How to Hire Great People (I don't work with you until I've worked with you)




Hiring is something that many founders dread, and for good reason. Now more than ever, it feels that really good talent is becoming harder and harder to find. And it's true.

Even with economic uncertainty and unpresidentenedd world events, there has never been a better time to find passionate, go-getters who would love to help your startup succeed.


Who to Hire for your Startup?

When you looking to fill positions in your startups, it is really important to connect with he right personality who will fit seamlessly into your culture. That isn't to say you need to hire a bunch of people that are just like you, but it does mean that you find a team that compliment each other and who all share some similar traits. Here are the three traits I think are most important when you hire people to work inside your startup.


  • Growth mindset: people who work at startups need to be interested in growing and learning. As you know, building a business takes a ton of education and testing ideas. You need to have people around that encourage that.

  • Self Starter: you can't be holding your teammates hand every second of the day. You need to find people that take initiative to get things stared and aren't afraid to push on you when they need something. Having teammates who are solution oriented and going ot hlpe you go far.

  • Agile: the last thing you need is someone who is very rigid in the role they play inside your startup. As the phrase goes, we all wear many hats and you need to find people that are okay and excited to do so themselves.

How to Hire Great People for you Startup?

After hiring dozens of people to fill marketing teams over that past decade, I have learned a thing or two about how to find great people. Below you will see the exact framework I use to find and hire amazing people who are committed for the long haul and excited to see your business grow.


  1. Craft the perfect Job Description: When writing your job description, be sure to include information about your business's mission and values, especially when it comes to company culture. Even if you have yet to build a team, it's important to craft company values and start from the beginning to develop a healthy work environment. Remember, startup world is sometime synonymous with 24hr hustle and grind, be sure to acknowledge how you will create a great environment for your people.

  2. Build your Candidate Pool: Be sure to post your JD everywhere you can. Use online forums and website, private communities, and you own personal network to source people.

  3. Find 3 Great Candidates: Set up quick 15 min "culture fit" calls where you get 5-10 good- fit people on the phone to meet them and feel their vibe. When par down the candidate pool to 3 great people, to whom you will move onto the next phase.

  4. Pitch your Test Project: Pay candidates to do a test project for you-- something that you need for your business that is related to the position you are filling. Give them 5-7 days to complete the project. Pay them for their time and be sure to check in during the week to see how they are doing and if they have questions. You'll learn a lot from this process.

  5. Present the Test Project: Have your candidates present their test projects. Prepare a few criteria to judge them against -- criteria that you feel is most important for the role. Through this process you will see a clear winner to join your team.

  6. Make the Offer: I like to start people off with a 3 month contract so we can continue to get to know each other and see how we work together.


There you have it, my exact process for hiring amazing people. Using this process takes a bit of time on the front end, but it is more than worthwhile to find those amazing teammates who will be with you for years to come.


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Victoria is a Marketing Mentor to early-stage founders. She has built compelling brands around the globe and has worked as a marketing director across several verticals. She is passionate about helping women think BIGGER about their businesses and giving them the tools to grow. She'd love to connect on LinkedIn or email her at hello@ugliboss.com.

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