How to Build a Dream Team for Your Startup
Startup sounds inspiring from the very beginning. When you hear this magic word you might already imagine how it changes the world for the better. It is a “dream come true” of some random guy with a perfect idea. You start thinking of a guy who quit his 9 to 5 job and devoted himself to the dream. And magically in a little while, he becomes a billionaire with the best product you can imagine solving serious challenges. But when it comes to practice, he is not the only one to perform the magic. There’s a team behind it. And if you think of building a startup, creating a team should be one of the most important challenges for you.
Your business may have a great idea, but the company’s fate depends on the strength of the team. Each teammate should be fully responsible for his/her own sphere, adaptable to changes, and pretty flexible, — because, well, everything might change in a startup. The best startups rely on each individual’s strengths to move forward.
Who Should Be on Your Team?
They say, each team member needs to play a certain role. Let’s look at the essential roles that you need in your startup to make sure your dream comes true.
It is all about inspiration, drive, and excitement. This role requires the person to believe in the idea and the dream even when others may not. Never give up and push themselves and the others forward. Only a true believer and an optimist can do that.
This role is about pinpointing the problems and clearly identifying and communicating their solutions. Every business sometimes faces some roadblocks, so that’s when such a person will take the lead and move forward with a clear vision of the mission.
That’s who will make things happen. It’s all about not only planning but also “doing”. This role requires the skills and experience to make sure things get started and finished.
This is about transforming the average into outstanding. It should be a person with an awesome intuition and original approach. The one filling the position should think of things outside of the box, having great taste and an eye for development and innovation.
This role goes alongside with the Doer. It is all about organizing and delegation. Not to mention quick and quality task assignment. Thus the startup will keep on track with organized hard work culture and steadily move forward to becoming a reality.
This role is about building and nurturing vital contacts and connections for the startup. It connects the customer, investor, and advisor relationships making possible excellent communication and fruitful cooperation.
All these people together playing these roles are the best match for you. Of course, you should work really hard to find them all. Here’s where your challenge begins.
How to Hire?
So how can you be certain that you’ve assembled the right team? Here are five steps to go through when building your startup dream team.
#1. Identify Positions
First, you should determine the structure and foundation of your startup. Founders, in case you’re not alone, might choose their roles leading sales, management or tech department, etc.
Once that has been agreed upon, you should identify the positions needed to complete your team. When identifying these positions, make sure that you prioritize them and find people with their own unique talents.
#2. Decide on the Employment Type
It might be a mixture of different employment types you’ll want to use when cooperating with different specialists. For example, your bookkeeper would like a part-time schedule, but developers are working full-time. Not to mention, some advisors, like lawyers, are needed on occasion. Also, you might want to build a partnership with other companies in the area of their engagement. Or hire contractors.
You may also be able to hire people who are excellent at what they do on a part-time basis. It’s safer than taking the chance of a full-time employee who may not deliver.
#3. Find Candidates
There are some things you must consider when searching candidates:
- They have experience in areas that other team members do not.
- They can be vouched for by people you know and trust.
- They are able to start at a limited salary or for a stake in the startup.
- They are fans of your product.
If you can find people who meet the above points, you have a great chance of putting together a winning team.
#4. Prepare for the Hiring Process
When you’ve found the qualified candidates, then it’s time for the hiring process, which begins with an interview. Here what you might consider beforehand:
- Prepare in advance
- Come up with the questions in the desired categories, like fact-finding, creative thinking, problem-solving, behavioral, etc.
- Create a plan
- Pay attention to nonverbal clues
After the interview, you better do some fact-checking and a background check on the potential employee. If everything is as it should be, then go ahead and hire the individual. You can continue testing the person after hiring, starting with a smaller project and scaling to larger tasks. Thus you can check the communication, experience and the required skills.
#5. Think through the Post-Hire
Let’s say the candidate passed your tests with flying colors and has become a part of your dream team. Does that mean everything is all said and done? Not really. You need to have strategies in place for training, promotion, and career development. Now that’s a complex matter.
What Should You Do After Hiring?
All of us want to live a happy and fulfilling life. Admit it, that’s why you have started building your startup. That’s what your team members wish for. Nowadays many companies tend to pay special attention to this. As teammates will likely be more creative, productive and ambitious, and they’ll work together better. Happy team members will also want to stay!
Analyzing the most famous startups and their perks for the team, we have concluded a bunch of advice for you:
#1. Share the Mission
Your team needs to not only know but reflect your startup mission. That should be one of the major aspects. If they are driven by what they do, imagine the impact they will bring to the startup success.
#2. Be Flexible
When deciding on the working conditions of each teammate you should be flexible. Some employees feel the happiest working in the office, others prefer working remotely, sometimes a mixture of working conditions is the best fit.
#3. Grow together
It’s equally important for the newbies and the experienced team members to always grow. So you might consider different ways of keeping them on track. Training, conferences, books, learning stipend, workshops — whatever suits you and your team.
#4. Share the stocks
If your teammates own a part of the company, even the smallest one, they will be motivated to give the most and create the best possible team.
#5. Make Retreats
Having free time together unites team even more, especially when family members are invited. That builds trust and coziness.
#6. Give a Fair Salary
Transparency goes into an act. People will be more motivated and concentrated on the work when they know that they get a fair wage.
#7. Be Positive
That should be present from beginning till the end. It means that any cooperation should start on a positive note and be supported by the above factors.
Don’t forget that your idea may represent only 10% of your chance for success. Execution is key and can only be achieved with a diverse team sharing the same mission and vision.
To build a team that produces good work and runs like a well-oiled machine, you need to work a lot on planning, finding, and nurturing your dream team.
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Originally written for S-PRO blog.