The foundations of a soon-to-be-successful startup are two things: First, the vision and second, the team. While you may not struggle to find the vision for your startup, you may struggle building your team. Indeed, it's difficult to find the right people to form your team amidst the limited supply of talent.
Most startups with brilliant ideas and inspiring founders fail to take off due to a poorly administered team. There could be a talent gap, a communication gap or may be there are six project managers and one developer.
You get the point. But how to find the right people and more importantly, where to find them? Here are some quick tips that will get your brain working in the right direction to build a great team:
Lay Down the Job Roles
Based on the product that you’re going to sell, you will need people to take care of a number of job roles in order to make the product come to life.
You can assume the role of the lead developer if you’re the tech person, or you can be the administrator if you’re good at managing and so on. For everything else, you need to prepare a list of job roles that would be filled up by the members-to-be.
Here is a generic list of job roles required in almost every startup:
- Business - Strategists, Consultants, Developers
- Tech Specialist(s) - Programmers, Designers, CTOs
- Management - Team Leaders, Project Managers
- Marketing - Digital Marketers, SEO execs, PRs
- CEO, HR - You
You can keep the team small in the beginning and grow along the way. If you’re in the prototyping stage, it's better to start with minimum number of resourceful people. They should be able to share the passion you have for your idea and should show the desired level of commitment.
Lay Down the Selection Criteria
Once you have a job role sheet to check mark, you know who you’re looking for. Now comes the time when you’d let your requirements known to the world. But what will you write in the job description, let’s say, to a recruiting firm?
“I would like to hire a Project Manager, fair, 5” tall and American, please”
No, right? Which is why you need to find out what level of experience, expertise and special skills you need. These parameters would directly be related to the complexity of your product.
If you’re building a rocket ship, you might as well choose only the virtuosos of the field. On the other hand, if you’re building a website, you can do with people 2 years down their careers and even talented freshers with visible spirit.
Some Pointers for Selecting the Right People
Experience - Relevant as well as distinguished.
Familiarity - Do you know them or have some mutual contacts?
Salary Package - Not someone who is already making it in seven figures.
Commitment - Are they in sync with your ideology with enough dedication.
Now the major challenge is, where would these people be? Well, there could be just anywhere. May be your past college mates or may be your present work mates. You have to look everywhere.
It will be better to start with people whom you can vouch for. People whom you have known or who fall in your direct circles. Working with strangers in the very beginning can be a gamble.
Obviously you shouldn’t keep everyone for full-time positions. You can go for advisers and freelancers as well. They can fill in the requirements for part of the work that you know you can manage with them. This works really well for your acquaintances that want to work for you but can’t leave their full-time jobs.
You can use popular freelance job platforms such as UpWork, Freelancer etc that have some amazing people you can work with.
Dikonia operates as a firm on these platforms and some of our major projects have come through such media. Check our portfolio to gain an understanding.
Network Online and At Events
As an extensive measure, you can look for influencers on the internet that have been experts in their field from a long time. A lot of people have taken up blogging as their primary source of income, and such people can be reached out for your startup’s initial stages.
Corporate Events designed for startups also serve as incubation chambers for talented professionals. Attend them on a constant basis and you never know which contact may lead to whom.
Once you have screened your shortlisted candidates, it’s time to hire them. Keep it casual with the contract and offer the best possible alternative for the people who want to work with you considering you’re just starting up. Its okay if your startup team looks like a stew, it’s important that it tastes nice!
Case Study - Odigo
Odigo is an application for booking on-demand cabs with a very different working model unlike its major competitors like Uber and other trending chauffeur service provider apps.
Its founder, Dimitrios Siourthas from Australia collaborated with Dikonia as their technology partner for the startup and it worked out all good for them. They worked on the management and operations while we built the app here in India.
Through constant communication and a fast prototyping model, we were able to deliver client expectations. Similarly, you can build your team from people from all over the world.
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