How to Hire the Right Staff for Your Startup

Hiring the best talent for your startup is an essential step towards building a sustainable organisation. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hiring. Just imagine the skills and competencies required across the industries, the business models, and the various functions within your company.

Technology is one crucial function of the company and hiring for it requires a different kind of thought. I would go on to even suggest that everyone in the organisation should have an appreciation for tech and should be digitally oriented, especially when just starting out.

Identifying the expected business outcome

While defining a job role that is open for hiring, align it with the business objectives, and flesh out what are the business outcomes expected from that role. Most startup business owners don't do this for positions that are non-business (such as tech).

Take, for example, a B2B digital marketing agency looking for a Google Ads expert. The definition of this role should involve deciding, for example, the number of critical accounts the role would handle.

Identifying the required competencies (Technical and Non-Technical)

The next step would be to identify the set of skills necessary to achieve the established business outcomes. These should be both technical and non-technical, even if the role is purely tech.

Here, while defining the technical skills, always be customer-focused. Think about the technology that your clients need to build and not what you are good at. Hence, the result of this technical hiring should be that your technical capabilities should be part of your customer requirements.

If you have limited knowledge in a new technical field/capability and are not sure of the required competencies, consulting someone with the relevant knowledge and experience is the best approach.

Attracting the right talent

The next step is to attract potential talent for your job. It involves preparing job descriptions, identifying the correct channels to advertise the vacancy, and laying the timeline well in advance for the candidates to apply and prepare for the job. 

  • For a B2B project, scoping out talent sourcing opportunities from competitors is an age-old tactic. It ensures that the selected employee has relevant experience and does not require handholding for a long time once they join.
  • Alternatively, a fresh graduate out of college will have a faster learning curve for a lesser technical role.
  • Another important channel, especially for B2B projects, could be hiring from the clients’ industry. Since the goal is to serve the clients at best, someone who has worked in the clients’ industry will clearly understand their requirements and issues.
  • If your company handles projects which vary across industries, hiring on a project-to-project basis could also be an option. It can include hiring freelancers. However, this could disrupt your workflow, as hiring different people frequently involves time and effort, which is especially limited in a startup.

Being a startup or a small business when the number of resources is low and with a mindset to not invest significant resources in the hiring process, referrals also work well. It helps in the quick identification of talent, especially when hiring for technical roles in which you have limited knowledge.

Screening process

A typical process will start with screening through the resumes and looking for candidates with relevant background or experience. After this, you could either organise a test or direct interviews with the candidates. In technical roles, a technical test or a one-day on-the-job project experience is a good test.

The interview panel should have experts from multiple domains to test the candidate well on all the required competencies. A B2B technical role panel should have someone with relevant technical knowledge, someone aware of the most common customer challenges, some with business expertise, to identify whether the candidate's skill aligns with the business model, and someone able to evaluate the candidate’s soft skills and their fit with the role, the team, and the company.


To hire the best employees for your startup, you should first identify the business outcome you want to achieve from the new joiner. The next step should be to determine what specific technical and non-technical skills would be required to carry out those responsibilities. If you do not have the necessary expertise consulting others with relevant experience will be helpful.

The next step would be finding the correct channels and medium to attract potential employees. It helps in reaching out to a broader audience and ensuring that you hire the best employee. Next, you should conduct the screening processes involving a written test or direct interview processes.