Do your homework on personnel decisions and reap the rewards

Hiring the right person is a key factor in any company’s success, but for a startup, it’s crucial. With the little time and resources startup life allows, having to provide daily guidance to a new employee who can’t run with projects or tasks is simply not sustainable.

During my first hiring round, I found that slow and steady is the only way to win the hiring race that is startup life. Since the wrong hiring decision can cost immeasurable amounts of time and money, it’s important to make the right preparations to efficiently hire the best team for your business.

Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to hire the right talent for your company:

Start at the end
Before you even start to look at resumes, take a step back and define your company culture. That way, it’ll be easier for you to identify the type of people you need to hire, and potential employees can readily assess their own values to see if they’re in line with the company’s.

The best way to maximize your time and efficiency is to know your core skills, and outsource the rest. Having a nice mix of staff and outsourced employees allows for continued growth, and your company will thrive under that healthy mix of talent.

Be proud
Your startup has more to offer a prospective employee than just a competitive salary. Aside from money, the right kind of high-performing employee will look for additional motivation to join your team. As a startup, you have the unique position to offer potential employees more than just your standard desk job. Instead, employees have the potential to witness and contribute to decision-making, while working outside of the typical job description.

Know your candidates
Take the time during the interview process to really get to know potential candidates. Since you’re building a team you need to rely on and believe in, it’s important to have multiple conversations with each candidate to understand their values, work style and goals to make sure that they align with yours and those of your company.

Trial by fire
Many potential candidates have great looking resumes, but it’s not until they have started working for you that you realize they just aren’t a fit. Instead of outright hiring new talent, suggest a three-month trial period with your prospective employee. A truly motivated candidate would not be intimidated by a three-month window in which to prove themselves, and it gives both you and them a chance to see if things will work in the long run.

Hiring a team to help you run your startup can be a daunting task, but it’s important to remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint. If you find that you’ve hired the wrong person for the job, removing that person from their position should happen as soon as possible. You’ll learn from every success and mistake, and apply those situations to future hiring rounds so that you can make better, more informed decisions moving forward. ●

Sheri Atwood is the founder of SupportPay by Ittavi.