So you need to hire a great team to help you help make your amazing idea into a reality. You realize you need smart, motivated and devoted people on your team. What you don’t probably know is just how big of an influence your team can have on securing funding and making business deals. Beyond the initial product, many BizDev guys look at a startups team and whether they’d be good to work with. But let’s face it – it’s not easy to find top notch talent with amazing background experience and a kick-ass personality to boot. Not only would you need to hire right now, but there is a growing gap between the demand for technical jobs and the talent necessary to fill them.
As a startup, it’s even harder to recruit the talent when competing with major corporations like Google and Facebook, unless you are an outsourced marketing agency. Yet it’s not all about money. Just listen to Ben Huh, Dave McClure and others about being an entrepreneur. It takes a certain personality – it takes a person looking for a challenge and, perhaps it takes a bit of crazy. So how do you find this talent with so much competition? Make a List of “Must Have” Qualifications (and stick to it)
Silicon Valley Recruiter Aki Taha stresses the importance of making a “must have” list of desired traits in a future hire. By these must haves (versus “nice to haves”). Perhaps a college degree isn’t a must – but coding experience is. You might even find surprising candidates through challenges just as Quixey did.
Date Before You Hire
A probationary period (in placement of the term “paid internship”) is becoming standard practice. Daharmesh Shah (Founder / CTO HubSpot) makes the argument that at the end of the trial period, existing employees should be lobbying to keep them on, otherwise they probably are not a good fit.
Make a Hiring Process
You’re limited on time. You can’t afford to talk for an hour to every applicant. Know what you’re looking for and pull the plug quickly if you think it’s not a fit. Jack Smith (Vungle) has a great list of resources to streamline the hiring process. Utilizing services like a staffing agency can help find specialized candidates. For instance, an agency like Kforce focuses on technical positions like network security or data analyst jobs that can require expertise you may not have.
Hire the Ladies (qualified one’s that is)
Women graduate at higher rates and earn more post-graduate degrees than men and although the number of women computer science students is declining, women are joining startups in record numbers. Having a female co-founder or CTO also looks great to investments because it stands out amongst the rest.