Common Hiring Mistakes Startups Make

Startups represent the innovation of new products or services driven by out of the box thinking! They are the brave new breed of entrepreneurs – they are the ones with the smarts, the new ideas, and the ability to perceive and fill market gaps. And yet, success is not a simple matter of bringing people a great new idea. As demonstrated by the number of startups that go belly-up within a short while of being launched there is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip!

There are many reasons why a startup can fail: the idea may be unoriginal or the product may be aimed at the wrong buyer segment. A bad location, mistimed or slow launch, financial issues (raising too little or spending too much), poor investment management, and inadequate attention to customer service can all contribute to failure. Another major reason for startup failures is bad hires. Hiring mistakes lead to a lack of skills and a weak team, some of the common hiring mistakes which a startup typically makes are mentioned below, avoiding them may just land you in the safe spot called “future”.

Putting Off The Hiring/Not Hiring at The Right Time

You need the right people for the job and you must create a team if you want your business to go beyond the metaphorical home based startup that you started out of a spare room in your home. You need to hire and you need to hire on time. Putting off the hiring process could be more detrimental than you think. You may fail to capitalize on valuable opportunities simply because you do not have the human resources for potential growth. Being in the business means being in it for good, making the right calls at the right time. So, don’t fear to expand, taking that leap of faith may actually work wonders for your company.

Rushing The Process

If it is important not to put off hiring, it is as important not to rush the process. Conducting proper interviews, viewing work samples and posing hypothetical challenges, checking references and job experience and a proper process of vetting candidates before hiring are important. Hiring in a hurry because you need the position filled yesterday is usually a bad idea, so plan ahead. Clarify a timeline by which you would advertise for positions, conduct interviews and have people on your payroll.

Not Defining Roles

Firstly, you need to know what your company requirements are. Then you need to decide exactly what skills and experience levels you require for each and every position that you need to fill. This needs to be a conscious pen-to-paper exercise that will help crystallize your thoughts and requirements. It isn’t enough to have a general idea, you need to define your own role and a set of expectations for each new hire.

Wrong Sourcing of Candidates

Maybe you decide to source hires from your circle of acquaintances: your classmates from college (whom you know to be talented and capable) or your colleagues from a previous job; maybe just friends you really get along well with. Maybe you decided to hire someone you met on a plane! the point is that being impulsive is one of the hiring mistakes startups typically make. This could mean that you are just not casting your net wide enough. Contrast this rather random and disorganized hiring process by using a headhunter or a consultant with a wide network, exhaustive database and a proven track record of placing the right people in the right position.

Bad Hires

You may hire the wrong people for the job. They may be inadequately trained, under qualified, maybe a bad fit for the job or may simply have a bad attitude /work ethic. Bad hires are costly. They can cost the company in terms of lost productivity, the time taken for hiring and training new employees, negative impacts on client solutions and morale. Someone who is not a good fit for the startup ecosystem is also a bad hire; quite simply because they are not conversant with the unique requirements and culture of a startup. Don’t underestimate the importance of the right cultural fit for your organization.

A young startup can easily become overwhelmed with the market realities of starting and actually running a new concern with a proper team, and mistakes can be costly. You are the one with the new idea and the vision to make it a reality. There are others with the expertise in hiring, organizational management, structuring and role defining. Maybe it’s a better idea to trust the people with industry experience and insight; a large network and database?

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