👩🏻💻Know when to hire & whom to hire
There is a biggest misconception that hiring needs to start from day one.
Hey everyone👋, welcome to the 2nd newsletter.
In this issue, I want to talk about a mistake that cost me a lot and a failed startup.
I had a really great idea, worked on validating, researching, and planning for months, created a chart for the market-fit audience, and proper product documentation and when the time came to start working on it, I made a mistake - started hiring people for different roles.
Thinking that it would help me build my product fast.
Having a great team would help me stand out, (when nobody knows the product or what’s it about)
Will help me save money, as everything will be done internally.
But that it didn’t happen as I thought so. Rather:
It took a lot of time,
energy and focus shift,
and most importantly MONEY.
As I’ve been a boss of my own since the beginning, it was the first time for me to hire someone.
Remember the process of hiring a full-time person is entirely different from that of a freelancer. 🤯
I had someone in my known who guided me on how to hire, where to find the right person, and how to create a job description but never told me that it was a bad idea to start looking for people this soon.
When hiring people, my main objective was to look for a tech person. Who can carry out work related to development, and coding and is trustworthy? The product was a web-based tool and I had little to no knowledge about the development part.
But who would have known that hiring someone from the tech world would be so much pain?
This project didn’t work out because of many factors which also includes hiring people at the wrong time and with the wrong approach. But it did catch my eye. Now, I’m breaking it and building it again from the scratch.
🤦🏻♀️ I see others making the same mistake
Having an idea & turning it into a successful company takes a lot of work.
What I see is that the majority of the new founders making the same thing, before even building MVP or starting with small they tend to start with filling positions first. They start hiring immediately - engineers, marketers, sales, or even juniors, etc.
Specially, you’ll see most VC-backed companies make this mistake, they focus on hiring the best team than building the product. They fill roles because they think that’s the first thing they have to do. Which leads them to cash out quickly.
Whether you’re fully funded or not, hiring should be done based on:
If you don’t enjoy doing certain tasks or you don’t know how to do it.
It takes you too much time to get the work done whereas someone else can do the same job in less time.
If you have too many things in your hand. This happens too often as there are many things a founder does own its own.
What should actually be done?
It's a big bubble that you need to fit in a certain formation or company structure starting from the early stage. Everything needs to be in a systematic and presentable form even when you're still in the stage of validating the idea and it’s easy to get carried away.
👀 The big problem is not only knowing when to hire but also whom to hire.
As a non-tech founder, my very first problem was to understand everything related to how to develop a web app.
I knew I know marketing and if I need to delegate a part of it, then I know what it would be. But in the case of the development part, I was completely clueless. So hiring a developer was the TASK. As I have no background in it, even creating a job description was hard.
Do I need a full-stack or developer?
MEAN or MERN developer
What programming language I’ll use to develop the product?
Where it will be deployed?
How much is the hired person capable of doing?
AND THE IMPORTANT PART - How much should I pay them?
When you have no knowledge about the section, it’s easy to get lost and people start taking advantage of it. It’s not possible to do all the things on our own and it’s better to delegate things you don’t enjoy doing or aren’t your expertise.
If you’ll be designing the product, then how will you manage the time to develop and market the product?
There are endless tasks and questions. And it’s highly advisable to go with small steps and if (or required) possible delegate things.
Delegating tasks will help you complete the work at a faster rate. The thing which takes you to complete in 4 hours can be done by someone within 1-2 hours, then it’s better to hire someone.
Hiring is like investing in your product, only through other people’s skills. If you don’t hire the right person they can damage the product’s potential to grow.
Rather than hiring a full-time employee at the beginning, it’s better to look for freelancers, contractors, or someone you already know. Hiring a full-time employee takes up a lot of work and it’s even hard to find when you & your startup don’t have a brand image or accountability. (In the future, I’ll definitely share my experience when hiring freelancers for building my product)
Remember you’re just starting out, you don’t have a company culture or brand identity. At this stage, building a good and reliable team will be tough.
It’s possible when you’re backed by VCs or any other big Sillion Valley corporation. It’s easy to attract the right candidates but it gets hard when you're alone in the ocean.
The best way to get your work done is by hiring freelancers, contractors, or someone from your network or social media.
Where you can find these people:
Previously, I’ve found a lot of people through Upwork but now the quality isn’t that good. Still, you can keep it in your shot.
From the beginning, try to build a community or audience on social media, for me it’s Twitter. These platforms can give you high-quality people and the ones you can trust. As their profile will say a lot about their work, expertise, and reference.
Join communities. These communities have people who are actively looking for jobs or freelance work. There are niche-based communities for marketing, developing, and designing. Try your hands on it and you may find excellent resources to build your product.
It’s true to grow faster, you need to hire more people to help you build the product but knowing whom and at what stage is still important. Building an empire takes time, start by taking small steps.
But one thing that I can add up in my skills, from this experience is - How to hire the right people, from where & when. It’s right to say that each failure teaches you something. And with 1 failed startup I’ve learned a lot and developed many skills.
Over to you now 🎤
👋 PS: I’m Ritika founder, product marketer and advisor for early-stage startups, find more here or connect with her here. If you’re a first-time founder looking for curated resources, download here. If you enjoyed this post, read the past issues here. You can also promote your product in this newsletter.
A big thanks for reading & sharing!