To succeed, a tech startup needs to have a product/ or offer a service that is unique and can practically be converted into a profitable business. But after the initial vision has been decided, the most important step in the success of a startup is building a strong team. This team will be small because a startup’s budget is not massive. Still, these few individuals should be able to add significant value to the company and transform the vision of a few innovators into an actual tech business.
We all know that despite best efforts, many startups fail to take off. Experts believe that a major reason behind these failures is the inability to build a good team that can work well with each other. So, let us learn some tips and tricks to build the best possible team for your tech startup.
Do you think you have an outstanding startup idea? Read about the signs here.
The first thing the recruiting company needs to decide is the technical knowledge they will require from their team. If the company is being started by a non-technical person who may not know the exact skills needed to build their product/service, it is best to partner up with a technical expert to guide them through the process. Once the required skill sets have been determined, it is time for the company to see how many employees it can recruit. This will depend on the budget and the amount of work that needs to be done.
Now, it is effortless for companies to find the best employees for their team. After the applications have been received from all interested candidates, it is important to test out the actual practical ability of the candidates. Some candidates with stellar degrees may not be able to perform as well under pressure as a more novice candidate. The best way to test candidates’ skills and personality fitness is via online pre-employment tests conducted by third-party platforms.
The company can just sign a deal and let the third-party handle the testing and evaluation process. These third-party platforms also allow companies to automate most of their recruitment process. There is even an applicant tracking system for smooth hiring that shows what candidates are at which stage of the recruitment process, which positions are still empty, etc. Companies can save time worrying about recruitment paperwork and instead focus on working with their new team.
A startup needs highly skilled people to succeed. But only skills are not enough. The company also needs to find people with certain traits that will give the company an edge in the competitive market. Someone who can be a leader is, of course, essential to a tech startup team. There also needs to be someone ready and willing to take risks. This will push the whole team to be more adventurous.
But this risk-taking also needs to be controlled by someone on the team who is more cautious and will keep the daily activities running. There should also be some crisis solvers on the team who can make quick decisions in critical moments. These traits can only be gauged during the personality testing of the online pre-employment tests and during the interview process. A good mix of different personalities makes the team more dynamic, innovative and prone to success.
A startup may not be the most rewarding job in the initial phase. The benefits are low, and the team will be expected to work hard to make the plan a reality. So, startups are not everyone’s cup of tea. Only people with a genuine passion for a project will be able to stick with a startup team in the long run and drive it to success. So, one thing that companies should definitely keep in mind when building their tech team is passion.
People who truly believe in the product/service of the company should be given a chance, as these people are most likely to stick with the project till the end. Passion is difficult to determine, but it should be visible during the interview phase. Apart from interviews also, startup owners often find passionate people willing to work on their projects through platforms like LinkedIn.
A startup does not have much time or money on its hands. So, every member of a startup team has to be able to contribute to the team. But despite all pre-employment evaluations, sometimes companies end up hiring bad recruits. A bad recruit does not imply that the person is not technically skilled. It only means that the person’s skills and/or personality are not compatible with the startup at present.
The best way to deal with bad recruits is to fire them quickly. It allows the candidate to look for new avenues and enables the company to fill that position with someone who may be a better fit. Prolonging the relationship with a bad recruit does nothing for the candidate’s career and can discourage the whole team.
Startup companies often avoid candidates who have been part of previously failed startups. But recruiting people with this experience can be a major advantage for a company. A company does not fail because of the lack of skills of one employee, so just because a candidate has been part of a previously failed startup does not mean that they lack technical knowledge.
The experience these candidates will bring to the company will also help it avoid the pitfalls that the previous company might have made. Moreover, people who have faced failure are more ready to be innovative and adventurous to find their way out of failure. These candidates can be great problem-solvers and invaluable assets to a startup.
A startup cannot provide its employees with too many financial benefits right off the bat. If the idea becomes successful, then the initial team will get major benefits, but that comes much later. To retain employees and keep them motivated, the company needs to show appreciation for the hard work that the team is putting in. Recognizing innovative ideas and sincere efforts can reduce employee attrition and encourage the team to come up with better ideas and results.
The appreciation for the team should also be expressed in terms of a comfortable working infrastructure. Providing some food options and comfortable seating and working conditions for employees do not cost much money but go a long way in building employee loyalty. The company should also always ask for feedback from employees about how they feel about working conditions in the company. This makes the employees feel heard and can help bring about minor changes that improve their lives.
This is perhaps the most important ingredient to building a successful tech startup team. A leader must be someone who leads the team by example. The leader should be dedicated and passionate about the project. The leader should also be ready to solve crises at all times. But the leader’s most important task is to build a rapport with the team. The leader should be able to communicate effectively to team members what is needed from them and provide feedback, appreciation and corrections on the work being done by the team.
A startup leader is generally the business owner, and they should also remember that their life and reputation will be a constant and direct reflection on their company. The task of a leader in a tech startup is multi-faceted. They should be able to motivate the team, guide their work and keep up with the long-term planning necessary to make the startup successful.
A startup team can have the most talented and motivated people, but it won’t make a difference if the team cannot work together. When recruiting the team, the company should be careful to choose personalities that will gel well with each other. The team should be able to collaborate smoothly to complete the project successfully.
Different team-building exercises and good leadership are important to build compatibility and solidarity within the team. A team of employees with good chemistry will always provide better results than a bund of strong individual contributors working separately.
Team building, good leadership, sufficient appreciation and feedback, none of these will be possible if there are no proper lines of communication within the company. The startup should be careful to employ people with some basic soft skills and then create proper channels through which information needs to pass.
This can be done by establishing hierarchies and giving individual responsibility over certain tasks to certain people. Training seminars can also be conducted to teach the team how to communicate quickly and effectively to avoid misinterpretation.
Teamwork can transform a handful of techies into the core team of a highly successful tech startup. The only task of the business owner is to build a diverse team in terms of skills and personality and then put this team in an atmosphere where they can connect and thrive professionally.