There are few things more important for a young startup than the team that you have to work with. When it’s just a handful of upstart young professionals looking to make an impact in their industry, working out of a garage or a small office, the right team can make all the difference in the world.
When you’re looking to expand your team, it’s critical that you make the right hiring decisions. One wrong hire and you’re looking at months of setbacks and reduced revenue. So, how can you be sure you’re hiring the most effective professionals you can? Take a look at these five tips and make the best decisions you can.
Start by networking
People generally associate networking with the job hunt from the hopeful employee’s point of view. You track down leads, shake the right hands, and email the right senior professionals until you find the one who can connect you with that killer job offer.
However, startups on the hunt for the right employees can actually benefit from networking too. Sure, you could sift through hundreds of barely-qualified applicants looking for the right one – or, you could reach out to your friends, colleagues, and former mentors to see if anyone knows someone with the talent you’re looking for.
You can also use online networking sites. Recruiting someone directly who you found through a site because of their awesome experience has a higher chance of landing you that programming or marketing ace. After all, people love when employers reach out directly to them.
Be diligent about research
Meeting someone and getting a good read on them is pretty important when you’re looking for the right startup employee. However, unfortunately, looks can be deceiving. Not everyone is who they say they are, and a serious liability when looking to hire is accidentally giving a job offer to someone who has lied on their resume.
Luckily, employee background check services can be a huge help here. How steep is the background check cost? It varies, but usually a couple hundred dollars will get you enough intel on someone to know whether they’ve worked where they say they’ve worked and have the degrees and certifications they claim they do. It may be added hassle and cost up front, but it’ll save you tons in the long run.
Introduce interview tests
Interviews are important. You want to find out what an applicant is all about and see whether they will make a good fit for the company on an interpersonal level (more on that in a minute). However, another important part of the interview process is that it presents an opportunity to test your applicant’s skills in the job they’re applying for.
For instance, a copywriting position should include as part of its interview a test where applicants must write an ad for a client. Or, for programmers, put them in a room with a laptop for an hour with a programming puzzle and see how well they do. This gives you data both on how skilled they are at doing their job and also how well they are able to perform under pressure – something they’ll likely have to do often in the fast-paced world of startups.
Look for a good cultural fit
Most startups are small operations working with a tight-knit team of hungry professionals who collaborate on everything. That means finding the right employee isn’t just a matter of finding someone who will perform the job well. It also means finding someone who will fit in with the work culture and vibe of your startup.
The easiest way to assess this is just to interview the client in person (or, at least, over video chat). See how well they get along with their potential manager, and even have them meet the team they’re likely to be working with. If everyone gets along and has a good time, then they’re probably a great fit for your operation.
Slow and steady wins the race
Lastly, it’s good to remember that slowly and steadily building your team is better than adding on a bunch of new people at once. You want to build a strong workforce, and quality often comes before quantity. Take it easy, invest slowly, and invest in the people who work for you already before looking to expand outward. Follow these tips, and you’re sure to have a killer team.