Adding people to your start-up’s team can feel like a gamble, albeit a necessary one. You could end up recruiting someone who impressed you at the interview stage but surprisingly struggles in the work environment you have implemented for your start-up.

How can you tell you are selecting the right people in your recruitment drive? Here are a few ways you can decrease the chances of inadvertently picking up some bad apples. 

Ask yourself what you already bring to the table

Putting together a start-up team can be rather like assembling a Lego model from various pieces you have sourced from different places – but you might already have many of the Lego bricks you need, so to say. Before you go looking for other bricks, you need to discern which ones you’ve already got.

Objectively evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses lie so that you can figure out which gaps in your organisation’s skill set need filling. 

Choose people who can walk the walk, not just talk the talk

You might be brimming with ideas, but ideas alone don’t make a business successful. You need people who can actually put those ideas into action. 

This is why, when you run the rule over job applicants, you should look closely at their practical skills. Which of these candidates can solve problems quickly and efficiently? Who has a history of coming up with innovative and creative solutions? 

Recruit people who have customer service skills 

At any business, customer service should be everyone’s responsibility. This is predominantly because, ultimately, it is customers who will fuel your company’s success. 

You also need to keep in mind that, since you probably lack the resources right now to assemble a large team, you probably can’t afford to set up a specific department dedicated to customer service. Therefore, all of your workers should be prepared to take up the slack on the customer service front.  

Build a team for the long term, not just the start-up phase

According to figures shared by marketing expert Neil Patel, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, while 50% don’t make it to five years. These statistics could initially look somewhat sobering, but you can help your company to beat the odds if you build your team for the long term.

This means finding staff you can imagine eventually occupying various departments – like marketing, accounting and research – you would expect your business to have later down the line.  

Make your company an appealing one to work for

As entrepreneur and angel investor Chris Dunn explains in an article for Entrepreneur: “If you don’t have money, then at the very least, you must have a compelling vision that will inspire and motivate others to join your cause and support you.” 

You could show your dedication to that cause by, for example, renting a start-up space that would give your fledgling company access to amenities – such as stocked kitchens and breakout areas – many people visiting the workplace might readily associate with a long-established business. 

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].