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Staffing is the process of recruiting, hiring, and positioning your people. It’s about attracting, aligning and retaining the best talent you can find. Sounds easy. And it would be if no people were involved. But because they are individuals with their own free will, everyone will not follow your direction perfectly every time. In your start-up you will quickly learn that employees aren’t robots. Sure, you know that. But amongst the chaos, it will become clear that people make things exponentially more complicated, in every possible way (and fulfilling too!). It’s a challenge that can be overcome by preparing a game plan up front. Before you make your first hire, think about your resource needs and organization design and be ready to ask yourself:

How will this role contribute to my plan?

You need to know what the person is actually going to do all day and then compare it to your value proposition. In that way, you can clearly see the value of the role and then make a decision whether you need it or not. Separating your analysis into role and then person will improve your objectivity.

How do the skills match the goals for the role?

Skills and job titles are different. Job titles are what someone is called and skills describe what someone can do. You are paying for output / delivery / results, so it’s best to carefully assess the match between skills and expected results.

Are incentives aligned to the goals?

“Throw the wallet over the fence and the heart will follow” is an old expression and also a useful way to illustrate the point of incentives. People will behave to goals in general but even more so with the correct incentives. Incentives are not just money. They are also things like time off, public acknowledgement, promotions, travel, training and the like.

The objective is to create harmony and alignment (like an ant colony) as a fundamental means of driving your company forward.

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