Here’s your understatement of the day: launching a new business is hard work.
Building a business from the ground up involves too many considerations to name. One of the most important revolves around the hiring process. Before you welcome a new member to your team, you need to have a good sense of whether they’re going to work out — and have the confidence to say “no” to a bad hire.
Look for these four types of workers that every nascent startup should have:
- People Like You
Don’t take this one too far, obviously. “People like you” means creative, entrepreneurial types — people who’d probably want to run their own business if they weren’t already working with a cool entrepreneur. Creative go-getters tend to be great problem-solvers and often provide the idea kernels that transform into high-ROI initiatives.
- People Who Really Love What They Do
Passion is almost as important as creativity. Make sure your team has at least a few people who are willing to go the extra mile (almost) no matter what — people who love nothing more than staying up late to complete a coding course or read the latest case study on your market segment.
- Jacks (and Jills) of All Trades
For a nascent startup that’s trying to do 20 things at once, skilled generalists are all but indispensable. Once you’ve hired your expert programmers and top-tier applied engineers, look for folks who can handle pretty much any unspecialized task — and handle it well.
There’s no I in…well, you know the rest. Hire team players, particularly for your generalist department. You’ll thank yourself later.
The Other Side of the Coin
Of course, as Jayson Demers of Inc Magazine notes, it’s also critical to avoid certain types of workers. Demers identifies four types, in particular, to “steer clear from.” Way clear:
- Negative Nancies (or Nicks). These are pessimistic types who leave half-empty glasses strewn around the office, spreading their downbeat vibes amid their bright-eyed coworkers. Over time, charismatic pessimists can taint an entire department or organization with their thinking, causing incalculable harm.
- Punch-in, Punch-out Types. While workers who only want to do the bare minimum can thrive in a highly bureaucratic environment, small businesses need folks willing to go the extra mile — even if it means coming in early or heading home late sometimes.
- My-Way-or-the-Highway Types. Although it’s great to infuse a nascent startup with hard-won experience, there’s a fine line between mentorship and inflexibility. Plus, highly experienced employees are more likely to be insubordinate or carve out domains of their own, particularly when the C-suite’s occupants are uniformly fresh-faced.
- Robots. Obviously, we’ll all be replaced by robots someday. But if you want a robot working for you, build an actual robot — not a human worker who’s so uncreative (or fearful of stepping outside the box) that you pretty much know you won’t get a new idea from them, no matter how hard you try.
So, what about you? Are you hiring the right types of workers for your growing business?
Scott Vollero is an international entrepreneur and expert in the precious metals and automotive parts recycling industries.