Things to look out for while hiring for your startup

15th Oct 2015
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Hiring the right talent is crucial to any startup's success. Many top startups would not be where they are today if not for their talented, hardworking and passionate teams that work to solve day-to-day problems.

I have been fortunate right from the start of my career to be hiring for startups across functions and one thing on should never do is hire people that can merely get the job done. You want great people in your organisation - smart people you would love to work with.


yourstory-hiring-lessons

Hiring according to your startup’s lifecycle:

Every startup has four key stages. It’s important to know the type of worker you need for each stage. Here’s a simple guide for hiring the right employee for every phase of your startup:

Stage 1 : (one - 10 employees): Look out for individual contributors and wearers of multiple hats.

For any startup, the first 10 employees are critical, because each person you add will have a significant impact on your organisation. They basically set the culture for your organisation and determine whether you lose out or make it to the next level. You will need to hire people who thrive on solving problems and strategising. These 10 employees will set the vision, mission and culture for your company.

Stage 2 : (11- 50 employees): Those who will get the work done

Now that you have the product roadmap ready, it's time to grow your business in full pace and also manage the rapid rate of change. For this, you need people who can take the initiative and who can demonstrate strong organisational skills. I would recommend penning down certain aspects of your business as you grow. All of the major happenings inside the product has to be documented and organised so that when new employees are on-boarded and decent knowledge transfer can be done. Also, hire a few seasoned professionals for constant improvement of the product, to ensure your growth is scalable and sustainable.

Stage 3 : (50 - 200 employees): Position players

Now that you have the product and processes ready, built all job functions and started selling the products, you need tailor-made people for getting particular jobs done. This is the most difficult stage to hire for because you will need people who have specific domain knowledge. You may have to look far outside your established networks to find the right candidate. Eighty per cent of these should be a lateral hire (with say two to 10 years of experience).

Stage 4 : (200+ employees): Specialist/leadership hiring

Now that you have a decent brand and your idea has been believed and used by so many customers, it's time to grow the business by 10 times. For this stage, you must hire a strong leader across all job verticals and also try to attract fresh talent just out of college (specialists).

You are most likely going to make quite a few mistakes; every single hire is so critical you better recruit the best you can find, take all the time you want and have a rigorous process in place for sourcing, attracting, recruiting and hiring.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory)

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