Once your startup is off the ground and running, there are many hats you’ll wear. One of the most important is that of a recruiter and hiring manager. If you have ten roles to fill, you never just hire the first ten applicants. You have to do a thorough, intense search to find the right employee for your company. The people who make up your company determine how successful your company is.
So, on that note, let’s review some of the steps you need to take to hire the right employee for your company.
Before we dive into this article, take a minute to watch this informative video that explains how to hire the right employee for your company
7 Tips for Hiring the Right Employee for Your Company
1. Why finding great partners and employers is so vital to a startup
Look at some of the most successful tech companies, like Google, Microsoft, or Facebook, and you’ll notice that at the heart of each company lies a very important business partnership between individuals. The fact is that to build a truly remarkable company, you need to create a partnership in which the partners share the same core philosophies on business and life, yet have differing – but complementary – personality traits. So how can you use this to hire the right employee for your company?
My partner, Chris, and I share an obsession with business; we’re both frighteningly ambitious, but we have complementary outlooks and focus. While Chris is more fascinated by the technology side of the business, I’m more intrigued by the relationship aspect. It’s a fantastic blend because it’s as if we pass every strategic concept we develop through two filters, and what comes out the other end is all the more powerful as a result.
2. How to find employees with the right attitude and outlook in order to hire the right employee for your company
In the early days of Microsoft, Bill Gates and Paul Allen hired their close friends and associates. Mark Zuckerberg chose his partners among the group of friends he hung out with at Harvard. Even after they started to expand and their VC funding came in, they still began recruiting staff by hiring people within their social circles, or people who were recommended by their existing staff.
This is essential to ensure that you attract people whose attitudes and outlooks match the company culture. When we first started our company, Chris and I were part of a group of like-minded people who met up. That was our social, intellectual, and spiritual group, and from that group sprang several connections, some of which led to meeting people who are now part of our team. Look close to home when finding people for your startup, and build from there.
3. Seek out qualified people who are interested in the entrepreneurial lifestyle
The whole concept of “qualifications” is awkward because, while most companies consider paper qualifications, we focus on having the right attitude and skill. In our hiring, we’ve never looked at what the individual has in terms of formal qualifications; we’ve always looked for people who love the Internet and have a passion for building an online business. If these skills fit, it helps in terms of hiring the right employee for your company.
In our industry, we also work with a lot of freelance professionals, such as designers, programmers, writers, and virtual assistants, and we find them on freelance platforms like Elance.com and Guru.com. When engaging these people, we have very little interest in their formal qualifications; all that matters is whether they have the skills needed to do the project. Their past work, their feedback ratings, and their communication skills are far more important than any standard qualifications they may have. In fact, whenever we scan through a prospective freelancer’s résumé, our minds are conditioned to see real-life demonstrations of what they can do.
Most of that comes across in their responses to emails, their timeliness, their general communication, and, most importantly, a sample of their work. Most of the time, we’ll ask them to submit a small snippet of the project we want them to complete and, based upon that snippet, we’ll decide whether or not to work with them. It’s much easier to find people who are interested in the entrepreneurial lifestyle when you stop focusing on traditional qualifications and instead focus on finding people who love what they do. These people are self-motivated and already work in an unconventional way. They will be the best fit for your startup environment.
4. How to sell future employees on the entrepreneurial lifestyle
The key is to make your role fit what they love and are already doing. The modern business world is becoming less about regimented roles, and more about flexible and fulfilling projects. Working in our industry has been a blessing because we work with so many freelance professionals that we’ve learned a great deal about matching people to projects they love.
For example, if you want to hire a designer, instead of being rigid and looking for someone who has to clock in every day, why not find someone who has a passion for the job, but may live in a different city or country? As long as the person can deliver your project when you want it, it really shouldn’t matter where he’s located. Online platforms like Odesk.com makes this possible, as you can hire people in any country and still be able to monitor their work, without stifling them. This allows truly great people who have a passion for what they do to work for you – while delivering what you want.
5. Test for Analytical and Emotional Skills and Traits
One of the things we’ve found most enlightening over the last few years is the results from some of the intelligence and personality tests (using DISC) we’ve conducted at our company. These tests are not our sole hiring criteria, of course, but, we use those tests as part of the evaluation process., and then, we set minimum benchmarks for what we feel is an appropriate test result on both the intelligence test and ranges we feel are most important on the emotional and personality tests.
6. Check for Compatibility
Based on point number 5 above, it’s important to understand the personality of the individual you are testing, and while in-person interviews are critical, it’s also important to match that against the results from the DISC test. You can use those results to assist in the hiring process.
Let’s say for example, that you’re hiring someone in the accounting department. If you use the DISC profile exam, you can better understand how that employee is going to fit into the group. The accounting is someone that should have a high level of detail in their work, and a tendency towards remaining stead in the job. Think … measure three times, cut once.
7. Hire Interns
This could potentially be the best source of screening candidates for your business. You’ll understand how they act, how responsible they are, their strengths and weaknesses, even before you “officially” commit to them in the business. You’re going to spend the time to screen the intern, if they’ve proven themselves, then, it makes it that much easier to assure a level of success with them as an employee. An intern is a great way to help you hire the right employee for your company.
Finding the right people for your company is extremely important. Seek out individuals who have a passion for what you are doing, and you’ll develop a committed and dedicated staff. Don’t just hire a résumé; hire a great person who fits your company. And that’s how you find the right employee for your company.