High-skilled, experienced talent is everywhere nowadays, especially since working remotely is now more accessible. But how do you actually start finding talent? Netcapital Advisors spoke with Arist Co-Founder Maxine Anderson to help us answer that question and outlined a few places for you to start looking.
Arist is a text-message-based learning platform helping organizations like GE and the State of California create text-message-based courses on a variety of subjects, like onboarding. Recently, the Y-Combinator-backed startup successfully raised 1.9M. Maxine Anderson, Arist co-founder and VP of Operations spoke with us about how the team formed and her advice to entrepreneurs.
Arist Co-founder and CEO Michael Ioffe previously ran a non-profit while in high school and was contacted by a student in Yemen who wanted to start a chapter. The student had no access to the internet and lived in a war zone, making sending materials by mail impossible. Ioffe found himself instructing the student via text and the core idea was born, Anderson explains.
Maxine Anderson, Arist Co-Founder and VP of Operations
Arist came about through organic conversations and a shared sense of purpose between the three original co-founders, as both Anderson and Ryan Laverty, Arist’s third co-founder, have backgrounds working in education and are passionate about learning accessibility. The three met while living in Babson College’s undergraduate residential community dedicated to students with entrepreneurial aspirations.
Arist's previous CTO was a friend of Laverty’s. “We were lucky because we knew someone who is a very skilled software engineer,” Anderson says. When the team grew in March they reached out to their network: “Recently we just went through the normal process of connecting with advisors to help us find the correct talent...we interviewed a lot of people, put applications out...Normally people say, ‘Hire slow and fire fast’, but we found the right people pretty fast,” She explains of the process. New hires included a new CTO and VP of Growth.
Anderson also offered some great general advice for entrepreneurs: “You can’t be stubborn with your idea when you first have it,” She says. “Having an idea is great, but until you really bring it to market or you start building it and people start using it, whether it’s an [online] platform or a consumer product, you don’t really know what people want. I think you just have to start, figure it out and put stuff out there. Find what fits and what doesn’t and just test a lot of things.”
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Every startup’s hiring journey is different but they all have the same dilemma: where to start searching for talent. Here, we’ve outlined a few places to look for the next addition to your company’s team.
From funding portals to online accelerators, finding like-minded people interested in entrepreneurship online has never been easier. You can post job opportunities on platforms like AngelList, an online startup community. You can also post job listings in startup-focused online publications. You can post in a nearby Builtin or Inno publication, especially if you’re interested in having a team in the same time zone or area.
Anderson also highlighted one of the benefits of having a younger core founding team: availability. “I think because we’re young we’re able to work 24/7 on the startup,” She says in regards to being a younger founding team. If you’re looking for a scrappy team member or cofounder, posting an opportunity on a college job board may be a viable option for finding talent.
Reaching out to past co-workers is an easy, low-risk way to find a hire. You’re likely familiar with their working style, you have an established relationship, and you have proof of their experience. Try reaching out— even if they aren’t interested in working at your company, they may be able to refer you to someone who is.
If you’re an early-stage company, you and your co-founder(s) may not be ready to take on new full-time hires. In the meantime, you can teach yourself a lot of the basics to cover for a smaller team. In future blog posts we’ll be sharing entrepreneurial tools and tips for teams both big and small. You can subscribe for updates below.
Paige is the Content Marketing Associate at Netcapital Advisors. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, with a double major in American Studies and East Asian Languages and Cultures. Outside of her work at Netcapital Advisors, Paige pursues creative writing and keeps up with the latest cultural news.