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The do’s and don’ts of building a great early-stage team

Ginni Lisk, head of people operations at Forward Partners, shares her advice to help entrepreneurs build a great early-stage team.

You have founded a business, you’re keen to make your first hire(s) and you’re too busy as it is.  How do you ensure that these are the best hires you could possibly be making? And, how on earth do you find the time?  Here are some do’s and don’ts for early-stage team growth. Remember, no business will succeed without great people.


Be honest. Good founders hold mirrors up to themselves. What are you good at? What are you getting better at? Start with a core transferable skill; are you technical, are you commercial? What’s your training?  Then go further. How do you respond to stress? Are you disorganised? Are you good at North Stars, or are you best when you’re in the detail? Are you a natural motivator? Don’t be afraid of hiring people that are better than you....