When you’re the founder of a startup company, it’s on you to bring in the best and the brightest. It’s also on your to play Donald Trump and fire people. To avoid the latter, it’s important to follow a few guidelines during your hiring process. Obviously, you want highly motivated, passionate employees, who are also hard working, yet fun, and professional, but that can handle a solid work-life balance.

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 1.02.20 PM

It’s Difficult To Make Friends & Family Workout

Hiring a family member or one of your best friends is like tossing the little white ball on the roulette wheel and hoping it hits black 29. The chances of it are low, yet everyone always bets on this option.

It’s not uncommon for startup companies to ask for assistance from those closest to them — especially in the beginning of the process. You need someone to help you set everything up, the occasional person to sign for a package… the list goes on. But once business starts moving, you need to make sure if you bring that person on full time that they’re fully motivated because they love the company and its values — not because they love you.

The amount of bad hires via family members is well documented. Not only does it hurt your business, but more importantly, it strains the relationship with those closest to you. Drama and family issues outside the office doesn’t translate into better productivity on the job.

Don’t let this guideline scare you — there are plenty of examples of when family members going into business together work out perfectly. But if your hiring a family member, just remember that the other employees might assume there is some favoritism going on, especially if that person makes his or her way up the ladder.

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 1.03.39 PM

Close, But No Cigar

While going through resumes and applications, you’re going to come across the applicant that catches your eye. Good education, decent work experience… but is it enough? Finding the right person is difficult and you never want to settle.

If you do settle, you might find someone who is quite skilled, but isn’t so hot when it comes to teamwork. At first glance, a new hire can look like an up and coming superstar — mainly because you don’t expect too much out of him or her. You expect the day-to-day to get accomplished. When larger projects come into play, they could quickly fall behind and not keep pace.

The worst part about these types of hires is they cost you a significant amount of money and time. You wasted an entire applicant pool process all to settle on this one person. And guess what? You have to do it again. That means posting the job on various sites (that costs money) and bringing in new applicants (that costs time, and as we know, time is money).

Another pain point is the hiring pool. In today’s internet based community, each professional specialty — whether it be in design, marketing, blogging, or accounting — is a part of its on eco-system. Accordingly, the top talent knows where to go when they are looking for work. Make sure you have someone who is familiar with this delicate nature of specialized hiring involved in the process.

The Good-To-Bad Transformation

Before giving up on what you’ve deemed a bad hire, remember that all is not lost. In fact, some employees who are deemed bad hires can surprise you. It might take a slightly different approach to the work this person is responsible for. Or maybe just a change of heart. Motivation for the right reasons goes a long way, perhaps you can convey something that will motivate that person.

Offer to bring this person in for a weekly meeting to not only consult about his or her work, but also see what they’re up to. You never know when a personal reason gets in the way of work. That can easily be fixed. By devoting your time, your “bad hire” will devote more effective time to his or her job.

You know that a bad hire can ruin your startup, so it’s important to use the utmost judgment in these decisions. Remember, time is money.

Images via: Mindflash