Hiring a co-founder is hard…
Hiring a co-founder is like getting into a marriage…
Hiring a co-founder is the single most important thing in your business..
Hiring a co-founder is like yada yada yada.. Yawn!
We've all heard it. Haven't we?
I am not sure about you, but I have heard these cliches so many times that I have almost lost the count of them by now.
I know they sound cliched, but there is still some truth left in them.
How do I know that?
Because I have personally struggled in hiring a co-founder for my business. I know the pain and frustration that comes with not having someone to work with you on your idea.
It doesn't matter how smart you are but building a company is a lot of work & finding people to work for you the early days is equally hard. So If you want to improve your chances of succeeding as a company, then you need to find smart people as soon as you can.
And the first step to finding smart people starts by finding a smart co-founder. And that's why I want to take up this chance to teach you how to find your co-founder in a step by step manner.
(Side Note: That’s why I wrote Ultimate Guide On How To Find A Co-Founder In Less Than 30 Days)
Something which you can read and apply right away to get results.
A step by step system that helps you, not some 5 things to find in a co-founder listicle.
What I will be sharing with you is a proven system. A system which has not only worked for me but dozens of other people as well.
I hope you’re ready for it? Are you?
Let’s start then...
You know when I started my journey of building a company I started working on my idea for two months straight, I used to work for extended hours at a stretch and as I worked more on my idea. I realised boy, it’s a LOT of work, and I can’t do this alone for long. I MUST find someone to partner with, someone who can HELP me in building this product.
So just like everyone I started reaching out to my friends and started speaking to them about my mission and vision.
A lot of my friends were interested in joining me but the kind of responses I got left me disappointed.
I got responses like.
“ The idea is good, but I can’t work full time on it “
“ I want to work with you, let’s do this… but I can only do it after office time “
With that, I started moving to speaking to more friends.
Then friends of friends
People in my Linkedin connections.
People on different startup forums.
And then finally when I ran out of options I started pinging random people on the internet.
But even after trying all of this I couldn’t convince anyone to join me.
I felt disappointed.
I mean on one end you read stories in media and startup magazines of founders doing amazing work and creating path-breaking products day in and day out.
And here you are…
Struggling to find a business partner. :(
It was during my time on that spend on Google that I found about this website called HiringDecoder.
I researched a little and found out that Nikhlesh Tayal is the man behind HiringDecoder and he has been helping single founders in hiring senior level talent for quite some time. He has developed a deep expertise in hiring co-founders for early & mid-stage companies.
Be it technology, Ops or even marketing.
You name it, and he's done it.
So I got in touch with him and wrote him an email explaining my problem to him. After exchanging a couple of emails, I got on a short call with him where he helped me in creating a hiring framework that suited my needs.
Once that was done I spent some time in tweaking the recruitment framework so that I could attract high quality leads in my funnel.
After working with him, I realised the process to hire a co-founder can be summed up in a matter of 8 steps.
8 Actionable steps which anyone can take and get a co-founder in less than 30 days.
And If I can do it, so can you…
Check out the image below to see the steps.
If you can follow these simple steps, you’d be able to hire a co-founder on your own.
But I know you are looking for more...
You’re looking for that SECRET sauce to crack the code. Aren’t you?
What I realised after helping a lot of people and during my conversations with Nikhilesh was that the single thing which can have the biggest impact is having a well-written co-founder job description.
Writing an amazing job description means more than half of your job is done right there.
Sounds so obvious right?
I know I felt the same when Nikhlesh told me so, but when I shared my Job Description out on the forums, I got crazy responses.
I got 200 + plus responses because it was so GOOD!!!
Think of a well-written Co-Founder Job Description like a lead MAGNET.
It will attract high-quality prospects to you on AUTOPILOT Mode.
A well-written job description must have the following…
Story: The Job description should be an insight into the kind of person you are, What have you done in the past, Your accomplishments (even if they are small), your failures (this displays more vulnerability and makes you more humane) and bind them all in an easy to read story format, just like you do in your interviews.
Why you are the best person: you should also explain why you are working on this opportunity right now and why you are the right person who can solve this problem better than anyone else. Get detailed & specific in your description.
Inspiring: The undertone of the job description should be inspiring, something that evokes interest in the reader and makes them read end to end.Think of how Elon Musk inspires the world by explaining his vision about what he wants to accomplish for the world.
Now it’s not important to have a vision as BIG as Elon Musk but writing an inspiring story should do the job for you.
What They’ll Get: Get specific on what’s in it for them instead of focusing on your benefit. When you focus your story like a sales copy, people will get drawn to you as if you are speaking directly to them and it will work like a melting copy that persuades them to buy in your story.
Who Is This For: It’s important that you make it clear who is this position for. When I made my blog post I wrote, I made it explicit enough so that I end up attracting the right people to it. I mentioned 4-5 pointers of people who’d be FIT for such a position, and that did the process in eliminating substandard applications.
Side Note: Please for god sake, don’t mention I need people from Stanford, Yale, IIT and IIM. If you do, that chances are high that your post might be reported and turn up into a hate post instead of getting HOT leads.
Who Is This Not For: This one is more important than the last one. With Startup funding and valuations momentum going through the roof, all of a sudden starting up has become sexy.While all of that is fine, what has started happening is that a lot of tourists have started coming to the startup world. By tourists I mean people who are not very serious about building companies and are here because it is sexy to work in a startup.The kind who will run away when it gets hard.
Ideally, the description should project that you are looking for someone reliable, someone who can take the stress and can deliver under tight circumstances.
So that at first sight of resistance they don’t run away.
Back when I created my first draft I had to go through periods of revision to make sure that the messages stands out and attracts the right kind of prospects.
And this is the one which Nikhlesh wrote for his startup Stagephod.
Pay some attention to why this worked and how can you model the same and get desired results.
So if you have created a rough draft for your job description share it with friends and ask them for feedback and keep tweaking until you get it right.
Now the last piece of the puzzle is DISTRIBUTION.
Now you have everything ready, and you are all excited to attract a prospect in your company.
The next thing you need to do is, let the world know that you are looking for a business partner.
Now with my case and other people whom I have helped what I have found that Facebook works well as a distribution channel.
So the first thing you can do is join all startup groups on Facebook.
Start with local City-based startups groups.
And then post it in other city startup groups as well.
Back when I made my post I joined about 100 odd startup groups and posted it in close to 80 odd startup groups through which I got about 200 + applications. And this is what my final stats looked like...
- 200 + applications.
- 52 Emails.
- 15 calls/meetings.
- 8 In-Person Meetings
- 2 Shortlisted Candidates for trial
- 1 Final Recruit.
But I also experimented with other forms of leads as well. I experimented with.
Reddit forums: Search for local startup chapters & co-founder forums over there.
Tech Magazine forums like Hasgeek
AngelList: Lately AngelList has been working great for startup hiring.
Alumni: I shared within my alumni network as well.
Referrals: Ask for referrals from friends and family. Better if you could write in the bottom of the job description post for referrals. Imagine if your post is placed in front of a highly targeted audience, how powerful it can be...
If you start tapping all the channels and reach out everywhere, I am sure you’d be able to get lots of applications and will be able to find a co-founder just like me and others who have gotten results by using this systematic approach.
Try out this approach and let me know if you have any doubts or questions in the comments section below, I’d be more than happy to help you guys.
If you need more information on hiring a business partner, head over to my Ultimate Guide To Finding a co-founder and you’ll get answer to all your questions