Recruiting Intro

Intro into our module on recruiting; who are you looking for?

Lucas J. Pols
3 min readJan 27, 2018

Recruiting Intro

I find it fascinating is that the most critical factor for success in a startup, recruiting, is often discussed, but rarely does it have an actual process behind it. I’ve never seen a class on recruiting, nor do you do a deep dive into it when at a large corporate company.

If you’re lucky enough to have at least seen the recruiting process at a large company, but have never hired someone before, it’s like you are waving your arms in the dark trying to find the door and trying to avoid kicking the nightstand. Occasionally you’ll find the door, but the times you stub your toe could slow your startup or even cause it to fail.

Let’s be real though. You’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off half of the time. You’re trying to find product-market fit, raise capital, get customers, build a product, and find the most talented people that fit your culture to join your venture. It isn’t a wonder why people think entrepreneurs are nuts — we kind of are.

Do you have time to develop a defined process for recruiting, or even gain the knowledge to understand what to truly look for? Statistics say the majority don’t, and it is why the leading cause of startup failure is people problems.

Don’t worry, all is not lost. Our goal is to provide you a light in the dark. We have built a process into our website so that you do not need to worry about whether or not you’re doing it correctly.

Within the coming articles, we are going to talk about the following: mistakes to avoid, our co-founding story, how to recruit talent and build a process around it, and what to look for in attitude so that you can build a strong culture.

Books you should pick up are: Who by Geoff Smart & Randy Street as well as Hiring for Attitude by Mark Murphy. Both are great reads, and even challenged and expanded some of my thoughts on how to recruit effectively.

Who? Thoughts To Keep In Mind As You Move Through This Module

One of the biggest mistakes I see startups make is not understanding what position they are trying to fill.

First Challenge: Specialization

Yes, in the beginning everyone is going to wear a lot of different hats, but the person you bring on needs to be able to function in a more general role and then be able to make the transition to a specialized hierarchical function. If you hire someone that is a generalist but not excellent at one of the roles you need them to fill eventually, be warned, you will fire them.

Second Challenge: Culture

If you have multiple people on your team already and are having trouble defining your culture do this exercise:

Bring everyone together and give them a pad of sticky notes. For 2–5 minutes have them write down everything that they believe embodies the culture of your venture.

At the end of the time post them all on the wall with similar ones overlapping.

Your top 3–5 piles will define your company’s culture and what you are looking for in new candidates.

Third Challenge: A-Players

You need to find A-players. It doesn’t matter if you are hiring an Admin or a CEO, everyone in your organization needs to be an A-player — the life of your startup depends on it.

A-players build better cultures, make better contributions, and only an A player can hire an A-player.

Smart gives an excellent definition of an A-player, “A candidate who has at least a 90 percent chance of achieving a set of outcomes that only the top 10 percent of possible candidates could achieve.”

It is not easy breaking through the façade that people portray during interviews, but we designed this process so that it will lower your chance of failure as much as possible.

Lucas is the founder of Spark xyz, platform management software for incubators, accelerators, Angel groups, and VC’s.



Lucas J. Pols

Chairman of the Board @ Spark xyz | President Tech Coast Angels