What are the most important things to look for when hiring an early-stage startup team? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
The biggest challenge at an early-stage start-up is making sure you are building something people want. So before you hire anyone, literally even your first hire, you should feel confident in your understanding of your users and your solution to their pain points.
As your team grows, the first thing I would encourage all founders to do is to write down your values. That is incredibly important to solidify. Literally, what is the lens you want to use to craft the behaviors that drive success in your organization? Be explicit about those values and talk to every candidate about them. Explain how you communicate your values internally and promote behavior aligned with them. At Instawork, we go through our values at every All-Hands and regularly highlight colleagues who have demonstrated our values in their work.
For example, two of our values at Instawork are Bias for Action and Always Be Learning. We are very comfortable launching new features that are not perfect. We're happy to make some decisions and be wrong and reverse course and then be honest about why we failed. But not everyone is comfortable operating this way. Being explicit about your values and the behaviors help people be successful at your company. And you should be aware that great people with the right skills may not be a fit for the culture you are trying to create.
Another attribute that we look for is versatility. At the early stage you want a team that can "chase loose balls." There are far more problems than there are people to solve them at an early-stage company, so we're attracted to people who are willing to go outside their comfort zone to make the team successful. For example, improving our new hire onboarding process, answering a support ticket that isn't easy, or even watering the plants in the office.
This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions: