Quantcast
AlleyWatch Daily Pulse Email   

3 Key Hiring Lessons for Growing Startups

 

276639499_f2b002ceaa_z

Recently, my startup Speek closed our Series A funding round. It was a lot of hard work, and I am incredibly proud of our team for making it through with our sanity (mostly) intact.

But now it’s time to add to that team. We’ll be leveraging our Series A capital to bring two or three new people on board every month. This means that my thoughts have returned to hiring, and I must say, I feel a lot better about the prospect than I used to.

When we first started building our company, I was relatively new to the hiring process, and it was daunting. This time, however, I feel a little more seasoned, and am actually looking forward to putting what we learned a couple of years ago into practice. Here are some tips about hiring that we learned along the way.

Clearly Define Your Goals

What are you looking to get out of each new hire? Before getting started building a pipeline of qualified candidates, write down some traits that you are looking for. This also gives you an opportunity to reflect upon your company culture (both where it is today and what you would like it to be going forward). Each new hire will have an impact on this culture, so you want to think hard about what you want that impact to be.

Make Sure Diversity Is a Priority

Diversity is an active good in and of itself. It will lend resiliency to your company, limit groupthink and help contribute different perspectives every step of the way. This is not touchy-feely; this is Darwinian. Hiring a diverse team will give your startup a little evolutionary edge known as “hybrid vigor.”

Know Where to Look

When we started building Speek, we wasted a lot of time posting to job boards and trying to leverage our social networks. This was almost entirely unhelpful. Instead, here are some places where we did find great talent:

  • AngelList. AngelList’s “Recruiting” feature allows you to filter users by status, role, location and keywords. I met the highest caliber of talent here and highly recommend it.
  • LinkedIn Recruiter Lite. This is actually the successor to the service we used (LinkedIn Executive). For 99 dollars per month, you can reach anyone on LinkedIn (not just in your extended network). You also get additional search parameters, as well as 25 InMail credits a month to reach out to hot prospects.
  • Events and meetups. Getting out into the world and actually, you know, meeting people, is still a great way to find great hires. We found a couple of good developers this way.

I wish we had known all of the above before we began our initial hiring process, but I’m definitely glad we know now.

What would you add to this list?

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Image credit: CC by Tess Aquarium

Print Friendly
 

About the author: Danny Boice

Danny Boice is the Co-Founder & President of Speek.  Speek lets users do conference calls with a simple link (speek.com/YourName) rather than using phone numbers and PINs.  Danny attended Harvard, is a Forbes columnist, Adjunct Professor at Georgetown and was recently named a Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine.

  • Kimberly A. Kline

    Great suggestions – especially the need to diversify. Inviting different perspectives into your business definitely helps. What I would add is the need to do background checks before making a final hiring decision. Making sure your new hire is as safe and qualified as possible is key.

  • Rob Bellenfant

    Great insight Danny! We recently expanded our staff from 18 people to 45 over the past 16 months. Needless to say, we learned plenty of these lessons the hard way when we were starting out.

    We have a structured process in place now, and the only time we struggle is when we try to deviate from it.

You are seconds away from signing up for the hottest list in Silicon Alley!

Don't miss any of the stories shaping entrepreneurship. Sign up today.