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Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Hiring quality personnel in a startup is partly an art and partly a learning experience.  Most likely when creating the startup business plan, an organizational chart and budget was created for long term hiring.  The titles should fit the anticipated needs and the timings of the hires become part of the future projected budget. 

It takes time to collect resumes and interview each candidate.  Possibly, it cost a lot to retain a recruiter to help with the process.  Relocation expenses, bonus, options, and salary were negotiated.   The entire process has a singular purpose of selecting that stellar team that is going to make the company a success.

Development of a trained and smart group of people can make a huge difference in increasing the chances of success.  It takes some skill in managing the group to achieve tasks.  Some of the team will be managers of other employees and have more experience.  Hiring managers included a review of the ability to manage not just create or conduct functions that are needed.  Given the importance, time spent, and expense it is really important that entrepreneurs get their team engaged. 

One of the problems with startups is that experienced and new entrepreneurs are so eager to achieve success that they forget they have a team.  The entrepreneur has spent so much time pulling the company together, learning all aspects, and promoting the business that they tend to try and do everything alone.  Maybe, the entrepreneur wants actions done faster, done a specific way, or has not developed confidence in the team.  The reason is not important, but leaning to trust is.

Not developing a mechanism to set goals and allow your team to perform can lead to long term problems and possibly high turnover.  A lack of trust will develop in both directions.  The entrepreneur can miss out on great ideas the team can deliver.  The entrepreneur becomes too diluted to perform some really key tasks like raising funds or keeping investors happy.  The team will respond defensively and may feel the boss does not trust them.

One task the entrepreneur must learn is trust in the TEAM.  The entrepreneur needs to become familiar with setting specific objectives and monitoring the TEAM for achievement.  The TEAM may deliver on the objectives in a different manner than the entrepreneur would, but that is just fine.  Developing the trust and working with the TEAM should include encouragement of sharing new ideas and recognizing the team members for their contributions.

So learn to work as a TEAM LEADER and to treat the TEAM well.  Let them do their jobs!  If they fail, understand why.  Sometimes things just do not work.  If it is due to incompetence than make changes as needed. So what is the point of all this discussion:  You have a TEAM, USE THEM!