Scott Cathcart

Entrepreneur | Impact Investor | Triathlete

4 Tips For Choosing The Right Employees For Your Startup

When you’re launching a new company, creating an all-star team is just as important as getting a solid clientele. While large institutions have hiring structures in place, startups need to take a different approach. Entrepreneurs need to make sure that they find team members with the same passion and vision that the company’s founders have. Here are a few ways to identify which employees are the right choices for your startup:

Make sure they’re looking out for obstacles.
Launching and growing a startup involves a lot of risk. Entrepreneurs and their team constantly need to adapt to make sure the business stays afloat. It’s important that when you bring on a new member, they become a part of the lookout team. A potential employee can have the skill set, but if they aren’t deeply interested in what you’re doing, they’re not worth hiring. You need someone who is able to see challenges and opportunities in the future. You want to make sure they can speak up and bring up an issue promptly. It is important that people are honest and able to speak their minds.

When looking at resumes, look beyond the keywords.
Most resumes have a long list of skills. It’s well known that recruiters look for keyword matches, and as a result, resumes tend to be filled with keywords. This makes it harder to find out which applicants have the essential qualities necessary to be a key member of the team. A good way to differentiate the ideal candidates from everyone else is to ask the candidates to name their top two or three abilities, and quiz them on those particular topics. This will teach you about their passion and the way they approach work. It’s okay to hire someone who doesn’t have the exact skills needed for the role as long as they have a firm grasp on a few key skills.

Make sure they fit the company culture.
You need to look for someone with skills and experience, but it’s equally important, if not more important, to find someone who fits the company culture. In interviews, candidates typically discuss the experiences listed on their resume in a scripted way. Change things up by hosting the interview in a setting outside of the office. Get the candidate’s opinion on industry trends and ask about experiences beyond projects. To figure out whether they’d fit in with your organization, try to understand how they interacted in their prior roles.

Test them out with a freelancing role.
About 25 to 30 percent of the U.S. workforce today is made up of contingent workers. Over 80 percent of companies have stated that they’re going to increase their use of independent workers. With today’s economy, it’s a great idea for growing companies to work with freelancers. This allows the startups and the candidate to figure out their fit. This option isn’t right for everyone. Freelancers and recent graduates are more likely to do this than candidates from traditional roles.

All entrepreneurs come across the challenge of growing their business. While it can be overwhelming to choose members of your team, using these tips will help you find employees who work hard and mesh well with your company’s culture. Once you’ve built a team of hardworking professionals who share the same passion and vision, you have set up the groundwork for a successful business.

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