How to grow your startup team – do’s and don’ts

So you’ve got your million-dollar idea, you’ve successfully convinced some of your buddies to help you start a company, and you’ve even managed to raise a bit of cash? That means it’s finally time to start growing your startup team, and find people who will execute all the ambitious plans you have in mind. Beware: there are a bunch of traps that you can fall into along the way! Here are some pointers as to where you should start.


1. Think about who it is that you really need, and come up with a very clearly defined hiring process.

No matter how obvious this may seem, this is exactly where many startups fail: they hire all the wrong people, because they’re not sure who they really need. For example, as an early stage startup, you may need to be focusing more on product development than marketing. How are you going to sell something that only works in theory? Get your team involved in deciding who you need to hire first, then make a plan and stick to it.


2. Don’t try to save money by refusing to hire new people and making your existing team do more. Start hiring as soon as you can squeeze out the funds for it.

Your guys are probably already straining under the load you’re putting on them, don’t make each one of them do the work of three people. Start with one new hire, and go as your revenue increases. It’s guaranteed to make your core team less stressed and work more efficiently.


3. Focus on diversity, but don’t make it your number one priority.

Of course, it would be ideal to have a team that’s culturally, religiously and gender diverse – not only because then you’d be able to boast about just how well minorities are represented at your company, but because it’s a proven fact that diversity is good for business. However, you want to make sure that your efforts to promote diversity don’t get in the way of trying to hire the right people for your team. You know, the ones that you actually need. Look for talent first, and don’t hire anyone just because you’re trying to better your diversity stats.


4. Instead of working remotely with five freelancers at a time, consider hiring someone for those projects to keep things in-house.

We’re not suggesting that you become a complete control freak who can’t tolerate outsourcing any tasks whatsoever. But, if you think about it: you’re building a team here. That implies some sort of continuity or permanence. Not to mention that if you truly are handing out excessive amounts of freelance projects, your costs may drop drastically by just hiring, for example, your own UX designer to do all that work.


5. Don’t be afraid to hire students or fresh graduates for internships or training programs.

Think long-term. Yes, you will have to invest both time and money into training them. However, the minds of inexperienced kids are often much less limited by biases than yours, and they bring a sort of freshness to a startup that senior candidates may lack. First-timers are not used to any particular way of working, and they usually don’t have bad habits that are hard to get rid of, so they’ll quickly and easily adopt your way of doing things. Plus, their salary expectations are significantly lower than those of their older peers, and their inexhaustible sources of motivation and energy will be much needed. You can always hire them full-time after a few months of training.


6. Find a job search app that specializes in junior profiles.

Traditional job boards are probably not the best places to share internships: your ads may get lost and never reach their intended audience, who are very likely to be looking for opportunities elsewhere. For example, in Barcelona, you have Workkola, a platform that connects students looking for a chance to kick-start their careers and startups in search of cheap tech talent. On Workkola, startups can publish two types of projects: a basic project (a remote collaboration with students), or a recruiting project (if they’re looking for someone to hire after the project is finished).  Take advantage of these alternative platforms, and you’ll get to those that you’re trying to find much more quickly.


Do you need help to grow your Tech Team? We are here to help!


Featured Image: bbernard/Shutterstock, Inc.


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