Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Start Up Your Startup Hiring

If you’re involved in a business startup, you know that the risks you’re taking in order to build a successful business could easily make or break you. Many startups have little available to them to break a fall so caution must be exercised alongside calculated risk. This is especially true when bringing on staff to help run your startup. If you don’t hire the correct employees, you’ll have difficulty getting the business off the ground and sustaining momentum.

As suggested in a recent article on, the hiring managers at a startup should be thinking in terms of hiring employees that are complementary to them, not their mirror image. What are some of the business characteristics that complement a startup that’s ready to grow?

You’re taking a calculated risk; make sure you hire people who can do the same. Howard Adamsky writes in an article on to seek out those who willingly take intelligent risks. It will be difficult for a startup to be successful without people who are able to do this. The savvy necessary to take calculated risks is a special skill. If you find it in an employee, hold onto it.

At the risk of being obvious, it will suit your startup to find employees who share the same passions that you do. Instead of simply looking for employees, seek out evangelists. Make it clear that your expectations include being loud and proud about your new venture and constantly seeking out new opportunities for the company. Especially when a startup requires long hours and wearing numerous hats, seek out people with the passion to carry through. Even if their skills don’t exactly line up with what you’re looking for, but their own passions are spot on—take a risk. The passion is crucial to your success; the operational skills can be taught if necessary.

Startups constantly benefit from a pair of fresh eyes that offer ideas for the business to develop and improve. Search out people who are willing to put aside best practices and other “time-tested” tenants of business or your industry in order to look at things through a brand new lens. In Adamsky’s words, don’t allow “yes” people into your startup. “Yes” people will do just that—say “yes” to please you and keep their job. Seek out individuals who are willing to stand out and offer a different idea. Seek out individuals with tenacity; someone who isn’t afraid to push themselves and others in order to achieve greatness.

Employees can only be innovators so long as they continue to learn new things. Adamsky recommends hiring readers because, “if nothing new is going into the brain, I am not sure how anything new will be coming out. Hire those who are truly engaged because those individuals are constantly meeting and talking, reading, presenting, and writing.”

An employee who displayed all of these characteristics would be a superstar—wanted by every startup in the nation. When you begin the hiring process, look for bits and pieces of the superstar in the team you’re building. These strengths will help to build a strong foundation to set you on a course for success.

How did you start up your startup hiring? What challenges did you face? Spark a conversation below.

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Kailyn Baum

Kailyn is a recent college graduate with degrees in English and Political Science. She is currently working in the publishing industry, where she loves the fact that she is paid to immerse herself in talking and thinking about books all day long. When she isn’t working, she enjoys reading, cooking, line-dancing, and writing short stories and poetry. Her sincerest hope for contributing to Spark Hire’s job seeker blog is to provide job seekers of all ages with the tools and sense of humor necessary to stay calm and carry on.

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