Tips for hiring early-employees in a startup

For me, attitude and commitment are the most critical aspects when hiring a person. Everything else can be taught. 

Of course, it depends on what you are hiring for.  When hiring a domain expert, you want to make sure that the attitude is right, the commitment is 100% and that the person does have the expertise in the domain that you want to hire him/her for.

Another thing that I have learnt, sometimes the hard way, is that it is important to ensure that the person you hire is also driven with the excitement of the startup. If a person is not super excited with the concept or opportunity or the startup, no matter how committed the person, and how right the attitude is, he/she may not be able to or be willing to survive the challenging times that most startups invariable go through. Some of the challenges, especially due to lack of resources & capital, make the journey incredibly tough. And only those really driven can go through it with determination.

It is important to clearly communicate to potential hires about the challenges and realities of working in startups. Explain to them the limited resources that they will need to work within, clarify that processes are yet to be defined, explain that most things will be ‘figured out as we go along’, etc. etc.

Ensure that they clearly understand the work environment and work culture before they accept your offer to join.


Author: Prajakt Raut

Prajakt Raut is the founder of, and author of the book for startups - ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’ Prajakt personal goal in life is to encourage and assist a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs. _____________ Prajakt is the founder of Applyifi - an online platform that provides startups a 36-point scorecard and assessment report on the venture's investment readiness [], and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. Prajakt is also the founding partner of The Growth Labs, a platform where growth-stage companies get sharp, incisive advice from senior professionals and experienced entrepreneurs. [] Before starting Applyifi, Prajakt was the head of operations at IAN, founding member of a leading incubator, and the Asia-Director for TiE (2004 - 2007). Previously Prajakt had co-founded Orange Cross, a healthcare services company, and was part of the founding team member of Idealake Technologies. While in college Prajakt had founded a printing business and has spent over 10 years working in leading advertising agencies. Prajakt’s book, ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’, helps startups understand an investor’s perspective, and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. The book also helps entrepreneurs understand the building blocks of a business.

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