Four Questions to Keep in Mind When Hiring at a Growing Start-up - Gauthereau Group

Building out a formidable team is incredibly important regardless of the size of your organization. Work ethic, character, and creativity are among the many attributes that contribute to the overall success of a business. Startups face the added challenge of having to change their hiring strategies as they grow. Here are several aspects of hiring post-early stage to contemplate before taking on new recruits: Does your prospective employee align with your company culture?

Start-ups can be unpredictable places. Company directives can change at the blink of an eye and job descriptions can change every six months. It’s imperative to seek out people who are flexible enough to be able to adapt. If a candidate is looking for the comfort of stable workflow and a long company roadmap that won’t ever diverge, he or she is probably not suited for life at a start-up. In addition, your candidates should share your company’s values. At TOTSY, our core commitment is to serve moms and have a passion for promoting sustainability. If a candidate finds these initiatives boring, then they probably aren’t right for the position, no matter how qualified they are, and may experience boredom or frustration decreasing the likelihood that they will be a long-term employee that helps promote the culture to others.

Can your candidate lead existing employees? 

Oftentimes, start-ups begin building out teams by hiring young talent because they can’t afford more senior level executives and subsequently complementing them with senior-level managers who can utilize them to the best of their ability. The managers you choose will be working with people who are much younger than they are so they must be able to have a talent for working with more junior level staff and the ability to take them to the next level without prolonged initial culture clashes and backlash.

What should you do to retain talent?

When you can’t compete with the compensation offered by larger corporations outside of equity, you have to consider what other benefits you can provide. Startups have the flexibility to offer talent a lifestyle that fits their needs, and create an environment where people want to come everyday and lend their talents. Company values and culture can play an immense role, which is why a commitment to social responsibility can be so important. Factors like these that can help attract the most intelligent, creative and principled people to your team and inspire the commitment required to take your company to the next level.

Does your candidate know what it takes to help build and thrive in a larger enterprise?

As you look to take your startup to the next level, it’s imperative to find talent that can bring the processes required in the success of a larger enterprise to your company. It’s hard for someone to understand what it takes to make a company grow and improve if they’ve never worked for a large, successful organization, so we look to hire people from larger companies with a strong track record of success who also have experience in balancing these processes with the flexibility required at a startup. One of the interview questions I like to ask to determine prospective employees’ thought processes along these lines is to present them with very concrete issues that TOTSY has and ask for their feedback and solutions.