Building a Startup Team
. . .that will help you Grow & build a good Market Share.
from Inc.com Zine 18 Aug 14 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
No matter how strong an idea you have, the fate of your startup ultimately rests on the shoulders of your Team. After all, it could take only one weak member to bring down your entire business. My last startup had this problem, and it caused the company to stumble in a matter of months. We wasted time, money, and an amazing idea. So how can you be certain that you’ve assembled the right Team? Here are five steps to use when building your startup dream Team.
1. Identify Positions. The most important members of your Team are the Founders. Before hiring anyone else, you and your Co-Founder/s have to settle on how decisions will be made within the startup. For example, are you the Technical expert and your co-founder the Marketing whiz? You should identify the positions needed to complete your Team. Jobs in SEO, Sales & Marketing, Programming, & Project Management are just a handful of examples of positions that need to be filled. When identifying these positions, make sure that you prioritize them and find people with talents that other Team members don’t have. Keep in mind, of course, how much money you have in the bank to pay for the positions you require.
2. Advisers, Contracts, Partners vs. Full Timers. When starting out, you may not have to hire full-time employees. For example, you could attend an industry event or find industry-leading blogs that help you locate talented Advisers (such as Market expert, Advisor or Technical expert). You can do the same with other positions–make a Customer Support firm your partner, for example. Or hire skilled Consultant.
a) Part-Time. You also may be able to hire people on a part-time basis who are excellent at what they do. It’s safer than taking the chance on a full-time employee who may not deliver.
b) Consultants. I personally advise many different companies as well as run my own Consulting firm where I help startups. I’ve found that having people as Consultants at the beginning to test their contribution and then moving them to full-time employees (when they’re fully qualified) is the best way to get a full set of skills for your business.
3. How to Identify Candidates. There should be four considerations when searching for candidates:
· They have experience in areas that other Team members do not.
· They can be vouched for–you know them or know someone who knows them.
· They are able to start at a limited salary or for a stake in the startup.
· They are fans of your product.
If you can find people who meet the above criteria, you have a great chance of putting together a winning Team.
4. The Hiring Process. So you’ve found some qualified candidates. Now it’s time for the hiring process, which begins with an Interview. The Wall Street Journal has a nifty little guide you should use to conduct an interview. Some of the instructions:
· Prepare in advance
· Have questions in the following categories: fact-finding, creative thinking, problem solving, & behavioral
· Create an Agenda
· Be on the lookout for non-verbal Clues
· Utmost consideration to their passion for you product or service
Following the Interview, do some fact-checking & a background check on the potential employee (ie, references, peers). If everything goes smoothly, go ahead and hire the individual. Once that person has been considered, give him or her tasks to verify their capability. Start with a small project and work up to larger tasks. During these tasks, you can see how the employee on their trial period (usually 90days) fits in with other Team members and handles pressure.
5. Post-Hire. Let’s say the candidate passed your test Tasks with flying colors and has become a part of your Team. Does that mean everything is all said and done? Not really. Once that employee has been hired, you want to do some Post-Hire Assessment. This means having strategies in place for training, promotion, & career development. Check & see how they’re doing at 6mo, then 12. This interest will serve as an Incentive for your Team members, because it shows your organization really cares.
Comment: Is there anything you could add to Building a Team?