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One of the hardest part of a founder’s job is to hire and retain a stellar team. Why? Because you are attempting to convince incredibly smart people to leave their cushy jobs and work with you, primarily based on your vision. This vision is often referred to as a “reality distortion field” by the rest of the world who thinks founders are the irrational lot until proven otherwise. As if this wasn’t hard enough, only a tiny fraction of the candidates you talk to will truly be the right fit for your company.

If the founder assembles the right ensemble, almost everything else will fall in place. ShoppinPal owes its success to the growing team who have been chosen very carefully to fit in the culture and adopt the work environment to deliver their best. Here are few tips one could follow, while building a team for their startup venture.

Know and communicate why your startup exists

For a startup, an entrepreneur would want his core team to think and operate like owners as well. However, these type of people, only join companies where they see a strong purpose and potential to make an impact. Hence, any startup should clearly articulate and communicate its mission and why does it exists, both internally and to prospective new hires. It really helps when a company has this clarity and makes a difference in the type of talent it will attract (mission-driven folks Vs the guy looking for the 30% salary hike).

Cultural fit trumps everything else

One of the hottest topics in startup circles is ‘culture’ and there is a good reason for that. Without any doubt, culture can make or break any company. It should however be kept in mind that culture and values also could mean a long checklist to be ticked off. It is always recommended to focus on no more than four key values that really matter to the organization. For example, the 4 factors we focus on are grit/perseverance, sky high motivation, the ability to learn quickly, and a strong desire to give back to your team and/or society.

Related Read: Building Startup Culture From Foundation To Finishing !

One way to measure if a candidate has a burning desire to learn is by putting them through a tough interview process which lasts a few days, involves a range of complex deliverables along with multiple interactions with the current team.

As for the desire to give back – one can use a broad range of indicators such as contributions to open source software, social causes, regularly sharing knowledge and even taking on proactive mentoring role.

Look for ‘raw smarts’ and diamonds in the rough

Time and again it’s been seen that ‘raw smarts’ wins over skill-based hiring. Many of the folks in startup teams don’t exactly bring a specific set of matching skills, don’t hold the required academic college degrees and other classic pedigree indicators.

If a company is willing to bet on candidates who haven’t proven themselves via the traditional market/societal indicators they can reap advantages like hiring talent who are also willing to start off their journey with the company on a significantly lower compensation. These candidates are also open to taking chances.

Make recruitment a team game

While making hiring decisions for a startup team, one should make sure that he/she involves the entire existing team including senior leadership of the company. The HR head always has a significant role to play, however it’s advisable for each one of the members to invest a good amount of time to make sure they have the best possible candidate pool. Although this may seem wasteful, it is the only way that one could build a dynamic startup team that will prove their mettle and make a dent on the world!

Related Read: How Do You Create The Omnichannel Team Structure?

(Disclaimer: This is a guest post submitted on Techstory by Sriram Subramanian, Co-founder and CEO of ShoppinPal. All the contents and images in the article have been provided to Techstory by the authors of the article. Techstory is not responsible or liable for any content in this article.)

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