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7/28: How to Recruit Great Team Members to Your Company

On Thursday, July 28th, DreamIt Ventures New York will be hosting a presentation by me on “How to Recruit Rockstar Team Members to Your Startup”. I’d really appreciate your feedback on my draft slide deck, below.

David Teten will share his insights on the issues and challenges of building a great team in an early-stage company given the hyper-competitive market for talent. You’ll learn how to effectively identify, woo, and sign rockstar talent. . Space is limited, so please register now for this special session, presented by DreamIt NYC and Pillsbury Winthrop. “

WHEN: Thursday, July 28 at 6pm

WHERE: DreamIt NYC, 28 West 27th Street, 11th Floor

RSVP via TicketLeap:

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  1. 1. Hire Entrepreneurs as Employees

    I guess what people think of as an ‘entrepreneur’ varies. To me, I guess I envision myself and the qualities that help me be successful, here are a few: Vision & Passion, Self-Starter, Problem Solver

    As I would consider myself an entrepreneur, I have to admit I wasn’t the best employee for the following ‘entrepreneurial’ reasons:

    a. Vision Conflict – Sometimes, I had my own vision that didn’t line up with the companies vision of what we were doing or how we should do it. Without a single vision, it can be hard to execute efficiently or properly, and as an entrepreneur often you have to trust your gut. In the company, there needs to be a person or process to resolve these, otherwise they can become problematic.

    b. Super-Passionate / High Expectations / Super Critical – Having too high expectations / passion often leads you to compare yourself to the rest of the company and get frustrated over how inefficient or broken other parts are. In some cases, you’ll be appointed to fix them, which is good. But often, its hard for truly passionate people to let broken things stay broken while they are working hard to make their contributions amazing. Sometimes, the entrepreneur employee can psyche himself out if he doesn’t have enough control to fix broken things.

    2. Sourcing Candidates

    Recruiters themselves (both internal and external) are probably sourcing most of their candidates online in some form or another (social media, ads, job sites, etc). My goal is to make this process much more efficient, better for job seekers, and enable hiring managers to do it efficiently for themselves. I see ‘sourcing’ as one decision ‘yes, i want to interview this person’ or ‘no, i don’t want to interview this person’, repeat.

    A. Keep the process moving quickly – Job Seekers appreciate it when you let them know quickly and get in touch quickly. Often, job seekers apply into the dark and never hear back. Companies can easily differentiate themselves by moving fast and keeping the job seeker excited thoughout the process, instead of dragging it on and losing momentum (which happens a fair amount of the time).

    B. Make a great first impression – The first contact should be with someone who the job seeker can connect with – like a potential teammate, or hiring manager, with a similar skillset. This will improve the chances of getting the candidate excited, building trust early, while making a qualified decision of yes or no early in the process (so as not to waste time interviewing in person).

    3. At the Interview

    In your slides, you mention some good questions to ask. While the responses to the questions are extremely meaningful, there is an ’emotional’ part that I feel is also important, especially in smaller companies — call it the ‘gut’ feeling. After being involved in the hiring process, and also interviewing at a lot of places and being hired, here’s some stuff that I like to stress.

    A. Be on the Candidates Side – Yes, test the candidate hard, but make sure you aren’t appearing standoffish or arrogant. Its especially easy to appear like a dick when giving a technical interview. Its okay to let the candidate struggle, but be encouraging because this is how he/she perceives the work environment at your company, believe it or not. Who wants to work with a bunch of arrogant people? Often, the ‘feelings’ of the interview environment are MUCH more deciding for the candidate rather than the ‘content’ of the interview, and can be very important for the employer as well. It can be important to start building trust and team early in the relationship, leading to greater success if the candidate is hired.

    What do you think?