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3 Qualities to Look For When Hiring Your First Employees For Your Startup

Updated: Oct 27, 2018

What are the most important things to you when hiring someone to work for Startup your company? Is it their level of education? experience? attitude ? What is the one thing that you really need this person to have to be a great fit for your New company? 

Hiring your first employees is a critical step for your new firm. There are certain qualities that your first team must have, both on an individual basis and as a team to improve the odds of your company succeeding. 

Almost everyone on the initial team must understand what the identity of your firm is, and a few key goals and metrics that will help bring out the best in your first set of employees. They must be intimately familiar with your brand mission and vision and what you want to accomplish as a company, long-term and short-term. 

Here are 3 qualities to look for when hiring the very first employees for your startup.

1. They must be Entrepreneurs too

Experience has shown me that it is almost critical for your  first team to be mostly aspiring entrepreneurs, or at least be attracted to, and understand your unique situation.

They must love that fact that they will be working for a startup and enjoy the daily grind of trying to figure out the business and attract new customers. In the very beginning, you might not have the budget to offer all the cool perks or perhaps even have the best-looking office space. Your employees should understand this and even sometimes be drawn to your "Scrappy startup" status. 

2. They must be Open-minded

I often hear startup entrepreneurs complain about their teams' resistance to new ideas. Your startup might evolve into a completely different company than the one you started as. You may have launched your company to serve as a consultancy to new parents, and then find that you have become a daycare matching service. Such is the life of an entrepreneur. Your initial team must also be open to change and be able to adjust to new events and market opportunities as they happen. 

3. They must want to truly be part of a team

Lets face it, the success or failure of a startup company is really a reflection of the initial team. Launching a startup is a team sport and the stronger, more cohesive teams win. Each new hire on your team should be aware of this. They must want to be part of a team. You cannot afford to hire a bunch of "I can do it all by myself" types. They must be attracted to creating something bigger than themselves.

It is important to look out for signs of team spirit in your new hires. Did they play team sports in school? Have they ever been part of a team-oriented workforce? Do they come from big families? etc.