Keith Cline, writing for inc.com, posted an interesting blog last week on hiring tips for first time entrepreneurs. He had some, and we have some, which we hope bear repeating:
1. Make a plan. Now that you’ve raised the money you think you’ll need, you need to think about how to hire to fill out the plan. Presumably, your investors liked what they saw of the management that they saw, but there were more people to hire;the rest of the tasks you think someone else can do better. We’d say profile the attributes that you want, and their relative importance, and stick to your plan…get the right people. Don’t worry if they’re not currently employed. We see a lot of good people out there on the market, willing to work for less than you might think.
2. Work your network. By this Kevin means use Linked in, and other people you know. A plus people know other A plus people. As we said above, hold out for what you want. Money might not be the key motivator. Make your other employees and investors an extension of your recruiting efforts.
3. Get out there! You’re your company’s chief evangelist. People need to see your passion and vision, and believe that the climb is worthwhile, and that you’d be a worthwhile person to work for. Every major city has networking events…..look for them on Google, or reach out to industry trade groups in your area.
4. Recruit all the time. You never know when you are going to be meeting someone who could be your next hire, and they might just drop in your lap if you’re out there. Again, use your existing employees or investors, and make sure they all have their messages straight.
5. Aim high. This can’t be stressed enough. Don’t just hire a warm body. As Jason Jacobs says, ‘If you aren’t over the moon about the hire, don’t hire!’ Every hire is critically important in the early stages of a startup.