Workable CEO Nikos Moraitakis dishes out advice for Startup Founders

Workable has raised $34 million in venture funding. Their CEO sent us his tips for hiring at your startup.

I meet too many founders who’ve read 27 blog posts on landing page optimization but make it up as they go along in interviews. It takes time, preparation and selling, and getting it wrong can slow down or kill your startup.

In the early days, the way you market your product and the way you think about the problems you’re solving, says a lot about the kind of company that you’re about to build. If you become known for doing interesting things for your customers you will attract talented and ambitious people. Smart people want to solve inter- eating problems. They’re not looking for a job, they’re looking for a mission. Smart people want to work with smart people.

Part of being a good CEO is building a great network with quality and reach. There are no short cuts here, it’s real work. The better your network is, the easier your next hire is going to be. If you don’t know the right person you will at least know someone who does.

You’re not hiring to fill a job, you’re building a company. Make the first 20 hires deliberately with the future in mind. Don’t hire people just because they’re good in general and available. These kinds of opportunistic or bad hires early on in a startup’s life can sink you. The cost of a pointless hire has been put at between $25k-$50k. That’s money that most startups cannot afford to waste.

One of the biggest mistakes made when hiring for a startup is to think that just because you’re small you don’t need a process. If you think “process” means doing things slowly then think again. Get the right tools, remember to hire as a team and you will stay on track. The hiring process is a funnel — you get a lot of applicants, you speak with some of them, you meet a few of them, you hire the one you like best. An efficient filtering process will save you and your candidates time.