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  • Writer's pictureQuentin Sebastian

How to hire first 10 employees for your tech startup

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

“A big business starts small.” – Richard Branson

Though the above quote is true, that small start should be impactful. It should make a difference that paves the way for success.

Starting a tech startup is an exhilarating endeavour, but building a capable team is crucial for long-term success. The process of hiring your first 10 employees can be both exciting and challenging.

As Zig Ziglar says, you don’t build a business, you build people, then people build the business; it is very important whom you hire and why you hire the specific talent. It must be done for all the right reasons, as one mistake could be a massive setback for a startup.

In this blog, we will guide you through the key steps to ensure you make informed decisions while assembling a talented and dedicated team that aligns with your startup’s vision.

Let’s dive in!

Define Your Startup’s Vision and Core Values

Before hiring your first employees, it’s essential to establish a clear vision and core values for your tech startup. Define the purpose and long-term goals of your business, along with the values that will guide your team’s behaviour and decisions. A well-defined vision and set of values serve as a compass when evaluating potential candidates and help attract individuals who share your passion and commitment.

Craft a Compelling Job Description

A well-crafted job description is vital for attracting top talent. Clearly outline the responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations for each role. Highlight the unique aspects of your startup, such as the innovative projects, potential for growth, and the collaborative work environment. Emphasize the impact candidates can make, giving them a sense of purpose and motivation to join your team.

Assess Skills and Cultural Fit

During the selection process, evaluate candidates based on both their technical skills and cultural fit within your startup. Conduct thorough interviews, focusing on behavioural questions to understand how they approach problem-solving and collaborate with others. Consider organizing practical assessments or coding challenges to gauge their technical expertise. Additionally, assess their alignment with your startup’s values and mission through discussions about their past experiences

and their aspirations.

Seek Passion and Adaptability

In the early stages of a startup, employees need to be passionate and adaptable. Look for candidates who display a genuine interest in your industry and a hunger for learning and growth. Startup environments often require individuals to wear multiple hats and adapt to changing circumstances. Prioritize candidates who demonstrate flexibility, resilience, and a willingness to take on new challenges.

Offer Competitive Compensation and Perks

To attract top talent, ensure your compensation package is competitive within the industry. While startups may not always match the salaries of larger companies, emphasize the unique advantages of joining a startup, such as the potential for rapid growth, autonomy, and the opportunity to make a real impact. Consider offering equity options, flexible work arrangements, and opportunities for professional development to entice prospective employees.


Hiring the first 10 employees for your tech startup can set the tone for your company’s future. By defining your vision, crafting compelling job descriptions, leveraging your network, assessing skills and cultural fit, seeking passion and adaptability, and offering competitive compensation, you can build a strong foundation of talented individuals who share your startup’s mission. Remember, reducing cost per hire in the hiring process will pay off in the long run, propelling your startup towards success.

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