Startup Tuesday: How to Hire for Your New Business

Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Business Management, Hiring, Startups [ 2 Comments ]

Starting a business is never easy. From finding the capital to get things off the ground to the emotional and physical toll it can take, new business owners and startup founders have a lot to worry about. Approximately 75% percent of startups fail. The National Venture Capital Association estimates that 25% to 30% of venture-backed businesses fail. Mistakes will happen, especially if this is your first venture out into the startup world. Hiring the wrong people is one mistake you can’t afford. As you begin the important task of building the foundational team for your new business, take the steps toward hiring success and keep these 5 things in mind.

Related: Save your startup time with recruiting software.

Find a Confident Co-Founder

The right founders of a startup can make or break the business. In an interview with ReadWrite, Martina Welke of Zealyst explained that the co-founder of a startup is someone who you will spend a great deal of time with and that this person is someone you’ll have to see things through with, no matter what obstacles arise. Choosing the right co-founder is crucial to your startup’s success as any consequences and challenges your business faces will have to be faced together. Ensure you and your co-founder complement each other, enjoy working together and have a mutual commitment to the company you’re growing.

Leave Emotion Out of It

Hiring friends and family may seem like a good idea, but you need to take a more objective approach before making a hiring decision. Because of an experience you have with someone, or an emotional connection, they may seem to be a fit for your business, but that isn’t always the case. Business missteps and mistakes could lead to a failed business and permanent damage to your personal relationship. Take the time to evaluate whether you’re friend or old classmate is really the best fit, or if someone else out there is a better hire.

Related10 Recruiting Stats to Keep Your Hiring Strategy Current and Effective

Hire Smart: Hire Someone Smarter

Don’t let ego get in the way when it comes to finding new employees; smart people will take your business to new heights. Unless it’s you, the person filling the role of chief technologist should be smarter than you are. Someone whose intelligence exceeds your own will help drive a product or idea from strategy and concept through execution so that the entire business is successful. While you may be the founder, you can’t wear every hat. Hire experts in areas where your experience lacks.

Pick a Perfectionist

Every team needs a perfectionist, someone who is focused on the minute details that could go overlooked. While you may have the vision about the product and business and a tech team that can build it, every startup needs someone who can refine the product to ensure it stands out from others, has a place in the market you plan to enter, and will generate excitement from the target audience. This may be your CMO, CFO or CTO. Whoever it may be, make sure they complement your nature and talents so your startup has checks and balances.

RelatedWhy Do Startups Fail? Debunking the Myths

Think Realistically

Startups are often on tight budgets and straddle the line between success and failure. Think realistically about where your business is headed and only hire what you need and can afford. While filling certain positions is a must as your business grows, start with only what you need in the beginning and be realistic about the compensation you can produce. Just as you would with business development efforts, make sure you have the budget and resources available before taking on massive recruiting and hiring. Paying close attention to the business bottom line is a must and even though you may want to scale the business, you need to pay careful attention to your finances before you scale hiring.

Running a startup and finding top talent isn’t easy. Before your business really gets going, look to involve the right people who will help your business boom. A complementary and confident co-founder is just the start. Startups hiring need people with expertise other than their own, a perfectionist, and just the right amount of employees to scale without bottoming out.


2 thoughts on “Startup Tuesday: How to Hire for Your New Business


  1. avatarAris Samad

    At our startup QuickSchools we have a pretty interesting hiring methodology. We don’t look at resumes, or educational background and the like. Instead we hire purely based on ability to produce work. There are a lot of details but if you’re interested I made a slide presentation here.

    This hiring methodology wouldn’t apply to your core team but could be used for everybody else.


  2. avatarErica Bell Post author

    Hi Aris,

    You make a good point that the best hiring methodology will be different for each business or position and it’s important to remember that the ability to excel is a must. Thanks for reading!

    - Erica


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