How to hire for your Startup

Hiring is the trickiest play in the book + one that founders fear the most. Every startup founder sees their startup like their child and entrusting that child to someone else can be difficult. What you want to do - is to get it right the first time. 

The first hire you should be making as a founder is looking for a co-founder. If you made a list of $10bn+ companies around the world, you would find out that most of them had co-founders 6 months into the business. This is mostly because of the amount of work it takes to get there. Your cofounder should have the same vision and care for the company as much as you do. Cofounders usually share a similar vision and strategy but bring different skills to the table. Ideally, 2-3 co-founders is just the right amount, anything greater would only cause room for arguments and slow decision making.

In hiring employees, you should think about it like – will I bet the future of this company on this hire? A wrong hire could cost you and leave you with regrets. Always take your time to hire. Try to work on projects with them as opposed to just interviews. Dig into projects that they have previously worked on. Call references and ask how they got on while working with them. Ask them if they faced any challenges or why they stopped working together. Airbnb spent 5 months interviewing before their first hire. The best startups select friends they’ve worked with or they handpick the best recruits from other top organisations. You could also get referrals from people you know and have worked with.

Keep employees as small as possible and stay that way until you need to hire fast and scale the company. During the interviews lookout for good communication skills; ensure that they are determined and willing to give their all to the company; most importantly - trust your instincts; If you would not feel comfortable reporting to them or at least respect them, then you should not go ahead with the hire.

In hiring, you also need to learn to fire fast; it is better for the employee and also better for you as the founder. It saves you the cost and risk of losing other good employees to the toxic environment that they create. The main reasons would be partaking in office politics and persistently being negative.

The hiring process can be tricky but once you get it right, you can focus on scaling your business.

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