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When shaping a new startup, it generally happens to be focused on fundamental areas such as sales, marketing, product development and many others, often forgetting to dedicate enough resources to find the right people for the team.

The result is the opening of several new job positions consisting in an endless list of desired qualities for a team we needed months ago, and for goals we should have achieved yesterday.

It then happens to spend entire weeks reading hundreds of applications, most of the times not fitting with the position, and that generally do not really answer to the present needs of the startup. We get convinced that it is however safe to hire the best candidate we could find, without waiting for the “perfect” person or paying an expensive recruiter.

To avoid this situation, it is necessary to focus on people instead of jobs.

Jobs are temporary and variable, especially in a fast environment such as the one of startups. New job titles are assigned in coincidence with new roles and ever changing objectives and career paths.

On the contrary, people have intrinsic characteristics and past experiences they always bring with themselves and to the new company they work for. These are the features that define the candidates that will have the desired impact on the startup.

If you want to shift the focus from jobs to people, you should therefore follow these steps:

  • Define the most important intrinsic characteristics

Which are the inner qualities people need to possess to have an incredibly positive impact on your clients and company?

  • Define broader profiles

Instead of drafting an endless list of possible candidates, define broader profiles of suitable profiles that could be ideal for your business. This will also help you think about the direction your project should follow.

  • Allocate time to networking activities

Schedule defined moments to meet new people that fit the parameters defined above. Aim high: try to meet the people you really would love to work with, regardless of the context. To network is just like being on a diet: the long-term benefit is substantial, but the idea itself is not as rewarding as eating an ice cream.

  • Nurture your new relations

Investing in networking will help you shape new relations. Try to nurture conversations, ask for referrals and give some yourself. New opportunities are often the result of a good luck, but being prepared is always a winning strategy.

  • Define new objectives, evaluate the results and iterate

Like any other strategic area of your business, you should set objectives, get feedbacks and measure results also when building a new team.

Article updated on: 09 August 2023
Talent Garden
Written by
Talent Garden, Digital Skills Academy

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