Developing new technology, identifying product/market fit, creating a go-to-market strategy… When building businesses, these are the types of challenges entrepreneurs tend to spend the majority of their time thinking about (and talking about with other entrepreneurs). And it’s easy to understand why: These are challenges that entrepreneurs can tackle largely on their own, without having to rely on anyone else.
But you can only solve a small fraction of the problems that you will face if you want to scale. You need to hire.
People – not products – are the lifeblood of hypergrowth companies. Ultimately, the conversations and relationships the people at your company have with customers, potential customers, investors, and others, will determine how successful you are in the long run.
This is a lesson that took me 20+ years and the founding of five companies to learn. Believe me, as an introvert, I’d love to just geek out on the 1% of stuff I can figure out on my own.
Instead, you need to:
- Hire people before skills: Scrappiness and cultural fit matter more than intelligence and experience.
- Hire for the right stage: you will need certain types of people at different points of your growth
- Get internal feedback but not consensus: hiring managers need to own the decision
This is how hypergrowth companies are born.
3 Hiring Tips for Scaling a High-Growth Startup
Last year, my most recent company, Drift, grew from 80 to 260 people and went from one office in Boston to three, with additions in San Francisco and Seattle. By the end of this year, we’ll be adding a significant number across the offices. And in the years to follow, we’ll likely open offices in EMEA and other regions around the globe.