Managing TeamS

10/2/2016

​I’m super happy and excited to announce that the SuchCrowd team is growing. It’s always been kind of a dream or personal goal of mine to give people employment opportunities and having the ability to do that is well … kinda amazing.

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Super cute bracelet gifted to me by SuchCrowd's first intern Varsha!

​But it’s not without its challenges. A lot of start-ups find it hard to manage staff and I am not at all without struggles. SuchCrowd has attempted to hire staff in the past, once when we were developing our idea and once when we first launched our online platform. Both were, without a doubt, abysmal failures.

Staff have certain needs … like they require all this stuff. Like contracts, job descriptions, performance reviews ... This all takes a certain level of expertise. But most importantly it takes time that start-ups generally just don’t have. And then the other killer, probably the most important thing that staff need is guidance. Not necessarily being told what to do but at least having some idea of what they should be focusing on after they’ve made themselves a coffee and sat down at their desk.

The reason why I think start-ups find it so hard to manage staff is because the co-founders don’t always know exactly what they are doing themselves, let alone being able to advise the staff member on what to do. Start-ups go through an intense phase of trial and error that people that aren’t co-founders probably shouldn’t be expected to endure. It’s really tempting to think ‘oh I could hire someone and things will go faster’. I get that. Co-founders definitely give themselves too much work.

So if you are looking to get some staff on-board here’s some tips, from someone who has done it and failed and done it again and maybe (just maybe) succeeded;

1. Write a job description

Before you try and get a staff member sit down and think about what you actually want that person to do, focus the job description on the tasks of the job rather than the qualities of the person you are hoping to hire. If you can’t quite think of the exact tasks, you probably shouldn’t hire a staff member just yet.

2. Start with a small job

Realistically, while you may feel like you are absolutely swimming in work, there is probably only a small amount that you can ‘give’ to someone else. Most of it you should be doing yourself in the early days. Consider starting with a fixed project or a small ongoing task rather than a full blown permanent, 40 hour a week position.

3. Consider what you can offer

​If you can’t think of any reason why someone would want to do the job you’ve written down then maybe it’s not the right job to be employing for. As a start-up I think there has to be a motivation beyond pay … because let’s be realistic, you probably can’t pay top dollar for people you hire.

Lastly, if you do end up with a staff member remember that is just the beginning of the journey. Now you have all the fun things to think about like how can you keep them motivated, engaged, up-skilling, happy? Most co-founders say they thought having a staff member would mean less work – I say, don’t kid yourself. Make sure you love your staff because at the end of the day you are working for them as much as they are working for you.

PS: I DO love my staff, also I also don’t like to call them staff. Thanks beautiful individuals that agree to drink coffee with me most days of the week.

Co-founder: Jacob - my ultimate team member

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