You’ve heard it countless times: Your people are your most important asset. You’re going to be heavily invested in your staff, and you want a staff that’s heavily invested in you. But how do you find people who are not only going to do the job but enjoy it because they’re passionate about it?
Find people who believe in what you’re doing
It’s natural for candidates to ask a lot of questions about the role itself. But early on when roles are more ambiguous, look out for people who are more curious about your product or service than for people who are just qualified to do the job. You’re probably creating this role for the first time so the actual job description is subject to change. So really, when you’re hiring, look for someone who wants to find the solution to the same problem that your company is attempting to address.
Hire people for potential, not for experience
Experience comes with a price. It’s expensive to hire someone who has an immaculate track record and laundry list of career experiences. More often than not, your first few hires aren’t going to have recently quit an investment banking job or come from a Fortune 100 company. They’ll most likely have to wear multiple hats and adapt well to change. They’ll be taking on roles that they’ve never had experience in. Grow your talent in the same way you grow your company.
Diversify your hires
It’s tempting to give extra weight to people who look similar to you on paper. But having a team with a diverse background is critical to making complex decisions, especially at the speed in which you’re going to be making them as your company continues to grow. So make sure you have different voices in the room that can weigh in on things from new and unique perspectives.
Use your existing networks
Leveraging your networks is absolutely critical when looking to hire. Besides sharing it on Facebook and Twitter, make sure to incentivize your staff with a hiring bonus if they refer you to a candidate who is a good culture fit for the company. This costs way less than hiring a recruiter.
Find people even when you’re not looking
Chances are you’re out meeting people all the time. So make sure you keep in touch with people as potential future hires. You may not find the right hire through a job board or in a stack of dusty resumes, but stay connected with the people you meet, and you have a rolodex of potential hires.
Your hiring decisions early on impact your productivity and work culture. Hit the ground running with the right people behind you. Make sure you remember to take a deep breath and choose carefully. There’s no worse situation than hiring people quickly and then firing them immediately.