What to Focus on When Hiring for Your Startup After Raising Funds

Vinay Chand
What to Focus on When Hiring for Your Startup After Raising Funds
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It’s not uncommon for early-stage startup founders to take on multiple roles and responsibilities. Having recently raised your first round of funding, however, it’s time to start recruiting more outside talent.

For some startups, that could include hiring a designer to liven up your website, or a copywriter to engage incoming traffic. For others, it will mean gearing your recruiting effort to sales or engineering personnel. 

Since hiring top talent is one of the biggest costs your startup will encounter, it’s important that you avoid bringing on team members before you need them—or that you don’t need at all. 

This recruitment strategy overview will show you what to focus on when hiring for your startup, including which roles you should be looking to fill first, and where you can comfortably outsource.

Identify mission-critical roles

The best way to launch your hiring process is by identifying and only recruiting mission-critical roles that fill talent gaps in your existing team.

A quality new hire is a healthy indicator of a developing startup culture and growing business. But onboarding too many job seekers, too quickly can:

  • Stretch your budget unnecessarily
  • Lead to layoffs that erode company culture
  • Necessitate the raising of additional funds

You should also be leery of filling the wrong roles upfront. If, for example, you immediately hire a CFO (chief financial officer) when all you really need is a bookkeeper, you risk overspending and running out of cash. 

By using your job postings to bring on multi-skilled, adaptable professionals—like the marketer who can do graphic design, for example, or the developer who also excels at product management—you’ll cover more ground while freeing yourself to handle other business priorities.

Focus on 3 key roles every startup needs

If you’re really unsure what to focus on when hiring for your startup, start with these 3 key roles every new business needs.

1. Marketing

Because founders are often focused on developing great products, it’s easy to undervalue the vital role marketing plays. 

If your startup is ready to go to market, hiring an expert with excellent marketing and social media skills will help you:

  • Express your value proposition clearly and persuasively
  • Build brand awareness
  • Generate long term demand for your product

The right time to add a marketer to your team is when your go-to-market strategy is based on reaching a wide consumer audience. 

If, for example, your startup sells trendy, inexpensive clothing to a global eCommerce market, it makes sense to hire a marketer who can interact with your online community and help maintain positive customer relationships.

Ideally, you should also look for a marketing professional who can collaborate with your product manager to incorporate customer feedback into product development.

2. Sales

Using your website’s careers pages to add a talented salesperson to your team is a great way to generate new leads that can grow your sales revenue—especially if that person has relevant industry experience, and requires minimal training to start closing deals.

The right time to bring on a salesperson is when your go-to-market strategy requires a more sales-focused approach; like when you’re targeting a niche market. 

If, for example, your startup sells software specifically for the aviation industry, it makes sense to hire a salesperson who can help sell your product directly to airlines and provide them with ongoing customer support.

Hiring the right sales rep isn’t always easy. But as you work through what to focus on when hiring for your startup, remember that investing in the best possible sales team members will help generate income for additional hires. 

3. Tech 

Hiring team members who specialize in technology and development is often crucial for business success; especially in the case of tech startups

The right time to make a tech hire a permanent part of your team is when you need to fill a development or IT skills gap to make your product viable.

Using job boards to source product engineers, website developers, and other tech personnel can both improve your product and expand your web presence and reach. 

Outsource non-core functions 

Outsourcing certain job descriptions is a great way to go when your startup lacks the time or funds to hire in-house.

When you outsource non-core functions to experienced freelancers, for example, you can generate new connections while avoiding premature hiring commitments. Working with established companies also helps guarantee quality, expertise, and timeliness while keeping costs down.

Here are some non-core roles we recommend outsourcing: 

Accounting. When the time is right, third-party accountants can help you find tax deductions, file returns, and create financial forecasts to stay on top of your funding.

Bookkeeping. Working with a cloud-based bookkeeper lets you track day-to-day spending, process invoices and payroll, and maintain your financial ledgers remotely. 

Writing & Documentation. Freelance content marketers, copywriters, editors, and business document specialists can be conveniently contracted as needed.

HR/Recruiting. Outsourcing your recruitment process to a trusted agency reduces time spent screening high level candidates and managing the interview process.

As you consider what to focus on when hiring for your startup, remember that filling key roles effectively should be your top priority since failing to hire the right people can severely undermine your growth. 

In areas where hiring full-time help is premature or unnecessary, outsourcing can ensure you get the expertise you need without shelling out the big bucks for permanent staff. 

At Enkel, we provide outsourced bookkeeping, payroll management, accounts payable, and accounts receivable services to startups preserving their funds for mission-critical hires.

Need proper financial management for your startup? Enkel can help.

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