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How should you choose your first hire?

Posted by Shivali Anand

January 10, 2022    |     3-minute read (432 words)

As an entrepreneur, you'll face a flurry of responsibilities. After you've sown the seeds for your business, you'll need to water, nourish and help it develop. Choosing your first employee, after pouring your blood, sweat and tears into the business, represents a huge decision. The right candidate should be dedicated and trustworthy, as well as a non-quitter.

Your inaugural hire must be someone who can work in tandem with you while providing value to your venture. It is imperative that your first employee share your vision and objectives.

Look for these traits when deciding on your first hire:

  • Self-motivated and tough when needed.
  • Able to work independently and with a suitable background. 
  • Self-assured without being arrogant.
  • Shares your passion and interests.
  • Worthy of your trust.
  • Believes in your mission.
  • Passionate about your venture rather than just looking for a job.
  • Unafraid to get their hands dirty; not a pencil pusher. 

What are your requirements?

The recruit’s attributes should round out the skills you don't have. Consider their responsibilities, whether should be given business stock and whether they will work full time or part time.

Examine the hiring process:

Every startup has its own unique needs. Ensure that the people you consider hiring are a good fit for both the company and the role. When it comes to hiring at a startup, the focus should be on developing internal and external partnerships. When making the decision, keep in mind your company's principles, ethos and culture.

Early on, a startup often requires the following roles:

CEO; chief operations officer; chief technology officer; chief marketing officer; chief financial officer; customer service; business development manager.


Budget is a primary consideration for any company endeavor, and hiring is no different. It should be done with care and concern for what you can afford. In comparison to a beginner fresh out of business school, an experienced employee will likely perform better and bring more value to your company. These are the types of judgments you’ll be forced to make.

Choosing your first hire is a significant move, and it requires proceeding with caution. While it may seem not comforting now, if your first hire sticks around for the long run, it will be an accomplishment that makes you proud.

If you are ready to think outside the box for a creative solution, you might consider outsourcing. Many businesses have found success by outsourcing recruiting, taxes, finance, HR and customer service to organizations with experts in those fields. This has the potential to be a force multiplier, and can save your firm money in the process.

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