Hiring Your Dream Team

No one succeeds alone. Get expert tips building your team, from creating job descriptions and recruiting to interviewing, onboarding, and more.

"The hiring process must contain actual work/trial/demo on the systems and environments and in the languages that are applicable to the position. And these must be evaluated by a competent interviewer, no matter the seniority, the job title, organization department, background or profession of the candidate." - Amit Perry, owner of Perrylion, Ltd.

"Your time is important as is the candidates, so hold the first interview over a call or video conference. This helps with getting to know the candidates a little bit better and more importantly helps you shortlist the ones that you really like and want to meet for in-person interviews." - Raz Choudhury, CEO at SAM.AI.

"To choose the best candidate, make sure you generate enough awareness so that you have a large pool to interview. Filter resumes/profiles with scorable criteria that are most relevant to the position and important to your organization." - Raz Choudhury, CEO at SAM.AI.

"I truly believe that we should hire people who will be happy in the company along with other employees. Before hiring a person, ask yourself if you would like to work alongside them day in and day out, for years. It helps!" - Breno Saravalli, founder and CEO at 77 Digital Marketing.

"Leaders need to understand that not every job requires a specialist. If you need a lawyer or an accountant, okay. But many jobs, the employee will only learn by doing it in a practical way. Thus, leaders must hire people who learn quickly and are committed to work." - Breno Saravalli, founder and CEO at 77 Digital Marketing.

"Hire teams rather than individuals. If you need to hire an individual, hire for team fit rather than individual skills, capabilities, etc. And always involve the team in the hiring process." - Segun Osu, director of G2Guide.

"No matter how talented they are, avoid hiring superstars who brag about ‘doing it all’ themselves." - Segun Osu, director of G2Guide.

"Have candidates complete an assignment that reflects the type of work they will be doing. It will give both the candidate and the recruiting manager the understanding of whether the position fits." - Yaarit Barmaimon, HR and operations manager at Tactile Mobility.

"The obvious practices to follow are: Always do your own due diligence background checks. Don't hyper focus on your candidate's testimonials. And hire based on potential rather than qualifications and experience." - Segun Osu, director of G2Guide.

"Use LinkedIn to search through companies you admire—you can often find great people and start a dialogue with them. Hire givers, not takers. Don’t rush, and trust your gut—finding the right candidate is more important than filling a role quickly." - Justin Holmes, VP of Marketing at 7shifts: Restaurant Scheduling.

"Involve other team members in the recruiting process. It raises current employee engagement, gives the candidate a good impression, and lets them get to know the actual team members they will be working with." - Yaarit Barmaimon, HR and operations manager at Tactile Mobility.

"Seek referrals from both inside and outside of your company. The more referrals, the better. That way you lower the risks of hiring." - Yaarit Barmaimon, HR and operations manager at Tactile Mobility.

"Don’t rush the recruiting process. Take your time to get to know the candidate, take the time to set expectations, and answer and ask all the questions. Bring the candidates as close to a ‘day in the life’ as possible." - Yaarit Barmaimon, HR and operations manager at Tactile Mobility.

"Hire for talent over experience. It’ll give you higher potential people with a willingness to learn, compared to an experienced candidate who ‘already knows’ what they need to know." - Yaarit Barmaimon, HR and operations manager at Tactile Mobility.

"Competition for talent is fierce. So one needs to be creative about sourcing talent and filling the pipeline. Best practice is to diversify sources and methods. For instance, rely not only on recruiters and your network but also on your employee’s networks and even be your own head hunter. Identify companies that have the talent you need, find the best there, and target them actively." - Amit Nisenbaum, CEO of Tactile Mobility.

"List out the criteria that make a successful candidate and then create a scorecard off that criteria to help score each candidate. And develop a small exercise to see how the candidate produces work. Some people can talk the talk but can't walk the walk." - Justin Holmes, VP of Marketing at 7shifts: Restaurant Scheduling.

"I prefer to hire someone who has not studied at a university/college and tried to set up their own venture and failed versus someone who excelled in their studies and has no practical experience whatsoever." - Yam Regev, cofounder and CEO at Zest.

"Execution is everything. I'm often surprised how the less impressive, more quiet candidates turn out to be the most productive, no-fuss, executioners." - Otniel Ben Amara, cofounder and co-CEO at Dojo BI.

"I prefer to hire someone who has not studied at a university/college and tried to set up their own venture and failed versus someone who excelled in their studies and has no practical experience whatsoever." - Yam Regev, cofounder and CEO at Zest.

"Put a lot of thought into how you'll conduct the interview. Prepare your questions ahead of time. Print them out and bring in a pen (no laptop notes, of course). For example, with sales, I'm asking questions around work ethic, prior success, and some type of X factor that is mix of instincts, intelligence, and curiosity." - Tom Sauer, cofounder of Mile Square Labs.

"Aside from communication, two of of the key traits we look for in a project manager are empathy and accountability. A PM will communicate with many different internal and external stakeholders who all have problems with the product. They must be able to put themselves in the shoes of the stakeholders to figure out how to solve those problems effectively. And when a product succeeds, it's the team's win. When a product fails, blame lies with the PM. We look for Product Managers who can acknowledge past mistakes, own up to them, and show us what they've learned. A PM who doesn't recognize past failures is a red flag." - Oleg Krook, founder and CEO of Remedy Point Solutions, and Igor Moliver, head of product at Remedy Point Solutions.

"Consider hiring remotely. It gives you access to the best talent all over the world who probably cost much less than a mediocre professional in the city where you live." - Yaakov Karda, cofounder of Chatra.io.

"'Hire slow, fire fast' is very true, and everyone learns this over time. Go slow and find the right fit. Do not settle. Do not be stingy either." - Tom Sauer, cofounder of Mile Square Labs.

"Make the candidate comfortable. This can be as simple as offering them a glass of water, or making some polite small talk before getting down to business. To that end, for junior hires or people who are visibly nervous, consider going first and re-introducing yourself and the company, providing the role overview again, and then lobbing them a softball question like, ‘“so tell me about yourself!’" - Tom Sauer, cofounder of Mile Square Labs.

"If you are a non-technical founder hiring a developer, you have to trust their expertise, but you have to have somebody knowledgeable in their field to check them out for you." - Yaakov Karda, cofounder of Chatra.io.

"I'm a firm believer that it's worth it to hire more experienced people and pay them more than to hire cheaper specialists. You will save money and time on their better performance and they’ll have less need to be managed by you or anybody else." - Yaakov Karda, cofounder of Chatra.io.

"The qualities we look for in engineering hires are whether they understand and follow CI/CD practices, whether they’re cross-functional, and whether they have the ‘startup mentality’ and focus on rapid delivery of business value." - Oleg Krook, founder and CEO of Remedy Point Solutions, and Igor Moliver, head of product at Remedy Point Solutions.

"It’s important for me to see how a person writes. A good writer makes a good employee, tech or non-tech. I've never seen a good software engineer or a customer success representative not be able to write an excellent cover letter." - Yaakov Karda, cofounder of Chatra.io.

"The first thing to consider is that you can't hire a person to do something you do not know how to do well on your own. You have first to master something in your company and only then hire a person to delegate this task to. Nobody will solve your business problems for you, be it social media, marketing, or sales." - Yaakov Karda, cofounder of Chatra.io.

"Everyone wants to work for someone they like. Give them as many reasons as possible to like you." - Ben Jackson, founder at For the Win, a consulting firm specializing in recruitment, onboarding, and talent retention for early-stage startups.

"A survey from BambooHR found that one of the biggest causes of turnover in the first three months is not getting the training or the support necessary to do your job and the job not being what you expected when you came in." - Ben Jackson, founder of For the Win, a consulting firm specializing in recruitment, onboarding, and talent retention for early-stage startups.

"Are you hiring? As you look at potential hires’ LinkedIn profiles, they are looking at your company's presence on LinkedIn. Make sure you are showcasing your best so you attract the best." - Donna Serdula, Founder of LinkedIn-Makeover.com.

"Trying to retain all employees is a bad idea. While it might seem risky, asking an employee to quit is sometimes your best option. Despite the high cost that turnover carries with it, you should ask an employee to quit if 1) The employee is obviously not happy at the company and attempts have been made to rectify their morale or 2) The employee recognizes that their job has changed and can’t keep up with the increased or changing demands of the job." - Debbie Madden, founder and CEO of Stride Consulting.

"Founders often assume that everyone is as independent and driven as they are. They don’t need support so they assume that the people they hire don’t either. But not every role that you’re hiring for is one that self-starters gravitate to. It’s easy to hire a super smart and entrepreneurial person to be your lead developer but it’s harder to bringing in someone like that for a test automation engineer or a quality assurance specialist—good luck turning them loose on a product without a script." - Ben Jackson, founder of For the Win, a consulting firm specializing in recruitment, onboarding, and talent retention for early-stage startups.

"Hire for integrity. If you build a team of individuals with high integrity, everything else becomes easier. If you build a team of individuals with low integrity, everything else becomes harder." - Debbie Madden, founder and CEO of Stride Consulting.

"You’re not done hiring for a role until you have a fully-productive employee in the job. If they leave in the first six months, it’s like you never hired anyone at all." - Ben Jackson, founder of For the Win, a consulting firm specializing in recruitment, onboarding, and talent retention for early-stage startups.

"If you think he will be your boss in five years, hire him." - Jack Ma, cofounder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, from Alibaba’s Gateway ’17 conference.

"Don’t confuse onboarding with orientation. New hires also need to understand their roles and responsibilities, learn the company’s values and cultural norms, and get to know their coworkers.” - Ben Jackson, founder of For the Win, a consulting firm specializing in recruitment, onboarding, and talent retention for early-stage startups.

"Avoid people who are talented but who have a leaning that is other than what the company actually needs. Especially early on, candidates wishing to take on whatever work it takes to win will be most aligned with the company and will themselves flourish." - Alex Mittal, cofounder and CEO of FundersClub, from Hackernoon.

"Who will you be recruiting in six months? Get to know them now. If you wait, you could be out of business by the time you find them." - Ben Jackson, founder of For the Win, a consulting firm specializing in recruitment, onboarding, and talent retention for early-stage startups.

"Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, you are on to a winner." - Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, from LinkedIn.

"Get them in the literal door. Produce a panel series. Get everyone to invite their ex-coworkers to a game night. Almost any excuse is a good excuse to meet your next hire." - Ben Jackson, founder of For the Win, a consulting firm specializing in recruitment, onboarding, and talent retention for early-stage startups.

"We were always advised to hire slowly and fire quickly when we knew someone wasn’t working out. But we had to learn the hard way that sometimes, you hire people for the wrong role, and the right role may be right in front of you." - Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, cofounders of theSkimm, from Fortune.

"Show them what it’s like on the inside. Blog. Tweet. Gram. Be interesting in public, and interesting people will find you." - Ben Jackson, founder of For the Win, a consulting firm specializing in recruitment, onboarding, and talent retention for early-stage startups.

"You can't be a leader without having people around you who you trust to do the right thing. And that means they're not always going to do it the same way you would. It's not your job to micromanage them. Your job is to get great people and get the best out of them. Even if this makes you uncomfortable, you'll find that really good things happen." - Rob Hayes, partner at First Round, from First Round Review.

"Onboarding begins the minute you extend an offer. If you’re not selling them on your company all the way up to their first day on the job, they might not show up for work." - Ben Jackson, founder of For the Win, a consulting firm specializing in recruitment, onboarding, and talent retention for early-stage startups.