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How to assemble a great leadership team for your startup

Posted by Kanika Sinha

February 21, 2016

In order for your startup to grow, you need to have a group of smart, experienced people standing next to you and doing some of the “heavy-lifting.”

We’re going to look at how to assemble a great leadership team for your startup. You want to start building this team as soon as you have enough funds to do so.

Start recruiting

Before you start recruiting, you should spend some time deciding on the positions you need. From the early days of your startup, keep track of the roles you might find helpful. You can also start a wish list of people you’d like to hire once you are ready.

Once it’s time for recruiting, as the owner the task will become your responsibility. This is the only way you can be sure you’re hiring the right people who share your vision and your dedication to propel your startup to the next level.

You want to set aside some dedicated time to go through the recruiting process. If you think it sounds like a lot of work, it is. But, the rewards are great when you find the right people to join you in your venture.

Now, we’ll look at a few tips on how to assemble a great leadership team.

Hire people you know

Your startup is your “baby.” You don’t want to entrust it to just anyone.

It can be helpful to hire people you know – people you can trust to run with your ideas, come up with their own ideas and implement them in a way best suited to the mission of your startup.

If you want to hire someone you don’t know, completely vet them. Conduct more than one interview because as potential candidates let their guard down, you’ll get to know them better.

Let the people you’ve already hired meet the new hire and see how they gel. If you’re only hiring a few people for your leadership team, it’s important that everyone works well together and trusts one another.

Don’t hire the cheapest employees

You don’t want to hire the most inexperienced or the youngest people to work in your startup just because they are the cheapest.

You’ll be better off in the long run hiring people with proven track records and experience while spending a little bit more to do so.

If you want to accelerate your growth, you don’t want to hire people who’ll take a long time to train.

You might consider asking your first or second leadership team hires if they have someone they know would be a good fit for your team. Again, hiring an employee that someone knows well is an added bonus.

Pay attention to your culture

What do you want your startup’s culture to be like? This starts with you – you are the determining factor.

Many things go into creating a company culture. Will you have an ultra-professional office with everyone in suits, or will you have a laid back office where business casual works? How about your hours? Will employees be expected to work 9-5, or are you open to alternate hours such as 10-8?

What is your mission statement? How will you drive your brand? What does your ideal leadership team look like?

It pays to consider these things when doing your leadership team hiring. If you hire someone uncomfortable with your culture and your mission, it most likely won’t work out.

In addition, with a small leadership team, you’re going to spend a lot of time with these people – long hours, intimate business trips, and more. Can you really “live” and grow with these people?

Final thoughts

Your great leadership team is your core group of employees. They should be passionate about your company. You don’t want to hire someone who just wants a job.

Surround yourself with people who are not only passionate but know more than you do. Sales, marketing, and financial experts are a great place to start when you are ready to assemble a great leadership team for your company.

Finally, your leadership team must deliver. We mentioned hiring employees with experience. This must be proven experience. You want to hire people you can trust and let loose to propel your startup and make sure it succeeds in the future.

Looking to get your startup off the ground and watch it rise to success by hiring the right leadership team? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your finances, payroll, HR duties and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.

Image: aiesecgermany via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND


Kanika Sinha
Kanika Sinha

Kanika is an enthusiastic content writer who craves to push the boundaries and explore uncharted territories. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of business-to-business dynamics, she creates compelling narratives that help businesses achieve tangible ROI. When not hunched over the keyboard, you can find her sweating it out in the gym, or indulging in a marathon of adorable movies with her young son.

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