A little more than half a decade back, I reckon around the early 2010s, “startup” was the latest buzzword globally. The motivated young talent – in thousands and lakhs, ventured out to kickstart their own businesses.
We are no stranger to a few successful examples of unicorn startups. But often, the stories of startups that can’t quite go past the first 1000 days remains untold. Many possible reasons may contribute to such failures that also involves, directly or indirectly, lack of having a suitable team to lift up the entire startup game. Startup is subliminally synonymous to a newborn baby that demands a right set of people around that guarantees positive upbringing.
Time and again, experts have reiterated the fact that success of any startup boils down to unified efforts by founding team, all of which besieging immaculately in the same direction.
So when starting a new business, it is highly recommended to have an A-Class team during the early days of inception.
What does A-Team mean?
No matter how much ever you try to achieve the perfection, ideas may makeup only for 49% of your future growth. The rest of the 51% will require the implementation of those ideas. And to implement that, you’ll need to hunt for the A-team. A-Team is not just a mediocre bunch of people but they are carefully selected for each position that has predetermined objectives to achieve.
Mike Tyson – “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.
The startup hustle requires the right set of people. A bunch of these skilled resources can prevent you from getting knocked. They do so by executing your plan and aiding the business to cope up with the dynamically swinging market scenarios.
No, you won’t be scrutinizing way too hard to hire all Mr and Miss Perfectionists in your team. The idea is to place the right one at a right place that helps to build a matchless work atmosphere aimed towards motivating and inspiring the entire team.
Here are few of the decisive ways to build the A-Team for your startup.
1. Identifying the Key Positions:
Companies are evolving and so are the requirements that change at any given point in time. The requirements vary based on the industry and type of service it provides. For this, one needs to closely analyze each and every aspect of a position that helps in fulfilling such requirements. Once the position and work goals are identified, it helps in identifying the positions that need to fill.
Consider this – you go all guns on sales at the initial level but your key account personnel aren’t up there in to take care of the conversions. More conversions may lead to overburdening your client account staff and ultimately leave both unsatisfied – clients and your team. Therefore, merely identifying the position is not important, you should also sketch out the requirement in numbers to avoid unforeseen consequences in longer run.
2. Understanding and Prioritizing Priorities
To err is human! This I think was said for startups considering the frequencies and scale of mistakes that many startups make while growing up. Call it an excitement or a hustle – they end up filling positions which aren’t the need of an hour. Therefore, understand the priorities of each position while building a team is important. Since you have numbers and positions clearly defined, making KPIs for the team at initial level will help you identify priorities and set benchmarks for the time to come.
Nothing hurts more to a startup than picking up right resources at a wrong time; the primary reason being the inability to make full use of their skills and resource. Keeping them idle or long time will not only make you bear the loss but it also bores them to be unproductive. They might just look for a change sooner or later and your cost of acquisition of talent will also turn to loss.
3. Believing in the dream:
We are all dreamers! But the startup founders are the ones who make it come true. But that is just the halfway mark to the finish line. And just like their startup owners, the early employees, too, are some sort of a distinct breed. They bring in their experience, leaving corporate jobs, to join something that is new and risky. The bunch of geniuses is always on the run to get the best out of themselves.
The fresh resources working in the startup economy comprehends that business runs a high risk of failure. Startups might as well want to leverage on social media to find a right fit.
For example, Zomato hires almost about 99% of their staff reaching out via social media, especially Linkedin. And we are to believe it when Deepinder Goyal, Founder at Zomato says “About 90% of company culture comes from how you hire”
But they don’t cease to stop believing in the possibilities and therefore aims for a greatly gratifying future. And when it comes to picking up the culture fit people, the more you dig deeper in their lives, the more you’ll be able to Startups need to pump in more and more of such like-minded people to create a sense of startup community.
It is for such reasons you don’t like people in your early phase who condemn the vision that you believe in. On the contrary, it is always ideal to have people who differ on an execution level. This is true since such differences often lead you to gain a wider perspective on things and help you prepare for what you might be up against.
4. Choosing from Full-Time vs Contract:
As you move towards making a final decision for hiring personnel you need to make a choice on how you would want them to contribute towards a symbiotic growth. The talent is there, lying to be soaked but only it needs a right attribution which a startup can probably afford to give by creating a win-win situation. Not everybody is inclined towards a full-time job; hiring freelancers is a fad in the States now, and to get the job done shouldn’t be an expensive deal. Getting the part-timers on board is also a good option for those seeking gradual progress towards joining a startup, while this can also save your good amount of money.
Considering that the startup requirements are highly dynamic, getting a person on a full-time job will add up to your responsibilities as well. You might not always require an employee in a particular position for a long term. Navigate a few positions which that are empty for short duration. It is best to consider hiring resources on a contractual basis to accomplish the tasks instead of hiring them for on a full-time basis. Outsourcing the work has its own sets of numerous perks when done in a right manner.
5. Considering the Culture Setup:
Consider a scenario wherein you are sitting over the table, amidst a meeting with a potential contract and you ought to ask yourself: “Will this individual be able to contribute towards accomplishing my business objectives? And “will he/she be able to fit in to our way of life fabulously?” You may well rely on your gut-feelings while selecting an individual, but then it has to pay off. Though some are really hard working ones, they might just not be a right fit. It happens because they have their different set of values and getting into a startup culture can wear them off in no time.
Though you can’t deny the possibility to demonstrate individuals’ diverse aptitudes, you cannot simply train them and expect to have the same sense of commitment and enthusiasm or be able to work things out in a commendable way within the team.
To have a tremendously amazing organization culture is a thing that can influence individuals to stick together and work for accomplishing a similar objective. Always remember, being a founding member of a startup, the onus of creating a startup culture is on you and also run the responsibility to choose another person who can coordinate with the group.
6. Keeping the Bad Fishes Away:
As the old saying goes, a single bad fish can muddle the entire pond. In the same way, a single team member doesn’t abide by the vision, a non-cooperative culture misfit personnel can cause inconvenience for your business.
The harm isn’t just monitory. The negative cooperation amongst the team can lead to demotivate other colleagues just because of the single person. There is a difference between being work lenient and being culturally vigilant. For example, the individual with the mentality of “It’s not my activity” should, from my point of view, be requested to take off.
A startup culture is something where the entire group contributes to the business and they take similar pride in the general accomplishment of the business. It’s the bunch of these people who collectively march ahead towards a cohesive progress.
Avoid staffing debacles at the initial level for a smoother start. Being vicious is not cool but way too many of startups have failed wherein founders and co-founders, collectively, fail to communicate the right message across. The hip label of ‘startup’ is a blessing when you have a right people, at right time – right place. But if you go wrong even at a place or two, it is nothing short of a curse.
Finally, once you successfully have your A-Team members on-board, you need to be there to retain them. A wise man told me once –
“Talent needs a transition, and it either moves up or moves out!”
Have a great startup journey!!