How I Hired my Startup Team in 5 Countries.

“Hiring is Hard”. Repeat with me. “HIRING IS HARD”, especially when you’re building your team from ground up.

Finding and negotiating contract with a potential candidate can take from 2 weeks to 2 months. If it takes less than that, you’re rushing. If it takes more than that, you’re not talking to enough candidates.

Having said that, I’ll focus my advise on finding talent here:

1. Linkedin

Clichéd as it may sound, Linkedin was my go to platform for finding new talent.

As I had a wearables company, I’d start by typing “Wearables” and follow it with the kind of talent I was trying to find, to narrow down my search. So for UX personnel, I’d type “Wearables UX” and hit ENTER.

Out of 1000s of search results I get, I further narrow it down by filtering the candidates from their experience. The best filter criteria was past company. I’d select Jawbone, Fitbit, Apple to find talent with the experience I was looking for. (That’s almost like poaching. Sorry Apple.)

2. Diversify

Talking to one or two potential candidates is never a good option. You must talk to atleast 25 potential candidates at once. I used to message 25–30 people in one go, out of which only 7–8 would reply. Their response used to be either positive or negative. If negative, next day I’d message another 20–25 people to keep it on a roll.

3. The Message

Here’s a sample I used to send:

This is the kind of response I used to get:

After this, I’d usually schedule a call time with the person. After the call, I used to assume I’d never hear back from this person. This helped me handle rejections very well.

Reaching out is just first step. There’s usually a lot of back and forth before you sign someone on. More on that later. :)


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