It is a known fact that “your business entity is only as good as the people in your team.” Well in the case of startups and entrepreneurs this whole team thing gets magnified. Because startups have very limited resources to play with, there is a fine margin between success and failure. In the face of extreme competition, it is very important to stack the odds in your favor at an early juncture of your startup journey.
Many startups fail to reach their true potential is due to ad-hoc hiring for its leadership positions. There should be a thorough research towards hiring each C-level positions for the startup. You may feel this to an arduous task, but this will offer you long-term stability for the company.
So, let us take a look at how you can hire the right leadership team for your startup:
You may as well hire people who are smarter than you
You being the CEO, it is you who will have the final say with regards to hiring. Nevertheless, are you the best person to be making that decision which can be critically important for your company to thrive? Great talent provides key attributes in abundance such as industry experience and its perspective, and these are the things that surround best leaders out there. If you trust your new hires, then you can be rest assured that they will be bringing new ideas and different options to the table. Teams can achieve greatness if they have the necessary complementary parts to convert any weakness from other person’s strength.
Hiring Tip: You can ask them about a problem that you are currently facing. And their answers should be able to spot things that you may have missed.
Experience = Rich dividends
You may procrastinate at hiring experienced professionals or who have a brilliant track record as they may eat up a large chunk of your investment or equity, but you will quickly realize what will be the value that they add to the company. Not only they are good at direct skills with their day-to-day activities, but they will also speed up the growth by minimizing the learning curve at a fast pace. Better the experience, the more the ground you cover at a quicker pace. Time is of the essence here, and for a startup, time is money. So, any form of acceleration in business critical areas will have immense benefits to the bottom line.
Hiring Tip: Recognize the most pressing issues in your company that needs to be fixed immediately and fill those areas.
Bring in Key Personnel who have followers
Bring in experts who are ardently followed everywhere they go. Experts not only bring a wealth of experience to the table but also bring intangible benefit in the form of drawing talent wherever they go. Wherever they go, people want to be around them and learn new things from them. This kind of attribute is a testimonial to the fact of the executive’s ability. When people follow them, it gives you a clear picture that they are willing to risk their career and livelihood on the line for this person.
Hiring Tip: Try and gauge the interviewee with references to whether people follow their leader from company to company.
Hire leaders who fit the company culture
While hiring make sure they fit like hand in glove to your company culture. You being the head of the company, you have an idea of what kind of culture that you require from Day 1. Everything from daily activities, short-term goals to long-term goals defines everything that your startup is, and as a CEO, you are the head of this entire operation. Effort must be more towards hiring people who are on the same page as you, failure to do so will result in disaster. With right people at the helm, they can act as a proxy for you and increase the overall efficiency of your startup.
Hiring Tip: During recruiting your leaders, you have to look past their titles and achievements which are there on the resume. Learn what went behind those achievements and the impact on company culture.
Your C-level hires should be like a family
MNCs have all the infrastructure and organization structure in place. But for a startup, your C-level hires should be like a family. They act as the second person in charge and are empowered to take major decisions and act as vice captains to steer the team in the right direction. In fact, you will be spending more time with them than your actual family and especially during certain milestones. During major incidents, your CXOs will offer their expertise and help you make the critical decisions. It is for this reasons, your leadership team should have more than just industry skill or experience. When they get together, the group has to be more than the sum of its parts.
Hiring Tip: A simple way to analyze whether this person can be part of your family is to imagine a situation like would you be comfortable to go on a hiking trip with this person or will you be able to share a hotel room. If it is a “yes”, then there will be higher chances that they would fit into the family.
Many times, due to resource constraint in the early stages, you might be tempted to take the easy way out when it comes to hiring your leadership team. But, it is your key executives are the ones who bring much more to the table than just their plain vanilla job description, and your hiring decisions can actually make or break your startup. So, do a thorough research for each position and see who fits the profile the best. Start your startup journey with the right team and reach your true potential.