Who are you ?
A Business Guy or a Tech Guy. Can you read a piece of code and understand what it does ? No, then don’t pretend to understand it. Get someone who understands coding to help you assess and hire the right candidates. Don’t fake it when hiring. If you are a technical guy who has never ever sold a thing in your life don’t pretend you understand sales when you are hiring a Sales Head. Bottom line – Be Real, get expert advice and help.
Hiring consultancy firms and recruitment software
Hiring means a lot of resume searching, downloading, screening resume, calling and scheduling interviews, interviewing, dispatching offers and seeing most of them rejected. Get a recruitment firm they don’t cost much and some give an option to pay them when you hire a candidate. That too after 3 months of them joining you. Believe me it saves you a lot of time. If you intend to do all of this yourself spend a little money on recruitment software. Don’ t use a spreadsheet to organize yourself you will waste a lot of time.
Quality vs Quantity
Don’t seek refuge in numbers, seek experience. I see many entrepreneurs inclined towards hiring freshers by the dozens and having few Technical Leads in the hope to keep cost down and get more work. It rarely works out that way. Too few mentors for freshers doesn’t result in work output you hoped for. Also there is obvious difference in quality of code written. Get team composition correct. Try to hire experience programmers first and then empower them on hiring freshers they will mentor.
Money makes the world go round. I know founder who are charismatic and can persuade people to work on less then what they were drawing at previous jobs. Senior Management Guys are more willing to accept ESOPs and stay for whole vesting duration. Like they say if you pay peanuts monkeys work for you. If you have a tight budget. Hire few, pay them well. It usually takes 2-3 years for a product code base to reach a mature stage. Best is if your original employees stick with you. There is a invisible penalty to pay every time an employee leaves and new one joins.
Design Design Design
UI == Product. It’s what the customer uses. Most technical startup founder run the firm on stringent budgets and tend to think of design as one of the last to-do item. Most of the time hiring an experience UX Guy with Masters in Design [ Interaction/Visual/Product ] from NID/IDC as full time employee is out of reach. Worse even if you hire them sooner or latter you will realize that once the product is out you don’t have much work for them. Big design firms are awfully expensive. Search on behance and coroflot for freelancing designers in India and abroad and get quotes from them. You need to pay by the hour later which works for everyone. If you are making a physical product then you need a designer whom you can meet face to face often.
Most Entrepreneurs are pumped up about their venture. For them it’s THE THING worth doing. However you want to spend considerable time educating the prospective employee on What the company intends to do ? Who are the founders and their background ?. How is the company funded ?. What the role and responsibilities are ?. Get your pitch in place. Perception is important but if you lie you reap what you sow.
Make sure your workplace is clean and neat. It makes a intangible impression on the candidate. Specially Senior Employees who have worked at large. Yes you cannot match MNC when it comes to How big the workplace and facilities are ?. However you got to compete, so invest in good chairs, desk, water cooler, air conditioner, sanitizer. Put some nice pictures on your walls. Make the workplace no matter how small pleasant. I once interviewed at Vmware and in the final round HR offered me some biscuits. I told him I cannot consume gluten and upon knowing that I have immune disorder towards gluten HR promised me that if I join he will make sure the pantry / canteen will have gluten free meal options throughout the year. He also took me to an meet an employee who had some dietary health issues and told me How they helped him out. I was blown away. I am sure they have all the money in the world to do extend such help while a startup founder doesn’t. But point is most founder don’t put thought into How their workplace looks like and is it comfortable for employees to work ?.
Be Trigger Happy
My first company I worked for despite everyone’s disapproval the founder hired this one guy for GUI work. Turned out he couldn’t write a for loop, which was also found after we interviewed him. Founder is a very kind person and ended up taking lot of time to ask him to leave. If you hired the wrong candidate you need to ask them to leave asap. Many founder get desperate and hire people because many offers get rejected. Be ready for rejection. Hiring is very tough for startup then for big companies.
I heart startups and everything about them I hope this is helpful for someone.