Hiring great people for your business can be a tricky and time-consuming challenge for any founder, but it’s vital to get right. For an early-stage startup, finding the right person can be transformative to your growth, whether due to the on-boarding of much-needed skills, experience, ideas or simply a can-do attitude and entrepreneurial spirit. At the other end of the spectrum, making the wrong hire can really hold back your growth, with invaluable resources being drained making up for an underperforming team member, not to mention team morale and productivity being weakened by a bad culture fit.

So how do you make sure you hire the right person?

When looking for the perfect candidate, whether you know it or not, it’s likely that you’ll be assessing on a mixture of the technical skills, competencies, and behaviours that are required for the role and your company.

Whilst the technical skills will, of course, depend on the role you’re hiring for (a developer vs a marketer vs a salesperson), to build a strong team there should be a core set of competencies and behaviours that are key to your existing team’s performance and culture, and epitomise the one you wish to build.

Defining what these core competencies and behaviours are, and then ensuring that you pragmatically assess candidates on each of them (as well as their technical skills), will result in you having a far more holistic view of a candidate’s skills and characteristics, and therefore a greater ability to qualify candidates and find the right ones for the role and your team.

How do you go about doing this? Below, you can download a hiring and interview playbook – essentially, it’s a template for interviewing effectively, that will help you:

  • Get beneath the surface of candidates so you don’t miss things and can, therefore, make a more informed judgement
  • Use a multi-competency approach to test the candidate in different ways, get them thinking, and therefore have a more meaningful discussion
  • Not get carried away by your biases or inclination towards certain attributes, whilst ignoring others
  • Ensure you use your interview time more efficiently, with each interviewer focusing on their own area of expertise

In it, you’ll find:

  • Examples of the competencies you might typically assess candidates on, such as strategic thinking, entrepreneurial spirit and leadership
  • Examples of why each competency is important to the role, and to your company
  • An outline for what you should look for in each candidate, respective to each competency, and what the red flags are
  • Over 50 sample interview questions to help you assess each competency
  • A framework for structuring the interview process over different ’rounds’