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Startup Hiring: how to hire right person for your startup

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Jun 3, 2013
startup hiring

In a checklist of most critical things for start-up success people always comes first. Nothing is as important as hiring right people for your start-up. It designs the culture, represents the organization, sets the organizational tune, and decides whether you will make progress or not. Successful companies are successful because of amazing team. So, while hiring, remember you are making the decision about the life and death of your venture.  

However, we often make mistakes in picking the right person for our organization. One of the major facilitators of this kind of mistakes is the approach we use in recruiting. We often take wrong basis for judgment. We choose resume over person, CGPA over portfolio, and experience over attitude. Good news is that you can escape this kind of hiring mistakes. Following checklist is to help you to hire right person for your startup:  

1. Attitude

While picking a candidate put importance on her attitude towards work & life. Ask following questions:

  • What she thinks about learning?
  • How she responds in the middle of a conflicting situation?
  • How she responds to disagreement?
  • What she thinks about continuous improvement?
  • How she behave with people sitting below her?
  • How she takes and tackles challenges?
  • How she responds to changes?
  • How she looks at mistake and failure? Is she cooperative in team?

Try to find answers to these questions and decide. 

2. The brain

Start-up is a challenging place to work. Work load, challenge and uncertainty all put a unholy amount of pressure always. See how your pick tackles all these. Ask following questions:

  • Is she capable to handle a critical situation successfully?
  • How she makes critical decision?
  • What's her ability to think critically?

By brain I mean the ability to think and solve problems and to act at the face of change and challenge successfully. 

3. The growth mindset

Success depends on two things: perseverance and hard work on a SMART goal.
Does your pick work hard enough for a long period of time to have fruit of his long term vision? 

4. Passion

Ask following questions to understand whether someone is passionate about your company or not:

  • Is she passionate about the work she is going to be responsible or just trying to have a job and get paid?
  • You need teammate in a start-up not an employee. A start-up is a very volatile place to sustain and without a rock solid passion things may go pungent and productivity can also fade.

First you need to have great people, then a great culture and then these two will make your ideas happen. This is not an easy to do thing but doing this will increase your chances of success. 


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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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