While entrepreneurship has an aura of rugged individuality around it, the old adage that “no man is an island” still rings true, especially when you’re looking to create a team who can execute your ideas effectively and help bring innovation to your business endeavours. The truth is, that your business is only as good as the team you have trying to make it a reality, and taking the time to craft the right team for the job should be one of – if not – the highest priorities when it comes to launching your company.
However, there are plenty of pitfalls when it comes to getting the personnel right on a particular undertaking. You should be constantly looking to strike the right balances with your team, and ensure you have members who can bring the most to the table. Here are some tips for how to craft a crack squad of business collaborators who can take your ideas and run with them all the way across the finish line.
You want to try to know all that you can about potential team members before you formally bring them on board, so make sure the application process for your business is well developed. Put together a blanket script for contacting, interviewing and following up candidates. You should also draw up a list of standardized questions that can be supplemented with some specific inquiries for the position or candidate in question.
During the interview process, also provide opportunities for the candidates to ask their own questions and contribute in a creative way so as to better be able to judge their initiative and enthusiasm. Be sure to follow this up with a solid evaluation process after the interview with an objective checklist of criteria that can help ground the final stages of hiring whilst still providing some wiggle room for your own intuitions and first impressions. It should also go without saying that you want to be doing extensive research on all their social media profiles to ensure that they have values that are compatible with the company culture you’re trying to establish.
Don’t Fear Failures
Just because an applicant was previously part of a failed venture doesn’t mean they should be dismissed out of hand. Startups are notoriously fast-paced. In fact, most of the most successful entrepreneurs often flaunt their past failures as a badge of honour. An applicant who has seen a project go down in flames could be especially useful in helping you learn from the mistakes of others. However, better help you overcome obstacles in high-pressure situations.
Consider Flexibility Before Expertise
For the more core roles within your business, you’ll certainly want to consider the most experienced candidates. However, especially early in a company’s lifecycle, you’ll be in situations where individuals will have to juggle different roles at once. Having a team made up of individuals who are phenomenal at one thing is nice, but a team made up of people with backgrounds in solving multiple kinds of problems is even more preferable.
This kind of demographic can also lead to a more nimble team who can cover for each other at a moment’s notice and help different departments work more harmoniously with each other. A more fleet-footed and agile team will also be able to pivot more easily in the face of hardship where other personnel would grind to a halt.
Don’t Underestimate Communication
Having a squad of experienced and qualified startup veterans is great, but if they can’t come together to work as part of a larger whole then all that will be for naught. You want to craft a team that will be able to move as a unit and be capable of intuiting each others’ difficulties before they ever come up. This spirit of cooperation will help your team be more effective and make your human resources stretch further.
Starting up small businesses isn’t like getting on board with a large corporation and requires its own particular set of skills. The work can be inconsistent with a lack of job security. For a project to work you’re going to want team members who a rooting for its success almost as much as you are. That’s why passionate people often find their way into this sector.
Though they can help overcome growing pains and learning curves more than someone who looks at your project as just another pay cheque. Given that entrepreneurial work often involves long hours and stressful crunch periods, truly motivated individuals will be able to dig deeper and go the extra mile to fulfill a given role.
Craft a Company Culture
Your company is a reflection of you, and the culture you create around a business will permeate every aspect of operations. Build a company that reflects the values you consider important and give your workers an opportunity to contribute.
Remember, creating a dynamic company culture is more than installing a pinball machine, beers on Friday afternoon and the Christmas work party. It’s about putting together an environment that nurtures innovative ideas where staff will find that creative thinking is handsomely rewarded. It can also make a big difference if you’re trying to tempt talented individuals to your business and keep them around on a long-term basis.
Don’t Hire Friends
Once you’ve got a business idea ready and are looking to launch your enterprise, the temptation can be to look to friends or family for assistance before anyone else. The dangers of this are twofold: firstly, you can end up hiring people based on your personal affection for them, rather than how well-suited they are for the role.
Secondly, by literally mixing business with pleasure, you can put the strain on the relationship. Even seriously damage things if you come to blows over a professional matter and can’t deal with the problem objectively, as is usually liable to happen.
Even when hiring from the labour pool, make sure that just because someone follows the same sports team or likes the same television as you. You’re not letting personal biases cloud your judgment. Would a rival employer hire someone for the same role due to the bare facts of their resume? If not, think twice.
About the author
Benetton William is a traveler and writer. He started his business when he was 23 and now he’s an owner of a popular coffee shop in London. The last couple of months he passionate about web design and you can see one of his design projects.