Starting a business, who do you hire first?

Who do you hire first?

Picture this: you’ve already laid down the foundation of what would soon become an up-and-running business. Investments are in, plans are drawn, everything seems to be in order. However, this business can’t run with only one person (or two) handling everything, which then begs the question: who should you bring in as your first official employees?

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I believe that building the right team is the key to a business’ success. That’s why we’ve been sharing tips on how you can find the ideal talent from a pool of candidates. We even shared a look at how the biggest companies like Google hire their employees.

For startups, however, the problem isn’t really on how they could build their team. Most of them would ask, “who should we hire first?”

Having your first full-time employee is definitely an exciting prospect to look forward to, but you must also think of this as another investment that carries its own risk. Ideally, such an investment will yield positive returns for your startup. This is possible, of course, but only if you hire the right people – that is, talented people with a sincere interest in your product.

Determining the ideal candidate for your startup will depend on the goals you want to achieve, so keep in mind these things to help you in your search.

Know the values of an ideal employee

Before you get started, why not create a list of the values you’re looking for in an ideal employee? If you’re quite unsure, you can start with some of the most generic traits, such as “self-starter”, “passionate”, “risk-taker”, and the like. This should help you create a more specific list with traits specific to your own business goals.

Know what you’re looking for

Now that you know the traits you’re looking for in an ideal employee, it’s time to map out an organizational structure for your startup. Here, you’ll be identifying key roles integral to the day-to-day operations of your business.

By defining these roles and outlining their responsibilities, you can have a clear idea of the exact type of person you’re looking for when interviewing potential hires. For instance, you’ll need someone with a strong background in management if you’re looking for an operations manager.

Know their skills and talents

With the outline of an ideal employee now having a specific role in your company, it’s time to start looking for prospective candidates! There are several approaches to hiring, the most typical focusing on skills and talent. Hiring based on skills means looking for a competent candidate who can execute the responsibilities outlined in their job descriptions. Hiring based on talent, on the other hand, means using your gut feeling and gauging the potential of a possible candidate.

Ultimately, you have the final say on what your hiring approach will be. Take it from me, though: you’ll be more confident if you know for certain the capabilities of your candidates. Not to mention, it’ll save you a lot of precious time.

Here’s where online assessments come in. Let’s say you’re looking for an SEO professional or a mobile development professional. Giving these online assessments to candidates narrows down your pool, therefore ensuring that you’ll end up hiring the right person with the right capabilities.

There’s a lot to keep in mind, but trust me, it’ll be worth it. Best of luck and happy hunting!

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