Building a Team: Tips for Tech Startups

July 12th, 2018



By Natasha Lane, 10x Management Guest Writer

The success of any startup company is determined at the very start, while the team is being assembled. Finding the right people for the job is no easy task and, therefore, shouldn’t be rushed. Besides their expertise, you need to figure out what kind of people they are and how they’ll function within the team. In order to help you create the optimal tech startup team, we’ve compiled a list of things you should be on the lookout for. You can use this article as a checklist to make sure you’ve taken all the necessary precautions.

Who Is the Boss?

While this expression might seem a bit too colloquial and demanding, it tackles an important issue early on. Who will be making the decisions in the startup and how? If you’re the only founder, you need to appoint yourself as the decision-maker and make sure your employees know that. If you’re a co-founder, try to establish a fair voting system for any future problems or take on different leading roles with your partners.

Why is this important? While things might run smoothly early on, there will come a time for tough decisions that might be crucial for the company’s development. At that point, everyone in the startup needs to know who will be responsible for any future successes or failures. Besides that, if one man is leading the show, the company will be more focused and effective in the long run. A good boss offers full guidance, which includes setting an achievable goal and providing necessary tools to reach it.

Building the Core

After you’ve dealt with decision-making roles, it’s time to build the core of your startup business. This will consist of a couple of experts in their respective fields that will push the company forward. Whether you will be hiring innovative machine learning engineers to tackle big data problems, or trend-setting digital marketing specialists depends solely on the direction of your company.

Now, when it comes to this core, it is crucial that you hire people who are ready to learn more, who are imaginative, and not complacent. You want your employees to grow with the startup over time. If you hire someone who is already well above the company’s level, he might get bored quickly, leave, or even challenge you as the company’s leader. So, make sure your potential employees know their work but also have a lot of room to improve.

Helping Hands

Once you’ve established a core, you should focus on supporting roles in the startup. While you’re a new company, you might want to focus on doing the work with just with your core team. However, as time goes by, maybe a few years in, you’ll start to notice all of the additional work that could be done to improve the quality of your service. This is genuinely the best way to find out exactly what roles you’re missing. Simply look at the gaps and fill them up.

There are a couple of paths you can go with this one. If the additional role is something urgent in your company that needs to be done on a daily basis, your best bet is to hire a full-time expert in the field. If the work is something occasional, you can either hire a freelancer or an agency.

–       Freelancers – The good thing about freelancers is that they’re generally less expensive than full-time employees and focus merely on the job at hand. Huffington Post made some rather extensive calculations to test this claim. But how do you know if the freelancer is any good? Well, thankfully, we live in a review-heavy world nowadays and the community is fairly critical.

–       Agencies – Just like freelancers, specialized agencies also focus on a single task and work towards completing it. What makes them a slightly better choice is the fact that they consist of a group of professionals trained to work as one, so you can expect the job to be done much sooner. For example, if your aforementioned machine learning engineer needs help with big data analysis, you just hire one of the best digital marketing agencies and the work continues uninterrupted.

Keep the Positivity Up

No matter what type of work you do, the essential part of every successful company is a positive atmosphere. Every task becomes a lot easier if it’s done in an inspiring, positive environment. So, how do you create one? Make sure you listen to your employees’ needs and wishes. Even if you can’t fulfill them at the moment, let them know that you’ve acknowledged them. Include bonuses for good work, paid vacations, and good working conditions. You might spend a little more money, but it will pay off in the future.

The most important part – try to identify and remove toxic people from your company early on. They might possess the necessary skills, but their negativity might affect your business in the future. Finding like-minded core employees at the start will, no doubt, ensure positive attitude in the startup and repel any potential troublemakers.

If you liked this article, check out 9 Secrets For Tech Talent Management.


Natasha is a web designer, lady of a keyboard and one hell of a geek. She is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge about IT, business and technology trends via creating high-quality content. To see what Natasha is up to next, check out her Twitter dashboard.