Want some basic advice about hiring people? Click on the dots to go straight to links, which will provide some helpful formats and information.


The lawyers want you to know that this isn't legal advice, which by the way is something good to get early on, so that you can set good precedents. 

Commit to a timeline


Create an accurate and compelling job description​;

Have a plan for compensation, take into account budget, market, internal equity and value


Suck it up . You'll have to dedicate more of your valuable time than you'd like. Making a bad hire takes more time and can mean the death of a startup. Take a deep breath and do it right.

For early, "founder-like" positions, hire someone you know, or test someone out extensively by working with them on a project before you start giving away pieces of your company.   Out of sync early stage contributors and founders are the number one reason startups fail.

Sell, sell, sell every day, all the time. Sell to future clients, investors and employees.

Be intentional about your company's culture. Applicants and employees value culture more than compensation or potential for career growth.

Get organized before your interviews and be consistent.

Know what’s not OK to ask in an interview.

Ask evidence based questions. Instead of asking “Are you good at data collection?”, ask “Can you tell me about the most challenging time you’ve amalgamated varied information into one place? What went well and what turned out to be a challenge? What did you learn from it?” 

One-on-one (suggested for first round) Interviews should last 45 mins to an hour

  • 1/3 of time them talking​;

  • 1/3 you talking about the position;

  • 1/3 them asking questions and you explaining next steps.


​Always make your contact info available and encourage applicants to be in touch if they don't hear from you.


Stay on top of your communications with candidates, don't keep people hanging. It will be perceived as a harbinger of things to come.


Check three references - one current, one direct manager, and anyone else.  If someone is not able to provide the first two, could be a red flag.


Keep all applications for a year.  It's the law.


Send out an offer letter.

Notify candidates you haven't chosen.