How to Hire the Right Candidates
Life at a startup doesn't allow for much leg room when it comes to hiring a new employee. If you are looking to hire someone, it's likely because you need a talented person to get right to work, without a long training process. If this is the case, it's time to reevaluate your hiring practices and find a process that helps to eliminate the wrong candidates right off the bat.
Make the interview process count.
You will know pretty quickly if a job candidate looks promising. However, it's important that others in your company feel the same way, especially those the candidate would be working closely with.
"I think to hire somebody on one interview is crazy," says Tom Gimble, the founder and CEO of staffing company LaSalle Network. "You need to vet people out and gauge their interest. I also think it shows the professionalism of your company that you give them the courtesy of coming back to meet other people. You get a lot of growing companies that say 'We need you. Here's an offer right now.' And it really it throws some people off."
Don't hesitate to fire.
At a startup, hiring is not something that happens too often. So, having to fire someone is especially painful. However, if someone just isn't good fit, you need to fire them and you need to do so quickly.
"Especially in smaller, growing companies, the wrong hire is a cancer and you have to get rid of it," Gimbel says. "Especially an attitude [problem]. If you have a high-performing group that's working a ton of hours and you put in a poor performer, all you're doing is weakening the entire machine. You have to be ready to get rid of those people fast and show your other staff members that you're a leader of strength."
Like your new hires.
It is even more so important at a small and growing company that you get along well with your hires. You might come across some candidates that look perfect on paper, but you just can't mesh well with.
"You need to want to spend time with the people who are on your team, especially in a fast-paced, high-growth company," Gimbel says. "If you think sitting on an airplane for four hours with this person would drive you crazy, then don't hire them."
Have core values.
Before you begin the hiring process, you should know what you are looking for, including the attitudes and characteristics of potential employees. Are they a bit rough around the edges but are respectful? Do they have great technical skills but are lacking in the social?
"If [a candidate] is in a conference room, I'll have somebody go in there 'accidentally,' shake their hand, and see how the person interacts with someone who's not part of the interview," Gimbel advises.