You are an entrepreneur with the next big innovation burning inside of you. Now you have the challenging task of creating a capable team to bring your idea to life. How do you go about this vetting process and when do you know you have found rockstar talent? There are basic principles behind assembling this type of team dynamic in order to ensure efficiency and a thriving work culture. Here are the steps to take and things to keep in mind when doing so. Let’s get started.
Have a Well-Defined Vision
Before you hire anyone, make sure that the vision and values for your company are clearly defined. When you start interviewing potential team members, communicate this vision and don’t hire them if you don’t feel like they share it. They may be at the top of their field, but if they don’t share your values, they won’t be a good fit for the culture or you envision. If each member of your team is excited by the company’s vision, they will be self-driven and it will show in their work and the products or services you offer.
Hire the Smart Creatives
When it comes to building a rockstar team, the first step is to choose smart creatives. Find A players – people who you admire for their intelligence, character, skills, work capacity – and when you do, hire them even if you don’t really have a clear idea of what they’ll do because they’ll contribute in ways you can’t imagine.
Adapt to Your Company’s Stage
Start with hackers, raise money or get deals with your MVP, then bring in a CTO who will throw it all away and build the actual product. Interns are great hackers. As your company grows, the needs change and you have to keep this in mind. If you find a perfect sales manager, but you don’t have your product ready for market, keep your money to speed up the product development. Companies are organic entities and as they change, the team needs to constantly evolve with those changes, internally and with new hires.
Stick to Your Gut Feeling
If you have a clear picture in mind of the qualities you’re looking for in a specific position (you don’t always do), but you hire someone different, it will haunt you. This is especially true when you’re not sure that you’re hiring an A-player, but you found someone who’s conveniently available right now. Watch out, because you’ll be stuck with someone that didn’t match your image of the employee you had in mind. Keep those projections you make in your mind at the forefront when interviewing. Try to check those boxes off as you learn about the potential hire.
Hire People Who Accept a Pay Cut in Exchange for Equity
This way everyone has skin in the game. It will ensure that they are motivated to see the company do well because if the company does well, they do well. The people that want equity over cash are invested in the long term, too. Don’t be afraid of giving equity away. There are many ways to ensure that your employee doesn’t walk off with a percentage after a short stint at your company.
Hire Slow & Fire Fast
Never rush through the hiring process. While you want to get your company off the ground and running as soon as possible, you need to realize those team members who are a poor fit can have a ripple effect on the entire team. A wrong fit will slow down your whole team, and make life miserable for the employee. Don’t let a poor fit for the company linger because as time goes on, the work will only plummet further. See it as an opportunity to bring a smart creative on board.
Your Ultimate Startup Team
So how do you put together a team of high caliber, committed individuals with the right dynamic? Keep in mind these principles:
- Have a well-defined vision: Without a clear vision, the team you put together is liable to crumble.
- Hire the Smart Creatives: Even if a person doesn’t match up exactly with the roles intentions, if the potential hire is a smart creative they’ll impress you in ways you didn’t know.
- Stick to Your Gut Feeling: If you have a clear picture in mind of the qualities you’re looking for in a specific position, but you hire someone different, it will haunt you.
- Hire People Who Accept a Pay Cut in Exchange for Equity: Equity ensures dedication.
- Hire slow & Fire Fast: Don’t rush through the hiring process. A wrong fit will slow down your whole team, and make life miserable for the employee.
If you take the time to implement these tips, you will be well on your way to building a rock solid, rockstar team!
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