TMCnet Feature
March 03, 2015

8 Tips to Hiring an Amazing Management Team

Congratulations! Your business is off and running. Unfortunately, no matter how smoothly things are currently going, you can't do everything yourself. When you reach this point, it's time to assemble your dream team if you want your business to experience continued growth and success.

Even if you haven't done the whole hiring process, you probably have a pretty good idea that it's a challenging task that shouldn't be taken lightly. This means going through a number of applications, resumes and conducting interviews. While you should always follow some basic hiring process guidelines - such as making sure the candidate is capable of the job and going over referrals - here are eight tips that you should use when hiring that amazing management team.

1. Identity the Needs of Your Business

Derek Andersen, founder of, mentions on Startup Grind that “you first need to evaluate the needs of your new startup.” You can do this by creating a long term plan that details how you’ll achieve specific goals and objectives. However, this also means identifying you, or your teams, strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you’re a great programmer, but an ineffective salesman, then you should hire someone to fill that need.

Richard J. Bryan adds on Lab Manager that you can also have a one page document to hand out to prospective employees that “highlights what you have achieved as an organization during the past year and also what your Vision is for the next 3 to 5 years.” Bryan reminds us that “A Players” are motivated more by an organization that has a purpose, and not just an excellent salary and benefits. Of course, you can’t make this one page piece of paper without previously identifying the needs of your business.

2. Create an Awesome Job Listing

Nikki Laffel, Head of people and culture of social-product development company Quirky, informed that this is how her business attracts and finds team members:

"We write in all of our job descriptions to write a custom cover letter and address it to me or the hiring manager. If people don't have enough attention to read through the job description, they've already self-selected themselves not to be part of our organization. Our culture kind of shines through in our descriptions. Many people who read that might not be attracted to work here from the start. We like to do a social interview: dinner, lunch, breakfast or a drink. It's an open room [in the office]. Their first interaction with us is important to note. If someone is massively emailing their resume out without learning about us, that person who did not take the extra effort may not be the right candidate for this organization. There's no requirement in terms of education but we usually write on there: college degree or really freaking cool dropout story."

By clearly describing what the job entails, you can narrow down the right applicants, as well as layout a recruiting strategy and future meetings with applicants.

3. Recruit and Interview as Much as Possible, But Only Hire the People You Need

Some of the most successful companies have made it a habit to constantly be on the lookout for talent. Why? Because they never know when they’ll come across that missing piece of the puzzle - whether or not they are currently hiring.

However, once you get to that stage, make sure that you don’t hire the first candidate that you interview - no matter how talented or how much you like them. There could be someone better, or someone worse, but you won’t know until you complete to the interview process.

With all this being said, don’t make the mistake that many startups commit; hiring too many people, too fast. As Naylor states, “it is absolutely essential that you focus on only hiring the people you need at the time, otherwise you will be creating a big mess that will make moving forward difficult.”

4. Think Outside the Box (News - Alert)

While there are definitely pros and cons in using technology to recruit talent, Bryan recommends that you just don’t “look in the same old places for new employees.” For example, you could look for team members who aren’t exactly in your industry, but have the right attitude and proven track record to succeed. You could post a job listing on a niche job board or site. Or, as Anna Papadopoulos mentions on ClickZ, you also shouldn’t discount veterans, the unemployed, parents returning to the workforce or someone changing careers.

Another way to think outside of the box is by asking candidates what their favorite swear word is. This tactic was borrowed by James Lipton of Inside the Actors Studio and used by Mark Wilson, VP Sales Western Region at LogLogic. Wilson states on Dice Resources that this is effective because, “It’s so unexpected, that it catches them off guard and I can see how they act on their feet,”

5. Assign Homework

A solid resume and great interview can only tell you so much about a future team player. In fact, Scott McDowell, senior consultant CHM management consulting, states on that “there’s no substitution for actually seeing the work and witnessing the way someone manages a project and makes decisions.”

In addition to that, Chris Harvey, CEO VietnamWorks and Navigos Search, assigns homework so that he can see who has a “can-do” attitude, as well as testing “the candidate’s work quality, care and ability.”

6. Is There Chemistry?

Executive coach John Rampton asks two important questions on to all executives of his free Joomla hosting company “Do you trust this candidate? Do you want to spend time with them? If you don’t, do NOT proceed.”

No matter how talented, an abrasive or egotistical candidate isn’t going to help build your business. You need a management team that can collaborate and get along with each other to accomplish tasks.

When meeting with candidates face-to-face, trust your gut instinct and see if this is someone  who can thrive on your team without pushing others away.

7. Network

Rampton also states that, “Networking is a time-honored way to find new hires. Let your professional and personal networks know what kind of person you're looking for.” However, you want to make sure that it’s targeted - Rampton uses the example of attending a weekend at the Legal Sales and Service Organization's Raindance conference if you’re in need of a law firm CMO.

Rampton adds that, “By being an active networker, you stand a good chance of obtaining a referral or two or even better, you may come into direct contact with someone who ticks all the boxes so the speak for a role you need to fill.”

8. Always Hire People Smarter Than You

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or business owner you have to accept the fact that you do not know everything about running your own business - that’s why you need to be surrounded by an awesome management team. By finding team members who are stronger than you in certain areas is giving your business the opportunity to grow and succeed.

Of course, intelligence should be supplemented “with networking input, references, and your own personal interactions.” according to Startup Professional Musings Martin Zwilling on Business Insider.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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