10 Deadly Hiring Mistakes Founders Make

Being a founder is tough and you can’t afford to make deadly hiring mistakes. Every dollar is precious and hiring the right resources who will be able to bring your vision to life is difficult. Picking just one wrong employee, freelancer or outsourcing company can be costly or even deadly to your business.

  1. Hasty Hiring – Hiring the first person you interview, or even hiring on the spot when you meet someone. Being desperate to fill seats and get things done at the expense of finding the right fit for the role and the team.
  2. Over-Hiring– Hiring very experienced resources before you have a funding runway. If everything does not go perfectly, you will run out of time and money before you can get your idea off the ground.
  3. Under-Hiring – Hiring very inexperienced resources without providing experienced industry mentors, clear job descriptions, detailed project requirements and defined goals. Your resource may not know how to navigate a new job, and will have to “wing it” without support. They may sink or swim, but soon they will be burnt out and looking for another job.
  4. Outsourcing to Remote Strangers You Can’t Qualify – You may get hundreds of solicitations from countries all over the world to handle your software development. Hiring an in tact, proven team can be great, but you will also need to provide very clear goals and requirements, navigate long distance and cross-cultural communication challenges, often outside of business hours to get anything done. You may not realize that things are going poorly until you are deeply into the project or even nearing completion. You’ll be burnt out and out of funds.
  5. A Patchwork of Disconnected Freelancers – Hiring an assortment of freelancers in different locations who don’t connect with each other puts the burden on the founder to keep every task synchronized.
  6. Friends & Family – hiring people with emotional ties, money issues, health issues, etc. can lead to hard feelings, confusion and conflict if performance suffers or if you have a hard time communicating about performance expectations. You may or may not be hiring the best person for the job, even if they are #1 in your heart. If you’d like the relationship to survive the start up, help them find a job elsewhere.
  7. Unverified Recommendations – this is an extension of the friends and family issue. A person you trust has a reason to recommend one of their friends and family members to you. Do they understand the skills required by the job? Do they have an emotional reason for the recommendation? Tread cautiously and vet the candidate, while keeping your trusted person at arm’s length.
  8. Hiring Just for Skills – They can code their brains out, came from a world famous company, or they have an incredible degree or certification. On paper they look outstanding, but later you find that they don’t have the drive or attitude to work with the rest of the team. Skills alone won’t save your start up.
  9. Delaying an Attitude Adjustment – Lots of people are skilled technicians – they can design, code or handle complex tasks in the area of their training. But they may be toxic or distracting to their coworkers, gossiping or undermining other departments. Very few people have mastered the can do attitude and empathy that makes for a delightful and productive contributor. Skills can be taught and improved more easily. Attitude is harder to adjust because it is an inside job and very personality driven. Attitude can be modeled by leaders in the company, but it also needs to be discovered, fostered and prized as a dominant trait in all members of the team. A bad attitude is a leading indicator of burnout, lack of engagement, and further destructive behaviors. A disengaged, bitter team member can drag the whole team down like a giant anchor sinking into a the depths of a sea of plastic trash. Lack of engagement means you are paying for work that isn’t really happening. Don’t waste your time and money trying to change someone’s attitude. Find someone with a spectacular attitude and help them embrace new challenges.
  10. Sloppy Onboarding – You can’t expect every candidate you hire to automatically click into place and understand how you think, how you want things done, how your tools and systems work, who to go to for help, partnership or clarification or what you are trying to accomplish. You still need to show them the ropes and help them learn about the organization from the inside. Making this ramp up time productive, efficient and deliberately helpful shows you value the new hire, builds mutual loyalty and a healthy work culture.
  11. BONUS: Firing Too Slowly – Address problems head on when they are small and fixable. That is your main responsibility. This is your dream – not anyone else’s and they are not likely to take it as seriously as you do. If someone is violating your stated company values, steering the company off course, infecting coworkers with a bad attitude and there isn’t a legitimate reason to explain why they are acting this way, it is time to do yourself and them a favor by setting them free to pursue something more appropriate for their special gifts. Rip the bandage off as quickly and humanely as possible. Make sure you are covering your bases with applicable employment laws and be kind but firm. Startup life is not for everyone, but doors will open for good people.

Handcrafted Growth Teams for Startups

At Steamwork Center, we hire, mentor & manage your core growth team and deliver your Minimum Viable Product to your first customers. Learn more about SquadJobs and contact us to discuss your needs.

Why Should You Become a Member at Steamwork Center?

Here are just a few of the many reasons to work, learn and grow at Steamwork Center, the premier Business Growth Studio and Coworking Space in Santa Clarita, CA.

  1. Steamwork Center is a great place to work – Designed for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs, Steamwork Center is a newly renovated office space with funky, fun decor, a stocked kitchen, cool conference room, vast event space, a business book library, fast internet, flexible seating options, convenient parking and much, much more.
  2. Amazing coworkers and talent network – Not only are there great, knowledgeable, helpful people already working at Steamwork Center, but we have a fantastic local and global network of resources standing by to tackle your biggest business challenge.
  3. Outstanding opportunities to learn and grow – We believe in making entrepreneurship accessible to everyone, so you don’t have to be an Ivy League MBA or move to Silicon Valley to make your idea into a business. We offer a variety of training programs, networking opportunities and challenges to nurture healthy business growth right here in Santa Clarita.
  4. Emerging talent pipeline – We also believe in the unlimited potential of the students and recent graduates in our valley, and want to equip them with the practical work experience they need to get a foot in the door with the hottest growth companies in the area.
  5. Host your own business building events – One of the best ways to build your business is to share your expertise generously with potential customers. We offer affordable event and meeting space and promotional services to help you magnify your message and attract the perfect clients.
  6. Build your dream team – So you’ve got a great idea in your area of expertise, but are befuddled by technology or design or legal or marketing. Everyone has their own version of Kryptonite. We’ve got you covered. Book a strategy session and we’ll help you assemble your dream team to eliminate the blindspots and help you move forward smoothly, affordably and quickly.

Interested in learning more?

It’s time to upgrade your pajamas to work clothes, give your Starbucks app a rest or convince your boss you’ll be more productive working close to home.  

Book a tour and get a free day pass to try Steamwork Center for yourself!

Headphones and Chit Chat – Putting Coworking Noise in Perspective

As I write this while working from home, my computer fan is blowing, the dog is pacing around after barking his furry little face off, the refrigerator is buzzing, the dishwasher is running, the kids are in another room playing Xbox and I can hear the click clack of the keyboard. Luckily the TV is off for the night and no one in my house is currently streaming YouTube videos about obscure yodel-producing sports.
Working at a coffee shop is really no better. The grinding, whirring, sensitive conversations, doors opening, name shouting…all of those noises add up.
Coworking spaces aren’t meant to be silent like a library. There will be a natural hum as folks settle into their work routines, have coffee chats to get to know one another, or greet a visitor. However, they are usually pretty low key.
Coworkers have a code – using one earphone means I can be interrupted, and two earphones means I need to focus and can’t be disturbed. No headphones means I’m ready for anything.
When noises get to the annoying level, just make a kind, quiet request to the noisemaker to please manage the noise. We all get carried away sometimes. Relative to balloons popping and a marching band, coworking noise sounds pretty good to me!
Check out all of the noises that could be much worse!
Click the image to enlarge
Noise what you need to hear
Via: FIXR.COM Contractors

Need a Digital Detox?

As an executive for a global advertising company, Steamwork founder Tania Mulry, encountered the challenges that many of us are facing in this digital age.

Watch her TEDx talk “Need a Digital Detox?” to discover how she combats technology overwhelm and gets recharged for a more balanced personal and professional life.


How do you deal with digital distraction? Share your best tips with us in the comments!

What is Coworking?

We are excited to create this opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate, create and grow thriving new businesses in Santa Clarita, CA. Coworking is a global phenomenon that is transforming how and where we work.

As we prepared to open our workspace, we connected with pioneers who have been operating coworking spaces all over the world. Here’s a collection of resources and research to understand coworking benefits, trends and opportunities.

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW – Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces

FORBES – 4 Reasons Every Office Will Be a Coworking Office in 5 Years

COMMON DESK – The Local Economic Impact of Coworking

FAST COMPANY – The Future of Coworking and Why It Will Give Your Company a Huge Edge

DESK MAG – First Results of the 2017 Global Coworking Survey

[slideshare id=69884278&doc=2017globalcoworkingsurveyfirstresultsofficialslides-161206175509]


KNOLL – The Rise of Co-working

Are you thinking of opening your own coworking space?

Contact us about partnership opportunities and join our favorite Organizers Group.

6 Websites to Find Remote Work at Startups While Living in Santa Clarita

If you love working for startups and living in Santa Clarita, but don’t like to commute you are in luck. There are some great sites aggregating jobs at startups that are open to remote workers in all sorts of roles. I spotted listings for cofounders, marketing, sales, product, growth, programmers, testers, customer care and more at all levels of experience. Hope you find the perfect match!

Enjoy our weather while making history working remotely at the next unicorn!

Remote OK


Remote Friendly Work

We Work Remotely

Go Remote


Let us know if you land a great gig!