How to Build Your Startup Team

If you are looking for the best advice on how to build your startup team, you’ve landed at the right place.

The foundation of every successful business is a solid, well-formed team. The resources for finding teams are so vast and cumbersome. Our objective here is to help you understand the aspects of finding a good starting place and then what to look for when vetting candidates.

When searching for a team, it’s “fishing in the right lakes.” For example, you might go to Cofounderslab to find a founder or advisor for your team but you wouldn’t go to TopTal necessarily looking for a cofounder.

Map it out

Take some time to really think what talents you’re missing in your skill set. Write these talents out on a whiteboard or piece of paper. From there, you can start grouping things together. Are you lacking in finances and web development? Well then you can use WaveApps to assist with your accounting and check out Upwork for freelancers. Or are you looking for a shared responsibility, for some help to run your company from someone who is technologically more advanced than you? Well then, maybe a Technical Co-founder is right for you.

Structure your team

A good bridge will be able to withstand all the weight vehicles put on it when it first opens up. A bad bridge will collapse. It is important to build a solid team structure before you start hiring a bunch of people. Where is payroll being tracked? Where are you managing schedules? … etc.

What to look for in a co-founder

Co-founder relationships are quite similar to marriages. You both need to “click” in order for there to be good chemistry. Aside from that, GREAT – not good – communication is key. You both should have an open line of communication with each other. You shouldn’t have to dance around topics because you feel the other person “can’t take it.” This will lead to imminent disaster. Then every other quality trait of an employee should be considered.

Are they trustworthy?

Do they have a good track record?

How will they improve your business?

What to look for in a freelancer

Freelancer personalities vary region-to-region and it’s generally very hard to find a loyal, committed, and trustworthy employee on the cheap. This isn’t because there is a low number of them. It’s because the systems that are designed to link us with these people around the world aren’t foolproof. They have a lot of issues and it’s up to the business owners to know the ins and outs to compensate for these issues. Your first step is going to be quality job posting. When posting on sites like Upwork, you can easily get 30 applicants overnight. We recommend using question qualifiers (screening questions). One of our favorites is:

If you were given a task and know of a better way to complete it, how do you proceed?

This is a great, concise question because it accomplishes two things. First, does the person understand English enough to comprehend what we’re really asking here? Second, if you are looking for a specific answer when you read this, it will align your applicants with your values.

Once you start vetting candidates, you can easily skip over people who ignored the question, answered it incorrectly due to language barriers, or didn’t answer the “right way.” Now you’ll be down to your 10%. From there, it is a matter of communicating your idea to them and seeing how they would contribute. You can use the previous questions here as you chat or talk with them.

We hope you found this article helpful. As always if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please leave them below!

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