How to Build a Good Startup Team Without Really Trying

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Here's how to attract awesome team members without bending over backward to do it.

Your startup needs a good team to be successful; otherwise, even the best idea won't be able to get off the ground. However, it's hard to build a "good" team for a startup. You need talented candidates, but more than that you need candidates who are willing to work together, and ones that your limited budget can afford--this isn't even mentioning the time pressure of building early lines of revenue.

That's why it's better to build a team without really trying--without exhausting your resources to hunt down the best candidates. Here's how to do it.

Get to Know People

This is the first, and by far most useful strategy in this article. Network, and get to know more people. The vast majority of successful hires are done through contacts of contacts, or through referrals. If you maximize your professional network, you'll maximize your referrals--oftentimes without ever lifting a finger--and you'll have your pick of the litter when it comes to new hires.

Promote Hires Via Your Website

Use your website to your advantage, and try to branch out to other websites as well. Create a Careers page, and use marketing strategies like SEO and social media to attract more people to it--just be sure you're targeting the right audience.

Cruise Colleges

Colleges are great places to find young talent. College students and recent graduates are often very talented, but have limited experience, making them perfect fits for budding startups. Plus, most of them are aggressively looking for jobs, so they'll gladly come to you.

Host a Contest

Host some kind of contest, such as a development competition, to identify key talent. This encourages participation, forces people to show off their skills, and you can generally count on participants having lots of extra time on their hands.

With these strategies, you can start naturally attracting better, more qualified candidates to your team--and retain them for longer. These tactics still require some degree of effort, but far less so than other strategies, which would have you scrambling to find the right hires.