Hire the right talent to set up a great team and effectively execute your idea is the most important thing you can and must do as a leader. But most entrepreneurs would agree that hiring the right talents for the team is a daunting task, especially when a company is an early stage startup. Your early hires shape the culture of your company, form its unique voice and flair that will make it different from other competitors in the market. Zappos.com CEO, Tony Hsieh, says it right, “Your culture is your brand”. Great culture starts with great employees. Therefore, it is important to put a strong accent on hiring the right people from the get-go.
Here are some tips to help you make the right decision in the process of hiring your first employees:
1. First of all, ask yourself the following questions: “What is my vision of the company’s culture?” “What core values will be embedded in our culture?”.
Your answers to the aforementioned questions will help you to create the ‘portrait’ or ‘image’ of your company and determine what potential candidates can bring to make it the way you see it. During an interview or personal conversation with a candidate try to identify whether his/her values and goals are aligned with values and goals you’ve defined for your company.
2. Look for candidates who are passionate about your vision.
Employees who are passionate about your vision are more likely to become A-players in your team. Usually, such people demonstrate their innate willingness and a great dose of enthusiasm to expand their horizons and go as far as they can to make things work. The whole team will become more united and stronger if all employees move towards the common vision and are driven by passion to fulfill it.
3. Pay close attention to people with diverse skills sets.
At an early stage of the company’s development employees need to “wear many hats” and contribute into different areas of business. Diverse background and various skills of employees are two driving forces that will help to boost creativity and enhance the atmosphere of collaboration and sharing within your company.
4. Look for candidates who are willing to work in a dynamic environment.
In a startup environment candidates are required to be flexible, self-motivated and goal-oriented. For your startup to succeed, you need employees who are “out-of-the-box” thinkers, who are ready to learn on the go, adapt to changes and “step out of the comfort zone” to achieve more and embrace new challenges that come along the way.
Hiring for more established companies is all about recruiting employees who “fit in” the culture. In such case, consider the following tips:
Never compromise on your company’s culture.
As already mentioned, “your culture is your brand”. Therefore, in order to maintain your company’s vibe, you have to look for candidates who can fit in. It goes beyond professional skills and expertise. An entrepreneur should also take personality traits of the prospective candidate into consideration. The right candidate will easily be able to find a common language with other team members because he shares the same values and goals as his coworkers.
Look for candidates who are passionate about your product or service.
Your employees interact directly with your customers and prospects. Employees that are passionate about your product generally express more enthusiasm when it comes to spreading the word about your company, convince more people to buy your product and create more profitable relationships with customers. By becoming your brand advocates, employees boost growth of your business, and enhance the company’s image and culture.
Make sure that potential candidate can do his/her job.
As your company scales, the role of each employee within a company becomes more specific. Besides certain personality traits that help the candidate to fit in your company’s culture, the potential employee needs to possess the necessary skills and expertise to fill the position and be able to perform the required tasks. When making a hiring decision, consider his/her previous work experience, check out projects that the candidate has accomplished so far and you can also request recommendations from his/her previous employers.
Written by Natalie Myhalnytska
Cover image credit: iosphere, freedigitalphotos.net
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