Monday, March 10, 2008

A key ingredient for a successful start-up... its people. From my personal experience, hiring part-timers does not work for multiple reasons. It's easy to lump all the reasons under "lack commitment" but that would be an unfair generalization. Part-time employees have a commitment to their other job that cannot be discounted or shrugged off (particularly when I expect the same commitment to the position I hired them for!), a bigger juggling challenge to achieve work-life balance and often, conflicting priorities which are equally important. I believe happy people make better employees and consequently, no surprise when I found myself in full agreement with this blogger and his post. With that said, no part time employees for me at my next start-up unless faced with a dearth of options. Perhaps I should look at contracting out positions. What do my readers think? Either post a comment below, or send me personal email. I would love to hear your thoughts.


Deepa&Maruthy said...

You can consider using part-time "experts" to train your fulltime team.

This works best when you find people with expertise in some nische areas but are not willing to provide the commitment you would expect from someone in a startup. You can use them to meet short term project goals and train your commited fulltime team to help reach longterm goals.

Stilgherrian said...

Shuba, I think that if you need a certain job done and you don't have enough of that kind of work for an on-going full-time position, then find a business which offers it as a service.

For the roles which are unique to your business — a developer for an internet start-up, say -- then they have to be core staff. But for generic work which is common to most businesses -- bookkeeping, some administration, logistics -- then just get a specialist to do it.

Thanks for the link, by the way. I've written a follow-up piece which compares the workaholic internet start-up culture to an evil religious cult. Fun. :)

Shuba Swaminathan said...

deepa&maruthy, stilgherrian,

Thanks for your comments. I was in fact, referring to hiring a part timer for a core position. The only issue with hiring an expert is compensation. As a cash strapped early stage start-up, financial compensation at the market rate was out of the question and promise of future equity does not motivate everyone.