[Guest article by Lalit Bhise, founder of Mobisy.]

Let’s assume that you figured out the business, and core team challenges of a startup. The next in line is scaling up and one of the biggest challenges in scaling up is hiring. As a startup you have basic 3 thumb rules while hiring

1. You need the best possible talent

2. You can’t pay them the best possible money

3. You can’t afford to do mistakes.

So while trying to figure out the best way to hire people, I asked one of my best engineers,  ”Why do you work for Mobisy?”

His answer, “That’s cause I am crazy, I love the challenges and there are plenty here ..”

My response, “Let’s try and find many more crazy guys like us”.

Startup Employee

Here are some things that have worked for us in the past while trying to find “crazy” startup engineers.

Attend conferences not for VCs but for developers

I see lot of entrepreneurs at conferences trying to attract VCs or Customers. But if you look attentively, these conferences are attended mostly by geeks, developers, people who dream about becoming entrepreneurs. By experience I know that these are the best people to work for a startup cause they will not only build but even evangelize and sell your product !! So next time you attend barcamp or mobilemonday, look to hire talented engineers.

“Crazy Geeks” attract crazy geeks.

If you have some crazy dudes in your venture, ask them to get their friends. These are more likely to turn out to be great hires. It also helps to develop a healthy environment in your startup cause it’s like friends working together on a project. You will see your productivity shoot up.

Don’t bother posting jobs on Naukri/Monster, don’t hire a hiring agency

We have tried putting up jobs on job portals, it usually spits out profiles which I wish my competitors would hire. So don’t bother.

Market yourself as a “crazy” place to work in

This usually takes longer to build. But in every conference , event you attend , blog you write, just be yourself(i.e. ‘Completely nuts’). Your existent employees are the best people to communicate this to the rest of the world. If you really wanna post a job, put it up on startup blogs like here.

Once you find a talent hire it, don’t wait for cashflows to turn up

Sometimes a smart engineer turns up at your door but you reject him/her cause you don’t have enough money to pay him. We have made those mistakes in past but my advise is not do it. It’s so difficult to find right talent in place like Bangalore that if a good guy turns up, just do everything you can to hire him/her even if you may not have exact matching job profile.

If you make a mistake , then fix it.

One of the risks with hiring is that sometimes you end up with wrong people in your hurry. As with every other mistake you do in life, don’t waste time and don’t be afraid to fire people. You will find out that the rest of your team is more motivated to work with right set of people than to work for a company which offers ‘job security’.

Once hired, do whatever you can to retain the talent

Great environment, laughs in office, fun outings, home cooked free food, work from home are many ways to make sure that the energy of your colleagues stays high even after all those night-outs and hard work. So make sure you do all these and more to retain your hard earned talent.

What do you think?

[Image courtesy, Zazzle. Reproduced from Lalit’s blog.]

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