Melissa Frank 3m 729 #startup
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
There’s a common misconception that many people believe about startups: that the most important thing is your idea. While innovation is key, and a genius idea can propel even a small startup to the table with serious venture capitalist investors, there’s something even more important.
Your team. Your people are the backbone of your organization. They’re the hustlers, the shakers, the jumpers and flippers who have your back and turn your dreams into a tangible reality. And, while many startups begin with a solid inner core, expanding to cover all your bases can be a challenge.
We’ve put together 3 critical insights that you need to consider before bringing on anyone. Your startup team are more than just coworkers – they’re your family, your idea’s adoptive parents, your knights in shining armor ready to defeat the dragon of bankruptcy.
Start with a foundation of trust
You can only build up your organization from your parents’ garage to your epic IPO party if you totally trust the people you’re working with. That’s why, before anything else, you need to start your company on a foundation of trust.
How can you do that? First, find your people. Who do you know has your back no matter what? Start by connecting with those people, and seeing if their skillset can apply to your startup’s vision.
When you expand past that inner core, the best way to maintain trust in your hires is to ensure that you know exactly who you’re hiring. That means doing a through, diligent, and extensive interview process, including these features:
An interview with management: be sure the people the candidate will be working under get a chance to thoroughly inquire about the candidate’s experience and education.
An interview with the team: the candidate’s potential team mates should know ahead of time whether the new hire is someone they can see themselves working with.
An in-interview test: the best companies always test candidates on their skills at the interview. Try Codility for a great example.
Background checks: You don’t want to hire someone with a suspicious past or criminal history that could put your business in danger. Use a company like ShareAble for Hires to perform background checks prior to hiring.
Once you’ve got a solid group of finalists, and after that, once you’ve onboarded new hires, it’s time to think about how to best get them engaged.
Prioritize people’s passions
People work hard on stuff they believe in. It’s as simple as that. If your team doesn’t have that passionate energy about your startup, it’s likely that you won’t get very far off the ground. That’s why it’s critical that you get your employees engaged early, and engaged with projects that they genuinely care about.
What are some examples of putting passion into practice? Take a look:
Allow employees to take classes and attend workshops that help develop their skillsets.
Offer flexible schedules that allow employees to choose how their structure their days for personal productivity.
Make time for feedback, input, and creativity during the day – ideally, your meetings should be collaborative, allowing employees to bring up their own creative ideas.
Micromanaging and assigning tasks seem like it’ll build more productivity, but ultimately, an inspired workforce is more productive than a micromanaged one. You can work with a consulting company like Toptal to help ensure you get the right fit every time.
Incentivize with a growth mindset
The last step toward building a strong team for your startup is to incentivize your team by always inspiring a growth mindset. Instill in your team that as the company grows, their own career will grow with it. That way, they always put their best foot forward, and always act with both their own best interest and the company’s best interest at heart.
Employees who are hungry for growth are sure to inspire each other to compete too, which creates a positive feedback loop – one of the virtuous cycles of business development. Your company culture will flourish, and your profits along with it. That’s what we call a win-win.
The right team, motivated by the right goals, and inspired by dynamic leadership can all come together to make your startup the next unicorn on the stock market.