People are not your most important asset. The right people are – Jim Collins
Every day, startups face zillions of challenges. And one of the biggest challenges is to hire the right kind of talent. While hiring is a challenge across the industry, be it a startup or an established company, it is far more complex for a startup for many reasons.
To start with, a startup is not a brand. It’s a non-entity. So, folks whose self-esteem is driven by the company name on the business card they carry, and not by the kind of the work they actually do, are reluctant to join. And believe me, majority of the job seekers out there belong to this class; seeking intrinsic security and social status by tagging along an established brand!
Then, a startup does not have deep pockets to offer big pay cheques, and even more so the perks, which are in vogue in the industry. The shoe-string budget, especially in the first 3 years or so, will never allow the founders to hold a brainstorming session in some fancy resort, with coffee and cookie breaks, where some nebulous long term strategy gets discussed and revised year after year!
Now there are individuals who get a tremendous ego boost by making extremely interesting presentations at such off-sites. That’s beside the point that the part of execution is for others to do! So, as a startup founder, you will never be able to attract such superfluous talent. That rules out another significant bunch of job seekers!
I guess by now you pretty much know what are my dos and don’t for a startup hiring strategy! However, let me elaborate and be clearer.
Here is my list, in order of priority, for the skill sets I seek whenever I have done hiring for my own startups: