Blundering start-ups are falling at the first hurdle… recruiting staff.
From demanding personality test scores to recruiting mirror images of their founders, Forbes contributor J. Maureen Henderson has unearthed shockingly common gaffes start-ups make due to lack of recruitment nous.
So if you’re in the start-up game yourself (or asked to recruit for one), here’s the traps to look out for and to avoid at all costs:
‘We’re so similar, it’s uncanny…’
Young white guys hiring other young white guys… it hardly makes for diversity, does it? And therein lies the problem, as research shows a lack of diversity in hiring can stifle innovation. If you hire someone just like you, then together you’ll likely keep making products for people just like you – chopping out whole other markets.
‘We’ll find you something to do….’
You know that feeling when you spot a great gadget that you just have to have (even though you’re not quite sure what to do with it)? Constantly window-shopping for new colleagues can be a bit like that. Yes they’re bright, stylish; even a great wit, but if you can’t articulate why specifically they’ll add value to your start-up – and how you plan to get a return on your investment – then respect them and yourself enough to walk away.
‘All the Starbucks you can ever drink…’
Perks don’t make up for a salary that, let’s face it, isn’t too perky – and they certainly don’t compensate for a bad company culture. As Henderson writes: ‘If your company’s values exist only as a slide in a VC presentation deck, your potential hires will be able to sniff that out as quickly as they inhale the single-origin Ethiopian roast brewing in the company cafeteria.’
‘The diva fit that broke the camel’s back’
Star + star = amazing galaxy, right? Not in the start-up world. Too many stars with their competing egos seriously influence the argument-to-work ratio. What’s needed is a balance of talents where everyone gets to shine and to add value in their own way.