One of the biggest barriers to startup growth is hiring:

“The Series A crunch may be tough but the talent crunch is brutal. I talk to high-growth startups every day and I keep hearing versions of “compared to recruiting, fundraising was easy”. Just like fundraising, it’s very competitive. It takes time, preparation and selling, and getting it wrong can slow down or kill your startup.” – Nikos Moraitakis, CEO, Workable

You need the right people in the right roles, at the right time. And as your startup scales up, it’s likely that you’ll need to bring people on faster, to fuel that growth.

This blog post looks at the most important things to consider when hiring new employees and building out your team, pulling in expert advice from SaaS leaders around the world. It covers:

  • Who to hire, when
    • Building out functional teams
    • Scaling up: the importance of middle managers
  • How to attract top-quality candidates
    • Employer branding
    • Benefits and compensation
  • How to identify A players
    • Values fit
    • Experience vs potential
    • Generalists vs specialists
    • Soft skills
  • How to onboard new employees

Who to hire, when

As your startup grows beyond the founding team, one of your biggest challenges will be working out who to hire, and when to hire them. It’s a delicate balancing act:

  • You must be able to afford to bring a new team member on board
  • You need to have the workload to support a new hire…
  • …But also not wait until your current team is overwhelmed and overloaded to bring on a new team member
  • And you’ll need to have the time available to recruit, hire and onboard new employees.

According to Jason Lemkin, by the time you reach $10M ARR, you’re likely to have 100 people on your team. As you pass the $1M ARR mark, you’ve probably grown beyond your founding team, but fairly organically, adding new team members as the need arises, rather than planning strategically for your team’s growth.

But now it’s time to get strategic with your hiring.

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