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What are some of the fatal errors in hiring for startups?

Hire slow and fire fast. That is one of the phrases that I have come accross day in and day out when hiring new employees. During the process of onboarding new employees, what are some of the fatal errors?

6 Replies

Johnathan Lightfoot.
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Johnathan Lightfoot. Entrepreneur
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | PROJECT MANAGEMENT
The biggest one I have seen is not making sure that the new hire and you are on the same page with regards to the position and expectations.
Nishith Gupta
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Nishith Gupta Entrepreneur
Digital Entrepreneur | Consultant for startups in Product, CRM, Growth & Analytics areas
Based on my experience, startup needs people who are -
a. self-driven
b. willing to learn new skills and also a quick learner
c. is out of the box thinker
d. should not get bogged down

These skills are utmost critical for a fast paced environment unlike in well structured companies where you need more of people management and process driven approach.
Alan Yong
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Alan Yong Entrepreneur
Author - The Four Pillars of Business Success

Employees can be your Biggest Dysfunctional Component

Employees can indeed prevent your business from achieving the success you seek. Of course, every situation is unique in its own way, and there is no single solution. However, it is also true that you cannot actually resolve a problem until you recognize that it exists, honestly want to solve it, and actively seek out solutions. And when it comes to employees, you can expect that at some point or another in the course of your business life, this will be a problem.

No matter what you do and how hard you try to avoid it, the fact is that you will eventually experience a situation where employees are not meeting your expectations. When those instances occur, you need prompt attention to the problem if you are to have any chance of correcting it before serious damage occurs. The decision to act quickly must become the rule rather than the exception, given the important role employees ultimately play in your business success. They are the most critical components in your organization and any poor performance - even on the part of just a few team members - will inevitably degrade the final score of the whole and prevent you from being the best in class.

It is vital to understand the types of systemic problems that tend to lead to the creation of most of these unproductive and disruptive employees. These problems include things like:

Judith Szepesi
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Judith Szepesi Advisor
Founding Partner and Patent Strategist at HIPLegal LLP
As others have pointed out, hiring the wrong person can be a very expensive mistake. Of course, no one hires the wrong person on purpose, so figuring out how to hire people who are aiming for the same goals, and understand how they fit into the start-up is vital.

Another frequent mistake is failing to have incoming and outgoing employees sign proper paperwork. This includes employment policies, as well as the assignment of the intellectual property, and understanding of their obligations to the start-up, and what stock/options they receive with what timing. Similarly, for exiting employees, ensuring that they do not take intellectual property, and know their ownership rights is important.

Remedying a failure to properly sign such documents can be quite expensive. But unlike hiring a good fit, any competent hiring manager can ensure that these steps are properly taken.
Sunil Vadehra
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Sunil Vadehra Entrepreneur
Director, VisAmCo Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Fresher hiring: what to look for:- analytical abilities, logic, retention quotient of what studied. Add to it by proper induction which should include organisational mission, business domain, job profile details, importance of following organisational processes. If you still feel like firing such a person, understand it is due to failure of his seniors.


Dane H. Madsen
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Dane H. Madsen Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO, SVP Business Development | Domestic & International, Product Marketing | Open to new connections
Not getting rid of toxic people as soon as you figure that out and not having PIIA agreements in place and enforced.
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