4 Deadly Hiring Mistakes that Could Potentially Kill Any Startup

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In a recent study carried out by CB Insights, 23% of the startups they investigated had failed due to not having hired the right team, making it to no less than the third reason startups fail. And it’s really no surprise this is one of the main reasons startups could potentially fail, being that they have to put together a workforce in a competitive, fast-paced environment, with little time to do it.

When building a startup company, a lot of mistakes are bound to be made, especially when it comes to hiring the right people to take along during this journey. Avoiding these common mistakes is not an easy task, but knowing what problems you could potentially face and how to solve them is a very good start:

1. Hiring your friends: This might seem like the right decision to make, but it’s probably one of the worst mistakes usually made when hiring for a startup. Yes, it’s easy to just hire your friend Andrew from college or Anna from your previous job, because you know them well and have seen them in action. However, you really don’t know how people, especially friends, will react when you’re their actual boss, even if you’ve known them your entire life.

Even if they’re exceptional people that are great at their jobs and very skilled, the main reason you’re hiring them is because they’re your friends, and that’s never a good idea, especially when starting your own company. Put your personal feelings aside and you will be able to hire an amazing team that will become a great part of your future success.

2. Hiring for the sake of hiring: Sometimes you feel a lot of pressure to fill the roles in your company as quickly as you can, but hiring people just to have a staff and get things going is not ideal. This is also the case when a startup begins to expand very quickly; however, hiring just to divide obligations between more people is definitely not a long-term solution.

Remember each member of your team will play a crucial role in your company, so making the decision of hiring whoever appears first will definitely affect the whole operation in the long run. These decisions need to be made rationally and analyzed thoroughly, the future of your startup will very much depend on the people you choose to be a part of it.

3. Not involving everyone in the entire process: The first people you hire in your startup will definitely become a family soon enough, so they all must be involved at least in a big part of the process. Employees always want to feel like they belong and when it comes to startups, this is more than a fact. Building your company culture and focusing on the company’s mission and vision will help you do just that.

Remember you’re trying to build a team from scratch and you need to convince them with what you envision your company to become. If the members of your brand-new team know what you want, what your goals are, and what the end product will be, they will be more than willing and motivated to help you achieve them.

4. Hiring a “jack of all trades”: In order for a startup to properly grow, it’s necessary to hire the right staff. A person who knows a little bit of everything, usually knows a whole lot of nothing. You need people that are experts in their areas, that are great at that one thing, and that will be able to actually achieve each and every one of your goals working by your side.

Remember that at least in the beginning you will need to fill very specific positions for everything to really flow in your startup. Hiring someone who has previous experience working in startups or that clearly shares the company’s interests and missions will definitely help you bring more to the table.

You always need to keep in mind that this team will be the one helping you turn your vision into a reality, so choose wisely, these decisions could make or break your dream company.

Vanessa Fardi / NEUVOO
Digital Copy Editor