4 minute read

Are you hiring one of your first employees for your startup, this guide aims to give you some insight and make the process easier.


  1. The Sooner You Can Start, the Better (When You Are Able To Afford It)


As soon as you are aware you need help and you are able to afford it, hire someone, even if it makes things tight at first. That added boost in labor, creativity, and brainpower that another person can provide makes it totally worth it. You will be able to do things in days that would have taken you weeks without the extra help. You will be able to mark entire streams of work off of your to-do list.


Founders are often reluctant to hire people even when it is obvious they are overworked, but then they kick themselves later on after they realize all the work that wasn’t getting done due to the delay. In our case, we sacrificed part of our own pay in order to pay for help and it was definitely worth it.


  1. Hire Not Only Based On Track Record But Also Potential


One of the most important traits that a skilled hiring manager has is being able to see not just evidence of a person’s past success but also their potential according to Arielle. Look for somebody with a strong passion or interest for missions or causes that are very similar to yours, and also evidence that the individual is very good at what they have done in the past (even with it might be a number of different things).


Being able to unlock that potential involves harnessing a person’s passions and skills, so even if an individual hasn’t yet been able to completely unleash himself, you will likely see good results if your job position is able to do that for him. We turned down job applicants how had 10 years of experience and Master’s degrees because we sensed that another candidate had great potential to be able to excel with our company. It was also obvious he was interested in going beyond pulling his weight.


  1. Have Job Applicants Demonstrate Their Aptitude or Skill


There are many people who know precisely how interview questions should be answered in order to give the hiring manager confidence in them. It is fairly easy to bullshit. According to research, the best thing to do to vet a person has them do a task for you. For instance, if you need to hire a salesperson, then have them sell something. What we asked our job applicants to do is to develop an outreach strategy for reaching our target audiences. We provided them with very little direction so that we would be able to see how they would handle their assignment without any guidance. Their results were very telling, and we removed the ones from consideration who clearly didn’t put in the energy or time to come up with a quality result.


  1. Have All Of Your Team Members Interview The Stars


It can be tricky to find a good cultural fit to go with your team. Just because Individual A and Individual B get along well, and Individual B and Individual C do, that doesn’t mean Individual A and C will automatically get along (or be able to work well together). We have three co-founders who have very different work styles and personalities, so it was very important that all three us would be able to work with with the first person we hired. We had four interviews with him, twice after knowing he was our first choice. That might seem excessive, however, we needed to be confident that he would fit in well. Once all three of us felt we could have a good and productive working dynamic with this person, we knew he was the right guy to hire.


  1. Invite Them To Be An Integral Part of Your Team


You have a choice after you have hired someone: You can view him strictly as an employee, in terms of paying him for his work, evaluating his work and issuing directive, or you can view him as a team member that has decided to dedicate his time into turning your vision into reality, which includes learning right along with you and going through all of the ups and downs as well. The latter approach is one of the major reasons why many people go to work for a start-up, to begin with. From the first day, we made it a point to show him that he was an important part of our team and that has paid dividends already.


  1. Get An Onboarding Process Designed


During our hiring process, we did do some things right, however, there are other things that we would do differently.   For instance, the full extent of the official onboarding we had with our hire was a two-hour conversation with him the first day he was on the job. Besides that, we attempted to show him what our expectations and culture were over several shorter conversations. We have had good results, but next time we definitely will be doing it differently. We would have a series of sessions that ranged from our strategy to our company history and intent and culture. We would at least spell all those things out so that everybody who joins our company gets the same experience.


  1. Make Sure To Have All Of Your Legalities Lined Up


Here is a bold thing to admit: during the first six months we didn’t even have an employment contract for our hire. We were a young company, and our legal documents weren’t prioritized yet. Everything turned out fine, but it isn’t the approach I would recommend. Because there was no contract in place (or any contract terms that we had discussed with lawyers and advisors) that meant both our team and our hire did not have legal protection. Not every hire will work out. When you are laser-focused on your market development and revenue, you don’t need to have a legal hassle on your hands. When you know everyone has been taken care of officially you can focus on those things that matter the most.


The first person you hire is always a very important and big step in your company’s life. Make sure you take the time to it the right way to ensure that the first employee you hire will be there for the long run. If you do it will be one of the best things that could ever happen to your company during its early years.

Note: This is a sponsored post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.