In the cutthroat startup world, starting strong entails having the right people by your side. Being with the right people from the beginning makes it easier to lay down the foundations for the quick and continued growth of your startup. From signing on co-founders to hiring employees for specific positions, here are 5 ways to ensure that your founding team is the best that it can be.
Also known as T-shaped individuals, these are people who are willing to tackle tasks outside of whatever they specialize in, which can make it easier for your startup to get a running start. For instance, a software developer who can simplify instructions for the marketing department is much more valuable than a software genius who can’t do much else. Likewise, so is a graphic designer who can also do feature writing for your company. Whether you’re looking for founders or employees, multi-faceted individuals are always more useful than those who can’t do anything else beyond their single specialization.
Startups don’t always have the capacity to take on full-time employees. At this stage of your business, it could be more practical to hire part-time specialists who can help you get a running start without having to be hired for full-time positions. In a feature for INC, investor and entrepreneur John Rampton shares that having contractors at the start and then later moving on to hiring full-time employees is the best way to leverage people’s varying skill sets. Hiring on a contractual or project-based basis can make it easier to customize how you deploy resources based on whatever stage your startup is at, and then scale from there.
Starting a business is a great opportunity to get everything right from the start and develop a company culture that you can be proud of. Achieving this entails improving the experience of the candidates you’re considering for your team – the beginnings of an efficient and practical company hiring process. To this end, Comeet advises creating and developing an interview process that is duly respectful of everyone’s time – whether you’re interviewing for full-time or part-time positions. This means providing potential team members with all the info they need to be wholly prepared for the interview, informing them about how long the interview will actually take, and carefully crafting questions that are relevant to the tasks at hand.Even though many candidates are unlikely to make it to your team, ensuring that each one has a good candidate experience directly improves your reputation as a brand. It might even convince candidates to recommend other top talents who might fit your startup better.
[Our very own Sabina Babayeva asks how can you expect to make an impact in your industry if you don’t know where you’re headed? Creating and developing a long-term road map detailing your startup’s mission, vision, and goals can make the process of choosing founders and employees easier. Armed with a business timeline that shows you exactly where you need to be within specified time periods, you and your other co-founders can better ascertain whether or not certain individuals should be part of your founding team. Furthermore, seeing the availability of talent based on your prepared road map can also help you make the right adjustments to your overall strategy when necessary.
Let your team know where you are and where you’re headed without sugar-coating anything. During the struggling days of your startup, managing co-founder and employee expectations means being wholly honest and transparent about the current state of your business. The more your team is aware of your company’s actual strengths and weaknesses, the better you can collectively work towards putting out fires and laying down important growth foundations. If being transparent causes certain co-founders or employees to back out – so be it. Transparency allows you to develop a team that’s willing and able to stay by your side, even during the earliest and hardest developmental stages.