How to Choose the Right Team for Your Startup

Assembling the right team can make or break a startup business. In fact, avoiding a toxic employee can turn into a savings of more than $12,000.

And negative team members can completely dismantle a startup. 

But a solid team can bring a new business to life, and it’s not always easy to know where to start. 

We’ve got it covered. Read on for the keys to putting together an all-star startup team.

Prepare for the Perfect Startup Team

Before picking out startup teams, successful startups will make sure there’s a solid foundation in place. That means pouring over business metrics and getting the business on solid financial footing.

And most businesses fail when it comes to setting expectations for employees. Nearly half of employees leave a meeting without knowing what to do next. 

That means setting clear goals is crucial for any startup. This will make it easier for leaders to see the company’s strength and weaknesses.

It will also cut down chaos that tends to drive away productive team members.

Start with Solid Leadership

The best startup teams are no good if team members don’t stay with the company. And 50 percent of employees say they quit a job because of a boss.

That means it’s important to lead effectively and pick leaders who will help employees reach their full potential.

Here are some quick keys to leading and maintaining a productive startup team:

  • Be honest and clearly outline goals for team members
  • Get employees to invest in the company through equity or leadership programs
  • Set examples for team members by leading from the front
  • Stay open to new ideas that line up with company goals
  • Engage employees and encourage trust through retreats or fun activities

Company founders should set up a clear chain of command and decide how the business should be structured. Founders should help employees understand the direction of the business and expectations.

From there, company founders should identify the roles and needs of the business. The more leaders can pick out their company’s needs, the easier it will be to find the right fit for success.

Wondering how to find startups’ best employees? Here are some tips:

  • Consider recommendations from people in founders’ business networks
  • Focus on candidates who have proof of their skills
  • Don’t count out contractors or part-time positions to start
  • Use interviews to identify problem solvers

With those keys in mind, here are the top ways to pick out the right people for a start up team:

Encourage a Variety of Viewpoints

Diversity in the workplace can have a big impact on the success of a new business. And some reports suggest diverse companies are 35 percent more likely to outperform.

Having employees with diverse perspectives can open the company up to ideas that otherwise may be left untapped. And it can expose a new business to ideas that appeal to a wider group of customers.

Pick out Doers

Consistent, all-star employees can save a business money and accelerate success. And there are important traits that these excellent workers share.

Look for candidates who are self-starters and don’t need to be micro-managed. It’s also smart to pinpoint flexible employees who are able to adapt. Critical thinking skills and the ability to solve problems can be the difference between a good worker and an all-star.

Focus on Talent Early

Especially early on, startups can benefit from highly skilled employees. They are the initial guts of new companies.

That means it’s smart to grab talented employees early on. After the business is established, these anchors can be used to build out a less specialized workforce.

Pick Passionate People

If an employee isn’t passionate or invested in the company, it will be easy for them to get burned out or lose interest. 

Startups benefit from workers who are motivated by more than just money. They should believe in the mission of the company and feel rewarded when the business succeeds.

Communication is Key

Talent doesn’t mean much if team members can’t work together. That means they need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. 

If workers only can operate in silos, it’s a dangerous sign. Instead, good teams will be open to helping each other solve problems.

Don’t Overlook Experience

Talent and passion are important, but it’s a mistake to overlook experience. That means picking people who are familiar with the industry. It’s also a good idea to choose candidates who have worked with startups before.

Startup companies can be uniquely fast-paced, and they require a special type of adaptability. Experienced employees can add stability and keep the team from being overwhelmed.

Zoom in on Focused People

Startups can be stressful and hectic. And it’s easy for an undisciplined team to feel overwhelmed or drained.

A good way to protect against this is to pick out focused people. That means choosing workers who can see the big picture without getting distracted.

Keep Culture in Mind

It’s easy to overlook compatibility during the hiring process. But it can make a big difference in the way a team interacts and communicates.

That means looking at the values, personalities, and priorities of each team member. They should compliment each other. Try to avoid conflicting personalities or values that might stop up productivity.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean workers should all have the same personalities or values. Exposure to a variety of thoughts or challenging viewpoints can bring out the best in a company. 

Build a Successful Team

Once team members are in place, their potential can grow through trust. Leaders should set up opportunities or startup team building exercises to build camaraderie. 

This will familiarize team members with one another and get them on the same page. And as workers build empathy for each other they’ll become much better at helping one another solve problems.

More Steps Towards Launching a Startup

This guide to picking startup team members should set new entrepreneurs on a path to success. But we have more tips for getting startups off the ground.

Check out our Ultimate Startup Checklist here for expert advice on launching a business.