One hour is only 24 hours. It is a golden rule that we all know. Just that this 24 hour seems real fast when you are in your startup journey. There are mountains that you need to move, and the questions are how quickly you can do it. Now, which is why hiring has become a significant key. It consists of a considerable risk that we will need to take. Because the first few hiring in a startup will actually shape the whole company. If I can turn back time, there will be two things that I will definitely do.
Like a startup, you will need someone to fill the function as fully as possible. This is why probably if you are a solo entrepreneur, you might need a co-founder who can share tons of burden from your shoulder. This is necessary to ensure that you can put more focus on more important matters. The specific role will help you significant to segregate particular jobs so that in the case of that work area, you might not need to hands-on but rather gaining some summary or overall status only. Take an example if you define specific role when the need of hiring rise, not only you are helping new candidate on what they might be expected to deliver, but it also knows their capabilities as well. With this, you can have a clear expectation out of the new hire. Failed to do this will only make a redundant post or even worse, the new hire will only burning your cash reserve month by month.
With the well-defined role, you will be able to avoid the urge to take an over-qualified candidate and then only giving them a position. I had encounter two candidates that overqualified with the job role, and true enough both of them did not interest in taking the offer. I also learn that rather than giving the urge to try to bring someone with a better experience or qualification. Instead, I rather bring someone that can really fit the role nicely.
Getting the right one is really tricky. First, you are starting up, so it is common for people outside there quite afraid to work in your company. Second, they might ask more than they worth. Third, the candidate applying your company is way lesser than you expected. The mistake that we did last time is we are taking someone at a fast pace, turns out the person not only dragging the timeline, but it is also pulling the right candidate as well. If I can turn back time, I want to do hiring in the right timing, which means if it needed to drag, I would do it to ensure bringing the right person who can help the company grow in the pace that we plan.
Those are two points that I do learn in a hard way, but I am grateful that I can acquire such valuable lesson, which is why when it comes to bringing in people, I always trying my best to bring people that fit in our role.
When my company is opening a position for an accountant, I am happy to see 120 plus of candidate applying. Just that soon when we shortlisted candidate, it turns out it is around 20 people that fit the job post. Some candidates that show promising, and I hope they can gain more experience in presenting themselves. Sad to say, most of the candidate does not have the quality that we are looking for. I know the finance job is repetitive and tends to get boring, but at least you should able to tell us why it is not dull.
In this interview, I am expecting the candidate asking me a lot of questions:
Above are questions that I will ask if I am in their position. You might as why. It is essential to know the whole company operations in a short time. What people looking at is how you can fit. By the way, I also have been many interviews during my career time from applying entry-level programming, up to the top management post. There are lots of things that I learn from my failed interview. Even more from some, I think I just did a very uplifting and meaningful meeting. I will tell how my previous experience helps me to overcome some challenges arise or even handling some problematic situation.
The interesting question is when I am asking what their expecting salary is. Some tell me a certain number without any confidence. Some even show sky-high pay but little to offer. Yes, I agree that you should ask a high salary provided you can claim such worth, and your contributions must be significant to the business. Apart from this question, I always open with: “Tell me about your achievement.”
Such a simple question but it is critical. Some tips: Never explain your job scope as an achievement. Take an example: “I can handle full set of account.” This task is what you expected to do, not your success. Instead, this sounds better: “The previous team failed to maintain the full set of account within two weeks after month-end closing, and since join, I manage to simplified X factor by doing Y factor to close the gap of two weeks.” Now, this is an acceptable answer where you will stand out among candidates, plus, the interviewer will see this answer as an impressive response.
I wish you luck with those who are looking for a job. Remember, due diligent is the key here. One candidate able to impress us with the way he presents himself, even find out about our company and how it can bring impact to the business. Lastly, he prepared to tell that I am one of the founders (I always say to a candidate that I am one of admin staff, not a founder because founder title carries no meaning to me). Those are the reason why we offer him a job offer the soonest we can.
So above are some tips from me about having a meaningful interview. Yes, you might experience such a discussion but sad to say many do not have the chance to experience what people call useful debate.