Our blog today comes from Nick Bowditch who has recently joined Forsythes Recruitment. Nick has come to Forsythes from Facebook where he was their Regional SME Manager (AUS/NZ). He has re-launched Forsythes’ IT/Tech/Startup recruitment division out of his home office on the Central Coast. He is currently managing recruitment assignments for Instagram, Twitter and Telstra just to name a few. Nick works with innovative startups and small businesses in Australia and internationally, presenting at conferences and inspiring others to take the leap into their own startups, as well as working with big brands helping them connect to small businesses and their communities better – both offline and online.
So your recruitment company has given you a shortlist of candidates to chat to about the vacant position with your startup. So how do you know you are hiring the right person? Think about these 4 things:
Are they doing something that you can’t?
Often in the startup phase you are bootstrapping the business or under some financial pressure. I am a big believer in hiring what you need rather than what you would ideally like. So the first hire – after you and the other co-founder(s) – is often the most important one. Will this next hire mean you can get some money in to then recruit further? Is the role that they will fill something that you and people already in the business could do if you were really pushed? I think hiring for skill gaps in your business is the way to think about it.
Do they share your vision?
Let’s face it, nobody is really going to share your vision, not the way you do. But you can reasonably expect them to be on board at least with what you are trying to do and what you think their role is in that. Unfortunately a lot of startups find out their new employee doesn’t share their vision for the business until they have sapped a lot of your resources and finances and it’s too late.
Do they need structure and a hiding place?
Startups are scrappy. Sometimes you are doing your job and sometimes you are doing stuff you never would have dreamed doing. The scrappiness of startups both attracts and frustrates people who work in that space but it can be a very rude shock if you are not prepared for it. If you work out that someone is used to working in a big corporate space where they can hide all day without it being obvious then you are probably not hiring the right person for your startup.
Understand what motivates them.
What do they want to achieve? What’s going to get the best out of them? What will totally frustrate them? Most importantly, are both you and they aligned on these things? You don’t have to know everything about them but understanding what motivates them is the number one way to ensure you are getting optimal performance from your new startup employee.
What’s been your experience with hiring the right – or wrong – people? What would you change next time?