We’re excited to publish our second episode of SmartLogic Studies, our interview series focusing on topics that challenge founders and tech leaders.
Our second episode—Time to Hire—focuses on entrepreneurs expanding their businesses and hiring that first employee. We also talk to Betamore, a coworking and incubator campus in Federal Hill, about finding the right employees.
Featured in Time to Hire
Full disclosure: NewsUp and GiftCardRescue are SmartLogic clients.
Tech Employment Pipelines in Baltimore
NET/WORK Baltimore (a technology job fair)
Baltimore Tech Jobs facebook group
Of course, going to local meetups, hackathons, and other events are a great way to source qualified candidates.
If you missed the first episode of SmartLogic Studies, check out First Funding.
What is SmartLogic?
SmartLogic is a custom web/mobile development company based in Baltimore. We are committed to helping the Baltimore tech community thrive and grow. Many of our clients are startups who face an array of questions when launching their business. We want to be both a technical resource for software development and a reserve of knowledge on everything a startup founder might want to know.
Still have questions? Maybe we can help. Try our Lunch and Learn program.
Expanding your start-up and knowing when to hire
Expanding from a team of one can be a hard change for founders.
“The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is that they think they can run their company alone,” said Rob Rosenbaum, the executive director of TEDCO.
But it can be scary to grow. “It’s tough trusting people to fulfill a job when you don’t know them at all,” said Andrew Schuster, CEO of NewsUp.
Schuster isn’t alone when it comes to feeling that way.
“You’ve got this baby you’ve been forming in your head, this idea, this concept that you’ve been working on for a long time, at least internally, that finally comes to life,” said Delali Dzirasa, president of Fearless Solutions. “And then to bring people in, a part of you is a little nervous and it’s like, ‘Are they really going to get it.’”
The hiring needs of a start-up constantly change.
“One of the hardest things that companies always have is finding the right talent for their growing business,” said Betamore CEO, Jen Meyer. “The reality is that it changes. It changes in a week, to a month, to every day.”
At GiftCardRescue, CEO Kwame Kuadey hires people if they’re a good company fit and then figures out what their job is.
“The first three months is kind of a discovery period for me because I want to see what you can do,” Kuadey said. “It’s not necessarily pigeoning you into what you came here for.”
Schuster suggests part-time or freelancers to help fill out your team in the beginning; that’s what he did.
“If you can avoid hiring people full-time and continue to have success in a very small structured system, then why not keep doing it,” he said.
Patrick Rife, the founder of Pixilated Photo Booth, turned to freelancers when initially building the website for his product.
“We definitely started our company in a pretty traditional way where we used Elance for a web designer,” he said.
But it takes more than a few freelancers to help run your company.
“Talent doesn’t stop at needing to hire a software developer, talent digs into building a management team,” Meyer said. “At the end of the day you need to be able to scale your business and grow it.”
Comedtech CEO Eff Norwood has a secret strength when it comes to hiring, and it takes some humility.
“I hire people who are way smarter than me,” he said. “They’re incredible, they’re ten times better than anyone else, so you look to find those people.”
For Rife, a lot of his hiring at Pixilated is about finding people who don’t need to be managed.
“I don’t want to manage anyone,” Rife said. “I hated being managed and I never had to be.”
To find those great employees, Betamore can help.
“These companies, they need the support to get talent,” Meyer said. “We have the ability through our education courses and Works program to really help fill that gap and in addition we have great relationships with the universities and community colleges here to bring in some of that talent.”
Watching your business grow can be scary, but it’s been thrilling for Delali Dzirasa.
“I’m a little nervous in growing,” he said. “But it’s proved to be really, really good for us.”