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Even the biggest journey starts with the smallest steps and preparations. Especially this relates to the most important journey of every entrepreneur – building a strong startup team. Even the stable and big organizations experience troubles dealing with a variety of personalities, conflicting visions, and hierarchical structures. But when it comes to building a startup team there are particular key points which distinguish this process from creating a working environment for some ongoing business.
First and most important that any business owner should keep in mind, is that a tech startup team presumes the highest intensity of interaction. In giant companies like IBM, Amazon or Google, the employees aren’t really that glued to their team 24/7. In startups, choosing co-founders, making first business steps and hires, means you’d get yourself in the most intense relationships of your life, like marriage. Your team would have to go hand-in-hand with each other to overcome all obstacles of this journey. It’s a life-or-death situation, the risk of losing everything due to the decision to hire a wrong person.
The second key point is maintaining a level of necessary focus and inspiration in your recently assembled solid team. Those half a dozen people will constantly be under a stress of potentially fatal error and complete fail. In such case, just one recruiting misstep can be your business’s undoing.
But this is just the beginning. What else is hiding behind the curtain? Check out these quick tips on building a strong startup team that would be motivated and united on all fronts.
Top 5 Issues When It Comes to Building a Tech Startup Team
Any serious tech business needs a solid team which would gather up the best professionals in their field. The key challenge is to actually identify those people. How to look for them and pursue them to work for your startup? This always becomes a real problem for business owners who desire to outsource IT services and web or mobile developers. How to find the best and where to begin the search?
But then, when you found those experts, how should you benefit from their effectiveness as soon as possible? Your startup needs to grow quickly, you don’t have the luxury to wait for years. So, you’ll need not only an excellent hiring department but also a superior team coach. Your every employee would have to be a team player with the same goal in mind as you have for your company’s growth strategy. You all have gathered to win a competition against all rivals.
So, face your fears first in order to learn how to make the right hiring decisions.
Issue #1. The Lack of the Business Owner’s Tech Background
Building a strong startup team means that everybody in that team would be moving in the same direction, running the same tech marathon. Everybody, except for the head driver – the startup founder who will be looking far forward. The guide and the captain of the ship that establishes the main direction and corrects a course. There would be no separate boats or separate ideas and your plan should be crystal clear for all your marathoners.
So, the thing is, you’ll be responsible for setting the right way and goals for your team. When we talk about building a tech startup team it means that owner should have at least a medium tech background to understand what he or she is doing. Unfortunately, in most cases, the lack of startup owner’s tech background prevails the opposite scenario. Which leads to the problem of incompetent leadership where a head driver doesn’t know which specialists are suitable and needed for a startup team.
What is the solution here? We say if you actually lack a tech background consider outsourcing HR specialists based on the industry you plan to win over. As the experience of other startups shows, such approach allows huge reduction of expenses for small businesses because they will hire you the right stuff from the first attempt.
“The key is to make sure you continue to nurture the human side ofthe equation, a strategy that is integral to a company’s success.When you are determining whether or not to outsource,I wouldn’t focus on cost. It’s the increase in value that matters.”Paul Belliveau, HR manager with more than 30 years of experience
Issue #2. Share the Roles and Responsibilities in the Right Way
Here is another challenge for a startup team founders. You can be immensely talented but what is the point if you can’t establish the work ethic in a right way? Before hiring anyone, you must identify the roles for each employee you’ll be looking and which responsibilities your every expert will have. It concerns even you, as a founder, and your co-founders – set up your mind on which decisions you all will be making and how they would affect your startup.
Then, decide which and how many technical experts you need for a project in question. Will you hire marketing wizards, project managers, and sales professionals? The right answers to such questions could be difficult to find but they are the keys to a structure and foundation of your startup team. Your goal is to win, but your people will play different roles during the battle. When building a tech startup team you’d have to ensure your team member’s commitment to their responsibilities and company’s vision. A strong team is the one where all employees are doing their job and cover for each other.
Your project management department must set clear directions for the team and measure the progress on every milestone to fix mistakes and avoid new ones. Hiring professionals in this field will save you a lot of time and money.
Issue #3. Team Structure and Workload
When you just starting with building a tech startup team there may not be the need or budget to hire full-time pros. It’s possible to maintain a workload by creating a slightly different startup team structure. Start with attending some tech-centric industry events, then search for leading IT blogs and social networks to locate talented advisers for any team position you need to fill. The web is full of marketing and industry experts, influencers, tech celebrities, growth coaches and development agencies. Establish connections, make friendships and ask firms or experts to become your partners.
If this seems too risky for your business strategy of building a tech startup team, then there is another option – outsource consulting and hiring firms that value their clients and provide them skilled contractors or part-time employees that have the excellent skills for your open job vacancies. Anyhow, it’s much safer than hiring some full-time expert who may end up as no expert at all.
Issue #4. Business Expertise
Once you’ve identified the team’s positions needed to be filled and prioritized them, it’s time to find candidates with suitable talents. People with highest business expertise that will shape your startup’s brand and team culture. They’re hard to get, but again nothing is impossible. If you want to hire employees smarter than you, high-grade marketers and developers, then you’ll need to scout in the specific business circles. However, you may not know how to enter those circles or which questions to ask in order to fish out the right experts.
To attract the best of the best with your startup idea, you must clearly understand how the things go in the hiring department. Business expertise is everything when you’re building a tech startup team. Those you hire will be your soldiers in the battle for the common goal. So, if you aren’t using the services of experienced outsource HRs, here are some quick instructions on an interview conducting for beginners:
- Prepare for the interview – write down all questions and tests for candidates;
- Cover up categories like creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, stress handling, and general behavioral;
- Present your idea in the most favorable light;
- Ask if your potential employee is ready to start with a lower paycheck or agrees on getting a stake in your startup.
- Look for the most advanced candidates with expertise in fields that aren’t handled by other team members;
- Make sure that candidates are fans of your idea or a product – you’re looking for people as passionate as you.
- Check out who can vouch for a seeker or give some reference.
- It’s wise to check some facts and do a background check on the potential worker.
If you found an employee who meets all these criteria, grab him or her and quickly welcome to your startup team.
Issue #5. Extinguishing Low Team Motivation
The last but not the least – a collaborative approach and team spirit. It concerns a post-hire phase where you’d have to maintain the level of passion and inspiration of your workers when it comes to envisioning the big picture. Once your startup team is full, you need to follow some business strategies in terms of professional training, benefits, and career development. Your team members should feel motivated, valuable, and cherished in terms of future opportunities in your company.
The project manager and leaders must navigate the team and set the directions in order to create a seamless collaboration process. And the startup team members themselves should always communicate and talk to each other. Also, give them a chance to exercise beyond their roles, but make sure they hold those roles primary to anything else. In fact, once people understand their roles, their ability to and get things done is greatly enhanced.
The leadership is about making a startup team to see your vision, taste it. Clearly defined tasks and milestones will help your colleagues feel like they’re winning alongside you like they’re a part of something bigger. The more you motivate them the more passion they’ll put in the work they do.
To Wrap Up the Topic of Building a Tech Startup Team
A successful company starts with great employees. But building a tech startup team isn’t all sunshine and rainbows because no matter how cool your idea is, the fate of your journey will ultimately depend on the business expertise of your team members. It takes one weak link to broke the whole chain of your startup. Wasted time, efforts and money…
So, make sure you’re fully prepared for building a strong startup team with or without the outsourcing HR services. Your leadership skills must be on top and aim higher, inspiring your employees and acknowledge their contribution to the cause. Keep in mind to celebrate the milestones and hard work of your startup team.