A lot of startups are launched in garages as one-person ventures. Eventually, if a business is going to grow, people have to be hired, though. For someone with no experience in evaluating talent, hiring can be scary. Do you know what you’re doing?
So your company is finally ready to hire its first employee. You probably have a lot of different emotions running through you – and that’s totally natural. But before you extend a job offer to anyone, make sure you understand what you’re doing. The employees you hire can have a long-lasting impact on the future of your business.
1. Only Take Referrals From People You Trust
[pullquote]As soon as people know you run a business and are looking to hire, they’re going to start referring people.[/pullquote] Old co-workers will flood your email inbox. Neighbors will stop you in your driveway. Family members will call you with names of friends. And while it’s great to have options, take all of these referrals with a grain of salt.
As a rule of thumb, you should only take referrals from people you trust. While you may like your neighbor down the street, do you have any reason to trust his business acumen? A referral is typically only as good as its source.
1. Don’t Be A Cheapskate
“I’ve seen many businesses that saved money by going ‘cheap’ with their employee hires,” IP attorney Robert Klinck points out. “The problem is that these hires often end up not having the right skill sets (or not being good enough at certain skills). As a result, these businesses often end up having to fire these initial hires, find a new employee with the right skill sets and then have the new employee redo all the prior work. This all means additional costs for the business.”
It’s one thing to only have a certain amount of money to spend on an employee. It’s another to cheap out when you have the resources to hire someone who is a better fit. Avoid being a cheapskate and you’ll ultimately enjoy a higher return on your investment in human capital.
3. Look For Flexibility And Even Temperament
Not everyone is cut out to work in a startup environment. Be on the lookout for people who show signs of flexibility. You need people who don’t complain when you ask them to pause what they’re doing and speak with a customer over the phone.
You also want people who have a very even temperament. There will be ups and downs and employees must be capable of keeping their emotions in check and remaining steady. Someone who is calm, poised and collected will do well in the midst of pressure.
4. Make Expectations Clear
Working for a startup is much different than working for a large company with 1,000 employees. When hiring, make sure applicants understand what they’ll be doing. Clearly set expectations and make sure they’re up to the challenge of working for a startup. Hours may be different, job responsibilities will fluctuate, and pay may not be great at first. They need to know this or you’ll end up with a high turnover rate.
Don’t Take Hiring Lightly
Hiring is not a decision to take lightly. You may assume that, because you’re in the very early stages of building your business, it doesn’t matter that much – but the opposite is true! The employees you hire now will shape the trajectory of your organization moving forward. Make mistakes now and you’ll suffer later. On the other hand, hire the right people and the sky’s the limit. – For more startup advice here on Bit Rebels, click here!