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Four Tips to Scaling Talent in Startups


    Dharmesh Shah is co-founder of ScaleVP portfolio company, Hubspot, and author of OnStartups. Hubspot is growing its team by extraordinary numbers, but extraordinary growth requires an extraordinary team.

    Here Dharmesh offers founders four tips for better hiring:

    1. Your investors are unlikely to be very helpful sending you amazing candidates. This will come as a surprise — because great VCs have great networks, but it just doesn’t pan out. What investors *will* be super-helpful with is helping you sell/convince amazing candidates that you’re trying to recruit to join your startup. They are helpful on this front because they have credibility and they can say positive things about you that you can’t say yourself.

    2. It’s a really good idea for the founders to be the “last stop” before someone gets hired. This way, you can ensure a culture fit.  This does get harder as you grow and can become a bottle-neck. Try to work around this limitation. Perhaps start by requiring only one founder to interview every person hired. If that doesn’t work, have an interaction over email. Some sort of involvement is better than no involvement at all.

    3. Get some sort of system in place early to track and manage applicants. Just like you track your marketing funnel, you should be tracking your hiring funnel too. How many candidates are applying? How many make it in for an interview? How many offers? How many acceptances? Picking a system might be hard, because there are lots of choices but all of them are going to be a problem in some way. Pick the one that’s the least offensive and run with it.

    4. Try to come up with an objective way to measure the “success” (performance) of people you hire. This way, you can get a sense whether quality of candidates and recruits is going up or down over time.  There’s no perfect way to do this, but even an imperfect way is better than having no data at all.

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