Hiring the Right People for your Startup

By Fernando Berrocal

Having the proper team for your new startup is vital in the business lifecycle as a whole. However, most importantly, it will make a big difference in whether it succeeds or fails. It’s a fact that one of the main prevalent reasons across the board for startup failure was having incorrect staff. As a result, it's critical to do very exhaustive planning and be able to pick your team carefully. But how do you do it?

Hiring the Right People for your Startup



Building a team for your brand-new startup is pretty similar to casting a broadway play or selecting members for a sports club team. You must be able to recognize not just each team member's unique abilities and talents, but also their synergy when they work together in different types of environments. While there is no magic formula for making the best decisions every time you do it, there are certain clear indications that can help you determine whether or not someone is the appropriate fit for your business. Here are some things to think about while putting together your Dream Team.

Do they possess the necessary hard skills? Although this may appear to be a “no-brainer” topic, you'd be shocked how frequently different types of entrepreneurs hire someone just to discover that their new employee lacks the talents they bragged about on their Curriculum Vitae. If you're a tech startup owner looking to hire someone to code, make sure you know exactly what you're looking for and that they have it perfected. To ensure that they have the abilities you require, administer a skills-based test.

What are their objectives? You want someone who will be able to develop with your startup. You don't want to have to rehire and retrain employees every few months. Inquire about their mainly short and long-term objectives. Inquire about their desire to advance with the startup and their general vision for their professional life. 

Tell them how essential it is for you to employ someone who cares about your organization as it were their own. Ask them about many professional things, but mainly on why they want to work for your business and why they think you'll still be a good match two, three, or more years down the line. Finally, inquire about their areas of interest. While not a direct inquiry, their response might provide your insight into their hobbies and whether or not they plan to change jobs in the future.

Hiring the Right People for your Startup


Do they fit in with the culture of your startup? Every startup has its own unique culture, which is ideally developed on the strategy of the organization as well as leadership attitudes and choices. It’s widely believed that you could just employ clever individuals and expect them to perform miracles. People who don't fit into your business culture are more likely to butt heads when things don't make sense, resign when things aren't going well, and show a lack of interest in your business. Remember that you're developing a team, not just fulfilling a position.

Will They be Able to Handle the Pressure? Startups are high-pressure environments! Even if your startup's goal is to create an app that provides meditation lessons, the amount of effort required to do this adds up to a lot of pressure. They are unstable environments where things might radically alter from day today. They frequently need team members to work long hours, and deadlines may be severe. If the prospect hasn't worked in a high-pressure workplace before, ask them questions about how they would manage different circumstances under stress during the interview. If you utilize instances that have occurred in your startup, you'll get bonus points.

Is it True that they are Problem Solvers? Startups, unlike bigger organizations, don't often have departments. Their employees are frequently required to learn new abilities on the fly and be extremely adaptable daily. As a result, someone who requires a properly specified position and will not depart from it, or who needs consistency and predictability to sustain productivity, is not a good fit for a startup. Problem solvers are one of the most important types of team members. People who tackle problems with a positive and innovative mindset are known as problem solvers. They won't come to you every time their code breaks; instead, they'll utilize their resources and abilities, or perhaps enlist the help of other team members, to discover a solution.

Do they Get Along with Other People? In a startup, collaboration is crucial. In cubicles, your team members will not be cut off from one another. They'll be working together and frequently playing roles that overlap and rely on one another. Someone who thrives on cooperation and enjoys a lot of face contact with team members is a great candidate. They must be able to stand out and express themselves in meetings and brainstorming sessions, as well as voice their perspectives on choices while respecting the thoughts of others, thus excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential.

Are they a good fit for your current team? If you're hiring because someone is leaving or your business is expanding and you need additional employees, consider each of the people you already have on your team. Make a list of your team members, their duties, and their characteristics if it's possible. Consider what kind of person you'll need to fit in the group you've already formed. Are you looking for someone to lead and encourage your team? Or do you already have some outstanding leaders and require someone to fill a more supportive role?


Remember to look for individuals that match your workplace culture and have both the hard and soft talents needed to contribute to the success of your enterprise when you browse through resumes and conduct interviews. Look for ways to strike a balance with diversity to better serve your business and clients, as well as discover those golden problem-solvers that will make your day-to-day life simpler. Last but not least, recruit people who can deal with the high-pressure activities of a business.

Ready to bring your startup to the next level? Apply to MassLight’s next batch. MassLight supplies capital and a dedicated tech team. We take equity in return. Have questions? Refer to our FAQ page.

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