Diaries of an entrepreneur

Are you trying to fit round peg in a square hole?

Keshav's Blogs, Jan 29, 2020

People and hiring make the backbone for any business and more so for a start-up company.

It is said that in a start-up your allowed to make business mistakes but not hiring mistakes!

Adding team members and growing existing teams is most exciting part in the journey of setting up a company, but it often meets its own set of challenges. Here, I pen down some of my experiences that can be summed up by way of these 6 pointers. I am sure, it will serve as a good reckoner to people looking to join a start- up company or to the one on the other side of the table acquiring talent for a start-up.

One size does'nt 'FIT' all

The 'fit' is the most important.

The cultural as well as the agility fit is the most important to assess in candidates. It is important that the difference between startups and established MNCs is clear to the candidate. Is the candidate willing to go out of his or her comfort zone and learn things by hustling? This will determine the long - term worthiness of the candidate for the company!

Patience is more than just a 'VIRTUE' in a Start-up

Yes, 'Patience' comes in more than handy when working for a start - up. Both the hiring manager as well as the prospect must understand if they are willing to be patient to reap the benefits of their work? It could be anything - being faced with any kind of impediment from statutory approvals to begin with , to the ROI of your efforts not being as you would have thought initially - Patience is something that needs to be practiced at all levels and all aspects of work.

Flex to thrive!

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked,
while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
~Bruce Lee~

It is often not sufficient to do just the 9-5 role and employees must be inclined to contribute more. Honestly if you can't be flexible... start-ups are not for you!

In fact, Flexibility is not only with respect to office timings, 'flexible thinking' must be seen as a key trait for employee with entrepreneurial mind - set. They need to embrace it in every aspect of running their show - from developing the business model through crafting and implementing the marketing strategy to acquiring new customers and the way they communicate with the external world.

The candidates must not be under the impression that they will have it easy in a start - up, since it's in a start-up mode!

It is also important for recruiter to assess if it is a stop-gap arrangement for the candidates till he or she lands that dream job in that MNC?

What's your idea?

Especially the new generation candidates who might want to work in a 'Start-up' environment often come with a notion of a well funded - e - commerce kind - Billion - dollar-1000-people company. This is what most people looking out define startup as. You need to be sure to know the difference between a start up with a 'founding new idea' or a smaller company settling to make its space in a mature market.

Embrace the opportunity

If the idea of "co-creating something from the scratch while being a part of the core team" does not excite you then what will? One thing a start - up can provide for sure is the opportunity and possibilities for growth. If one is flexible in the way they think and run the business then they will definitely thrive!

We are hiring and still...

We learnt that it pays to keep the thing rolling. When we found that candidates back out at the last minute which throw our project timelines back by several weeks as we would have also stopped looking for more candidates and 'closed' the position in our minds - we learnt the hard way that we need to create some pool or references ready to pick the conversation at any turn. We learnt not to give out Offer Letters lest only to know that they use it to trade off for better comp at the current organisations!! :)

Anyways. The most important thing we learnt along the way is to get people with "right attitude." Passion is important. Passion drives people to move things and get work done. "Been there done that" may not be the right person for us as they tend be too 'rooted' in their set ways of working!

We also got lured in by idea of hiring tenured teams and thought they will hit the ground running for us, only to realise they came in with their share of unethical practices that we found too shocking to give into.

It is always very tempting to reach out to ex-colleagues, which may or may not be the right thing to do. Work ethics and trust built over previous companies may not be appropriate in the current situation. One has to move from 'Trustworthy unless proven otherwise' to 'Earn Trust' is something one has learnt as an entrepreneur. In such situations one should cut losses asap and move on to find a better FIT for the company which in turn is aligned to the goals.

But as they say it is a dynamic world. And everything is changing so fast only nimble footed and those with bias to action can 'WIN'.

Through trial and error, we learnt much more about what works and what does not. Best strategy is to get to work and adjust to the changes in motion, because there always will be unexpected circumstances to ADAPT to.

By the way our hunt is still on... come for a cup of coffee and we can discover how we can work together! :)

You can reach out to us on kareers@konquest.co.in

About Me

30 years of corporate life and now an entrepreneur. I am happy to open windows to my learnings here. In busy times as these, I hope these perspectives will make you pause and reflect and contribute in some way to your learnings as well!

Follow Me