Hiring Rock-stars

Hiring is the most critical part of any team/organization/company’s business strategy. Without a great team, you have nothing.

The title of the post is Hiring Rock Stars, and yes, that is what all startups want and what you should be looking for, but depending on the maturity of the startup and the stage it is in, it will definitely require a different focus in terms of the seniority and experience of the candidates you are going to be hiring.

Startup (Early Stage with no Investment)

When I started, I didn’t have much money to invest, so I was looking for potential, not experience; I was looking for people with different values and characteristics.

  • Grit,
  • Growth Mindset
  • Resilence
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • and Learning fast

Those were characteristics and soft skills I was looking for in a team member regardless of seniority, so all these were more important than the experience, at least for now.

Startup (Early Stage w/Investment)

You can hire rock stars, but be careful to hire someone who is too corporate. When developing your business strategy, you might want to have people that understand that constant change is always happening and can adapt to them. They must have all the characteristics explained before, but now you can search for more experienced members according to your budget. If applied correctly, your business strategy is going to be limiting the number of mistakes and improving efficiency.

The key is to have the right person in the right role to scale a team and company

Startup in Scaling Process (with and without investment)

You need to hire the right person for the right role, or the consequences will be harmful; here, the recruitment process is even more complex, and cultural fit is ten times more necessary. If you have the right person in the right role company will fly!

Recruiting Process

My recruiting process from day one was designed to force you to fail. I didn’t care about the resumes or anything they might say they did or how special they say they are… everyone could say that in an interview. I was interested in making sure they had the characteristics listed above. So my secret formula for recruitment is:

  1. I don’t care about resumes.
  2. I will give you a test on something that you don’t know (to see if you are a fast learner).
  3. I will hide parts of the test on purpose to see if they will have critical thinking and be upfront or even ask.

My findings using this formula were:

  • 50% of the candidates would not reply to emails or even showed up
  • 50% of the 50% would li
  • e on the test saying that they finished or they hardcoded part of the testThe rest would say they haven’t finished and that they needed more time to do so

What we also did was:

  • We had them take a pair programming test to see if they can work on teams or teach others
  • We had them take online tests with Talentoday to understand how we can complete any missing part of the characteristics needed.
  • We called previous team members or managers, just to double check what we saw, though this is not part of the original process.

We currently have a final test, the cultural interview, that is carried out by the CEO or Founder, so that we explain from day one how life at the company really is and set up the right expectations.

Don’t compromise on quality, even with a tight budget or time constraints. Lowering your standards in recruiting can lead to long-term company issues. If you fail, do so quickly, learn from it, and refine your process for future success.

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About Me

About Me

I'm a crazy entrepreneur with a computer science background; I love to create startups and help entrepreneurs worldwide; my motto is: Fail, fail again, fail better!