Home Startups To hire your first startup employee, start with a list of 1,500 people

To hire your first startup employee, start with a list of 1,500 people

by Ana Lopez
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Yes, that’s a lot of work, but there’s no real alternative

The best way hiring someone for your startup goes through your own network, but even the most well-connected startup founder will find himself tapped pretty quickly.

So what should a founder do if he wants to find a good candidate? Recruitment agencies can be very good at finding candidates if you have a very clear idea of ​​what you need and a tight job description. However, for early-stage founders, that can often prove tricky. In practice, hiring at startups begins as an iterative process that helps you crystallize your requirements while interviewing high-quality candidates.

But how the hell do you optimize for That? Well, we spoke to Chris Quintero, the CEO of Sourcing printsto get the inside line on how founders can run a successful hiring process for the first time.

“Referrals are great, everyone loves referrals, but usually founders strike very quickly,” says Quintero. “Early founders post on social media, email a few people, and if they still haven’t hired anyone, the process stalls. Then you need to find a different approach. The next step is to hire outside your immediate network.”

He points out that startups can take the tried and tested approach to hiring, but it can take a lot of time: “TThe traditional hiring model works well if you are a later stage company or filling an existing role so you know exactly what you are looking for.”

But your first hire in a category, Quintero suggests, is more like a fishing expedition — one made much more difficult because no one has heard of you or your company yet.

“The process is quite simple. From a sourcing point of view, it’s all about identifying some hypotheses around personas that could be right for the role. You start by drafting a job posting so you have some agreement between yourself and your co-founders on what the core requirements are,” explains Quintero.

From there, start mapping out companies similar to yours and look for similar talent. “It’s very hard to know if you’re looking for a unicorn or someone who actually exists.”

In several of my own startups, this is “Does this person exist?” question bit me pretty hard. Of course you want an experienced person who can grow and eventually lead a team, but for now they need to be a major contributor, have relevant recent experience, have the ability to do both front and back end architecture design and make sure that all compliance and legal frameworks are followed and have a Rolodex of 20 to 30 people that you could hire as soon as it makes sense.

That would be great. Unfortunately, that person may not exist.

In the rest of this article, we’ll look at how to find and reach out to these potential candidates.

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