Most startups begin with a single great idea for a business. As an entrepreneur, you have a vision for how your product or service can fit into the market ecosystem and turn a profit.
But perhaps you’ve never had experience hiring and firing employees, or building a team over time. Whatever the case may be, hiring the right people for your organisation is essential, and this guide will show you some of the biggest mistakes to avoid during the process.
1. Moving the hiring process along too quickly
It’s called the hiring process for a reason. Hiring new employees takes time, and if you rush through it, there’s a greater chance you’ll make mistakes.
Rushing the hiring process can result in hiring employees who don’t match your needs or culture, as well as failing to hire candidates who would have been a great match for the job.
While you may feel the immediate need to hire quickly and expand, it will be more beneficial in the long-term to seek out quality employees who will likely stay with your company for an extended period of time. This will not only save you time and money, it will help you develop a team of passionate professionals dedicated to making your startup the best it can be.
2. Hiring too many people
Whether you just received a big investment or managed to earn sizable profits right from the outset, don’t start spending money on new employees just because you have the capital. You should hire to fill the roles you need and nothing more.
If you underestimate the number of people you need to keep up with the work, then it’s no big deal— you can always hire more people. On the other hand, hiring too many people is a serious problem. You could end up wasting a lot of money on employees who sit around and do very little or nothing at all. Then, once you’ve realised your mistake, you’ll have to let employees go, which disrupts both the livelihoods of these individuals and the morale of the company as a whole.
To avoid overhiring, make a list of the essential roles you need filled and the tasks they’ll be responsible for. It’s also a good idea to hire for leadership positions first so that you’re surrounded by seasoned professionals who can help you build and develop an effective team.
3. Neglecting to research candidates
When hiring for your startup, researching candidates is an essential step. Most large established companies thoroughly screen every employee they hire. They know how to recruit and interview candidates, and where to get a background check that provides them with a more informed view of a candidate’s character.
Take the lead of these companies—just because you’re a startup doesn’t mean you’re immune to making poor hiring decisions.
Also be sure to base your assessment of a candidate on more than just their resume or CV. A candidate can look like a superstar on paper, but not be a great fit for your particular company. Always make sure to speak with a candidate at least once before making a hiring decision.
4. Hiring friends
When you start a company, you might have friends or acquaintances that come to you looking for a job. They may or may not be qualified, but often they’ll assume they can get a job with your company because of your personal relationship.
Hiring them can create a tense situation when it comes to evaluating their performance or having to fire them. It’s not that you should never hire your friends— if they’re qualified and would be a great fit, then go right ahead. But you have to keep in mind the complications that could arise when you mix your professional and personal lives together.
5. Overlooking company culture
The people you choose to hire make up the culture of your company. Thus, failing to take the culture of your organisation into account when hiring new employees can result in friction.
To avoid this, start out by deciding what you want your company culture to look like in the long-term. Do you want a flexible, laid back work environment? Or a highly structured and regimented one? Do you want to emphasise team collaboration? Or individual achievement?
When you make hiring decisions, make sure to keep your long-term goals in mind. Try to stay open-minded, but also use common sense and your own gut feeling. After all, it is your startup, so ultimately it’s your job to place it in the right hands.