Startups are powered by #passion.
Q: What was the toughest hire you have made and do you mind sharing what the decision process like?
**A: Toughest hire so far that we’ve experienced was when we were assembling our technology team. Being a new, unproven tech startup comes with challenges — not only to convince clients, investors, but also prospective employees to join us to build something really awesome and worth tackling on.**
**After the application process, we usually require our applicants to fill in a short but concise tech assessment, to filter out the prospective candidates of their most basic skills. After that, about 1–2 interview session was conducted, first, by a senior team member, and then the CTO to approve on the candidate.**
Q: What are the characteristics to consider when hiring a new employee, especially for small businesses and startups?
**A: Tech industry and startups are different, unlike your usual 9–5 job. They are challenging, rules of the game often evolve, and trends shifts regularly.**
**The employee must be able to always be on their toes, loves solving problems, understand the advantages and disadvantages of a startup, loyal to the mission, and see problems as a challenge, not an obstacle. Just like how a startup tends to growth-hack, new employees will go through a process of growth-hacking their skills and experience, together with the evolving startup. The most important thing of all is, you must not join a startup to be comfortable.**
Q: Steve Jobs once said, “hire the best” — Within this highly competitive startup scene, what kind of employees would be the right fit for newfound startup to scale rapidly? Do you seek for experienced/competent, hardworking, or smart candidates? Explain your answer.
**A: The right employees that you need are usually the ones who believe in the startup, believes on what change it could bring, and the problem that it will solve. To scale rapidly, I believe hiring passionate problem-solvers, which thrives under pressure and like to challenge themselves. These are the ones who usually finds the shortest route, growth-hacks a startup and smart enough to know what to improve when the next stage of startup growth comes. Every startup, however unique, has very specific stages of growth, and usually, you can’t take your sweet time to get the first few iterations of your product out the door to the consumers.**
**First thing I look for when I look into a resume, after confirming that they are able to execute a certain task that we look for, is passion.
He should be passionate in his job, whether they loved working on new technology, love exploring technology in their free time, and/or has some freelance experience (this usually tells me that the employee has some degree of full-stack skills, able to handle & manage expectation and client’s requirements). Involvement in co-curriculum in University (for fresh graduates) are also a big sign of a person’s ability to rally a team together and work well with others towards a single goal.**
Q: For a tech-startup, do you think it’s a good idea to have a good CTO (Chief Tech Officer) in order to ensure the efficiency of your products? What are the characteristics you consider in finding the right one?
**A: What makes a good CTO? I believe the main criteria is be able to see technology mission clearly, of the product and the company. Able to make the team believe in it, even before the product is conceived. A CTO should be able to see farther than any of the employees, and are able to keep that momentum going, while keeping the team organized, motivated and facilitate the process of the problem solving so that the team enjoys solving them, not demotivated by it. He/she must be able to understand, compartmentalized tasks efficiently and experienced enough to be able to share his knowledge, and also lead by example. Tech spectrum is also very wide, from design, UX, back-end to servers — so he must know each team member’s specialty and able to assign them appropriately depending on one’s discipline, because, trust me on this — as an employee, presented with the right problems to solve, will go to great lengths to solve them.**
Q: Every single hire is an investment (time, money, training etc). Do you think employing ‘interns’ is as valuable as employing permanent employees? Share you experience and thoughts about the subject matter for example the pros and cons of the two.
**A: I’ve worked with many interns, and i’ve seen various outcomes of employing interns. But the most glaring differences that denotes how committed an intern is at the end of the day — is how passionate they are about the experience when offered to them, as these young minds are very susceptible to influences and you must give them the right head-start.**
**I believe in hiring interns, but you must spend an appropriate amount of time teaching them, training them and giving them enough reason to see themselves back in the company later with the right mindset and expectation. In my experience, permanent employees who started off as interns has the best chances of being your most committed team members and also the ones who will be the most loyal as permanent employees.**