Defining Roles in a Startup Company: Ultimate Cheatsheet

Any startup can only be as successful as its founding team. When there is a rapid scaling up with limited resources, a lot of things may go wrong. The rapid pace of growth of exponential organizations requires an extra emphasis on a team that is full of synergy.

While synergy among the founding team is important, diversity within all members of a company is equally important. When you are coming up with a startup company, it is imperative that you build a good team, and you clearly define all the roles in your company.

If you want your startup to last past the one-year mark, you will need to ensure you correctly delegate all roles and responsibilities between you and your teams. That is the subject this guide will be addressing.

As seen in our last guide where we talked about Stages of a Startup Business: From Ideation to Implementation, today we present to you something special.

Walk along with me as we look at how to define roles in a startup company, how to make the most important hires, how to attract the best talent and strategies you can use to build a perfect recruitment process.

Let’s get started!

7 Most Important hires for startup companies

While one day the CEO or founder might be taking care of the responsibilities of a CFO, the next day, he might find himself hitting phone calls and making sales. It’s the nature of startups!

A new business should start by making key hires to streamline operations. From human results experts, here are the most important hires you should make.

1.      Product Manager

Before small businesses gain any traction, they need to hire a specialist who understands the company’s products and services inside out. While a company’s founder may have a huge admiration over a certain product, they may be forced to relinquish some control to the product manager, to give customers the best option.

A product is the core of any business. There must be someone in your organization who can add value to your products. A product expert will be able to grasp and demonstrate why the product matters to the customer, how it can be manufactured and enhanced to meet market demands.

2.      Marketing generalist

Once a business has figured out what it is offering, its next bet on hiring should be a marketing expert. It should be a person who knows how to target customers and tell them why a particular product or service matters to them.

You need to hire a person who can take your vision and translate it through words, images and a message. You need to hire someone who is well versed with different trades and demands of marketing.

Just like you would want to turn you visitors into leads using Freshworks, same involved the mandate of a sales representative, generating leads for your business at a steady pace!

3.      Sales Representative

Once a company has a finely tuned product to sell, it should come up with a marketing plan that has a clear revelation on how it plans to bring its products to the market. This calls for the need to add a sales representative.

Instead of picking up five sales representatives, focus on getting that one person who is super fine with sales. This one person should be tasked with generating leads at a steady pace. Hiring many employees, some whom you don’t need may cripple business at its early stage.

4.      Customer support representative

Image by Ernesto Eslava

Many small businesses get it wrong when it comes to customer relations. Founders need to handle customer service issues in the most productive way. There should be a customer support department dedicated at handling complains and queries in the most amicable manner.

When clients feel ignored, they may take back their money. It is more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one happy. The best way to treat your customers is to give them the attention they need and listen to their grievances.

5.      Business development analyst

When a startup picks up steam, it will need the input of an analytically minded person to compliment with sales and marketing teams. You need to hire someone who has a good understanding of data analytics and finance to help in developing a business.

Such a person should be able to see how a business can lessen its expenses and target customers in a more efficient manner. You could also consider having an accountant or a finance person who can look at the health of your business.

Alternatively, you could go for a data analyst or a marketing analyst who is trying to get all the research and pile together data pieces to get you vital information required for accelerated business growth.

6.      Human Resource Personnel

Most business owners start out by doing their own hires, and this happens for a good reason. At a stage when a business gets the much-required traction, it becomes very necessary to bring someone who is more competent and experienced in handling all the issues of your employees.

If you have a lot of different roles that need to be filled, the human resource becomes more of a strategic part of a company’s process rather than an expense. At that stage, it is better for business owners to be more focused on issues dealing with management. Product development and company growth, than to spend all the time on hires.

7.      Accountant

Image by Free-Photos

Whether your tasks are done by contractors or part-time employees, accounting is another role that must be filled. You do not need to worry about accounting terminology when you can just get an accountant to prepares all the books of account for you.

How to attract talent in your recruitment?

The current job market is extremely competitive. You will need to have a strong and planned recruitment strategy to help you stand out ahead of your competition. If you are looking forward to attracting the best talent in your industry, here are a couple of things you can do

Ensure your job vacancy is broad

Job seekers are looking for clarity in job advertisements. They want to know ins and outs of the company they will be working for, its history, career opportunities, pay scale among other things. A smart recruiter will provide a clear understanding of every required detail.

When placing job ads, you should clearly communicate requirements and explain how one will benefit from making an application. You need to state your company’s culture, explaining how employees have a good work-life balance, and the perks they are entitled to.

Campus Recruiting

Colleges are full of young and dynamic talents who have immense enthusiasm for their work. Talent recruiting is a great way to recruit amazing talents from students and recent graduates. You can attract these talents by being featured in campus newspapers, conducting workshops and seminars, sponsoring college festivals, offering internships, among others.

Be flexible

Employees are in the hunt for companies where work pressure will not have a bad effect on their personal life. A modern-day company is required to offer so much to their employees. The work condition should be well balanced and should not be too monotonous to work all day.

You need to give your employees an opportunity to work from places of their best convenience if terms allow. Look for activities that can keep them entertained all especially during weekends. At the very basic, offer them a very convenient conventional working standard.

Add perks

Big companies such as Facebook and Google are dream companies for many job seekers. Their work environment makes them be an all-time favourite. There are options such as buffet meal offers, health insurance, bonuses, allowances, family holidays and many others.

Employees will also want to work in a well maintained and beautiful office areas. With a good office, there is a constant flow of energy, and this adds positivity.

Social media recruiting

The human resource team should be active on social media to attract the best talent. They should be in search of potential candidates and encourage them to apply to their company. You need to build a reputation for a strong connection through social media recruiting.

Shorter time to hire

Image by Jerry Kimbrell

Many talents are easily lost due to the fact that recruitment companies take too long to decide on candidates and to make contacts. You need to understand that competitors are always on the wait to hire your potential candidates. By the time you respond, that person might have bagged another job or lost interest in your company.

You need to value the time of others as you would value your time. You should not let your hires to wait for too long. Contact them as soon as possible and keep then updated and engaged throughout the whole recruiting process.

Know your target audience very well

Recruiting is pretty much selling. You need to identify your target audience and understand the selling points of your startup. What can you offer and who will benefit from what you can offer?

These days, you need to place your company brand at the center of your target audience. You need to advertise your startup’s culture and echo your talent’s skills, needs, and attitudes, as it related to your brand.

Know the value proposition of each employee

Any startup that is looking forward to standing out from the competition when seeking to attract top talent must be able to articulate and share employee value proposition as lived every day. This should be included along with the mission and vision of a startup.

How to Build a Recruitment Process to Hire top talent?

So, what goes into a perfect recruiting process? An efficient recruiting process is a sourcing model that is specific to a startup and aims at finding the right fit for the job at the right time.

It is a step by step process for finding and bringing talented people who can help your company grow. There are key phrases included in an all-inclusive recruitment process. Let us look at these phases;

Step 1: Identify hiring needs

When a job opening is created, it will be difficult to picture your needs if you don’t know what you need in the first place. Your recruitment process always starts by identifying the all the openings that exist. After that, you need to analyze job specifications, including the knowledge, experience, and skills needed for that role.

Step 2: Prepare job description

Once you have a clear knowledge of what you need, it’s time to determine the duties and responsibilities of the job. You need to prepare a comprehensive job description to help you in understanding what your potential employees must have, in order to meet the demands of that role.

You need to provide your prospects with a checklist that they can make a comparison, before applying. It will be a tool to ensure you get an application from the right candidates. A good job description will include; title, duties and responsibilities, qualification and skills, location, compensation, perks, and benefits.

Step 3: Talent search

The most important aspects of the recruitment process involve identifying the right talent, attracting the talent and motivating them to make applications. The job listing should be internally advertised to generate referrals as well as externally, on popular social media sites and preferred job boards.

When recruiters use internal sources of recruitment, it works to motivate existing employees to be more productive. It maximizes their job satisfaction and creates a sense of security. Recruiting through the use of internal sources also reduces the rate of attrition along with cost and efforts.

The other option is recruiting through external sources. This form of recruiting offers a much wider scope for selection from a big number of qualified candidates. The process moves much faster even when bulk recruiting is involved. It eliminates all chances of partiality and biases.

Step 4: Screening and Shortlisting

In order to move forward with the next step in your recruitment process, you need to screen and shortlist applicants in an efficient and accurate manner. Step four is where the recruitment process gets difficult and challenging. There are a couple of things you must get right;

First, you need to screen applications on the basis of minimum qualifications. Next, you need to sort resumes that have preferred credentials by looking at the certifications, relevant experience, technical competences among others.

Next, shortlist candidates who have both preferred credentials and minimum qualifications. Finally, flag any concerns or queries that come along the process, so that they can be clarified during the interview process.

Step 5: Interviewing

The shortlisted applicants will now be moved through the interview process prior to receiving a letter of offer or rejection. Several interviews may be scheduled, depending on the size of the hiring team and unique recruitment needs.

A quick and easy way to recruit candidates is through telephonic screening and video interviewing. A video interview may present a good opportunity for candidates to leave a lasting first impression on their potential employers.

There may be different types of interviews carried at this stage. Psychometric testing is an important eliminator that effectively identifies the right fit for any job. Face to face interviews is equally very important. A final interview may be conducted by management to discuss perks.

Step 6: Evaluating and Offer of Employment

This is the last step of the recruitment process. You should never take it for granted that a candidate will accept your offer. If a candidate has patiently completed all the required steps and paperwork and gone through the whole recruitment process, chances of accepting your offer are very high.

Once you zero on a candidate, there are a couple of things you need to get right. First, check on the references and verify that everything included in the CV is right. Next, make the job offer. The job offer should include everything, from the start date to conditions of employment and compensation. Ensure you lay down a seamless onboarding process to ensure your next hires save you on time and other resources.

With an up to date recruitment strategy, you will positively impact the bottom line in a number of ways. You will have better quality hires, improved retention rates, and reduced onboarding costs. This leads to enhanced job satisfaction.

Summing it up

In any startup, who you hire plays a key role. This is particularly important in the case of startup businesses, especially in the early stages. Startups face additional challenges especially when trying to establish the right DNA and company culture.

The hiring or recruiting process involves making the right decision to hire new employees and deciding what skills and experiences such employees should possess. The most important thing you can do as a founder is to ensure you have set clearly defines structures and roles that your recruiting team can seamlessly fill without any problems.

Alberto Venditti

Alberto has more than a decade of concept & production expertise in engaging with clients and end-users for both the entertainment and the advertising industry, marrying his passion for strategy with years of field research in user experience and a solid academic background in Psychology.

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