Raising a significant seed fund or Series A round is a massive achievement. It proves you've created a solution that investors believe holds promise and that you'll be able to expand and grow. When I was at this stage, I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from them. So that you can too, here are four pointers to save you from making some common errors:
Invest a huge amount of time in the hiring process
The return on investment when you hire the right people is enormous. This stage includes interview sessions (every applicant should be interviewed individually), experimenting with acquiring methods (employment companies, LinkedIn, Cord) and optimising your hiring funnel. Compile all this information and analyse it to ensure that your recruitment process is as short as possible while giving the best applicants the chance to shine.
Only recruit people who fulfil your (obviously high) standards for quality
Don't lower your standards just because you think you're not recruiting quickly enough. This will come back to bite you. Raise your recruitment budget, launch a candidate referral programme, expand your presence (use other recruiters, post more ads, hold hiring events) and enhance the complete package you're offering as much as possible (base salary, equity, bonus, pension, health insurance).
Set regular start dates for new recruits
If you're hiring a large number of people, it's far easier to set an 'induction day' every couple of weeks than to onboard people in dribs and drabs. It saves time for everyone (just one induction every two weeks) and will help you maintain a high level of motivation. It's also nice for new employees to share their first day with other new recruits.
Create a network
The old addage, "It's not what you know, it's who you know" holds true: connections are essential. Talking to others who have travelled the same recruiting path may be instructive and beneficial. They can give you advice, provide recommendations for new recruits, invite you to networking events and put you in touch with people who can help you further.
TAKEAWAY: As soon as you've secured your first major funding, it's time to hire in earnest. Spend time and money on the hiring process, keep your standards high throughout this whole stage and get networking. You'll thank yourself down the line.