How to Not Hire the Wrong People in a Startup

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Written by BusinessAlligators Support

Support Staff at BusinessAlligators is a team of business experts led by Shilpi Singh Trusted by over 100K readers worldwide.

December 5, 2017

Hiring right people/ employee is as important as developing a wonderful product/ service for your company.

I have been very fortunate to have started two companies in my life irrespective of the fact how much revenue I generated from them. I belong to a family where no one has ever imagined about starting his or her own company so it was the biggest stereotype and a mental block for all us. The thoughts of my family members were that companies and businesses are only the games of the rich people and you can only make money from money and there is no other way to do that.

We were only taught to get good grades and then get a good job so the thought of starting a business was never in my blood or in my mind. So it was quite usual for me to hire wrong people at the very beginning. And I know most of the people resemble me when it comes to starting a business. Even if I go with the facts as published on onstartups, then 51.9% entrepreneurs are first entrepreneurs from their family. So I truly belonged to the majority.

So let me share my mistakes which I have made while hiring employees that you should absolutely avoid.

  1. Hiring Cheap Employees

This especially happens with startups where, in order to save cost, we tend to hire wrong people or you can say less equipped or less talented people. During initial months of BusinessAlligators, I was running the company on a part time basis while doing my job and hired some people and negotiated a lot with so many people to work at less price. I was really happy that perhaps I knew some real hacks of the business world that only I knew about hiring cheap professionals because I hired them on 70% less rates as compared to the market price. Things kept going on and I was also new in this business so I wasn’t aware of everything.

After 6-8 months the real twist came when I actually got full time and started understanding what actually ranks in google and what doesn’t. I found that 70% of the articles on the website are not qualitative and I had to take a decision at that time. I again applied my 24 hour Rule and have taken two decision. First to fire all those employees, second to delete all those articles and out of 150, I have deleted around 90 articles.

Then I did my calculations again and came to few results and conclusions. I spent a considerable amount of money, 6-8 months and still, the net results were zero. So the effective cost was approximately 4-5 times costlier than what could have been with good employees.

  1. 1% Doubt should be a NO

During the process of hiring, there were instances when I was doubtful about hiring some people but just to save money, I said yes to them. And it was really a terrible decision that I took, you can say. None of the employees whom I doubted initially had performed. I don’t know whether it was my physiology about them that made results worst or my doubts were right on hiring them. But whatever the reason was, it is always the numbers that matter, as they don’t lie. So I will advise you all to be very slow and patient in hiring any individual person until you get 100% satisfied with his or her capabilities. It is also important when it comes to giving responsibilities and trust to your employees. You always hesitate in giving the responsibility to the person on whom you doubt even 1%.

Related- How to Increase Team Productivity

  1. Hiring on Trust Basis

During my first business of real estate, I made 2 co-founders because they both were my friends and I could trust them blindly. Things were going great during the initial months till the actual work was appointed. As they were not hired due to their talent after any interview rounds, so they just failed in meeting my expectations. Things started getting worse. One of them started saying lots of lie as an excuse to avoid the situation and thus made things worst. Even the friendship started getting affected and the person whom I was trusting blindly became ‘just a friend’ from a ‘close friend’. So, my suggestion would be to never hire anyone just because he is a friend, relative or any trustable person. Always keep your personal life away from professional life and the hiring process should remain similar for everyone.

  1. Hire the Right Person, Not the Talented One

This particular thing I have learned from Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. He says, “Hire the right people, not necessarily the best people.”

Let me share an instance for your better understanding on it. When Alibaba raised their 1st funding of US $5 million, they hired 10 VPs from many multinational companies and one of their VP who was heading marketing made a marketing plan for them of US $12 Million. When encountered by Jack Ma, he said, ‘Hey, I had never made a marketing plan less than US $20 million’.

So it is not about hiring excellent or highly talented employee/ people, it is always about hiring the most suitable person for your company.

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