Much harder than funding, launching products or services, and everything else. Hiring is the single hardest thing to do in a startup. And also the most important thing.
Because hiring in startups is not just recruitment. Its sales.
You are selling the company, your vision, and a chance to change the world. And asking someone to sacrifice something to join your team. To work long hours, to take a cut in their salary, work with a unknown brand, in uncertain terrain, and to top it all, to handle uncomfortable questions from their families.
Do we build our recruitment pipeline with the same rigour as our sales pipeline? Most likely not. Its easy to lose track of the recruitment pipeline.
My favourite part is to do the initial telephonic call with the person to judge fit. Before you decide to meet in person. If you feel there is no chance or remote chance of a fit, its best to save time on the face to face meeting. Also, my criteria is – if i feel i would learn something by meeting this person, i would like to meet. Irrespective of the outcome.
Done right, its also the most energising part of the founder’s role. Once in a while you run into absolute rockstars whom you would kill to have on your team. It happens rarely, but it happens. And when it happens, you can see magic.