Hiring for a startup is always a challenge because the people you may think you want might just be too timid to take the risk of a startup. Actually, that is a good thing—it eliminates people you are going to have to pamper and manage—neither of which you can afford.
In about every position, you need to hire someone with a mindset of an innovator. To take an extreme example, you want the admin person who runs the office to fundamentally understand life on a shoestring. He or she should be the person who is always finding a way to do more with less.
This mindset results in very innovative cultures. Rather than paying for Slack, you use open source. Rather than the expensive Salesforce.com, which is useless at this point, you use Google Docs with a shared set of contacts. Uber free conference calling.
Everyone has several jobs. People do work after 5:00 even if they are Millennials.
The results are captivating.
Your company becomes a high energy place to work and people love working there. You get a reputation as the cool place and somewhere people want to go. You do not have to expend wasted time on managing people—you share direction and motivated people get you there.
You can hire the person with the resume from one of the big enterprise software firms. Let us say in marketing.
Then they come to you with their “budget.” Everything has a number next to it. If you want X leads, you must spend Y dollars. If you want X sales you need to spend Y dollars.
Nothing innovative here. When you say you want X sales and you do not want to spend any dollars, they are incredulous. Who thinks this way?
The marketing innovator finds ways, like using trusted advisor selling programs, to get that done. Your hire, unfortunately cannot think creatively, so where’s that budget?
The innovator mindset does things differently because they must, they must because they do not have the resources from stupid money.
So the innovator does things in new, imaginative ways. And this becomes invigorating—even to the prospective customer.
When you innovate, you are inherently interesting. When you do things the same way, you become like everyone else.