Running a business is hard enough to do, and doing it on your own is unfathomably difficult. I had always intended to hire a couple of people as soon as I got funding, but although my last entry posted 6 weeks ago said I got funding, that funding is still being processed, which completely stifled my ability to act upon my plans.
After 5 weeks though, I realised that I just needed to move forward with or without the funding. I was achingly aware of how incapable I was of doing it all on my own. So after consulting with various people, I decided to put an ad on the Gumtree. I couldn’t afford a proper recruitment consultant, or expensive advertisements. Gumtree is a fantastic place to get employees – its very cheap to post an advert, you get massive numbers of people responding, and the calibre of people is excellent.
I was swamped! Within 2 days I had over 30 applicants, and I was in awe at how good some of them were, considering I had posted what I was going to pay and it wasn’t a huge amount. I short-listed 5 applicants and set up interviews for the next day.
Now, I am a terrible interviewer. I never know what to ask, because the things that are important to me: initiative, ingenuity, intelligence, are hard to ascertain from interview questions. I like to think I am quite intuitive though about people, so I just find a way to keep them talking, and try to pick their personality from answers to mundane questions about almost anything. I guess I also want to be sure I connect with the person I’m hiring – a perfect worker is not enough, I have to feel they will augment the soul of my company by their presence.
Anyway, funnily enough, I knew who I would hire before I met any of the short-listed applicants. One candidate’s experience was exceptional, and her email communication revealed a wonderful sense of humour and understanding of what it was to work for a startup. She had worked in San Francisco for big PR consultancies, with some of the biggest companies in the business, and had just moved to London. I just had a feeling she would be right.
I interviewed the other candidates, and felt quite overwhelmed as everyone I met had something really appealing about them. I was perplexed as to who I would hire. The final person I interviewed was Leslie, and all my doubts disappeared. She had the fire of wanting to achieve in her eyes, and she spoke with intelligence and imagination. I hired her on the spot.
So, Skimbit has its official first employee (well, if you don’t count my team of developers and designers scattered around the globe)! She is my Marketing and PR Manager, and has already done a sterling job.
The only downside is that Leslie will be doing work that up until now simply was not done in Skimbit, which is very needed and valuable work. Unfortunately she probably won’t be taking any workload off me, so I’ll still be as frantic and overworked as usual… but at least I’ll have someone by my side, helping me in this journey that, thankfully, despite the exhaustion, I truly love.