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It takes time to build a great team; some say it is an art. If and when you decide to seek funding for your startup, the quality and synergy of your team will be paramount to investors.

Jonah, the CEO of an off-shore textile startup, considered himself “a good judge of people.”  Jonah based his decisions on resumes, first impressions and less so on the basics.  So certain of his intuition and short on time, Jonah acted quickly often neglecting to check references until after an offer was accepted.

Jonah lamented that about half of his choices of candidates resulted in a wide range of problems including customer complaints, insubordination and theft— time, money and reputation busters for a startup.

Intuition plays a role, but consider a few basics to round out the decision-making process:

  • Qualifications – do they have the right skills and experience? How have they demonstrated competence? Have they previously worked for startups and, if not, are they aware of the unique demands of startups in terms of compensation, flexible work hours, travel, etc.?
  • Check references early in the interview process.( See the mini-chapter called ”The Art of Reference Checking” in The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki)
  • Do they understand and believe in your mission? Get them to elaborate on that one.
  • Have they good people skills? Are they likeable, collaborative and communicative? What is their track record with customer service?

Have you a valuable new hire who needs coaching in the people skills department? I can help. Contact me at [email protected]  

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