you make your initial critical hires. Some candidates may balk at the idea of a trial period, but those who are truly passionate about working for your start-up will understand and practice patience throughout the process. Demanding a trial period does not mean the candidate is not the best option possible, and it does not mean they are mediocre. It just means that you need to see they are willing to fight for the position and for your start-up.
Focus on Fit
Start-ups are often characterized by too little time, too much to do, large personalities and small quarters. In these circumstances, a bad fit can be detrimental to the success of your start-up. Choose people who you would like to work with. You'll likely spend more time with them than you will your friends, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your husband or your wife. The people you choose to bring on to your team should complement your start-up and fit together as easily as jigsaw pieces.
The greatest takeaway when hiring for your start-up company is to practice caution. Your first hires can easily make or break your business, so do not take the process lightly. As a founder, the most important thing you can do is build a solid team.