Building a capable team is the most difficult and all-engrossing part of being a startup founder. How do you construct the right mix of elite talent that also has the right mesh of personalities to thrive? Here are tips from three founders who stood in your shoes years ago, and have done it successfully:
Treat It Like Bringing on a Family Member - Steven Young, VP of Growth Marketing at Grubhub
"Whenever I have to hire new individuals to my team, I often treat the exercise as if I am integrating a new family member (adoptee, pet) into an established familial ecosystem. It's important that all current team members understand the need for new talent, how it will enhance and improve their work, but also elevate the overall teams output. This creates less fear and territoriality amongst team members. This process allows me to balance the struggle of "hiring the employee that other team member want vs hiring the employee that I need to drive results." This process doesn't have to be drawn out but can be conversational and ad hoc; it's also applies more to your high performers who are always wary of losing some of your mental bandwith as new employees join the team."
Create a Functioning Team, Not a Pile of Titles - Dan Teran, Managed by Q
"When you are building a company from scratch it is really important to avoid title inflation. Everyone at a startup thinks they deserve a C level title, usually they don't. Filling up the C suite with your friends and early hires will limit the talent you can attract to your company in the future."
Share the Same North Star - Jeb Balise, Puzzle Social
"When starting out make sure your team or new hires share the same North Star - a main objective of the company that unifies the team. For us it's "we want to get as many people to solve a crossword puzzle each day as possible". Because everyone on the team is going for that one goal it allows us to make decisions more quickly and only spend time on things that will help us get to that goal."