Rotate your device for better experience
Apr 27, 2020
Covid-19 has changed the landscape of tech development.
While many established companies are not eager to commit to large-scale innovative projects until they get more certainty regarding the status of the economy, startups tend to have a road-map of their own, that keeps them pushing forward with full throttle ahead.
Having talked to dozens of startups’ founders and executives over the past months, the main reasons that I find are as follows:
A) The Race: Startups rarely function alone in a void; in every industry and for every problem within it, there are usually numerous initiatives that are competing one another on who will solve the problem first, and reach PMF (Product Market Fit). Startups are in no position of risking having one of their competitors advancing faster than them, so they must keep running, fast.
B) The Bleed: Running any company costs money, even if part of the team is on leave. For startups, every minute not optimally utilized to reach the next milestone usually means throwing away their precious investment money.
Having understood WHY startups must move fast even through these hectic times, now comes the question of HOW they can move fast, and the answer is simple - they need to get qualified personnel on board.
The problem is that these are not exactly the best times to hire new team members, for the following reasons:
A) Qualified and experienced team members are usually scarce and expensive. It is true that the bargain power of employers is stronger than before the Covid-19 era; however, quality personnel with relevant experience that also has the right startup-DNA are still not easy to come by, and when a relevant candidate comes along, he/she will usually require adequate terms.
B) Independency and proactiveness. Working from afar demands various specific qualities besides mere professionalism, such as independence, proactiveness and experience in working as a part of a greater, decentralized team. Especially now, when there is no methodical onboarding process for new employees, the ability to make sure your new team member is a good fit for your team might take a long time, and cost accordingly.
C) The long-term hiring dilemma. Ideally, everyone wants their team members also to be in-house employees. However, there is not always an actual need for a long-term relationship with a developer, designer or product manager, as usually the startup’s visible milestones revolve between a few weeks to few months. What happens in case the startup decides moving in directions that no longer require the said employee, not to mention performing a full pivot? Firing employees, especially when such inconvenience could have been avoided by better planning from the get-go, may evoke hard feelings among the remaining ones and seriously harm the startup’s momentum and reputation.
The solution. Hiring outsource services is not always the best solution for any company, let alone for a startup that is fighting for its existence. However, in these times, it is the optimal solution for startups that need to move fast without having unnessercery strings attached, assuming your outsource agency has the quality, the reputation and the experience of successfully working with startups.
How to pick the right outsource agency?