Building Your Startup Team
So it’s time to build your startup team. You may have talked with mentors, read books, watched videos, and likely done a Google search to find advice. Which advice is trustworthy? Here are 5 characteristics of a startup team:
Skill. This is a non-negotiable. No amount of passion, commitment, or compatibility can make up for a lack of skill. Clearly lay out which areas you need to fill and the requirements needed to fill those areas. Look for someone who will compliment your team by filling in areas of weakness.
Compatibility. This is key. A team full of skilled yet incompatible workers is draining because the social maintenance aspect is non-existent. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to temporarily hire the candidate to work on a project before committing to hiring them.
Passion. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. These kinds of people are naturally inclined to take the initiative and have the determination to fail until they get it right. Do a trial run before committing: bring the person on for a temporary project. It will help you see how well you work together and what the candidate’s work ethic is like.
Talent. Skill is something you learn, talent is something you’re born with. We’re all harboring some kind of natural talent that can benefit our careers. How do you mine for talent while recruiting? Make sure your company culture attracts all-stars by putting employees first, maximizing the best employees and using emotional intelligence.
Commitment. Entrepreneurship is a journey of highs and lows. It takes endurance, optimism and an unwavering spirit to get you through it all. Obviously you want to make sure your team has the same work ethic, but in addition, find candidates whose core values align with the mission of your startup. This will keep the team centered when tough decisions are made or when money is involved.
“Though the team needs to stand together, every member will eventually be called upon to make solo decisions that are crucial to growing the company, and they need to have it in them to stand up and lead.” –Ranjith Kumara, Contributor to Forbes
On that note, remember that effective recruiting means you are able to pair the characteristics of a strong team with your startup’s technical needs. Whether you should look for a coder, outsource or learn the trade is another question. The bottom line is that technical skill sets (whether they are in-house or outsourced) are a must. Together, these elements will help you form a rock star team.