View all Blog postsThings to watch out when building Startup Team

Building a team for startup is one of the critical and difficult processes when someone is just getting started. John Maxwell states “Teamwork is the dream work but it becomes a nightmare if you happen to get a bad team”. For the success of your startup, the secondary important thing after your product is your team. Basically, to run business operations in a professional fashion, you need group of smart people. Founder of Ali Baba Jack Ma says that if he hadn’t have a team of smart people, he would not have been successful in his startup. Therefore, you have to keep a certain things in your mind when you start building your team. Some of them important things required for building effective team are described below

  • Look beyond Resume

You should not make the same mistake that most of the entrepreneurs make. Avoid looking at people’s resume and believing that they would salvage your startup. No this is not going to happen. Some people do have good resume but they do not have the required skills for the growth of a startup company. You must look beyond people’s resume and see what value and skills they have which could be beneficial for your business. Once Elon musk was asked what does he see in people’s resume during the hiring process, he simply and straightforwardly said that “exceptional achievements”. He believes that if someone is continuously working on the given instructions would never excel as a professional. But if someone is a self-starter and doing numerous things for the company would definitely grow as a professional and should be considered.

  • Communication Skills

Your team members must be really good at communication skills. When building your team, you have to look into every team member’s communication skills very carefully. Most of the team members it has been researched that they love informal communication and waste time of whole staff for nothing. These kinds of people highly affect productivity of the entire office to bigger extent. And make the office culture spoiled. Therefore, when you are building your team, you must check communication skills of every candidate carefully to keep your startup workaholic culture intact.

  • Startup Culture

Prior to building your team, you need to have your startup culture defined. Your business must be based on policies and all team members should be directed to follow the rules of the startup culture. Of course if your startup culture is very strict, it would not yield the results you expect. Therefore, you have to be very smart when it comes to building your business culture. It must be friendly as well as professional. Vision of your startup must be collectively implemented and all team members must share common dreams to make the startup successful. Unity and collaboration are the main ingredients of success when it comes to starting a company. Your team members must believe in commonness and unity. They must grow as a team and work tirelessly to achieve milestones. Lastly, your startup culture will evolve itself with the growth of your company and you have to make sure that all people in the organization impact the culture in positive sense.

  • Qualification

It has been a common practice that most of the companies look over people’s qualification before shortlisting them for interview. It is good if you have a well-qualified person in your team but what will make you successful is not the degree but the experience and technical knowledge a candidate brings. Elon musk says that when he was jobless he applied for a job in Netscape and other various companies but due to his sudden dropout from the university, he was not taken seriously and eventually he founded PayPal as his company. Therefore when you look into qualification of a team member, it is highly recommended to check his other abilities that might be more beneficial than his degree. To make your recruitment process smooth, you can easily cap certain parameters for hiring a professional.

  • For developers – the candidate must be a programmer or professional coder with 1000 hours of experience
  • For designers – the candidate must have good command at illustrator, Photoshop, Adobe CS and animation
  • For Marketers – the candidate must know marketing and well versed with online marketing tools including SEO and SMO

The above cited examples are referred with regards to considering the basic knowledge of a certain field into account during the recruitment process. Of course, if you are hiring a fresh graduate with almost no practical knowledge of marketing or coding, it would be really hard for you to make your startup successful. Do not make mistake by hiring people on internship like most of the business do during your startup journey. Once you are a well-established business, you can hire anyone on internship.

  • Multi-Talented Team Players

During your recruitment process, you have to identify one thing. Is the person you are supposed to hire multi-talented? Is he capable of doing multiple roles during the stressful startup days? Most of the people cannot perform multiple tasks and do not like to work on areas other than the job descriptions. These kinds of people are useless for you. During your startup journey, costs and financials of the company are supposed to be spent very carefully. If you have one employee capable of doing two roles, is far better than other multiple employees. It takes time for an individual to understand a new startup culture and sometimes people cannot adjust themselves with the tough and struggling environment when the company is just getting started. Hence you should always look for multi-talented team players.

  • Find Partners not professionals

Your team members should be your friends. You must train them in such a way that they are your partners and not like those employee who want pay check on first week of every month. The more affection and business dream you share with them, the more closer they will be with you. Of course your relationship with them must be professional in nature but you have to get them realized that your success is their success. If the startup is successful, they will get fruits of it. And when they start working as partners of the company they will yield more and better results. They will dedicate their head and heart to make things possible. This collective approach will help your organization to greater extent. Have you seen the movie “Wolf of Wall street”? All the team players work like partners. They share common goals and common dreams. This should be your approach when building your team.

  • Punctuality

Time is money and what is done cannot be undone. You have to make sure that your team is punctual and does give the same degree of importance to the time that they give to their pay checks. If they are not punctual, you must not think of retaining them. Fire those lazy guys who find excuses to finish their work. The more punctual and time caring team you build, the more results and chances of success you expect. Of course, punctuality should be your startup culture and you must not compromise on this.

  • Constant Appraisal

For improving the overall performance of your team, it is highly recommended to constantly check performance of your team for increasing the better results. If you delegate this responsibility to others and would not appraise what your team is doing then it would be literally difficult for you to assess who is your best team member in certain situations. Normally in bigger organizations they have a system in place called as “Performance Evaluation Report” and all the seniors are directed to submit PER of their juniors to the CEO of the company. It depends on how do you plan to build your constant assessment system but you need to have one for your startup in the early years.

  • Identify Skills

Prior to building your team, you have to identify yourself what skills do you require for making your startup successful. You have to list down yourself the people and their skillset that you believe would help you excel in this journey. If you do not know which people you should hire probably it is going to be very difficult for you to build an effective team. To make this process easy, we have listed below what things you should identify when hiring your team

  • Self-Starter
  • Collaborative
  • Coordinative
  • Marketer
  • Technically expert
  • Team player
  • Thoughtful leader
  • Problem solver

The above mentioned qualities should be assessed during hiring process and your HR manager must be experienced individual with deeper knowledge of scrutinizing people based on key performing indicators. Generally, most of the entrepreneurs go with the advice of their HR managers and do not look into the professional and personal traits of the candidates. You should never make this mistake. It has been researched that out 103 failed startups 23% were those that had poor management teams and founders did not recruit the professionals required for the business. Therefore, you should personally involve in the entire recruitment process and make sure that you hire right people for the right job.

  • Be responsible

Most of the entrepreneurs believe that their business idea is sexy and unique however they focus more on their social media profiles than on their actual business. They believe that having a Facebook or Instagram account is far better than working full time inside the office. Do not over judge like others. You should always be responsible. Once you are successful, people will be posting a lot of content about you on their social media profiles. Stop wasting your time in such childish activities. The more responsible you are, the more responsible your team become. Whatever you do inside your office, will directly or indirectly affect your team. If you are involved in bad activities, your team members will do the same. Consider yourself the torch-bearer of success and present yourself as a responsible leader.

  • Analysis of Competitors Team

Once your team is built and hired, your first task should be to cast an eye over the team of your competitors. You must know who is working for your competitors and what are they doing. The more information you gather about your competitors and their teams, the better planning you would be doing for the success of your startup. A healthy competition is a blessing in a business. If you do not have a competitor you would never enjoy doing business. Competitors bring a lot of opportunities and challenges for new companies. And this might sound difficult but it is necessary for the growth of your business. The more competitors you have, the better performance you should expect from your team. When you monitor your competitors make sure you know their team members. You must have a list of all people working for them along with their qualifications and skillset.

  • Collaboration

Your team members must be collaborative and cooperative in nature. They must have unity and believe in the common shared vision. They must not get themselves engaged in a competition against each other. Rather, they work as a team to make things happened for the whole company. When building your startup, you have to closely monitor that do your team members coordinate and collaborate with other? Do they need seniors to interact and jump in to settle basic problems? You must deliver a lecture once a while to your whole team on the benefits of collective approach.

Undoubtedly, there are plenty of things to look over when building your startup team but a few of them which are very important have already been discussed above. It is your startup and you have to be very responsible and smart when it comes to building your first team. Once your team is built and common vision is shared, all other things will automatically sail in the right direction. Moreover, you must motivate your team members through motivational stories and lectures to keep their spirits high. When you being a founder motivate your all team members, it would create a positive impact over the minds of your team members. And they will ultimately yield better results.