Team Building

Hiring Insights

Startup Hiring - The One Trait Your First Hire Must Have

Creating a startup is scary. Making the first hire for that startup is downright terrifying. The reality is, any investment at this stage can be devastating. And for many, this will be the first big investment you make, as well as your 2nd biggest leap of faith. Making this quite the combo.

The good news, most startup CEOs enjoy a good challenge. And believe me, this will be a challenge. You'll want to find the hire quickly, but that can be a huge a mistake. You also don't want to spend all your time searching for this employee. That will ultimately take you away from your main focus - growing the business.

The easiest way to find that balance and make a positive decision for your company is to understand what you're looking for.

Business Operations - Products and Services (Capturing Culture - Part 4 continued)

More often than not, the types of products/services a company provides is often culturally overlooked. Don't make this mistake. You see, this aspect of your company is extremely powerful, especially when you're first starting to build/define your culture.

Now your products / services will fall into one of 2 categories: Revolutionary or Time Tested. And one of the biggest mistakes you can make, is assuming they fall into a specific category because your company operates in a certain industry. In a previous article, I mentioned my time working in the marketing field. Being new to the industry, I initially thought that all marketing firms fit into the revolutionary category. Well, I was wrong. I ended up working at 2 different companies and the truth was, both agencies sat on the opposite sides of the revolutionary/tried and true spectrum.

The two companies were successful, but their cultures were very different. On one end, you had the tried and true firm, which was filled with mostly established professionals, who had earned their status by developing certain skills throughout the years. The revolutionary agency on the other hand, was filled with newcomers, who were willing to take on new tasks and learn new skills. This was absolutely needed because the revolutionary agency would update or add new software every few months, and the staff needed to be adaptable.

So, despite being in the same field, everything was different about the two - even the dress code (jeans and tees vs. button ups and slacks), and it all stemmed from the type of products/services they offered.

Accurately Determining the Category

Business Operations - Technology's Impact (Capturing Culture - Part 4 continued)

Technology, whether you notice it or not, is playing a significant role in your job. And, with each passing day, it is only becoming more prominent. To drive home this point, here's a list of technology used just to facilitate conversation ...

Business Operations - Actions and Attitudes (Capturing Culture - Part 4)

This is the last big piece to your cultural puzzle, and it's all about trust. Without trust, your staff is going to have the hardest time getting over the tiniest of hurdles. This means lost business and low morale.

Now it's important to note that each business is unique. They all have their own set of practices and methods, which impacts the culture in a variety of different ways. Fortunately, despite this, there are several that remain prevalent from business to business. These universal business operations are...

General Employee Ethos (Capturing Culture - Part 3)

Motivation. Loyalty. Honesty. These are the traits of a strong team, and our main focus for this section. You see, a staff that does not contain these values, is destined to fail. Without motivation, there's no will to persevere through the hard times. Without loyalty, there's no support when the work gets challenging. Without honesty, there's not enough candidness to prevent bad ideas from succeeding. That's why this is so important.

Now the good news is, there are a variety of methods one can use to keep the team motivated, loyal, and honest. Unfortunately, the bad news is, there are a variety of methods one can use to keep the team motivated, loyal, and honest. This means, choosing the right approach isn't always the easiest decision. However, to avoid a hit or miss scenario with your tactics, I recommend defining and/or understanding how your company's employees feel about 3 main areas...

From the Top - The Boss's Beliefs (Capturing Culture - Part 2)

Everything related to culture, is connected to leadership. Their beliefs and their decisions, it's all going to have a profound effect on employees' attitudes, behavior, and drive. And that influence, is why I recommend starting with this group as you begin to define or build your culture.

So what do you need from leadership, in order to understand your culture? You need their honest position on 4 main areas...

Capturing Culture - The Art of Defining Your Values

At the start of my career, I was in advertising. To be more specific, I worked in the field of branding. Now for those a little less familiar with branding, it's essentially the practice of shaping people's perception of a company. Your goal is to have them quickly recall, relate, and understand the business. And if you're good, you'll get people to associate several key words or ideas with your company (Google = Innovative. Zappos = Customer Service. Fulfillingly = Prosperity. Etc).

Now if you're bad or don't attempt to brand your business, people will still relate certain feelings or adjectives with your company - They just won't necessarily be the same across the board and it won't be in your control. The brand still exists, regardless of action. And this truth, leads me right into company culture. You see, whether you dedicate the time needed to properly develop your culture or not, it's going to be there. You can either control it or pray for the best.