Six Tips On How To Hire The Right Person For Your Startup

Original post by CHRIS RICKBORN via TC

Tech companies in Silicon Valley and in tech hubs across the United States are at war against each other, to find and hire quality talent that is in short supply. The competition is particularly fierce among startups, which means that it’s ever so important to make the right decisions when hiring your next rock star.

Here are six tips to set you on the right course:

1. Make sure it’s time to hire

Deciding when to hire is as important as knowing that you need to hire at all. The problem is that too many entrepreneurs with funding start hiring because it was part of the business plan. The first sign of trouble is when there is too much emphasis on filling out the org chart and making sure all of the key titles are in place. Most entrepreneurs get put through the ringer trying to raise money and they’ve lived and died by their models and forecasts. But when it comes to hiring, sometimes you just need to throw the model in the trash and let the reality of what’s happening in your business determine your true need to hire. As they say in the military, “every plan is good until the first shot is fired.”

My advice is to not think about titles, org charts and empty seats. I’m not suggesting that anyone should throw discipline and planning out the window, but don’t repeat the mistakes of failed startups and waste your resources filling positions that you don’t need today. Make sure its time to hire.

2. Make a commitment to invest your time

Once you’ve made the decision that the time is right, make a commitment to invest your time.

Like it or not, hiring is a time-consuming process and cutting corners on time will lead to bad hires. In a startup, the pace is fast and everyone is stretched to the limit. Adding to your team will require a significant amount of time to screen candidates and conduct interviews. Even if you use recruiters, you won’t save that much time, as you still have to read resumes and make phone calls.

In a recent conversation with a CEO, he told me that he was trying to hire a new VP of Marketing for his software company. He advertised on LinkedIn and got 216 applicants. The good news is he had a lot of potential candidates, but the bad news is he hadn’t even started looking at his applicants. I wonder how many good candidates will go overlooked because he just wants to get it done.

I recommend setting aside an hour each morning and another hour late in the afternoon devoted completely to your search. Invest your time and you will find the candidates that will “move the needle” in your business. Shortcut on time and you will find a candidate to “fill the spot.”

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